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Big 5: Hira well-prepared for Expo bonanza

Company ready to seize upon growth opportunities following award

Hira's stand at 2013's Big 5 show.
Hira's stand at 2013's Big 5 show.

Hira Industries is set to roll out a three-year plan it had developed prior to the announcement of Dubai’s Expo 2020 win, according to managing director Manish Hiranandani.

Predicting a more rapid rate of growth for the construction industry due to the development required by the Expo plans, Hiranandani said that the company is well-prepared to seize the opportunities ahead.

Speaking at Dubai's Big 5 construction show, he said: “We did two budgets: Scenario A budgeted for the company for the next three years without Expo 2020 and Scenario B, which has a steeper upward curve, for the budget with Expo 2020."

“We budgeted for a moderate 10% growth if Dubai didn’t get Expo 2020 – so there would still be growth, which is good, but it would be more controlled growth. But now [that Dubai has won] we have to jump in our seats, get in the racecar and drive really fast to match up to the steep upward curve,” he added.

Hiranandani explained that a major part of this plan involves recruiting and keeping hold of the right people in order to secure this growth for the business.

“We’re looking for more people, so one thing we’d already got downstairs [in our Big 5 booth] even before the Expo 2020 announcement, is a jobs application desk. We’re going to need stronger human resource (HR) systems within our company in order to retain, but also increase, the strength of our employees, so that is going to be where our focus happens. HR will play a key role in this growth,” he said.

Hiranandani added that, while the growth expected from the Expo award is welcome, consideration must be given to controlling it in order to prevent a construction and property bubble similar to the one which preceded the Dubai property market crash in 2009.

“I think that’s where it’s more of a government initiative that needs to step in there to control certain factors of inflation and property speculation. Those are the two main factors about which we have to be careful this time around. I think one thing that’s already been implemented is the transfer fee increase of 4% to avoid the change of hands through speculation but, if the prices go up too high, I don’t think that 4% will make a difference,” he said.

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