Saudi Arabia Review

Aramco ... a global challenger

Aramco ... a global challenger

Aramco, Sabic win global accolades

Maintaining their status as global challengers, the two firms continue to impress with their scale, international market positions and excellence in operations

OUT of six companies from the Middle East included in the Boston Consulting Group ’s (BCG) list of 100 Global Challengers from emerging markets that are tipped to reshape industries around the world in the future, two are from Saudi Arabia – notably Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic).

The others in the region are Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways , and Elsewedy Electric of Egypt – a leading manufacturer of electrical wires and cables.

The report titled “Allies and Adversaries” identifies 100 “global challenger” companies from the emerging markets that are growing so quickly that they are reshaping industries and surpassing many traditional multinational companies.

In the past five years, these companies have added 1.4 million jobs. Their average revenue was $26.5 billion in 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, the report said.

It added that in the same year, they purchased more than $1.7 trillion of goods and services and invested more than $330 billion in capital expenditures.

“If ever there was a wake-up call for business leaders in the West, this is it,” said David C. Michael, co-author of the report and head of BCG’s globalisation practice.

“We have been monitoring the rise of global challenger companies for nearly a decade, and the ambition of these companies – what we call the accelerator mindset – has never been stronger.”

Maintaining their status as global challengers, Sabic and Elsewedy continue to impress with their scale, international market positions and excellence in operations in the latest BCG study.

New to the list are Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways , two of the fastest growing airlines in the Middle East. Both companies have been leveraging the region’s favorable geostrategic location as a transportation hub at the crossroads of Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Africa.

In addition to these four global challengers, Emirates and Saudi Aramco have joined the BCG challenger “graduate” list. This list contains companies that have moved from global challenger to global leader status in recognition of their outstanding achievements, rivaling or often exceeding the achievements of long-established incumbent players in their respective industries.

“The Middle East upholds it reputation as a truly dynamic region as we witness global challengers Emirates and Saudi Aramco establish themselves as true international players. Emirates Airline has reported a remarkable record of 24 consecutive profitable years, and its orders for the Airbus A380 superjumbo airliner exceeded that of any other airliner by three times. Similarly, Saudi Aramco is the largest gas and oil company in the world, and has engaged in ventures all over the globe in its quest to become a global integrated energy business,” commented Thomas Bradtke, partner and managing director in BCG’s Dubai office.

“Our four Middle East challengers for 2013 have equally promising forecasts, and are playing a significant role in the global economy. The number of passengers transported through and within the Middle East has grown 15 percent per annum over the past years, due in large part to the significant investments that challengers Etihad and Qatar Airways have been making in meeting the needs of the global middle class,” he adds.

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