MISSION & VISION

Saudi Arabia 2016 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Abdullah Al-Sayed, Founder & Chairman of NEXUS Flight Operations Services, on upcoming developments for the company, its global expansion, and the many opportunities in the market.

Abdullah Al-Sayed
BIOGRAPHY
Abdullah Al-Sayed is the Founder & Chairman of NEXUS Flight Operations Services. He has an MBA from the American University of London and has held many positions in the sector, including Deputy CEO of National Air Services/NETJETS Middle East and Director of Regional Sales and Business Development for Royal Jet.

What programs does the company want to develop in the medium term in country?

We are developing in two areas; the first is in aircraft aviation support and logistics services, while the second is in training. We are expanding on our training capabilities, including introducing new leadership, hiring more instructors for our programs, and increasing our training staff. All the investments we have made in the last five years and all the relationships we have built with our customers have cemented our reputation. I am proud to say we compete with the largest and most established players in the market, even though NEXUS only came into being in 2010. We are proud of our team, our capabilities, and the vision of our shareholders, who from day one knew that we had to invest in infrastructure and quality. NEXUS saw the changes that were coming and prepared for them. If you can demonstrate to the government that you have the right capabilities and human resources, it will support your company with projects. This is why we have a backlog of government projects for the coming years, not to mention private projects.

NEXUS also has plenty of plans around the world. Can you expand on these?

Our business in Saudi Arabia has grown and is mature enough. We decided to change our leadership in country to focus on the strategic expansion of our business internationally. We have been in India for the last three years and that has been successful. We are number one in India in terms of capabilities and the quality of our customers and services we provide. We are also in Africa, which has been expanding tremendously, especially in the airline business. In addition, we are in the US through Wyvern Ltd., our safety and quality business headquartered in Yardley, Pennsylvania. We have just established a company in Shanghai to serve mainland China, and we sent one of our most senior team members to Manila to set up a new operations center there to serve the Asian region market and serve as our backup center. We also decided to have a base in Latin America for the middle of 2016. We are looking at Mexico because it is developing with a growing economy where we have opportunities. Also, the number of operators in Mexico is increasing, which is a good sign for business.

How would you assess the business environment after one year of low oil prices?

The government has provided many opportunities in the market. In December 2015 Saudi Aramco announced it would spend $300 billion over the next 10 years to increase the nationalization of the workforce. It will do so not only within Saudi Aramco, but also in its local supply chain. This will create thousands of jobs in many industries, including the aviation and logistics sectors, which will help the country's economy considerably. It will make sure local service providers deliver to the standards of large corporates and the government, while ensuring that business is driven by locals. Even with falling oil prices, production levels have remained the same so the need for services, logistics, and support has not changed. However, companies have to be smart and think in terms of efficiency to cope with the fall in oil prices. This is where NEXUS excels because of our business model and our efficiency in terms of technology and human resources. It is cost-effective for the government and our corporate clients to use our services, because for a fraction of the cost of other providers you get the full reach of aviation services. The government likes to use local companies, but it wants them to come with an international mentality, knowledge, and know-how. That is why NEXUS is in India, Africa, Europe, the US, and now the Philippines and China soon. My role as chairman is to transfer our capabilities and the platform we have established in Saudi Arabia over to those emerging markets.