Saudi FM market faces challenges, says vice CEO of Saudi Marafiq
Hassan Saleh Al-Larakia says the Kingdom’s FM firms face HR and competition issues
The FM market in Saudi Arabia is facing several challenges, according to the vice CEO of Saudi FM firm Saudi Marafiq.
The most challenging issue is the lack of national resource and manpower, said Hassan Saleh Al-Larakia.
Speaking at FM Expo Saudi and Saudi Clean Expo, which took place earlier this month at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centre, the vice CEO also said that the Kingdom is lagging behind in its customer knowledge of FM solutions.
“Most of the clients do not know the FM concept. They are only thinking of operational maintenance or cleaning services. They are not aware of full IFM solutions,” Al-Larakia said.
He added that the competition within the Saudi Arabian market is "very strong".
“The reason for [the competition] is that the market here is very big. In the UAE, the market is saturated,” he said.
Explaining the origins of Marafiq, Al-Larakia said Marafiq is the sister company of Saudi Manpower Services (SMASCO) group, the kingdom’s manpower solutions provider.
“SMASCO decided to start a facility services company for its firm at the end of 2018. In the early days, 80% of Marafiq operations were internal and 20% catered to the outside market,” he said.
“Now 90% of our operations cater to outside clients and 10% to SMASCO. There is a big growth in business. We are a fully integrated FM service provider.”
By 2022, Marafiq plans to start operations in the UAE, Al-Larakia said.
“We are building our capabilities. We want to be strong. We are going beyond and above the standards of facilities management to compete with Saudi companies and multinationals,” he said.