STRENGTH THROUGH EXPERIENCE

Oman 2017 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Giovanni Piazzolla, Director of Al Nahdha Group, on the company's diverse portfolio and how that experience has informed and inspired expansion.

Giovanni Piazzolla
BIOGRAPHY
Born in Italy and brought up in the Middle East, Giovanni Piazzolla has been associated with Al Nahdha Group since 2004 and is currently the Partner in the Group. Under the vibrant leadership of Piazzolla, Al Nahdha Group has been surging ahead both in terms of business volumes and clientele base. His initiatives have been vital in developing relations with an elite clientele. As a part of Piazzolla’s vision to develop ties with multinational companies in Italy, Al Nahdha Group has opened a liaison office in Italy which provides details of various potential projects in Oman.

What are some of the most significant past or ongoing projects in your portfolio in Oman?

We are and have been active in most of the major projects in Oman since the past 12 years. In Sohar, we regularly work with refineries, methanol plants, aluminum smelters, Port of Sohar, the port operator, and many more. We were the main sub-contractors to Japan Gas Corporation in the erstwhile Sohar Refinery Project (renamed Orpic). Of late, over 1,000 members of our workforce were engaged in the prestigious SRIP Extension Project at a single point of time. We were actively involved throughout Barka Power Plant Phase-I project. For Salalah Airport Project, we have supplied over 200,000 cubic meters of scaffolding material plus manpower. We are present in most of the main projects in Oman in one way or another with one or more of our services.

As the company has strategic offices in Sohar, Salalah, and Duqm, do you see your business expanding as these economic zones also expand?

As we have already established ourselves as a major player in the market at Muscat and Sohar, the development of Salalah and Duqm Economic Zones would offer us more opportunities to expand our business to these areas. We are already operational at Salalah and Duqm having set up offices over there and already cater to various projects like Salalah Airport Project, Port of Duqm, and Oman Dry-dock, for example. We position ourselves to be in a position to supply all the major requirements of various clients as and when development activities pick up.

What is the level of competition in the construction industry of Oman, and how does Al Nahdha set itself apart from competitors?

The level of competition in Oman is less compared to its neighboring countries in the Middle East. One of the main reasons is the strict implementation of Omanization work quota across all industries by the government. However, we consider this aspect as advantageous to us as we can save a lot of ancillary costs by inducting more nationals in our workforce. This is one of the reasons we have set up a training facility to develop the ICV of national workforce and we offer training to new recruits to develop various skills in them. Another of our main emphasis is on quality development, not quantity. Over these years, we have developed ourselves to achieve international standards and excellence in the services we provide. We were recently awarded an ISO certification in recognition of the level of standard achieved by us, which is considered to be a benchmark in terms of quality assurance, which is one of the major requirements in the competitive market. We have implemented new software to train our people and send them to various seminars and training programs to update and upgrade their performance levels in line with the market demands.

What are your expectations for the next 12 months?

Even while considering the fallout in oil prices across the globe and the resultant effects on the economic front, we do not see any substantial recession or cause for panic in Oman as more and more projects seem to be coming up with regularity. Hence, we do not anticipate any cause for any major worry at the moment. In the meantime, we have started looking into doing business in Iran as well in the wake of the UN sanctions on Iran being lifted recently resulting in a large backlog of developmental works being undertaken offering huge opportunities. Simultaneously, we will work towards consolidating our position and presence in the UAE, Qatar, and India.

 

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