Quality services a booming sector in Qatar

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Pandra Sudhir, Regional Manager of Velosi Qatar

Velosi is an international quality assurance company with a number of key business activities in Qatar. Pandra Sudhir, Velosi’s regional manager, revealed the company’s strategy and future plans in an interview with Inside Investor.

Q: What is the profile of Velosi in the GCC?
A: We started in the region in 1996 in Abu Dhabi and moved into Qatar one year later. Here we started with a contract with Qatar Petroleum on quality management. Today, we are contractors of almost all oil companies here. Starting from the first contract, we have grown around 20-fold in revenue and number of employees and were also expanding. The latest offices we opened in the Middle East were in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. We have a contract with Saudi Aramco and are very optimistic about the business potential there.

 Q: Who are your main clients?
A: The main clients are in the oil and gas sector, but we are now also trying to diversify into the infrastructure sector and other non-oil and gas sectors because this is where all the new projects are coming up and where we can use our expertise and skills portfolio to expand into these sectors.

Q: What has changed for Velosi Group after the acquisition by Carlyle in 2011?
A: We have joined forces with Applus+, a Spanish technology services group which is also part of the Carlyle Group. We are now the largest division in Applus+. There are a lot of synergies as they are focusing on infrastructure and are not present in the Middle East. We now want to bring in the infrastructure expertise and the services of Applus+ to the region here. In Qatar, we are now looking at contracts with Qatar Rail where we can use the know-how of Applus+. We are also in a big tender with Ashghal, the government’s Public Works Authority, and are looking into civil construction tenders. Unfortunately I have to say that the infrastructure sector in Qatar is not very well regulated with regards to safety and quality benchmarks. Only lately there have been some positive developments, for example in fire safety. We are trying to bring our solutions in that field together with Applus+ and provide necessary guidance and monitoring.

Q: How does Velosi intend to market itself as a contractor of first choice?
A: We are in talks with all the consortiums about quality assurance, and we are offering specific solutions where we can partner with other service companies. Then we’ve got a wide area of other services such as machine operator training solutions which I am sure that the consortiums will need. We are also specialised third-party inspectors and a certification body for management systems of many kinds. Actually we can provide a lot of services.

Q: With regards to Southeast Asian companies: Many of them are eager to enter the GCC market, but are not meeting safety and quality standards. What can be done to assist them?
A: We are present in Southeast Asia with an office in Kuala Lumpur, and we can certainly be of use for these companies in the fields of certification and quality management. I am sure they would be comfortable in dealing with us.

Q: What are Velosi’s main strengths and what is its vision?
A: We have reached a level where clients believe that we are a really good quality service provider. We put a lot of emphasis on the technical expertise of our inspection engineers. We are currently also running a programme to improve our technical excellence. Our vision is that, by 2015, Velosi should become the only choice for customers in the field of quality management in the Middle East. However, there are still areas where we need to improve and excel.

Q: What are your expansion plans in the region and beyond?
A: In the oil and gas sector, the group is moving into new countries every year. Lately it was Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the Caspian Sea region. In the Middle East, Iraq is one area which we are developing. We just signed a contract with Shell there. Another focus is on Egypt.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Pandra Sudhir, Regional Manager of Velosi Qatar

Velosi is an international quality assurance company with a number of key business activities in Qatar. Pandra Sudhir, Velosi’s regional manager, revealed the company’s strategy and future plans in an interview with Inside Investor.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Pandra Sudhir, Regional Manager of Velosi Qatar

Velosi is an international quality assurance company with a number of key business activities in Qatar. Pandra Sudhir, Velosi’s regional manager, revealed the company’s strategy and future plans in an interview with Inside Investor.

Q: What is the profile of Velosi in the GCC?
A: We started in the region in 1996 in Abu Dhabi and moved into Qatar one year later. Here we started with a contract with Qatar Petroleum on quality management. Today, we are contractors of almost all oil companies here. Starting from the first contract, we have grown around 20-fold in revenue and number of employees and were also expanding. The latest offices we opened in the Middle East were in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. We have a contract with Saudi Aramco and are very optimistic about the business potential there.

 Q: Who are your main clients?
A: The main clients are in the oil and gas sector, but we are now also trying to diversify into the infrastructure sector and other non-oil and gas sectors because this is where all the new projects are coming up and where we can use our expertise and skills portfolio to expand into these sectors.

Q: What has changed for Velosi Group after the acquisition by Carlyle in 2011?
A: We have joined forces with Applus+, a Spanish technology services group which is also part of the Carlyle Group. We are now the largest division in Applus+. There are a lot of synergies as they are focusing on infrastructure and are not present in the Middle East. We now want to bring in the infrastructure expertise and the services of Applus+ to the region here. In Qatar, we are now looking at contracts with Qatar Rail where we can use the know-how of Applus+. We are also in a big tender with Ashghal, the government’s Public Works Authority, and are looking into civil construction tenders. Unfortunately I have to say that the infrastructure sector in Qatar is not very well regulated with regards to safety and quality benchmarks. Only lately there have been some positive developments, for example in fire safety. We are trying to bring our solutions in that field together with Applus+ and provide necessary guidance and monitoring.

Q: How does Velosi intend to market itself as a contractor of first choice?
A: We are in talks with all the consortiums about quality assurance, and we are offering specific solutions where we can partner with other service companies. Then we’ve got a wide area of other services such as machine operator training solutions which I am sure that the consortiums will need. We are also specialised third-party inspectors and a certification body for management systems of many kinds. Actually we can provide a lot of services.

Q: With regards to Southeast Asian companies: Many of them are eager to enter the GCC market, but are not meeting safety and quality standards. What can be done to assist them?
A: We are present in Southeast Asia with an office in Kuala Lumpur, and we can certainly be of use for these companies in the fields of certification and quality management. I am sure they would be comfortable in dealing with us.

Q: What are Velosi’s main strengths and what is its vision?
A: We have reached a level where clients believe that we are a really good quality service provider. We put a lot of emphasis on the technical expertise of our inspection engineers. We are currently also running a programme to improve our technical excellence. Our vision is that, by 2015, Velosi should become the only choice for customers in the field of quality management in the Middle East. However, there are still areas where we need to improve and excel.

Q: What are your expansion plans in the region and beyond?
A: In the oil and gas sector, the group is moving into new countries every year. Lately it was Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the Caspian Sea region. In the Middle East, Iraq is one area which we are developing. We just signed a contract with Shell there. Another focus is on Egypt.

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