SAUDI ARABIA - Economy
CEO, e& enterprise Saudi
Tareq Alangari has been CEO of e& enterprise Saudi—a subsidiary of the UAE-headquartered telecommunications e& Group, formerly Etisalat Group—since 2020. Alangari holds a bachelor’s degree in business from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, a diploma in commercial banking, and an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid and is currently undertaking related qualifications through the INSEAD business school in France. He is a member of the board of directors and executive committee of Leejam Sports Co. and has been a board member & chairman of the audit committee of Tabuk Cement Co. since 2017. Since 2018, Alangari has been a board executive committee member of the Saudi Spanish Business Council and recently became its vice chairman.
The future of KSA relies on innovation. Both the public and private sector are heavily investing in innovation, applying and developing the best international standards to every single sector of the economy. Previously, we were only adopting technologies from other countries, but currently, we are able to generate them in the country: the Kingdom is turning into a hub. First, the government has been investing heavily in its own talent through scholarships and programs that are pushing young talent to work. In addition to studying abroad, there are programs of secondment, internships, and multinational companies abroad. The lifestyle here is improving, and salaries are much higher than in other markets. Having a forum that attracts people to come and innovate here will add great value. The investments by the government and working to attract the top companies here will also play a major role. Saudi has a unique advantage of having the biggest market by itself to sell innovation domestically and then export it. The scholarship program in Saudi for the past 15 years is now reaping the rewards. There are companies moving their headquarters here. We also see a great deal of AI utilization in every sector, especially in entertainment. AI and machine learning are being ingrained in local businesses. On this note, the evolution of the healthcare sector has been impressive; Saudi Arabia is adopting the latest technologies available in the market to extend an excellent and effective healthcare service to the community. e& enterprise, with a team of experts in digital health, built the hospital information system (HIS) and the lab information system (LIS). Supported the government to speed up this revolution, we are working on a new cloud system to bring together all medical records. That also gives us a mine of data related to our community.
Every single company in KSA is investing in digitalization, and many are implementing solutions to shape the way we live in our private spaces, cities, and large urban areas. When it comes to smart homes and smart cities, e& enterprise has different verticals: we have more than 800 people working from more than 100 nationalities in one company. We have delivered interesting solutions in the smart home sector. NEOM has a project called NEOM Living Lab where some of its management team live in these homes and experience what we do. In NEOM, we developed a complete end-to-end smart home solution—the goal is for someone to go through an entire day without using their hands. Saudi has some smart home solutions. We are not innovators of technology; we are more of innovators of solutions. NEOM has what it calls solution architects that gather information from the market, do a knowledge transfer, and enable it. The application of smart solutions to home living and cities will have a strong impact on the future of Saudi cities and the way communities will interact within the urban dimension. It is also crucial to educate the market about such complex technologies: the best thing is through developers and not through individuals. In NEOM, the cost of the technology we added is more expensive than the house itself. What everyone is doing is simply becoming a system integrator; no one is coming up with a new technology. When we talk about smart cities, the first solution that comes to my mind is related to waste management. Currently, in Saudi, there are many companies in the market with more than 120,000 garbage bins already connected. Smart parking solutions are also part of the smart city. Considering that new cities and districts are currently mushrooming in the Kingdom, the potential is huge.
SAUDI ARABIA - Economy
Chairman of the Board & KSA Country Senior Leader, PwC Middle East
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