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SAUDI ARABIA - Economy

Ali Al-Ghanim

Regional GM & Partner iPS Powerful People &
 CEO, Power Summit, Saudi Arabia

Bio

Ali Al Ghanim is a powerful business driver whose entrepreneurial instincts and clarity of vision have carried multiple projects through rapid and continuous growth. He is a seasoned professional with result oriented over 17 years of experience in global Supply Chain Management supporting different areas and managing projects in different sectors, from Oil & Gas to Engineering. A Saudi national, he holds a bachelor’s degree in management information system from Applied Science Private University – Amman, Jordan, and a professional advance diploma certificate in global supply chain management from Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (Scholarship supported by Saudi Aramco). He is distinguished by his passion for business, his focus on collaborative team building, and his commitment to meeting customer and market demands through his global strong communication and networking in Saudi Arabia.

"Established in 1988, iPS was initially a Dutch recruitment company in the maritime sector, given that the Netherlands specializes in maritime, maritime construction, and the dredging business."
TBY talks to Ali Al-Ghanim
, Regional GM & Partner iPS Powerful People & 
CEO at Power Summit, Saudi Arabia.
Can you provide with an overview of iPS Powerful People and the company’s main activity?

Established in 1988, iPS was initially a Dutch recruitment company in the maritime sector, given that the Netherlands specializes in maritime, maritime construction, and the dredging business. Over the years, it has expanded and added new departments and business units such that today it operates in the maritime, engineering, tunnelling, oil and gas, and energy sectors, among others. We have a dedicated global team called iPS Select that specializes in recruiting high-level positions. Our experienced team works discreetly with our clients to identify key positions. We specialize in recruiting CEO and GM positions, and all the information among us and our clients is kept strictly confidential, especially considering the sensitivity of these positions. iPS is a flexible service provider, offering a comprehensive range of human resource and capital services. We not only provide recruitment services, but also payroll services, secondment services, and search and select services. We pride ourselves on our flexibility when working with our clients, which has been valuable for our global clients when it comes to their short-term projects in Saudi Arabia. For example, for an Italian company working on a six-month project in Saudi Arabia, instead of going through the process of establishing an entity in Saudi Arabia, it only needs to utilize iPS. It can simply inform us about its requirements and the duration of the project, and we can handle the hiring process accordingly, ensuring compliance with government requirements. We agree on the fees upfront and have an open-door policy with no hidden costs. This transparency is also a key bonus for our client, as they know the full cost associated with hiring the team from the beginning and allows them to make informed decisions about their project. We do not see ourselves as just a service provider, but rather a partner to our clients. Our goal is to establish close and long-term partnerships, whereby our clients feel that we are invested in their success and consider us their partners.

Can you elaborate on the evolution of iPS’ operations in KSA and its core activities in the Kingdom?

Since its establishment, iPS has expanded its presence worldwide, including in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi office opened in end of 2018. My company, Power Summit, was founded in 2015, and then I began my partnership with iPS in 2018. At that time, its aim was to enter the Saudi market and expand its services to include the oil and gas and engineering sectors. This expansion benefitted not only iPS, but also Power Summit and sectors such as marine and engineering. The combination of knowledge and expertise from both the Dutch and the Saudi teams has contributed to our success. In Saudi Arabia, the oil and gas sector is the busiest, with heavy demand for services related to maintenance, shutdowns, and drilling. From 2015-2018, we specialized in these areas and established ourselves as experts in the field. One of the unique services we provide for our customers is handling all offshore drilling contractors, which falls under our crew management services. We advise our clients to focus solely on their core business, namely bringing their rigs, adjusting the drills, and extracting oil. The personnel on the rig is our responsibility, and we take care of everything. Behind this service lies a lengthy and crucial process involving logistics, training certificates, onboarding flights, and time management. Offshore crews work on rotation, and we ensure the logistics are executed on time and that the relief crew is prepared to take over without disrupting operations. It is vital to adhere to the regulations set by Aramco, as any disruption can impact the day rate paid for the rig’s continued operation. We have successfully managed these operations, and I take great pride in our accomplishments.

What potential do the Kingdom’s mega and giga-projects offer iPS?

Since day one, we have been hearing about NEOM and seeing the ongoing developments. Considering the magnitude and the potential of such mega and giga-projects, many companies are keen to get involved. Today, I can finally see it becoming a reality. We are involved with the Oxagon project and have already started mobilizing people. One of our projects is confidential and is in partnership with a leading International player. This project involves an onsite team of 3,000 people, and the tendering process is currently in progress. Once confirmed, this will be our second project in NEOM on the Line, joining the five other megaprojects. We have already registered for these projects and are eager to get involved in them.

What are your medium-term targets and consolidation plans?

We will continue to work on Oxagon and expand into the new giga-projects. As business owners, we always maintain a commercial mindset. The pandemic had a significant impact, resulting in substantial losses; however, we are determined to recover from these losses within the next two to three years, taking advantage of the current opportunities at hand. Currently, we are involved in various other projects in NEOM. We will continue to support Saudi Aramco through some of the major contractors. Another goal is to venture into the entertainment business, as it is a thriving area. During the pandemic, we received several requests to supply specialized personnel skilled to support the development of this nascent industry, and I to explore this sector further. We are definitely excited about the potential opportunities there.

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