The year 2017 for Apleona, formerly known as Bilfinger, has defined the path to further step into the UAE FM market. Their performance both locally and globally has exceeded their expectations and now they look forward to a sustainable growth with their clients. Previously known as Bilfinger HSG, Apleona is headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, and is active in more than 30 countries. The company delivers a broad spectrum of services in facility management and real estate, in addition to industrial services within the public and private sectors major corporations, property developers, banks, hospitals and various multi-national clients. In this interview with FM today, Dr. Gert Riegel, Member of the Management Board, CEO FM ICC and Ramez Hammamy, CEO, Apleona HSG Facility Management, UAE talk about the brand’s growth on a global and regional level.

How has 2017 been for Apleona and what have been the key highlights?

Riegel: The year 2017 was the first year under our new brand name Apleona. What made it even more special was the fact that in the first year as Apleona we have achieved our targets in terms of revenue and profits. Even our clients have been happy with our services, making it a successful year for everyone.

Hammamy: With regards to UAE, 2017 was a successful one as well. We have overachieved our expectations in terms of revenue and with our customer satisfaction. We have managed to satisfy the customers we could win and deliver quality services to them, which is our main focus in order to stabilize ourselves in a mature market.

What is your vision for working towards the upcoming Expo 2020?

Riegel: We are excited about the possibilities that will emerge during the Expo 2020 and I believe there is a huge potential for us. We aim to provide all the secondary services for the companies, who are going to take part in the Expo.

Hammamy: There is huge potential for us at the Expo 2020. Apleona was one of the main suppliers during the last Expo held in Italy in 2015. One of the projects we had there was not only to build but to also take care of the maintenance of the entire exhibition. And till today we are maintaining the Expo site. Therefore, I believe we can use that experience and bring that to the Expo in UAE.

What kind of value is Apleona adding to the Middle East and how is it different from your presence internationally?

Riegel: On one hand we see a development of international corporate clients where they are seeking harmonized high standards independent of whether we are in the US, Germany or Japan. And it’s these high standards of maintenance what we can bring to the UAE. At the same time, I believe that it’s not always what we can bring to the table but we leverage from what our employees bring to the table from working here in the UAE as well.

Hammamy: It is important to point out that the FM market in the UAE is quite open, fast moving and a welcoming one that accepts those high standards. It is a perfect combination between a company like Apleona that wants to add value to the industry and to the country that has been open to accepting these standards and services.

What is your strategy for 2018?

Riegel: Globally, we have set up a five-year plan called the ‘full-potential plan’ where we would like to leverage our entire competency and to bring value to our clients. We would like to achieve more than the FM industry in a single country. But we would also like to overachieve with special measures in regards to our growth with our international corporate clients where we see a huge potential for us. We would like to see a 6-7 % overall growth. Having said that, our ambition and our passion in the UAE is even higher.

Hammamy: As a trusted service supplier, we will ensure that our clients can concentrate on their core business without any hindrance. At the same time, we aim to grow without compromising on our standard of services. The growth we see in the UAE is foreseen as over-proportional to the rest of the Group. So we aim to go beyond the target that Dr. Riegel just mentioned. However, we concentrate on a sustainable growth with both of our corporate clients and local clients.










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