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SA22_EC_G4S Mel Brooks

SAUDI ARABIA - Industry

Mel Brooks

Regional CEO Africa and Middle East, G4S

Bio

Mel Brooks serves as G4S Regional President – Africa and the Middle East. He joined G4S in 2012, and his roles included group strategy and commercial director and CEO India and South Asia, where he led the transformation of the business, improving operations, customer service and sales. Prior to joining G4S, Brooks held a number of senior line and functional roles in the defense and technology industries, where he was responsible for service line and commercial strategies, technology development and leadership of a number of business unit turnaround programs.

"When talking to our customers, we do a risk assessment to evaluate the services they need."
Providing FM and security systems in Saudi Arabia, G4S seeks to be recognized as the premier provider of innovative solutions and services.
What have been some of the main recent developments for G4S?

It has been an ongoing process of growth within the region. Our Saudi business goes back to 2006, and Saudi Arabia is our single-largest business in the Middle East. It continues to be a focus for us because of the sheer scale of opportunity, growth, and vision. Saudi is extremely attractive because it is a large market for us. The Kingdom managed COVID-19 well in order to protect its citizens. Our business, which is facilities management and security, tends to do reasonably well despite such developments. Where one customer is facing problems, another is growing their business. Consequently, we re-deploy our people. We saw flat revenues across that period, which is good news, though margins came under pressure because there were higher costs. This has been a major inflection point for us and our customers. In Saudi, the FM market proved to be strong for us. We saw a downturn in certain specific markets such as education and hospitality; however, the requirements of government buildings and industry actually increased for us. Lately, these are also the ones demanding more services from us. We are positioning the company to emerge from the COVID-19 era and provide solutions and services for our customers that are truly different. Now, we have to ensure we protect ourselves from a health and safety perspective in and around infrastructure.

How has G4S implemented digital transformation and new technologies?

We employed real-time data as well as predictive analytics. We also had to introduce greater digitalization around our people deployment to manage shifts, the operation of communication, transportation, and so on, all built into our own internal operating systems. We also optimized our workforce. We have over 80 accommodation areas in Saudi, with 12,000 employees and over 1,000 vehicles. Putting all that into a digitalized environment was key to us. For our clients, it is all about making the most of the data for customers and working with them to understand how you can help them with greater efficiency. Ultimately, we seek to provide similar and better services at the same cost or lower than what they were paying previously.

How do you envision the growth of the security services industry?
When talking to our customers, we do a risk assessment to evaluate the services they need. Each environment has its own individual spectrum of risks to be assessed. From a security perspective, analytics help customers predict potential risks in their environment. Having access control managed through technology will certainly be a huge growth area. We are at the forefront of that technology and capability across our global business. Saudi Arabia, particularly, is a solid and large economy, and our plan is to increase our investment in Saudi Arabia through the injection of technology and services as well as our health and safety culture, which is our number-one focus in the organization. That requires us to develop our own infrastructure, which again creates more benefits for the Saudi economy. Customers want a safe and sanitary environment as well as new technology to improve efficiencies.

Where do you see demand coming from Saudi in the coming years?

Currently in Saudi, we provide FM and security systems solutions. We do not have a manned-security business in Saudi at this moment. Every environment needs a risk-based approach and a risk-based assessment in order to understand the solutions that are required. In Saudi Arabia, infrastructure development will create many business opportunities: new buildings, megaprojects, Vision 2030, and more. There will be huge opportunities and requirements in the security and FM sectors, from a greenfield perspective. Many of our customers come to us and ask, “we plan to start a project here; how do we manage that?” We design customized and integral security solutions from scratch.

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