Five minutes with Greg Garner
CEO of Belhasa Projects discusses current success and future growth
What are you working on?
Our Watertec division has been busy on numerous infrastructure projects with a particular focus on work in the northern emirates. We've been doing work on pipelines for sewage treatment, have done projects in the district cooling sector in Abu Dhabi and we are also working on water circulation schemes. The Arab Spring appears to have driven lots of government interest in infrastructure investment, and Watertec has benefitted from this focus.
What has helped Belhasa succeed in the market?
We are one of the biggest companies in our sector, but big can sometimes mean bloated. We've been having a look at ourselves and tightening up the business. For example, we've spent time training our labour to improve productivity and ensure we always finish projects on time. Clients want the comfort of a big name but that no longer comes at any price. We've had to sharpen our pencils to make sure we stay competitive.
Belhasa Projects is a very diverse group. Has this helped with winning contracts?
We're not a one trick pony and our diversity means we can redirect resources where necessary. When falling demand for swimming pools meant out Aquascapes division was less busy, we were able to push resources and expertise towards our Watertec division. The demand for infrastructure schemes has certainly taken up the slack.
What are your company's targets for the next 12 months?
Increasing our geographical footprint is our key aim for the year. Our expertise in the UAE is well regarded, but we're now getting calls from places further afield such as Azerbaijan and Egypt. Previously we used to do isolated projects elsewhere but then return to our UAE base. Now we are looking everywhere and anywhere, and we need to make sure our good name follows us.
What are Belhasa's plans looking further ahead?
We're currently investing in the Qatar market and will be establishing all our business divisions there as the country pushes ahead with development. Preparations for the 2022 World Cup certainly presents a number of opportunities for all parts of our business. We then aim to have offices in most of the GCC within the next five years. We are taking a measured strategy when considering markets to enter, but are definitely looking widely at where we might head next.