SAUDI ARABIA - Economy
Managing Director, almajal G4S Saudi Arabia
Khalid Baghdadi graduated from the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals with a degree in Marketing. He is currently Managing Director of almajal G4S Saudi Arabia. Before this post, he was Managing Director of Saudi Readymix Concrete Co., and before that the President of the National Factory for Foodstuff Production. Other positions have included Marketing Support Director at Saudi Telecom Company and General Manager of Product Development at Zajoul.
almajal was established more than 30 years ago. It started out as a facilities management business, mainly working under a Saudi Arabian Airlines contract. Then, it grew to be one of the top facilities management providers in Saudi Arabia in terms of the number of employees. almajal eventually moved into the security sector, where it has an excellent client base and performance record, together with the ability to be flexible in meeting customers’ needs. The company also went into the cash business; both cash-in-transit (CIT), which is moving cash from point A to point B, and ATM replenishment. The agreement with G4S was signed in 2006, and its full execution took effect in 2007. G4S brought to the partnership the policies and procedures needed to operate an organization that works in the cash business. G4S has a global presence in 120+ countries around the world, and it brings new technologies, better training, and knowledge of cash transportation to the partnership. As a partnership, almajal G4S is way ahead of its competitors in terms of market share—we have more than 60% of the market in ATMs available for replenishment. Some of the banks have exclusive partnerships with us, meaning they will only give their ATMs to us. As for the guarding business, it is a fragmented market, with more than 300 players; nevertheless, we are growing in this sector. We have created best practices and policies regarding managing guards called “The G4S Way.” We also have an electronic security division, which is small, but growing rapidly. There is a lot that G4S can contribute to this market, because it has many alliances with equipment providers around the world. In terms of facilities, G4S brought financial discipline, the ability to manage customer relationships, and account management skills to the partnership. We have had double-digit growth every year since our partnership was established.
There are over 120 countries where we provide services, and these are mainly in guarding and manpower security services. Every country has its own preferences regarding the hiring of guards. For example, in Kuwait, a guard is not required to be a Kuwaiti national. However, in Saudi Arabia, it is mandatory for guards to be Saudi nationals. The market has a base for it, but the competition is fragmented. A lot of the suppliers do not abide by all the rules, which puts us at a disadvantage in terms of cost. Even with this issue, because we have the best practices, and can demonstrate our advantages in terms of tools and training to our customers, we are winning more professional customers.
I expect the guarding sector to be much more challenging, and for many of the small players to seek a share of the market. There is a great deal of fake Saudization going on; many companies are using Saudi nationals to claim they have Saudis on their staff. The Ministry of Labor is coming down hard on companies like this. The number of those companies will diminish, and the minute this happens, we will benefit because the market will become a level playing field.
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