BIGGER AND BETTER

Kuwait 2019 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | INTERVIEW

Having worked with the biggest players in the construction industry and provided services to national development projects across the region, ACICO Group is helping Kuwait realize its Vision 2035 goals.

Ghosson Ghassan Alkhaled
BIOGRAPHY
Ghosson Ghassan Alkhaled began her career as an industrial engineer in the industrial subdivision of ACICO Group in 2002. Since then, she has made her way up to become Deputy CEO of ACICO Industries. She has represented Kuwait’s private sector in international workshops and in 2017 was appointed as a member of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development. She was also recognized as a ‘Young Global Leader’ by the World Economic Forum. Notably, she was on Forbes’ list of the Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen. Alkhaled holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and construction management from Kuwait University and master's degrees in building science from the University of Southern California and in business administration from Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.

What was the motivation behind rebranding the company?

I prefer to call it “brand optimization," whereby we took our existing brand and elevated it to reflect our strategy, business plan, and direction. We have grown over the years and have managed to evolve well beyond our original business model. With time, we have expanded to become a collection of companies, each operating as a standalone entity. As part of our business plan to become a fully diversified group of interconnected, integrated business units, called “sectors," we unified key aspects of our business to operate as a single group with shared, customer-focused objectives. To communicate this effectively to the market, we simply added the word “group" to our name.

What has been key for ACICO Group to successfully offer high-quality integrated solutions and products?

We realized that integrated solutions were the future of our industry. As one of the first local manufacturers of pre-fabricated and aerated concrete, we noticed that the market's growth potential and ever-increasing demand for sustainable solutions was larger than supply. We strategically expanded our products and services in a vertically integrated manner and became a full-service construction group that can offer holistic solutions with the best service and highest-quality products. By overseeing and managing the entire building process, we maintained our high quality, efficiency, and sustainability at every step. Over time, the challenge to create a range of successful solutions and products has increased, with broader choices for customers and stronger competition in the market. For this reason, ACICO Group has prioritized optimization along the entirety of the solution creation process. Equally important, the group has implemented a more holistic conception of customer experiences by utilizing technology, innovation, and strategic partnerships.

In light of Vision 2035, what areas of opportunities exist for ACICO Group?

Under the Vision 2035, Kuwait will be implementing a total of 140 developmental projects. ACICO Group is presented with an excellent opportunity to take an active part in various nation-wide development projects. As an accredited and approved partner of numerous government entities, we have already been involved in numerous urban, construction, and infrastructure development projects. Over the years, we have also been working with the biggest players in the construction industry, and have been entrusted by major contractors in the region to provide products and solutions to cater to large-scale national development projects. For example, we have been supplying premium-quality signature interlocking blocks to projects such as Jaber Al-Ahmed, East Abdullah Al-Mubarak, and Sabah Al-Ahmed urban cities, and the new Kuwait International Airport terminal project. Our precast solutions are also perfectly suited for large-scale development projects, such as the new Ghous Road project and the bridge barriers for the Jahra Road Development project.

What actions are being taken by ACICO Group in order to remain highly competitive and cost efficient?

ACICO Group has adopted a one-stop shop approach to building needs. Whether the customer is a homeowner or a stakeholder in larger projects, we focus on providing tailored services. We are also committed to embracing locally manufactured products and continue to promote the Kuwaiti industrial sector. Moreover, ACICO Group's turnkey service to homeowners is unique. Similarly, our construction system for villas, compared to the conventional system used in the market, allows for faster delivery timeframes, more energy saving, and overall better quality.

How is ACICO Group working toward sustainability?

We strive to create a sustainable community for generations to come by delivering high-quality building solutions. We look at sustainability as a fundamental philosophy that guides our business model. Our integrated system has been designed to support sustainability, and our autoclaved aerated concrete products are manufactured to optimize functionality and durability, as they reduce energy costs by 30%. As a large-scale national company, a big part of our ethos is to play a pivotal role in serving local communities. In fact, our precast factory has partnered up with the Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences to research the possibility of recycling concrete leftovers to be reused in the production of fresh concrete mixes.