Deepak Sharma looks back on his company's performance in the past year
fmME: Can you tell us how has the last year been for QBG FM?
DEEPAK SHARMA: 2013 was a very solid and positive year for us on many fronts as we crossed many milestones in our continuous journey towards excellence, the first of which was the successful completion and roll-out of our new corporate brand followed by a major restructuring to support the existing growth and future potential of the company.
I am very pleased to announce that business grew by 32% as we managed to secure a number of prestigious contracts from both government and private sector organizations, namely Dubai Airports, Al Masraf, Al Futtaim, Spinneys, Aggreko, Kaane American, Total, LG, Kempinski, The Oberoi among others.
Our workforce grew by more than 1,100 workers to reach a total of over 3,000, who serve nearly 400 customers in the Emirates alone. A state of the art CAFM software was also installed to assist our customers and enhance their operational efficiencies.
Over the last year, we managed to save 10-15% in energy bills of some of our customers. As in the past, our customers and staff retention remains extremely high, which is not the norm in our industry. Our efforts have been recognized by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Ministry of Labour.
fmME: Since QBG works in both Oman and the UAE, can you talk about your experiences working in FM in these two diverse markets?
DS: The Omani and Emirati markets are very different than one another. In the UAE, the FM industry is more mature and dynamic, and it is also becoming increasingly competitive. Customers are also more informed and aware of the innumerable benefits that are offered by professional FM companies.
In the next few years, we will see many positive changes and regulations put in place for better FM, building rating, green initiatives, energy audits, and I am confident that the UAE will be a model for many to follow. All of these FM developments will prove instrumental to support the massive growth that will take place for Expo 2020.
In contrast, Oman offers immense potential forFM initiatives, and while the government/public sector has understood the need for this, private sector entities need to come forward and accept integrated FM companies instead of single services providers.
The existing businesses and the authorities in Oman have started realizing the benefits of professional FM organizations which can bring in huge cost savings and prolonged asset life.
QBG has taken initiatives of joining hands with MEFMA to be the founding member of the Oman FM Chapter to bring FM professionals together in an effort to raise the level of awareness and appreciation for professional FM companies as well as promote FM as a professional field for young Omani nationals to consider.
fmME: If there was one thing you could change in the region’s FM sector to make it better, what would that be?
DS: We need to ensure that professional standards are set for our industry. Before granting someone the permission to carry out FM services, they need to prove their capabilities, experience and understanding of the business. This will ensure that high quality standards are maintained among FM companies and that all workers who perform FM jobs are trained, tested and certified by an independent body.
Qualitative and quantitative evaluation can be linked to a rating system that can be used as a criterion for bids and securing new clients so that they can make informed decisions while choosing their FM provider with full transparency.