PUNDITS – Article1

" Technology, Robotics & Upskilling are crucial to transform Facilities Management"

Mr. Abdulla Bin Abed – CEO of High Power Services, has been instrumental in the growth of the company making it one of the fastest-growing Integrated Facilities Management companies in the region. He oversees a diverse portfolio comprised of Hard FM, Soft FM, Specialized services, and Contracting.

Mr. Abdulla brings his vast perspective in an interview with Corporate Communications for Leadership Take (on industry trends) campaign, where he weighs in on the FM market, future trends, changing clients’ preferences & future of HPS.

On Facilities Management current & future trends.

From yesteryear, people looked at FM industry as being a technologically deprived and labor-intensive sector. They could be forgiven for not immediately thinking ‘high-tech’ instead as there wasn’t any high-tech application used in the industry. Time has now changed. Our industry has witnessed several technologically advanced solutions to some pressing challenges in the FM industry. For instance, use of robots / drones to clean a high-rise building façade is not only efficient but also eliminates the risk of fatal accidents. FM companies are now more receptive to high-tech than ever before. It would reduce operational costs, minimize human errors, and would help greatly in managing resources more effectively. Having a single platform to keep clients and customers informed in real-time would certainly change the service trajectory of the industry. Companies must re-visit their ‘Strategy of Mobilization’. At times, to win a particular contract and to beat competition, companies offer their services at a lower price. This strategy result in misappropriate allocation of staff and earning marginal less profits for companies which eventually make them struggle to sustain in the long run. Hence, companies need to meticulously plan their ‘Strategy of Mobilization’ and ways to efficiently manage multiple sites.

On tech & service opportunities in the next five years.

Automation & technology: It could gain substantial momentum in the foreseeable future as it could reduce operational costs by approx. 20 – 30%. For instance, a site inspection is done by inspector who go up to site to do physical monitoring. With technology, he may be able to monitor multiple sites from a single location. Integrated FM management: There has been a growing demand of integrated facilities management companies in the region. It not only increases service flexibilities under a single umbrella but also satisfies varying clients’ prerequisites. Customer centricity: I believe companies will be more customer centric whist servicing clients. Having said that, I would also want companies to consider another important aspect – cost.

On major changes in FM in the next five years.

FM industry as a whole is gradually evolving. I feel we will witness slight changes in the near future other than companies would be more conscious about their strategy of mobilization, for which companies would need more initial investments. In addition, charges for maintenance / equipment / supplies / manpower could be revised and more jobs will be created.

On what differentiates HPS. Its future plans.

High Power Services (HPS) was founded with the sole objective of providing the best-in-the-region facilities management services to clients. Since inception, the company has grown steadily through five stages, namely: (i) Landscaping (ii) Integrated Facilities Management with all technical services (iii) Civil/Maintenance (iv) Fit out and (v) Construction. Plans are in place to diversify into Property Management. More so, we are deliberating on the possibility of collaborating with oversees companies & also getting into 3D-printed buildings

On Technology & Workforce.

I believe technology is the only way forward. Contrary to the negative speculations about technology, my sense is that it would only increase efficiency and reduce cost. It is absolutely fine if people think otherwise. The same was being said around three decades back when experts were asked about the impact of IT on the economy. The report by the Harvard Business Review ‘Robots seem to be improving productivity, not costing jobs’ suggests there is no correlation between increased use of robotics and loss of jobs. It is no hidden secret how IT has revolutionized our life today. So, technology will be put in place, but we still need workforce to operate & monitor it. HPS’ foundational pillars are Honesty, Trust & Quality. Our extremely talented and highly skilled employees understand this and never compromise on these crucial beliefs. We value our clients and take extreme care while providing services. Our ability to understand clients’ requirement is what sets us apart from our competitors. We live by our motto ‘Never say NO to clients’. You see, when a client requests for a service that HPS doesn’t cater to, then we would establish that service for our client. Needless to say, the quality of such established services is of HPS standards. When we are outsourced tasks, our teams coordinate with clients frequently to ensure our level of service matches their expectation. There are companies in the market that work independently on joint projects/assignments whereas ideally, they should be working hand-in-hand with clients. Companies need to imbibe the thought process that their client’s KPIs are their own KPIs too! Time is of the essence and our DLI Group management understand this well. HPS exponential growth in such a short span of time was possible only because we take quick ‘calculated’ decisions, we act fast on client requests, we assign manpower in the structure requested by clients, and we keep creating new business opportunities. These factors have helped us create a strong client base. Few of our esteem clients are General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai (GDRFA), NEDAA, Dubai Courts, Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA), Transport Security Department – Dubai (TSD), Al Tadawi Medical Centre, Dubai Police to name but a few. Our DLI Group management strategy is to invest more into assets and provide gamut of services to our clients. We believe in diversifying our business with the changing business landscape. We understand that empowering employees is the only way to grow the business. Encouraging and appreciating individuals & teams through various internal initiatives comes to us naturally. We motivate employees to think and execute in-house sustainability programs as well. Recently, we launched an initiative to turn waste into art. Our employee Sudip Pariyar used this opportunity to create planters with plastic waste. This initiative received a wide exposure in local media. We, as a group, take environment preservation seriously. Our next initiatives would be on ‘Waste Management’ & ‘Green Initiatives’ for a sustainable future. In times to come, I’m confident that with DLI Group management‘s guidance & employees’ support High Power Services will reach greater heights & become one of the best FM companies in UAE.

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