The Business Year

Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari President & CEO, Qatar Satellite Company (Es’hailSat)

QATAR - Telecoms & IT

Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari

President & CEO, Qatar Satellite Company (Es’hailSat)

Bio

Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari is President & CEO of Es’hailSat. He is a strategic leader with a progressive career of 20-plus years in guiding and directing an enterprise through substantial resource management by utilizing strong and effective strategic leadership Prior to his appointment, he was assistant secretary general at ict Qatar. He also held the position of finance director at ict Qatar and was a member of the organization’s management team overseeing the strategic investment in the satellite initiative which became Es’hailSat. Al Kuwari has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in financial analysis. He joined ict Qatar in 2004 following senior financial positions with Ras Gas and the Ministry of Finance.

A key enabler of Qatar’s ICT sector over the past decade, Es’hailSat is preparing to expand its suite of services further to support the rapid growth of Qatari customers across the board.
Es’hailSat has received ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 certification. What is the impact for your client base of this certification?

Es’hailSat’s IT systems infrastructure services have been certified as ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 to protect critical business resources that need the right support in place for success. ISO/IEC 20000 is the first international standard for IT service management. It promotes the adoption of an integrated process approach to delivering managed IT services. The standard is aligned and fully compatible with the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. Its benefits include benchmarking service delivery, measuring service levels and assessing performance and showing an ability to meet customer requirements. Furthermore, it demonstrates Es’hailSat’s reliability and high quality of service and inculcates a culture of continual improvement.

How can the advancement of the international media sector be supported from Es’hailSat’s perspective?

As Qatar’s satellite operator of choice, Es’hailSat has been serving broadcasters, telecom companies, enterprise, and government customers for the past 11 years from our headquarters in Doha. From our perspective, the media industry has transitioned from being an entertainment service that people sat back and received to become an information source that people step forward and consume. For our business, the priority over the next 12 months is to expand our services to support the rapid growth of Qatari customers across the board. Projects such as Media City show that the sky is the limit for Qatar’s ambitions, and Es’hailSat wants to ensure that we are the first choice for companies in Qatar and across the region wherever there is a need for connectivity over satellite. We are adopting the latest advancements in international technology, including cloud playout services, content delivery networks (CDN), mobility, and telecommunication services. In addition, our fleet of two satellites, Es’hail-1 and Es’hail-2 at 25.5/26 East hotspot, is bolstered by an expansion of services delivered from our Teleport in Doha.

As the country approaches the long-awaited FIFA World Cup, how will progress achieved so far contribute to a successful event?

For our customers, pathbreaking broadcasters such as Al Jazeera and beIN Sports, opportunities lie in delivering every possible genre of content to consumers across all touch-points—the television at home, the mobile device on the move, and through internet connectivity over land, sea, or air. Es’hailSat is enabling these opportunities by employing cutting-edge technology and delivering a world-class service from our strategically located teleport facility in Doha. For various mega-events such as FIFA World Cup that are broadcast live across the globe, Es’hailSat has enhanced its satellite news gathering services capabilities. These, along with our Es’hail-1 and Es’hail-2 satellites at 25.5/26 East hotspot, will provide the backbone required by news broadcasters and TV channels to carry these events across the region and beyond.

What will be the role of technology to maintain Qatar’s economic momentum in the post-FIFA scenario, and how will Es’hailSat be involved?

Es’hailSat’s satellites are a symbol of Qatar’s commitment to free, secure, and independent communication, and the FIFA World Cup is the perfect opportunity for us to showcase our capabilities. Even beyond FIFA, Qatar’s Vision 2030 is designed to move us from a carbon-based to a knowledge-based economy, and Es’hailSat is a key part of that vision. In Qatar, we’ve learned that sustainability is about more than growing your own fruits and vegetables. We’re investing in education so we can “grow” our own technology. Es’hailSat conducts outreach programs with universities and schools to educate and promote satellite engineering among the students. We have outsourced application development to universities where senior students work in a group and with supervision from our engineering team to develop and enhance solutions for certain parts of our teleport operations. We also provide guidance and advice to the CubeSat teams at the university to support their programs. All these initiatives nurture talent, broaden their horizons, and improve the skills set of the youth in the field of satellite engineering for generations to come.

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