The Business Year

Dr. Khaled AlMazrouei

CEO, Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB)

Badr Al Olama

CEO, Strata

What does your company look for in foreign partnerships? BADR AL OLAMA Mubadala is built into our investment strategy. As with them, we place great value on partnerships and believe […]

What does your company look for in foreign partnerships?

BADR AL OLAMA Mubadala is built into our investment strategy. As with them, we place great value on partnerships and believe that we never would have achieved our current level of success without Airbus’s active involvement. In terms of our partnerships with Airbus and Boeing, they see value in dealing with us as a partner in developing new aircraft. When the next 787 or A350 emerges, the related OEMs will want to make sure that whoever is investing in those platforms will be sustainable through any interruptions, setbacks, or delays without facing financial difficulties or constraints; Strata provides that assurance. We need to further develop our capabilities, but the OEMs see us as a strong, reliable, credible, and capital-rich partner for the future. It needs to invest time in developing the capabilities we seek so that, in turn, we’ll be ready to deliver solutions sustainably for them in the years ahead. That is the essence of our partnership with both Airbus and Boeing.

KHALED ALMAZROUEI In looking for partners, we first go to our clients to see what they need in order to satisfy all of their requirements. When they select a design and tell us what they need, we have to go out to our suppliers, and then return to our clients to inform them of what’s available. We always tell our partners not to keep all their eggs in one basket, because you don’t want to be under pressure with pricing and technology. Therefore, we do our homework, especially in terms of technical and commercial aspects. We are strategic partners, not just clients. We give people advice based on their requirements and let them make the selection. We tell them all the pros and cons of supplies and equipment based on our excellent expertise. That helps us provide the best, custom-made products to our clients, and gives them the opportunity to select the best in terms of value and technology. They decide, but we do our job.

Al Ain is something of a student city. Do you find young people are showing more of an interest in a career in the aerospace industry?

BAO Certainly. People traditionally pursued careers in oil and gas, became policemen, or maybe started their own business, but now you come across kids who say they want to be pilots or make aircraft components. There is great interest in aviation and aerospace today. What we want to do is encourage and channel that excitement by letting them experience the entire process, so that we can get the next generation of children to actually consider entering aerospace by the time they reach college age. We’ve invited along children as young as five to eight years old, children from grades four to six, in addition to many university students to visit Strata. Getting Emiratis to join Strata is a critical factor in our vision. So for us to achieve our vision of becoming one of the top three, we must have Emiratis within the company. We’re targeting a 50% Emirati workforce at Strata by 2015. That balance between experienced non-Emiratis and developing Emiratis will be the success factor in terms of our vision.

Can you tell us about the Baynunah Class Corvettes?

KA ADSB is very proud of this project and it has helped transform us into a serious regional player. A unique factor about the Baynunah corvette is that it is equipped with the latest systems and technology that allows it to deal with various threats; its capabilities allow for long distances, offshore sailing, and local patrol. We have already delivered two vessels to our clients, and are set to deliver the remainder within the coming two years. These ships have attracted the interest of many commanders in the GCC’s naval forces, and numerous countries in the GCC are keen on adding similarly designed ships to their fleets. When you compare the age of those ships versus the age of the company, I think the management did a great job of progressing and trying to not only start from the beginning, but from where other shipyards had stopped. Our government believes that if you want to provide good projects, you have to make an investment in human capital and equipment. And this leads us back to the question of Emiratization, which we consider a priority.

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