IMPERIAL PROMISE

Qatar 2019 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

From merely six to more than 4,500 employees, Tadmur Holding has evolved through a combination of shrewd micromanagement and broader strategic vision.

Dafer Hallawa
BIOGRAPHY
Dafer Hallawa, the Chairman & CEO of Tadmur Holding, is a visionary who turns dreams into reality through sound strategy development. His exceptional journey in Tadmur goes back to 1985. Motivated by his passion and in partnership with Nasser Al Kaabi, Hallawa has built up one of Qatar’s leading business conglomerates. In the last three decades, Hallawa has been an inspirational leader whose grounded actions and extensive knowledge has benchmarked the entire organizational spirit. As a pioneer of green practices in the private sector in Qatar, he supports and encourages local companies who joins in endeavors aligned with Qatar National Vision 2030.

How has Tadmur evolved into its current holding structure?

Tadmur was established in 1977 and is considered one of the oldest companies in Qatar. Our first business was in waterproofing, and once this was established and well-known, we added a trading division. Other divisions then started to grow slowly. We currently count almost 4,500 employees, up from six when we began. In 2004, we decided to take the next step in becoming a holding company with different subsidiaries and became a legal holding in 2009, managing to merge many of the businesses into one. For example, when we established Tadmur Trading, we merged six or seven divisions together. We sought synergies between the divisions in terms of clients, labor force, suppliers, and providers. Since then, we have also established OCS Qatar, a partnership between OCS (49%) and Tadmur Holding (51%). We also set up Norwood Qatar, Tadmur Solid Surfaces, Tadmur Pump Factory, and ASAS Construction Chemical Factory.

How do the different subsidiaries work together to encourage innovation and sustainability?

Many of our subsidiaries work together on many projects, as this is one of the ways we obtain new projects. Tadmur Contracting is our main construction contracting company founded in 1987. This company did many flagship projects such as the Student Center for Qatar Foundation. It has eight different zones, including a bowling alley and a hospital clinic, as well as a huge space for restaurants. It was built at a cost of USD156.55 million. We also just finished building the multipurpose and sports hall of Qatar University, where 5,400 students graduated in November. It cost USD115.35 million and was completed in nine months as per the contract. Additionally, we have acquired all the relevant certificates in sustainability and to date are the only private investor constructing a project in Lusail with LEED Gold certification. We work in close cooperation with the Qatar Green Building Council to raise awareness about green practices in construction. In 2018, we handed out the Tadmur Special Award to HBKU University for its research project 'Climate change implications for built environment: impacts, mitigation measures and associated challenges in GCC countries.'

What are your plans for helping Qatar achieve self-sufficiency in industrial production?

After the blockade, companies in Qatar started looking into opportunities within the country to boost industrial production to meet both their and others' needs, even outside of Qatar. At the beginning, there was a disruption of supply lines that affected businesses, though at the same time, it made us look into new ways of keeping our business running smoothly. We started looking for new places and products to add to the portfolio to replace the products made purely in the blockading countries. We furthermore decided to make products locally and set up two new factories post blockade. Our previous two factories were operating prior to the blockade, but they did extremely well during the blockade. We then established Norwood Qatar a few years before the metro was planned to start and supplied locally 23 stations with their framing systems. We ran the factory for 22 hours every day for six months to produce the material. Tadmur Solid Surfaces worked on nine stations, producing acrylic sheets. Additionally, we have two other factories, Tadmur Pump Factory and ASAS Construction Chemical Factory, which will go live in 2019. We are currently conducting trials and hope to have a full-blown manufacturing of construction chemicals by June. In January, we signed an agreement with one of the biggest construction manufacturers in Turkey that wants us to produce 64 products in Qatar under its name. Our target is for the factory to run 24 hours. 2019 will be a busy year for all our factories and businesses.