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SAUDI ARABIA - Industry

Sheikh Khalid Alamoudi

CEO, Saudi Red Bricks Company

Bio

Since 1978 Eng. Khalid is the CEO of Saudi Red Bricks Company (Saudi closed joint stock company in 2016) & Chairman of Alamoudi Group. He got his high school diploma from Joplin High School Missouri, USA. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University USA in 1978. As a CEO he has led Saudi Red Bricks Company, which started brick manufacturing in 1956 to become the world’s largest clay brick production facility.

"My family started this business almost 67 years ago, and I have been in the business for the past 44 years."

TBY talks to Sheikh Khalid Alamoudi, CEO of Saudi Red Bricks Company, about the housing market, client profiles, and diversification.

Can you tell our readers the milestones that have led the company to become a successful leader in the housing market?

My family started this business almost 67 years ago, and I have been in the business for the past 44 years. I gave a speech in 2003 in Ohio at a collaboration of the machinery manufacturers, where the title of my speech was, “A Mistake that Becomes a Success.” We started this business exactly the opposite way to how it’s usually done. We started a local technology against the odds by producing blocks with a stiff mud extrusion for many uses. One of them is that stiff mud extrusion gives you a robust block. Second, we are not a country blessed with water resources, so water is not a major input the manuso water is not a major input in ow blocks with stiff mud extrusion and encountered numerous failures until we finally achieved success. And to this day this technology is ours.

Is this technology developed in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, and with this technology, we have approached our government through SASO, the Saudi Arabian specification organization, and I informed them that because of the way hollow blocks are produced, the block industry in Saudi Arabia was not being moderated to the highest standards. At Saudi Red Bricks Company (SRBC), we are building and upgrading our country to the highest standards, for generations to come to live in. And now with the new block that we have produced and licensed, we are the sole brick manufacturer in Saudi Arabia to bear the “Made in Saudi” brand that we will be taking regionally through exports of our products.

The Kingdom’s Giga projects are taking center stage, and with SRBC’s highest standards will we be seeing interest from in those projects?

We are absolutely interested in the giga-projects, of course. Everybody is keen to participate in NEOM, and we are set to obtain a large storage area there, and we are now approved. We hold sixteen certificates for SASO quality products and of course, they are Made in Saudi. This merits our participation in all mega projects, where, of course, housing is our main target, and for which we are already involved with major companies. Moreover, as a Saudi, it concerns me to give Saudis a product that will last, whereby the houses that they are buying on a 25-30 years loan, whether an apartment or miniature villa, will retain their integrity at the end of that term, and retain or increase its value. Strong products are precisely what we provide, and as a result of research at our laboratories, we always aim to upgrade and improve our products on a monthly basis, and sometimes weekly basis. In addition, we pay acute attention to what the market has to say.

With housing being such a huge opportunity for you, would the client for you be entities like ROSHN or RAFAL or is it more a matter of the development itself, such as Qiddiya or Diriyah?

Actually, both. These projects are now guided and governed by specifications, and I can meet the specification, one of the key parts of which is that the product says Made in Saudi. Because when you have that stamp it means you have met all the building codes required of your product, and you have an entry key to enter to sell these products. Incidentally, a clay-based product is a life product, unlike cement. We added coloring to these products, not by adding chemicals, but during the manufacturing process, to obtain different colors, which last forever, and are maintenance-free.

What are your export initiatives, and how do you attract investments into the sector to boost economic output and diversification?

We are fast becoming an industrialized country, and at one point will be producing cars and military vehicles among other products. And of course as a businessman, I will keep pushing to produce and export as much quality product as I can by continuing to improve quality. The thing is to never be fully satisfied, but to always drive forward looking for new technology and pursuing innovation. We have our own team of innovators, and as the creator, you should always set the bar higher than you can reach, so you’re always aiming for improvement. And that’s precisely what our government has been doing for the past six years.

What are the next steps for Saudi Red Brick Company for the year?

We are going to expand to reach the five million target, and will also diversify the use of clay products. Expansion on a vertical plane is particularly advantageous and does not present many surprises. The only blind spots, in fact are market conditions.

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