TBY talks to Devaki Khimji, Executive Director of Al Turki Enterprises, about diversification, increasing optimization, and consolidation.

Devaki Khimji
Devaki Khimji has served as the Managing Director and Partner of India Circus Pvt. Ltd, a company dedicated to online retail of lifestyle products in India. Her business acumen and foresight were essential to India Circus' launch and financial growth. She guided the brand through the market with her management skills garnered in previous endeavors. She has also embarked on various successful entrepreneurial ventures and acquired an indispensable understanding of the global market, including the domain of electronic-commerce. With strong management skills, both traditional and technologically-specific, Khmiji’s experience and proficiency have channeled her businesses and aspirations in the right direction.

What is the profile and composition of the Group as a multifaceted construction firm?

Al Turki and Al Tasnim Group are comprised of several companies incorporated during the last four decades. My father, the founder, always believed in backward integration to ensure that the core value of product and service quality are maintained within the group. The group functions through six main verticals, which are: oil and gas; civil construction; building finishes; cement products; roads and infrastructure, and product dealership training. The group also has rotomoulding, catering, and housekeeping, and health and fitness divisions.

What are some of the current and ongoing projects within the portfolio of Al Turki Enterprises and its group companies?

We are proud to say that at least one division of the group is or has been a part of every major landmark in Oman. If we have not carried out the construction works, we provided concrete or blockwork or did the carpentry, the glass reinforced concrete (GRC), the marble or stone activity, or in some cases everything. Some of the key projects currently under construction that we as a group are involved in include Al Mouj (The Wave Muscat), PDO's Ras Al Hamra, National Bank of Oman's new headquarters, the Off-plot Development Contract with PDO, a number of prestigious construction projects for Royal Oman Police across Oman, as well as several other government construction projects. We are also carrying out a lot of decorative finishing works such as stone cladding, the construction of GRC domes, and the manufacturing of carved doors, for example, across Oman.

How do the joinery and carpentry services provide strategic value in the one stop shop idea?

In the construction field, the use of wood and wood products is of high importance and visible in the finished product. Our clients attach great importance to carpentry and joinery works, such as manufacture and installation of doors, pergolas, and windows, for example. Being a large part of the construction process, it was becoming a challenge for us to ensure that the promised or expected quality was achieved when working through smaller subcontractors. It therefore made perfect sense to start our own in-house carpentry & joinery division to ensure that quality as promised or expected could be delivered. Currently, 40% of the production of our carpentry and joinery division is for external customers, with 60% being for our in-house projects.

What are your expectations over the next 12 months of business for Al Turki?

Over the course of the next 12 months, our focus will be on three major areas. First, to ensure that we maintain our competitive advantage. We are working hard as a group across all divisions and departments to make our processes lean and therefore become more efficient in all areas of our activities. Increased optimization will also enable us explore possible business opportunities outside Oman. The second is to develop a mentorship program for SMEs where, after an initial screening process, we mentor companies to set up operations with Omanis, help them with recruitment, financing and monitor their performance on a monthly basis to ensure they are profitable within a two-year horizon. We are currently mentoring two existing companies in our oil and gas division and one that is in the process of setting up. Our final focus shall be working out how we, as a private sector company, are going to invest in a country that has given us so much in the 40 years since the group started its operations.