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MIDDLE EAST EDITION JULY 2018 middleeast.businesschief.com

GENERAL MOTORS BUILDING THE AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY CHAIN OF THE FUTURE

CYLANCE

Exploring the role of AI in cybersecurity

S.A. Talke

Petrochemical logistics in Saudi Arabia

TOP 10

MOST VALUABLE BRANDS IN THE MIDDLE EAST


FOREWORD

Welcome to another jam-packed Middle Eastern edition of Business Chief. This month features an in-depth chat on cybersecurity in the region with Evan Davidson, VP EMEA of Cylance. With cybercrime on the up, Cylance uses AI and machine learning to protect against threats. Davidson also gives us the inside line on Cylance’s expansion into MENA. At Cylance, Davidson is responsible for building out a team with products and capabilities suitable for partners and the market. “It’s an opportunity to come in, disrupt the market with innovation and build out the operation in EMEA,” he says. EQUIIS is also involved in cyber security through its provision of end-to-end encrypted communications for business. We speak to CEO Derek Roga as well as partner company SaltDNA’s CEO Joe Boyle regarding the cost of cybercrime to business, estimated at $500bn in lost revenue (2016) and set to soar to over $2trn by 2019. Businesses, both public and private, are still struggling to implement secure communication and EQUIIS CEO Derek Roga is adamant more needs to be done to offer economical and intuitive solutions. Elsewhere we speak to industry leaders at American University of Beirut, Emitac Healthcare Solutions, FDC (Food and Drug Corporation), GM, GroupM, Middle East Broadcasting, MIF (More Café / Intelligent Foods) Sa Talke Ltd and Umniah. We also take a close look at Mecca, our City in Focus this month and list the top 10 most valuable brands in the Middle East. : @Business_Chief

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CONTENTS

GENERAL MOTORS

DELIVERING THE ELECTRIC AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE SHIFT IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Tech

AI TO THE RESCUE: DEALING WITH CYBER THREATS IN 2018

Cyber solutio

to cybercr

Leadership


ons

crime

MECCA City Focus

Top 10 most valuable Middle Eastern brands


CONTENTS

Sa Talke

Umniah

FDC


American University of Beirut

Emitac Healthcare Solutions

More Cafe


GM

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DELIVERING THE ELECTRIC AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE SHIFT IN THE MIDDLE EAST Through electric vehicles, General Motors looks to define the automotive supply chain future of the Middle East WRITTEN BY

DALE BENTON PRODUCED BY

HEYKEL OUNI

J U LY 2 0 1 8


S U P P LY C H A I N

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m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


GM

I

n the ever-evolving conversation centred around the autonomous and electric vehicles of the future, one could be easily forgiven for failing to recognise the impact this will

have on the manufacturers and the procurement networks of the automotive and transportation sector. As the eyes of the world focus on when we will see EVs and autonomous vehicles, the question should really be how. For General Motors, one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers, this conversation is more prescient now than ever before. “Across our entire global footprint GM is evolving to deliver in line with our technological capabilities across the mobility industry and

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S U P P LY C H A I N

that means that we have to work closer

Over the course of his career, Pallak

with our suppliers across our global

has worked all around the world in both

network in order to deliver and support

engineering and procurement and sup-

this direction.� says Sulaiman Pallak,

ply chain roles across multiple industries.

Head of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. For the last three years Pallak has

It is this experience, working with suppliers from all over the world in different disciplines and different capacities,

been responsible for delivering this new

that Pallak feels provides him with

strategy across the Middle East, with the

a keen understanding on how supplier

vision of establishing GM as the leading

relationships can and will prove key to

automotive brand in the EV space.

defining the future of GM.

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Your life. Our world.

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S U P P LY C H A I N

“With the global footprint that we have at GM, there are suppliers and there are areas in procurement and purchasing that are more complex and in different markets that requires a certain level of understanding,” he says. “My experience provided me with an understanding of how to look at those varying elements and then prioritise the company’s thinking as to how we can make informed decisions that involve sourcing the right materials at the right price and on time.” As the company continues its evolution from a traditional automotive manufacturer, part of this journey will see GM redefine a number of supplier and partner relationships and Pallak firmly believes that procurement as a function has evolved into much more of

“GM is changing its strategy to move into the electric vehicle and autonomous technology space and that means that we have to work closer with our suppliers across our global network in order to deliver and support this direction” — Sulaiman Pallak, Head of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain

an influencer in company strategies all over the world. With manufacturing facilities worldwide, GM has a responsibility to, as Pallak explains, operate the supplier networks surrounding these facilities like a “well-oiled machine”. This is no more apparent than in the Middle East, an m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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GM

14

emerging market in the procurement industry. “It is true that the Middle East is still growing in maturity when it comes to purchasing and procurement,” says

Click to watch Cadillac’s video ‘The Future is Here’

Pallak. “But that makes it a very good market because companies are investing in people, technology and processes in order to grow the market.” “As the economy of the region grows it compels different areas of industry and different professions to grow alongside it.” Being one of the biggest manufacturers in the world carries with it a level of responsibility that will prove key in pushing the Middle East procurement space towards becoming what CIPS has described as a potential procurement hub of the world.


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Research

Learning

Consulting


GM

This is part of GM’s strategy as the attention turns towards the supply of parts and materials being predominantly sourced from suppliers and manufacturing partners from other parts of the world and then shipped to the region. But how can GM seek out more efficient and more effective ways of getting products to market? Investing in the region and developing a network of suppliers that are local, removing the dependency on sourcing from all around the world, is one answer. “As we push to become the number one 16

automaker in the region we need to push the ability to supply and our supply chain needs to become more forward thinking and more proactive,� Pallak says.

BIO

Sulaiman Pallak is a senior executive with over 10 years of experience managing procurement, supply chain and logistics transformation in Fortune 500 companies. Leading multiple staff responsible for annual $165 million+ global purchasing and supply chain operations with focus on continuous J U LY 2 0 1 8


S U P P LY C H A I N

“How do we get our products into the region? How do we sell them to our dealer network? How do we reach our consumers? These are the questions we need to ask and in order to become the number one in the region, we need to engage with key partner suppliers” — Sulaiman Pallak, Head of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain

business improvement in a very large global corporate structure. Sulaiman is also a senior leadership member of GM Middle East Operations. Multiple General Motors Leadership award winner for significant contribution to improve corporate performance.

Education: • M BA. Supply Chain & Logistics from S.P. Jain University, Singapore • BSc. Business Administration from Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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YOUR PARTNER IN AUTOMOTIVE RESEARCH in 89 international markets

Celebrating 30 years in the MENA region @IpsosMENA

www.ipsos.com


S U P P LY C H A I N

19

“How do we get our products

tion that is defined by its supplier

into the region? How do we sell

capabilities and to this end the

them to our supplier network?

company implements a global

How do we reach our consum-

strategy called the Strategic

ers? These are the questions

Supplier Engagement Program.

we need to ask and in order to

Through this initiative, GM

become the number one in the

creates a transparent supply

region, we need to engage with

chain network by sharing current

key partners.�

designs and blueprints for prod-

The company aspires to manufacture and sell best in class

ucts often years in advance. This, Pallak feels, allows a far

products and automotive vehicles.

more collaborative supplier rela-

Pallak notes that this is an aspira-

tionship that creates tangible m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MENA

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benefits for both the supplier and

ning to establish a Strategic Supply

for GM.

Council. This council will work with

“We show the suppliers our

GM to identify ways in which the

designs and our blueprints, as

suppliers can generate cost effi-

well as sharing the volume that

ciencies and find greater efficiency

we’d need for these future designs,”

in getting products to market.

he says. “In return, we get information about raw materials and

Supply Excellence Award, in

technology that they can develop

which GM highlights the best of

years in advance. Information that

the best suppliers in regards to

we can use and adopt to our plans.”

their collaboration. These awards

Pallak is currently working to take this supplier engagement further in the Middle East by plan-

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This is supported by an internal

will help define the Strategic Supply Council. “In the future GM will plan to


S U P P LY C H A I N

“As a company, we learn to ensure that the customer is at the centre of everything we do” — Sulaiman Pallak, Head of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain

form the Supply Council for the Middle East from a wide range of strategic suppliers that we develop as we expand,” Pallak says. “This council will be the acting voice for GM as we seek out and define our future supplier portfolio.” GM’s journey is one of continuous evolution. No journey can ever truly end and Pallak recognises that while this is a journey of transformation for the company internally, there is one key component that cannot be forgotten – the customer. “As a company, we learn to ensure that the customer is at the centre of everything we do,” he says. “Every product, innovative technology or efficiency that we enable is done so through customer focused priorities. “Is the customer getting the right product, at the right time, at the right quality? Is the customer getting the right care of service once the vehicle is sold?

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GM

$166bn Approximate revenue

1908

Year founded

180,000 22

Approximate number of employees

Click to watch: Pioneers Cadillac 2017 Oscars Commercial

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S U P P LY C H A I N

Do we have suppliers to provide the right care? These are the questions we must continue to ask ourselves as we continue to grow.” Technology has redefined the automotive industry and this has forced GM to redefine its entire operations. Pallak believes that the next five years will prove crucial, as we can expect to see more developments in technology than we have over the last 50 years. As it looks to embrace this future, GM will continue to work closely with partners and suppliers to develop solutions and technologies in order to be ready for this changing landscape. That is what will continue to prove key for Pallak- collaboration. “It’s about positioning ourselves to be ready for when this market matures. We can only do this through the relationships we forge with suppliers. We develop long term strategic relationships in order to ensure that these suppliers can process the products so that we can deliver them to market and of course, ultimately, the customer.”

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LEADERSHIP

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AI TO THE RESC DEALING WITH CYBER THREATS IN 2018 With cybercrime on the up, Cylance uses AI and machine learning to protect against threats. Evan Davidson, Vice President, Sales EMEA, discusses Cylance’s expansion into the Middle East

J U LY 2 0 1 8

WRITTEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK


CUE:

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LEADERSHIP

E

van Davidson has over two decades of experience in IT, having

worked for various technology startups including Veracoe and FireEye. At Cylance, Davidson has been responsible for building out a team with products and capabilities suitable for partners and the market. “It’s an opportunity to come in, disrupt the market with innovation and build out the oper-

“WANNACRY HAS CAUSED A HUGE CHANGE IN THE CYBER LANDSCAPE. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO YOU ARE, YOU CAN BE IMPACTED AND IT COULD SHUT DOWN YOUR BUSINESS” Evan Davidson, Vice President Sales EMEA, Cylance

ation in EMEA,” he says. 26

Business Chief caught up with him to find out more.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT CYLANCE AND THE SERVICES IT PROVIDES. Cylance is a data science company with specialists in machine learning (ML) which we’re applying to cybersecurity problems. We have architecture our solution from the ground up, using AI and ML to help prevent attacks and threats never seen before using a purpose-built, prevention led approach. J U LY 2 0 1 8

Evan Davidson, Vice President Sales EMEA, Cylance


The company is around six years old and is based in the US, continuing to expand globally with 850 staff. It is venture capital (VC) funded and now has strong product maturity. We now have operations in Latin America, Japan, Asia Pacific, and a large, growing operation in EMEA. We cover all aspects of the market with our endpoint solution. This spans across all segments, from SMB to the largest enterprises, and we see those organisations expanding the type of capability that they need on the endpoint. From a product perspective, we started with CylancePROTECT – the core component for prevention of malware and other file-based attacks. It’s about stopping the pre-execution of those issues and we do that with a very high degree of accuracy (over 99%) compared to traditional security products. There are very few false positives and it has a light footprint on the agent on the endpoint. At one of our recent customer panels, a CISO from a large enterprise indicated the company hasn’t had a malware related incident in three years since implementing Cylance.

WHAT KEY GOAL IS CYLANCE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH IN THE MARKET? There’s a lot of confusion and noise in the marketplace, and what we have to do is get the message out that prevention is possible and m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

27


LEADERSHIP

our customers are experiencing a

prevention led approach

tremendously positive impact

because that’s where a cus-

with the implementation of

tomer can get the greatest

Cylance’s technology.

value.

We complement PROTECT

We also have Home Edition,

with CylanceOPTICS, which is

which further extends the border-

our prevention platform. It

less network, where companies

delivers enhanced visibility,

blur between consumerisation and

forensics and response capa-

the enterprise. This will give cus-

bility. We want to return to a

tomers the ability to put a home

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edition product into an environment where cor-

Dubai, and have just signed our

porates want to extend to their employees.

first very large anchor account in the region to help support that

WHAT PARTICULAR REGIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS CYLANCE LOOKING TO EXPAND IN?

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and

According to analyst growth predictions, the

associated countries.

Middle East endpoint market is growing faster

customer. UAE will remain a core market and we will also cover

We are creating pockets of

than the the EMEA average. We’re putting

excellence around the region, so

down a team in the Middle East, based in

first invested parts of Europe.

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LEADERSHIP

We’ve built up a high degree of learning

half a billion files and understood on a

from that, as we wanted to make sure

very molecular level of what decon-

we had that right before moving into the

structs to be malicious and we take

Middle East.

those features and do feature extrac-

We have the working operation

tion in and around those data sets. This

model right, foundation partners and an

allows us to build an algorithm to make

anchor customer – so now is the time to

a realt0ime decision whether a file is

invest. The Middle East can be more

good or bad.

cloud averse so we have on-premise technology to support our products, which will help customers to consider alternatives to existing endpoint security products. We have an agreed partnership with 30

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT IN ADDING VALUE FOR A CLIENT? One of our longest serving customers

StarLink, a value-added distribution

has gone through the full lifecycle of

partner covering the Middle East and

deploying technology and then going

parts of Africa. It’s the largest pure

through a full renewal – in addition, now

security play distributor, and very suc-

expanding to the full platform. There are

cessful in bringing new technologies

over 30,000 endpoints in this organisa-

into the region. We also work closely

tion. They have only had to deal with a

with Etisalat, one of the largest UAE

handful of malware-related incidents as

service providers.

opposed to many hundreds previously.

IN WHAT WAY ARE YOUR SOLUTIONS MORE PROACTIVE THAN REACTIVE? We architected our solution based on

HOW HAS THE CYBERSEC RITY INDUSTRY CHANGED IN RECENT YEARS – HAVE RISKS INCREASED?

artificial intelligence (AI) and machine

What has changed fundamentally hap-

learning (ML), so the fundamentals are

pened back in May 2017 – this has

built on understanding what is mali-

always been around, but it certainly

cious and what is good. We’ve taken

came to the public’s attention and was a

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“OUR STAFF ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT THE CYLANCE VISION TO PROTECT EVERY ENDPOINT UNDER THE SUN. THIS IS A BOLD ASPIRATION BUT IF YOU BELIEVE IN THAT VISION AND HOW EFFECTIVE OUR TECH IS, YOU CAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE” Evan Davidson, Vice President Sales EMEA, Cylance

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LEADERSHIP

“WE WANT TO RETURN TO A PREVENTION LED APPROACH BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE A CUSTOMER CAN GET THE GREATEST VALUE” 32

Evan Davidson, Vice President Sales EMEA, Cylance

massive wakeup call for a lot of

just data theft, but production systems impact –

organisations. When the Wanna-

we had customers physically shutting down

Cry ransomware attack hit, it was

operations. That has caused a huge change in

completely random. It didn’t matter

the cyber landscape. It doesn’t matter who

if you were the NHS, a large enter-

you are, you can be impacted and it could

prise busor a local accounting firm

shut down your business.

– we saw all sorts of customer seg-

Cybersecurity has to be on everyone’s

ments being hit. Nothing was

agenda now. We used to get the objection

targeted, it was just malware ran-

‘why would someone want my data?’ but

domly distributed. Those

right now it doesn’t matter what data you

customers’ primary impact wasn’t

have. The fact that someone could click on

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33

a link and ransomware could spread

spective. We do a lot of reference calls

through the organisation has a poten- with customers, we take them through tially huge impact.

proof of concept and explain how the technology works. We’re more than

IN TERMS OF SALES, HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT YOUR PRODUCT IS THE RIGHT SOLUTION FOR A CUSTOMER?

happy to have our technology tested in

The value add is an education process –

detected, but it also helps customers

the how and why we’ve architected our

understand how Cylance can operation-

solution from a security and privacy per-

ally put them in full prevention mode.

real world environments, and we encourage that because you get a real sense of not just what things can be

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LEADERSHIP

HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR TEAM IN EXPANING CYLANCE SOLUTIONS ACROSS THE REGION? Our staff are passionate about the Cylance vision to protect every endpoint under the sun. This is a bold aspiration but if you believe in that vision and how effective our tech is, you can really make a difference. This is an important part of our culture. We’re not just another endpoint company. We are disrupting the market and doing something fundamentally different. We attract very energetic, passionate people who want to make a 34

difference in an area that hasn’t really evolved in over a decade. This passion and energy are then relayed to our partners.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE NEXT FEWYEARS? We aim to have a full coverage model across the Middle East with rapid expansion similar to our other geographies. In two years, the EMEA headcount has gone from zero to 70. The Middle East will be part of a successful geography for us. We’ll invest further in regional sales, technical, channel and marketing functions to support that. I’m confident we’ll be substantially larger than we are now.

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TECHNOLOGY

36

Cyber solutions WRIT TEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK

to cybercrime

With data breaches highly publicised and ransomware threats on the up, Business Chief caught up with software company EQUIIS to find the solution

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TECHNOLOGY

W

ith the cost of cybercrime to business in 2016 estimated at $500bn in lost revenue, and this figure

expected to increase by over $2trn by 2019, businesses both public and private are still struggling to implement secure communication. EQUIIS CEO Derek Roga is adamant more needs to be done to offer economical and intuitive solutions. EQUIIS provides enterprises with a range of secure communications solutions so that from oil and gas companies to law firms, businesses can communicate securely and efficiently with each other and with clients, 38

protected against the ever-increasing

“The idea was dangers of cybercrime and ransomware. to provide an With a recent report from NTT Security having revealed one third of global business decieasy-to-integrate sion makers prefer to risk ransomware platform that demands rather than investing in cybersecucould provide rity, despite attacks having increased by the enterprise 350% in 2017 alone, it’s no surprise there are with a tool to so many issues with keeping data secure and communicate that EQUIIS is growing exponentially in a presecurely” viously neglected space. — Derek Roga, CEO EQUIIS

Derek Roga, a tech entrepreneur with 25

years’ experience, previously worked in the telecom software space, working with Blackberry before founding EMS in Dubai in 2005, which involved “taking the Blackberry solu-

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39

tion to the marketplace through

go out on his own in the space and founded

mobile operators”. Within three

EQUIIS to assure clients with similar needs of

years, EMS became Blackberry’s

a secure, compliant communication method.

largest partner, representing 18%

Speaking to Business Chief, Roga was

of the company’s global sales

joined by Joe Boyle, CEO and co-founder of

and working with 105 mobile

SaltDNA, who started working closely with

operators worldwide.

Roga when the businesses formed a tech-

Roga went on to work with

nology partnership in 2017. Previously,

clients in the intelligence com-

Belfast-educated Boyle had worked for Irish-

munity. “They had a need to

based startups as well as Ericsson. “After

understand what type of com-

a number of years working in telecoms, I made

munications took place where

a switch to work in enterprise networking.” In

and if there was anything surrep-

2013, he founded SaltDNA, which was largely

titious they could identify.” Thus,

focused on “giving enterprises solutions for

in 2016, Roga was well-placed to

securer, compliant managed communication”. m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


TECHNOLOGY

Together, both entrepreneurs’ experience helped fill the cybersecurity gap. “What drove us to start the business was that over the past

“A lot of organisations are grappling with how to do the most to ensure cybersecurity solutions are implemented with the least amount of investment” 40

— Derek Roga, CEO EQUIIS

several years there had been a significant uptick in cybercrime,” says Roga. “It’s a significant issue being faced by entrepreneurs. The idea was to provide an easyto-integrate platform that could provide the enterprise with a tool to communicate securely: secure messages, calls and file transfer, and being able to spontaneously have conference calls in a secure manner, regardless of where the team was in the world.”

J U LY 2 0 1 8


EQUIIS also offers the option

explains: “the administrator controls who has

to burn messages at both ends

access, who is communicating with them,

once read in case a device

how they are communicating and where they

becomes vulnerable.

are communicating from, ensuring the integrity of the platform.”

SECURE MARKETS

“The reason clients choose us,” Boyle adds,

EQUIIS’s closed communication

“is really that control and management of

network gives clients two options

closed user groups. Being able to do secure

to communicate. “We have our

conference calls within their own network,

own cloud network where we

not having to trust anyone else, is a key

host the solution. An enterprise

requirement for these large organisations

subscribes and we give them a

and government bodies that can’t afford to

portal through which they can

take any risks.”

manage their subscribers. It’s in

Key markets for EQUIIS include the oil and

our secure network and they can

gas industry, and the business is now grow-

deploy it across their whole

ing in the legal and government sector.

enterprise really quickly.” The

“A number of law firms use our solution,” says

second way is an on-premise

Roga. “In some cases, law firms are man-

solution which affords the client

dated to ensure the protection and integrity

organisation complete control.

of their attorney-client privilege communica-

“We take the infrastructure we’ve

tions, so they use our solution to accomplish

developed and replicate that in

that.” In terms of government, particular areas

the client’s own network.”

include police, military and intelligence organ-

How does EQUIIS’s offering

isations. “They are required, or have their own

differ from a consumer-facing

mandate, to ensure they’re getting the best of

communication service? “The

the best in regards to technology, and that the

WhatsApps and Vibers of the

solution they implement has the highest of

world enable somewhat secure

security built around it. Over the last two

communications but are not

quarters we’ve had some significant wins with

made for enterprise,” says Roga.

government agencies.”

With EQUIIS’s solution, he

In addition, business in the healthcare and m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

41


TECHNOLOGY

finance sectors is picking up.

seconds so they can use the

“We offer something unique in

solution. It’s intuitive; there’s not

this space: the ability to be com-

much training required and this

pliant, particularly around

can then broaden to a wider

regulatory requirements. In the

group of users. It’s an elegant

financial services industry,

way for us to build rapport

there’s a requirement that every

and relationships.”

transaction and communication be recorded and kept for

OPEN SOURCING SAFETY

future reference.”

In addition, Roga feels use of

A key added value for clients is

42

open-source software assures

the assurance of compliance and

users the solution is safe. “What

safety when using EQUIIS’ solu-

we have is not proprietary tech-

tion. “Clients are looking for a

nology. We use open-source

partnership,” Roga explains,

encryption: it’s tried, tested and

“And if the partner and the people

validated. Frankly, when you start

representing it can really empa-

touting proprietary solutions in

thise and understand their

the market, two things happen:

challenges, and provide real

there isn’t enough user experi-

world solutions, not hypothetical

ence to validate the technology,

ones, it becomes a partnership.”

and secondly you are opening

A consultative process also helps assure customers the solution suits their needs. “We can get a test group running within

yourself up for people to try to be the first to hack it.” “We don’t see ourselves as cryptographers,” Boyle explains.

“We can get the latest encryption techn then wrap up the management, cont and compliance around these techn — Joe Boyle, CEO and co-founder of SaltDNA

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43

hnology and trol, visibility nologies� m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


TECHNOLOGY

“We take the latest and greatest encryp- nitely something we see as becoming tion technology and if something better

more and more important across organi-

comes along, it’s about a three to four-

sations and sectors. Our technology

week process to upgrade. We’ve done

should definitely be something anyone

that four times in five years. What makes

who has a trusted engagement with

us different is that we can get the latest

a client where they are dealing with sen-

encryption technology and then wrap up sitive information should leverage.” the management, control, visibility and

Echoing the NTT study, Roga

compliance around these technologies

emphasises how little organisations

to make it something an enterprise can

are willing to spend on cybersecurity,

easily buy, because we tick all the boxes.” even in 2018. “If I’m a corporation, and With data breaches these days widely I’m going to invest say $10mn in a mar-

44

publicised, Boyle argues “the vast

keting campaign for example, I can see

majority” of businesses and indeed cus-

my return on investment (RoI) in a very

tomers are unaware of potential dangers tangible way. It can be measured and and how much data isn’t encrypted.

quantified. Whereas if I take the same

“There’s a level of apathy. But it’s defi-

$10mn and invest in cybersecurity, that

$500bn

revenue lost from cybercrime in 2016 J U LY 2 0 1 8


RoI is intangible. A lot of organisations

America lots of people send voice

are grappling with how to do the most

clips. Not only does this allow you to

to ensure cybersecurity solutions are

have an asynchronous conversation

implemented with the least amount of

with someone, but it is actually highly

investment.

compliant as you can keep a record

“We come in offering a very elegant solution giving peace of mind that

of things as they progress.” In addition to voice notes, Roga

one part of the issue is covered – and

adds: “From a technology perspec-

covered economically.”

tive we’re always innovating. Our service is significantly enhanced:

LOOKING AHEAD

we’re bringing in video conferencing

An area of increasing important for the

and communication… A lot of the

future will be voice clips, says Boyle.

enhancements we implement come

“A lot of organisations on the consumer

from direct interaction with our

side are sending voice clips and voice

customers and understanding the

notes. It’s catching on more in the

landscape we exist in. That’s going

UK, and in Asia and North and South

to happen continuously.”

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

45


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CITY FOCUS

MEC City Focus

48

Known as a hub of the Islamic faith the city of Mecca is also full of opportunities for those wishing to invest in tourism and hospitality


CCA

h,

y

49


CITY FOCUS

he city of Mecca in

ern Saudi Arabia – and those who

Saudi Arabia is known

appreciate their business – the

as the birthplace of the

Holy City is always bustling. Dur-

Prophet Mohammad and where

ing hajj or other cultural holidays,

the Islamic faith began. Followers

lodging is at a premium and traf-

of the religion are encouraged to

fic is heavy, but business

visit Mecca at least once in their

opportunities are also available.

T

lifetime – the hajj, or sacred pilgrimage, to the shrines of Mecca

Business opportunities

and Medina is an important pillar

Foreign investment opportu-

of the Muslim faith as well as a

nities are available, although

holy obligation. Because of this

the city is closed entirely to

annual influx of believers to west-

non-Muslims, so foreign

50

J U LY 2 0 1 8


investors of different faiths must

Economic Forum, which pre-

have local partners.

sented investment opportunities

The popularity of the area for

at the local, regional, national and

business is partly due to strong

international levels in a variety of

public and private support. There

economic sectors, from transpor-

are active chambers of com-

tation to hospitality.

merce in the Jeddah, Makkah

This area also considers ‘those

and Taif areas that encourage

on pilgrimage’ to be its own busi-

and promote regional busi-

ness sector, since at least 2mn

nesses. In fact, these

travellers annually represents a

organisations recently

significant population that

combined forces to pre-

spends money on goods and ser-

sent the Makkah

vices and needs businesses to 51

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


CITY FOCUS

‘This area considers ‘those on pilgrimage’ to be its own business sector, since at least 2mn travellers annually represents a significant population that spends money on goods and services’

52

provide them. The Guardian

Bayt, a skyscraper and clock

newspaper reported that ‘reli-

tower that includes restaurants,

gious tourism’ is becoming

hotels, shopping centres, offices

increasingly popular. In 2010,

and prayer areas. It’s considered

about 2.5mn visitors took part

the second tallest building in the

in hajj, a number that was pro-

world at approximately 600ft.

jected to rise to 17mn by 2025. Civic planners have already

Growth areas

been anticipating this increase in

One sector expected to have high

usage and visitation and continue

potential for growth is hospitality,

to make significant improvements

especially as the number of trav-

in infrastructure, including recent

ellers continues to grow and the

renovations of the main airport and

number of granted travel visas is

mass transit system. There have

increased. Though some pilgrims

also been ongoing efforts to

focus on being frugal and peni-

improve sanitation and cleanliness,

tent, others take the opportunity

especially around major shrines.

to enjoy luxury services when

A good deal of commercial

they are made available. The

activity takes place at Abraj alJ U LY 2 0 1 8

country’s government recently


FACT

Location: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Size: 10 square miles made conditions more appealing to this latter group by reclassifying many three/four-star hotels into four- or five-star properties, which will increase the price per room and demand. This expected demand is further fuelled

Population: 1.53mn as of 2010

Elevation: 909ft above sea level

Climate: Desert

by hajj travel companies who book trips early, especially to the newer, more prominent hotels.

Temperatures: Up to 120F/49C

Investment in hotel properties or related businesses to serve guests, such as restaurants, is only set to increase. This includes ways to help pilgrims get around better, such as the development of transport for the elderly and those with mobility needs.

Common natural disasters: Flash flooding

Significant points of interest:

Haram Mosque, Abraj al-Bayt skyscraper/clocktower

Another focuses on providing m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

53


CITY FOCUS

affordable but high-quality sacri-

to have a specific business plan

ficial meat, which is one aspect of

created along with extensive local

the pilgrimage path.

knowledge, such as customs and existing relationships with contrac-

Getting started

tors, attorneys, lenders and even

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is

government officials. Familiarity

cautious about foreign investors,

with the sector you’re interested in

and not just because of the

is helpful, including expectations

strong Muslim presence.

and competition.

Companies or individuals wanting to do business are encouraged

54

J U LY 2 0 1 8

A local partner is essential, especially someone with control-


‘Though some pilgrims focus on being frugal and penitent, others take the opportunity to enjoy luxury services when they are made available’

ling interest. The Kingdom’s Ministry of Commerce also encourages investors to be able to demonstrate financial stability and willingness to invest in the local economy. There is also a useful sector of expatriates from various countries who will happily guide newcomers through the unfamiliar business, cultural and legal landscape.

55

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


T O P 10

Top 10 most

valuable Middle Eastern brands

58

Evaluating a corporation’s total brand value requires scrutinising multiple facets. Factors such as total revenue, longevity, stability, consumer confidence and profitability matter. The Middle East has numerous organisations that enjoy worldwide recognition. These are the top 10 in terms of total brand value W RI T T E N BY

J U LY 2 0 1 8

O L I V I A MIN N OCK


59

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


T O P 10

09

zain

www.zain.com

This mobile telecommunications outfit was formed in 1983 and is headquartered in Kuwait City, Kuwait. It has

10

ADCB

www.adcb.com

The Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank was 60

formed from the merger of Emirates Commercial Bank and Federal Commercial Bank with Khaleej Commercial Bank in 1985. The Abu Dhabi government holds 65% of the company’s stock. With other institutions holding the remainder of the stock, the United Arab Emiratesbased outfit generates revenue through investments, fund management, as well as retail and commercial banking. It has 48 branches located within the United Arab Emirates borders, two in India and one facility in the UK. ADCB enjoys vast total assets and its total brand value has positively trended from $1.23bn in 2015 to stand at $2.1bn. J U LY 2 0 1 8

facilities in eight Middle Eastern nations that include Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and South Sudan. The multinational business has garnered upwards of 46.9mn customers. Major stakeholders include the Kuwait Investment Authority (24.24%) and Omantel (21.9%). With total revenue exceeding $3.4bn, zain was noted on the Fortune Global 2000 list. The company employs more than 6,000 people and the total brand value has trended upward from $2.1bn in 2015 to stand at $2.33bn today.


07

Almarai

www.almarai.com

The Saudi Arabia outfit was estab-

08

NBAD

lished in 1971 and remains headquartered in Riyadh after 41 years. The company is a joint agrifood venture between the Irish

www.nbad.com/en-ae/personal-banking.html

brothers Alastair and Paddy McGuck-

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi ranks

bin Saud Al Kabeer. Over more than

as the largest lending institution in the

four decades it has emerged as a top-

Emirate of Abu Dhabi, second in the

tier Middle Eastern dairy company.

entire UAE, and has the country’s larg-

Other revenue generating interests

est market capitalisation. The outfit

include a bakery facility in Al Kharj, the

was founded in 1968 and is headquar-

poultry brand Alyoum, an infant nutri-

tered in the prestigious NBAD Tower in

tion segment and a partnership with

Abu Dhabi. Its diverse revenue-gener-

PepsiCo established in 2009.

ating portfolio has the outfit upwardly

Almarai earns approximately $2.6bn in

trending. Its portfolio includes retail

total annual revenue and its brand

and corporate banking and wealth

value has risen from $2.3bn in 2015 to

management. NBAD also has a focus

stand at $2.59bn today.

ian and Prince Sultan bin Mohammed

on Islamic banking, property management and brokerage and in 2012 announced Sharia-based services. NBAD also has endeavours in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and corporate offices in Shanghai, China. The total brand value has increased from $1.5bn in 2015 to stand at $2.49bn today. m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

61


T O P 10

05

Emirates NBD

www.emiratesnbd.com/en

Ranked among the largest Middle Eastern banking organisations in terms of total assets, Emirates NBD was founded in 2007 through a merger between Emirates Bank International and the National Bank of Dubai. The venture vaulted it into prominence with

06 62

Ooredoo

the business holding more than $121bn in assets. Its subsidiaries include a wide range of revenue earners including Emirates NBD Asset

www.ooredoo.com

Management, Union Proper-

The international telecommunications

ties PJSC, National General Insurance

giant ranks among the largest mobile

Co., Emirates NBD Properties LLC and

companies with more than 114mn

Diners Club UAE among many others.

customers. Formed in 1987 and head-

The banking group employs approxi-

quartered in Doha, Qatar, the

mately 7,000 people and has a total

government holds a 68% stake in the

annual revenue of more than $5.5bn.

company which operates in the Middle

The total brand value of Emirates NBD

East, Europe and Asia. It has facilities

has reportedly risen from $2.18bn in

in countries such as Algeria, Indone-

2015 to stand at $3.4bn today.

sia, Iraq, Kuwait, Myanmar, Maldives, Oman, Palestine, Qatar and Tunisia. With a total market capitalisation exceeding $82.7bn, the company is traded on the Qatar Stock Exchange and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. J U LY 2 0 1 8


03 04

QNB

Etisalat

www.etisalat.com

The Emirates Telecommunication Group Company PJS, branded as Eti-

www.qnb.com

salat, was established in 1976 in Abu

The Qatar National Bank was founded

Dhabi, UAE, and it currently spans 16

in 1964 and has demonstrated steady,

countries. Considered one of the top

long-term growth to emerge as the

15 largest telecommunications provid-

country’s largest bank. Qatar’s first

ers, the outfit was deemed the most

commercial bank leads all financial

powerful company in the UAE by

institutions in the Middle East and

Forbes in 2012. Its services include 3G

Africa. It remains headquartered in

and 4G mobile internet, broadband,

Doha, Qatar, providing global service

home internet services as well

in areas such as credit cards, corpo-

as iZone Wifi hotspots in high-traffic

rate banking, insurance, mortgage

businesses such as shopping malls

lending and asset management

that are accessed through pre-paid

among others. Also recognised as the

cards. Etisalat’s dynamic approach to

QNB Group, the organisation acquired

telecommunications means revenue

a 97.12% stake in Egypt’s second

generation has topped $13.8bn annu-

largest bank, QNB ALAHLI, in 2013.

ally. The total brand value of Etisalat has

QNB continues to grow its global foot-

reportedly risen from $3.79bn in 2015

print with strategic asset purchases,

to stand at $5.5bn today.

including 20.1% in the pan-African Ecobank, and 99.88% of Turkey’s Finansbank. With annual revenue exceeding $6.4bn, the total brand value of QNB has reportedly risen from $2.45bn in 2015 to stand at $3.8bn today. m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

63


T O P 10

64

J U LY 2 0 1 8


65

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


T O P 10

66

02

Emirates

www.theemiratesgroup.com

The Emirates Group was founded in 1985 in Dubai. Although it ranks as the second-highest Middle Eastern brand in terms of value, it has seen a recent decline in profitability. The aviation organisation is headquartered in Garhoud, Dubai, in close proximity to Dubai International Airport. Comprised of sectors such as Emirates Airlines, the region’s largest, and Dnata, a ground-service wing that manages 17 airports, the group provides services to upwards of 61 nations. The organisation employs more than 105,000 people and is governmentowned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai. Although total revenue has grown to $25.8bn, the organisations net income has declined in recent years. The total brand value of Emirates Group has reportedly dipped from $7.74bn in 2015 to stand at $6.08bn today. J U LY 2 0 1 8


01

STC

67

www.stc.com.sa

The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) provides mobile, landline, internet and computer services, and once held a monopoly over wireless phone licensing. Despite facing competition from Etihad Etisalat, STC enjoys upwards of 17.3mn mobile subscribers. The outfit has been steadily expanding its global footprint by making key acquisitions such as 25% of Malaysia’s Axis Group and mobile licenses in Kuwait. STC has established investments along the Persian Gulf, Asia and Africa. The profit-generating philosophy increasing the brand’s value has been to diversify profitability by acquiring numerous stakes in other companies in the region and globally. STC employs 17,000 people and revenue has grown to more than $13.6bn annually. The total brand value of STC has reportedly increased from $5.6bn in 2015 to stand at $6.2bn today.

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


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r 5-6, 2018 Arab Emirates

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S . A . TA L K E

70

J U LY 2 0 1 8


S U P P LY C H A I N

Superior

logistics from A••••to••••B WRITTEN BY

LAURA MULLAN

PRODUCED BY

HEYKEL OUNI

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

71


S . A . TA L K E

Standing as one of Saudi Arabia’s leading petrochemical logistics providers, S.A. TALKE shares its strategy for success ith the nation’s ‘Vision 2030’ on the horizon, Saudi Arabia has ramped up its efforts to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil. As such, it has turned its attention to another lucrative commodity – petrochemicals. The Saudi petrochemical industry is critical to the Kingdom’s non-oil economy, with chemical and plastic exports accounting for around $30bn in export revenues in 2015. Saudi Arabia’s efforts to tap into the global petrochemical market is paying off and it seems

W

72

J U LY 2 0 1 8

no company understands this better than S.A. TALKE. Earning its stripes as one of the country’s leading logistics service providers, S.A. TALKE offers a range of specialised logistics services such as onsite and off-site operations, packaging, storage, transport as well as value-added services. Established as a joint venture between the German TALKE Group and the Saudi Sisco and Al-Jabr Groups, Managing Director Oliver Klingbeil says that S.A. TALKE has worked hard to cement its position in the region. “I’ve been in the logistics busi-


S U P P LY C H A I N

73

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


S . A . TA L K E

“We’re always defining new ways and new parameters to make safety. This is the culture we uphold and live by every day. You don’t achieve 6mn man hours without LTI without this culture”  — Oliver Klingbeil Managing Director

ness for over 30 years,” Klingbeil says. “When I first started at S.A. TALKE in September 2010, I had a team of around 274 staff and we had one project. Now, eight years later, we have close to 1,800 employees and 12 operations in place. “In the beginning, we were not well known in the market, but since we were founded we have consistently developed our expertise and reputation. “We depend on certain parameters, like the oil price, but

74

where others haven’t been so successful, we have seen strong growth,” he continues. “We’ve significantly increased our revenue and our net profits. We are always project-driven and have gained awards for our projects. We’ve branched out from our European partners (ALFRED TALKE) and established our brand of S.A. TALKE, which is well-known in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.” As part of the business, S.A. TALKE handles solids and liquids in the petrochemical sector from J U LY 2 0 1 8


S U P P LY C H A I N

75

companies such as SABIC and Chev-

region. Today one of our biggest pro-

ron Phillips – both offsite and onsite.

jects is the Petro Rabigh project phase

The firm can manage entire logistics

II in the western region, which is a joint

centres or individual facilities on its cli-

venture between Saudi Aramco and

ent’s behalf and can also offer offsite

Sumitomo. Through the project, we

multi-user facilities to manage and han-

manage five plants and we have

dle products.

started with 350 staff but we plan to

Last year S.A. TALKE handled

increase the number of staff to up to

around 8.4mn tonnes of products for its

800 people based on how many addi-

customers. Yet, despite its growing

tional projects we see there.

reach, Klingbeil says the firm takes a

“Of course, we also have projects with

project-driven approach to ensure

various SABIC affiliates,” he adds. “We

each project receives the utmost care

manage their Portside Logistics Facil-

and diligence.

ity, which is a 350,000 sqm container

“One of my personal goals was to step into the market in the western

yard where we have the daily movement of around 500 to 700 containers. m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


The Whole World of Material Handling We are your trusted partner for Forklift Trucks, Warehouse Equipment & Racking Solutions in Saudi Arabia. Since 1980.a Our product range covers every aspect of your Intralogistics – from the port to the warehouse – from the pallet truck to the container handler. We supply strong brands from Europe and offer service according to German standards. Our strength is flexibility – we truly listen to our customer’s needs.

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S U P P LY C H A I N

77

We also work with Chevron Phil-

manage their container yards and

lips where we manage the entire

some of their products. Then, not to

site for them with two dust free

forget, in Yanbu in the Western region,

warehouses on the site close to

we have a contract with NATPET where

around 100,000 sqm.

we also manage their onsite opera-

“On top of this, we have the Tasnee project where we now

tions.” With experience in projects stretch-

have five existing operations we

ing across Saudi Arabia, one thing

manage. We also have business

remains constant at S.A. TALKE – the

with Dow Chemicals, where we

company’s drive for efficiency and pro-

have a dedicated warehouse

ductivity. With scrupulous monitoring

which we manage for them.

and technological ingenuity, S.A.

“Additionally, we also have business with Sadara, which is a joint venture between Aramco and Dow Chemical where we

TALKE ensures that it upholds best in class standards. “Every day we measure our operations to see how we can become m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


S . A . TA L K E

better, more efficient and productive.

The future of logistics is one

We have regular meetings about safety,

which is paved with new innova-

operations, optimisation and finance,

tion and technologies and this is

for example, because the business is

also the case at S.A. TALKE.

not standing still. “We manage and monitor every

Using automation and SAP software, for instance, S.A.

product individually. Every project

TALKE is driving efficiency like

stands for itself,” he adds.

never before.

This continuous improvement is also having a knock-on effect on the company’s safety standards. In fact, in January, the Saudi firm achieved 6mn safe man-hours without Lost Time Injury (LTI) across all the company’s 78

projects. It’s a proud achievement, says Klingbeil, and one which he believes wouldn’t be possible without the company’s high safety standards. “We have a very dedicated safety department and a strong safety culture,” he observes. “Our safety standards and procedures are important to the firm. It starts with myself and we live this culture through every single person. “We’re always defining new ways and new parameters to make safety. This is the culture we uphold and live by every day. You don’t achieve 6mn man hours without LTI without this culture.” J U LY 2 0 1 8

“Our core business always will be in the petrochemical market, that is what we do best. But we are also looking to explore other market segments”  — Oliver Klingbeil Managing Director


S U P P LY C H A I N

“Technology is very important

implemented several new software

as it’s helping us to save time and

solutions in our finance, procurement,

be more efficient,” Klingbeil says.

and HR department.”

“We’re also working on monitor-

With several large-scale logistics con-

ing and managing truck terminals

tracts in its portfolio, S.A. TALKE’s core

so that we can manage these

competency is namely the transporta-

processes and see the entire sup-

tion and handling of liquid chemicals.

ply chain. Internally, we have also

However, keen to keep pace with a

79

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


S . A . TA L K E

rapidly changing market, Klingbeil says that the company is preparing a plan B and C, in case of disruption in the market. Leveraging the world-class reputation it has developed in the oil and gas market, the Saudi firm says it is going to combine its core competencies with other market niches to remain ahead of the curve. “Our core business always will be in the petrochemical market, that is what we do best,” says 80

Klingbeil. “But we are also looking to explore other market segments.” “We’re exploring doing trucking in the future for dedicated customers in the chemical market because there is a huge demand for this and we’ve also been looking into managing railway terminals. “We’ve just been awarded a contract from SABIC whereby we will manage their truck terminal in the future, which is a movement of around 750 trucks per day. At the moment we still have a long way to go but, on the J U LY 2 0 1 8


S U P P LY C H A I N

other hand, you cannot start early

employee accomplishments, pro-

enough if you want to get knowl-

mote open communication and

edge and experience in this field.”

hire a diverse range of people,

It seems that agility is key to

even hiring the company’s first

S.A. TALKE’s day-to-day opera-

female employees.

tions, yet despite its dynamic

“The biggest gift is that we

ethos, the company is keen to

have so many incredible team

uphold its core businesses and

members and leaders who are

retain its existing customers.

supporting the company and our

“The world is changing, the market is changing, and there-

clients every day,” he notes. In keeping with Saudi Arabia’s

fore, we also have to be careful

‘Vision 2030,’ S.A. TALKE has

that we don’t lose existing busi-

also encouraged the employ-

ness,” Klingbeil says.

ment of Saudi workers through

“Like any other industry, we

the Kingdom’s ‘Saudization’ pro-

have competition and we

gramme. However, Klingbeil

shouldn’t underestimate them.

doesn’t underestimate the chal-

Therefore, we are working hard

lenges that this task brings.

to retain our business and we are

“We’ve recently been awarded

continuously making an effort to

two new projects where we will

offer our clients the best service

need to bring in more manpower.

at very competitive rates to make

It’s a challenge because we need

sure that we continue to grow

experienced people, which we

and optimize our business on a

can’t always hire from within the

day to day base.”

country. On the other hand, the

Aside from the company’s

sector is also becoming more

best in class practices and dis-

open and so we have hired our

tinctive strategy, Klingbeil

first female employees which I

believes that the true success of

am proud to see.

the company lies in its people. The Saudi firm strives to reward

“We do a lot of campaigns to support the government and the m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

81


S . A . TA L K E

country’s ‘Vision 2030’. I hope from a midand long-term perspective, it will help the country to move in the right direction.” By offering in-depth training and high-quality accommodation, the Saudi firm has created a work environment that Klingbeil describes as an “S.A. TALKE family”. With an employee turnover of only 3-5%, this closeknit atmosphere has paid off. “In our organisation, an employee isn’t a number; an employee is a respected person who we are glad that we have on board,” notes Klingbeil. "We don't categorise, we treat everyone the same. We say to our peo82

ple, ‘you’re not only an employee, you are more. You have valued assets’. This culture is important to S.A. TALKE.” The road ahead is an exciting one for S.A. TALKE. With a proven strategy for success as a logistics service provider, the firm is also exploring other avenues in the market such as the FMCG and pharmaceutical sector. With Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ ahead, Saudi Arabia is set to continue on its upward trajectory and S.A. TALKE is set to follow suit.

J U LY 2 0 1 8

“The biggest gift is that we have so many incredible team members and leaders who are supporting the company and our clients every day”  — Oliver Klingbeil Managing Director


S U P P LY C H A I N

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Disrupting Lebanon’s FMCG and pharmaceutical distribution market WRITTEN BY

Lebanese firm, Food and Drug Corporation, is harnessing the latest innovations to provide consumers with the quality brands they need every day

J U LY 2 0 1 8

LAURA MULLAN PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS


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l

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“We should start embracing change so that we can be more proactive, flexible and remain competitive” — Bassam Baz, Head of IT

86

T

he hardest part of a

to meet customers’ demands, adapt to the lat-

successful digital trans-

est international trends, and anticipate what

formation is creating a

lies ahead in the sector.

work culture that embraces

Headquartered in the Lebanese capital of

change and innovation, and per-

Beirut, FDC’s digital transformation has been

haps no company understands

far-reaching, but before any technology could

this better than Food and Drug

be implemented Head of IT, Bassam Baz, says

Corporation (FDC).

that the company worked tirelessly to create a

Undertaking a root-and-branch digital overhaul, the fast-moving

work culture which would foster innovation. “Probably the most difficult conversation

consumer goods (FMCG) and

you have to have is with the shareholders

pharmaceutical importer, mar-

because digital transformations can be

keter and distributor has strived

expensive,” Baz says candidly.

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TECHNOLOGY

BIO

“So, instead of saying ‘we’re going to have a digital transformation,’ we started to see the

Bassam Baz Head of IT

business’s needs. Then when we spoke to the shareholders and executives, we didn’t speak about technology, but we raised few questions such as ‘what do the customers want from us?’, ‘how can we meet their demands?’, ‘how can we increase their satisfaction levels?’, and many other questions while putting the customer at the centre. “Based on these needs, we put forward a business plan, supported by a digital transformation strategy, that shows the business value proposition and return on investment (ROI). “One of our key roles as the IT department is to educate, reassure and include all employees as we embark on the transformation process,” he continues. “This ensures they are engaged and understand that digitalisation will not take over their position but will make their work easier and more productive. With this plan in place, we started seeing a cultural shift

Before joining FDC, Baz headed the IT Department for one of the leading FMCG manufacturing companies in the Gulf. This rich experience enabled him to pick up the best practices and norms in distribution while working with different people from across the world with different cultures and backgrounds. After five years’ in the Gulf, in 2015, Baz decided to take a new challenge by joining FDC, one of the leading distribution companies in Lebanon, with a core mission to drive innovation and leverage technologies to provide value and support the overall vision of the company, which is to remain a key player in the supply and distribution of consumer goods and healthcare products.


F D C ( F O O D & D R U G C O R P O R AT I O N )

and a change in mindset throughout the company.” Shaped by this forward-thinking culture, FDC has firmly cemented itself as one of the leading distribution companies in the country, boasting a turnover of almost $120mn dollars in the Lebanese market. Present in three main categories – food and beverage, household & personal care, and healthcare – Baz says that the company’s core mission can be 88

summarised by one simple statement: “Providing consumers with everyday quality brands”. “We act responsibly because we genuinely care about our consumers and our reputation for excellence. Therefore, we always go the extra mile to guarantee customer satisfaction at all times,” he says. “On top of this, we have rich competencies, country-wide presence, solid marketing knowhow, young dynamic team, financial stability and uncompromising ethics. I think all of these competencies distinguish FDC J U LY 2 0 1 8


TECHNOLOGY

$120mn Approximate revenue

from other competitors in the market today.” In its latest effort to go the extra mile for its customers, FDC has undergone a mam-

2000

Year founded

501-1,000 Approximate number of employees

moth digital transformation at all business levels. Baz believes this was needed to maintain FDC’s competitive position. “Technology is transforming how we live, work and operates,” Baz observes. “We have to keep technology in mind because to compete in today’s market, organisations need to rapidly embrace emerging technologies for better customer experience while controlling cost and optimizing resources. “To be able to achieve this transformation successfully, IT needs to be looked at as disruptive innovators,” he continues. “At FDC, we believe new technologies has a big advantage on being more proactive, flexible and remain competitive. From this standpoint, it was the right time to take the next step and get ahead with digital disruption.” Led by its team of 650 profesm i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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sionals and sustainable approach to

trend in the day-to-day work.

growth, FDC has moved ahead with its

According to a survey by the Econo-

forward-thinking technology strategy.

mist Intelligence Unit, respondents who

It has transformed its front-end com-

described their company as a ‘pioneer’

munications and undertaken

in its use of mobile technology scored

end-to-end digitisation, but one of

16% better in terms of productivity than

FDC’s most cogent uses of technology

peers who described their firm’s use of

has been the way it has adopted a

mobile technology as ‘bad’.

mobile workplace approach. Baz underlines how the firm has cre-

Baz says mobility is an important facet of FDC’s sales department. Using

ated a digital workplace to promote

4G-connected commercial tablets, he

mobility which has become a common

noted that sales representatives can

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TECHNOLOGY

now receive real-time information to

opportunities for increased revenues,

track customer financial situations,

based on a predefined algorithm that

stock availability and promotions.

looks at customers’ buying trends and

Additionally, these tablets are also

consumers’ behaviour, for example,”

helping to automate processes by offer-

explains Baz. “Such smart indicators

ing a digital catalogue, appointment

help our team to provide better ordering

scheduling and analytical dashboard.

recommendations to the customer,

Keen to analyse and learn from its rich sales data, FDC has also explored the

meet their needs and, most importantly, win at the shelf.”

use of machine learning technologies.

“The Sales Force Automation (SFA)

“This has enabled the sales team to

solution has also equipped the sales

address sales trends, shortfalls, and

reps with rich knowledge which

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“Machine learning enabled the sales team to address sales trends, shortfalls, and opportunities for increased revenues” — Bassam Baz, Head of IT

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


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for leave from their mobiles,

“To be able to achieve this transformation successfully, IT needs to be looked at as disruptive innovators,” — Bassam Baz, Head of IT

check their leave balance, examine pay slips and review performance results. This service had a realised cost savings while stepping towards an eco-friendly environment.” Zeroing in on its operational expenditure (OPEX) rather than its capital expenditure (CAPEX), FDC also introduced standard, intuitive and sometimes off-theshelf mobile solutions, to become more agile and reactive.

92

increased the customer satisfaction level,

With this in mind, FDC

reduced inquiries, created triangle of trans-

launched a cloud software as a

parency between FDC and customers,

service (SaaS) solution for its

accelerated the time to market, and empow-

merchandising team which

ered sales reps to pursue more opportunities,”

empowered merchandisers to

he continues.

have automated processes such

“On the other side, SFA has enabled

as planogram checking, image

sales supervisors to have up-to-the-min-

capturing and shelf share.

ute information about their teams and

Besides this, it has also enabled

related clients including geo-tracking,

FDC to have online visibility in

secure messaging, and productivity KPIs.”

promotion execution, with an on-

Boasting a solid financial standing, it

the-fly notification system that

seems technology is also revolutionising

allows the back-office team to act

all FDC functions.

rapidly if products are close to

“Digital transformation has changed the way

expiration or unavailable.

employees engage with FDC through the HR

“Another SaaS solution we

self-service that enables employees to apply

introduced is called TreasuryX-

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Click here to watch FDC’s Annual lunch 2018

93

press which gives us access to a

of efficiency, collaboration, flexibility and

powerful and effective treasury

productivity.

management solution,” Baz

“In our effort to empower a modern work-

notes. “It enables stakeholders to

place, we enabled virtual meetings through

make critical business decisions

Skype for Business,” Baz notes. “This meant

and improve long and short-term

people could join meetings from their laptops

financial operations,” he added.

and mobile devices. This encourages collabo-

Mobile technologies have proven to be an effective driver

ration across the company and reduces the cost of traditional communication tools. m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Treasury automation shouldn’t be difficult. 1. Has your current TMS provider become too big to provide the direct attention and services you need? 2. Will your treasury project heavily rely on multiple, outsourced service and project teams? 3. Is this resulting in exorbitant implementation costs and timelines?

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TECHNOLOGY

“FDC also introduced OneDrive for Business which provided a place in the cloud where each employee can store and share work files, and even work on documents with others anywhere at the same time. “We have also implemented Yammer as social network platform within FDC. It is used for sharing information, announcements, achievements, activities and success stories amongst our colleagues,” Baz adds. “This tool enabled us to have greater interaction among employees.” To support this sweeping digital transformation, FDC created what Baz describes as the “one of the most powerful and scalable data centres in the Lebanese FMCG distribution industry today. “From a technology point of view, it’s a tier 3 converged data centre which supports provisioning on demand, virtualisation, environmental management system and guarantees 99.7% of data availability,” he explains. “On top of this, it has also enabled a fully wireless solution

95


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across FDC which allows employees to

Lebanese firm has worked diligently to

stay connected on mobile, tablet, lap-

attract and retain a skilled team.

top, wherever they are.” Combining a progressive work cul-

“We always enrol the IT team in an annual development programme,” Baz

ture with its new digital strategy, FDC

says. “This encourages them to be

has grown to become a more digitally-

more intuitive, to get more familiar with

enabled company. However, it hasn’t

new technological tools, and remain up-

lost sight of one of the key drivers of its

to-date with the latest trends.

success – it’s team. With this in mind, Baz says that the

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“The IT team also participates in the annual excellence awards to demon-


TECHNOLOGY

strate their work and achievements,” he

ship capabilities by sponsoring

continues. “In 2017, the IT team won the

executive education.”

outstanding achievement award for the mobility solutions that we implemented. “As part of our work culture, we strive

With a reach extending to more than 10,000 outlets across Lebanon, FDC strives to deliver quality products to its

to be an employer of choice by truly car-

consumers, by carefully selecting its

ing for our employees, equipping them

brands, rapidly adapting to trends and

with outstanding tools, opening the

now undertaking a mammoth digital

doors to new possibilities, increasing

transformation, the company has firmly

involvement and strengthening leader-

established itself as one of the nation’s

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‘Smart Warehousing and Distribution’ solutions. Baz says that investing in IoT technology could also increase speed and shipping accuracy and will also profoundly change logistics management. Meanwhile, blockchain technology could also evolve the supply chain operation. Needing to be more customercentric by retaining trust and enhancing the user experience, FMCG companies face continu-

Click here to watch ‘A day at the Distribution Center’

ous challenges today. One important challenge arising on digitisation level is the issue of cybersecurity.

leading FMCG and pharmaceutical distributors. But what lies on the road ahead? In the short term, different technology

Today, the threat landscape is evolving rapidly and consequently, FDC introduced a

trends will soon take over the FMCG sector.

Managed Security Service with

Therefore, FDC says it may explore more cut-

its strategic partner Crystal Net-

ting-edge solutions like artificial intelligence,

work to recognise and mitigate

robotics and machine learning.

cyber threats through its Security

For example, Baz believes that artificial intelligent chatbots may be used to respond to customer inquiries. In the long term, other technologies like the

Operations Centre (SOC) service. Through this partnership, Baz says FDC also gained a seamless methodology to guarantee multi-

Internet of Things (IoT) will also be of vital

layer security strategy, catch and

value for distributor companies, offering

repair vulnerabilities, organise

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“This transformation has the ability to break down functional silos and to make the company more productive, but it is also changing the way we interact with our customers and meet their demands” — Bassam Baz, Head of IT

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staff awareness training and adopt the latest security technology whilst maintaining the optimal ROI. Most importantly, this solution has also prepared the ground for FDC to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that is now being requested by its business partners located in Europe. But, regardless of what is implemented, it seems FDC will remain focused on one core goal – to enhance the experience of both FDC users and its customers alike. “At the end of the day, this digitisation strategy has two angles: colleagues and customers. This transformation has the ability to break down functional silos and to make the company more productive, but it is also changing the way we interact with our customers and meet their demands.”

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UMNIAH

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT KEEPS JORDAN CONNECTED 102

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From WiMax to 4G, Umniah’s supply chain management brings last mile service to homes, businesses and customers across Jordan. WRITTEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK

PRODUCED BY

HEYKEL OUNI

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S

ince its launch in June 2005, Umniah has become a leading player in the telecommunications space, offering

high quality mobile, internet ad business solutions and transporting Jordan’s telecommunications services. Umniah, owned by the Bahrain-based telecoms specialist Batelco Group, is the third operating Telecom provider in Jordan. “Umniah isn’t the biggest provider in terms of customers but is the market leader in price. In addition, we maintain a high level of quality,” reveals Head of Supply Chain, Ahmad Almubuslat. Umniah has a commitment to procurement 104

and supply chain management as an integral part to its overall strategy, and this was what first attracted Almubuslat to move to the telco world. His career in procurement began with Royal Jordanian Airlines. “I started with no certificate, following the current policies and

its supply chain and contribute to

procedures of the company, but by 2009 I

networks across the nation,

started following leading practices and gaining

becoming Jordan’s fastest LTE

professional certification.” Almubuslat became

network for 4G and Fixed in 2016.

the first Jordanian to gain the Certified Purchas-

Of the three main markets in Jor-

ing Manager Qualification from the Institute for

dan – voice, mobile data and

Supply Chain Management, following this up

managed data services (MDS) for

with several other certifications. In 2014, he was

business – the third was largely

headhunted by Umniah. “I accepted to join the

developed by Umniah and utilises

company because of Umniah’s belief in pro-

microwave links. “In Jordan,

curement as a strategic function.”

Umniah has a very big market

Since then, Umniah has worked to manage J U LY 2 0 1 8

share for MDS across different


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105

industries and for individuals too,” says

did not stop there. “We have a huge

Almubuslat. “We also have a very com-

market in other governorates which are

petitive share in home internet.”

large concentrated areas. The credit

Within these segments, Umniah

goes to our quality of coverage,

works to not only deliver cost savings

together with a good service at the right

but high quality too, thanks to relation-

price,” Almubuslat explains.

ships with suppliers. “We adopted the concept of the total value of ownership,

GETTING THE PRICE RIGHT

not just cost, in order to deliver the best

Getting this “right price” is a key

value at the best price”. Within the vari-

responsibility of Almubuslat and his

ous governorates of Jordan, Umniah

supply chain team, as it’s all about

expanded in the capital, Amman, but

effectively negotiating with suppliers m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


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TECHNOLOGY

ance and surveillance solutions.

“WE HAD TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, AND THIS WAS THE SOLUTION WE FOUND TO BRING BEST VALUE FOR US AND FOR THE MOE”

venture between suppliers and

— Ahmad Almubuslat, Head of Supply Chain

tractors to deliver the best price.

“The competition was tough, but we did something different by developing new ventures and partnerships with suppliers,” says Almubuslat. Umniah developed a manufacturers, utilising local con“We had to think outside the box,

and managing an efficient procurement strat-

and this was the solution we found

egy. “Once I joined, we agreed to develop a

to bring best value for us and for

supply chain function, which we have success-

the MoE. We then provided free

fully managed this year.” Almubuslat heads up

safe internet to all schools through

this new dedicated function, which plays an

the ministry, to support the eleva-

important strategic part for the company.

tion of Jordan’s education system.”

With this in mind, Umniah has already won some important tenders with organisations as large as the Ministry of Education (MoE), with the Connectivity Tender, a five-year contract, having been awarded in May 2016. “The main scope of the MOE Tender was to provide connectivity by establishing links for around 3,000 schools, directorate and administrative buildings in Jordan. This was almost the size of a new network, in addition to other requirements relating to attendm i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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“WE BELIEVE IN EVALUATING THE TOTAL VALUE OF OWNERSHIP, NOT JUST COST” —

Ahmad Almubuslat, Head of Supply Chain

an extended value in having a real partnership in place with our suppliers: engaging suppliers at the earliest applicable stages will strengthen our sincere intention of having the ownership of all stakeholders internally and externally. “We also believe in and support our suppliers, most of which are mid-sized and easier to work with and grow. We’ve managed to develop two medium sized suppli-

108

SUPPLIER RELATIONS

ers to become huge, competitive

Maintaining healthy relationships

companies in Jordan. We also

with suppliers and getting them

develop relationships with manu-

behind Umniah’s vision is essen-

facturers. I have the choice

tial. Umniah promotes Early

between buying equipment then

Procurement Involvement (EPI).

awarding another supplier the

“Umniah believes in the value of

installation, versus developing a

procurement and the value our

venture under our supervision.

team brings to the organisation

While the latter can initially be cost-

through gaining better offers,

lier, I choose to manage that

time to market and margins, and

long-term business relationship as

it’s important to engage at an

it works out better overall in terms

early stage,” Almubuslat explains.

of pricing in this specific case.”

“This was also reflected on the supplier side by implementing Early

END-TO-END BENEFITS

Supplier Involvement, specifically

Efficient supply chain manage-

for the strategic projects. There is

ment not only makes savings, but

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ensures consumers get what they want, when they want. “There are

Jordan also has a special geo-

some strategic items like SIM

graphical nature. “We have a lot of

cards and CPE (consumer-prem-

mountains and valleys, which

ise equipment such as routers) for

might limit what one site can cover

example that we need to have

in terms of area, so we’ve

available at all times,” explains

increased our number of sites. We

Almubuslat. A close eye is kept

also changed our CPEs to provide

on quality. “We’re buying the net-

CPEs that deliver the best value by

work equipment at the best price,

having excellent indoor coverage

but the customer will not be able

at the best price. This was initiated

to benefit properly from our net-

by the Supply Chain department,

work unless we have a good CPE

working alongside engineering and

that can deliver the service with

marketing teams.”

such a quality and speed.” J U LY 2 0 1 8

In terms of quality challenges,

New network licences were also


TECHNOLOGY

Click here to watch our video ‘Inspired by you’ 111

introduced to improve CPE cover-

“Adapting the current assets in

age, since different licences

delivering the latest technology

available on the same site may give

guaranteed the best time to mar-

better service to individuals or

ket and the best value. For

companies. “We explored the

instance, we have upgraded

market through our suppliers to

some existing sites to host LTE

check which licences were worth

Fixed Technology.”

investment and found a licence that enhances coverage for the

STRATEGIC FUNCTION

customer. The price was peanuts

Batelco Group has recently

compared to the value of the ser-

revamped the Procurement Poli-

vice delivered to the end user.”

cies in order to assure having the

Service quality has also been

best value for money in an agile

improved with the delivery of a

frame. A collaborative process

new 4G network for Jordan.

within Umniah ensures each conm i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


UMNIAH

tract awarded is compliant and shortens the approval process. “We always ensure full compliance with the Policies and Procedures, of both the Batelco Group and Umniah Mobile Company,” says Almubuslat. “Before making any strategic step we get the blessings of the Group and the board. We conduct pre-delivery inspection and on delivery inspection, and after that, we have multiple acceptance levels within a reasonable timeframe to 112

assure that what is delivered is in line with what is requested.” In addition, it is important Umniah ensures compliance with requirements from third parries including government entities. This is mandatory at all stages of the supply chain journey. “Umniah Mobile Company is the first telecom operator to join the Golden list under the Customs Department,” Almubuslat adds. Umniah uses internally approved contract templates which act as framework agreements with key suppliers.

J U LY 2 0 1 8

“WE HAVE A HUGE MARKET IN ZARQA WHICH IS A LARGE, CONCENTRATED AREA. THE CREDIT GOES TO OUR QUALITY COVERAGE, TOGETHER WITH A GOOD SERVICE AT THE RIGHT PRICE” — Ahmad Almubuslat, Head of Supply Chain


TECHNOLOGY

“Awarding has become much more agile than before; this will enable us to enhance the time to market. We place a new annex/ addendum for the new scope with the associated pricing and then issue the Purchase Order.” Strategic sourcing is a key function under Umniah’s Supply Chain department. “We continually scan the market and conduct due diligence of benchmarking, not only in terms of pricing but also value, features and new technologies tobe included.” Umniah Mobile Company is always keen to maintain its position as the price leader in the market, and this can be sustained and accompanied with better quality through a proactive Supply Chain department.

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AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT

American University of Beirut: a sustainable tomorrow

114

The American University of Beirut has a responsibility to build a greater, more sustainable future for the Middle East WRITTEN BY PRODUCED BY

J U LY 2 0 1 8

DALE BENTON JAMES PEPPER


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AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT

F

116

or AUB as one of the leading teaching-centred research universities in the Middle East, providing education and research opportunities to more than 8,000 students, the importance of creating a safe and healthy environment for the students cannot be underestimated. For Farouk Merhebi, Director of Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management at the American University of Beirut (AUB), it is the very essence of his job to ensure that AUB not only complies with regulatory standards but exceeds them. “The mission of my department is a simple one,” he says. “To minimize risk by providing and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all our community and ultimately, our students, staff, and faculty members.” Having previously graduated from AUB on three separate occasions, in chemistry, agriculture, and environmental engineering, Merhebi forged a career in environmental stewardship, ranging from wastewater design and environmental impact assessment to solid and hazardous waste management. J U LY 2 0 1 8

When he returned to AUB, this time as Director, he brought with him a wealth of experience that could help drive forward a number of sustainable initiatives across the organization. “Throughout my varied experience in the private and public sectors, I developed an understanding of working with complex projects and collaborating with a multitude of stakeholders and interested parties,” says Merhebi. “For me, being an alumnus, it was AUB’s work both for students and beyond into the wider community on environmental concerns and issues that attracted me to this role and to take on this responsibility.” As director, Merhebi oversees six key areas of operation: life and fire safety, environmental and chemical safety, biosafety and sanitation, radiation safety, occupational safety, and risk management. The task at hand for each area is one of compliance with national and international environmental and safety regulation standards. But despite this being a core ambition, Merhebi is keen to stress that AUB will continue to go above and beyond simple


TECHNOLOGY

BIO

Farouk Merhebi is an AUB graduate with a BS degree in Chemistry in 1991, a BS degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1993 and a master’s degree in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering in 1995. Mr. Merhebi joined AUB in 2012 with 18 years of solid work experience in environmental management and in implementing complex projects and programs with the public and private sectors and with a vast network of donor agencies. His experience extends to fields related to integrated solid waste management, water supply and wastewater management, industrial waste management, medical and hazardous waste management, environmental impact assessment, air quality management, risk and safety assessment, renewable energy, environmental legislation and environmental auditing. Mr Merhebi currently supervises a team of 11 professionals.

middleeast.

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AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT

compliance and be a steward of best practice across the region. “At AUB, we believe that we should be more than simply an institution that teaches and conducts research as a university,” he says. “We should expand our support to a wider platform with a number of activities where sustainable development and environmental stewardship is incorporated into campus management and operations, construction and renovation, purchasing, transport, and engagement with the wider

Chemical waste segregation in labs

community. “It’s very important for us that we build a 118

sustainable future for AUB by conserving resources, polluting less, using more energy efficient equipment, and transforming our operations to become a sustainable institution, now, and in the future.” In the quest to not only redefine AUB’s sustainable processes, but to also play an influential role in the region’s approach to sustainability, the first step was to recognize its own carbon footprint. When Merhebi joined the university, a decision was made to establish a baseline that the university could use for benchmarking, as it continued to deliver initiatives in order to achieve greater sustainability. To calculate the carbon footprint, all greenhouse gas emissions from campus J U LY 2 0 1 8

Red and Blue outdoor recycling bins Red and Blue indoor Recycling bins


TECHNOLOGY

operations had to be taken into account, both direct emissions and indirect. Direct emissions include emissions from on-site electricity generators, steam-generating fuel boilers, and transport vehicles used on campus. Indirect emissions include consumption of electricity provided by the government, students and employees’ commuting, staff business travel, paper usage, and disposal of solid waste. AUB collated all of the data obtained and

“In the absence of that legislation and infrastructure, we must work with other organisations and partners to become role models for future generations, that’s what we are trying to do, to influence the future generation and extrapolate our best practices beyond AUB and into the wider community” — Farouk Merhebi, Director – Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management

established its carbon footprint, using it as a benchmark for future reference. In 2013, AUB reported the emission of approximately 10.3 tonnes of CO2 per student. In the last recorded year, 2017, the figure has been brought down to 9.7 tonnes per student, which shows that progress has been made already. “The majority of our greenhouse gas emissions comes from our electricity usage,” says Merhebi. “Since it represents the greatest percentage of carbon-emitting sources, we are going to be increasing our focusing on sustainable energy to track and reduce those emissions from electricity and bring our carbon footprint further down.” Merhebi has overseen a number of sustainable initiatives that have proven key in reducing the university’s carbon footprint, m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT

(Above images, left - right) The encapsulation process of asbestos waste in concrete and the final casting of the containment block

MAJZOUB ENGINEERING & CONTRACTING In 2002, Majzoub Engineering & Contracting launched its journey to meet with the international standards of contracting services to deliver challenging projects in the electro-mechanical industry teaming up with prestigious clients in the region such as AUB, Solidere and major Banks.

mec-leb.com info@mec-leb.com


TECHNOLOGY

and enhancing and refining its sustainable practices. “In terms of reducing our carbon footprint from commuting and transport, we encourage the use of bicycles and carpooling as much as possible,” he says. “There are also five electric cars on campus, which is an upgrade from the two we had at the start of this journey.” Another project that has completely revolutionized the recycling and waste management system of the university was the progressive installation of 17 “reverse vending machines,” designed to incentivize the very notion of

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recycling. Students and faculty members alike are encouraged to place their plastic bottles or soft drinks cans into the vending machines in return for points that can be redeemed as gifts through a catalogue on campus. Naturally, this proved largely successful and since it came to fruition no more than three years ago, AUB has been able to record a recycling of around 750,000 bottles and cans. AUB has also installed systems of battery collection and safe disposal, and is implementing environmentally responsible waste disposal from medical and laboratory facilities and other hazardous waste-disposal

Boomerang Reverse Vending Machine for recycling m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT

systems. AUB won the Green Mind Award for its hazardous waste management program back in 2014. But it’s not just recycling and waste management that AUB has introduced across the institution. “We have embarked on a num-

Fluorescent Lamp crusher

ber of solar energy projects for water heating and for electricity generation and we are progressively replacing our lights into more efficient energy-saving 122

ones. We often buy energy-efficient equipment throughout the campus,” he says. Sustainable design and construction has been at the core of our campus planning, design, and construction. “In the last few years we’ve constructed several new buildings for which we have strived to achieve LEED certification. “Of those, we’ve achieved one LEED Gold certification and another is for LEED Platinum”, The campus also became a botanical garden in 2016, which makes it unique for an organisaJ U LY 2 0 1 8

Electric club cars on campus Battery collection points


TECHNOLOGY

“In the absence of that legislation and infrastructure, we must work with other organisations and partners to become role models for future generations, that’s what we are trying to do, to influence the future generation and extrapolate our best practices beyond AUB and into the wider community” — Farouk Merhebi, Director – Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management

future generations. Sustainability and environmental best practice is a difficult beast in the Middle East and particularly in Lebanon, as historically there simply hasn’t been the necessary infrastructure and legislation in place to drive sustainable initiatives. “The enforcement of legislation, particularly in environmental management, has always been pretty weak,” Merhebi says. “And so, we as an institution have to depend on our own resources to preserve the quality of the environment that we are living in. That’s why we go above and beyond our responsibilities.” It is this understanding of the role that AUB can and does play in reinvigorating the sustainability conversation that has seen AUB play an active role in guiding and supporting national organisations and municipalities.

tion of its kind. Merhebi explains

“In the absence of that legislation and

that AUB is committed to the

infrastructure, we must work with other

conservation of the living envi-

organisations and partners to become role

ronment that makes up a large

models for future generations,” says Mer-

proportion of its campus, and

hebi. “That’s what we are trying to do, to

seeks to educate members of

influence the future generation and extrapo-

the community, both within and

late our best practices beyond AUB and into

outside of AUB, about the natural

the wider community.”

environment with which we coexist and the importance of preserving this environment for

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E M I TA C H E A LT H C A R E S O L U T I O N S

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Excellence in technology. Excellence in patient care J U LY 2 0 1 8


H E A LT H C A R E

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WRITTEN BY

LAURA MULLAN PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

Partnering with the sectors’ leading healthcare and technology providers, Emitac Healthcare Solutions is transforming the patient experience m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


E M I TA C H E A LT H C A R E S O L U T I O N S

A

s the healthcare IT market is

all of our solutions are mission-

predicted to reach a value of

critical services that are

$280.25bn by 2021, Emitac Health-

important to save patients’ lives.

care Solutions (EHS) has made a name for

Healthcare is becoming more

itself as the most preferred healthcare solu-

and more complex therefore we

tions integrator in the UAE region.

need to have the necessary

Keeping pace with emerging trends in the

126

knowledge in healthcare

healthcare landscape, the Dubai-based firm

devices, clinical and IT. At EHS,

is tapping into Healthcare Information &

we have the right mix of talents

Technology (HI&T), a fast-emerging avenue in

and domain expertise. Our team

healthcare that aims to enhance operations

includes healthcare professional

in all aspects of healthcare management, by

medical engineers, nurses, doc-

optimising the acquisition, big data analytics,

tors, clinical specialist and

storage, retrieval and use of information.

business people. Our profes-

It is clear that EHS’s core mission isn’t

sional team supports all our

about technology for technology’s sake. It’s

mission critical solutions 24/7 at

about providing cutting-edge tools that

99.8% uptime.”

embrace the industry’s best practices, meets

“We also exclusively represent

the technological needs of staff and delivers

the leading brands in the market

the highest standards of patient care.

today like Philips, Vocera, Hill-

In order to keep abreast with changing

Rom, Masimo, Capsa Solutions

technologies and innovations, EHS’s Health-

and Stanley Healthcare which

care & Information Technology business unit

gives us a strong leadership

caters to the technological needs of the healthcare industry. Suresh Babu, Senior Divisional Director of Critical Care and HIT, says: “EHS strives to deliver reliable and cost-effective solutions that truly enhance patient care.” “Our success lies in our customer-centric approach,” Babu explains. “Fundamentally, J U LY 2 0 1 8


H E A LT H C A R E

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E M I TA C H E A LT H C A R E S O L U T I O N S

position. It is this combination of factors that is the key to our success. “Our eclectic portfolio includes critical com-

“Communication fundamentally helps to save lives,” reflects Babu. “Poor communication may

munication solutions, tracking and protection

lead to potential death. Unfortu-

solutions, patient entertainment, and clinical

nately, communication errors are

information solutions which come from the

the number one current cause of

industry’s leading partners,” he adds.

harm to patients. The Joint commission on Accreditation of

CRITICAL COMMUNICATION

Healthcare organisation

Communication is the lifeblood of healthcare

describes communication error

and perhaps no one understands this better

as the cause of 60% to 70% of

than EHS. As such, EHS has created several

preventable hospital deaths.” *

services to deliver end-to-end communica-

Traditionally, there is a time

tion between clinicians and patients alike.

gap required to assess the

No name? No number? No problem.

Call a person, a role, or a department instantly with just the touch of a button.

Learn more at: www.vocera.com/me or call 800-0182438


H E A LT H C A R E

“COMMUNICATION FUNDAMENTALLY HELPS TO IMPROVE PATIENT CARE AND SAVE LIVES” —

Suresh Babu, Senior Divisional Director, Critical Care & HI&T

* Ref: Joseph Murphy, MD& William Dunn, MD CHEST Journal; December 2010 Vol 138, issue 6, page-1292

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

129


E M I TA C H E A LT H C A R E S O L U T I O N S

patient’s needs from the moment

tion and every patient room,” Babu says.

the patient requests for help.

“With Vocera communication solutions,

With solutions like Vocera, the

the nurses don’t need to walk around as

moment a patient presses a but-

much they do, they can directly interact

ton, they can have live

with the patient or clinician wherever they

communication with caregivers

are. When reducing the communication

and their concerns will be

gap between the patient, caregiver and

addressed within 20 seconds.

clinician, more time is available in order to

“Nurses in the wards walk about seven to eight kilometres per day between the nurses’ sta-

130

potentially save lives”. Keeping pace with some of the sector’s most disruptive technologies, EHS offers

“OUR SUCCESS LIES IN OUR CUSTOMER-CENTRIC APPROACH. FUNDAMENTALLY, ALL OUR SOLUTIONS ARE MISSION-CRITICAL SERVICES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO SAVE PATIENTS’ LIVES” —

Suresh Babu, Senior Divisional Director, Critical Care & HI&T J U LY 2 0 1 8


H E A LT H C A R E

real-time location services, monitoring

prevents infants from being

patients, staff, assets and even the tempera-

abducted,� explains Babu.

ture and humidity within the facility. This

“We have a radio-frequency

ensures safety within the healthcare environ-

identification system whereby

ment and reassures new mothers of any

babies are tagged with devices

concerns about mother-to-infant matching

that work closely with wi-fi and

and prevention of potential abductions.

security systems. If a baby is

“Today, infant protection is very critical for

handed to the wrong parent, is

two reasons: it ensures the right baby is

near an unauthorized zone, or

placed with the right mother and are well pro-

is abducted, the doors will

tected within a secured zone, and it also

immediately lock and sound an

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E M I TA C H E A LT H C A R E S O L U T I O N S

alarm – unless there is a fire alarm. This ensures the infant’s utmost safety.” PATIENT ENTERTAINMENT

Today, patient entertainment systems are also becoming a norm in healthcare, helping patients beat boredom whilst engaging in personal healthcare. Offering solutions such as Patient Linc and Mobile Linc, EHS ensures that patients can watch movies, Skype with fam132

ily members, and learn when their lab results are set to come back or when they’re going for an X-Ray. The result: increased patient

tors and patients potentially reducing

satisfaction, increased patient

infections which is one of the biggest chal-

engagement, better health out-

lenges faced by healthcare sector today.”

comes and fewer hospital readmissions. “Patient engagement is very

INDUSTRY-LEADING PARTNERSHIPS

To make healthcare affordable, Babu says

critical as they can be in a hospi-

the sector needs to utilise tools that offer the

tal for days or even weeks,”

best return on investment (ROI) and that’s

notes Babu. “The patient has to

why EHS only partners with market-leading

be engaged and they should

healthcare and technology providers.

have a choice of entertainment.

“Our solutions like Vocera, Stanley,

On top of that, Skype reduces

Masimo, Forcare, Hill-Rom, or Philips, are

face-to-face contact with visi-

amongst the best in that technology space,”

J U LY 2 0 1 8


H E A LT H C A R E

"PATIENT ENGAGEMENT IS VERY CRITICAL AS PATIENTS CAN BE IN A HOSPITAL FOR DAYS OR EVEN WEEKS” — Suresh Babu, Senior Divisional Director, Critical Care & HI&T 133

Babu says. “That’s very critical, especially

“There is big potential in Middle

if you look at countries like UAE which look

East because there has been a

for premium brands. These solutions are

rise in lifestyle diseases such as

helping clinicians and adding value, making

obesity, diabetes and high blood

healthcare more affordable, interoperability

pressure,” explains Babu. “If you

and fundamentally increasing efficiency.”

take the UAE, for instance, the

The healthcare system in the Middle East

region has one of the largest dia-

is investing large amounts into infrastruc-

betic populations in the world.

ture and equipment. If the market becomes

Therefore, the Middle East is defi-

saturated with newly constructed hospitals,

nitely looking at investing more in

experts will look to see which technologies

healthcare and being more cost-

and applications could bring about cost

effective through technologies

optimisation and ROI.

because the population is growm i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


E M I TA C H E A LT H C A R E S O L U T I O N S

134

ing and demand for healthcare is also growing.” Innovation runs deep at EHS

dynamic changes in the sector. “Healthcare is going to drastically adapt to the changing technology environment,” he

and not the one to sit on its lau-

says. “We believe that artificial intelligence in

rels, the Dubai-based company

healthcare is one of the best use cases in

is on the lookout for the next

healthcare technology and so that’s an area

state-of-the-art technology;

where we are focusing by partnering with

turning its attention to telehealth,

Philips AI. We are also exploring the use of

Tele-ICU, virtual consulting,

teleconsulting and telemedicine.

interoperability, and artificial

“Today, people want second opinions.

intelligence. As a result, Babu

They want to consult a doctor from home.

believes that EHS is ready for any

This critical communication technology is

J U LY 2 0 1 8


H E A LT H C A R E

Emitac Healthcare at Arab Health 2018

going to drive the market of future virtual

United by a vision to champion

care. We are also going to focus on oncology

practices, meet the technologi-

services and recently partnered with Varian,

cal needs of staff, and deliver

who are one of the leading technology pro-

exceptional patient care, EHS

viders for oncology in the world. That’s an

has established its position in the

area where we expect to see growth.”

healthcare technology market.

Since he first joined the company around

Going forward, it seems it is set

13 years ago, Babu has helped to build EHS’s

to remain a market leader in

Health Information & Technology department

years to come.

from scratch. Today it has become fundamental to EHS’s success as one of the leading health technology integrators in UAE. Experience Excellence

m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

135


MORE CAFE/INTELLIGENT FOODS

FIVE-STAR FRANCHISING IN THE MIDDLE EAST WRITTEN BY

DALE BENTON PRODUCED BY

HEYKEL OUNI

136

Through a relationship with one of the biggest food manufacturers in the Middle East, More-Café/Intelligent Foods delivers franchises prowess

J U LY 2 0 1 8


FOOD & DRINK

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MORE CAFE/INTELLIGENT FOODS

I

n order to be the most successful franchiser you need the best suppliers and supply network. After all, customers and clients will come to expect each and every franchisee to deliver the same quality and standard of food and service no matter where in the world they visit. For More-Café, proudly delivering the best European inspired hospitality and food services for more than 15 years across the Middle East, that key supplier relationship comes in the form of Intelligent Foods. Intelligent Foods, founded in 2000, has been a key strategic supplier to the most successful 5 and 4-star hotels, airlines, restaurants and cafes in the UAE and 138 across the GCC. “Intelligent Foods is our food manufacturing business that has successfully supplied all More-Café franchises with over a hundred different food products throughout the years to support the International menu,” says James Le Gassick, CEO, More-Café/Intelligent Foods (MIF). “Of course, we are very active in supplying the market for More-Café but we do supply a number of other clients across the UAE and GCC in the HORECA market.” Intelligent Foods can manufacture to any specification with the categories Ice cream, fresh pasta, bakery, pastry, jams, dressings as well as roast and blend coffee. “It’s a very diverse business – we can use that experience of different foods and markets and support the More-Café franchisee with our knowledge, our experience and provide consistency in quality and price.” Le Gassick has been with MIF for two and a half J U LY 2 0 1 8


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years but has been operating in the food and beverage market in the GCC for 10 years. Over this time, Le Gassick has worked in a number of roles for a number of organisations and this has provided him with a keen understanding of how the sector works, from franchisee to franchisor and from client to supplier. “I think based on the experience I’ve got in the region, and the different food concepts, I pretty much know how things work,” he says. “What do our guests expect, what are the expectations of our clients, and also how much time things can take in terms of logistics m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MORE CAFE/INTELLIGENT FOODS

“The change, using Dubai as an example over the last 10 years, is incomprehensible. Thousands of restaurants have opened in that time and hundreds of new franchisee brands have entered this very competitive market” — JAMES LE GASSICK, CEO, More-Café/Intelligent Foods

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More Café Launches New Icecream Brand in Dubai. More Café started 2018 with a redesign of its outlets, a flagship store in Mercato Mall and introduced a new ice cream brand

J U LY 2 0 1 8

and getting to market, because in this region, things can take a little bit more time than perhaps you’d experience in other regions.” MIF launched its first franchise brand back in 2008 through More Café, in Dubai. Since Le Gassick joined the company, MIF has added two more franchise concepts to its portfolio – Pause by More Kitchen and Glow by More Kitchen. Pause is a food-led coffee shop, which Le Gassick feels represents an innovative way of approaching the standard coffee shop that one would expect to see in the high street with a real focus on raising the bar on the quality of food and how it is displayed “I was always taught in my food retail days that people buy with their eyes which


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is something I have never forgotten,� says Le Gassick Glow, on the other hand, is an ice cream retail outlet that sells artisan quality scooping ice creams manufactured by Intelligent Foods that has over 1,200 proven high quality recipes and the flavors on sale are regularly changed to meet the demographic of guest in that location. Both franchise brands represent the modern-day expectation of the customer and the current

state of the food and beverage sector, not just in the UAE and GCC but across the world. “The change, using Dubai as an example over the last 10 years, is incomprehensible. Thousands of restaurants have opened in that time and hundreds of new franchisee brands have entered this very competitive market. They are taking advantage of the high uptake of people spending their disposable income on eating out as well as ordering delivery for the home.� The impact of this has seen far more international companies set up shop across the UAE and this has forced companies like MIF to be more inventive and to strive for innovation in m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


QUALITY IS A TRAIT THAT WE NAVIGATE Sparrow International provides comprehensive supply and support solutions to the Food Service industry with a wide range of professional HoReCa equipment, ingredients and services from leading international brands.

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GELATO, PASTRY & CHOCOLATE

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sparrow-international.com info@sparrow-international.com +971 4 430 4795

“We develop long term-partnerships that are built around serviceability, reactiveness and reliability. At the end of the day, if our business is successful, our supplier and our partner’s business will be successful too.” — JAMES LE GASSICK, CEO, More-Café/Intelligent Foods order to deliver new products, fresh ideas and retain and attract new guests and clients. This is a challenge that Le Gassick actively invites, describing the region as a fantastic space for innovation, competitiveness and opportunity. One particular consequence of this increased competitiveness is of course that changing guest or customer mindJ U LY 2 0 1 8

set and expectation. The modern-day consumer is much more aware of what they are eating and how it is sourced. As an example of responding to this, Le Gassick points to calorie counts that are featured on the packaging of every product sold at MIF’s Pause brand. Rewind the clocks 10 years ago, and Le Gassick feels this wasn’t the case at all within the region.


FOOD & DRINK

“The customers and guests have always been very demanding, but even more so now,” he says. “With more competition, guests know that if a meal does not meet their expectations then they can simply choose to eat elsewhere.” “Their expectations are higher than ever before and I feel that this is probably the biggest challenge that the food and beverage industry faces, trying to guess and anticipate those expectations.” Communication and touch points with the customer prove key in understanding those expectations, and MIF strives to create very open and constructive conversation with both its customers on the franchise side, and its clients in the manufacturing process. Le Gassick himself personally speaks with customers and regularly meet clients, inviting feedback and even criticism as the company looks to continuously improve its service to customers. This level of communication is present both internally and with Intelligent Foods as Le Gassick promotes an open door open communication mind-set. The benefit of this, naturally, is speed and agility. “What we do is very open and very fast acting,” he says. “We are constantly in the market and in our outlets, speaking to both

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BIO

James Le Gassick CEO, More-Café/Intelligent Foods

144

With over 20 years of experience in the UK and 10 years in the Middle East James is heading the worldwide expansion plans for the More brands as well as Intelligent Foods the food manufacturing business behind the More brands. He has a strong background in operations, marketing, franchise development, concept creation, leasing and project management in the food and leisure industry and has managed some of the largest F&B brands in the UAE and has a passion in driving innovation and quality.

J U LY 2 0 1 8

customer and clients and we take on board this information and we act fast.” “You have no choice but to act fast in this competitive market, as customers’ expectations are changing quicker and quicker.” Franchising is a journey that not one company can achieve alone and MIF, through Intelligent Foods, can call upon the services of critical strategic partners and suppliers that help the company as it continues to grow across the region. Already operating in Dubai, MIF has recently opened a Pause franchise in Kuwait, has a distribution network in Oman as well as Kuwait and will soon be opening More in Bahrain and More & Glow to open in Kuwait shortly after the summer. The company is also targeting later this year to open a More outlet at Jeddah’s newly developed Corniche in Saudi Arabia which will be used to support future franchisee operations within the Country. Needless to say, MIF will require those partners more than ever before. “We don’t have that many suppliers; obviously Intelligent Foods is the biggest supplier to More, Pause & Glow,” says Le Gassick.


FOOD & DRINK

“We could probably go and open in the US right now, but I think it’s important not to run before we can walk.”

“But we do have our local suppliers and every supplier is key in our books. We develop long-term partnerships that are built around serviceability, reactiveness and reliability. At the end of the day, if our business is successful, our supplier and our partner’s business — will be successful too.” JAMES LE GASSICK, CEO, More-Café/Intelligent Foods As a franchisor, one that has already begun to achieve undoubtable sucBut importantly for Le Gassick, cess, eyes will no doubt begin to look he understands the importance of to the future and future locations. Le Gassick, and MIF, do have long remaining pragmatic and will do so with the support of the biggest term ambitions of expanding supplier partner MIF has. across the wider “We could probably go and open in the GCC with an additional one or US right now, but I think it’s important two brands to complement the not to run before we can walk,” he says existing More Café, Pause and Glow. “We need to be in and operate in “that said we have worked out in some detail how we could open and support all GCC Countries which we are a franchise partnership in the UK”. not at the moment,” he says. “We are currently focusing on estab“Saudi Arabia is a huge market lishing a bigger base here in the GCC potential for us and so we will which will support the future growth look to finalise a good partner of the brands and with the strength of there to really develop the busiour relationship with Intelligent Foods, ness in that market. “Optimistically of course, we’d MIF will continue to develop some of the best franchises across the region.” love to move into Europe in the future and maybe even into Asia and the US.” m i d d l e e a s t . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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Business Chief Middle East - July 2018  
Business Chief Middle East - July 2018