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2017 fmME Power 50: 21-30

The Middle East's 50 most influential FM professionals

21. Roohullah Ramzan
21. Roohullah Ramzan
22. Sara Momtaz
22. Sara Momtaz
23. Alain El Tawil
23. Alain El Tawil
24. Sanjay Bhatia
24. Sanjay Bhatia
25. Gavin Egan
25. Gavin Egan
26. Eng Ansari
26. Eng Ansari
27. Jennifer L. Peltenburg
27. Jennifer L. Peltenburg
28. Malika Faheema Bhatti
28. Malika Faheema Bhatti
29. Stephen Thomas
29. Stephen Thomas
30. Fadi S. Alshakhshir
30. Fadi S. Alshakhshir

21. Roohullah Ramzan, Chief executive officer, MJB Group

MJB Group has consolidated its businesss in 2017 having surpassed its 2016 revenue figures by September this year, and the group expects a fair amount of new business to be secured before the end of 2017. Until October this year, profits were up 15% for the UAE-founded company.

MJB Group has been traditionally strong in the  security services space, and the company has grown its IFM credetials in 2017. MJB Group has won a lot more contracts to offer mechanical, electrical and plumbing services, along with services based on the strong reputation it has in the market for its security and concierge services.

MJB Group CEO Roohullah Ramzan remain at the heart of the company’s growth, as MJB Group has won significant new contracts over the last 12 months.

“We have grown in the luxury sector as we now offer our services at the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai, to add to our partnership with the Per Aquum Dessert Palm,” Ramzan said in an interview with fmME earlier this year.

Cashflow issues remains a major concern for Ramzan and MJB Group. “It is a bit of a challenge the market is facing right now, but we believe it will iron out in time,” Ramzan says. MJB has grown in the education sector as well, having won contracts with two schools — Clarion School and Ryan International School.

MJB Group was founded in 2012 by Ramzan who  believes the company’s philosophy is to offer the highest quality service in every sector it represents.

22. Sara Momtaz, Director, commercial and business development — QBG FM

Qurum Business Group’s facilities management (QBG FM) arm has worked on driving the integrated facilities management concept in Oman in 2017. The Sultanate is home turf for QBG, and Sara Momtaz believes there is a shift in perception towards FM in the country.

“The prevalent practice of single-service offering is giving way to an integrated approach towards FM in Oman, and the government is playing a role in making that push,” Momtaz told fmME earlier this year.

This urgency has helped QBG FM retain and extend its contract with Oman Avenues Mall in Muscat. The firm has also been quite busy in the UAE having won several new contracts and entering new sectors in the bargain. One of its most significant, was a contract award from DEWA, for cleaning and solar test services for various stations in Jebel Ali.

QBG FM also won its most significant contract, in terms of value, with the Dubai World Trade Centre where it is providing manpower services and  cleaning works. A contract award by ENOC — to provide MEP services for the firm’s complex and staff accommodation in Dubai — means QBG FM has also entered the oil and gas space.

“Over the past 18 months, we have considerably grown within the UAE, by extending our reach throughout Abu Dhabi into Al Ain, the Western Region as well as Abu Dhabi city with major government clients,” Momtaz says.

She also adds that due to reduced budgets, FM companies are now challenged by clients to provide high quality service. “This makes hiring the right manpower pivotal for the company,” Momtaz adds.

23. Alain El Tawil, Managing partner — Grako

Alain El Tawil is a prominent personality in the FM industry, and his high-access cleaning solutions company had a successful outing at the 2017 fmME Awards picking up two highly coveted awards at the gala event — fmME Cleaning Company of the Year and Health & Safety Initiative of the Year.

Founded back in 2004, El Tawil and Grako might not have played a crucial role in building Dubai’s skyline but the firm has been a stand-out player in maintaining a majority of the city’s high rise towers. With the 2018 order books almost full, the future seems more than bright for the Dubai-founded firm. Grako has also registered decent profit margins in 2017, as it maintains its relationship with property development and management firm Emaar, as it continues to work on the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa.

During the course of the year, Grako has also added the Dubai Parks and Resorts for external works, City Walk 1 and City Walk 2, along with Emaar’s The Address Hotels. Grako has several new high-profile clients in the pipeline that it cannot disclose due to sensitivity in the nature of the project.

For El Tawil, the challenge in the coming 12 months is to grow Grako’s workforce by 15% while seeking the same level of professionalism from the get go. Training, learning and development remains a crucial part of the company’s business — as it continues to focus on attaining the highest international accreditations and standards for its employees.

24. Sanjay Bhatia, General manager — Concordia DMCC

Concordia has undergone a transition over the past 12 months, as Sanjay Bhatia has enforced a fair amount of influence on proceedings after taking over as general manager little over a year ago. The firm has also looked at growing beyond the confines of JLT, as it’s received a fair amount of encouragement from developers and communities, welcoming Concordia to participate in the tendering process.

Following its relationship with property developers Omniyat, Concordia has added more projects to its portfolio from Omniyat.

“We are also working to land three other master communities, not to the scale of JLT but it certainly has the potential of becoming the next JLT. We are working closely with Al Seef to win that contract, we have already secured Liberty House, Al Bateen Residence — through Golden Mile we are getting into Palm Jumeirah as well. Omniyat is developing real estate on The Palm, which could be a potential for us as well. We work with Nakheel’s Masakin Al Furjan community, they have other tenders and are keen for us to participate in them. But, at no point we want to spread our resources so thin that it reflects poorly on our service delivery within JLT,” Bhatia told fmME in a previous interview.

Concordia has also recorded double digit profit margins — 12% to 15% — over the last four years, excluding 2017. 

Bhatia remains bullish in his uptake of technological and CAFM solutions as he looks at tightening up on efficiencies.

25. Gavin Egan, Division manager (FM) — BK Gulf

Gavin Egan was recently promoted to the position of division manager (FM) at BK Gulf, having served in the regional construction sector for 17 years. “Energy efficiency and sustainability continues to be at the forefront of the FM industry, our commitment to sustainability started at home where we are currently implementing an on grid 590kWp solar PV scheme for DBB/BKGs labour camps, which will result in a saving of 8,657 tonnes of CO2,” Egan states.

BK Gulf has also completed its concept design to achieve net zero carbon at its head office in Jebel Ali. Egan says the firm reported heathy revenues and profits over the 2016-2017 period. “We have expanded our portfolio with Al Wasl Properties; been awarded ESCO works including solar PV contracts in JAFZA; and we were also awarded the New York University (Abu Dhabi) framework agreement for continuous enhancement works. This coupled with our strong performance in client retention has made 2016 and 2017 a success,” he says.

In addition to projects won in the first half of 2017, BK Gulf also has ongoing projects with Emaar’s Dubai Fountain, Wasl Properties’ DREC, Dubai Holding headquarters — Jumeirah, and the Burj Al Arab.

While BK Gulf is working on a tech-focused strategy, Egan says its implementation will be a challenge. “Through our new business strategy and growth plan, we will build on our brand, upscale our technology, diversify our portfolio and increase our market presence. The biggest challenge we face is implementing the latest technology in this ever evolving market,” Egan says.

BK Gulf’s efforts towards labour welfare haven’t gone unnoticed. In 2016 it received the five-star Taqdeer Award from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation in recognition of its excellent standards for labour welfare and employment practices. Egan says: “This award made us one of only five contractors in the UAE to receive it. For BK Gulf ,it is important to us to have a happy and healthy workforce.”

26. Eng Ansari, Chief executive officer — Adeeb Group

By the end of 2016, Adeeb fell slightly short of hitting its overall revenue target. However the firm has turned it around in 2017, with revenues close to $34m projected. Adeeb’s staff numbers have also increased, albeit not as sharply as it did in 2016. Adeeb Group now employs close to 1,000 employees. The Abu Dhabi-based company has set aside training budgets to the tune of $60,000.

In 2017, Adeeb engaged its employees in several CSR, training, learning and development campaigns. The firm participated in the Earth Hour 2017 campaign, Clean Up UAE campaign and the Can Collection Campaign.

Adeeb has maintained its rich list of clients that it services across the length and breadth of the UAE. In 2017, it was awarded contracts by Abu Dhabi’s Sunrise English Private School, annual maintenance contract for firefighting systems by Hala Arjaan Rotana, general maintenance works for the Abdulla Aida Khazam Al-Ameri Building (Taha Medical Center Building) and MEP maintenance works for Al Basma British School. While the firm will have its hands full in 2018 having been contracted to provide various single and multiple services to the Presidential Palace, Al Dhaheri Tower, Camp Tower and Al Ahalia Hospital to name a few.

Under the stewardship of Eng Ansari — who has been in the region’s FM sector for over two decades — Adeeb is continuing to focus its efforts in the UAE FM market. “We will look at expanding in the Middle East in the near future, and we have received various opportunities and proposals from across the GCC countries, Jordon, the Philippines and India.

Eng. Ansari says the firm will continue to focus on energy saving initiatives across all the projects it is involved in. “Some of our major iconic commercial and residential properties have been re-awarded without tender by recognising our quality of service. The FM sector is expected to recover with an upturn in the world economy, growing emphasis on modernisation of office space, the continued trend towards outsourcing, revival in construction and the real estate industries,” Ansari notes.

27. Jennifer L. Peltenburg, FM Director — UAE, Khansaheb Group

New to the list, Jennifer L. Peltenburg has overseen Khansaheb Group surpass its revenue expectations for 2017. The group forecasted $29.7m (AED109m) in revenue for 2017 — up from $23.7m (AED87m) in 2016 — but managed to secure 34.57m (AED127m) signifying a 44% growth in revenue.

Khansaheb FM — also new to the fmME Power 50 — has been working in the Middle East for the last eight years. From its commencement of services in 2008, the team has grown to approximately 1,200 staff members, consisting of MEP technicians, soft services and support service personnel.

Peltenburg says: “We have an established Middle East Training Academy to develop and run training courses for our soft services and technical services operatives and supervisors. The Middle East Training Academy is a certified BICSc training centre.

“Next year’s target is to expand the training regime, and have our FM managers certified as a CFM (Certified Facility Manager) within the IFMA remit or equal,” she adds.

Peltenburg has been highly influential in growing Khasaheb FM’s “one-stop shop” capabilities. Prior to being appointed to her current role, Peltenburg served as director of sales and marketing for Interserve FM.

Peltenburg says: “I undertook a feasibility study on the development of an energy services company in the GCC, as part of the Ingenuity at Work Programme. This helped me develop the retrofit division in association with Khansaheb. This is a USP which many other FM companies do not have.

In early 2017 Khansaheb (with its partner Interserve) won a five-year contract to provide technical services in Abu Dhabi, which includes a number of high-profile government buildings and schools. It also won an IFM contract by technology service providers SAP to service its UAE headquarters, along with its offices in Al Khobar and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

Energy retrofits is a crucial sector that Peltenburg and her team is focused on plugging. The firm has already secured a major contract from Wasl Properties.

28. Malika Faheema Bhatti, General manager — ECC General Maintenance

Malika Bhatti is another new entrant in this year’s fmME power list, but she is by no means a stranger to the regional FM sector.

Bhatti served as the TFM manager at Farnek before she took over the role of general manager of ECC GM. She is looking at shaping the fortunes of the firm, and position ECC GM as a leading FM operator, she says.

In terms of its revenues for 2016, ECC GM was far from breaking even, and in fact its losses went past the 70% mark. However, Bhatti and ECC GM worked hard in winning new business, with the firm managing to make a 360-degree turn in 2017, returning a 7% profit as of September 2017.

In an interview with fmME in September, Bhatti said that ECC GM employed little under 1,000 staff. At the time of going to press that number had surpassed 1,000 employees. Female employees make up 20% of the firm’s workforce.

ECC GM recently won a contract to provide TFM services for Hayati Residences — which comprises of apartments and town houses — located in Dubai.

Bhatti says: “ECC as a whole has a lot of its own developments and in due time we realised we needed to do a lot of corrective and reactive work for our own projects. This extends to construction that we did for third parties as well.”

Bhatti says that the differentiating factor is clients are not bound to an annual maintenance contract (AMC). “What sets up apart from other FM companies is our flexibility. It’s not that other FM companies are strict, but they prefer to govern the scope of work through AMCs. Whereas, we are more than willing to attend to call outs and for clients to try our service, letting them judge whether they would like to go in for a maintenance contract,” Bhatti said.

Moving forward the ECC GM brand name will be phased out, as it dawns a new badge. Bhatti says, “We will eventually change the company name to Core Serve. We will still, however, be associated with Engineering Contracting Company.”

29. Stephen Thomas, Director and general manager — Multiplex

In 2016, Brookfield Multiplex was rebranded as Multiplex. The Australia-headquartered contracting company will remain under the ownership of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU).

Stephen Thomas, a qualified engineer who has more than three decades of expertise in the global building services and FM sector, established Multiplex Services in 2007 in the Middle East. The firm continues to be responsible for the company’s delivery of FM contracts throughout the region.

On the contracting side of the business, Al Ain Properties appointed Multiplex Constructions the main contract for its Address Residences Jumeirah Resort + Spa development in Dubai. Multiplex commenced mobilisation for the construction of the twin-tower project, which comprises 77 storeys. A mixed-use project will feature a hotel, serviced and unfurnished residential apartments. The hotel will consist of 217 rooms and suites, while the serviced apartments will boast a La Dolce Vita-inspired design.

30. Fadi S. Alshakhshir, Director strategy and compliance, corporate FM — Emaar Properties

Fadi S. Alshakhshir has been influential in leading Emaar Facilities Management’s (Emaar FM) corporate strategy, as it continues to play a crucial role in the region’s FM sector. Emaar indirectly engages several thousand employees in the FM sector, and Emaar FM “manages a wide variety of FM contracts within its facilities including HFM, SFM, IFM, speciality services with major contracts implemented in the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa,” Alshakhshir says.

Emaar FM comprises of approximately 200 professionals comprising of various teams managing thousands of FM contractors from different service providers. Alshakshir says: “Emaar FM has developed a customised ‘Development Plan’ for each FM team member. The plan identifies all the technical and strategic trainings for the period 2016-2020, trainings include CFM, and ISO among other modules.”

Emaar FM is managing more than 170 FM contracts across the Emaar portfolio, with the company making a big push towards technology. “An intelligent maintenance monitoring system using IoT and data analytics has been implemented in Burj Khalifa, and an ‘energy centred maintenance’ model at The Dubai Mall. Emaar FM will now grasp this opportunity to implement these innovative models and technologies across the rest of its assets,” he adds.

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