Alarifi: We strive to build a unique innovative environment

Majid Saad Alarifi, Marketing Vice President and Elm spokesperson, revealed Elm’s plan to expand its investments in emerging entrepreneurial projects. He said during an exclusive interview with Telecom Review that Elm is working on entering new markets in the year ahead.

First, could you please expatiate on Elm’s businesses to date?

At Elm, we continue to develop an integrated portfolio of digital systems and services and innovative solutions to meet the needs of local and international government and private sector entities. We also manage several vital projects aligned with “Saudi Vision 2030”.

We strongly focus on innovation and research and development. We also embark on partnerships and joint ventures across the globe to implement the latest digital concepts. For example, we partnered with IBM to implement the blockchain technology in Riyadh Municipality. We have other major agreements supporting businesses as well, leading to increased client satisfaction. We are working hard to strengthen our partnerships with local universities such as our separate agreements with Wadi Taibah, KAUST University, King Saud University, and many more.

How did Elm contribute to the major digital change in KSA and the whole of the Middle East?

We are committed to making a significant contribution to the communities we serve, providing them with highly efficient and diverse solutions to their concerns, anytime and anywhere. In keeping with this, we have devised the ‘eligibility engine,’ an integrated system designed to control the level of eligibility of services provided by different government or private establishments. The system ensures that various forms of support reach their actual beneficiaries and that the support conditions match the current situation.

This system was created to link the establishments to various stakeholders for data collection, ensuring the beneficiaries’ access to the right services. It fast-tracks the identification process of the applicants, consequently accelerating the approval procedure. It will cover job seekers incentives, jobs training, supported services such as housing, water, and electricity, educational support, and healthcare insurance. The system consists of a portal, facility services, data link platform, and platform engines. The work mechanism depends on the acquisition of basic data and facilitation of work procedures. It links multiple sources, building a flexible eligibility engine, managing and adjusting eligibility requirements, and developing a technical infrastructure for data processing. It also provides technical support with its customer service and objection management system apart from providing reports and monitoring performance.

We manage various local and global projects as well as digital systems that meet the requirements of the public and private sectors, including tourism, transportation, health and industry, security, labor, real estate, health, defense, finance, justice, energy, and many more.

How did Elm develop its strategy? What are the goals it aims to achieve?

Striving to keep up with latest global technologies, Elm concentrates on multi-channel digital platforms to support the digital transformation in Saudi Arabia and its neighboring countries.

Elm takes into account the changing market conditions, including intense market competition, government spending patterns, customer expectations, and other new opportunities arising from “Saudi Vision 2030” and the “National Transformation Program 2020”. Opportunities in the local market are fueled by public-private partnerships (PPPs); digital government transition; the emergence of new business sector; and capacity building initiative to keep pace with the global changes. The company also focuses on new business models such as digital platforms, big data, data analytics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and smart automation, among others.

What are the opportunities brought forth by national programs launched to support “Saudi Vision 2030”?

“Saudi Vision 2030” has opened up a myriad of opportunities. The Saudi Government has identified 12 programs to support the vision, which is critical to the country’s digital transformation.

On digital transformation, we provide digital services to priority sectors in line with the “National Transformation Program 2020”. With regard to privatization, we offer PPP with a focus on digital transformation. Indeed, through the Local Companies Incentive Scheme, we can expand and enter new regional and international markets and benefit from the experiences of other countries in digital innovation.

For example, Elm has launched a program designed to ease the experience of pilgrims. We also have a housing program to improve the experience of individuals and property developers. We explore digital solutions to ease the journey of pilgrims. As for National Industrial Development and Logistics, we are developing electronic logistic solutions to empower the local logistics market.

Is Elm planning to expand its services?

Elm is planning to invest in digital tools and other modern technologies to serve its local and regional customer base. Its expansion strategy will leverage its 15 years of experience, directly or indirectly, in the fields of digital, administrative, and project management, including management change, in collaboration with its local partners in Asia and Africa. Elm is significantly expanding its network with local and international partners to enable fast market access.  

The interest in digital transformation in the public and private sectors will continue to grow over the next few years given its benefits, including enhanced efficiency and faster delivery of advanced services to end users.

Elm will introduce a range of new services and digital solutions to the local and global markets. It will establish strategic partnerships as part of the company’s international growth strategy.

What is your take in investing in startups? What have you done regarding this?

Elm, which encourages innovation, strives to gain advanced knowledge of emerging and evolving technologies and solve present and future problems for the benefit of society. In the Kingdom, we fully support entrepreneurs. At Elm, we continue to focus on aggressive investments in the Middle East, targeting individuals and owners of technology companies that offer products in the transportation, health, security, public safety, real estate, and finance sectors.

What will you showcase at GITEX Technology Week 2019?

At GITEX Technology Week 2019, we will introduce a unique smart solution model, including the ‘Elm Platform for Data Analysis.’ This provides data-related services, a digital health system, and smart project management consulting using Seraj, Elm customized system. We will also showcase the ‘Integrated Transport System,’ which enables workers in the transport sector to obtain various licenses, services, and reports relevant to their jobs.

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