Last Word: Deepak Murthy, Al Doha Maintenance
Deepak Murthy, operation manager, Al Doha Maintenance & Services, states that the next five years will change the FM sector dramatically
What is your scope of services in Qatar?
Al Doha Maintenance is a Facility Management company operating in Qatar for the last 20 years. Our HO is based in Dubai-UAE and was established in the year 1978.
Conventionally we provide services such as preventive and corrective maintenance in the field of civil and MEP, turnkey projects, joinery services, cleaning and janitorial services and pest control services.
On the other end of the spectrum we also provide highly specialised services such as ceiling cleaning services where we represent a company from US, kitchen hood and duct degreasing services and air duct cleaning services. All the works are performed by in-house, highly trained and experienced professionals.
Which companies are among some of your biggest clients?
Majority of our clients in Qatar are from the public sector. We work very closely with clients such as Qatar Petroleum, Ashghal, Kahrama, Qatar Foundation, Woqod, Al Jazeera, Hamad International Airport, Qatar Gas and other entities.
Our clients’ facilities range from industrial to commercial, residential, educational, sports, schools, medical, fuel stations and airports. We also provide services to companies in the private sector specific to clients who value quality over any other criteria.
Though we do not provide a comprehensive facility management service to all the clients, what we do provide is a tailored service which is in line with the client’s requirements.
How is Qatar’s FM sector performing, and what you expect in the next five years?
If you plot the FM Industry in the Bell Curve, the industry is currently experiencing a phase of rapid growth and would seek to consolidate in the next eight to 10 years.
This is only considering FIFA and Qatar National Vision 2030. However, Qatar is highly optimistic towards growth in the field of education and sports.
Any major events beyond FIFA 2022 will bring in further growth for another few years. The next five years is going to change the FM sector dramatically in Qatar. It is going to be promising and challenging at the same time.
What part will tourism play in the FM sector looking ahead?
Post Oil crisis and also in line with FIFA 2022, Qatar has made huge strides in the field of tourism. By tourism, I mean Qatar as a cultural destination reflecting the Arabic culture through museums, cultural village, traditional markets and also in the field of medical tourism.
With the opening of super speciality hospitals such as Sidra Medical & Research Centre and Hamad Medical City, medical tourism looks really promising. Also, Qatar Tourism Authority has been actively engaging the local population and tourists through various events and activities.
Due to the tremendous focus towards the tourism industry, there is a rapid expansion in specialised hospitality service providers. Also, Qatar is building multi-billion dollar stadiums in line with FIFA 2022 requirements. If we consider the standard benchmark of 30% as the construction cost, the remaining 70% is for the maintenance of the facility throughout its life cycle. This provides immense opportunity for service providers specialised in FM service both in hospitality and sports sectors. The current reail projects are a great example to justify the future potential of FM in Qatar.
What are the challenges of operating in Qatar’s FM market?
The most evident challenges pertain to availability of a skilled workforce, maintaining cost effectiveness whilst providing high quality services and the ability to sustain beyond the rapid growth period. Adding to that, the recent budget cuts in government spending due to low oil prices has taken FM companies in a totally new direction.
At Al Doha Maintenance we face challenges with the help of our resources which we have developed over the past 20 years. We have 700+ employees with the majority of our workforce working for more than five years in the company. We also use technological tools such as ORACLE based ERP system which acts a management tool to monitor the cost centres.