‘It is not enough to have the technical knowledge’

No matter the industry, facility managers are faced with diverse issues, particularly as the number of locations they’re responsible for increases. Within the banking industry, managing multi-site locations can often present distinct facility issues. Specifically, with a distributed portfolio of locations, facility managers are faced with the challenge of providing quality services.

Having been in the FM industry for nearly 10 years, Khaled Ghazzawi, Associate Vice President, Facility & Property Management, Emirates NBD, shares his journey into the FM industry and how different it is working in the banking sector.

What was your first job like?

My first job was an unpaid one. I was a volunteer and it involved a lot of assignments that revolved around saving the environment by implementing initiatives like energy saving, charity campaigns, serving society etc. Through this job, I had the opportunity to learn a lot. It truly motivated me to become an active member of the society and thought me how to be a team player.

Who was your mentor while growing up?

I had a lot of mentors while growing up. However, there were two who really stood out and they were my grand father and my teacher from elementary school.

What triggered your interest in the FM industry?

As a science, Facilities Management has been evolving so much over the years. What really got me intrigued with this industry is the fact that it is an involved sophisticated process and the procedures push an individual in a continuous learning and developing journey. It is not only a challenging industry but also an enriching one.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I have had many highlights in my career. My responsibilities and job dimension in FM has been increased to involve the application of project management, sourcing, and procurement activities, financial and budgeting. Apart from the completion of the renovation of a full back office building and converting it to commercial space the real highlight of my career is the completion and handing over of two main flagship bank buildings for Dubai Bank.

How challenging or different is the FM in a banking sector than compared to maintaining any other facility? What are some of the things one must keep in mind while implementing FM services?

The scope of FM at the banking sector is not fundamentally different from other facilities it is, however, challenging when it comes to influence decision makers and stakeholders and at the same time to comply with the bank’s requirements, regulations, and policies. While one will have to deliver many FM services like MEP, HVAC, installations of equipment, renovation, space refurbishment, cleaning, landscaping etc. you will also be involved in many activities related to back office and front office requirements, security requirements and authority’s regulation. And one will also be managing multiple vendors involved to deliver the different scope of work.

What are some of the technology or trends emerging in the FM banking sector?

If there is one trend that has made its presence felt in the banking sector then it is the application of FM IT solutions and system. I have observed that there are many IT vendors in the market working very hard to develop IT solutions that tackle FM challenges, especially for banks, who are always seeking automated processes to reduce TAT and increase customer experience.

According to you what is lacking in the FM industry today?

The FM industry today is no longer limited to just technical experts anymore. FM has expanded to the management of stakeholder, vendors and end users relationship. Unfortunately, most end-users do not realize the value of FM as they still feel FM is limited to just normal maintenance job. As FM experts we have a huge responsibility to educate the clients and the customers about the real value of FM services.

What is your advice for youngsters getting into the field?

As I mentioned earlier, it is not enough to have the technical knowledge to deliver TFM services. My advice is to focus on customer needs and to gain satisfaction and appreciation.










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Nivedha Sridhar is a member of the founding team at Facilio Inc