FIRST ON THE SCENE

Oman 2018 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Murtaza Jariwala, Executive Director of Vanguard Engineering & Oilfield Services, on manufacturing and value addition, successful long-term partnerships, and how to best thrive as a truly local company.

Murtaza Jariwala
BIOGRAPHY
Murtaza Jariwala is the Executive Director of Vanguard Engineering & Oilfield Services, a leading provider of innovative products, specialized services, and technology within the Sultanate of Oman. He founded Vanguard in September 2006, and the company has experienced rapid growth based upon superior customer service, a strong reputation for quality workmanship, and experienced staff. Working in the oil and gas industry for the last 17 years, he worked himself up from a sales engineer to a business professional. He graduated from McMaster University in Ontario with bachelor of materials engineering.

In regard to business strategy, what is Vanguard doing differently than its competitors?

From day one, we at Vanguard have always focused on manufacturing and value addition. When we started in 2006 the first thing we did was to put a facility together in the industrial area so that we could work all the opportunities into local value addition. This has been our strength from day one, and over the last 10 years this has now taken us to the next level; we are already starting to see the benefits from this value addition. Initially, we started off capturing the market with our products and developing the market coverage before gradually manufacturing some of these products with the right technologies and bringing in good channel partners to help us with the same. Recently, we have come up with some cutting-edge technologies that have really provided an edge for Vanguard and started entering into niche areas. To be specific, we are working on several different segments of the industry, including mechanical, instrumentation, electrical, and process. These segments have certain products and services that are required by the oil companies, and we have selected a few to be mentioned in instrumentation, such as a multi-phase metering that was a critical to how oil companies test their wells. We found a partner some years ago and together have brought in some new technology to the market that we have been improving over the last two years. We are now seeing long-term contracts in this area.

How will your technological breakthroughs impact the Omani market?

Our competition is mostly international companies that have also been providing products and solutions over the years. They have much bigger support systems and resources available to them, so we have been beating that competition to break through with our technology. The second thing beside price is delivery and response time. Because we are a local company, we have facilities and resources available on the ground and are doing local manufacturing, which gives us an upper hand over the oil companies. At Vanguard, there are three companies in the group: Vanguard Engineering, Vanguard Oil Tools, and Vanguard Reservoir. Vanguard Engineering is mainly a job shop for manufacturing and a company that offers products and services.

What are Vanguard's main objectives, goals, and expansion plans?

Vanguard has planned to further build on its existing manufacturing facilities and increase the product range profiles. We will try to take products and services to the next level. We have plans to expand our facilities, and with regard to international deliverance, we are going to start with smaller projects. We do not have a production line throwing out products at a certain time and section; rather, we do customized projects that go through phases of engineering, design, and development before they actually get manufactured, so those things take time. We are working on some things internationally that should have started in 2017 and be completed in 2018. Most of these projects take about six to eight months or longer because of the long lead time of delivering items.