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Transcendental Value Creation: Not business as usual

Here’s to new beginnings.

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KONECRANES Intelligent lifting equipment and services for the Middle East



UNB maintains competitive position



DUBAI SPORT CITY A city built on the love of sport


Transcendental Value Creation: Not business as usual


Decades of pioneering advances in radiotherapy


UAEU College of Business and Economics: Pioneers in graduate education

Do you want to know the real truth about healthcare that no one dares to talk about?

The hard truth about healthcare in the Middle East and North Africa Raouf Khalil, Founder and CEO of Mobile Doctors 24-7 (MD 24-7) said the core problem with healthcare in third world countries is the total misalignment between patients, payers, and providers.

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Innovation is high on the agenda for Cavotec


a port in the storm Menacorp’s voyage to the top


helps GCC set the pace for smart government


Clearly making a difference


Al Ghurair Iron & Steel incubates a unique operations formula for the industry

Investing in transformational change

The hard truth about healthcare in the Middle East and North Africa

24 EMIRATES DRIVING COMPANY The driving force behind safe road training and etiquette


Hiring trends in tough market conditions


Superior customer service defines success


Delivering unsurpassed management and lifestyle services to communities worldwide

30 FILA SURFACE CARE SOLUTIONS leads chemical sector in green march


Blossoming by investing in people


Leading the pack

33 ANGLO ARABIAN HEALTHCARE Managed care: A potential game changer


Sustainable infrastructure & energy solutions

Publisher, Editor-in-chief: Kalle Salmi CEO, Content Group International: Johan Ehrström Director: Lauri Stevens Project Managers: Maryam Shoaei, Danielle Francisco, Billy Buckley, Henri Salonen, Riley O’Farrell Art Director: Petra Pirinen Journalists: Criselda Diala-McBride, Inga Stevens, Adam Goncalves, Alisa Zykova Photographers: Aaron David, Max Porechkin, Doreen Hendley, Alex John Concept owner: Content Group International, HDS Business Center, Cluster M, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, United Arab Emirates A Gulf News Sponsored Supplement, published by Al Nisr Publishing.



Intelligent lifting equipment and services for the Middle East We know the importance of providing our clients with single source lifting solutions to drive business productivity, says Niklas Bronn, Head of Konecranes Middle East.


hat began in 1994 as a business that sold crane components to local partners in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has since developed to a new business model that is yielding results across the region. Now, with more than 20 years experience in the Middle East industrial crane market and 300 employees covering 15 countries in the region, Konecranes has established itself as an industry-leading group of lifting businesses serving a broad range of customers with all types of industrial cranes, port cranes and lift trucks. Konecranes designs and manufactures key crane components in-house, including motors, gearboxes and electrical components, engineered to work perfectly together. Not only do we design every component, but the interaction between them too. “By listening to our customers it became clear that they wanted a supplier that offered excellent, single source support,” says Niklas Bronn, Head of Konecranes Middle East. “Today, Konecranes has service branches in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. In 2012, a parts distribution center was opened in the Jebel Ali Free Zone to further support our service customers in the region by driving continuous improvement in customer safety and productivity.” The longstanding joint venture partnership with Kanoo Group and the subsequent establishment of Crane Industrial Services LLC for the sale and services of cranes in the UAE, as well an office in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, positions Konecranes in close proximity to its regional customers. In 2011, Konecranes acquired Saudi Cranes and Steel Works Factory in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, where it has a strong regional base for engineering and manufacturing of all types of industrial cranes.


A regional outlook Konecranes is continuously evaluating and expanding its partnerships in the Middle East, enhanced by support from its 600 global locations in 48 countries. With clients from a diverse number of market segments including power, transportation, petrochemicals, ports and shipyards, as well as steel and general manufacturing, the company’s main focus for the region is in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait and Oman.

service team is regularly trained on both their own equipment and that of other brands to provide maintenance in accordance with OEM specifications. According to Bronn, “Our service operations in the Middle East began five years ago and we have a great opportunity to grow this business segment by delivering Lifecycle Care, a comprehensive and systematic approach to maintenance, supported by world-class tools and processes.” Later this year, Konecranes plans to introduce TRUCONNECT® a suite of re-

“Our service operations in the Middle East began five years ago and we have a great opportunity to grow this business segment by delivering Lifecycle Care, a comprehensive and systematic approach to maintenance, supported by world-class tools and processes.” In 2010, Konecranes was awarded the largest container handling contract in history by Abu Dhabi Ports, supplying Khalifa Port with 42 Automatic Stacking Cranes with a second repeat order for an additional 10 cranes due to be delivered at the end of this year. “We have spent more than 300,000 hours with zero lost time accidents on site and, since safety is very important, it is an achievement we are very proud of,” adds Bronn. Service innovation Globally, Konecranes service network represents around 45% of its revenue with more than 450,000 cranes under annual service contracts. With 70% of those cranes being of other brands, Konecranes

mote service products and applications to support maintenance operations and drive improvements in safety and productivity. “The data from TRUCONNECT combined with our knowledge and experience, can provide insights that allow our customers to optimize their maintenance operations,” says Bronn. Konecranes will also offer a variety of consultation services based on its own technologies to provide a deeper analysis of customers’ lifting equipment including RopeQ™ Magnetic Rope Inspection, CraneQ™ Crane Geometric Survey, RailQ™ Crane Runway Survey and operator training. “Having spent on Group level approx. 1.3% of sales revenue on R&D in 2015, we paid particular attention to exploring new opportunities in the role of digitalization


Niklas Bronn, Head of Konecranes Middle East.

and automation within the context of the Industrial Internet,” Bronn explains. “In order to deliver Lifecycle Care in Real Time, we use the Industrial Internet, connecting data, machines and people. In the customer portal, usage data, maintenance data and asset details are linked, giving a transparent view of events and activities.” Increased productivity, less emission Continuing in the tradition of offering its customers eco-efficient products and services, Konecranes introduced the world’s first hybrid reach stacker at the Port of Helsingborg in southern Sweden in 2013. The estimated fuel consumption at normal

handling of fully loaded containers is at least 30% lower than for equivalent diesel powered reach stackers and, with up to 100 tonnes less CO2 emissions at 5,000 running hours per year, the hybrid reach stacker offers a truly eco-efficient lifting option for the future. For Bronn, the goal for Konecranes is to innovate for the benefit of customers and the environment. “As the hybrid reach stacker has a fully electric machine, we envision a future for our industry that is more environmentally friendly.” Maintaining growth Always with an eye on the future, Konecranes is closely monitoring the market situation by following its sales funnels to see how

the company’s offer/order ratios are performing. “Last year Konecranes Middle East achieved sales growth of close to 10% and, based on the order book, the service contract base and the near-term demand outlook, sales in 2016 are expected to be higher than in 2015,” explains Bronn. “Since we sell equipment and service for different business units and markets, one country or business unit might be down, but another one is up and can compensate.” It is predicted that, for the next 20 years, the average GDP in the Middle East will grow by 4.5%, compared to 2% in the United States and 1.5% for the European Union*. “It shows that this region needs to be catered for and Konecranes is here to do it,” Bronn adds. *Institute for Security Studies



UNB maintains competitive position The bank’s strategy is to pursue prudent risk-based growth to protect the interest of all stakeholders, said Mohammad Nasr Abdeen, Chief Executive Officer, Union National Bank.


gainst this backdrop of increased global economic uncertainty, Union National Bank (UNB), one of the leading domestic banks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has continued to grow its business with total assets crossing the AED 100 billion asset mark for the first time ever in 2015. Testament to the bank’s strategy of pursuing prudent risk-based growth was the listing of UNB by Global Finance among the Top 50 Safest Banks in Emerging Markets during 2015. According to Mohammad Nasr Abdeen, Chief Executive Officer, Union National Bank, “UNB has a diversified revenue stream with a presence in the areas of retail banking, corporate banking, Islamic banking, treasury, private banking and SMEs. The significant challenge facing the banking industry as a whole continues to relate to the global economic conditions, resulting in a slowdown in economic growth, muted business and consumer confidence and subdued loan growth.”

The bank’s Governance-Risk-Compliance (GRC) framework integrates the local regulatory guidelines, sound practices and principles of Basel Committee Guidelines and ISO 31000:2009, Risk Management Principles and Guidelines, in managing the risks. UNB’s liquid assets, including investments, constituted 28.4% of the total assets as of 31 December 2015 and customers’ deposits recorded a healthy growth of 11% in 2015 to AED 74.8 billion in the same

Protecting stakeholder interests

period. The bank raised medium term funding of AED 2.8 billion during the fourth quarter to further diversify the funding mix. The liquidity position of the bank has consistently been well-managed and remained sound with loan to deposit ratio being 91.4% as of 31 December 2015. The advances to stable resources ratio calculated in accordance with the Central Bank of the UAE guidelines of circa 84% as of 31 December 2015 was comfortably within the regulatory norms.

Islamic Finance Company, UNB’s Islamic arm, offers a wide range of innovative Shariah compliant products and services to meet the varied needs of customers. The bank is planning to expand its branch network in the UAE, increasing accessibility to its customers. In order to further augment customer service delivery and convenience, the Al Wifaq’s call center has been recently revamped.”

Innovating islamic banking

UNB’s focus is to first strengthen its footprints in the markets where it currently operatesin,includingtheUAE,Egypt,Qatar, Kuwait and China, said Abdeen, in order to offer the best products and services in these markets to gain market share. “We continue to look at other business opportunities in the Middle East and the world, and will enter these markets at the

UNB is known for its prudent lending policy. The bank’s top management comprises of experienced bankers who have been with UNB for a number of years, enabling the bank to enjoy strong and stable credit ratings, a sound liquidity position and solid capital adequacy position. The Risk Management Committee reviews the portfolio level aggregate risk at the enterprise level and ensures that the risk appetite guidelines are adequately adhered to protect the interest of all stakeholders. “UNB has stringent risk management policies to identify, analyse and set appropriate risk limits controls, and monitors these risks by means of reliable and up-todate information systems,” said Abdeen. “These policies are revised in light of markets, product changes and emerging best practices.”


The SCA also intends to shorten approval of issuance applications to five days, while private placements of bonds not listed on the UAE securities exchanges will not need SCA approval. Further government support for Islamic banking is likely as the country aims to further reduce its dependence on hydrocarbon revenue. “In addition, incentivising UAE companies to utilise Islamic debt instruments would also attract issuers from elsewhere in the Gulf,” explained Abdeen. “Al Wifaq

“UNB has stringent risk management policies to identify, analyse and set appropriate risk limits controls, and monitors these risks by means of reliable and up-to-date information systems. These policies are revised in light of markets, product changes and emerging best practices.”

The UAE’s Islamic banking sector is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. In late 2014, the UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) announced plans to open up markets to smaller sukuk issuers by reducing the minimum issue size to AED 10 million, from AED 50 million.

A global footprint


Mohammad Nasr Abdeen, Chief Executive Officer, Union National Bank.

right time and in the right place,” he said. “The bank will aim to leverage economic cooperation and trade relations between these countries and facilitate customers’ transactions by providing financial solutions to commercial and investment activities between the UAE and these countries.” A sustainable future Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are high on UNB’s agenda. UNB’s sustainability activities are fully aligned with Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision

2030 guidelines and priorities to support the Emirate’s socio economic progress. UNB’s vision, mission and strategy have been developed in consultation with all stakeholders, guaranteeing an aligned and clear road map to achieve its long-term goals. As Abdeen explains, “UNB actively supports CSR through various initiatives within the bank, ensuring that the principles of responsibility, quality and care are implemented throughout the organisation with the adoption of international standards and annual sustainability reporting. The bank has a dedicated budget alloca-

ted for CSR and its policy is based on the principles of suitability, acceptability and feasibility.” UNB received CSR label certification from the Dubai Chamber in 2015 and the bank also became one of the first banks in the world to be verified to follow the guidelines of ISO 26000 (Social Responsibility) by Lloyd’s Register. UNB also released its 2014 Sustainability Report as per the new G4 guidelines in 2015 and became a member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)’s Organizational Stakeholder Program.



A city built on the love of sport Not only does sport connect people, but is has the potential to be a multi million dollar driver for the economy, says Vijay Sajjanhar, CFO, Dubai Sports City.


aving recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, Dubai Sport City (DSC), the Emirates only sports-inspired mixed-use community, has achieved many milestones over the decade of its existence. CEO Report sat down with Vijay Sajjanhar, CFO, Dubai Sports City, to talk about the intricacies of the creation of a community centered on an active lifestyle. “I recently remarked that since its inception in 2004, DSC has come up a long way from an undeveloped area -with lots of sand, lizard colonies, and camel farms- to a community that today houses over 15,000 residents” says Sajjanhar, who joined the DSC management team in 2009. “You know that both DSC and Dubai have grown exponentially when upon starting we could see Burj Al Arab from here, but what is visible now is the grand skyline of a booming metropolis of which we are a part.”

Vijay Sajjanhar, CFO of Dubai Sports City.

Solid foundations With preparations in full swing for the World Expo 2020 taking place around the corner, DSC finds itself located right in the centre of ‘new Dubai’ and enjoys a 30-minute radius to almost all key destinations in the city, including Downtown Dubai, Dubai South, Jebel Ali, and both international airports. As an estimated 3.4 million people are expected to make Dubai their home by 2020, DSC aims to target 70,000 residents when completed. In line with these projections, the transport and service infrastructure in DSC has developed in pace to support this growth. “A major portion of DSC’s $1.5 billion investment went into developing the infrastructure, which is now largely complete,” says Sajjanhar. “With around 32 km of road network, over 30 km of water and

sewage pipelines, and enough power for the entire city, DSC has laid solid foundations for a thriving mega-community.”

“We have observed that not only does sport connect people, but the amount of revenue, business and inbound traffic that it generates has the potential to be a multi million dollar driver.” With connectivity from three major sites - Al Fay road and Hessa street, both of which are being extended by 2020, as well as the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, which is the main entrance for the project – the city is accessible from all directions. Add to that its inclusion in the future route of the soon-to-be built Gold Line of the Dubai Metro, DSC is set to speedily integrate itself into the metropolitan network. Live life, the ultimate sport Sporting fixtures and recreational activities continue to be an important driver of traffic for the community. “We have observed that not only does sport connect people, but it is also a significant driver of inbound traffic: a business catalyst. It drives business traffic from beyond the boundaries of the country,” Sajjanhar notes. With around two million square feet of sporting venues, including the 25,000 spectator-capacity Dubai International Stadium, DSC has kept its promise to build a sporting lifestyle for its residents. Its most important sports facilities include the Sports Village, home to the Spanish Soccer School and a full-size indoor football pitch, the Rugby Zone with a grandstand for 2,660 fans, and the ICC Academy which features two full-size one-day cricket fields and



holds the accolade of being the only cricket academy in the world to be endorsed by the International Cricket Council. The Sports Village also plays home to the Fit Republik fitness center, which has an Olympic-size swimming pool. Seasoned golfers get to enjoy rounds at The Els Club golf course, designed by golf champion Ernie Els, while amateurs and enthusiasts alike can hone their skills at the adjacent world-renowned Butch Harmon School of Golf. DSC is also home to the headquarters of the International Cricket Council (ICC), which in its quest for a fresh start chose the community as the most fitting location to relocate. Holistic community living With more young families with school-

aged children moving into the 25 million square feet of villa community at Victory Heights, as well as the surrounding residential developments in DSC, the priority is to increase the capacity of schools and nurseries from the existing 2,000 seats to 5,000 additional places in the near future. “We also have plans to incorporate more retails units into the community with the development of a promenade area at the Canal Residence West, which is planned for a phased completion in the next three years,” adds Sajjanhar. “The first phase of this has already been completed, and features 22 retail outlets of a wide variety, from restaurants and clinics to early learning centers. Al Maya supermarket’s opened its 45th outlet in Dubai, which is open 24 hours a day and offers

free home delivery services.” As Sajjanhar explains, “What we really want to convey is that our residents are able to benefit from a holistic community experience where sport becomes a way of life. Like any healthy lifestyle, our mission goes through three stages: planning, delivering, and maintenance. We’ve successfully planned for a holistic community over the course of the years, and continue delivering with a wide range of sports and lifestyle events for our residents, such as our biannual Pulse Ride off-road cycling challenge. We endeavour to progress by ensuring the quality of all our products is maintained and a full-fledged facilities management company to take care of this project post-development. Like any champion defending their title, that is the true essence of sport.”



Transcendental Value Creation: Not business as usual CEO Report talks to Reza Dari, CEO of Global Investment Bank about his view on the shifting economic environment and the need for a deeper strategic vision beyond conventional quantitative analysis.


onsidering the magnitude of change in the shifting economic environment and the unprecedented weight of social awareness in reconstructing the market space, it is reasonable to assume that we are witnessing a qualitative transformation of capitalism in the twenty first century. Structuralist theories of the last century defined business strategies within the boundaries of the known market space confined to a strict tradeoff between cost and value. Companies compete for value in a zero-sum game within the existing market structure wherein gain for one company is ultimately achieved at the loss of another. Profitability is, therefore, subject to a company’s competitive advantage in capturing wealth and market share instead of creating wealth and demand. On the other hand, Reconstructionist strategic theories propose that a company can endogenously create value by shifting focus from the supply point of view to the demand point of view to create new demand by reconstructing the existing market boundaries. Reconstructing market boundaries with value innovation Uber’s business model is a recent example of a Reconstructionist value innovation strategy. The online transportation network company presently has services available in 58 countries and 300 cities worldwide. Considering the substantial increase in its 2015 gross bookings, from US$1.5 billion in Q1 to US$2.13 billion in Q2, the company seems to have reached an astonishing quarterly growth rate of approximately 40%. While the company is arguably the most valuable venture capital-backed private company in the world today, it currently faces regulatory challenges across the globe. But beyond regulatory hurdles however, the company’s biggest challenge is sustained growth in view of newly emerged competition. The company’s busi-


ness strategy focused on value creation by achieving a temporary monopoly in a previously unknown market space, which will gradually but inevitably transform into an increasingly competitive landscape creating a more challenging environment for sustained organizational growth. This is the point in time where the focus of business strategy necessarily shifts from value creation to sustainability. From rapid growth to sustained growth Collectively centered on a common purpose – quantitative value extraction – conventional business strategies of the past and present have played a significant role in the rapid growth of the global wealth and economy. According to the most recent report published by the Boston Consulting Group, global private wealth grew by nearly 8% in 2014 to US$156 trillion and is estimated to reach US$200 trillion by 2018. However, the exponential expansion of global wealth over the last few decades has been accompanied by a perpetual cycle of economic anxiety and financial crisis driving an expanding gap between market overdevelopment and social underdevelopment, which undermines the very notion of growth and sustainability. Today, the prospects of economic and social development in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are faced with challenges related to extreme poverty, climate change and wealth redistribution. At the same time, developed countries and other wealthy nations also struggle with structural and social challenges in view of declining standards of living. We are now living in a time when 1 in 9 people in the world are hungry and more than a billion people live in extreme poverty. Common sense suggests that qualitative social development and prosperity in the impoverished communities around the world present tremendous opportunity for

future economic growth, which can help achieve a more sustainable corporate landscape and global economy. This is a highly potential market space capable of expanding the existing market boundaries over the long-term, yet it has gone largely unexplored as it does not resonate with today’s corporate culture of commerce focused on short-term bottom line performance. Lack of purpose and qualitative value within the conventional strategic theories of the past and present is perhaps the greatest obstacle standing in the way of sustained quantitative growth and social prosperity. Consequently, the existing economic environment is now faced with an underlying disruption in the consumption and investment behavior of a new generation of consumers and key actors growing increasingly mindful of purpose and sustainability while becoming increasingly skeptical of the traditional culture of commerce. Transcending market boundaries with transcendental value creation If we expand our view of the shifting economic environment in search of sustainability, it becomes evident that we need to excavate a much deeper strategic vision capable of elevating the notion of value above and beyond the conventional quantitative analysis. Transcendental Value Creation seeks to expand the quantitative nature of existing strategic theories. It holds the view that the best unit of analysis for sustained value creation is neither the company nor the market; rather it is the company’s strategic ability to innovate and create qualitative value for all its stakeholders to achieve quantitative value for its shareholders. Key actors and stakeholders in the emerging economic paradigm are actively searching for a deeper and more subjective dimension of capitalism. This in my view is the new unexplored frontier of an uncontested and boundless market space.


“Transcendental Value Creation denotes sustained quantitative value extraction from qualitative value creation. It is the strategic approach of creating value through alignment of interests around the notion of equitable growth and shared social prosperity reflecting the interdependent nature of today’s global society.” Transcendental Value Creation proposes that a company can transcend the structural boundaries of market space by simultaneously pursuing quantitative economic value and qualitative social value. Instead of intensive market competition, Transcendental Value Creation advocates for cooperation to align social stakeholders around creating shared values capable of transcending conventional market segmentation. It argues that especially in a market environment where supply exceeds demand, a company must create new and previously unknown markets by creating shared value utility around social commonalities instead of consumer differences. The strategy aims at raising quantitative value for the market and creating qualitative value for society at the same time. This will eventually but naturally erode competing features or products that are less valued by the new market. Transcendental Value Creation denotes sustained quantitative value extraction from qualitative value creation. It is the strategic approach of creating value through alignment of interests around the notion of equitable growth and shared social prosperity reflecting the interdependent nature of today’s global society.

Global Investment Bank Limited (GIB) is a company limited by shares incorporated in the Dubai International Financial Centre and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). GIB provides services only to Professional Clients and Market Counter- Parties as defined by the DFSA.

Reza Dari, CEO of Global Investment Bank.



Varian Medical Systems – Decades of pioneering advances in radiotherapy • World leader in radiotherapy opens strategic operating entity in Riyadh • Full range of radiotherapy and radiosurgery equipment, software and service • Proton therapy system being installed in Saudi


arian Medical Systems is the world leader in radiotherapy systems and software for the treatment of cancer and other indications. Since inventing and commercializing the first linear accelerators for radiotherapy in the 1960s, Varian has pioneered advances in technology that have enabled greater precision and higher throughput, with the aim of improving care. With more than 7,300 treatment machines installed around the world, Varian has a commitment to extending access to advanced cancer care globally and has educational programs in place around the world to bridge the gap between the need for radiotherapy and the lack of qualified clinical staff. In 2015, Varian expanded in the Middle East with the creation of a strategic operating entity in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Varian Medical Systems Arabia is the result of a joint venture with El Seif Development Group and is home to 35 sales, service and administrative employees supporting Varian’s three business segments: Oncology Systems, Imaging Components and Particle Therapy. The new operation was officially opened by Varian’s chief executive officer, Dow Wilson, in a ceremony attended by local dignitaries. “This represents the next step in our commitment both to cancer patients and the medical community in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East,” said Wilson. “Radiotherapy plays a vital and cost effective role in treating cancer and we are


Dow Wilson, chief executive officer of Varian Medical Systems.

committed to making more advanced treatment systems available to more patients across the region.” Varian is the leading provider of radiotherapy systems to Saudi hospitals. The first Varian linear accelerator was installed in Saudi Arabia over 30 years ago and the company now has 22 systems operating across the country. Varian was also recently selected to equip the Middle East’s first proton therapy center, which is under construction at King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh. In the United Arab Emirates, Varian has operated more than 20 years and there are currently seven Varian machines installed in the country’s hospitals. The first Varian TrueBeam system in the UAE is currently being installed at Dubai Hospital. Abu Dhabi-based Al Razi Pharmacy Company is Varian’s distributor in the UAE. Advanced Radiotherapy The key to successful radiation therapy treatments is precision: with precision,

clinicians have the confidence to boost doses and thereby increase cure rates; with precision, radiation to surrounding healthy tissue is minimized during treatment, helping to reduce complications; with precision, the radiation dose can concentrate on doing what it does best – fighting cancer cells. Precision in delivering the treatment beam is helped enormously by today’s automated tools, integrated treatment software and hardware, and superlative imaging technologies, all of which Varian has pioneered. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is a radiotherapy process that enables clinicians to precisely target the radiation dose at the cancerous tumor while minimizing the impact on surrounding healthy tissue. Varian introduced IMRT solutions in the 1990s and the technique has now been introduced in hundreds of clinics around the world. With such increased precision in dose delivery, the need for more accurate tumortracking images has become paramount. In 2004, Image-Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) became a reality with Varian’s introduction of imaging tools such as the On Board Imager®. Most tumors are not stationary: they move within the body either through natural motion or in tandem with the patient’s breathing cycle. With increasingly precise treatment delivery, extreme accuracy in patient setup for treatment has become even more vital. Taking this precision in beam delivery a step further, Varian also introduced solutions for stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiotherapy, which involve delivering the overall dose in fewer daily treatment sessions. The company’s linear accelerators allow the super-skinny beam delivery of neurosurgery to be used for extra-cranial tumors as well. This enables radiation oncologists to treat metastases or lesions as they develop away from the primary tumor, as well as giving


TrueBeam STx medical linear accelerator.

neurosurgeons an effective tool in the battle against intra-cranial tumors. In this way, Varian is working with clinics to achieve the dream of turning cancer into a chronic or manageable disease rather than a fatal one. Varian has also introduced groundbreaking technology for faster and more precise cancer treatments using RapidArc® radiotherapy technology, which is in clinical use at thousands of hospitals globally. RapidArc enables clinicians to deliver imageguided IMRT much more quickly than previously possible, and is able to deliver a complete IMRT treatment in a single rotation of the treatment machine around the patient. This can replace more timeconsuming IMRT treatment methods which require machines to make several rotations around the patient or to make repeated stops and starts to set up beam angles. Introduced in 2010, Varian’s TrueBeam™ system uses a completely re-engineered

control system and a multitude of technical innovations to dynamically synchronize imaging, patient positioning, motion management, and treatment delivery. Designed to be a versatile platform, TrueBeam can be used for all forms of advanced externalbeam radiotherapy. The product line includes Varian’s Edge™ system, specially configured for advanced radiosurgery. Since its launch, Varian has installed well over 1000 TrueBeam system globally. Proton Therapy Varian’s ProBeam proton therapy system includes a superconducting cyclotron, Varian’s unique scanning technology for intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT), a fully rotational gantry, robotic patient positioning tools, and a comprehensive suite of motion management tools. It incorporates cone beam CT imaging for real-time image guidance, as well as the

option of planning and managing treatments using Varian’s world class Eclipse™ and ARIA® software systems. It is operated using the same interface Varian developed for its TrueBeam platform, offering users a streamlined treatment console that consolidates controls for imaging, treatment, and motion management in one graphical, user-friendly interface. Operators who use Varian technology to plan and deliver conventional radiotherapy can easily ramp up to use the ProBeam system because they can leverage their prior experience with other Varian systems. Varian’s ProBeam technology is being used to treat patients at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego, the Rinecker Proton Therapy Center in Munich, and at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. Varian also has contracts for system installations at 11 other sites around the world, including at King Fahd Medical Center in Saudi Arabia.



UAEU College of Business and Economics:

Pioneers in graduate education Geralyn McClure Franklin, Ph.D., the Dean of the College of Business and Economics at the United Arab Emirates University, says that, as the country’s foremost university, UAEU is leading the way in pushing the boundaries of business and management education forward.


AEU has offered undergraduate business programs since 1977 and graduate programs from 2001. Today, the College of Business and Economics (CBE) has a vision supported by a tradition of top quality teaching, a strong research base, and a community outreach approach. These academic programs are designed to meet the needs of the UAE. Dean Franklin has managed business programs at four different American institutions for more than a decade prior to coming to the UAE. Her wealth of experience has guided her approach to the CBE at UAEU. Her approach can be summed up in the following way: “One criticism of higher education is that it is not always practical. However, I believe that a business school should effectively operate as a business. That’s what I’ve tried to do in my career so far and what I’ve tried to do here by focusing on the business college as being an entrepreneurial venture within a larger organization.” The value of a degree The CBE in Al Ain offers bachelor’s degrees in accounting, economics, finance and banking, management information systems, and also statistics. The main campus also offers a business administration degree where students can major in entrepreneurship, human resource management and development, as well as marketing and supply chain management. All of these programs are fully accredited. As Dean Franklin has explained, “We have accreditation from AACSB International, the premier global accreditation body for business programs. The CBE was the first business college in the GCC and MENA Region to be accredited by AACSB. Today, the CBE has the distinction of being the only business college in the region accredited in both business and accounting.


Geralyn McClure Franklin, Ph.D., the Dean of the College of Business and Economics at the United Arab Emirates University.

We know that employers often question the value of a degree. Accreditation from AACSB means that a business degree from UAEU is internationally recognized and meets rigorous international standards.” AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) – was founded in 1916 and currently accredits 746 of the world’s best business colleges (only 182 colleges hold accreditation in accounting). This is less than 5 percent of over 15,000 business programs around the world globally that AACSB recognizes. Moving business education forward According to Dean Franklin, “As the national university, we serve the needs of the

country. We are leaders in moving business and management education forward. Our graduate programs are excellent examples of this and include several regional ‘firsts’.” The CBE launched the UAE’s first MBA program in 2001 and has seen more than 375 MBA graduates to date. The first MBA program in Manufacturing Excellence was launched in partnership with Tawazun Holding in 2012, while the first Englishlanguage MPA program in the GCC and MENA Region began in 2013. The CBE also opened the first DBA program, by an AACSB accredited institution, in 2011. Graduates from the MBA or MPA programs set themselves apart from their colleagues in the workplace. According to Dean Franklin the background of graduate program applicants varies enormously: “There is a concentration of graduates with a bachelor’s degrees in business as well as those without a business degree (e.g. engineers) who want to progress into managerial or higher-level management positions that benefit from gaining an MBA. The MPA is usually for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and understand that professional accountants, with graduate training, can ensure institutional success in today’s globally competitive and constantly evolving business environment. Those who have non-accounting backgrounds can also enroll but must take on additional coursework.” Business leaders are made, not born It is not only the employee, but the organization as a whole, that benefits from their up-and-coming managers doing the MBA at UAEU. Dean Franklin believes that, “Business leaders are made, not born! An MBA from UAEU allows organizations to get the best management and business education for their employees. Every


organization needs leaders. Employers have the opportunity to train employees for the overall benefit of the organization. They will also be networking with others and sharing best practices. We find that the more broad-based the employees’ education the more flexible and adaptable they become. Additionally, from an investment point of view the MBA is more cost effective than taking several stand-alone professional courses.” There is also a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) designed for seniorlevel executives and research-oriented professionals. The DBA is the highest professional qualification available in business today. According to Dean Franklin, “The goal of the program is to expand students’ knowledge of management and equip them with broad research skills in order to address complex issues in today’s highly competitive, global marketplace.” The DBA is a four-year, blended, parttime program taught in English. Stage 1 of the program has two years of coursework. Stage 2 involves two years of work on a dissertation. Dean Franklin added that, “The focus of a DBA dissertation is more practical than a research-oriented Ph.D dissertation and therefore has practical

implications for the workplace, ensuring a worthwhile return on the employer’s initial investment.” Tomorrow’s leaders As part of the UAE’s national university the CBE strives to maintain standards of excellence despite a constantly evolving business landscape. This is achieved by col-

mine if a customized MBA is required. We have to keep thinking beyond the present and what we’ve accomplished thus far. We are looking to offer new specialties in our MBA program. We also want to expand our Master’s offerings from the MBA and MPA degrees to a more specialized MS degree in areas of high demand. We want to add majors such as ‘sustainability’ and ‘human resource development’ that meet

“As the national university, we serve the needs of the country. We are leaders in moving business and management education forward. Our graduate programs are excellent examples of this and include several regional ‘firsts’.”

laborating with government and industry to ensure that degree programs meet their needs. The MBA in Manufacturing Excellence was specifically designed, in collaboration with Tawazun Holding, to meet the needs of the UAE’s manufacturing sector. Dean Franklin added that, “We are now in talks with other organizations to deter-

the needs of the country. We ask ourselves, ‘what type of training and education people will need in the future?’ Needs analyses are currently under way in these areas to identify what is required.” Regardless of what the future of business holds, graduates from the CBE will be well qualified to be the leaders of tomorrow.



Innovation is high on the agenda for Cavotec By making sure we innovate every day, we have made a clear footprint in this region, says Juergen Strommer, Group COO for EMEA region, Cavotec. Abu Dhabi International Airport, Bahrain International Airport, Hamad International Airport in Qatar, Muscat International Airport, Mumbai International Airport, DP World-Jebel Ali, Khalifa Port-Abu Dhabi, Port of Salalah-Oman, Port of BeirutLebanon, DEWA, Dubal, Lamprell and Dry Docks, among many others. Excellence Through Innovation

Juergen Strommer, Group COO for EMEA region, Cavotec.


ounded by three Swedish friends in the 1970s supplying reeling solutions to Sweden’s mining industry, Cavotec has emerged as a multinational Group with a €232 million turnover supplying customers in over 40 countries with innovative engineering systems across four main market units: airports, ports & maritime, mining & tunnelling and general industry. CEO Report met with Juergen Strommer, Group COO for the EMEA region, in Cavotec’s Middle East head office in Jebel Ali, Dubai. Having joined the company in 2007, Strommer has witnessed Cavotec’s journey to becoming a well-associated name in the region, serving a diverse range of customers such as Dubai Airports,


“Cavotec has made a clear footprint in this region,” says Strommer. “We have accomplished a number of well-known projects such as Concourse 1, 2, 3 and 4 at Dubai Airport, and have developed MoorMaster™, a revolutionary, vacuum-based mooring solution for ports, offering safer and more economical loading and off-loading of ships. We also installed the first sub-freeze system in the world at Bahrain Airport to help cool wide-body aircraft such as the A380, without the use of auxiliary power units and without causing any air pollution.” The Group prioritises innovation and, through its seven Centres of Excellence with factories across Europe and the U.S., is constantly developing new systems and improving existing technologies to find new and better ways of doing things. “We work very closely with our customers to find solutions to their problems and challenges”, explains Strommer. “We must be flexible, quick and understand their needs on a very deep level, making sure we innovate every single day.” Bucking Market Trends In February 2015, Cavotec won an order to supply eight new-generation MoorMaster™ 400E15 automated mooring units for installation at berth 5 in the container terminal at the Port of Salalah in Oman. The order is the third MoorMaster™ installation at the Port of Salalah, where the terminal has been using automated mooring from Cavotec since 2006.

“We work very closely with our customers to find solutions to their problems and challenges. We must be flexible, quick and understand their needs on a very deep level, making sure we innovate every single day.”

Strommer attributes the company’s continued success to working on a combination of larger projects, such as the Port of Salalah, together with day-to-day business, making the company more stable than a business solely relying on project-based work. “This eliminates the fluctuation to a certain extent, and having four market units ensures that we are not exposed to only one side of the market, and that we are not as vulnerable to ups and downs,” he notes. A Green Future In the EMEA region, Cavotec’s future lies in airports and ports, but the company has also seen activity from countries in the region diversifying away from oil and gas to invest in manufacturing and renewable energy. As the environment has not always been the number one priority in this region until recently, Strommer is proud to be part of this development. “Today, the mind set is changing and the UAE government is putting a lot of work in to creating clean energy. Our Group stands for environmentally friendly solutions in all segments and we pride ourselves on our expertise in this area,” explains Strommer. “Therefore, we are at the right place with the right potential for the future.”


Menacorp: a port in the storm

Menacorp’s voyage to the top Despite choppy water, the regional financial seas are navigable as long as there is an experienced hand at the helm, says CEO Fathi Ben Grira.


athi Ben Grira took over as CEO at leading regional securities brokerage Menacorp – formerly known as Wafa Financial Services – in March 2011, during a difficult period in the company’s history, as the global financial crisis continued unabated. “I always kept in mind Warren Buffet’s famous words: ‘You never know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out’,” Ben Grira said. “While other firms were busy trying to find bathing costumes, we focused all our energy on implementing the roadmap that would take us from the bottom – we were ranked 79 out of 81 securities brokerage firms in terms of market share – to the leading spot in less than two years, topping competitors that have been around for more than three decades.” Menacorp plotted its course using three main principles: an ambitious recruitment drive; investment in the company’s risk-management platform; and a vibrant and ongoing innovation programme. “One has to keep in mind that we were in the middle of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of 1929,” Ben Grira noted. “Our clients needed to feel that they were dealing with a sound financial institution that would not jeopardise their investments.” Shrinking marketplace In 2015 Dubai Financial Market ranked Menacorp top among 49 brokerages, by value traded, a position also held by the firm in 2013 and 2014. Ben Grira said the company is also ranked number one in 2016 to date; this track record is, “the first time since the exchange was created 16 years ago that a firm achieved such a result”, he added. He believes successes such as these stem from finding ways to promote client confidence in a market that has shrunk dramatically over the past eight years. “In 2008 there were more securities

brokerage firms than listed companies on UAE markets – around 110,” he said. “By the end of 2010, this number had dropped to 81. Today there are 49 brokerages and I anticipate that only half of them will survive beyond the next five years.” Despite this consolidation, Ben Grira pointed out that stiff competition remained, but he is confident in Menacorp’s ability to defend its place in the market.

“We have enough scale to have the same capabilities as large banks, but also offer the personalised and flexible solutions that clients are looking for when they deal with an independent firm.” “Our company occupies a unique position compared to its 48 competitors, notably because of its size on one hand and its independence on the other,” he said. “We have enough scale to have the same capabilities as large banks, but also offer the personalised and flexible solutions that clients are looking for when they deal with an independent firm. Another important differentiator is that Menacorp is the only company to be licensed to operate on the four UAE exchanges. This makes us a onestop-shop for our clients.” Finding shelter The regional equities market is currently suffering from plummeting oil prices. According to reports, GCC stocks lost $200 billion of their combined market capitalisation last year. Ben Grira has seen “a bearish trend” in recent months. “The main reason behind this is that

Fathi Ben Grira, CEO of Menacorp.

GCC economies rely heavily on government spending and oil remains the main source of revenue for these governments,” he explained. “Even widely diversified economies such as Dubai saw their markets heavily impacted by the massive drop in the barrel price.” But despite the gloomy landscape, shrewd investors are finding shelter from the rainclouds, by quietly and carefully acquiring stock in undervalued companies. “Opportunities are around the corner for those who are willing to do their homework correctly, and who will not be afraid to face strong volatility during the coming months,” Ben Grira said. “But we evolve in very complex times and I can understand that investors prefer to carefully assess all their options. Our role is to guide these investors through the various choices offered to them: which country, which market, which stock, which price and which quantity?”



CATEC helps GCC set the pace for smart government Cubic Art Technologies is at the centre of innovation as the UAE and neighbouring countries move towards a smarter future, says Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rami Abu Hayah. was able to generalise the solution concept for a meetings and legislative concept to a product called QARAR that created a sound name for CATEC in the GCC market. In 2010, CATEC secured a concession contract with The Centre of Waste Management –Abu Dhabi (TADWEER) to establish and operate a licensing, tariff and customer service department for seven years. CATEC funded the operation, bankrolling everything from the technology solution itself to the department’s payroll, and sharing revenues with TADWEER. Public-private partnership

Rami Abu Hayah, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Catec.


ubic Art Technologies (CATEC) has been a lynchpin of the UAE government’s smart-city ambitions. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rami Abu Hayah, started the company in 2005, moving quickly from Web-content management solutions to government transformation and enterprise solutions. It focuses on technologies that became the foundation for smart-city concepts. CATEC was poised to become a key player in the smart-government age that was to follow. Later, after just two years in operations, opportunity knocked. “In 2007 we got a project from Abu Dhabi Executive Council to transform the operation of their meetings process,” Abu Hayah said. “Since then, we have specialised in legislative and meeting solutions for the Executive Councils as well as the Ministries of Cabinet Affairs.” The success story continued, CATEC


CATEC’s partnership with the Abu Dhabi government – under the build-operatetransfer (BOT) concept – has become a model for public-private partnership (PPP) in the technology and government services sector in the region, a rare development considering PPP usually involves utility and oil and gas projects. Abu Hayah cites the private sector’s agility and capability to efficiently implement best practices within a short period of time as factors that are influencing governments’ decision to outsource public services. “What we have done in Abu Dhabi was to implement a totally new system with the highest quality standards. We provided a one-stop-shop solution to the government by building the relevant departments; developing the IT infrastructure and systems; creating standard operating procedures as per the government’s requirements; and hiring competent employees to deliver quality services,” he explained. The PPP was also instrumental in helping the government maximise revenue capture with minimal cost to them, as upfront investments were shouldered by CATEC. Abu Hayah calls the partnership a win-win situation. “We get to exploit the potential of our solutions in addressing the government’s requirements and share in the revenues

generated by the government services we carry out on behalf of them. At the same time, the government is able to provide the best services to citizens and residents, without them having to fork out huge investments,” he said. Currently, CATEC has a team of over 150 employees dedicated to the PPP project. The model has also generated significant interest across the GCC, especially in Saudi Arabia. Waste Talks Part of CATEC’s role in the outsourcing operation is to monitor around 105,000 companies in Abu Dhabi and implement the government’s tariff scheme based on the companies’ waste production. “We are also running a related smartcity project that connects vehicles and garbage bins, using GPS devices and RFID tags manufactured by partners,” Abu Hayah explained. “All waste-management vehicles operating in Abu Dhabi are connected with that platform.” The platform is called “Waste Talks” and is also currently in use in Saudi Arabia to monitor waste collection and city-cleaning contractors. Waste Talks connects physical objects, which then supply data to human decision-makers. CATEC uses the data to accomplish whatever business goal has been set by the client. “It takes quite a bit of effort, otherwise, to monitor the contractors, their workforce and the hundreds of vehicles working in the waste management sector. With Waste Talks, we need no human interaction to tell us whether the service provider is living up to their contractual obligations and following the best-practice guidelines laid down by the government,” said Abu Hayah. For the past 10 years CATEC has been focusing on the UAE and the GCC, but now it is on the verge of opening a new branch in the UK with a view to expanding across Europe and, “in the future, perhaps USA and other regions”, according to Abu Hayah.


Mai Dubai: Clearly making a difference Dubai-based bottled-water firm’s success has been built on breaking trends, says CEO Jay Andres.


ai Dubai has rocketed to regional prominence in its two years of operations. Positive market perception was evident to Chief Executive Officer Jay Andres and his team just weeks after selling the company’s first bottles of water in March 2014. “We quickly found that the brand and the taste were very well accepted,” said Andres. “We know it’s a very cluttered field; I don’t know that there’s anywhere else in the world where there are more players in the bottled-water category than in this region. So to stand out, we had to do some things differently.” Andres has sought to engender an open culture in the company from the start. Indeed, he believes that having a blank slate allowed the company an advantage in building a stand-out market ethos. “Usually in management, you inherit a culture and are then faced with changing it or maintaining it,” he pointed out. “We had the unique opportunity to create a culture from the ground up. One of the things we have tried to do is become an employer of choice. We try to have an open environment where our employees really feel good about coming to work. “We truly believe that when you’re making a product that people are going to consume and give to their children, you have a solemn responsibility to ensure you have the very best people involved in that process. And secondly, when you’re interfacing with your customers on a daily basis, be it in their home or business, or in a hypermarket or grocery store, it’s important that your people are in the right frame of mind.” Building a brand The company operates in all retail channels (home, office, vending and export) – something that Andres said is rare in the market. In building a firm that exports to Oman, Bahrain and South Africa, and has secured export opportunities in 10 European markets, Mai Dubai has concentrated

Mai Dubai uses red in its logo as the colour is unique among bottled-water brands.

“We are aware that we don’t just represent a water company; with the Dubai name in our brand, we also represent Dubai and we take that very seriously.” particularly on its brand concept and marketing, breaking some trends along the way and setting some new ones. “When we just had a name (“Mai” is Arabic for water) we worked with an agency that came up with designs that had a lot of blue and green, but we decided to see what it would look like in red,” Andres explained. “In the beginning people would ask me, ‘Why are you red when everyone else is blue and green?’ and my answer would be ‘We’re red because everyone else is blue and green.’ Red is a very good colour in marketing terms, and it also appears in many of the

region’s flags, including that of the UAE.” In marketing, Mai Dubai also broke from its competitors by recognising the young demographic in its home market and making shrewd use of social media to build brand equity through an active consumer community – a practice, Andres said, that other players belatedly adopted. “We believe that in a very short space of time, we have become leaders,” he said. “We have seen some of our competitors doing things that we pioneered.” The Mai Dubai team’s approach has led not only to consumer accolades, but to recognition by government departments. In October 2015, the company was nominated as “Best Factory in Dubai in Food Safety” by Dubai Municipality, and was awarded the highest grade in food safety given in 2015 “Grade A”. It also has the distinction of supplying water to aviation giant Emirates Airlines. “We are aware that we don’t just represent a water company; with the Dubai name in our brand, we also represent Dubai and we take that very seriously,” Andres said.


A L G H U R A I R I R O N & S TE E L

Al Ghurair Iron & Steel incubates a unique operations formula for the industry Launching a new era of manufacturing: greeting the impact of Expo 2020

Abu Bucker Husain, CEO of Al Ghurair Iron & Steel.


l Ghurair Iron & Steel CEO Abu Bucker Husain discusses the company’s steadfast growth, operational practices and upcoming interaction with Expo 2020. The corporation was established in 2008 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and has increasingly developed since the start. Its successful blueprint designs region-oriented manufacturing goals, high safety standards as well as the promise of high quality products and services. AGIS is part-owned (20%) by premier Japanese steel manufacturer Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation since 2011: a joint-venture agreement that has so far been rewarding. Improvements within operations and an adopted corporate governance structure cited a positive change. Husain hints at being close to becoming “the leading manufacturer of galvanized steel coils in the region.”


An imminent expansion is summarized by the second phase of operations: a doubled capacity swelling from 200,000 to 400,000 tons per annum. The number of highly-trained and specifically-chosen employees is also set to jump from 475 to nearly 550. Headway plans adhere to Expo 2020 requirements as Husain postulates the growth of construction material, steel and galvanized creations featured as products necessary for Expo 2020 growth. This ties in with a genuine and heartfelt enthusiasm, since not only the industry they centralize on, but the entirety of industries across the region will embrace a stimulated impact. According to Husain, AGIS will reflect a fully operational production capability in time to fulfil adjunct orders, market requirements and the needs associated with the impact on the UAE’s economic backbone. The company’s concern for environment, health and safety has been recognized through the Environment Performance Certificate awarded by the UAE Ministry of Env. & Water in 2013 & 2014. Well-planned regional sales efforts Their clients are focused around the construction industries, almost 80% located across the GCC and the rest scattered around the MENA region. Their inventive approach incorporates viewing suppliers, customers and employees as partners and stakeholders (something he advises new manufacturers to consider when starting up). So as to implement a stable strategy, market exposure is calculated each week and adjusted accordingly. In order to maximize production and boost final sales, raw material purchase is carefully managed.

Quality products and customer relations Thorough quality assurance is echoed within the attention on all the phases of the manufacturing process, be it the in-depth assessment of each stage or the comprehensive inspection of the final product. Any complaints or suggestions are rapidly addressed by a qualified member of the technical team, who may also be sent on-site to solve the issue. The products of AGIS adhere to the highest international standards of product quality and the Galvanised coils are Emirates Quality Mark (EQM) certified. Affected by market fluctuations? More market impact was entwined into the operations at the very start, Husain mentions, declaring that “what happened in 2015 is really nothing” since more was felt nearly 8 years ago rather than during the ensuing year-on-year changes. In 2008, AGIS established operations following the pre-meltdown purchase of raw materials, as the world was enveloped by economic concerns and a financial crisis. The manufacturing giant saw its raw material cost vastly drop by 80 to 90% all-in-all. Future steps AGIS chose to upgrade its safety, operational efficiency and practices boosting intimacy with customers. Husain disclosed that this is “a continuous” and “never-ending” course. To operate within a healthier industry growth, he recommends for the UAE government to design “a level playing ground” with countries imposing an import tax on products from the UAE while offering subsidies to companies upon export, who then further have the advantage of not being taxed by the UAE customs.


Investing in transformational change Five-year “Rapid Growth Strategy 2020 plan” allows Alshaya Trading Co. to take full advantage of the opportunities in the GCC market.


he UAE’s successful bid to host the World Expo 2020 has seen a number of regional companies focus their growth strategy on the UAE market. Alshaya Trading Co., the Kuwaiti-owned commercial and home equipment and furnishing supplier, have reinforced their commitment to achieving an increased market penetration with the implementation of a five-year “Rapid Growth Strategy 2020 plan”, allowing them to take full advantage of the opportunities in the UAE and wider GCC market. The first phase of the strategy, which began in 2015, was to restructure the organizational set-up into seven main divisions operating across the entire GCC market including: Storage Systems and Supermarket Solutions, Sanitary Ware, Tiles and Residential Kitchens, Commercial Kitchen, Laundry and Bakery, Office Furniture & Interior Solutions, and Commercial Lighting Solutions. Having embarked on the next phase of the strategy plan, Alshaya Trading are investing heavily into their core business areas in order to exceed market expectations. This focus strategy is seen as critical

in order to outgrow the general market development and take market-shares from the competitors. Introducing Design Centers to the GCC Alshaya Trading is well known for their many large and well-positioned Sanitary Ware & Tiles showrooms. To meet the increasing customer expectations, the showrooms will be upgraded and converted into Design Center where private developers and their consultants can get a ‘one stop solution’ for their projects. The Design Centers are a new concept in the GCC and Alshaya Trading have high expectations for these centers supporting our future growth in years to come with focus on what they consider as “small projects markets” where private developers are creating new and exciting projects. Strong leadership vital to transformation Alshaya Trading, a name synonymous with representing only the best brands in the world, is also recognised for its modern and progressive approach to management and leadership where a clear and consistent strategy is seen as critical elements for

implementing transformational change within the organisation. The markets are changing constantly and, for businesses leaders, the ability to foresee important changes and to add value to their customers and suppliers is imperative to remain as a market leader. Like most other companies, Alshaya Trading’s biggest challenge is to attract and retain the best people in the market and the company is well-known for bringing strong employees into positions that are key for our growth. Strong synergy yields profits Despite weakened government spending in the wake of lower oil prices and general economic instability in the GCC markets, Alshaya Trading sees significant opportunities that can be leveraged by utilizing the synergies between the divisions and the strong Alshaya Trading brand name. As the first results of the new strategy saw the Group outgrow the market in 2015 in sales and in operational profit, it is their aim to become the leading trading company in the GCC. Alshaya Trading is confident that their high performance teams across all the divisions and the more focused growth strategy will ensure a similar growth in 2016 and the years towards 2020.


M O B I LE D O C TO R S 24 -7

Do you want to know the real truth about healthcare that no one dares to talk about?

The hard truth about healthcare in the Middle East and North Africa Raouf Khalil, Founder and CEO of Mobile Doctors 24-7 (MD 24-7) said the core problem with healthcare in third world countries is the total misalignment between patients, payers, and providers.


he definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This witticism that is attributed to Albert Einstein comes to mind when considering the problems facing healthcare in some parts of the MENA region. “Every year, the insurance carriers meet with their enterprise clients to inform them that their premiums have to increase because the medical loss ratio is too high. Renewal will include higher premiums and/ or a reduction in benefits to the employees. This pattern is not sustainable,” says Raouf Khalil, Founder and CEO of Mobile Doctors 24-7 (MD-24-7). As of December of 2015, Goldman Sachs investment bank was standing by its prediction of $20 a barrel bottom1. According to Mr. Khalil, this new economic environment demands change to the cycle of wasted healthcare spending. Insurance carriers are not only forced to increase premiums, but also take legal action against certain hospitals. According to a local publication, insurance firms in KSA are suing providers for ordering unnecessary, expensive laboratory tests and treatments for minor illnesses2. In some areas of the MENA region, insurance companies and their clients are facing massive inefficiencies. Last year, Haidar Al Yousuf, the Director of Health Funding at the Dubai Health Authority, revealed that $40 billion of many third-world countries’ spending on health, due to inefficiency, is not properly utilized: “A lot of doctors prescribe a lot of medication – they order a lot of tests, but there is no matching of what is actually needed by the patient and what is being done,”3 he said. Increasing spending increases utilization In certain sections of the Arab world, the trend is to increase spending as Al Masah


Capital forecasts that the private-sector healthcare market will be worth $61bn in 20204 . Raouf Khalil believes that spending more is not the solution: “Investment in healthcare is the current trend, but when you build more hospitals and clinics, it’s going to increase utilization. There are going to be less patients walking into each facility, which means that the administrators have to give patients the ‘full’ treatment.” Dr. Ziad Alobeidi, Mobile Doctors CMO and Co-founder, explains that providing incentives for overutilization creates an ethical dilemma for medical

total misalignment between patients, payers, and providers. Most doctors’ employment agreements with clinics and hospitals include fee for referral, which creates further incentive for overutilization. Patients usually receive what they can afford, not what they need: “Everybody suffers. The main stakeholders are the consumer and the payers, and ironically, these two want the same thing – they both want to avoid unnecessary spending: receiving MRI exams or prescribing antibiotics solely for profit. The healthcare providers are often the issue,” he said.

“At Mobile Doctors, we bring the trust back to the doctor-patient relationship by following current NICE international guidelines and adopting a patient-centred approach. Our doctors are not incentivised to overprescribe or over-investigate and will only tell patients the truth about what they need.” professionals: “The practice of medicine is a privilege which carries important responsibilities. All doctors swear by the Hippocratic Oath, which is a moral code of conduct for doctors that describes the basic ethics of medical practice: to help sick people and to avoid harm.” Dr. Alobeidi added that The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, prefaces its guidance to the effect that treatment and care should take into account patients’ individual needs and preferences. Patients should be provided with the best possible care. Ethics, economics, and public health In the interview with CEO Report, Raouf Khalil explained the core problem is the

Beyond ethics and economics, this is also a significant public health issue: according to a recent WHO report, antibiotics are losing their effectiveness due to unnecessary prescriptions5. Evidence-based medicine is the only prescription Khalil insists that the solution to healthcare is not a healthcare solution but a change to consumer behaviour by providing them what they want – 24/7 access to an integrated delivery system because this is the only way to ensure a proper balance between quality and cost. Dr. Alobeidi affirmed, “At Mobile Doctors, we bring the trust back to the doctor-patient relationship by following current NICE international guidelines

M O B I LE D O C TO R S 24 -7

Dr Ziad Alobeidi, MBChB, MRCGP, DFFP, FBACD, Co-founder & Chief Medical Officer of Mobile Doctors 24-7.

and adopting a patient-centred approach. Our doctors are not incentivised to overprescribe or over-investigate and will only tell patients the truth about what they need.” The statistics agree that the majority of routine doctor visits can be handled over the phone. Reports show that only 10% of 999 calls in the GCC are for true emer-

gencies6. In these instances, doctors can diagnose, prescribe treatment and even medication (when necessary) right over the phone or via video consultation without the need for an office visit. For Raouf Khalil, the situation is simple, “If you are a consumer (or their employer), do you want to go to a doctor who is receiving commis-

sion or a doctor who strictly practices evidence-based medicine? It is this dilemma that needs to be addressed in the future in order for healthcare to accommodate the big picture of the world economy.” It certainly does not require Einstein’s intellect to see that utilizing healthcare spending efficiently is the definition of sanity.

1Tan, Huileng. “Goldman Sachs expects oil prices to fall further as OPEC stands pat.” CNBC, December 18, 2015. 2 “Insurance firms to sue corrupt hospitals.” Arab News, October 8, 2015. 3 Flanagan, Ben. “Up to $40 Billion of Arab world’s spending on health care wasted.” The National, February 28, 2015. 4Ibid. 5Saberi, Mahmood. “Antibiotics abuse in UAE a serious health hazard.” Gulf News, November, 17 2013. 6“Emir, Yemen leader hold phone talk.” Gulf Times, October 18, 2014.



EDC: The driving force behind safe road training and etiquette Uncompromising safety Did you know there’s a physical reason your car’s headrests are assembled the way they are? Were you aware that there are actual guidelines behind seatbelt etiquette? Societal conforms have associated ‘being able to drive’ as an increasingly valid necessity as opposed to an asset within the preceding decades. This has consequently implemented a sense of entitlement amongst eager leaners endeavoring to pass imminently in pursuit of that all essential licensed document. The general consensus of learners displays minimal regard toward the value of the education; the process to obtaining that license is often a laborious procedure where reluctant students immerse themselves in paperwork, theory and local legislature in pursuit of appeasing a bureaucratic system. “We, as a society are still lacking in awareness; road safety is shunned, we must consistently remind learners that they are potentially operating a lethal weapon here if handled inadequately,” stated CEO, Khaled Khalifa Al Mansoori. Mansoori was instrumental in reminding me today of what, exactly, leaners are paying for through their education with EDC: their lives. EDC is fastidious in its attitude toward training individuals. Established within the region since 2000, EDC maintains a solid infrastructure with learning centers in multiple locations such as Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region. The company has launched some groundbreaking innovations throughout the years in pursuit of minimalizing fatalities whilst ensuring driver and citizen safety. The EDC venture was initiated by Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, who labored to address solutions towards fatalities on the road and established the need to create benchmarks through the company’s partnership with


Swedish Road Authority in order to develop a high quality curriculum. Utilizing a versatile, diverse range of training opportunities, EDC provides an eclectic array of courses catering to four by four drivers, trucks, motorcyclists, heavy weight vehicles, cranes and light-weight vehicles. A major component of EDC’s policy and mission concerns maintaining a level of social responsibility toward the environment, toward their students and toward

“We, as a society are still lacking in awareness; road safety is shunned, we must consistently remind learners that they are potentially operating a lethal weapon here if handled inadequately.” the citizens of UAE. With over 2000 manhours contributed toward providing forum platforms exposing road reforms and general road safety just over the last year, it became increasingly apparent to us just how seriously EDC takes its responsibility as a safety implementer and ethical training center for vehicle handlers. Ultimately, EDC aspires to deliver socially responsible methods and results in all they endeavor where their utilization of natural gas is demonstrative of their commitment toward the environment. Mansoori stalwartly emphasizes that “You never know it all, your life is dependent on these lessons, there are often new regulations, sometimes you don’t know how to watch and read the road, these techniques will save you money and your life.”

Key differentiators If you’re contemplating the ideal school to obtain your driver’s permit in the UAE, you, quite reasonably, may have found yourself overwhelmed with an abundance of courses amongst various local training centers. Mansoori explained to myself the key differentiators amidst the schools thus highlighting the core competencies of EDC; Safety first. EDC’s high level of integrity ensures their competitive advantage within the market; their capacity to deliver safety measures means that no learner will have to compromise on their health and well-being. A secondary unique selling point of the school rests in their inimitable training programs; EDC is conducive in producing innovative courses with theoretical and practical programs tailored to specific individual needs. They cater to drivers of all levels of experience with programs designated in five languages and accommodating courses specifically designed for learners with special needs. Moreover, their innovative use of interior driving simulators has been implemented to secure the demand for the student’s need to prepare for all exterior conditions such as weather and climate. Innovations such as the unique and worldwide first, ‘Tower System’ methodology where the instructor may communicate directions to the student via a radio device thus providing the learner with a level of independence conducive to experience. Tower training is conducive in installing self-confidence and self-reliance within the student. A course unique to EDC, ‘The Safety Hall program’ emphasizes the importance of passengers, ensuring safety of children and other dependents in the vehicle. No other school besides EDC puts such a huge emphasis towards road safety, believes Mansoori; “Factors such as the road, the weather, other drivers, external factors – we take all of these things into conside-


ration and work to create capable motorists in the pursuit of developing confident, self-reliant drivers out of apprehensive students. Obviously this is all conducive in aiding the student’s expectance of passing his final exam, but our principles prioritize safety.” The implications here are vast; no driving school will prioritize your safety like EDC.

Strategic training programs implement tangible results EDC works with quantative data to identify trending issues on the roads in order to implement tangible solutions, they are therefore consistently updating their training and curriculum with an integral mission to reduce accidents: “We see what’s going on, we check the statistics, we cross check it, we see the gap and we update our curriculum,” commented CEO Mansoori. Abu Dhabi Police annual report revealed that EDC helped significantly reduce the occurrence of road accidents within Abu Dhabi throughout 2015. As a member of numerous organizations, EDC identifies and utilizes the best courses in the market according to Mansoori; “We are leaders in the market because we outsource a lot of our courses from European countries, we don’t just use local knowledge, most people in this industry don’t have the standard to establish a good curriculum” EDC maintains coordination of data gathering, persisting in collecting knowledge and committing to implementing improvements. With established courses catering towards heavy trucks, buses, cranes, bulldozers, defensive driving and motorcycling, the center is unique in the training it accommodates. CEO Mansoori commented as to how EDC “invests in its people in order to train them in-house, make them customer-service oriented, teach them how to address and deliver exceptional service to all our clients.” In the knowledge of the ingenuity of their product, EDC are forecasting an innovative strategy now: Mansoori commented himself in regards to “these leading countries; they simply do not deliver the same methodology, we want to expand within the GCC region. We conveyed several courses in Saudi Arabia recently because they are aware that we are the best school to deliver results.”

Khaled Khalifa Al Mansoori, CEO of Emirates Driving Company.

EDC has witnessed a sincere lack of professionalism in teaching methods locally and abroad, they have been able to identify this as a market gap and acted accordingly in addressing this market demand. The centre frequently receives visits from RTA officials from the other emirates and professionals within the industry.

Mansoori particularly stressed the need within the industry for constant innovation; EDC consistently strives to implement new techniques, maintain awareness of legislature and regulations whilst instigating novel methods grounded on the basis of their extensive research. Getting behind the wheel is an ongoing learning process!



Hiring trends in tough market conditions Whilst the volume of mandates coming in is high, the decision-making process with clients is slowing, says Justin McGuire, CEO, MCG Group.


ith the impact of low oil prices being felt across the globe, the job market in the Middle East is beginning to feel the pinch. Now, more than ever, companies are forced to look at ways to maximise workforce efficiency by ensuring they hire the right people for the right roles. For MCG Group, a Dubaibased search and recruitment agency, the ability to diversify its offerings to suit market needs has meant that, despite the tough market conditions, it remains business as usual. “As a group, we never actually recruited in the energy sectors so were fortunate to avoid the rapid decline in staffing requirements this sector has felt,” explains MCG Group CEO, Justin McGuire, who heads up a team of 22 specialists that help companies grow their business through robust talent management strategies. “However, I wouldn’t say we are totally immune to what is going on and the trickle down effect is

are now taking their time, conducting more interviews and seeing more people.” Investing in the team MCG Associates, the core recruitment business for MCG Group, continues to grow with all business units seeing a steady number of mandates coming through the door. “With the agency now six years old and very well established, we are fortunate to have long established relationships and to be the preferred suppliers for most leading advertising, digital, PR, brand and activation agencies,” explains McGuire, who has more than 15 year’s experience in the media, advertising and recruitment industry behind him. “Our creative team have built a new department for one leading advertising agency and our digital, IT and tech team continues to pickup new clients almost daily.”

The company has added an experienced consultant with executive search background to also help build MCG Associates’ client-side marketing, communications and strategy division. “Our PR team is very well established, so the volume of roles is high and the team is delivering consistency, as it always has,” says McGuire. Kemistry, the group’s agency dedicated to finding talent in the HR, finance, accounting and business support sectors, has started the year well with a high volume of finance and accounting positions, while HR demand remains sluggish across the region. “The business is expecting March to be our best since starting the agency eight months ago and we are excited by our regional growth and now have live positions in Qatar, Kuwait, KSA and Bahrain,” says McGuire. “Kemistry also recently launched a legal unit and demand, especially within in-house law, has been high, meaning we are busier than ever.” Growth of flexible workforces

“Let’s not forget that our business was set up in 2010, during the worst financial crisis since the great depression; our business was designed to withstand these types of challenges and to find opportunities where others may struggle.” being marginally felt by some sectors the MCG Group recruits in, such as retail and FMCG.” Whilst the volume of mandates coming in is high, an observation across the MCG Group is that the decision-making process is slower with clients. “All positions are taking much longer than usual to close so if you’re looking for a new role, patience is certainly required,” says McGuire. “From the outset, candidates need to be aware that they could be in the process for between one and two months, on average. Clients


MCG Associates plan to invest further in the digital, IT and tech team as clients continue to buy into their credibility and market knowledge, which is an exciting growth market for the business. “We’re working on some very senior communications positions in sectors such as travel, hospitality, manufacturing and technology, and we have grown our digital and tech team to a headcount of seven at MCG Associates, bringing in specialists in IT, development and sales and search,” McGuire notes.

One trend picking up pace for 2016 is the introduction of flexible working hours, and engaging employees on a contract or freelance basis. Particularly in the UAE, with most free zones offering cost effective business licence and visa options for freelancers, employers now have a the option of utilizing a flexible workforce. “The freelance market in the UAE is growing and our clients are also open to employees working flexible hours. At MCG Group, we have one consultant who works for us three days a week – so there is your proof,” says McGuire. “I certainly see this as an interesting growth market for the recruitment sector.” As many companies look for ways to reduce labour and capital costs, some are considering outsourcing their recruitment


Justin McGuire, CEO of MCG Group.

processes to tighten the purse strings. However, while outsourcing works well for bulk hiring or for those with restrictions on head-counts, McGuire says that MCG Group are yet to experience a marked move towards this trend with their clients in the Middle East. New horizons MCG Group continues to progress with its expansion plans and, with their inter-

national offices moving closer to completion and three new brands soon to be launched, the development of RPO and search offering remains a priority for the group. “We are all very excited about our plans and, to help support this growth, we hired a new business and innovation manager, with further hires soon to be announced across our business units,” says McGuire. With the group eying up new markets in Europe and Asia, they are keeping a close

look at the market performance in specific areas, such as the digital and communications space. While the markets in China may have slowed down, McGuire believes there are numerous opportunities to capitalise from. “Let’s not forget that our business was set up in 2010, during the worst financial crisis since the great depression; our business was designed to withstand these types of challenges and to find opportunities where others may struggle,” McGuire adds.


Clearview Expo: Superior customer service defines success A commitment to quality and on-time delivery has secured the company’s position in the GCC exhibitions and fit-out industry, says Managing Director Tariq Shaikh. cluttered business segment. The company has also steadily expanded its presence with offices in the emirate’s prime business districts Sheikh Zayed Road and Business Bay, as well as two production facilities in Dubai Investment Park, which have a total floor area of around 15,000 square feet. We understand our customers needs and they need us at the last minute or during the shows. So we decided to be as close as possible to our clients. Our Sheikh Zayed Road office is only 200 meters away, a 2 minute walk from DWTC. We know the future of our business world Expo 2020 hence we set up our production facilities again a two-minute drive from our second office and Production facilities in Dubai Investment Park. This shows our strong planning for present and future. Shaikh said having over 10 years of industry experience in senior management roles has enabled him to navigate the company’s path to growth. Commitment to quality Tariq Shaikh, Managing Director of Clearview Expo.


tanding out from the crowd can be incredibly difficult, especially in a highly competitive market like the UAE. But Dubai-based exhibitions and fit-out company Clearview Expo has mastered the formula to achieving this goal, said Managing Director Tariq Shaikh. “Providing world-class service at a competitive price, while ensuring that our products are of the highest quality and delivered on time, have allowed us to thrive in this sector,” Shaikh pointed out. “Through this strategy, we have also secured our customers’ confidence, which has been crucial in sustaining and growing our regional client base.” Since launching three years ago, Clearview Expo, which is part of the Al Fardan Brands, has grown at a range of 40–50%, according to the managing director – an impressive feat considering the


Quality and On time Delivery has been at the core of Clearview Expo’s operations, and delivering on this required overseeing the entire value chain from within the organisation. “We are able to control quality because we have everything we need under one roof. We have our own designers, qualified project managers, quality controller, customer service personnel, as well as logistics and production facilities. By not relying on third-party contractors or suppliers, we can guarantee that the exhibition stands, kiosks, interiors, fit-outs and showrooms that we produce conform to strict quality standards,” Shaikh added. Another differentiating factor between Clearview Expo and its competitors is that it has strived to put the proper systems and processes in place within its organisation. As a result, the company has successfully obtained an ISO Certification for Quality Management 9001:2008 and a certification

conforming to the Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSAS) 18001:2007 standards. Currently, very few industry players can boast of having these kinds of international accreditations. “In addition, by controlling our overheads, filtering our clients and managing our time effectively, we were able to develop cost-effective solutions. It is all about delivering what we promise and within the budget and that is something our customers highly appreciate,” said Shaikh. Further growth on the horizon Aside from the UAE, Clearview Expo is also very active in London, where the brand originated. Shaikh highlighted that the company’s UK traditions and culture of professionalism pervades in its Middle East operations. The company is planning to further exploit the GCC region’s potential by opening physical offices and production facilities in Qatar and Saudi Arabia by the end of 2016. “At the moment, stands for exhibitions in other parts of the GCC are produced solely in Dubai and then shipped to the respective countries. By having a presence in two other regional markets, we would be able to cater to the needs of our clients in those areas,” explained Shaikh. Clearview Expo, under the umbrella of Clearview Group, is also spreading its wings to other industry segments, particularly food and beverage. Its first foray into the F&B market will be a partnership with Broccoli Pizza and Pasta restaurant. “Our first outlet will open in Dubai Motor City by the second half of 2016. We are planning Four more outlets across UAE in the next 12 months. The partnership will also see Clearview Expo serving as the official fit-out contractor for the brand Broccoli,” he added.


Associa: Delivering unsurpassed management and lifestyle services to communities worldwide An exciting era has emerged for Associa, the community association management company, as they expand their presence within the region with aims to extend their global reach. Operating on a global scale Building and managing communities of jointly-owned property for more than 35 years, Associa is the world’s largest community association management firm with over 9,000 employees operating more than 170 branch offices in the United States, Mexico, Canada, South Africa and the Middle East. Based in Dallas, Texas, Associa’s branches manage over two million units that are home to over four million residents. Associa MENA is the Dubaibased regional office primarily responsible for the MENA region with their interest extending through the greater MENASA area and Turkey. Associa MENA is preparing to open several new offices across various jurisdictions in the region. James Spencer, Vice President of Associa MENA says “Complex buildings and communities in the region are our specialty. We work cooperatively with owners, facilities management and security providers to drive efficient operations which create a quality of life appreciated by discerning investors.” Market place and capability With a number of competitors in the market place, as legislation comes in such as it is now in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the region is beginning a shift from management by developers to owner-appointed management providers. A trend emerging currently lies in the complexity of the buildings being constructed; constructions are more complex than the structures being built when the legislation was initially implemented.

“There’s some challenge in determining how these buildings should be managed and that’s where we come in with our international experience in being able to assist the concepts that allow for the management of these buildings,” says Spencer. Associa’s principle differentiator is their ability to combine local knowledge with international support and experience, which has consequentially provided them with a substantial depth of knowledge to draw upon: “I’ve got more than 30 years experience in this industry and it’s incredibly rewarding to be able to bring that level of proficiency to this market place.” James Spencer, was fortunate enough to work with EMAAR upon first arriving in Dubai, thus gaining a wealth of experience from the area where he managed Burj Khalifa from the outset: “Setting up Burj Khalifa was fascinating; since then we have been working with various regulators and dealing with the variations and the interpretations of the law,” he recalls. Regional development “From my perspective, regional development is really exciting at the moment. Lucrative isn’t the most important word in this market, but Dubai is probably, in the region, the most advanced in the type, style and number of buildings being constructed; the multi-use nature of the buildings is quite unique from the rest of the world,” Spencer says. What’s occurring now essentially, is that others in the MENA region, are emulating what’s happening in Dubai: Bahrain and Lebanon are following the Dubai model, and there are some very complex yet interesting buildings being built in the MENA region.

James Spencer, Vice President of Associa MENA.

There are laws concerning jointly-owned property regulation in some jurisdictions of the MENA region, however, as markets expand and mature, an increasing demand arises for more complex residential and commercial buildings. With that comes a need to supplement these laws with tailored governing documents and a carefully considered governance structure for each development. Spencer says, “The economy of the world is taking a bit of a slow down; this seems to be a cyclical thing but I think it’s only a temporary situation. I see the price of oil at a particular low at the moment and I don’t think its going to stay that low for long. One can only pray that the more conflicted areas of the region will settle down in 2016.”



FILA leads chemical sector in green march Italian company develops ‘green commitment based on real acts’, according to MD Francesco Pettenon.

Francesco Pettenon, Managing Director of FILA Surface Care Solutions.


usinesses worldwide are scrambling to keep up with the green demand – from consumers and governments. But some sectors have been slow to respond. That is why FILA Surface Care Solutions stands out, according to Managing Director Francesco Pettenon. The company has led the way in the chemicals industry, in bringing eco-friendliness to every aspect of its business, from energy consumption to production processes. “In general, the chemical industry is a high-consuming sector when it comes to energy, but FILA is not,” said Pettenon. “Our company uses just around 100KW of energy per year, 90% of this through solar panels, which we have installed on the roofs of our facilities. We achieved ISO 14001 certification in July 2014 and, from 2012, our energy consumption has dropped by 20%.” FILA is based in San Martino Di Lupari, Italy, and manufactures chemical products


designed to clean and protect surfaces such as marble, granite, porcelain and wood. The company has developed industrial processes that deliver products free from VOCs (volatile organic compounds). FILA’s processes also take into account the environmental impact of packaging. “From our history you will find that, even in our early years, we developed products with higher coverage – you need less of our product to achieve the same results than you would need with a competing product,” Pettenon said. “And since less product means less packaging and a lower transport cost, you have less impact on the environment. This has become an important part of our marketing proposition. FILA’s green commitment is based on real facts.” In 2013, with the aim to transfer its Green Action Project to the heart of the construction material’s industry, FILA created the FILA Consulting Center in Fiorano, Italy, in the very heart of the ceramic tiles manufacturing district, close to the manufacturing district of natural stones and marble. Today, two divisions support the industry and contractors with sustainable solutions for the processing of construction material: FILA Consulting and FILA Tech. Green Action Project FILA maintains its own facilities, relentlessly updating them with the latest energy-saving components, including the recent installation of high-efficiency, low-energy lights. But the company also looks to its employees for support when reducing its energy footprint. “We encourage our employees to switch off the lights and AC when not in use – very simple actions that reduce energy consumption,” Pettenon explained. The Italian firm’s internal commitment to the environment is enshrined in the FILA Green Action Project, an initiative that covers all activities within the company in an effort to make them eco-friendly. “FILA Green Action starts with the solar panels, but also takes into account the raw

materials we use. They may be expensive, but our customers do not look for cheap products. Our products are not pricesensitive, but they have less packaging, more coverage, and are solvent-free. In the past five years, we have launched five VOC-free products. “We also consider the welfare of our customers’ employees, who work closely with our products, which is why we ensure they don’t emit harmful fumes. This has proved very important to our consumers and has been certified by Emicode. Other products have EC1 Plus certifications, are LEED approved, and comply with Green Building Code requirements.” Supporting a greener UAE Pettenon is proud of FILA’s heritage as “a closely knit company, a family company”, which has a global presence that extends to more than 100 markets with 6 branches (USA, Germany, UK, France, Spain and UAE). “Our products fit in perfectly with the environmental commitment of the UAE government,” Pettenon pointed out. “We have all the necessary certifications, and have been a partner of the Italian Green Building Council since 2007.” Pettenon is encouraged by the escalation in pro-environment demands coming from governments such as that of the UAE, and that those demands are increasingly fact-based, seeing past “philosophies and slogans”. FILA will continue its green initiatives, and, in the GCC, work to educate governments and businesses about the company’s credo. As Pettenon puts it: “We have always kept our roots in the environment; it’s in our genes to respect it.”


Blossoming by investing in people Zahra Hamirani, founder and director of The Blossom Nursery, said UAE’s largest nursery group are positioned to be leaders in this growing industry and sector.


lossom Nursery and Education group is far from the conventional corporate and this has yielded positive results. While they track profit, they have two other indicators that are derived from Triple PPP (People, Planet, Prosperity). This places particular emphasis on green awareness: 
“If you want to be a sustainable company, you need to really focus on the longer term.” said Zahra Hamirani. Blossom has several external links: a CSR report, the GRI index, membership in the UN Global Compact, the Emirates Environmental Group, and the Dubai Chamber on green awareness. “But it’s not about corporate strategy. This is really about allowing the team and children to find things that galvanize interest and build curiosity: one of our teachers did a wonderful lecture on green makeup using olive oil and cinnamon as a lipcolour. What can we learn from this? That there is intended purpose but also much else that can be done if we think outside the box. We all have something to offer and this allows for us flourish together.” said Hamirani.

staff and expertise that you would not normally afford as well as a culture that understands the balance of home and work. Balancing structure with curiosity The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework applies formal methods at an early age. The Blossom Nursery tries to balance the practical need to assess progress with the subtleties of child development.
“We felt it was important to have a transparent, internationally accredited system that is Blossom’s framework. We do baseline assessments, report cards, and plan according to the EYFS, but we also found it has limitations. It is formal and standards-based, and that’s often not the best method for learning. So the EYFS is tempered with our program called Skygarden.” explained Hamirani. There is a sensory program to ensure that children have a number of sensory experiences, and allows for different parts of their brain to work, which is the underpinning tenant of this breadth (EYFS) and depth (Skygarden) of learning. Expanding and making wishes come true

“Our motto is Believe. Achieve. Become. And we live by this daily.” Flourishing by being inclusive – the rise of women in the workplace is creating a shift in business culture. The Blossom Nursery is a highly successful company that is managed by women and this is not a coincidence. Many of the staff members are mothers first. “I strongly believe in the premise that ‘you cannot be what you cannot see’ and have actively hired women in all roles in our company. We enable an environment that nourishes women through flexible contracts, shifts, and leave allowances.” This leads to a higher quality in

The Blossom Nursery is already the largest nursery group in the UAE with five centers and two more in the next quarter planned. There is also the teacher training facility called Bee Academy, a UK Cache training program that allows people to get affordable qualifications and guaranteed paid placement hours or a job thereafter. But expect more from Blossom in the future: “The Blossom growth plan is ambitious because we see great potential in the industry and sector and feel passionately that we are positioned to be leaders in this. In addition, we are expanding our food business, which caters to working families, and looking to expand horizontally to a school for children who learn through multiple intelligence right up until Year 6.” There

Zahra Hamirani, founder and director of The Blossom Nursery.

is also the Make Our Dreams Come True campaign to teach children that attaining dreams requires a process. “Our motto is Believe. Achieve. Become. and we live by this daily. The campaign scales back: ‘I can be the fastest person in the world’ to something that is achievable and workable in small successes thereby finding the pathway to make these dreams a reality.



Timberwolf: Leading the pack Wolfgang Douglas, CEO and Operations Director of Timberwolf LLC, said “It’s not that we stay ahead of the competition. There are no companies in my field like us.” fied, specialist services. Douglas asserted, “Timberwolf is ahead because we are diverse. We have evolved into a timber specialist that has a presence and is active everywhere in the Gulf States. However, there is no doubt that the pearl of the Gulf is Dubai. It is 30 years ahead. A company like this would not exist in the UK either because, just like Dubai, Timberwolf is unique. We’ve streamlined our business to suit this market, so if I was to describe this company with three simple words, it would be diverse, bespoke, and custom.” Internal growth through internal investment

Wolfgang Douglas, CEO and Operations Director of Timberwolf LLC.


ny individual who has taken a stroll around popular, tourist areas in Dubai (and the Gulf States) has witnessed the brilliant, custom work of Timberwolf. This 4th generation internal wood-flooring and external decking specialist locally manufactures in Dubai as well as internationally trades with custom-designed, flooring products. They have worked on countless one-of-a-kind, landmark projects: Burj Khalifa, Atlantis Hotel, Emirates Terminal 3 Dubai Airport, DIFC and Meydan Hotel & Racecourse as well as many of the most internationally recognized branded retail stores such as Juicy Couture, Timberland, Sun & Sands Sports - Nike stores, Galleries Lafayette, Marina Homes, Mudo City and Bloomingdales.

that started the UK-based establishment in 1927, brought both manufacturing and distribution facilities to the UAE in 2007 under the locally branded Timberwolf LLC. The rapidly-growing construction industry does not concern Mr. Douglas: “It’s not that we stay ahead of the competition. There are no other companies in my field like us. This is because I custom manufacture. I don’t offer products. I ask a question: ‘what do you want?’ They tell us what they are looking for, and we produce it. When a client comes to me, within the realm of timber, it is for the projects that other companies cannot do. Timberwolf has taken on projects of such scale that have never been done before worldwide. It is pioneer work.” He said.

Diverse, bespoke, custom

This company’s dominance of the customtailored timber market, according to Wolfgang Douglas, is the result of diversi-

Wolfgang Douglas, of the Douglas family


This customized business model has led to eight, solid years of growth with no instances of horizontal price movement (i.e. sideways trading). “We are constantly growing, but growth isn’t just in external numbers because that is not organic and it is not healthy. Growth is being able to offer specialist services that were never available before.” But to Mr. Douglas, it is an investment in human resources to acquire global talents that is essential to success: “We employ people from all over the world: United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Argentina, Slovakia, Portugal, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain and many more. When a client meets with Timberwolf, they’re meeting an international group of seasoned experts: Architects from Argentina because they have been the best timber specialists in their field. I pay top dollar because I am working on the best jobs.” The future of Timberwolf is easy for Wolfgang Douglas to predict. “Last year, Timberwolf made record-breaking business. In 2016, with the specialist-landmark projects that we are undertaking around the region, we expect the turnover to be 250 million dirhams. This steady growth is because we are streamlined, compact, and recession proof.” Wolfgang Douglas and his wolves are here to stay and will continue to provide custom-tailored timber for the most luxurious projects in the Gulf.


Managed care: A potential game changer At a time when everyone is looking at containing their costs, giving ultimate control to the employer to put the breaks on the expenditure is a welcomed approach, says Mark Adams, CEO, Anglo Arabian Healthcare.


he move towards investing in high value-adding sectors appears to be paying dividends for some healthcare providers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With a portfolio approaching 40 healthcare assets located across the UAE, Anglo Arabian Healthcare (AAH) has successfully navigated an innovative growth strategy to become one of the most clinically respected healthcare providers in the UAE. The expansion of AAH healthcare assets to include a partnership with the renowned Health Bay Polyclinic group in Dubai and the opening of Amina Hospital in Ajman made 2015 another exciting year for the healthcare management group. But it is AAH’s new Zenith Health & Wellness Managed Care programme that truly differentiates it from the 2,500 other providers in the market as a potential game changer. A Responsible Ecosystem With more than 35 years experience in healthcare management, AAH Founder and CEO Mark Adams understands, from both the payer and provider perspective, what is required to establish a healthcare business that ensures efficient and effective services to everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances. “AAH was established at the end of 2011 with the aim of building a business that was designed to be future proof,” explains Adams. “The idea was to create a corporate social responsibility ecosystem that looks after everyone without compromising on quality of care.” Today, the total insured market in the UAE is about 5 million people and, with 45 insurance health companies fighting for a market share, most of them are loosing 20–50% on every policy they sell. Especially in the Northern Emirates, where none of the insurance providers have any real scale, purchasing power is being aggregated with 3rd party administrators.

As Adams’ explains, “With the market rolling out mandatory health insurance, it means that healthcare losses could actually grow. Insurance providers in the UAE will be forced take strong action with healthcare providers to consolidate the market forces over the next five years.” Checks & Balances With this in mind, AAH began a strategic partnership with Willis Towers Watson, a leading international advisory, broking and solutions firms, to develop the Zenith Health & Wellness Managed Care programme which is built on an operating model that provides good care to patients while adopting checks and balances to control the baseline spend in order to cope with 5–10% annual rate of global medical inflation. “Typically, we would look at a clients’ historic claims spend and work as a gatekeeper to reduce unnecessary consultations and to get the best price in the market for diagnostics,” says Adams. “There is also the potential to save up to 50% on drug costs by using generic vs. branded pharmaceuticals.” The Zenith programme is designed to give ultimate control to the employer to put the breaks on the expenditure. “This is this kind of fresh thinking that the whole market will follow if you are seen to be truly driving a fair level of healthcare,” notes Adams. A Happy and Healthy Life In line with the Dubai Plan 2021 for early intervention and screening, the Zenith programme also tackles Health & Wellness and Occupational Health by encouraging corporates to establish a more long-term relationship with insurers and to map out a Health & Wellness plans for their employees. “If you can have a tripartite strategy that involves rigorous cost control, employee education, and the provision of a good

Mark Adams, CEO of Anglo Arabian Healthcare.

physical working environment, then that is your holy grail in terms of creating something that works,” Adams says. At at a time when everyone is looking at containing their costs, the Zenith programme offers many exciting benefits. “If adopting these strategies means an potential 25% overall reduction in claims costs for corporations, then re-investing 5% into educating their employees on preventative healthcare means that they are still actually saving while educating patients to live longer lives,” adds Adams.



Sustainable infrastructure & energy solutions OAK is driven towards enhanced business performance and productivity for its clients through delivering innovative solutions and technologies.

Gareth Brown, CEO of OAK Utility Solutions & Development WLL. |


EO Report caught up with Gareth Brown, CEO of OAK Utility Solutions & Development WLL, a diverse Bahrain-based company that has established itself as a leader in the Oil & Gas and Renewable Energy industry in providing sustainable infrastructure improvement and clean-tech revenue generating asset-based solutions. At the helm of OAK from its inception six years ago, Brown has been instrumental in establishing a multinational company with a bright future and a growing multimillion-dollar turnover. Fast Track Concepts As a solutions provider and a think-tank, OAK sees the challenging market conditions as an invitation to be creative. Providing governments with clean-tech sustainable utilities such as converting Waste-to-Energy means OAK can produce efficient and cost effective electricity for direct government off-take, requiring zero


capital expenditure from the respective government. “We raise capital from private equity investors and leverage credit lines from lenders with further participation from environmental donor funds,” Brown explains. “Our Waste-to-Energy applications are modularized and this fast track concept has immediate impact as we provide non-dispatchable power that, in most cases, contributes to the reduction of a government’s subsidy deficit, as well as stimulating private sector growth.” With market intelligence suggesting US$640 billion of future investments across the West-East corridor, OAK is well positioned to provide secure investment opportunities through its Waste-to-Energy assignments and by developing sustainable clean-energy projects. Dynamic Solutions The primary aim from the outset was to shape OAK as a diverse company not reliant on one particular market or industry by building a strong team with contrasting skills and a knowledge base that could grow together. Brown identified a gap in the market for a dynamic solutions provider that could engineer as well as commercialize build-own-operate opportunities. OAK has an inherent Project Management capability which consolidates their ability to deliver projects on-time and within budget, driving each business unit and ensuring the smooth delivery of each assignment. “We are a dynamic company and we pursue grass-root opportunities where we know we can add value with our technologies and where we know our solution offerings will be well received by the end-user,” says Brown. Niche Technology OAK has won international accolades for its technology solutions. According to Brown,

the key here is being able to add value to the end-users’ business by providing niche products and services that are generally not capital intensive, and they are designed to reduce the client’s CAPEX and OPEX. “As engineers, we can identify with the challenges that our clients experience and we can subsequently engineer solutions that will positively impact our clients operations.” For example, XHAB™, a novel technology that was developed by Pipestream, a Shell Technology Venture Fund, rehabilitates up to 1.0km per day of pipelines by adding layers of Steel to the pipeline. OAK provides this solution whilst the pipeline is operating and performs this solution at a fraction of the cost of replacement. “With a low oil price index, this serves as a perfect capital-saving solution for Oil & Gas Majors. We also use a composite system manufactured by Armor Plate®, a proven US technology used as a spot-repair for damaged or corroded pipelines,” he says. Vision for Growth Subscribing to the Bahrain 2030 economic vision for private sector growth, OAK aims to make the Kingdom of Bahrain a net exporter of Thermal Waste Processing (Waste-to-Energy) engineering solutions through the launch of the “Bahrain Energy Centre of Excellence”. Outside the GCC, OAK has developed business in the CIS and Turkey and has commercialised project finance Waste-to-Energy solutions along with the Green Climate Fund (GCF). According to Brown, “We aim to continue to grow our income from the ownership of revenue generating assets that produce efficient, clean electricity. This will be the bedrock of our future as nations look towards renewable sources of energy production.”

ADPC, Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Legnano Teknoelectric Company Middle East, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co. (SATORP), Saudi Arabia

LIFTING EXPECTATIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST Advanced Pipes and Casts Co. W.L.L., Doha, Qatar

Building on over 20 years’ of experience in the Middle East, we continue to expand our products and services for the region. With regional offices in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai & Abu Dhabi) and in Saudi Arabia (Jubail, Jeddah, Riyadh and Yanbu) we provide extensive coverage and after sales support throughout the Middle East for Industrial Cranes, Port Cranes and Lift Trucks. Having worked in close cooperation with major local and global EPC companies for many years, we have gained the knowledge and the experience to manage complex projects for a variety of industries.

Konecranes Middle East FZE Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel. (Head office) +971 4 815 6800 Tel. (Parts DC) +971 4 881 5581

Saudi Cranes & Steel Works Factory Ltd Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Tel. (Jubail) +966 13 341 0030 Tel. (Riyadh) +966 11 462 9109 Tel. (Jeddah) +966 12 261 0983

Crane Industrial Services A joint venture of Konecranes Group Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel. (Dubai) +971 4 335 4909 Tel. (Abu Dhabi) +971 2 551 1606

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CEO Report  

Insights from the business leaders of the Middle East. Official Gulf News Sponsored Supplement.

CEO Report  

Insights from the business leaders of the Middle East. Official Gulf News Sponsored Supplement.