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Global Localisation: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Vision 2030

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How do you think about change, about time, the need for change and how change is perceived?

Change was never something that worried me personally – quite the opposite: I’ve dealt with a couple of changes both in my personal and my professional life.

Born and raised in Egypt, I came to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was eventually tasked to build up the Rockwell Automation presence in the country.

And it makes me feel proud to have the legal entity finally set up in KSA as a joint venture with A. A. Turki Group (ATCO), a respected and established entity in the country.

Saudi Arabia probably is not the first country that would come to mind in the region when talking about change. Rather, stability comes to mind. But change has happened over the past several years, and more is still to come.

Change and growth, be it within a company or for a whole economy, needs vision, talent, goodwill and strong, progressive business ethics.

I am privileged to work with an organisation that takes a global approach to everything it does, that values all of its employees equally, that actively pursues a culture of inclusion, and that holds itself to the very highest ethical standards.

But let’s keep focused: 12 years from now, Saudi Arabia will reach a milestone with its Vision 2030 for a sustainable future that centers around three themes: A vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. 

And lots is happening already. Whereas the oil and gas industry naturally will remain strong, in order to not be mainly relying on this, other industries need to step up.

Natural resources such as gold, aluminum, phosphate and copper are opening a new industry branch for the country. Compared to previous years with crude oil being sold, the focus has been shifted to downstream – and all of these changes are creating new jobs.

With a +32 million population, the kingdom also has an understandable interest in answering the demand for consumer products directly and for that reason is opening the door for global manufacturers.

Part of Vision 2030 is the IKTVA – the In Kingdom Total Value Add. The IKTVA sets out to drive domestic revenue, and a strong element of this will be achieved by encouraging international companies to set up and produce locally.

The call has already been heard by big players like PepsiCo, which is now able to serve the Saudi population from within country.

And more is to come, such as the automotive manufacturers – both with vehicles and tires – which is on the radar and about to enter the local industry mix.

Whatever happens in the country is also reflected in our client mix and the projects that we are privileged to support.

As we know from industrial revolutions and evolution, this always comes with a change on the social side. This change is welcomed and happening through the Vision 2030, be it rights and opportunities for women or the culture of entertainment.

Rockwell Automation, a company defined by its multi-cultural, inclusive, global workforce, fully supports training and development of young talent. Saudis, both male and female, are already part of our global graduate programme and Engineers in Training (EIT) system.

It is this sort of knowledge transfer and blend of bringing in international talent and fostering local talent that reflects the spirit and stated intent of the long-term Vision 2030 approach.

Before I started working in Saudi Arabia, one of my responsibilities while running the Rockwell Automation business back in Egypt was to deliver training programmes to people in my home country.

From this experience, I know the value of training and how much it can add to the development of the skills required to diversify industrial output – and also how much is needed in times of change.

It is with great hope and high expectations that I welcome the Vision 2030 and look forward to supporting it and its benefits to local people through our new entity in Saudi Arabia.

Safwat Hakam
Safwat Hakam
Country Sales Director Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, Rockwell Automation

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