Arthur D. Little joins Dubai Dewa and Saudi Aramco co-operation talks

10 January 2018

Top representatives from management consulting firm Arthur D. Little have joined delegates from Saudi Aramco and Dubai Electricity and Water (Dewa) for recent discussions between the GCC organisations on forming closer strategic ties.

Senior figures from oil colossus Saudi Aramco, including Khalid Al Salouli, Aramco director and head of its Energy Industrial City project, have visited their counterparts at Dewa in Dubai – led by Dewa’s managing director and chief executive Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer – for round-table discussions on the potential for closer cooperation between the companies on key development projects.

Joining them were representatives from global management consulting firm Arthur D. Little, with Jaap Kalkman, UAE managing partner and global head of Arthur D. Little’s Energy & Utilities practice, in attendance along with Dubai-based senior Energy & Utilities team-member Lukas Vylupek, a principle with the firm and global lead for its Digitilisation & Innovation Competence Centre for Utilities.

Discussions between the energy companies of the neighbouring GCC allies centred on the mutual benefits in strengthening cooperation and forming strategic partnerships on key development projects in the power and water sectors. Dewa’s Al Tayer expressed the organisation’s desire for improved performance, productivity and quality of service in line with the objectives set out by the UAE’s governing heads-of state, including Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai.Jaap Kalkman and Lukas VylupekIn turn, Saudi Aramco’s visiting party briefed the Dewa heads on its Energy Industrial City project – a development across 50 square kilometres which aims to improve the Kingdom’s energy security and reduce the cost of products and services through the centralisation of energy sector industries such as refining, petrochemical, traditional electric, and water treatment and production operations – with Aramco outlining its enthusiasm for the expertise in generation, transmission and distribution a greater association with Dewa could bring to the table.

Jaap Kalkman and Lukas Vylupek, the Arthur D. Little representatives in attendance at the meeting, have between them over 35 years of consulting experience, latterly with a focus on the global energy and oil & gas sectors, and including lengthy recent tenures in the Middle East. They joined the consulting firm, which has been operating in the region for over 30 years with offices currently in Dubai, Riyadh and Beirut, in 2014 and 2013 respectively.

According to a recent study by The Boston Consulting Group, the Middle East petrochemical sector is ripe for increased collaboration and even consolidation, as the industry is seeing a range of forces, including technology-led innovation, disrupt operating models and value chains.

Saudi pharmacy chain Nahdi transforms with aid of two consultancies

11 April 2019

Saudi Arabia’s leading pharmacy retail chain Nahdi has undergone a recent transformation with the help of two consulting firms; Resilience& for a business process re-engineering project and Redbox Digital for an omnichannel commerce implementation.

With a vast network of outlets in 140-plus cities and villages across Saudi Arabia, the Jeddah-headquartered Nahdi Medical Company oversees the biggest retail pharmacy chain in the Kingdom – serving millions of customers every year. Stating a goal to remain at the forefront of innovation, Nahdi has recently undergone two transformation projects with the aid of consultancies Resilience& and Redbox Digital.

The former project, which commenced last year, has seen the team from management firm Resilience& partner with Nahdi’s Business Process Re-engineering leadership team to institute a more efficient and agile manner for serving its customers. For the strategic transformation, Resilience& among other activities assessed processes against best-practices and benchmarking tools and applied a performance review mechanism to aid with any future fine-tuning.

Founded in the UK in 2015 and with further branches in Egypt, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Morocco and Greece, Resilience& describes itself as a network of consulting firms and independent experts – among them; UAE-based principal partner Ahmed Ragab, who has 15 years of cross-sector consulting experience across the Middle East – including a brief stint as a deputy director with Baker Tilly in Kuwait; and senior manager for digital transformations Tamer Montase, a former manager at Ernst & Young.Saudi pharmacy chain Nahdi transforms with aid of two consultanciesMeanwhile, Nahdi has also seen an UX overhaul with the implementation of a complete omnichannel commerce experience across its retail stores and digital channels delivered by global digital commerce and creative design consultancy Redbox Digital – a leading global elite Magento partner in the Middle East. According to the firm, Nahdi experienced its highest ever site traffic and best basket size and conversion rates in the week following the launch.

Built on Magento Commerce Cloud and Magento Order Management (while integrating Nahdi’s existing back-office Oracle systems), Nahdi’s head of omnichannel and former Accenture management consultant Pawel Dabrowski described the implementation as an amazing achievement given its size and complexity. “There were so many elements to consider from mobile application and single sign-on to loyalty programmes and single customer view,” Dabrowski said.

“Being able to bring all these together required knowledge, skill, understanding of the wider eco-system and more importantly team-work. There were challenges along the way, as with any large-scale implementation, but Redbox’s technical understanding, flexibility and ability to swiftly solve complex issues was behind the project’s huge success. They have a long history in the region and an excellent reputation for delivering high-performing omnichannel solutions.”

Founded in 2004, Redbox has a regional hub in Dubai (established in 2013 and serving clients in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar) with further operations in the UK, US, Italy Australasia, South Africa and Mauritius – the digital consultancy having since its inception built up an impressive roster of clients including Universal Music, Sephora, AXA, Nespresso, The Body Shop and Abul Latif Jameel, the parent of lean management specialists Four Principles.

Elsewhere in the regional healthcare sector, Four Principles itself recently celebrated a total supply chain and procurement processes lean transformation project for the Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group – naming the company its inaugural Kaizen Awards’ winner – while specialist consultancy GE Healthcare Partners has just picked up its own award, being highly commended at the prestigious MCA awards in London for a transformation project in conjunction with the Dubai Health Authority.