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Eng. Abdulrahman Al Khannah, CEO of BIG Holding

KUWAIT - Economy

Abdulrahman Al Khannah

Group CEO, Beyout Investment Group (BIG) Holding

Bio

Abdulrahman Al Khannah is an experienced CEO, heading BIG Holding and its subsidiaries. With over 16 years of experience, he has held positions on the boards of several companies and currently sits on the board of Imtiaz Investment Group – Kuwait. Al Khannah holds an MBA from Gulf University for Science & Technology and a bachelor of engineering (civil engineering) degree from the University of Kuwait. He has also taken various executive courses in strategy and leadership.

“BIG Holding Co. started as a family-owned business, which is why initially our company’s portfolio was quite broad.”

TBY talks to Abdulrahman Al Khannah, Group CEO of BIG Holding, about investment opportunities, sustainable solutions, and plans for the coming year.

What is the scope of business and the story behind BIG Holding Co?

BIG Holding Co. started as a family-owned business, which is why initially our company’s portfolio was quite broad. However, since we are targeting to be listed on Boursa Kuwait during this year, we must reshape and restructure the company differently and we have made some changes in the past months to address this. Our focus will be on real estate and logistics as our two main areas of operation. When it comes to real estate, we are focusing on developing facilities for the government and managing them once they are complete. We are working with the government on many tenders, some of them industrial, commercial, and residential. We plan to grow in those areas, which are associated with our traditional real estate activities. What distinguishes us in the sector is that we specialize in the build, operate, transfer (BOT) projects. On the logistics side, we provide complex operational abilities. We are particularly helpful in projects that require major manpower. Our focus lies in manpower supply for support operations. We have been the dominant service provider for US government organizations in Kuwait since 1991, because we are known for the standard and quality of our service, especially related to human rights. Recently, we began penetrating the oil sector, providing companies with highly skilled engineers and support service workers. Another key milestone regarding logistics is healthcare. In 2023, we will have many nurses and technicians supporting the healthcare sector. We also provide healthcare staff to the oil and gas sector with some having their own hospitals. Healthcare is becoming a key sector for us, and we have received positive feedback on the quality of our services and candidates. With the growing privatization, we expect to play a big part in that process by integrating more functions and adding to our portfolio. 

What investment opportunities do you observe in the country?

The investment climate here for local and foreign investors is promising in connection with Boursa Kuwait. The stock exchange rating, MSEI qualification, and FTSE qualification are all improving, so there are more investors coming in. It is an excellent platform that provides foreign investors with liquidity and exposure to the Kuwaiti economy. Privatization initiatives are also promising, and one sector that is currently attractive for investors is healthcare. If Kuwait decides to start privatizing hospitals, we will see many foreign investors coming in. The region around us, such as Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and Qatar, is extremely attractive, and international investors are opportunistic, so the government needs to become more active in attracting those investors by offering incentives, facilities, and projects worth their time. We have a great opportunity in logistics, especially due to our geographic location. For example, if we improve our ports and allow a company like Amazon to have privileges and build here, Kuwait could become more attractive than other locations nearby.

What is your opinion on the topic of sustainable solutions and their implementation in Kuwait?

When it comes to real estate, the government mandates already come with some requirements for sustainability solutions. Even though we have only started this shift recently, the government has already launched projects which include sustainable solutions that we, as developers, must accommodate. Implementing sustainable solutions is heavily dependent on the regulatory framework. What will boost sustainable solutions is a regulatory platform imposed by the government on investors. Incentives are also important. For example, in the UK there are monetary incentives to buy electric cars. There was also an agreement between the UK and Uber for Uber to start using electric cars. The private sector needs regulations and incentives to move forward. From our perspective, it is a matter of time and regulation that this shift will truly reshape our market

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