Face to face: Naveed Ansari, Tecon Specialized Engineering

Face to face: Naveed Ansari, Tecon Specialized Engineering
Published: 3 February 2018 - 6:02 a.m.
By: Neha Bhatia

The company’s most notable project in the kingdom is Jeddah Tower, the 1km building that is set to become the world’s tallest structure. TSES has also worked on the new Jeddah and Madinah airports.

More recently, the firm also won work on the Riyadh Metro mega-project, Ansari reveals: “For the Riyadh Metro, we have been picked to provide emergency lighting services for three of the project’s lines. The contract is worth $6.7m (SAR25m), and we have started working on it.”

While the contract win underscores both the monetary value of emergency lighting services and TSES’s reputation, Ansari points out that these achievements in the kingdom did not come easily. There were hurdles to overcome in both entering, and establishing a business in, a market as vast as Saudi Arabia’s, Ansari says: “This was the toughest challenge I had faced in all my years with the company.”

He explains: “We started approaching construction contractors and consultants with LPS and emergency lighting systems. Gradually, the market recognised our expertise and that helped us grow in the country. We now have offices in Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam, and have worked on projects including the Zaha Hadid Architects-designed King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre, where we provided LPS services.”

Ansari says this facility – often touted as an architectural landmark in the global design community – was among the most challenging LPS projects he has worked on, but the test appears to have only strengthened the TSES CEO’s job satisfaction: “Not everyone survives in the LPS field, but I still love what I do.”

This sentiment is hardly unexpected; Ansari has plenty to look forward to. The ongoing consolidation programme – in some ways a centralisation of all the engineering services within the parent group – includes the merging of back-office disciplines, including finance, human resources, and administration. Ansari says the activity began two years ago, and was internally rolled out in January 2017.

Last November, the overhaul was publicised, with the consolidated outfit hosting seminars in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to inform its clients about the changes. Ansari says that at least 40% of TSES’s clientele was in attendance at both events.

The company’s next moves will be in the direction of multi-vertical growth. Counter-drone technology is one of the services that Ansari expects to be expanded within the company.

Through a tie-in with a German company, TSES is providing a counter-drone platform comprising hardware and software that can detect and identify unauthorised drones, as well as jam their signals. Another feature of the platform, which would include taking access of the drone’s network, is currently under development. Ansari says the platform is a sophisticated method of ensuring that unauthorised drones are blocked and taken down without losing access to their recorded data.

TSES also intends to expand its testing and calibration facilities, with two new labs in Dubai Motor City and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). The facilities will focus on MEP and oil and gas equipment, respectively, and further development on these is expected by Q3 2018.

Plans to implement data analytics platforms, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) across the board are also in the pipeline, Ansari adds.

Commenting on TSES’s ambitions for 2018 and beyond, he says: “The consolidation provides us with the benefit of back-end synergy, as well as cross-selling to a large number of clients, so we will [leverage this] as much as possible. Technology is the future, and that’s what we’re focussing on now.”

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