Osama Ibdah: Helping Businesses Grow With His Rich Financial Expertise

Osama Ibdah: Helping Businesses Grow With His Rich Financial Expertise

Osama Ibdah, Group COO

Osama Ibdah

Group COO

A strong seasoned leader with a career spanning over 23 years in steering the business towards corporate success, Osama Ibdah joined Taj Holding Group in 2012, as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and since then has worked tirelessly to transform THG through his financial expertise and visionary leadership into a considerably large group which now deals in diversified sectors such as Logistics, Retail Fashion, Medical,  Manufacturing, Renewable Energy Solution, Advanced Military Solutions, Aircraft Maintenance, and Food & Beverage. 

Osama Ibdah started his professional journey with PwC and became a Senior Auditor. At PWC he developed the financial acumen and knowledge that led him to work at various leadership roles throughout his career such as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at ULKER Golf Muller and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Integrated Logistics Services. Osama Ibdah engages in an exclusive interaction with CEO Insights and talks more about his professional journey and his rise to success in the corporate realm.

Take us through your early educational and professional background and how has been your journey with TAJ Holding Group so far?

I have started my journey with PWC which is one of the BIG 4 Accounting Firms and gained a lot of knowledge about financial statements and financial reporting for various companies such as manufacturing, agricultural, hospitality, healthcare, and non-profit organisations. I was always passionate about bringing positive change to the companies I have served in past. I possess diversified regional and international expertise with particular strength in corporate strategy, new business start-up, transformational change, long-term budgetary, financial reporting, fundraising, mergers and acquisitions. Before becoming CFO of TAJ Holding Group who has its operations in nine (9) Middle Eastern countries, I had served as a Head of Finance in numerous international and multinational corporations. I have been a strategic partner to the shareholders, with a comprehensive role in decision-making and future business plans.

Define TAJ Holding Group as an organization and its position in the industry? What is its USP?

When I joined TAJ in 2012, it was in start-up phase with two subsidiaries and five employees and now it has more than 20 subsidiaries in the Middle East, with over 1500 employees, and annual revenue of SAR 2 Billion. As of now, TAJ Holding Group is one of the Middle East's fastest-growing holding groups and it is well-positioned in a variety of industries, including military, information technology and communication, manufacturing, transportation, logistics, aviation, and retail.

Given the recent developments in Saudi Arabia, along with the Vision 2030, the group's USP is to Unleash the Future' by bringing more investments to the Kingdom as part of the economic revolution and continuing to grow its portfolio by focusing on the sustainability of existing businesses.

What are the techniques or strategies you have acquired as an industry leader and how do you apply them in tackling complex situations in particular?

Building the products and services by understanding the market needs and behaviour using the right resources such as people, suppliers, clients, and more, shall always lead to success.

We follow many levels of business strategies, including focused, differentiation, and diversification strategies. My target is to ensure that everything keeps moving as planned by sharing our vision with the stakeholders, setting clear goals and objectives, involving the team, and deciding their role in the plan. We are very selective when it comes to new projects and investments, and we carefully position ourselves in the targeted markets by producing niche products and services.

Talk to us about some of the major challenges you face in your position and how do you overcome those challenges?

Fast growth is a challenge by itself because it puts pressure at all levels, including resources, money, and time. Hiring the right people who own the DNA of success was our excellent choice and the experienced team players who share same passion for achieving goals have enabled us to build a multifunctional team that filled the gaps and carried the business forward.

Also, we had carefully managed our cash flow to ensure we had positive cash during the business or project's life cycle and that is how relying on a solid capital structure makes us take stable steps toward the future.

How has been your response to the challenges posed by the covid-affected market? What are the changes in market behaviour that you anticipate and what are the opportunities that you foresee?

Our goal was to protect our team and the business will be taken care of automatically and for that, we always moved as one unit. We had many meetings with our teams at all levels to decide the best way to deal with the situation and as a result, we managed to go over the pandemic without losing a single employee. In terms of business, our diversified business and the government of Saudi Arabia's initiatives to support the economy helped in compensating for the losses and delays we experienced in 2020.Saudi Arabia is going through a huge wave of development at all levels and we are well-positioned in different sectors with many mega projects and a massive focus on localizing industries. Our focus is to sustain our current businesses and grow our future investments carefully in new sectors like transportation, logistics, and entertainment.


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