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50 Most Admired Companies of The Year 2019

An Interview with Rashad Sinokrot, GCC SERVICES CEO: ‘We are committed to operational excellence in the most remote and challenging locations’

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“In the service industry, we rely on the skills and passion of our team. We are taking care and nurturing our talents to ensure higher satisfaction to our customers”

Business logistics continues to strengthen its position as the key rationalization and developing business function – both at the level of one economic entity and in the context of the entire supply chain who now know no boundaries.

The goal of logistics is to reduce the cost of products purchased by an organization and ensure the integrity of the supply process. A disruption in the supply process can greatly impact a business. For example, the late delivery of a supply needed to manufacture one item can result in a total work stoppage.

If production stops, the chain reaction can reach the consumer if it is not resolved immediately.

In light of the foregoing, we’re thrilled to present GCC SERVICES.

GCC SERVICES is an internationally renowned and respected quality provider of integrated life support services which includes catering, facilities management, construction, engineering and food procurement and logistics solutions. The company supports Governments, Private companies, and humanitarian organizations in their global operations everywhere, every day. Part of the Agility Group, GCC SERVICES leverages the network and international footprint of the international logistics provider to support its operations.

Incorporated in Kuwait in 2003, it is now represented and operates in Africa, ME, Australia and parts of Asia: Australia, Cyprus, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mali, Sudan, UAE and Uganda. GCC SERVICES is a leader in its industry and aims at reinforcing its position by growing its size and using innovation as a differentiator.

Proud Moment

GCC SERVICES has received several awards for its outstanding services that include ‘American Society for Safety Professionals’, ‘HSE Excellence Award 2018’, ‘Environmental Excellence Award 2018’, ‘HSE Excellence Award 2018’, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2018’, ‘British Safety Council’, ‘International Safety Award 2018’, ‘Tatweej Academy (UAE)’: Golden Eagle Award 2018 (honouring the Leading Figures, Institutions and Administrators at the level of the Arab Region). These awards testify of the ethics and work done by GCC SERVICES team at all levels.

Moreover, the company has obtained over 25 ISO Certificates worldwide and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

Rashad Sinokrot, GCC SERVICES CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?

GCC SERVICES was established in Kuwait in 2003. The company’s main efforts were focused on providing the allied forces with catering and supply chain services. Two years down the line, the company expanded its operations to include construction and engineering, maintenance and life support services.

In 2009, GCC SERVICES started diversifying its client portfolio and is now operating in over 10 countries across a wide variety of different sectors: defense and government, humanitarian, oil & gas, mining, education, hotels & leisure, and events. With approximately 3300 employees in 2019, and more than 1 000 000 000 meals served daily in the UAE only, GCC SERVICES continues its growth by strengthening its current process and delivering excellent quality services tailored to the expectations of its clients.

Most importantly, GCC SERVICES is active in promoting Corporate Social Responsibility in local communities and was awarded the Golden Award of Excellence in CSR from the Arab Organization for Social Responsibility, as mentioned above.

What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?

The retrograde of many forces from conflicts zones had us expanding our client portfolio. The diversification we had to go through could have been a major issue but our adaptability and flexibility allowed us to build on the skills and the strengths that we developed working for the armies to convert them in added values for new clients. We then became a reliable service provider for private companies trusted to deliver high-quality standard services anywhere in the world, no matter what challenges the operation environment would involve.

However, our growth happened in so many diverse environments that it took us time to ensure alignment and standardization of methods and standards among the various country-of-operations. It took us a few years to align all countries and teams in the best way of working. This was made possible thanks to total transparency within our management team and regular global work sessions.

Building a culture of sustainability inside an organization is very important to maintain a reputation in the global market. How is it true for your company?

We believe a sustainable business requires a strong commitment towards local communities. We promote Corporate Social Responsibility among local communities, believing that there is no better recipe for achieving a healthy and self-sustaining economy than through proactive participation in employment, training, and procurement of local resources.

We select, encourage and develop suitably qualified and motivated local companies to suit the business model we support that will meet stringent requirements for accountability and standards to deliver services and goods that ensure the best value to our clients.

A company’s behavior is as important as its economic performance or the quality of its services. How do you interpret this saying?

Economic performance remains a prerequisite for GCC SERVICES to survive and the overall company’s behavior can have a direct impact on it. The link between the two concepts rhythms all decisions made by and for the company.

However, when assessing a company, economic performance is not sufficient and this is where the company’s behavior has a major role. Looking at the company’s behavior of GCC SERVICES, one would see:

  • Stable governance practice in all processes to respect and protect our stakeholders,
  • Protection of employees using fair labor practice,
  • Excellent contract execution, solution engineering to deliver service that exceeds client’s expectations: we are in the life support services industry but the technical solution that our team sometimes has to deploy to deliver a service is nothing less than engineering,
  • Boilerplate of ideas, will for innovation, and flexibility for change,
  • A team working as one, able to learn from each other and to drive the business towards success.

‘Leaders cannot optimize results by themselves; they need employees’ support and assistance.’ How does your company interpret
this saying?

Human capital is crucial to us and we keep on investing in our people and offer various training and development opportunities through our online platform, in-house training program, management development program, and external providers. This year, special emphasis was given on Fair Labor Human Rights and Combatting Trafficking in Persons (CTiP) to protect our workforce and ensure that everyone is aware of their rights. We have also sponsored various fitness initiatives to ensure that great minds reside in healthy bodies.

What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation?

Besides the incredible amount of work done by our teams all over the world, we believe that communication is a key factor of a company’s reputation. Crucial for both internal and external stakeholders, communication directly impacts our reputation.

We created several platforms to keep our workforce up-to-date with our achievements, failures, improvements, targets which include both oral and written communication. These platforms are willingly multidimensional and go against top down flows. Each and every of our team member can initiate a topic and get a response if needed. This constant information flow allows us to keep a clear picture of the global strategy and the greater entity we all belong to.

Our customers are another main actor in the creation of our reputation. Collecting, analyzing and working on their feedbacks has been a strong focus over the past few years. We have a strong system in place to collect, analyze and respond to feedback left by our customers. Made to be simple, attractive and fast to ensure the highest quantity of data possible, it is managed in real-time, transparent for our customers and our teams respond to all comments left on it. No one is perfect but we aim at getting always better in the sense expected by our customer and this process allows us to do so. We trust them to strengthen our reputation.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

Following our first main growth period, we have now spent a few years stabilizing our core and we are ready to take on further growth while being able to safeguard what we stand for.

Rashad Sinokrot: An Aspiring Entrepreneur

Rashad Sinokrot serves as the Chief Executive Officer of GCC Services. He oversees operations; has accomplished a successful campaign of spearheading the growth of the company to a wholly integrated remote site and facility management services company. Mr. Sinokrot also serves as a board member in various companies across the Gulf.

Mr. Sinokrot, a Fulbright Scholar, earned a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School).

“We believe a sustainable business requires a strong commitment towards local communities.”