ZIAD MORTAJA

Saudi Arabia 2021 | TELECOMS & IT | VIP INTERVIEW

MIS never loses sight of customers' needs and satisfaction while increasing shareholders' value and maintaining employee well-being.

What opportunity has COVID-19 presented to MIS and the Saudi IT sector?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, MIS invested heavily in its infrastructure to become an agile company and prepared business continuity plans. We did not experience issues when we started working remotely because we had already instilled it in the DNA of the company. We helped many of our customers build secure infrastructure and designed solutions to help them adjust to the new reality forced by the pandemic. One example of that was when MIS was selected as the technology systems integrator for the G20 Virtual Summit project; a project we carried out successfully in a demanding environment and a short amount of time.

What are your plans to generate more profit than the SAR76-million net profit recorded in 2019?

MIS is in a continuous journey of transformation to its portfolio of products and services and to its operations with the fundamental goal of growth in revenues and profits. We strongly believe in the Saudi market as demand for IT solutions and infrastructure are essential to enable the Kingdom to realize its aspiring Vision 2030. MIS is expanding its horizontal and vertical solutions, offering to cover more elements of the IT value chain. In addition, we always look for ways to leverage our resources better, reduce operational cost and enhance customer experience. We are defining MIS 3.0 with core theme to work on positioning “Saudi as a Digital Experience" (SaDX). We had an ambitious plan for 2020 based on our deep analysis of market opportunities, government and industry directions, and internal capabilities. We then adjusted the plan to reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lower oil prices, but overall, we see positive outcomes for many elements of our plan.

What services have you offered in this time of uncertain-ty to ensure business continuity and support the economy?

We have assured all of our clients we are there for them and will go the extra mile should any unforeseen circumstances affect their businesses. For our employees, we provided assurances that our priority is their safety and wellbeing. We want to ensure we meet both our customer and em-ployee satisfaction, as you cannot look after one and compromise the other. It is all about ensuring everyone can still conduct their tasks in the new normal. We have many critical projects to enable virtual meetings, remote and secure access to in-formation with mobility and high availability.

You have created a Dr. Robot project with the Ministry of Health to target haj visitors. Can you tell us more about how that project is going?

Dr. Robot and all the other telemedicine devices we invested in are US- and Saudi FDA-certified and designed to be used in hospitals for medical diagnosis and patient follow-ups. The devices help doctors conduct medical checks on patients remotely and even read and check vital signs and reports. Our goal is to localize this technology in the Kingdom in terms of manufacturing and software development.

What has COVID-19 taught you about your business and about managing a crisis?

We base MIS values on a Principles Trio, which we always thrive to create a balance across; share-holders' value, employee well-being, and customer satisfaction. We maintain a prime level of internal communication to ensure we inform all employees about developments in a timely fashion. For companies like MIS, where the key asset is people and skills, it is imperative to keep the staff loyal and motivated. The culture we adopt in our company and the incredible level of trust we share have motivated our employees. They adapted extremely well to the new operating model, because of the tools that eased the shift from employee-dependent working station to a remote one, such as Microsoft Teams. This crisis has taught us to always expect the unexpected. Our company has proven its resilience against unforeseen challenges by entirely adapting to the new operating model and help our customers do the same.