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OM23_IT_Rihal_Azzan Al Kindi

SAUDI ARABIA - Telecoms & IT

Azzan Al Kindi

CEO & Co-Founder, Rihal

Bio

Azzan Al Kindi is the CEO & Co-Founder of Rihal – Data Migration and Services. He is a mechanical engineer from Sultan Qaboos University, where he was the president of the Society of Mechanical Engineering. After graduation, he moved abroad to pursue a career with a leading oil services company. His passion for technology led him to pursue entrepreneurship and start Rihal with his co-founders. In addition, Al Kindi holds a board seat on the steering committee of the National Employment Committee (Tashgheel).

"We are a company that unearths the hidden treasures that companies have."

Could you give us an overview on the company’s main activities and what brought it to the Kingdom?

Rihal is an IT solutions company, and our focus is on everything to do with data. We start with the data management part, where we take documents—data—transform and move them around in the best way possible for companies to utilize them. Then, we take it to the next step where we build custom solutions for our clients. Moreover, we do machine learning, AI, and data analytics on the data that we have worked on. We started in Oman and managed to work with most of the large organizations in Oman, whether they are in oil, telecoms, logistics, or even energy sector. Furthermore, we have managed to expand with the oil and gas sector all over the world. We are operating in 10 countries around the world, and because of the recent pandemic, we managed to do all this work remotely. We have worked in the US, the UK, and East Asia. We have also had the pleasure of meeting with the Saudi Ministry of Transportation, Communications, and Information Technology and met with other technology start-ups in the Kingdom, where we realized that there were many similarities. One of which, the business culture is the same. We truly understand what the clients want and how they could achieve the results that they wanted.

Which sectors in Saudi Arabia have the greatest potential for Rihal, and what competitive advantages can you bring into the Kingdom?

Our main target customers currently are in the oil and gas sector; that is what we call our bread and butter. We have done well in Oman, and it is something that we are experts in. The idea is to start there and then expand toward the government, communications, and banking sectors. These are the three sectors that we will focus on. We have a philosophy in Rihal of hiring local talent. We have been successful at that in Oman, and this has proven to be an advantage when dealing with our clients. They feel that connection that they did not with international companies. We will do the same exact thing when we go to Saudi; before looking for clients, we will seek and hire local talent. Our strategy there is not just to look for business, but to become part of the ecosystem. That is what we are truly focused on, and that, I believe, will give us an advantage over the other international companies. The other thing is that we have experience working with international companies and competitors and winning in tenders. This is because of the unique way that we do our offerings, the price range that we offer them, and the speed and quality that we bring to the table. I must emphasize that expanding to Saudi Arabia was on our minds since 2019. We wanted to enter the Kingdom before expanding elsewhere around the world; however, because of the pandemic, it happened the other way around where we currently are on four continents.

How will your IT solutions and data migration improve the Kingdom’s productivity?

We are a company that unearths the hidden treasures that companies have. Data in all sorts of shapes and forms can be utilized in ways to increase efficiency, improve productivity, and introduce cost savings to organizations. In organizations, we have increased productivity by five times just by automating processes that these organizations did not realize they could automate or by providing data that they were not able to access before. We introduced cost savings to organizations by redirecting their talents from just doing mundane day-to-day work to doing meaningful work in the field that they are in. We understand the importance of having results before just throwing technology at the problem, and it is what drives organizations towards digital transformation. We are not there to sell specific products, but actual results.

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