page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102

" None of our 1,100 migrant staff should have to spend a riyal on their accommodation or welfare," he says. " We cover all their costs- flights, permits, licenses, accommodation, food, transport and healthcare. These expenses form part of our package and demonstrate why we can't compete with less ethical operators." It seems that there is no shortage of such enterprises, as many companies use the reduction of workers' benefits as a way of becoming more competitive in the open market. Electro operates its own staff compound. No- one shares a room with more than two others, and more senior staff have their own privacy. Three nutritious meals a day are provided, offered in the contract will be what is delivered. " There's a great deal of work for which we don't bid," says Pringle. " In the main, our clients tend to be Western businesses, Saudi banks and foreign embassies, to whom the quality of the service provided has greater importance than going with the lowest price." There is only so far that reducing costs by working more efficiently can go, especially in a labour- intensive business such as O& M. Pringle is critical of his competitors who bid low at the expense of reduced benefits provided for the migrant labour force and is justifiably proud of the high standards of care extended by Electro. " There's a great deal of work for which we don't bid. In the main, our clients tend to be Western businesses, Saudi banks and foreign embassies, to whom the quality of the service provided has greater importance than going with the lowest price" 88 www. bus- ex. com July 09

cooked by nationals for nationals. When it's time to work, staff members are moved around the city in a civilised fashion rather than being herded into the back of an open- top truck. As well as making clients comfortable, there is also a good commercial reason for treating employees well. Clients value continuity, and it makes sense for Electro to hold onto staff rather than subjecting clients to a continual stream of new faces. The last eight years have been a period of change and adjustment for Electro. As many of the French and US clients it had at that time came to the end of their contracts, the amount of corporate work decreased, and with it the need to take on hundreds of smaller, private contracts, despite that sector only contributing 10 per cent of revenue. This period of consolidation allowed the company to retain its workforce whilst bidding for the larger corporate projects and contracts. " It's not easy getting work visas for labour," explains Pringle, " as the Saudi Labour authorities require proof in the form of a signed contract that work is actually available for any labour that we may wish to recruit." The Saudi government's Saudi- isation Programme also requires that 10 per cent of the workforce must be Saudi Nationals and Electro has received official certification that they are fully compliant in this regard. The worldwide recession has not impacted upon Saudi Arabia to the same degree as in the West. There is real asset value behind current large Saudi construction projects and so opportunities for new business are continually arising. Nevertheless, that period of consolidation seems to be behind Electro, and it is expecting to double turnover from its current $ 25 million within two years. In fact, Electro is currently bidding for the biggest contract in its history, which, if successful, will open up the east of the country for new business and many more light bulbs to be changed. - Editorial research by Jon Bradley Electro Saudi Services July 09 www. bus- ex. com 89