Home / INTERVIEWS / Face to face: Faisal Bouzo and Tarek Al Ajlani, C&P

Face to face: Faisal Bouzo and Tarek Al Ajlani, C&P

by James Morgan on May 13, 2017

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These are undoubtedly challenging times for Saudi Arabia’s construction sector. Reduced national revenues resulting from the post-2014 oil price decline have led to project uncertainty, low market liquidity, and a host of associated challenges for the kingdom’s contracting community. While it can sometimes feel like positive news is in scant supply, there are still success stories to be found – providing you know where to look. Take for example Construction and Planning Co Ltd (C&P), a Riyadh-headquartered firm that has grown from an ambitious start-up to a multimillion-dollar contractor in little more than a decade.

Established in 2004 by two young Saudi entrepreneurs, Faisal Bouzo and Tarek Al Ajlani, C&P started life as a three-person outfit performing small-scale construction and fit-out works within the kingdom’s residential sector. Today, the contractor boasts a 500-plus workforce, and has completed large-scale fit-out, construction, and landscaping projects – in a diverse range of market segments – for some of the largest conglomerates on the planet.

In hindsight, this is not altogether surprising. Both Bouzo and Al Ajlani grew up in families that ran construction and engineering businesses. Upon discovering their mutual passion for architecture and construction, C&P’s co-founders and managing partners knew immediately what they wanted to achieve.

“Our mission was to deliver quality creations with high-end execution by joining forces,” Bouzo tells Construction Week. “We identified a niche in the market: to deliver projects within Saudi Arabia according to the highest international standards.”

Al Ajlani continues: “There was a dearth of kingdom-based companies equipped to deliver creative designs and high-end execution, particularly for mid- to large-scale projects in the residential sector. We established C&P to fill this particular gap, initially by breaking down barriers in terms of the standard designs to which the market had become accustomed, and then by establishing redefined benchmarks for quality and innovation.”

During the past 12 years, C&P’s workforce has witnessed significant organic growth. The company now employs a diverse range of construction experts, including directors, project managers, site engineers, planning professionals, and a comprehensive team of support staff. Fortunately, the firm’s 500-plus workforce has plenty to keep it busy. Despite Saudi Arabia’s challenging contracting market, C&P has succeeded in securing a broad array of high-profile projects across multiple segments.

“We recently finalised an affiliation with World Trade Center Saudi Arabia (WTC-Saudi),” reveals Bouzo. “With an estimated value of $26.7m (SAR100m), this joint venture deal was signed with the aim of developing real estate properties over a period of five years.

“WTC-Saudi complements C&P’s services by supplying our clients with temporary, fully-equipped offices, enabling them to make the most of their commercial spaces while their permanent offices are being completed. In turn, C&P is responsible for handling the fit-out of all offices within WTC-Saudi’s towers.”

Despite its relative youth, C&P has worked for a dizzying selection of the world’s biggest multinationals. The contractor’s client portfolio includes Apple Saudi Arabia, Deutsche Bank, Dell, BNP Paribas, Becton Dickinson (BD), and Hansgrohe. It has completed fit-out works for the headquarters of the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), and Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (Taqnia). In addition, C&P is now in the final stages of completing a construction project, valued at more than $26.7m (SAR100m), to rebuild Riyadh Care Hospital.

However, the company hasn’t forgotten its residential roots. Al Ajlani explains: “C&P is currently completing works for a 900,000m2 residential project on behalf of renowned real estate developer, Solidere International, alongside Unimac and Aqualia. Our scope of work for the development, which is located in Riyadh’s Al Malqa district, involves landscaping and irrigation works, and the establishment of water wells and desalination plants.”