AYMAN AL WADI

Dubai 2021 | ECONOMY | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Ayman Al Wadi, Group Executive Chairman of AW Holding, about company culture, international market share, and priorities for the coming year.

Could you please introduce AW Holding?

AW Holding is a multinational Group of companies that operates in UAE, KSA, Egypt and recently in Oman, and provides services in 197 countries. Since inception in 2009, our vision was to be one-stop solutions provider to our success partners. Empowered with 25 years of accumulative experience in different industries and several countries, our key objectives are to support the economy and corporates by bringing all best practices across the globe to the UAE, in particular, the GCC, Middle East and MENA region. Under AW Holding we have three streams, namely; AW Business Advisory and Risk Management, AW Debt Management and AW Translation Services. AW Business Advisory and Risk Management works to identify, assess and control the threats to an organization's capital and earnings, where our Business advisors analyze problems and potential risks businesses are facing and help providing advice, which then guides the investors to consider the best decision. In Debt Management, we have an international remarkable presence and affiliation with the leading associations such as EOS, FENCA, IACC, LIC, GCS etc, AW Debt Management offers Debt Collection, Debt Consultation, and training & outsource services and experts in both B2B and B2C debt collection. With partnership with law firms in the GCC, we have created a product called LDC, (Legal Debt Collection). UAE being the melting pot of the worlds culture, and having more than 200 nationalities, puts one more stream into picture, which is AW Translation Services. In this stream, it's not about conveying a message from one language to another, it's about adapting the source of the text culturally and creatively to the target audience, it's about adaption and using the latest technologies up to the international standards. Proudly, happily, positively in the first 10 years AW HOLDING, we surpassed our promise to the market "beyond expectation,” and during the pandemic along with the rebranding—we set our second promise to be "redefining corporate excellence" for the coming years.

How do you evaluate your performance regionally and internationally?

In addition to our regional significant presence, we also have a growing share in the international market; Europe, China, US, etc. As of the moment we are handling a portfolio for credit debt management of 50% regional and 50% international and it was during the pandemic that we noticed an inconsiderable increase in business. We are also helping investors, and corporate firms communicate within the MENA region through our AW Translation Services stream. We provide consultations and advice to the startup companies, the existing companies, and corporate companies on how to identify, assess and control the threats they are facing in terms of the capital and earnings through AW Business Advisory and Risk Management stream. Our key goal is to help our partners overcome any obstacles whether such are related to shortage of credit, language barriers, or consultations and advice. This reflects our vision to be one-stop solutions provider.

How do you see your services evolve over time, and were there any changes due to the pandemic?

Now, we are working in three industries, Debt collection, Business Advisory & Risk Management, and Translation services. Geographically, we started in Dubai, then Abu Dhabi, then crossed the border and flew high into Egypt, then KSA, then Oman, then the international market. We call this pandemic as a “Reminder”, because it reminded us that we have to be strong at all times, get ready for the future, revisit our plans and visions, give a huge part of our time to our families, balance between our personal & professional life, think and put plans not only for current, and existing threats, but also for the potential ones. It also drove us to work harder, run market search and create new plans. During the peak of the pandemic, we have put together contingency plan for all possible scenarios. The whole world was running smoothly, and suddenly, there was a sharp change, and it required great efforts from the governments and the people as well out of their social responsibility to recover not only to the earlier times before the pandemic, but to better levels.

To what extent is technology important to your organization, and has it changed the way you operate going forward?

Even before COVID-19, we were great believers in technology. Since we are players in the international market, we should be up to the level. We have our internal IT Team who works day and night to provide us with new systems, software, and IT products. We are always updated and upgraded to the latest technologies. In fact, during the first days of the pandemic, our internal IT Team created solutions to work remotely with full capacity within few days. Artificial Intelligence definitely will develop into the business world, this is why it is included in our 2021 Vision and Goals. We use and embrace the latest technology trends to push the limits of business, to deliver breakthrough solutions for business and society, to offer new products to the market, and to transform.

What are your strategic priorities for the coming months?

We, at AW Holding, during the Q3 and Q4 of 2020 have already been brainstorming for strategies, vision and goals for the year 2021, 2022 and even 2023. We are now mapping out AW HOLDING 2030 VISION, we are not just thinking about the coming months, but the coming TEN YEARS, in terms of our global presence and spread. Our strategic priorities are to support the transition towards local and regional resilient, stable, and sustainable economy, to maximize corporate social responsibility as it is an imperious necessity due to the current challenges. You could say, you are just a group of companies, how would you support the leadership goal to a sustainable economy? We are serving the national, regional and international market. When you give a hand to the corporate to collect their payment, you are helping this company to stand. We are trying to help the investors stand strong, and keep working, which drives the whole country to a sustainable economy. We can say we are lucky to live in the UAE with proactive leaders. Despite the challenges we are excited with the upcoming EXPO 2020, the big celebration of the Golden Jubilee of 50 years of the UAE and future of SME.