Arabian International Company has experienced organic growth within steel construction over the past 20 years, cementing itself as the go-to one-stop shop in the industry
Production Manager:Richard Thomas
Ever since the early days of Arabian International Company (AIC Steel), the Company has been incredibly focused on tackling the most challenging projects in terms of high quality demand and schedules.
In order to differentiate itself from its competitors in the region, AIC has built extensive references in an array of business sectors, including the aluminium smelter projects in the GCC region, fossil power projects, as well as projects for the oil & gas sector as a whole.
“With AIC working hand in hand with the main contractors of such prestigious projects, we are able to establish ourselves as the steel partner of choice,” explains Wasim Attieh, President of Arabian International Company. “This is especially when we take into account our projects that share a challenging volume, a short execution schedule and stringent requirements for quality.”
AIC Steel has been described as a Saudi business conglomerate, after starting in 1995 from a simple workshop located in the Mekkah province and specialising in steel fabrication.
“As we look back over the past 20 years or so, I can see the way in which we were able to grow organically into a business that now spans multiple industrial disciplines and supporting functions,” continues Attieh. “With projects that branch right across the MENA region - as well as selected international destinations - we pride ourselves on being a stronghold that comprises four regional hubs with multiple product lines.
“As a member of the Attieh Group, remaining close to the steel industry is a no brainer, with our involvement in such business going way back through the years; however, we have still managed to go from strength to strength in the industry.”
Multiple industrial domains
The present day AIC has developed its involvement in multiple industrial domains, including the fabrication of structural steel, plate work and piping, sheet metal in addition to power transmission and telecommunication towers. To get to this point its activity portfolio has grown quite dramatically to include, steel erection, as well as heavy equipment rental and heavy transportation.
“When geographically speaking, our operations are present in a multitude of locations in the MENA region - including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and China - where our aim is to ensure the best reach to our suppliers,” adds Attieh. “We are also able to demand resources that could support us in delivering a competitive, top quality products and services to our clients.”
With AIC’s incredibly diverse geographical portfolio, incredible levels of organisation were required to continue on with success as the Company grew; this has been supported by adequate systems and technologies which would enable the sustained growth support of AIC operations.
“In accordance with this we have adopted a hybrid structure - centrally based on our core sectors of steel supply and erection, towers and galvanising, heavy equipment and shared services - with our steel sector being the most prominent of our operations,” affirms Attieh. “Positively, we have experienced continuous growth in our other business sectors, which the Company is excited by moving forward.”
Constant improvement is most definitely a word that defines AIC and is actually its main philosophy; it is evident that this has worked very well for the Company, never resting on its laurels and always seeking more for its projects and the industry.
“In my view, our operations have improved in so many ways and our stakeholders understand and clearly believe in our adaptability and ability to change as two of the main drivers in our ever evolving organisation,” describes Attieh. “We are seeking improvement in everything we do, be that on the shop-floor, offices, internally and externally with our clients and suppliers.”
AIC has followed some very specific paths over the past 20 years, which have guided the Company along in its success. It began with a belief in the viability of concentric growth in the mission to expand operations at AIC, never looking at it as an easy or quick gain or becoming opportunistic when it comes to any business venture.
“We have always ensured that every decision in the Company is made upon the core belief that if we decide to enter into a new business area, we are aiming to stay there for the long-run,” continues Attieh. “Of course, it made sense that such business should be relevant - directly or indirectly - to our current operations, building on our unified infrastructure and resources, as well as capitalising on our internal talent inventory.”
Intricate steel structures
One of the most prominent and key projects for the Company is perhaps King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) - a non-profit organisation that researches energy economics, policy, technology and the environment.
“The structure we created for KAPSARC has been complete for five years now and is considered to be one of the most magnificent and intricate architectural steel structures,” states Attieh. “We actually won the Safest Company Trophy, for outstanding performance and best steel for that project, which is of significant importance to us.”
Another pivotal project in the Company’s history would be Madinah Airport, where as a steel partner, AIC took control of managing everything for the project; from design, detailing, fabrication and erection of the complicated steel structures with a total tonnage of approximately 12,500.
“This provided an excellent addition to our portfolio of airport and aviation-related projects,” adds Attieh. “When we look proudly at our history, we remain very confident with the landmark projects that we are currently working on - with AIC at the helm in several prestigious projects both locally and regionally - knowing that they will become pivotal in our Company’s history.”
Full product development
AIC has developed and differentiated itself away from others working within the industry, with perhaps its most tangible element being its ability to provide a one-stop-shop for many of the potential clients and contractors in business today.
Included within this is the full spectrum of product development, engineering, planning, process optimisation, production as well as material handling functions. This comes alongside the already diversified product portfolio that AIC has already built to serve the industrial and commercial sectors.
“Perhaps a slightly less tangible, yet equally influential, differentiator would be the passion towards every aspect of the business, setting us apart from the other market players,” continues Attieh. “Many of our employees have been with AIC since inception; it is this unlimited loyalty that wouldn’t be possible if not supported by complete passion towards what we do.”
The Company’s motto comes across in its passion when serving clients to the best of its ability, while maintaining the quality standing of the AIC brand.
“Our people have worked particularly hard to satisfy all clients’ requirements, taking pride in their mandate to continue,” concludes Attieh. “This has resulted in three key terms that we abide by as a team; quality, delivery and cost. By maintaining control and balance over these three elements, I believe this will lead to market dominance for AIC.”