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KUWAIT - Industry

Abdulkarim Al-Saleh

Group CEO, FAWAZ Group

Bio

Abdul Karim Al Saleh holds a bachelor’s degree in science and mechanical engineering from the USA and a master’s in business administration from Maastricht Business School, Kuwait. He brings to FAWAZ some 20 years of industry experience in MEP and trading industry, of which he has spent 11 years in the general management position.

"As we have been on the market for a long time, we have had many opportunities to deal with our customers’ needs and address any challenges."

Abdulkarim Al-Saleh, Group CEO of FAWAZ Group, talks to TBY about the firm’s experience in the GCC.

What are the major achievements and strengths of the company?

We are one of the few companies in Kuwait, which successfully penetrated the Gulf region into Qatar, Oman, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. We have nearly 50 years of presence in some of those countries. FAWAZ Group was established before the GCC market experienced its true growth. One of our strengths is that we have solid knowledge of the whole region. We had to overcome many challenges and setbacks along the way; however, we have the great advantage of being established within each of these markets now, when entering these spaces is difficult for new players. When FAWAZ was established, there was no trading, and we were focused on projects. There was no bidding process in place at that time. As we were one of the first engineering companies in the country, many engineers in big organizations in the region are actually our former employees. Our expertise spans from electromechanical engineering services to plumbing and electrical works. We provide services such as firefighting, engineering, and many more, which is why we recently changed our company’s description and licenses to make sure the market truly understands us.

What makes the company a popular choice as a facilities manager provider?

As we have been on the market for a long time, we have had many opportunities to deal with our customers’ needs and address any challenges. In this way, we have established a solid base of trust and reliability across the region. Clients know us, and they know they can trust us. Kuwait is a small market, and it is all about relationships and the quality of service a company can provide. Moreover, our employees are always important to us, and we have made sure to help them become as successful and satisfied as possible. This way, even after leaving the company, many of them ensure our name is mentioned whenever our services are required. Now, it is hard for someone else to enter this market successfully. It is also useful to have the client base and experience with many major players on the market, because from time to time you need to take care of the things in a more delicate way. That is when our contacts and reliable relationships are extremely helpful and give FAWAZ that additional advantage.

Looking at the scope of FAWAZ’s operations, what projects are being currently developed in the country and the GCC region?

We are currently working heavily in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Our projects there are booming, and we hope to see great achievements. In Kuwait, we are currently working with the hospital sector (the Ministry of Health); oil and gas (KOC, KIPIC, KNPC, KOTC, JO); power plants (the Ministry of Electricity & Water); education (Kuwait University, KISR, KFAS); the military and security sector (the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior); the general government sector (Council of Ministries General Secretariat, the Civil Service Commission, the Public Authority for Sports); and the commercial sector (The Avenues, 360 Mall, al Kout, Souq Sharq), all of which give us a significant amount of work with guaranteed success. We are working on them in collaboration with other contractors. In Saudi Arabia, we are growing rapidly and recently acquired a new factory. The Kingdom has massive potential, and I believe it will truly flourish in the coming years. We are also actively working in Qatar and Oman, which is one of the most financially stable markets in the area. Although the pandemic negatively impacted the UAE, it has been working to stabilize and strengthen its economy again. Each of these countries has a unique set of opportunities and challenges when it comes to business, but by having experience in every one of them, FAWAZ Group is assured of sustained success in the years to come.

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