Karim Helal says ProTenders to target Saudi with Riyadh office

EXCLUSIVE: Digital construction platform's CEO says talks are under way with Saudi Arabian gov't to create open data source

Karim Helal is CEO of ProTenders.
© ITP Media Group
Karim Helal is CEO of ProTenders.

Construction listings portal ProTenders will open its first office in Riyadh this year, amid talks with the Saudi Arabian government to create an open data source for work opportunities in the kingdom.

Co-founder and chief executive officer of ProTenders, Karim Helal, told Construction Week Viewpoint that the firm's expansion is in “full swing”, adding that the digital-focused outfit wants to open offices in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and create more jobs in India.

“Our team is growing pretty quickly and we now get 1,000 new companies signing up every month on our platform, so it’s massive growth,” he said.

With so many companies signing up, ensuring that the data they provide is accurate, confidential, and secure, is critical for Helal's team.

“If you start having lapses in data confidentiality, data security, or data inconsistency, you start to lose customers. We do a lot of work to make sure things don’t fall through the cracks,” Helal added.

ProTenders started exploring Saudi seriously after The Big 5 Dubai trade show in November, when it was flooded with requests for reliable data on the kingdom’s construction pipeline.

Companies were unsure about what was happening on the ground and wanted reliable information, and Helal said ProTenders plans to step up to the challenge.

The company already has people on the ground gathering data in Saudi Arabia, and an permanent office in Riyadh will further bolster capabilities.

ProTenders was formed in 2011 as a web-based tendering platform for construction companies, but has quickly grown into a website used by thousands of contractors, developers, and consultants to find work and streamline operations.

In April 2019, the company raised $3m (AED11m) in capital from UAE investors to finance plans to expand geographically, hire more staff, and add blockchain and smart contracts to its growing product portfolio.

This rounded up a busy 24 months, after it reached a three-year e-tendering agreement with Dubai property developer Damac.

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