SOLID FOUNDATION

Saudi Arabia 2014 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Saad Eddine Rafiq Al Hariri, Chairman & CEO of Saudi Oger, on the success of the company, international expansion, and Oger's subsidiaries.

Saad Eddine Rafiq Al Hariri
BIOGRAPHY
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Eddine Rafiq Al Hariri has been living between Paris and Riyadh since leaving the government in 2011. Hariri is the Founder and Chairman of Oger Telecom, while he also leads the Future Movement in Lebanon. He served as the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 2009 till 2011. He serves as Chairman at Saraya Holdings Limited, in addition to holding the position of Chairman of the French-based contracting and consulting corporation Oger International. He served as Chairman at Saraya Aqaba Real Estate Development Company, and is currently the Chairman & CEO at Saudi Oger.

Saudi Oger is one of the most successful Saudi companies and one that has changed the construction industry in the region. What strategies have guided this growth and diversification?

Saudi Oger is a flexible company with a pro-active approach when it comes to business decisions. The management team at Saudi Oger is always searching for opportunities and business lines that can utilize our wealth of experience, know-how, efficiency, and quality of everything we deliver. This approach is based on logic and the investigation of surrounding markets. Diversification and controlled growth help Saudi Oger to reduce the level of risk in a single sector. This leads to larger and steadier growth, and a more efficient utilization of human and financial resources. For example, Saudi Oger, in conjunction with International Power of the UK, was awarded a contract by Aramco involving the development of four electrical power and steam cogeneration plants with a combined total capacity of 1,063 MW. All of these plants have been in operation since 2006 and are operated and maintained by Tihama Power Generation, a company jointly owned by International Power and Saudi Oger, for a period of 20 years on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. In addition, Saudi Oger and its partners won the first airport privatization in Saudi Arabia. The consortium will complete the construction of the passenger terminal by 1H2015, and shall be entitled to operate the Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz Airport for 25 years. These two examples mentioned are only a sample of how Saudi Oger is flexible and looks for opportunities beyond its traditional construction and facilities management business lines.

What further international expansion is Saudi Oger now considering, and how will its local performance improve its competitiveness on a global scale?

Saudi Oger's construction and facilities management focus is currently on the local Saudi market, though without ignoring the other opportunities that are emerging in the region. The magnitude of work in Saudi Arabia requires massive resources and simultaneous efforts to finish projects on time without compromising quality. With more than 36 years of experience in Saudi Arabia and abroad, Saudi Oger's competitiveness is evident in all of our projects. Our engineers are always developing new technically advanced systems that can achieve results that are faster, cheaper, and less dependent on a massive workforce. This improves Saudi Oger's competitiveness on a global scale, where skilled labor is hard to find.

Saudi Oger has developed many lines of business that complement its core of construction. What is the future of Oger's subsidiaries?

We believe in providing our clients with solutions that help meet their objectives and enable them to utilize their projects with maximum versatility and efficiency. With this approach in mind, our development of parallel business lines remains focused and purposeful. As an example, our subsidiary Oger Systems provides one-stop-shop solutions to our customers as well as convenient and efficient IT solutions, smart home technologies, and automation control, as well as fully integrated security systems, thus enabling them to create new opportunities to sell more products to clients and customers.