NO RESTING ON ITS LAURELS

Dubai 2020 | EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

Meirc Training & Consulting is one of the most trusted training firms in the region, helping clients develop their human capital in a range of management and technical fields.

Chaouki M. Eid
BIOGRAPHY

Chaouki M. Eid is partner and Managing Director at Meirc Training & Consulting. He holds a bachelor's of science in mechanical engineering from the Middlesex Polytechnic, in the UK, and a master's of science in management sciences from Southampton University. Eid also attended executive leadership training at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. His industrial experience includes working as plant, maintenance, and project engineer for general construction companies in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia and as a management consultant for an American-based productivity improvement company on projects in Australia and New Zealand. He has led consulting interventions in the areas of strategic planning, productivity improvement, cost reduction, cost of living surveys, and career development programs.

What has been the company's role in enabling the shift toward investing in people as assets?
As a company, we do not entertain assignments just for the sake of it. Many times, we have declined sessions because we determined the client's need was different from the service we offer. This has strengthened our relationship with companies and helped us maintain our client-centric focus. Our main accounts back in the 1960s used to be in oil and gas; we were the partners they could rely on. Building this client base over the decades, we have seen how people have developed in recent years. Many participants who attended Meirc's courses years ago are now in senior positions.

Expanding on the oil and gas sector, how is the diversifying economy changing your portfolio of clients?
We have a diversified client base. Our main industries are energy, financial services, government, health, industrial, oil and gas, real estate, services, and telecoms. We have grown from mainly oil and gas in the 1960s to all other sectors as we have seen more demand for our services in many areas. Particularly, we are seeing demand in Saudi Arabia because of the transformation happening and we are working with several ministries. In geographical terms, outside the Middle East, we are active in Africa and Southeast Asia. The only real barrier to where we work is dangerous political situations. We will not operate in any country where there is a risk for our personnel as the safety of our consultants is of the greatest importance.

With the pace of change accelerating and the transformation toward a knowledge-based economy, what does innovation look like at Meirc?
Coming to Dubai was a great thing for Meirc because it pushed us to innovate. When I started with the company in the 1990s, we had a limited number of accounts that we grew organically. We later began venturing into areas outside of our expertise and expanding our offerings. For this, we had to attract the right talent ourselves. Because we are selective in our talent onboarding, we have a low turnover. We also recently ventured into technical hands-on training and expanded our offering by introducing specialized exam preparation courses for globally recognized finance and accounting professional qualifications like certified management accountant and certified public accountant. Additionally, we will soon start our online training programs. We already have the infrastructure built, and with this, the whole world will become our market. The fee structure will be slightly different, but we will reach everyone around the globe. In Meirc, we ask our trainers to continuously improve their knowledge by attending trainings as well to help us stay on top of trends and be proactive. We walk the talk.

What are your strategic priorities for Meirc for 2020?
Our slogan can be summed up as sustainable growth. Innovation is not without its risks, but we are taking calculated risks to ensure sustainable growth. Over the last 60 years, Meirc has never reduced its headcounts when the economy went down. We have seen many cycles. The last one was a few years ago, and we did not reduce our salaries or let anyone go. We believe in innovation; we push the envelope to stay at the top. We will not sit on our laurels and take it easy since we believe every day is a chance for improvement. Quality is the number-one area for improvement along with staff satisfaction. No improvement is made at the expense of staff satisfaction. We cannot afford to have anyone demotivated because a demotivated person will ruin the infrastructure. As more and more people realize the value in their human talent, we remain at the top of the game to provide enhanced quality and services to our clients.