Committed to innovative solutions, technologies and opportunities, it’s little wonder that Rawabi Holding has become one of Saudi Arabia’s leading conglomerates. VP Ahmed AlQadeeb explains what makes this group so special
With a solid thirty-eight-year history of growth and expansion, Rawabi Holding group has become one of the fastest-growing companies in the Middle East and a leading conglomerate in Saudi Arabia. Rooted in the region, Rawabi Holding has extensive expertise in understanding and anticipating market dynamics and the experience to guide to success in Saudi Arabia. Never satisfied with the status quo, Rawabi Holding is committed to innovative solutions, technologies and opportunities that help its clients succeed more effectively and cost-efficiently. Founded in 1980, Rawabi Oil & Gas (ROG) is a fully owned subsidiary of Rawabi Holding with a vision of making practical supply and service a reality in the Oil & Gas industry.
Today, ROG is a top agent and distributor for a vast portfolio of prominent, internationally recognised manufacturers, as well as Joint-Venture-based Oil & Gas and Petrochemicals services and technology providers. ROG’s trading line of business includes supply of upstream and downstream chemical, mechanical and electrical products; test, measurement, and control instruments; as well as a diverse portfolio of production, transportation, and process equipment and materials
Just as Rawabi Holding has lead by example to become one of the leading conglomerates in Saudi Arabia, so too has the Vice President of Oilfield Services, Ahmed Al Qadeeb. Having joined ROG, which was known at the time as Rawabi Trading & Contracting, in 2005 as the Oil and Gas Services Manager, fresh from a role as Senior Field Engineer at Schlumberger in Saudi Arabia, Ahmed was tasked with looking after oil and gas operations, negotiating contracts and securing new technologies. After demonstrating a keen ability to problem solve and promote customer satisfaction at all times, he rose steadily through the ranks.
“People think that when you work for a private company, you don’t grow with it. However, this is not the case and I’m a good example as to why,” says Ahmed. “I started as a Field Manager, then the Deputy General Manager, General Manager, and finally the VP. This is proof that if you work hard then you can achieve anything you set your mind to. My experience also allows me to mentor any employee starting their career at the group because I myself began in a middle management position and have risen to the top.”
Rawabi Holding’s slogan is ‘Powered by People’ – and Ahmed certainly fits this mould. The company provides generous training to employees, is fully committed to growing skills and roles internally and rewards excellence. A “willingness to learn and a can-do attitude” are top priorities for Ahmed when it comes to hiring, along with a proactive outlook and the drive to accept challenges and push outside a comfort zone.
A clear communications strategy, an open-door policy and weekly meetings (along with larger monthly meeting) supports the sharing of knowledge and keeps teams up-to-date. It also promotes confidence. “The most important factor is that nobody feels too shy or afraid to raise an issue or offer feedback,” says Ahmed. “It’s one of the ways we mitigate the risk of problems not being resolved or snowballing into bigger issues.”
Diversity is also important at Rawabi Holding. That said, the company is aiming for 70-80 per cent Saudization – just one element of an impressive CSR program. As examples, Ahmed cites the Cancer Foundation and contributions to youth empowerment, a cause Rawabi Holding was ahead of the curve in championing.
As part of the senior management team, Ahmed’s role is diverse. From managing people to dealing with companies, monitoring cash flow and collection, and evaluating the risk of the reward, it’s all-encompassing. He says: “I never understood the meaning of a general manager until I began this role and started to deal with several companies. What the word general really means that I have to be ready to take on anything, even if I don’t have full details of the knowledge of the matter. But Rawabi Holding is like a school – we’re always learning.”
One longstanding objective is to develop supplier relationships and grow ROG from representatives into joint-venture partners. Two great examples of this are CETCO and Pason. ROG started as a representative for both of these companies and has now formed a 50:50 joint venture with each of them. Each of these parties is bringing its own expertise to the table.
By his own admission, Ahmed will explore any partnership, so long as there is a balanced agreement. Inclusivity, transparency and honesty are of paramount importance, and the cornerstone of renewable relations.
“Any agreement that is fair to all parties, with none having the upper hand over the other, is one that will last a long time,” he says. “We always look for win-win solutions.”