As the largest security provider in the Emirates, what are G4S UAE's major accomplishments to date?
Like any business operating in the UAE, we are delighted to support the country, its citizens, and its businesses. We are a business that operates in shopping malls to residential communities to businesses to national infrastructure. Being part of that, and actually delivering what I believe are excellent services to our clients and citizens of the UAE, is a massive accomplishment. We have over 11,500 employees delivering outstanding service and solutions across five different businesses, which is 21 years old in 2015.
What are some of the primary services you provide in the Emirates?
From a human capital point of view, our largest footprint is secure solutions or the traditional term of “man guarding," which today is being augmented with technology. In guarding business towers, shopping centers, airports, ports, and remote sites, we use over 5,500 staff. That is what G4S is primarily built on globally as a security company. Equally, we support the country's cash movements for financial institutions, moving capital around the Emirates on behalf of banks and financial institutions. We help process cash, checks, and other forms of high value goods into the financial institutions and economy. We also have a facilities management business, which is very much soft services for office, building, and hotel support.
What are some pioneering technological solutions that you are bringing into the UAE?
There are some exciting things happening with cash. This is a very cash-generative country. The amount of cash that still moves hands versus electronic methods is much greater than many other parts of the world. We have a great technology for cash called Retail 360. It allows clients to be able to deposit their back office cash much quicker; therefore, they can put it on their balance sheet, which is better for their cash flow and security. This is different from the traditional methodology, which will take away some of our traditional business; however, we believe investing in it now will help in the long term. Today, someone takes cash to a shop, it gets collected, goes through processing, and hits their balance sheet; yet, with this technology it is allowing for a quicker transaction time and reduced need for the supply chain, while delivering balance sheet awareness. As soon as it goes into the machine, it is effectively in the bank. With the UAE being a destination country, it also allows you to take multiple denominations of up to five different currencies, which is a huge potential advantage for retailers.
What sort of partnerships or collaborative projects are you looking to build in the near future?
One of our focuses is on sourcing the best people who can act as the face of our service proposition in comparison to our competitors. We work with our own company overseas to offer that career route through our business here. Equally, we want to train local people and give them international experience in security that will help them develop and ultimately secure businesses and infrastructure in their own country. That is something that I am really passionate about. It is going back to basics: schools, universities, and having partnerships early on. Security goes from asset protection to managing a whole supply chain of critical infrastructure. How do we take local people and give them a career in security? We are developing a program, which is currently in its infancy. In the future, I would like to see Emiratis being sent to help operations overseas, and then come back to run the operation here. We are looking at the best ways to differentiate ourselves through partnerships or acquisitions to fundamentally change our proposition. It is a great opportunity to be able to partner with the right people and enter sectors and organically grow those sectors.