Home / INTERVIEWS / Face-to-Face: Alex Davies, managing director, Emrill Facilities Management

Face-to-Face: Alex Davies, managing director, Emrill Facilities Management

by Nikhil Pereira on Sep 11, 2017

Davies' progression within the company has seen him rise to the position of managing director, a role he officialy took over earlier this year.
Davies' progression within the company has seen him rise to the position of managing director, a role he officialy took over earlier this year.

Emrill’s growth has been a sustained one, according to its managing director Alex Davies. The Dubai-founded facilities management (FM) company continues to raise the bar for FM in the country, by ensuring it meets the latest standardisations and accreditations — NICEIC and JCI were some of the latest — in turn pushing and empowering its staff with the tools required to deliver quality service to its clients.

Emrill won the 2017 Overall FM Company of the Year award, an achievement it has managed four times in the last five years. “We are hoping to make it three in a row,” Davies smiles with determination in his voice. “Winning the award is a testament to how we have performed over the last 12-18 months,” he says.

Davies speaks about Emrill’s growth during that timespan. “Revenue is up 10% year-on-year. It’s a constant angst to stay ahead, and the 10% growth reflects that. Over the last 12 months our headcount has grown just under 9%, which means the business now employs close to 7,600 people, he says.”

The firm has also managed to secure big contract wins under its portfolio, andDavies gives insight into new and existing contracts. “We have seen a lot of new wins with existing customers, Wasl, Meraas and Emaar. And we have seen a lot of new customers come to us as well. In the last 18 months, we have secured and mobilised Dubai Festival City — soft services; integrated facilities management (IFM) services for the Dubai Opera; IFM services for Dubai Healthcare City — not just restricted to the freezone but also a number of the buildings within the freezone.

“We have secured DC Aviation that’s located within the Dubai World Central Airport. With Meraas we have secured The Outlet Village, The Beach at JBR and we have seen growth with security contracts as well. There is a real balance of sectors, new customers and some existing customers,” Davies says.

There have, however, also been a few noteworthy omissions in Emrill’s portfolio of clients. Davies admits that losing a client “hurts”, but a professional approach is the way to go in such cases. But Emrill has also had clients return following a “not-so-favourable relationship” with their newly appointed FM company. 

“Yes we have had cases like those, it’s always pleasing to have those meetings. But then the challenge is to be able to get back to the site and deliver as per the standards we had set. Another challenge we face in such cases is remobilising the team. But it’s always good to know when people appreciate the value we have added in the past,” Davies says.

Davies says Emrill is more than satisfied to operate within the UAE, and is considering expansion in other emirates rather than crossing international borders at this stage. 

“If anything we are looking at how we can consolidate in the Northern Emirates — not any that I can disclose but future developments in Ras Al Khaimah could be on the cards, and we have seen developments in Sharjah — so that’s where our focus is rather than the new country market. Alongside growing our existing market share in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“From a current business perspective the [UAE] market is due to grow and we continue to grow as a result. Of course we have achieved a 10% sustainable growth, and we are not seeing any signs of it slowing down for us in the UAE.” Davies says 70% of contract wins come from existing clients, “new contracts and new buildings from existing clients”.