Serco, international leader of public services within transport, citizen services and defence, marked last week’s National Day with the opening of its new regional hub in the Kingdom.
Located in the capital’s cosmopolitan Riyadh Front district, the move is part of a long-term strategy to develop its Saudi-based resources and leverage its location as a driver for local and regional trade.
Building on strong foundations which already engage specialist teams with 15% Saudi-national representation in the delivery of high-profile contracts with EXPRO and Royal Commission of AlUla, Serco has set itself bold ambitions for the future, eyeing opportunities in the Kingdom’s smart cities and giga-projects. These are led by Serco’s own Saudi national female country director, Ms Mona Althagafi.
Ms Althagafi said:
“The opening of this new office just after National Day on Friday represents a key milestone for Serco as we fully embrace Saudisation. We are already providing rewarding careers for young, local talent and creating many exciting opportunities in the future, for both men and women. This illustrates our commitment to one of the central pillars of the Kingdom’s vision, to support the development of diversification and help build a sustainable economy. We offer candidates the chance to develop their skills through developmental, graduate and internship programmes.”
Separately, independent research conducted earlier this month by the Serco Institute suggests that 81 per cent of the Saudi population recognise the critical value of businesses having a substantial presence in the Kingdom.
This puts Serco at strategic advantage and is reflected in its business strategy where Ms Althagafi anticipates growth in Saudi projects will result in the Kingdom accounting for over 50 per cent of Serco Middle East’s revenues by 2026.
Serco Institutes’s research, which was based around a nationally representative poll in the Kingdom on a range of different issues, also suggested that 79% of poll respondents believe it is important that international companies in Saudi Arabia allocate a specific proportion of jobs exclusively for Saudi nationals.
Given Serco’s work is predominantly in the public sector, supporting governments and giga cities, the company has received record job applications this year and is confident of meeting the Saudisation target of 25% it has set itself within the next five years.
Against this background, Serco Middle East’s regional business strategy has consistently been guided by establishing meaningful partnerships with its customers and insights drawn from research, anticipating global trends which will impact upon the MENA region.
Phil Malem, CEO of Serco Middle East, said:
“Our research reaffirms Serco’s long-held belief that we need to be as close to our key customers as possible so that we can continue to offer them the most responsive and innovative services available using global best practice and expertise delivered by our local team. With over six new contract wins with new clients in the Kingdom already this year, the opening of our new headquarters is just one key milestone in our commitment to, and journey within Saudi Arabia.”
The new Riyadh hub will also host ExperienceLab, Serco’s customer insight and service design agency centred around people and innovation. A dedicated space and team have been put in place to help organisations within the Kingdom use the unique understanding of data and insights to design, evolve and adapt services to cater to their end-users and deliver world-class experiences.