IHCC strategic partners honored at annual ceremony

IHCC strategic partners honored at annual ceremony
The event was attended by Sultan Sobhi Batterjee, CEO of IHCC, and senior management officials of the company.
Updated 11 November 2019

IHCC strategic partners honored at annual ceremony

IHCC strategic partners honored at annual ceremony

The management of International Hospitals Construction Co. Ltd. (IHCC) honored its strategic partners including local and international companies during an annual ceremony held recently at Park Hyatt Jeddah. The event was attended by Sultan Sobhi Batterjee, chief executive of IHCC; Iftikhar Hussain, general manager of IHCC; and other senior management officials of the company.
Addressing the ceremony, Batterjee expressed his thanks and appreciation to IHCC’s strategic partners who he said played a great role in its success as a turnkey solutions provider.
The chief executive highlighted IHCC’s future plans, including the new projects that seek to diversify sources of income and at the same time provide additional services to the customers.
Batterjee highlighted the IHCC’s role and the social responsibility programs that it initiated to contribute to the development of the community. He emphasized that IHCC is working to meet the goals and aspirations of Vision 2030 in the field of design and construction.
CEO Batterjee presented commemorative shields to the executives of the companies attending the ceremony.
IHCC is a Saudi-based turnkey solutions provider that specializes in health care, education and mixed-use projects. It has more than 25 years of experience as a design-build company in the MENA region with extensive knowledge and experience in delivering turnkey solution projects. The company manages projects from inception to completion, including comprehensive feasibility studies, conceptualization, architectural and engineering design to civil and electro-mechanical construction, financing including complete procurement, equipping, furnishing and installation and operational management services.


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.


SABB named ‘Saudi Arabia’s Best Bank 2021’ for second year in row

SABB named ‘Saudi Arabia’s Best Bank 2021’ for second year in row
Updated 15 June 2021

SABB named ‘Saudi Arabia’s Best Bank 2021’ for second year in row

SABB named ‘Saudi Arabia’s Best Bank 2021’ for second year in row

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has won the “Saudi Arabia’s Best Bank 2021” award given out by the Global Finance magazine for the second year in a row. The award is voted on by industry leaders, based on criteria including growth in assets, profitability, geographical scope, strategic relations, new business development and product innovation.

Global Finance is a monthly magazine founded in 1987 and headquartered in New York. Each year Global Finance selects the best financial institutions around the world. These awards have become a recognized and trusted standard of excellence.

Tony Cripps, managing director of SABB, said: “We are proud to have received this award for the second year in a row for the bank’s outstanding performance in providing innovative products and services to our customers and expanding our strategic relationships on the local, regional and global scale. We are also focused on investing in the strengths that we have established over the past years and growing in new areas in line with the opportunities offered by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. After the success of our historic merger, we are in a stronger position and ready for future opportunities the Saudi market is witnessing in various fields.”

SABB is keen to move forward toward achieving its vision under the slogan “We bring a world of financial opportunities to an ambitious Kingdom.” The slogan emphasizes its keenness to continue supporting the ambitious growth plans of the National Transformation Program and the basic programs to achieve Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

SABB recently completed the historic merger with Alawwal Bank, which marks a positive step that will have a direct impact on the development of the financial sector in the Kingdom. The bank offers a range of services in corporate banking to support growth in all aspects of the economy and financing the largest infrastructure projects, in addition to enabling retail banking customers to access a wider branch network with the development of digital banking. 

SABB also continues to strengthen its position in highlighting ESG (environmental, social and governance) in the Kingdom through its participation as one of the main organizers of pooled financing of SR14 billion ($3.7 billion) for The Red Sea Development Company. 

SABB was established in 1978 as a Saudi joint stock company. It is an associate company of the HSBC Group.


Abdullah Al-Othaim moves up to rank 65th on Forbes Middle East Top 100 list

Abdullah Al-Othaim moves up to rank 65th on Forbes Middle East Top 100 list
Updated 15 June 2021

Abdullah Al-Othaim moves up to rank 65th on Forbes Middle East Top 100 list

Abdullah Al-Othaim moves up to rank 65th on Forbes Middle East Top 100 list

Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Company has advanced 29 places in Forbes Middle East’s annual ranking of the top 100 largest companies in the region in 2021. The company ranked 65th among major industrial, financial and economic companies in the Middle East, strengthening its position from last year’s 94th rank.

The company also progressed among other Saudi companies, moving to the 24th place from last year’s 31st. Forbes also raised its estimate of the company’s market value to $3.2 billion for 2021 after it was estimated at $2.2 billion last year.

Board member and CEO of Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Company Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al-Othaim said: “We’re proud of the continuous selection of the company among the 100 largest companies in the Middle East by Forbes. In light of the excellent customer services offered to customers, we are very optimistic about the promising future of the company and its sustainable growth and success.”

He added: “We managed to achieve high sales rates and excellent market share growth in the previous three years by adopting an aggressive growth strategy, with an increasing number of branches numbering at 257 across the Kingdom, which reflects the company’s eagerness to serve all segments of society and contribute to the economic growth of the Kingdom in line with Vision 2030, under the guidance of my Lord, King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, may God bless them.”

Al-Othaim believes teamwork is the key to the success of his company. He expressed his gratitude to the company’s employees for their pivotal role in the success achieved over the recent years, and hoped the collaborative efforts continue in the coming period.

The monthly global magazine, Forbes, provides specialized financial and economic reports with close monitoring and analysis of financial statistics, growth, revenues and assets of large companies around the globe. It is published in seven different languages, including an Arabic version issued for the Middle East region.