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SA24_IT_LABS_PIC

SAUDI ARABIA - Telecoms & IT

Mahmoud Deyab

Founder & CEO, LABS

Bio

An experienced business professional with a track record of success in building companies and leading teams, Leading SAP Partnerships regionally with a keen focus on customer experience. As CEO of my his own ventures, he bring a wealth of leadership expertise to every project he sponsors. With a passion for developing innovative solutions and driving growth, His commitment leads to delivering exceptional results that exceed expectations.

"We deliver our projects differently, with an unparalleled success ratio."
TBY talks to Mahmoud Deyab, Founder & CEO of LABS, about changes in the company, competition, and goals for 2023.
How has the company evolved since 2019?

The company has enhanced its DNA in terms of portfolio coverage and customer experience, we went very deep in the industries thanks to multiple Business partnerships and the Intelligent Manufacturing (Industry 4.0) and Supply-Chain techniques which are becoming the new market norm, we focus on digital transformation for “full planning and execution operation” for our customers or our “Business Partners” as we prefer to refer to them. Since 2019, And with all of the market challenges, we have expanded overseas to open in Dubai, which boosted the coverage of our already solid branches in Bahrain, Egypt, and Sudan. Our jewel of the crown is our headquarters in “Jeddah, Saudi Arabia”, which regulates all our regional operational branches in Riyadh, Dammam in Saudi Arabia. Egypt and Sudan have been our branches since 2015,2017 respectively. The newest expansion was toward the UAE in “World Trade Centre.” All our offices, except the on in Bahrain, serve our Saudi business, with the Egypt office serving as a resource pool for Saudi Arabia. In Bahrain, we target customers because many eastern Saudi residents view Bahrain as the same country given its close relationship with Saudi Arabia. We are also planning to open an office in Riyadh by 3Q/2024. We currently have a small operational office, and our expansion plans include a bigger office and bigger team in Riyadh. During the pandemic, our industry was the first to be affected, and business was frozen for almost six months; however, the pandemic acted as a time machine that accelerated the digital transformation so every industry unexpectedly turned into an opportunity, and the technology industry is still reaping the positive effects of COVID-19. 2020 ended up being one of the greatest years in our business in terms of numbers, and this was true for 2021 and 2022 as well. Another impact of COVID-19 is a new market segment that entered the market. We are SAP partners that mainly target the upper mid-market and larger enterprises, though we later received many requests from the small mid-market for SAP solutions. We now work with many small companies to utilize the different SAP tools that suit their size and business challenges.

What distinguishes LABS Saudi Arabia from the increasing competition in not only the country, but also in the region?

We deliver our projects differently, with an unparalleled success ratio. In addition to evolving from a service partner to SAP systems, to a One-Stop-Shop for Digital Transformation with many partnerships added to our portfolio. For the convenience of our customers, we have an accumulated tech knowledge with diverse backgrounds, starting from the leadership to the management of the company. We have acquired mixed experiences and lessons learned during our 20-year journey to ensure a success story while dealing with our customers. Based on our experience, we have several key pillars. The first is that every customer should be a reference; industry players may have 100 customers, but only two or three customer references. We always aim and ensure that every customer is a reference. The second pillar is that we should not have any failure stories in our record, no matter what it takes. Most of our competitors dealing with ERP projects are only concerned with the project P&L, and when results enters dangerous territory, they declare that project is “out of budget” and they have to stop; however, our vision is that success in a project equals money. Success stories in markets like Saudi are valuable and can generate huge business, which is why we ensure every single project is a success story. The third Pillar is that we focus on adding real value in services delivered; that is where we capitalize on our resources in Sudan and Egypt to optimize costs. In these countries, we can acquire qualified resources at a reasonable cost. We seek to provide a partnership rather than a customer-vendor relationship. We compete in the market by focusing on 100% successful projects at competitive costs. Also, we participated in LEAP in both 2021 and 2022, and it was a great opportunity to meet customers, partners, and co-workers worldwide. It was a dynamic business environment, and we were able to generate many leads and develop global partnerships to complement our portfolio and serve our regional customers.

Where do you witness opportunities to further consolidate your operations and cement your brand reputation while boosting your revenue?

“Digital Transformation” which is our domain is full of opportunities, and a worth mention of Industry 4.0 “The new intelligent Manufacturing techniques” is a fantastic example for a well-defined opportunity that the world is still scratching its surface; mixing it even with the latest AI breakthroughs adds a whole new verse of business technology. We are on the top of both waves and awarded for utilizing them both in Saudi Arabia. But is that a non-affordable set of tools, our clear answer is of course, NO. We focus on the mid-market, that’s where we see potential. And for this segment we help to keep these tools affordable, usable and creating massive value. Today, the real business opportunities in Saudi Arabia lie in the small and medium market. There are countless prospects and well-educated business leaders with degrees from Europe or the US and a great background in technology. When we meet, they discuss every single detail of digital transformation and work with us to build a professional roadmap for digital transformation. As far as digitalization is concerned, we see opportunities coming from several segments, with F&B, wholesale, and professional services leading the demand.

Can you share some of the company’s success stories in terms of establishing a partnership, enabling digital transformation, and benefiting your partners?

We focus on expanding the innovation backbone in every collaboration we enter, it may result in adoption of new tech, a new business line, and nowadays the sky is the limit in our additions to any organization; an obvious example was with Al Jazeera Paints, where it was the first time in Saudi Arabia to adopt “Super Sophisticated Manufacturing Scheduling Solutions “ in the region . Al Jazeera Paints—a famous brand in Saudi Arabia under the Alromaih Group of companies is one of the success stories that we are highly proud of because, they invested in our technology and domain and was one of the most complicated and complex industries to be automated. The chemical industry involves the mixing of chemical materials in the production line, and automation was, therefore, a major challenge. Despite the tight deadlines and complexity of the project, we met all the set targets and objectives, resulting in great success.

What are your main targets set for 2023?

We have two aspects of targets growth, and profitability, In Term of growth we are in a fantastic status with all our business partners which makes us very ambitious, and this is reflected in our target of double the whole market norm but out of business sustainability and resilience aspects from profitability perspective and specially after COVID-19, we have been extremely conservative in our moves. We plan to calculate every move carefully because the market is open. Digital transformation is widespread right now, and we have extremely conservative targets to retain our success in the market and increase our market share. One of the main objectives for 2024 is activating the offices outside of Saudi Arabia to further support us in generating more business in Saudi Arabia. Our final target as we enter 2024 is to further one of our business lines, namely business consultancy. There are some great opportunities in the market, though due to common business challenges, it has not taken off much. We want to not only provide software and solutions, and automation but also start the process at an earlier stage by providing business consultancy and re-engineering business processes.

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