|Q&A with Amr Ben Halim, founder and board member of AYTB|
We see strong demand across our full range of services. The industrial sector continues to grow with major new investments in the refining, petrochemicals and minerals sectors.
These investments will offer us opportunities in the construction, fabrication and manufacturing sectors. There is also increasing demand for skid-mounted solutions and we are well positioned for this with our facilities, resources and teams in Jubail and Yanbu.
In addition, we see strong demand from existing industries for more intensive services to upgrade older plants, some of which have now been in production for a few decades. These plants require a major revamp – upgrades and improvements to remain competitive. Again, we are well positioned with our trained teams of craftsmen, who have extensive experience working in operating plants.
Our joint venture with the US’s KBR is seeing excellent growth in demand for higher-value total maintenance solutions.
What impact has Vision 2030 had on Saudi Arabia’s industrial sector?
Vision 2030 and the National Industrial Development and Logistics Programme will provide a huge boost to industry, with greater emphasis on industrial projects in energy, oil and gas, mining, renewables, pharmaceuticals and other industries.
Special economic zones, less bureaucracy and more government support will lead to faster, more sustainable development.
How important to your long-term strategy is creating jobs for local Saudis?
This is key to our long-term growth. We already employ more than 725 Saudis, of whom 35 are women. Our training programmes have trained hundreds of young Saudis over the years in a variety of technical skills, and will continue to do so.
What are the key opportunities and challenges for your business in 2019?
We have developed strong relationships with major industrial companies including Saudi Aramco, Sabic, Maaden, Sipchem and Sadara, and also with major engineering, procurement and construction contractors. Our clients value our work and we will continue to work with them as partners.
Our biggest challenge is meeting increased expectations in terms of responsiveness, efficiency and competitiveness – areas we see as opportunities to further improve ourselves.