This month, the spotlight is on Sarens' joint venture with Nass Group in the Middle East. Here's what Masroor Saeed Malik, Regional Director, Middle East had to say about the joint venture, key projects in the region, and the market's future outlook.
Could you tell us about the Middle East division?
Established in 2002, Sarens Nass Middle East (SNME) is a joint venture between the Belgium-based Sarens NV and Bahrain-based NASS Group. The Company has remained at the forefront of industry innovation, successfully adapting to meet the dynamic requirements of heavy lift, shift and alternative products services.
Over the years, we have won customers' confidence and earned a leading position among the top players in the industry by maintaining the highest levels of quality, safety, and professional standards.
An ISO 9001, 14001 & OHSAS 18001 accredited company, SNME has a proven track record for the successful completion of projects across a wide range of sectors, including oil & gas, infrastructure, petrochemical, shutdown and turn-around, maintenance, power, water, and general construction. SNME boasts a project portfolio consisting of landmark developments throughout the Middle East and beyond.
SNME operates about 400 hydraulic and crawler cranes with up to 750-ton capacity, over 200 access platforms up to 43 meters, and other heavy equipment, all backed by Sarens ultra-heavy lift cranes and hydraulic modular trailers.
SNME employs a dedicated team of more than 750 professionals. Our expert crane operators and support technicians have been trained and are certified by the world-renowned accreditation bodies, which qualify them to work in any major project in the region.
We also invest heavily in international quality training and development, and nurture a corporate culture that supports our employees to reach their full potential.
Keeping in line with our vision to emerge as leaders, we have created strong business affiliations with NASS Group's branches, which include Abdulla Nass & Partners Co. (ANPCE) in Saudi Arabia, Nass Group LLC in the Sultanate of Oman and Al Ghanim Nass General Trading and Contracting Co. in the State of Kuwait.
What is your business model in this region?
SNME's business model is to provide comprehensive cranes, heavy lift and access service solutions to its targeted customers and markets all over the region with a detailed focus on safety, quality and reliability, enabling SNME to consolidate its position and emerge as a market leader.
How do Sarens NV and NASS Group leverage their combined strengths to excel in this market?
Over the years this joint venture, Sarens Nass Middle East WLL (SNME), has emerged as a leading organization in the industry by maintaining the highest levels of quality, safety and professional standards of its parent organizations. SNME has emerged as a market leader with a unique proposition and capability to provide clientele with services at an international standard, with detailed regional know-how and presence.
In 2016 and 2017, a wide variety of projects were being executed in the region. Could you tell us about the major ones?
SNME has a strong market presence in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, and is a leading player in the largest and most diversified regional market. The following are some of our major projects in this region:
There are also many projects in the pipeline across the Middle East. A few of these mega projects include:
How do you visualize the existing market and its future outlook?
Overall GCC GDP is expected to grow by 2.7% in 2017 and 3.2% thereafter.
The planned project pipeline in Saudi Arabia is about USD $800 billion, Qatar USD $200 billion, Kuwait USD $175 billion, Oman USD $100 billion, and Bahrain USD $57 billion.
Key growth sectors include infrastructure, oil and gas, petrochemical, power, transport and mining. Industrial construction of mega projects is also driving overall Middle East market growth.
Which opportunities in the Middle East could Sarens leverage in the coming months?
Our main drivers, on a short-term basis, are emerging markets and new mega projects awarded in Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.
Beyond 2017, infrastructure development of Qatar will be in full force and beyond 2018 the expected revival of the Saudi market will maintain our growth and momentum in the Middle East.
What are the current challenges in the Middle East's business environment?
Major external challenges include an unstable regional political situation and low oil prices. Internal challenges include a lack of qualified and skilled human resources at the local level.
How have you seen this region evolve under your leadership?
I have been associated with the organization since 2011, and my most important achievement has been reorganizing the business through professional management and the establishment of basic business standards through policies and procedures certified under ISO 9001, 14001 & OHSAS 18001.
In the past six years, we have expanded our regional footprint by adding branches in Oman and Kuwait, and we presently have country branches in five GCC countries. We have also expanded our fleet in number, capability, and capacity. Currently, we have a versatile fleet of about 400 units with an average age of seven years and capacity of up to 750 tons. Finally, we've expanded our business portfolio by adding new services under the alternative product division by introducing 200 units of power access (manlifts).
Additionally, SNME established a joint venture with Smet Jet NV of Belgium under the name of Sarens Nass Smet Industries (SNS). SNSI started production of vacuum equipment (fluid, solid, and jet vacuators) in 2017 and is expected to reach peak production during 2018 - 2019.
Have you participated in any community initiatives?
SNME has participated in various community-related initiatives including:
What do you believe are Sarens' key strengths?
Our strengths include our international network, alternative and engineered lifting solutions, a very large and diversified heavy lift fleet, and versatile and dynamic management capable of providing turnkey project solutions.