GROWTH BY GE­OG­RA­PHY

Sa­rooj Con­struc­tion Com­pany is us­ing the Omani con­struc­tion mar­ket as a spring­board to grow re­gion­ally

Construction Week - - SIMON KARAM - EX­CERPTS RE­PUB­LISHED FROM CON­STRUC­TION WEEK OMAN (SPE­CIAL EDI­TION: MARCH 2018)

With a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar pipe­line of pub­lic-sec­tor con­tracts and sig­nif­i­cant pri­vate-sec­tor de­vel­op­ments planned for the re­main­der of the decade, the con­struc­tion sec­tor re­mains a highly sig­nif­i­cant and grow­ing facet of Oman’s econ­omy. US-based ad­vi­sory, BMI Re­search, pre­dicts that the sul­tanate will be­come an ac­tive mar­ket in the field of con­struc­tion dur­ing the com­ing years.

De­spite this, Sa­rooj Con­struc­tion Com­pany’s (SCC) di­rec­tor, Si­mon Karam, has his feet firmly on the ground, and re­fuses to get car­ried away or com­pla­cent dur­ing what con­tinue to be chal­leng­ing lo­cal, re­gional, and global eco­nomic times.

He ex­plains: “While we recog­nise the hard work that has cre­ated ro­bust re­turns for the com­pany, spe­cial care must be taken to mit­i­gate profit ero­sion from in­creased fuel prices, new taxes, and ever-grow­ing bank charges and fi­nanc­ing costs. With trends in the mar­ket show­ing hes­i­ta­tion to ac­quire long-term as­sets, the need to drive up in­no­va­tion, cre­ativ­ity, and cost-cut­ting should be a pri­mary fo­cus. SCC be­lieves that this can only be driven by the right in­vest­ment and nur­tur­ing of hu­man cap­i­tal, which in turn de­vel­ops the car­ing and re­spon­si­ble re­la­tion­ships that our clients have come to ex­pect from us and to en­trust their work with.”

SCC was re­cently se­lected as the prime sub-con­trac­tor for earth­works, civil works, and un­der­ground pipeworks for the Liwa Plas­tics Project for Oman Oil Re­finer­ies and Petroleum In­dus­tries Com­pany. It will also de­liver en­abling and road works for Ma­jid Al Fut­taim’s Mall of Oman project in Mus­cat. How­ever, Karam is not tak­ing SCC’s suc­cess lightly, and is work­ing on both cost man­age­ment and work­force devel­op­ment pro­grammes within the com­pany: “We [ pre­dict] a fur­ther set of chal­lenges on the hori­zon in the re­gion. In­fla­tion could be trig­gered by a se­ries of new taxes, in­creases in fees, and re­moval or re­duc­tion of sub­si­dies on fuel, wa­ter, and elec­tric­ity. All of this will im­pact our clients, our em­ploy­ees, and our stake­hold­ers, and will thus have a bear­ing on the way in which we man­age our re­la­tion­ships and win work.

“In or­der to achieve our goals, we recog­nise the power of solid and trust­wor­thy stake­holder re­la­tion­ships. So, we are con­tin­u­ously fo­cused on lev­er­ag­ing our tal­ent – both Omani and ex­pa­tri­ate.”

“PER­HAPS NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME TO CON­SIDER LOOK­ING AT MAR­KETS SUCH AS IRAQ OR SYRIA.”

SI­MON KARAM, SCC

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