QATAR - Economy
Chairman, Power International Holding
Moutaz Al-Khayyat is an entrepreneur and businessman. He is currently the Chairman of Power International Holding, Baladna Q.P.S.C., UCC Holding and its subsidiary companies. Under his leadership, the company has grown with the creation of more than 40 companies, with ambitious plans for future expansion.
You have a diversified portfolio of companies in real estate, F&B, and agribusiness, among many other sectors. What business will become more relevant as the 2030 Qatar National Vision approaches?
MOUTAZ AL-KHAYYAT Vision 2030 encapsulates the spirit of PIH’s businesses across dairy and agriculture, construction and real estate, and F&B sectors. One of the strategic pillars of Qatar’s National Vision is human development, in particular, to develop a world-class healthcare system in Qatar. Like many businesses, PIH is always open to new opportunities. One of our subsidiaries, Elegancia Healthcare, recently signed an agreement with Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles for our first general hospital: The View Hospital. It will be a luxurious 250-bed facility and is expected to be completed in August 2022.
What digital and innovative strategies have you adopted to maintain business as usual during COVID-19?
Ramez Al-Khayyat As an innovative business, we have been investing in digital transformation. For example, we created a comprehensive ecosystem of digital shopping experience for the Mall of Qatar, including a customer data platform that allows engagement with customers, a generous loyalty program encouraging frequent visits, and an innovative e-commerce platform to complement the experience. AURA Hospitality rapidly adapted to the challenges posed by the pandemic by embracing digital solutions both online and across its venues. For example, scannable QR codes have replaced physical menus and enhanced booking systems keeping diners at safe social distances. Amid the pandemic, the group has also introduced Wajbati, the one-stop shop for shoppers, combining food delivery, ingredients delivery, and a food subscription service. We are working with the top players in digital transformation, such as SAP, to futureproof our business frameworks and processes. We are proud of our roots in Qatar and primarily operate in the local market. However, the lessons we have learnt here have global applications.
What are the keys to resilience of Qatar’s economy and its companies?
MAK Qatar has weathered disruption before, not least the 2017 blockades. The ability of the nation to come together and succeed in the face of that crisis, through swift action by government and private sector ingenuity, has stood us in good stead for dealing with the pandemic. This positive culture of self-reliance and innovation is embedded throughout our country and has given us the tools to successfully navigate the unprecedented global pandemic this year. Baladna Food Industries has become a symbol of Qatar’s resilience. In the wake of the June 2017 embargo, Baladna, with state support, expanded rapidly into producing cow’s milk, a crucial commodity that had previously been largely imported. We purchased thousands of cows and began milking them at a farm in Umm al Hawaya. Today, Baladna Farm spreads over an area of 2.4 million sqm, with a capacity to house 24,000 cows. We now supply eight in every 10 glasses of Qatar’s milk and have expanded into new product lines, such as juices. We are exporting to Oman, Afghanistan, and Yemen and have signed a memorandum of understanding with FELCRA Berhad, the Malaysian agricultural conglomerate, to establish a farm and factory, helping the country to also achieve self-sufficiency in fresh milk.
How does PIH assess the government’s efforts to industrialize the country in terms of the diversification of your portfolio?
RAK Private businesses like Power International Holding have a big role to play in achieving Qatar’s national vision. We are proud to have already been behind key construction and infrastructure projects throughout the country. In July 2020, our company UCC Holding was proud to be the golden sponsor of Qatar’s first public private partnership conference. The implementation of this law will open great opportunities for the private sector to participate in development and the revival of Qatar in all fields. This will further diversify the economy and help to attract further foreign investment.
By sponsoring our events you are able to best participate in the discussions that matter to you, as well as gain unique networking opportunities.