Bab Rizq Jameel creates record job opportunities in 2013

Bab Rizq Jameel creates record job opportunities in 2013
Updated 22 January 2014

Bab Rizq Jameel creates record job opportunities in 2013

Bab Rizq Jameel creates record job opportunities in 2013

Bab Rizq Jameel (BRJ) Saudi Arabia, an initiative of ALJ Community Initiatives (ALJCI), generated 68,139 job opportunities in the Kingdom during 2013.
The number is yet to be independently verified by external auditors. 
This number was achieved in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour represented by the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), the Ministry of Social Affairs represented by the Social Charity Fund, the Saudi Credit and Savings Bank, National Commercial Bank (NCB) and other Governmental authorities.
The opportunities were created throughout the Kingdom via BRJ’s diverse job creation programs.
Reviewing BRJ’s 2013 results, Abdulrahman Al-Fehaid, executive director of BRJ Saudi Arabia, said BRJ has created 28,774 job opportunities during 2013 through its direct employment program Kingdom-wide, more specifically 16,577 for men and 12,197 for women.
This program matches job seekers and available positions in private sector companies, and hosts a database on BRJ’s website of qualified job seekers and participating companies.
Positions in high demand included customer service, sales supervisor, production worker, security guarding, accounting, sales representative, as well as technicians and other professions. Companies, which cooperated with BRJ during 2013, included Al Hukair, Kamal Jamjoom Co., Al-Shaia International, Buba Insurance, Jumaira Baskin Robins, Riyadah Co. Zain Project, Essam Qabani Co., Codu, Eastern Supplies Co., Al Marai, Crystal Factory, Al Rajhi Food Processing Factory, Al-Baik, Shami Factory, Soap Factory, Al Siraye Co., Nask, as well as several other companies.
The vacancies are only made available to job seekers after obtaining an official statement from the employers as per their validity.
According to Rola Basamad, general manager of the Female Employment Center in BRJ, the center has created 12,197 job opportunities within a large number of companies.
She said more women are approaching BRJ every day to be interviewed and apply for jobs.
The “Working from Distance” program created 3,399 job opportunities for women.
This is a new BRJ program, which lets women work without the need to go to the workplace, meeting the needs of their family environment, opening up new fields of employment, thus creates more job opportunities to satisfy demand.
The program offers several positions, such as in telesales and marketing, telemarketing, call centers, customer service, as well as other jobs.
The program was well received by candidates, as it provides jobs suitable to all ages, and saves the employee transportation costs, and leverages their time and energy.
University students and fresh graduates welcomed the program and several educational institutions supported the idea, such as the Girls Technical Colleges, Prince Salman Community Center, as well as several national training institutes.
Among the companies cooperating with the program are Avon Makeup, Beauty for Eve Factory, Delta, Mobily, Initial Red Impact and Unilever.
The goal to have more women working in factories has been another achievement this year, with a rise in positions dedicated to females including quality controllers, storekeepers, production workers, production line supervisors, machine operators and shift supervisors.
In addition, women are employed in factories in positions as female division directors, HR coordinators, coaches, security and safety supervisors and factory lab technicians
Yousuf Jastanya, BRJ general manager of the Riyadh area, said BRJ has created 29,625 job opportunities during 2013 through the productive household program.
Nora Aseeri, BRJ Female Division Manager in Riyadh explained that the program is based on a microfinance concept, which provides interest-free loans starting at SR 3,000 granted to a group of three to five women.
The program empowers the group members to start their own micro projects, such as in selling accessories, perfumes, perfume mixtures, wedding accessories, gift-wrapping, photography, tailoring and embroidery and other fields, which are mostly set up at home.
Nora said that by the end of 2013, the loan collection ratio reached 96 percent.
Through this program, BRJ facilitated the creation of 7,321 projects in the Western Province, 6,598 in Eastern Province, 5,823 in the Southern Province, 5,603 in the Northern Province and the Central Province with 4,280 projects.
According to Ahmed Muqalam, BRJ general manager of Madina, Yanbu, Tabuk, Hail and Al Ghazala, the small projects finance program created 2,812 job opportunities during 2013.
The program financed 568 small projects run by men and 2,244 by women.
The program provides young men and women, who have creative ideas but lack the financial resources, with interest-free loans of up to SR 200,000 to implement new or expand existing projects.
Muqalam said BRJ branches in the Western Province supported the creation of 781 small projects during 2013, followed by the 677 in the Central Province, Northern Province (514), Eastern Province (495) and Southern Province (345).
Ahmed Al-Zahrani, BRJ Manager in the Eastern Province announced that the training resulting in employment program created 2,145 job opportunities throughout the Kingdom during 2013, of which 698 were for men and 1,447 for women.
In this program, young men and women receive training to sharpen their skills in areas required by the labor market.
All training courses organized through this program result in positions within the private sector.
Training courses conducted during 2013 included mechanical, electrical and welding engineering.
Companies, which cooperated with the program, included Toyota, Hilton Hotels, Mabco Co., Morsal Village, as well as various other companies.
According to Tariq Maghfouri, BRJ manager in the Southern Province (Assir, Jazan, Bah and Qunfuda), the taxi ownership program created 579 job opportunities during 2013. In this program, young Saudi men own their vehicles after paying them off in instalments, and work as taxi drivers.
Ahmed Bashnaini, manager of the truck ownership program, said that during the same year, 462 young men benefited from this program which allows young Saudi men to own trucks, also after paying them off, using them to transport goods, vegetables, equipment and passengers.
As part of the BRJ activities and programs, the Nafisa Shams Academy for Arts and Crafts provided training for 2,070 female trainees during 2013 in different fields.
Jawaher Al-Zahrani, general manager of Nafisa Shams Academy for Arts and Crafts, stated that the academy organized diverse training courses, based on the requirements of the labor market.
The academy organized courses in tailoring, fashion design, cooking, photography, carpet production and secretarial work.
Other job opportunities were created for 343 women through the ‘Working from Home’ program, which is also supervised by the Nafisa Shams Academy for Arts and Crafts. Beneficiaries of this program produced around 95,101 prayer rugs sold to Toyota, Lexus and other public and private organizations.
Al-Fehaid said the employment opportunities generated aren’t necessarily the typical monthly-paid positions, but could be a long-term job, as much as a fixed compensation job, part-time work, be a business, such as a small project, self-employment, such as a taxi owner, or a sales person with commission, or any other available opportunity that could generate a sufficient and stable income for the beneficiary.
“At BRJ, we are seeking to create job opportunities for Saudis in cooperation with several Governmental bodies, such as the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), Saudi Credit and Savings Bank, Ministry of Labour’s offices, Social Charity Fund, Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), Chambers of Commerce and Industry, as well as other public organizations which support our programs,” Al-Fehaid added.
“We at BRJ constantly develop our procedures to be as flexible as possible to ensure we can create the maximum number of job opportunities for young Saudi men and women through our 24 branches in the Kingdom. The branches are staffed with our team of 478 job creators, of which 251 are dedicated to our male, and 227 to our female, job seekers. By the end of 2013, the number of men and women who benefited from our existing loans reached 40,118. The total of loans granted in 2013 has reached SR 438,669,913, while the total of loans granted between 2003 and 2013 came to SR 1,655,972,997,” Al Fehaid added.
The 68,139 job opportunities created during 2013, represents a record of positions created in one year, since BRJ’s inception in 2003. With this record, the total number of job opportunities created since BRJ Saudi Arabia came into being, has jumped to 334,688 in the Kingdom.
BRJ is planning to create another 75,000 job opportunities during 2014.
An independent auditor has been assigned to verify and approve results on a quarterly basis.


Global stocks, US yields recoup some losses

Global stocks, US yields recoup some losses
Updated 22 June 2021

Global stocks, US yields recoup some losses

Global stocks, US yields recoup some losses
  • Investors still digesting last week’s surprise hawkish shift by the US Federal Reserve

WASHINGTON: US stocks were higher on Monday and global stocks advanced in choppy trade after hitting a four-week low earlier in the session, with investors still digesting last week’s surprise hawkish shift by the US Federal Reserve.

The US dollar retreated from Friday’s 10-week high. Yields on 10-year Treasuries turned higher after sliding overnight to a four-month low of 1.354 percent. But the benchmark note was still trading well below its recent mid-point range of about 1.6 percent after traders reacted to Federal Reserve expectations for a rate hike.

Shares of banks, energy firms and other companies that tend to be sensitive to the economy’s fluctuations were higher, recovering some losses after have fallen sharply since the Fed’s meeting on Wednesday, when the central bank caught investors off guard by anticipating two quarter-percentage-point rate increases in 2023.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.45 percent, the S&P 500 gained 1 percent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.2 percent.

“Bulls are attempting to regroup this morning after last Friday’s plunge,” Paul Hickey of Bespoke Investment Group said in a market note.

Stocks in Asia took their cue from Wall Street’s falls on Friday but European shares bucked the trend, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index up 0.6 percent.

“The situation in reality is actually pretty good — the Fed is stabilizing inflation,” said Sebastien Galy, senior macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management in Luxembourg. “Cyclical sectors may have overshot the market in the short term and so you may have a bit of pressure on the sector.”

Galy noted the “interesting part” of the correction was that it lagged as traders digested the news.

MSCI’s All Country World Index, which tracks shares across 49 countries, was up 0.5 percent after hitting its lowest since May 24.

Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei led declines with an over 3 percent drop and dipped below 28,000 for the first time in a month, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.2 percent.

The US dollar index was down 0.4 percent, off Friday’s 10-week high of 92.408, following its biggest weekly advance in more than a year.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard further fueled the sell-off on Friday by saying the shift toward faster policy tightening was a “natural” response to economic growth and particularly inflation moving quicker than anticipated as the country reopens from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We believe there is a limit to how much more hawkish the Fed can be given its inflation projections relative to the catch-up rates range,” BlackRock analysts said in a note.

“Our bottom line: We believe the Fed’s new outlook will not translate into significantly higher policy rates any time soon.”

Several Fed officials have speaking duties this week, including Chair Jerome Powell, who testifies before Congress on Tuesday. 

The euro was up 0.46 percent to $1.1915. Sterling recovered some ground, to trade 0.9 percent higher after sliding to its lowest since April 16.

Commodity-linked currencies have also suffered, with the Australian dollar hovering above a six-month low at $0.7495.

A stronger greenback has pressured cryptocurrencies, too, with Bitcoin falling 7.7 percent, while smaller rival Ether lost 11 percent.

In commodities, gold rebounded 1.0 percent to $1,781.41 an ounce on Monday, looking to snap a six-day losing streak, but remained near the lowest since early May.

Copper continued to fall on Monday, hitting its lowest level since mid-April after moves by China to rein in commodities price rallies and signals from the US Federal Reserve it will tighten monetary policy sooner than expected. 

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.8 percent at $9,070 a ton in official trading, after touching $9,011.

Crude oil rose, underpinned by strong demand during the summer driving season and a pause in talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal that could indicate a delay in resumption of supplies from the OPEC producer. Brent crude futures rose to $74.48 a barrel, up 1.32 percent on the day, as Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 1.9 percent to $73.


Startup of the Week: The Graze Board; Bringing together foods of every color and flavor

Startup of the Week: The Graze Board; Bringing together foods of every color and flavor
Updated 22 June 2021

Startup of the Week: The Graze Board; Bringing together foods of every color and flavor

Startup of the Week: The Graze Board; Bringing together foods of every color and flavor

JEDDAH: The Graze Board, established in 2019, is the first company in Jeddah offering cheese platters and charcuterie boards, presenting fresh, top-quality food in an artistic way.

It was founded by Heba Abed and her 15-year-old daughter Joory Khudary. Abed describes the family business as a “luxury catering brand.”

She said: “All employees of The Graze Board are either family or close friends. We keep the circle small so that we keep the secrets of The Graze Board a mystery.” The offerings are a combination of savory and sweet, with cheese, bread, vegetables and fruits. The boards look like a multi-color palette, with a variety of vibrant foods.

The business started with a tradition where Abed’s family members would gather together each week and bring cheese boards to share.

“We discussed that we should start it as a business. The Graze Board believes that family and friends cherish the moment they spend together eating meals in the dining room,” Abed said.

The family puts love and effort into each board, she said: “We choose the finest kinds of cheese, for instance. We also use the freshest bread we can find. The Graze Board creates a unique art piece from simple ingredients in each board.”

Many of the The Graze Board’s clients are repeat customers, too. “We have gained many loyal customers,” Abed said.

But the business did face some initial challenges, as the idea of cheese platters was fresh to the Kingdom and not many people understood the concept at first. “The biggest challenge was how to convince and attract customers to see, try, love and re-order our boards,” Abed added.

The Graze Board operates as a delivery service to clients, but Abed said that the company has ambitious plans to open a physical branch and spread across the Kingdom.


Wa’ed boosts investment in digital mapping startup

Wa’ed boosts investment in digital mapping startup
Updated 21 June 2021

Wa’ed boosts investment in digital mapping startup

Wa’ed boosts investment in digital mapping startup
  • Online applications for all Saudi-based entrepreneurs opened on Wednesday last week

RIYADH: Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco, has boosted its investment in a digital mapping and indoor navigation startup in a bid to help it expand globally.

Alkhobar-based NearMotion provides mobile navigation tools for airports, hospitals, shopping malls, museums, theme parks and event stadiums, allowing users to get real-time information and services. This will be Wa’ed’s second investment in the company, having previously backed it in 2016.

Some of the startup’s clients include Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare in Dhahran, Dallah Hospital in Riyadh and MediClinic Middle East in Dubai.

The company also won a SR1.2 million ($320,000) contract for digital mapping services at the Saudi Ministry of Education’s 200,000 square-meter headquarters in Riyadh.

“We initially invested in NearMotion because its technology was unique and game-changing, and its success in the [Gulf Cooperation Council] has shown this,” Wassim Basrawi, managing director of Wa’ed, said in a statement. “With this second investment, we aim to help globalize this exciting Saudi success story.”

Wa’ed was established by Saudi Aramco in 2011 to offer loan financing activities to entrepreneurs, while its Wa’ed Ventures venture capital arm oversees a $200 million investment fund and a portfolio of more than 30 Saudi-based companies.

Wa’ed last week launched its first roadshow event to unearth and fund the next generation of Saudi entrepreneurs. With up to SR100 million at its disposal, Wa’ed is planning to hand out loans and venture capital investments to commercially feasible ventures that would fill existing gaps in the Kingdom’s economy.

The roadshow will visit Jubail, Yanbu, Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah. Online applications for all Saudi-based entrepreneurs opened on Wednesday last week.

“Seventy out of over 100 startups we supported were the first of their kind and received their first-ever investment from us, and this is what we are targeting now: Distinguished and not yet supported startups and ideas,” Basrawi said.


Saudi Ports appoints Omar Hariri as CEO

The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) board of directors has appointed Omar bin Talal Hariri as CEO. (SPA/File Photo)
The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) board of directors has appointed Omar bin Talal Hariri as CEO. (SPA/File Photo)
Updated 21 June 2021

Saudi Ports appoints Omar Hariri as CEO

The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) board of directors has appointed Omar bin Talal Hariri as CEO. (SPA/File Photo)
  • Hariri was Saudi Airlines Cargo and the Saudi Logistics Company “SAL” CEO, since 2018

RIYADH: The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) board of directors has appointed Omar bin Talal Hariri as CEO, effective early July 2021.

This appointment culminates 18 years of experience, which he started in 2004, as the new CEO proved his competency through the number of leadership positions he held in the transport and logistics sectors, Mawani said in a filing today, Monday.

Prior to this, Hariri was Saudi Airlines Cargo and the Saudi Logistics Company “SAL” CEO, since 2018. He led the two companies towards transformation by developing infrastructure, introducing the latest digital programs, modernizing systems and raising the Saudization rates to 95 percent, among other changes.

He also worked on developing and implementing the group's strategy in line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030.

Hariri held the position of CEO in several companies.

He is also a member of boards of directors and committees, in the International Air Transport Association Consulting (IATA Consulting), the Logistics Committee of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, and others.

He also chairs the Board of Directors of the SkyTeam Cargo Alliance.


Apartment living, e-commerce centers the key trends as Saudi real estate rebounds from 2020

Skyscrapers stand in the King Abdullah financial district in Riyadh. (Getty Images/File Photo)
Skyscrapers stand in the King Abdullah financial district in Riyadh. (Getty Images/File Photo)
Updated 21 June 2021

Apartment living, e-commerce centers the key trends as Saudi real estate rebounds from 2020

Skyscrapers stand in the King Abdullah financial district in Riyadh. (Getty Images/File Photo)
  • CBRE report believed physical offices are here to stay, will get boost from Riyadh Strategy 2030 HQ announcement

RIYADH: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Saudi property market in many ways, with a number of trends emerging, such as a focus on apartment living, the growth of e-commerce impacting the warehouse and retail sector and the reopening of international movement spurring a rebound in the hospitality sector.

In its new report, real estate consultancy firm CBRE observed that in the residential sector there has been “increased demand witnessed across major markets for smaller residential typologies, with increased focus on community living environment. Developers are responding by introducing a greater proportion of apartments and townhouses within their mega projects.”

As part of its Vision 2030 program, the government is aiming to increase homeownership in the Kingdom to 70 percent, up from about 47 percent in 2017. One of the ways it is doing this is through the launch of Roshn, which is owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF). Roshn is planning to start off-plan sales at its flagship project in Riyadh later this year, with the handover of the first homes to tenants likely in early 2022.

“Our communities are entirely inclusive, with homes to suit all tastes and budgets. Our aim is to provide a modern, aspirational living experience while giving residents the freedom to interpret what this means to them in their own unique way. Our communities have been designed to inspire a strong sense of neighborly spirit and genuine connection between residents,” Roshn’s Group CEO David Grover told Arab News.

CBRE said that millennials were emerging as a key consumer class for residential units and demand is high for “digitally enabled homes.”

Within the office sector, the report believed that the recent announcement of the Riyadh Strategy 2030, which aims to attract hundreds of companies to set up their headquarters in the Saudi capital, will benefit developers building office space. While the pandemic saw workers staying at home, CBRE believed that “physical offices are here to stay” but developers may need to move away from traditional models and offer more flexible spaces to accommodate hybrid working plans.

Within the retail sector, the surge in e-commerce in 2020 has led to the development of more fulfilment sectors, warehouses and collection points. “Rapid growth of online shopping is likely to result in more omni-channel retail, however, preserving the ‘physical experience’ will be a critical component of these omnichannel strategies, particularly in the KSA,” the CBRE report observed.

This was echoed by Ahmad BinDawood, CEO of BinDawood Holding, one of the Kingdom’s biggest supermarket operators, who told Arab News in May that while the company had seen a spike in online sales, he believed consumers still prefer to come to the stores to buy their produce.

“The primary way that the customer prefers to shop is actually visiting the stores, not through online. Online shopping is still going to be good for the future but so far we see that the customer prefers to shop in stores to have that experiential element when they come,” he said.

However, other retailers are adopting a more hybrid model. Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim operates 21 Carrefour stores across nine Saudi cities and is aiming to double its store network by 2025. It saw online sales in the Kingdom rise by 285 percent last year, therefore, alongside the store network expansion, it is also adding fulfilment centers and boosting door-to-door delivery.

Hani Weiss, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Retail, told Arab News: “This included opening a large online fulfilment center in Riyadh and activating nine of our customer stores to also fulfil online orders. The opening of our automated fulfilment center in Jeddah is the latest in Majid Al Futtaim’s digital transformation of its Carrefour operations.”

The 9,000 square meter center in Riyadh is Majid Al Futtaim’s largest for its online Carrefour business and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, handling up to 5,000 orders a day.

Within the hotel sector, CBRE believed the recovery may take more time as borders only reopened on May 17. While there was little impact on the guest experience, CBRE believed that hoteliers did have to reduce costs and salaries, but these were coming back. Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, president of Hilton Middle East, Africa and Turkey, told Arab News that while the company is aiming to increase its presence in the Kingdom from 15 properties to 56 by 2025, the last year was tough. The company postponed some investment deals to preserve cash and it did make some layoffs, but it is now back rehiring staff at an accelerated rate.