What was envisioned with the rebranding into BATIC, and how has your service portfolio expanded since then?
The rebranding of Mubarrad to BATIC was orchestrated to correctly reflect the expansion of the core assets of the company that now reach beyond logistics and delve into security while also highlighting the newly found focus of BATIC on investments and acquisitions. Within the logistics domain, BATIC has expanded its offering and in 2018 the firm closed a transaction pending regulatory approval for two sets of assets. The first set includes warehouses in Dammam and Riyadh and a trucking fleet from Muhaidib Group and the second set is one of the largest cold chain warehousing networks in the Kingdom from Dar Al Abbar. Combined with the recent minority investment into Trukkin, an innovative trucking platform, BATIC's services will now include 3PL, cold storage, cold transport, warehousing and trucking marketplaces. In security, the firm is primarily focused on private security for banks, like cash in transit and ATM management. However, AMNCO has explored accelerating their entry into facilities management as well as electronic payments. For AMNCO, BATIC has now acquired full ownership.
A global trend in logistics is the implementation of smart logistics, using data analytics and IoT technology to advance services. Could you tell us more about your vision on using advanced technology in your sector?
Mubarrad already uses GPS technology and fleet management systems on all of its trucks. BATIC will also capitalize on our stake in Trukkin which operates a B2B ground transport platform similar to Uber for the trucking industry that matches available truck capacity and drivers with demand from operators.
Vision 2030 envisions to capitalize on the Kingdom's strategic location between Europe, Asia and Africa and to develop the country more into a logistic hub. As one of the leading Saudi logistics firms, what are your expectations here?
Batic is actively exploring logistics hubs on the Red Sea to support Vision 2030 and to interact with countries on the eastern seaboard of Africa. Iraq, which is accessible via ground transport, presents a growing opportunity for Saudi Arabia and BATIC is currently pursuing several options focused on this new geographic opportunity.
How are you looking to expand your Kingdom-wide network and your activities in the GCC region?
Through the acquisition of Dar Al Abbar, BATIC will gain warehousing capabilities in every major city in Saudi Arabia. Combined with the premium warehousing assets of Al Himmah logistics, which are owned by Muhaidib Group in Riyadh and Dammam, this transaction will leave BATIC well positioned to gain market share on existing ground transport services and cold chain storage in the coming years.
What are your primary ambitions for the years ahead?
BATIC's primary initiative is to become the leading logistics consolidator in Saudi Arabia. After closing nearly SAR500 million worth of transactions this year, the current focal point is to successfully integrate all of the recent acquisitions in a cohesive manner while sustaining the drive for expansion in both cold storage and the offerings of AMNCO in cash logistics. The firm's comprehensive approach looks to keep ahead of the prevailing technological trends in logistics and security by identifying long term growth potential in specialized segments that grow faster than the overall market.