An eagle eye
Eagle Hunters wins supplier status with JAFZA
Eagle Hunters’ managing director, Tej Lohia, discusses the security firm’s recent award from Jafza and its expanded range of services
When you enter Tej B. Raj Lohia’s office, you realise he means business. Mixed with comfortable high-backed chairs and an ethereal monochrome painting are books on how to get what you want, and a white-board with facts and figures scribbled on it.
Lohia is the managing director of security firm, Eagle Hunters Global, which has operated in the UAE since 2002.
He has much to celebrate — along with the firm’s 10-year anniversary in the region, and 30th anniversary worldwide, comes the news that the company has obtained supplier status in the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA).
Eagle Hunters Global, formerly known as Eagle Hunters Security Services, is now a registered FM and security supplier of JAFZA, and is the fourteenth FM firm to get this recognition.
“It’s a huge achievement, obviously, to be the fourteenth company in Dubai to get that approval. There are 16,000 people working in Jebel Ali Free Zone and only 13 companies were listed to provide FM services, so it’s a huge seal [of approval],” says Lohia, with apparent pride.
To be registered as JAFZA’s official supplier is a major achievement, according to Lohia, due to the stringent policies of the free zone. In order to acquire the status of a registered supplier a company needs to be 100% compliant with the UAE law and meet the requirements set by JAFZA.
With an annual turn-over of approximately AED 37 million, Eagle Hunters Global has expanded its existing services through tie-ups with IT and strategic management companies. As a result, the firm will act as a principal contractor for its client base and will manage both self-delivered and subcontracted elements of an overall project.
While Eagle Hunters is a family business — Lohia’s father set it up in India in 1982 — the young managing director doesn’t work on it out of any sense of obligation. “It’s a passion. I had wanted to become a pilot but it didn’t happen. But then I started here — my father launched this business. I started liking it, then loving it. From that day, it [the passion] has not switched off,” he says.
Some of the firm’s clients include DHL, Wesley Internationals (Supermax), Jebel Ali Resorts, Spinneys, Emirates Grand Hotel, Mövenpick Hotel, Emcor Facilities Management, EMCO Facility Managements, Unilever, Better Homes, LG, Dubai International Seafarers Centre, among others.
While Lohia admits the company started off as a security firm, he has expanded its offerings to facilities management, housekeeping, cleaning, IT and more. The firm employs around 20,000 personnel in India, and 4,000 across the Gulf (which includes 1,500 in Dubai), spread across security, cleaning and now manpower supply. Lohia says his plan includes increasing his staff by 10-15% this year.
In addition to employee numbers, Eagle Hunters has crossed countries, from India to UAE, Kuwait, and Singapore. The company already has various contracts in India, and is now looking to expand in Africa, and within UAE, to Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah. “These are all up-and-coming areas,” says Lohia.
The FM market in the country is thriving, he says. “It’s picked up really well — I always believe that what you give, you get. Now everybody is focusing on giving the right kind of service and the right kind of manpower. Because of competition, the rates have also really come down, but people are really giving their best to be in the market.”
He stresses on how important it is to give his clients value-for-money. “The immediate short-term plan is that we want to be the one-point solution company, and provide all types of services.”
He stresses that manpower cannot always provide 100% results, which is why he is incorporating technology into the firm’s offerings.
His plan is to approach high-end real estate firms, and offer all-round services like concierge facilities, security and IT. “It’s going to be a mix and match. We’re going to say, hire us because we can provide all the services.”
Other initiatives he has pushed include creating iPhone apps to help clients with issues like monthly budgets, and launching the “800-EAGLES” hotline for 24/7 assistance for the firm’s clients. “We’re working on making the customer satisfied; we’re trying to make things easier for them,” says Lohia.