Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market

Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market
Thanks to robust population growth, the rise in e-commerce, and multinational brands entering the region, the GCC’s retail market has topped $253 billion.
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Updated 05 May 2021

Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market

Saudi firm Basamh driving GCC’s $253bn retail market

Basamh Trading and Industries Group, one of Saudi Arabia’s most successful purpose-led fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses in the Middle East and Africa, has announced that its digital transformation is driving the GCC’s multibillion-dollar retail market.

Thanks to robust population growth, the rise in e-commerce, and multinational brands entering the region, the GCC’s retail market has topped $253 billion, according to Alpen Capital. 

Basamh, with top brands such as Goody, Cofique and Treva, and as a distributor of a range of quality brands such as Perfetto, Betty Crocker, Nature Valley, Bugles, Best Mix, Glade, Raid, Pledge and Windex, is supporting FMCG innovation with its five-year digital transformation strategy LEAP, with global technology company SAP. Central to the strategy is the Leap to Digital (L2D) program that is enabling sustainable profitability. 

With a world-class enterprise resources planning system, Basamh has standardized, streamlined, and integrated business processes across finance, procurement, sales and distribution. 

Basamh’s solutions cover nearly 1,200 employees in 12 branches in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

“In the highly competitive fast-moving consumer goods field, Basamh needed to improve our on-time delivery, increase our salesforce efficiency, and automate reporting and employee self-services to enhance business competitiveness,” said Khalid Temairik, group CEO, Basamh Trading and Industries Group. 

In response, Basamh implemented the SAP S/HANA real-time business suite and SAP SuccessFactors human experience management suite with channel partner LABS. Basamh also implemented the SAP Extended Warehouse Management solution with channel partner Westernacher, and various enterprise solutions with the channel partner Vistex. 

“Thanks to our digital transformation with SAP, Basamh has improved management decisions and business planning,” said Maher Barrayah, group CFO, IT and procurement. “We’ve also standardized business processes, enhanced customer and supplier experiences, and can scale up for future business growth.” 

Recognizing its success, Basamh has won an SAP MENA Quality Award — Gold in the category Business Transformation — Middle East North. Judges praised Basamh for successfully managing the complex project by taking three key actions: Changing management and constant communication with employees, training employees on digital skills, and organizational change in restructuring companies. 

“This is just the start of our journey to digitally transform Basamh, and we are commitment to continually delivering with quality to enable further digital innovations for the group,” said Osama Islam, group IT director.

“Basamh’s award-winning digital transformation shows how intelligent enterprises can leverage a strong digital foundation to drive business growth and innovation,” said Ahmed Al-Faifi, senior vice president and managing director, SAP Middle East North.

“As a Saudi digital leader, Basamh is implementing high-impact digital opportunities that are enhancing customer experiences, enabling seamless operations, and empowering high-performance digital teams.”


Feyan makes hundreds of children’s wishes come true

Feyan makes hundreds of children’s wishes come true
Updated 13 June 2021

Feyan makes hundreds of children’s wishes come true

Feyan makes hundreds of children’s wishes come true

RIYADH: Feyan — Naif Alrajhi Investment Group’s community service arm — launched its “Eidikum Alaina” initiative for the second consecutive year, motivating children to give and offer toys to other children in need. Feyan partnered with Kayan Association for Orphans to implement the initiative and ensure toys are delivered to the right families, drawing more than 250 smiles on children’s faces.
In its first edition, the initiative called on children to gather toys from their homes to offer and deliver them to their less fortunate peers in Riyadh. This year, building on last year’s success, the team launched a landing page where children shared their wishes for other kids to make them come true. A list of wishes was available on the page; kids were able to log in and choose the toy they wanted to provide, prepare it and wrap it as a gift and write the beneficiary’s name on it so that the team could pick it up and deliver it. From skateboards to Xbox and Barbie houses, toys are offered with love, creating a beautiful synergy and a sense of pride in giving and sharing for the joy of Eid.
“The initiative is meant to teach children about the importance of giving by motivating them and engaging them in catering to other kids’ wishes,” said Noura Naif Alrajhi, Feyan’s director. She added: “As an investment group, our community service is directed toward investing in people and enticing them to engage and give. We are proud of our partnership with Kayan Association for Orphans and happy to celebrate the smiles we have drawn through this initiative for Eid for the second year.”
The initiative engaged hundreds of children across the Kingdom.


Porsche goes to extremes for new Taycan Cross Turismo

Porsche goes to extremes for new Taycan Cross Turismo
Updated 14 June 2021

Porsche goes to extremes for new Taycan Cross Turismo

Porsche goes to extremes for new Taycan Cross Turismo

Coinciding with the arrival of the first models, Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE is celebrating the new electric Taycan Cross Turismo with a thrilling video that showcases the versatile model being pushed to its limits in two remote locations with opposing climatic extremes. It is the first time that an automotive brand has released a campaign video captured entirely by a first-person view (FPV) drone in such challenging conditions.

Two identical race tracks, one in the sandy desert in Liwa (UAE) and the other on a snow-blanketed frozen lake north of the Arctic circle in Levi (Finland), play host to the project, titled Drive2Extremes, which sees the Taycan Cross Turismo power between two contrasting worlds. Taking the viewer on this visual journey is the FPV drone videography of Johnny Schaer, heralded as one of the world’s top drone pilots and better known as Johnny FPV.

Reflecting the nature of the Taycan Cross Turismo, the world’s first electric cross utility vehicle, the landmark hero film features groundbreaking FPV drone cinematography capturing epic driving moments, extreme landscapes and genuine, compelling human performances.

Key to the project’s success and the visual appeal is the unique combination of exciting young talent. Drone innovator Schaer and Emmy-award-winning director Nicholas Schrunk link seamlessly with professional racing driver and Porsche driving instructor Jukka Honkavuori, to create the world-merging edit, captured between the biting cold of Levi and the blistering heat of Liwa.

Chief Executive Officer at Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE Dr. Manfred Braeunl said: “Innovative, exciting, and bursting with Porsche DNA, this model proclaims ‘adventure’ and an ‘active lifestyle.’ With this leading-edge production, we want to highlight the versatility and durability of the all-new Taycan Cross Turismo for a creative, ambitious and individual lifestyle.”

Markus Peter, marketing director at Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, added: “By partnering up with innovative content creators, we authentically showcase the car in new perspectives and create curiosity, enhancing the awareness for our electric products.” Three derivatives of the Taycan Cross Turismo are now available, all featuring the Performance Battery Plus as standard, offering up to 456 km of range from the 93.4 kWh battery. 

The Taycan 4 Cross Turismo generates overboost power of up to 350 kW (476 PS), accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 5.1 seconds and has a top speed 220 km/h, with the Taycan 4S Cross Turismo further in front. The Turbo model is the most powerful of the three, delivering up to 500 kW and accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds. Its top speed is 250 km/h.

The new models feature all the assets of the Taycan sports saloon, including the 800-volt architecture, two-speed transmission on the rear axle, and high recuperative power of up to 275 kW.

The Drive2Extremes video has been released on Porsche’s official YouTube channel as well as on the Porsche Newsroom.


BinDawood hosts blood donation drive for employees

BinDawood hosts blood donation drive for employees
Updated 14 June 2021

BinDawood hosts blood donation drive for employees

BinDawood hosts blood donation drive for employees

Marking World Blood Donor Day, BinDawood Holding Company organized a blood donation campaign for its employees in cooperation with King Abdul Aziz University Hospital on June 8 at the BinDawood Holding headquarters in Jeddah. World Blood Donor Day is observed on June 14 annually to raise awareness of the need for safe blood products as a lifesaving gift. 

The 2021 slogan for World Blood Donor Day is “Give blood and keep the world beating” and BinDawood Holding’s employees were keen to share social responsibility and help create awareness among the wider Saudi community on the call for more people to donate blood regularly and contribute to better health. 

Employees signed up for available spots to donate blood. Before drawing blood, hospital nurses conducted a check-up on all donors to make sure the employees were healthy and met all criteria to donate their blood. After the donation, employees were directed to a waiting area where they could rest and have a snack and drink before carrying on with their day. 

Ahmad A.R. BinDawood, chief executive of BinDawood Holding, said: “We are very pleased to partner with King Abdul Aziz University Hospital and host this blood donation event at the BinDawood Holding headquarters. Thank you to all of our team members who donated blood, embracing the call for donations and inspiring others to do the same.” 

The donation event was hosted while taking into consideration the current COVID-19 rules and regulations. Employees signed up for specific times in order to maintain physical distancing. 

BinDawood Holding is one of the leading grocery retail operators of hypermarkets and supermarkets in the Kingdom. The company has a total of 74 stores, of which 51 are hypermarkets and 23 are supermarkets, each located strategically across the country and operating under two complementary brands: BinDawood and Danube.


Red Sea Development Company appoints two new members to advisory board

Red Sea Development Company appoints two new members to advisory board
Updated 14 June 2021

Red Sea Development Company appoints two new members to advisory board

Red Sea Development Company appoints two new members to advisory board

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, has appointed two industry experts to its global advisory board. 

The new appointees, who have a combined experience of more than 50 years in the hospitality and tourism sector, will play a pivotal role in directing The Red Sea Project toward welcoming its first guests at the end of 2022.

Frances-Anne Keeler, former deputy CEO of Tourism Australia and former executive director of Europe at VisitBritain, and Piers Schmidt, founder of Luxury Branding, join the company’s existing international advisory board of eight world leaders in business, investment, tourism, sustainability and conservation with immediate effect. 

John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC, said: “As we prepare to welcome our first visitors to the destination next year, our focus is turning toward how we share the treasures of The Red Sea Project. We are delighted to welcome the new advisory board members, whose experience will be instrumental in our preparation for launch.” 

Keeler has more than 25 years of experience across hospitality and tourism, business and events and education and financial services. In her previous positions, she has led international strategy, marketing and operations across multiple markets. Keeler has used her industry knowledge to launch her own tourism strategy consulting firm. She chairs the boards of various tourism initiatives, including Australian Tourism Data Warehouse, the national platform for digital tourism information in the region and Chocolateria San Churro, a unique Spanish chocolate café experience with more than 50 stores in Australia.

Schmidt brings over 25 years of experience in advising luxury brands. In 2002, he founded Luxury Branding, an advisory boutique for leaders seeking to create the world’s most hospitable brands. His experience includes the branding and roll-out of One&Only Resorts, extending the Giorgio Armani brand into hospitality and codifying five trophy assets into the Dorchester Collection. Schmidt is also a visiting professor on the MBA program at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, a prestigious hospitality school in Switzerland. 

The Red Sea Project has already passed numerous significant milestones and work is on track to welcome the first guests when the international airport and the first hotels will open next year. All 16 hotels planned in Phase I will be opening by the end of 2023. 

Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will comprise 50 hotels, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and around 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The destination will also include a luxury marina, and entertainment and leisure facilities.


Health minister visits vaccine center at IMC

Health minister visits vaccine center at IMC
Updated 12 June 2021

Health minister visits vaccine center at IMC

Health minister visits vaccine center at IMC

Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah recently visited the coronavirus vaccination facility at the International Medical Center (IMC) in Jeddah. The facility was set up last Ramadan in collaboration with the ministry, to help vaccinate the community, as part of the nationwide campaign to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

Dr. Al-Rabiah praised the tremendous efforts by IMC to support the Kingdom’s vaccination drive, which constitutes one of the IMC’s major social responsibility projects for Saudi society. The minister stressed the importance of private and public medical cooperation in multiple community projects, highlighting the IMC’s successful proactive initiatives, operational efficiency and top medical care standards. 

The center has set up a large vaccination tent in its yard with 50 volunteers to serve the people of Jeddah every day. IMC has become one of the top vaccination centers, where premium healthcare services are offered in perfect harmony with the renowned IMC standards. 

The IMC’s massive 2,000-square-meter vaccination center can host 4,000 people daily and was prepared in only eight days. The center was created to host many individuals and meet the high demand for vaccination in Jeddah, in accordance with the ministry’s campaign strategy to expedite the vaccination process across the Kingdom and achieve a 100 percent immune society.

IMC staff from infection control, operations, pharmacy, laboratory, medical engineering and IT departments alongside a group of doctors and nurses have all taken part in setting up the outdoor vaccination tent.

IMC Chairman and CEO Dr. Walid Fitaihi welcomed the minister and expressed his gratitude to the ministry for enabling this mutual cooperation, which started by setting up the vaccination center followed by installing anti-smoking clinics within the same tent. He also briefed the minister on the IMC’s future plans of building a medical college, women’s and children’s hospital, and a medical tower. They also discussed the development projects of the First Clinics Center, Al-Afia Resort, Al-Afia Village, a service building, a multistory car park, and the surrounding area of the IMC. 

Dr. Fitaihi also showcased the IMC’s trophies and key achievements in protecting patients during the pandemic, including the King Abdul Aziz Quality Award 2020 in the category of private health facilities, the National Patient Safety Award 2020 in its special edition for the category of healthcare institutions, and the Infection Control Star Award by the Health Ministry for its active and responsive role during the coronavirus outbreak. 

“Our sincere gratitude to the ministry for selecting IMC as one of the first certified centers in the western province to provide vaccination services, and for trusting IMC’s expertise and operational capacity to perfectly host community service projects in Saudi Arabia. I also give special thanks to our team of volunteers who stood behind the success of this inspiring medical experience,” Dr. Fitaihi said.