91.5% Saudization achieved in SEC

91.5% Saudization achieved in SEC
SEC is one of the leading companies attracting local talents in the Kingdom.
Updated 14 November 2017

91.5% Saudization achieved in SEC

91.5% Saudization achieved in SEC

The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has achieved 91.5 percent nationalization of its staff due to the success of its policy of training and developing the skills of Saudis who have replaced expatriate workers in the past few years, according to Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Obayed, senior vice president of human resources at SEC.
Al-Obayed said over 23,000 Saudi engineers and technicians are currently handling operation, management and maintenance of the SEC’s electric system.
“The policy of nationalization of different technical and administrative jobs is progressing at an accelerated pace in all sectors, thanks to the efficiency of young national talents and the role played by the company’s training institutes and centers. These institutes and centers seek to upgrade the skills of many national cadres annually and at the beginning of 2017 they have successfully boosted nationalization rates to a record level at generation plants and technical jobs in different specialties of the power industry in the Kingdom,” he added.
Al-Obayed attributed the high rate of nationalization to SEC’s strategy of attracting technical and administrative competencies through leaders and talent management programs. He said SEC is one of the leading companies attracting local talents in the Kingdom through its adoption of a number of financial incentives and creative programs for outstanding performers.
“We are aiming at more than nationalizing all jobs at a record level by depending on the national cadres to implement the Kingdom’s strategy of nationalizing the electric industries. These cadres are our only means of transforming the Kingdom into a promising regional center for electric industries. The government aims to provide additional electric jobs for Saudi youth in order to support the national economy and achieve self-sufficiency in equipment and materials, in addition to exporting them to the neighboring countries in line with Vision 2030 and its objectives to diversify the sources of national economy,” he added.
The SEC CEO said Saudis have been trained in international companies and factories as well as specialized institutes in the US and Europe. “We have signed agreements with China, Japan and South Korea to train the national cadres and transfer advanced technologies into the Kingdom,” he added.


Masdar City drives global green recovery from COVID-19

Masdar City drives global green recovery from COVID-19
Updated 16 June 2021

Masdar City drives global green recovery from COVID-19

Masdar City drives global green recovery from COVID-19

Masdar City, the sustainable urban development in Abu Dhabi, is set to play a key role in the global green recovery from COVID-19 as it continues to add sustainability-focused innovation and technology companies. The number of companies in the city’s free zone increased 26 percent in 2020, indicating the important role of the city and its offerings to innovation-led companies, including G42 Healthcare, whose laboratories and testing centers were central to the UAE’s pandemic response. 

The figures emphasize the essential need for innovation in progressing the green transition through the development and commercialization of new technologies. Masdar City is Abu Dhabi’s only planned and approved research and development (R&D) cluster and is now home to more than 900 companies, ranging from multinationals and SMEs, to homegrown startups. These companies are developing ground-breaking technological solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges, across the key sectors of energy, water, artificial intelligence, health, space, agriculture and mobility. 

“The UAE leadership has made a longstanding commitment to progressive climate action and recognizes the integral part that innovation plays in advancing the global green recovery,” said Abdulla Balalaa, executive director, Masdar City. “The COVID-19 pandemic has further underlined the links between public health and climate change. Now more than ever, we see the critical importance of the green recovery. It is the only way forward to drive sustainable development, and facilitating innovation in key sectors is a fundamental aspect of this journey, one that we are helping to lead at Masdar City.

“The UAE also has in place a National Strategy for Advanced Innovation which is focused on devising innovative solutions in the health, transportation, water, environment and space technology sectors. This vision is at the heart of Masdar and the reason that Masdar City was developed as a ‘greenprint’ of sustainable urban living and a center for R&D, innovation and technology. The work being done by companies in Masdar City to develop transformative technologies, is not only preparing for the future, but is creating it, while simultaneously supporting the UAE’s goals of driving sustainable and positive change,” Balalaa added.

Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Masdar City has continued to welcome new partners, including high-tech sector drivers, the Advanced Technology Research Council, which shapes the R&D strategy in Abu Dhabi, alongside its pillar entities, the Technology Innovation Institute and ASPIRE, and will continue to welcome regional and global partners in the coming months. 

Masdar recently marked its 15-year anniversary with its “For A Sustainable Future” brand campaign, which is focusing on real-world examples of how Masdar City is driving innovation in the region.


King Abdullah Port achieves new record in breakbulk cargo

King Abdullah Port achieves new record in breakbulk cargo
Updated 16 June 2021

King Abdullah Port achieves new record in breakbulk cargo

King Abdullah Port achieves new record in breakbulk cargo

King Abdullah Port achieved a new record for the monthly volume of breakbulk cargo, by handling more than 600,000 tons. The accomplishment demonstrates the port’s outstanding capacity and efficiency in cargo handling as well as the role it plays in facilitating the smooth flow of trade in the Kingdom and the region, besides its contributions to the growth of the logistics sector.

Commenting on the increase in breakbulk cargo handling, Jay New, CEO of King Abdullah Port, said: “King Abdullah Port’s new record demonstrates its growing significance as a major hub for global trade through the advanced infrastructure and efficient operations. This accomplishment is the result of the team’s efforts to continuously raise the efficiency of our operations and the capabilities of the Kingdom’s logistics sector, by expanding port services in support of Vision 2030 objectives which aim to increase the global competitiveness of the Kingdom’s logistics sector while increasing the percentage of non-oil exports to support the diversification of the national economy.”

The new feat that consists of cement-related, agricultural and steel materials, follows King Abdullah Port’s strong performance in 2020 despite the challenges of the global pandemic, when it recorded a 12.4 percent growth of the bulk and general cargo segment. The port also played a key role in facilitating the flow of various goods to the Kingdom’s vital economic sectors during the pandemic period, thanks to its enhanced operational efficiency, innovative digital initiatives, realigned working practices, and proactive health and safety protocols.

Owned by the Ports Development Company, King Abdullah Port is the region’s first port to be owned, developed, and operated by the private sector. Ranked as the world’s second most efficient port by the World Bank in 2020, the port emerged as one of the world’s top 100 ports within four years of operation. With its strategic location in King Abdullah Economic City — a modern city with a pro-business ecosystem and infrastructure — King Abdullah Port leverages the city’s advanced facilities and services, particularly the Industrial Valley, which has attracted many logistics projects as well as light and medium industries.


KPMG study: Pandemic-led governments to focus on people-centric policies

KPMG study: Pandemic-led governments to focus on people-centric policies
Updated 16 June 2021

KPMG study: Pandemic-led governments to focus on people-centric policies

KPMG study: Pandemic-led governments to focus on people-centric policies

“Modernizing Government,” KPMG’s latest report on global trends in public administrations, presents insights from a study into evolving modus operandi in governments of eight major economies including Saudi Arabia. Aside from assessing the handling of service delivery, supply chain and back operations, the study also envisions the pandemic as an opportunity, a springboard for advancements in remote working, agile policy making and rapid service design.

The KPMG report examines the new trend of a modernized government, which is customer-centric, agile, digitally enabled and inspired for future change. KPMG believes that reliance on robust business cases, costly and time-consuming planning, and extensive programmer “big builds” are now poised to give way to a new model, which is built on digital technology, cloud platforms, collaboration with other governments, and new partnerships with industry — supported by new and upskilled civil servants — revolutionizing how governments function in the 21st-century public interest.
In response to the pandemic challenges, the Saudi government rapidly established new services and ways of working, including the setting up of new temporary hospitals, digital health solutions, supply chains, mobile apps, call centers and rapid economic stimulus packages. 

FASTFACT

The KPMG report focused on Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, the UK and the US.

“Saudi Arabia has seen a much more self-forgiving government that is taking action as needed while allowing itself to perfect its approach late. Acting fast rather than acting ‘spot on’ has become the norm. This is especially tangible in the digitization of the customer experience, where a certain level of error and risk is now allowed to implement new technologies,” said Ismail Alani, head of government and public sector at KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

The study emphasizes that the future is consumer-centric — stakeholders including citizens, businesses and other organizations — transforming public services to meet constituent needs and expectations. It finds that today’s consumers are more informed, connected and demanding than ever. And while they have come to expect the highest standards of personalization, choice, speed, satisfaction and security in every digital interaction, the pandemic has served to heighten consumer expectations surrounding the customer experience.

Governments’ stakeholders want to be treated like valued customers. The report indicates that government leaders will have to evolve the culture within and across their government entities by establishing a new “outward-looking mindset,” providing citizens with the opportunity to co-design government services via their input and feedback.


 


India’s Telangana state eyes Saudi investment

India’s Telangana state eyes Saudi investment
Updated 16 June 2021

India’s Telangana state eyes Saudi investment

India’s Telangana state eyes Saudi investment

A two-day Telangana Investment Seminar, organized by the Indian Embassy in Riyadh and Indian Consulate in Jeddah, in partnership with the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnership (SCISP) and the Telangana government, was held on Monday and Tuesday.

Held on a virtual platform, the highlight of the seminar was the keynote address delivered by Telangana’s young and dynamic Minister of IT, Industries, Municipal Administration and Urban Development K.T. Rama Rao. He is the son of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

KTR, as he is popularly known in India, outlined the salient features of his state and pointed out that Telangana ranks near the top on all development indices, including ease of doing business. “The world’s major tech companies, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, have massive footprints in the Telangana capital Hyderabad,” he said.

“We are a very young state. In fact, it has only been seven years since the state was created in June 2014. We have excellent infrastructure and the fact that the world’s best tech giants have set up bases in Hyderabad is proof of our government’s business-friendly credentials,” said KTR.

He welcomed Saudi business investment in India, especially in Telangana. He said the laws of the state stipulated that the licensing for new businesses must be completed in only two weeks. According to him, most of the requirements and licensing details are online and they all follow a certain procedure called “self certification.”

“If, for any reason, the registration is delayed, then the official/bureaucrat has to pay a fine on the 16th day for not clearing the file. As per the law, if the licensing for a business/project has not been completed in 15 days, then on the 16th day, it is automatically assumed that the license has been approved,” he said.

KTR said Telangana has become the vaccine capital of the world and there was every possibility that one in every three human vaccines worldwide is produced in Hyderabad.

He appreciated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 program and said India in general and Telangana in particular stood ready to collaborate, and cooperate in creating new openings for two-way business opportunities.

KTR said that his government and his state would be more than willing to provide all answers to queries from Saudi business people and promised total transparency in business dealings.

Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed thanked KTR and extended an invitation to him to bring his delegation to Saudi Arabia some time soon in order to take further steps to enhance and strengthen Indo-Saudi business ties.

The ambassador stressed the strategic partnership agreement signed by India and Saudi Arabia during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019. “The agreement gave an additional impetus to the already formidable political and economic partnerships between the two friendly countries,” said Dr. Sayeed.

Saudi Indian Business Council (SIBC) Chairman Abdul Aziz Al-Qahtani described KTR’s presentation as “impressive” and said the webinar would go a long way to making Saudis look at Telangana as a profitable and sustainable investment destination.

Responding to different queries, KTR said answers to most of the frequently asked questions were available at the Telangana government’s investment dashboard, which can be accessed at https://invest.telangana.gov.in/.

The seminar concluded with Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan’s detailed presentation entitled “Invest in Telangana.” Other speakers included NITI Aayog’s Rakesh Sarwal and SCISP Executive Vice President Yasser Aldohaim.

The events on the first day were followed by several presentations which focused on agriculture, food processing, IT, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and fertilizers. Companies attending included Saudi Aramco, Juffali, Ma’aden,Tronox, SALIC, Almarai, Al-Munajem Cold Stores, STC, Cigalah and Jamjoom.

Hamna Mariyam Khan, consul (commerce) at the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, conducted the proceedings with aplomb.


Bupa Arabia goes digital to replace plastic insurance cards

Bupa Arabia goes digital to replace plastic insurance cards
Updated 15 June 2021

Bupa Arabia goes digital to replace plastic insurance cards

Bupa Arabia goes digital to replace plastic insurance cards

Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance has reaffirmed its commitment to proactive digitization efforts in order to protect the planet by launching digital insurance cards and adopting the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance’s “Easier for You” initiative, which reduces the use of plastic cards.

The campaign entails the use of personal ID for citizens and iqama for residents as the basic identifier for the insured upon visiting a healthcare provider. This means the insured does not need to show the health insurer’s card any more at the clinic or hospital.

Bupa Arabia’s digital transformation efforts come amid a renewed global focus on the increasing scale of plastic waste and its significant negative impact on environmental sustainability as well as on humans, animals and plants. 

Alshereef Hamideddin, marketing director at Bupa Arabia, said the company was able to successfully adopt the digital cards initiative due to its long-term investments in radically improving and updating all its digital services in line with the latest global digital customer experiences trends.

“Bupa Arabia will continue to work to provide unique digital experiences to our customers through our Bupa Click platform, helping them to receive services with ease and flexibility,” Hamideddin said.

He added: “Since last April, the digital card transactions reached 99 percent, which have had a substantial positive environmental sustainability impact. We previously provided 2 million printed plastic cards. Moreover, the digital card initiative was designed and implemented to significantly reduce plastic waste, which is classified as one of the top 20 products in terms of the manufacturing process. This step is an integral part of Bupa Arabia’s environmental objectives, and it intersects with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) agenda as well.”

The 6th Global Environment Outlook report, released by the UNEP in 2019, estimated the amount of plastic waste reaching the oceans annually at about 9 million tons, threatening aquatic communities and organisms with an unprecedented rise in plastic pollution. Only 9 percent of the world’s 9 billion tons of plastic is recycled. Most plastics do not biodegrade and remain in the environment for hundreds of years, and continuing indifference and accumulation in large quantities year after year sooner or later will lead to disastrous environmental and health damages and risks.