"There was no concept of project financing in India"

Harshita Singh | July, 2012

What are your thoughts on the Omanisational front?

We firmly believe in meaningful Omanisation and we believe that Omanis have the first right to employment. The young Omanis, like any other community, need hand-holding to become experts. We put trust on them and provide them genuine opportunities and are always ready to hold hand.
What kind of challenges and hurdles have you faced in your long journey?
There are many challenges that we have faced but one thing that I would like to highlight is financing problem. It was easier and more convenient to raise funds in Oman compared to India. In the late 1970s, there was no concept of project financing in India. Although having a very attractive and feasible project plan, our fund raising initiative was rejected by four leading banks. At last, we were able to close the deal in Canara Bank after having a very blistering discussion. Moreover, performing consistently to retain ‘Numero Uno’ position in construction industry is another challenge.
You started the company with 14 employees and today it employs more than 15,000 people. How do you manage such a huge 
task force?
Managing such a huge task force is always a challenge. But we do believe that if we take care of our employees, our employees will also look after us. First, we do focus on one thing whether the dreams of the employee are getting fulfilled or not. If an employee comes from overseas, he/she immediately needs a good accommodation. Some of the employee have an aspiration to send their children to USA for higher studies. So, we keep record for each of these things and try to fulfill them. Moreover, we even provide financial assistance when required. We feel a huge pressure in the time of promotion as we try to be very fair to each and every employee. 
What are your future plans?
As the construction business is becoming very competitive day by day in Oman (and India) due to emergence of local players and bee-lining of global players, we are looking forward to expand our geographical presence across the globe especially in Qatar and Libya. Qatar has a lot of potential due to its ambitious development plans as the country is going to host FIFA 2020.