Selflock Systems Group of Companies
His greatest contribution to the Glass Industry is Century Selflock Glazing System, a unique invention, which has been patented in more than 43 countries worldwide, including GCC, Europe, Americas, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, South Africa etc.
Abdul Lathief Arakkal, fondly called as ‘Lathief Ikka’ among his wide circles of friends, is the founder of Century Glass, started in the year 1990 in Dubai. His greatest contribution to the Glass Industry is Century Selflock Glazing System, a unique invention, which has been patented in more than 43 countries worldwide, including GCC, Europe, Americas, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, South Africa etc. A man of all seasons, he was active in politics and was a student leader. Today, besides being successful in his ventures, he stands up for the cause of environmental protection and is fond of exploring echo-friendly technologies.
About the Company
Selflock Systems NV, a Belgium-based company with associates in the Middle East and India, is the manufacturer and supplier of Selflock Glazing Systems. The product is the World’s one and only patented front-loading dry mounting glazing system, which keeps the profiles locked and the glass panels held under pressure in equilibrium due to the inherent dynamism of the mechanism. The system allows the glass panels suspended in the Self-locking mechanism for added safety.
Mr. Abdul Lathief Arakkal, attributes the credit of his invention to his long time associates in Belgium, Mr. Jos Coppens, who is acknowledged for his professional contribution to the Glass & Glazing Industry in Europe and Asia for over four decades. Selflock Systems NV is dedicated to the glazing industry as a vendor of specialized glazing systems and the R&D wing is in the process of time testing a number of innovative additions to the Selflock range of systems. Selflock Thermal Break Systems, Selflock Handrails Systems and Led Light Handrail systems etc. are few of them. Selflock Systems is a promising brand across the globe by its superior features and simple to assemble mechanism and is now expanding worldwide with a network of associated companies.
The product is the World’s one and only patented front-loading dry mounting glazing system, which keeps the profiles locked and the glass panels held under pressure in equilibrium due to the inherent dynamism of the mechanism.
SELFLOCK Systems are intended for safe installation of glass/panels and it is advised to be used only for tempered or laminated glass.
Selflock Glazing Systems is ideal for thick/heavy glass applications like Shop Front, Shop Display Window, Office Front, Glass Doors, Fixed Windows for large area, Internal Partitions, Shower Glazing, Internal Partition with Venetian blind in between glass panes and External Glazing or facades for clean and safe installation for professional quality in fast track projects.
About the MD
Abdul Lathief Arakkal is a native of Palluruthy in Kochi. He was born as the son of the late Abdul Khader Arakkal, a farmer, and Pathu, a home maker. As a college student, he was part of the campus politics that mobilized youth force in Kerala in the 1970’s. Many members of the Arakkal family have been in politics and his uncle was the first mayor of Cochin Corporation. Abdul Lathief chose to pursue his studies and enrolled for his BA at Maharaja’s College in 1975. His chief motivation was to belong to the prestigious institution, as he was captivated by the marvels of Maharaja’s and went on to do his post graduation in the same college. He was an active member of Kerala Students Union and has contested the College Union elections.
A causal visit to Bombay in 1980 was the turning point of his life as he got his first shot at an employment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Joining the Saudi American Glass Factory in 1983, the first and only glass tempering plant in the GCC in Riyadh, he quickly moved up the ranks. His commitment and diligence to the work assigned to him in production and logistics saw him being promoted and given charge of global sourcing and import. It was while working in Saudi Arabia that he got married and was blessed with three children. His wife is Rahmath, a home maker and their children – Sanabel, Minhal and Harun.
Equipped with the urge to prove himself and the knowledge he acquired from the glass industry, he moved to the UAE in 1990. Armed with a small seed capital from his savings and bursting enthusiasm, he launched his maiden venture in Dubai. But the road to success also had pitfalls-glass trading did not take off as anticipated and so he ventured into glass processing. But even that was a failure and he had to shut down his operations quickly and seek a job elsewhere. Abdul Lathief restarted his business with new investors in 1994 and has never had to look back since then. Along with major interior firms of those days, Abdul Lathief was instrumental in popularizing the concept of transparent offices in the UAE, using full height glass panels to replace the bulky gypsum wall partition with aluminium doors and windows. The biggest hurdle he faced in this regard was the overdependence on semi-skilled fabricators for fixing the heavy glass panels in light-duty aluminium frames giving messy silicone work. After almost a decade of untiring research into this aspect, Abdul Lathief came up with his unique invention- Century selflock glazing system. He sees it as his professional legacy and a personal contribution to the Industry. Since this locking principle can find myriad utility in various engineering applications, Abdul Lathief is exploring broader applications for his brainchild by encouraging young talents in engineering. His latest invention, the MTCP (Multi-Tensioned Composite Profiles), pending for examination with US Patent Office, could be a breakthrough in materials Engineering to produce pre-tensioned structures in less mass weight (in comparison to ‘I’ beams in general) for more load bearing applications assembled at job sites in required lengths with butt joints not welded.
He is currently involved in a green hospitality project (an Orchard) in the remote hills of Wayanad and a boutique hotel in the backwaters of Kochi, in Kerala. Besides eco-friendly design and construction, his USP is to create, modify and utilize all the naturally available on-site resources of wind, sun and water to generate the entire in-house power requirement. He hopes that, when completed, this will serve as a model for the younger generation whom he hopes to guide and enlighten while he spends his retirement years.
Abdul Lathief has learned the valuable lessons of life all by himself and that knowledge is his legacy – no shortcuts to success, but perseverance pays off.