Monday, July 15, 2024

Hashim Alfatayerji: Leading the EV Revolution in Saudi Arabia – Insights Success


The mobility sector in Saudi Arabia is undergoing a significant surge, fueled by burgeoning population’s demand for efficient and eco-friendly transportation options. Innovation and sustainability are at the forefront of this transformation, with electric vehicles and ride-sharing services gaining momentum due to government backing and heightened environmental consciousness. Concurrently, investments in renewable energy and green transportation initiatives are paving the way for a cleaner and more sustainable future. Positioned strategically, Saudi Arabia has the potential to emerge as a regional leader in pioneering transportation solutions, attracting global investment, and redefining standards for mobility innovation.

Hashim Alfatayerji is emerging as a seasoned professional flourishing in this environment. With over 25 years of experience delivering transformative change and driving high levels of business performance across the Middle East, Hashim is known for his ability to build businesses from the ground up.

Hashim’s approach is characterized by embedding an innovative strategic vision, cultivating high-caliber talent and establishing robust operational networks. He understands the importance of forming strong relationships with external partners and leveraging their expertise to propel his ventures forward.

With a holistic 360-degree view and a keen eye on P&L accountability, Hashim crafts sustainable strategies that consistently yield over 100% growth annually. His success lies in his commitment to challenging goals, exploring joint ventures and pursuing mergers and acquisitions to drive both organic and inorganic growth.

Hashim’s deep understanding of cultural diversities and his knowledge of the GCC market enables him to optimize business development efforts. He forges trusting relationships and identifies potential M&A opportunities providing businesses with access to the lucrative Middle East market.

In his role as Commercial & Operations Director at SIXT Saudi Arabia, Hashim brings unparalleled expertise and a relentless drive for success to the forefront of the mobility sector, shaping its future.

Navigating the Roadmap

Hashim has always been drawn to innovative and financially viable ventures. “I aspire to work on projects that not only drive profitability but also contribute to sustainable development,” he remarks.

Aligned with the ambitious roadmap of Vision 2030, Hashim emphasizes the significance of initiatives like the Saudi sustainability program, which aims to reduce carbon emissions. “Vision 2030 sets clear goals for economic diversification and sustainability, which are pivotal for Saudi Arabia’s future,” he states.

As one of the main sectors identified for investment by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) within Vision 2030, mobility manufacturing holds immense promise. Hashim highlights his involvement with leading companies like SIXT Saudi and Al Turki Holding, which has enabled his team to pursue ambitious projects in electric and hydrogen fuel cell mobility vehicles. “We’re committed to contributing to Saudi Arabia’s GIGA projects by providing sustainable mobility solutions,” Hashim affirms.

With his expertise and dedication, Hashim is determined to play a significant role in driving forward the mobility sector in alignment with Saudi Arabia’s vision for the future.

Overcoming Hurdles

In every burgeoning industry, challenges pave the path to success impacting various aspects of the economy. These challenges typically center around Education, Availability, Regulations, and Expertise. Education in the mobility sector is fostered through extensive testing of vehicles and solutions by both corporate entities and individual users.

Availability poses a significant hurdle necessitating the embracement of international brands and manufacturers in the EV industry. This entails extensive negotiations, learning curves and collaborations with national and international partners especially concerning shipping and logistics.

As a nascent industry in Saudi Arabia, the necessity to import EV and Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles has drawn attention to regulatory and certification requirements. Thankfully, the Saudi government remains receptive, fostering collaborations and committees with local market players to establish best practices. Navigating these challenges provides invaluable hands-on experience and fosters extensive networking opportunities both domestically and internationally.

Powering Ahead

Electric vehicles (EVs) are rapidly becoming the future of transportation worldwide. The EV sector is experiencing significant growth compared to other forms of mobility, thanks to decreasing production costs that are approaching those of traditional combustion engine vehicles. This trend is expected to continue as technological advancements drive economies of scale.

This global shift towards EVs is evident in Saudi Arabia, where investments in manufacturing facilities for EVs have been announced. Additionally, a large-scale initiative is underway to establish charging infrastructure across the kingdom. Furthermore, ongoing efforts are focused on developing mobility solutions that enhance convenience and accessibility for both businesses and individuals.

Thriving in Transition

Like any new industry, companies need to integrate EV revolution diligently with the company’s own mobility infrastructure and to build the required processes and expertise to operate efficiently. In Hashim’s words, “put into use your change management skills and efforts to make it in this industry.”

“As a leader, it’s imperative to communicate your new strategy, regulations and terms for adopting EVs and mobility solutions. Be open-minded about expanding your perspectives and requirements, particularly when establishing a new cost structure with EVs,” he emphasizes.

“Lastly, invest in training and empowering your team and be willing to experiment. You’ll be amazed by the outcomes you achieve from your people when you go the extra mile,” Hashim shares enthusiastically.

Networking and Learning

As an industry expert and an observer of the government’s shift to building strategic partnerships and alliances within any industry, one cannot afford to miss the opportunities for networking, deal-making and learning from other providers in the industry, especially the government.

The Saudi government is a key player in the mobility and EV industry, look at the events and workshops they provide that create massive opportunities to learn and meet potential partners.

Hashim’s process for a win-win partnership is as follows, “Understand your company needs and objectives, learn what other market players provide, come up with your deal terms, and seal the deal.”

With the Shift

Innovative challenges in emerging industries necessitate strategic adaptations within companies. For instance, maintenance experts must acquire new skills tailored to EVs. Given the scarcity of national EV distributors, companies must explore international providers. Furthermore, recalculating vehicle warranty and residual value becomes imperative in the context of EV. Failing to address these challenges may lead to losses due to the high costs associated with Evs.

Hashim advises approaching these challenges with an open mind, emphasizing the importance of thorough investigation and learning. “In a new industry with limited experience, attention to detail is crucial, leaving little room for assumptions,” he remarks. Additionally, he suggests recruiting industry experts from international markets to capitalize on their knowledge and expertise.

Learning from Experience

Balancing leadership responsibilities with staying informed about the latest developments and trends in the EV landscape is essential. Hashim incorporates learning into his daily routine, ensuring to read or listen to audiobooks and podcasts for at least an hour each day during breaks or daily activities.

“As a learner by example, I actively attend industry events and engage with professionals to share and learn from their experiences and ideas,” Hashim explains.

On a business level, Hashim emphasizes the importance of listening to both management and teammates, as well as understanding customer needs and pain points. “By actively listening, we can develop sound and innovative solutions that benefit everyone involved,” he states.

Charged Up

Inspired by Saudi Vision 2030 and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, Hashim finds it invigorating to tackle challenges daily and promote EVs and mobility solutions.

Hashim actively collaborates with various government and private entities to learn, advocate for and implement EVs and mobility solutions in the Saudi market.

Hashim recommends that future leaders in the EV industry should cultivate their own focus and discard outdated preconceptions about EV technology. Instead, they should adopt a long-term perspective based on market intelligence.

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