Vision 2030: Timely Reform Plan

by shariff mohammed | Mar 20, 2018

Bader S. Al-Reziza, Executive Director of Al-Reziza Business Group, currently heading Oi and Gas division speaks to Mohammed Shariff of Saudi Commerce and Economic Review about changing business ecosystem of the Kingdom and how Vision 2030 has carved new stretch for SMEs. 
  

Can you tell us about your business and how do you see the business evolution of your family business?

Al-Reziza Trading and Contracting company is a family owned business, started by my father and my uncle back in 1974. Though they had small businesses before that, this group was formed in 1974. It started as normal trading establishment, as we moved ahead the company got into industrial trading sector. In 1980’s they expanded to kitchen equipment trading along with industrial trading. By the grace of God In kitchen equipment’s sector we are one of the pioneers in Kingdom. We have three full-fledged operational offices and warehouses in the Kingdom, in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah.  We serve major hotels, hospitals, catering companies of the Kingdom and our industrial trading sectors serves energy sector, Saudi Aramco being the biggest client. Today we have four major area where our company has established its existence, Kitchen equipment , Trading, Real Estate and Investments. Industrial trading sales started surging in the beginning of 1980’s, predominantly from Saudi Aramco. Now we are the major suppliers for Saudi Electricity, SWCC. Marafiq, SABIC. The journey has been steady and based on string fundamentals. We concentrated on material supply and service sector in which we have expertise today.

Can you tell us about your experience in the family business, especially when you took batten from your father?

 Though I use to join my father for several business meetings during my college days, I formally joined the company in 2002. Later took break for my masters and rejoined with full obligation in 2005. Since I was aware of the business module it was not new for me. My father has always engaged us in his business affairs even during our college days. I had a flavor of my company and its operation, which gave me good platform to move on from the stage where we are today. It’s been a fabulous journey, which I would say like roll coaster. I have seen the best and worst market situation in the last 12 years and legacy that I inherited from my father enabled me to face the challenges with vigor and intelligence.

If you look at the overall economy, going forward how do you foresee the Kingdom’s economy, especially after the implementation of Vision 2030?

First of all I would say the Vision 2030 was an excellent idea that made every businessmen to have a vision. At least it made people to see where we are and where we need to reach. The means to achieve the Vision goals have been laid down properly. It had put all the companies on growth track. Streamlining process of business organizations have taken shape and pace. We can call it as corrective action, however, I would say it was timely and well executed reform. I think initially the process may be painful and we will have to suffer a bit. Currently economy is suffering to adjust with the changes and to adjust with the new demands. Since the reform is pushing people out of their comfort zone to perform and deliver, the structure will shake and it will give some pain, which is evident in the market.  If you look the fundamentals of our economy, it is still solid and strong. Moving forward I am quite confident that the economy will bounce back to its actual fundamentals. 

What would be your message to the young entrepreneurs of Saudi Arabia?

I think we have lot to learn from our parents and grandparents. They have started things from scratch. Most of the family business we have today was the result entrepreneurship of our ancestor. They started from scratch and build the business fundamentals with their personal efforts. The 70’s and 80’s generation were lucky enough to get established business in hand. We had no mean to go and try to work hard. Things were perfect and market was flourishing, we were there to manage things. But now it has changed. The idea of entrepreneurship has taken strides in Saudi society and large number of young men and women are coming forward to carve their own brand of identity in the market. Currently the eco system is shifting its benchmark toward small and medium enterprises. Ease in regulations have also been the major reform in this sector which has advanced the entry of many young entrepreneurs in last one year. I think there will be a paradigm  shift in business eco system in coming years. SMEs will play much bigger role in the economy. Special focus in small business will yield better results as it has better chance to become medium business in the future.

How do you see the economic prospectus of Eastern Province in coming days?       

Apart from its oil and gas competitive edge the Eastern Province has many other lucrative economic opportunities. However, I think the Kingdom’s economic prospectus is not limited to major three provinces, viz Riyadh, Jeddah and Eastern province. This has gone beyond that. Today we see Qasim Region and Jazan and Northern province have better prospectus for SMEs. Saudi Aramco’s biggest refinery in Jazan will drive hundreds of cluster industries around that. In the North of Saudi, entirely new city is going to come up. All these will pave way for new business eco system in those regions. The existence of energy in the Eastern Province made us a global player in the energy sector. Furthermore, the geographical location had made us a connecting point for the GCC countries. So, it has all the ingredients that global business hub requires. Also, the Eastern Province has long coastal line which is a huge tourism potential as well.

Being a member Asharqia Chamber Young Businessmen Council, what was your vision?

Frankly speaking, it was very good experience being in young businessmen council. The board has supported in all area and encouraged to go beyond normal procedures and programs. Our aim was simple that engaging people with this eco system. We have received support from all the corners, we tried to bring many experts to share their experiences with young businessmen. This was great platform for knowledge sharing.   

 

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