Tarek Nizameddin, CEO of AG Facilities Solutions, plans to guide the firm through new transformational changes Featured

09 June 2022, Dubai, UAE:

In a new interview with Facilities Management Middle East, Tarek Nizameddin, CEO of AG Facilities Solutions, speaks about his planned transformational changes for Al Ghurair Facilities.

There is a new sheriff in town! Tarek Nizameddin joined as the new CEO of AG Facilities Solutions (AGFS), in January this year, prompting exciting new transformational changes across AGFS’ structure and operations. With more than 27 years of experience, Nizameddin brings with him a plethora of knowledge to navigate and embed change. He will be responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership to drive the transformation at AGFS.

Talking about AGFS, Nizameddin says: “We have a very large operation today. We have around 11,000 employees all over the UAE providing both hard and soft services. We are operating in seven emirates servicing a diverse range of sectors.”

These sectors include oil and gas, education, healthcare, retail, residential and commercial, shopping malls, and infrastructure projects, wherein AGFS provides, integrated facilities management (IFM) services, landscaping, pest control, and cleaning that includes facade cleaning and duct cleaning.

Nizameddin’s mandate is to build upon the success of AGFS and take it to the “next level”. He explains: “We are operating currently under two brands. One is a pure soft services firm called MBM. The second is AG Facilities Solutions that is focused on IFM and hard services. I’m in the process of integrating these two companies, merging the operations under one brand which will be launched soon as AG Facilities Solutions. With this approach, we form one solid brand that will provide a one-stop-shop solution to our clients.”

Explaining the rationale behind this, Nizameddin says that it is always better for clients to have a single, holistic provider, bringing greater quality control and increasing efficiency for AGFS’ operations and its clients. He adds: “This is what integrated facilities management is about. Clients don’t like to coordinate with different people for both soft and hard services.”

For such a transformation, the company is working on identifying SOP’s and processes for the addition of new systems. The firm is upgrading its own computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) systems. He adds: “We are integrating many systems such as time and attendance for HRMS. We have a full digital transformation plan that will be completed before the end of the year.”

In a nutshell, Nizameddin says that the company plans to offer multiple options to its clients that includes IoT and robotics. The firm has started business incubators to provide new in-house specialised services, which is currently outsourced by the firm. The company also plans to enter new segments, such as waste management. Nizameddin says: “The goal is to bring all this under one umbrella. Our purpose is ‘Empowering Facilities, Enhancing Life’. We are a purpose-driven organisation and this is our core focus.”

Explaining a bit more, Nizameddin says: “When we say empowering facilities, it doesn’t mean that I am empowering the AC system. It’s empowering everything including the facility manager, the client, my cleaners, technicians, and security guards. Everything is one interconnected ecosystem that provides a great experience for the building occupant. We are empowering and enhancing the life of everybody; enhancing the life of the building users, enhancing the life of investors, enhancing the lives of our employees by providing them with the proper welfare and proper employment working conditions; and we are enhancing the lives of our suppliers, by paying them on time and having a fair contract with them. This is our purpose.”

Employee welfare and cultural transformation

Talking about the firm’s commitment when it comes to employee welfare, Nizameddin says that one of the firm’s objectives for 2025 is to be one of the top employers in the region.
In parallel, there is a cultural transformation underway at AGFS which will help the firm achieve its corporate strategy, purpose, and goals.

AGFS calls itself a great company that aims to be even better. Nizameddin implies that the company needs “to be fit for the future”. And that can only come when all the moving parts are in line with each other. “Be it culture, welfare, technology, purpose of the organisation, they all need to aligned and such a strategy which will help AGFS achieve its goals”.

He adds that the firm believes in cultural diversity and empowerment of women. Nizameddin says: “We hope to see more and more women coming into play in the FM industry, and that’s something we are already proud to be championing in our own operations. We have a lot of senior women in leading roles at our organisation.”

The other purpose of rebranding is to align AGFS with the parent company, Al Ghurair Investment, a 60-year-old family-owned group of businesses, revered for being part of the infrastructure of the UAE since its founding days. AGFS intends to build upon that legacy.

Challenges

On the subject of competition in the market, Nizameddin says that it “is one of the challenges in the industry today”. He adds: “Everything is price sensitive and everybody is focusing on the cost. This has been an issue even before the pandemic, but I believe that with time clients will understand that FM is an investment and they have to invest at selecting the right partner, with the right capabilities, to support them. Clients need an FM service provider to provide them the right support for the sustainability of their operations, and at the same time, to maintain their asset lifecycle. We’re targeting these type of conscious clients: those that understand the importance of selecting the right partner with a balance between the cost and that added value that’s provided.”

The other challenge is that the FM industry still doesn’t receive the due recognition that it deserves. FM is still considered as a cost-center, when actually it is an “investment”. A good FM service partner can help you enhance the return on your assets to a very large extent, Nizameddin implies. That is something which is AGFS’ core deliverable.

Nizameddin says: “We bring that professionalism, technology, and the right systems into helping our clients manage facilities better but also enhance the facilities and the lifecycle cost. Operational Maintenance cost vary from 40-60% of the whole life cycle cost of a building and the right FM partner can help in improving the ROI.”

The last obvious challenge facing the firm is change management. Nizameddin concludes: “Change management is always a demanding. We are undertaking a huge transformation and we have people who have spent over 30 years working with us. It is a big challenge, especially when it comes to transforming from a traditional FM company to not just an integrated facility management company but also integrating the services across various functions. But we have a very strong team, and I am confident we will see through these positive changes.”

Read the article in its original location here: https://www.fm-middleeast.com/business/tarek-nizameddin-ceo-of-ag-facilitiessolutions-plans-to-guide-the-firmthrough-new-transformational-changes