With a proven record of supporting companies’ strategic objectives with HR functions, Edrees Al Mansour, Group General Manager Human Resources of Abdul Aziz Saud Al Babtain Group of Companies is leading with great effectiveness.
Edrees has been continually implementing HR initiatives, policies and procedures that attract and retain talent while maintaining productivity and bottom-line results. He has successfully managed multimillion-dollar budgets and worker counts of more than 8000 in corporations with offices in Kuwait, the GCC, and abroad. He has received training in cutting-edge Canadian and British institutions as well as in international HR best practices. He is a specialist in assisting executive management with successful HR strategies.
AbdulAziz Saud Al Babtain & Sons Group began as a consumer goods distributor. It eventually diversified over the years with activities covering a broad spectrum of sectors, such as FMCG, F&B, Tobacco, Consumer Electronics & Home Appliances, Central Air Conditioning, Agricultural, Real Estate, Hospitality, Investments, Manufacturing, and others.
Today the Group is adopting a strategic plan that is aimed not only at maintaining business sustainability but is also growth-oriented. As a result, recently, the Group invested in upgrading its systems and solutions infrastructure, and current executive management is introducing operational efficiencies in all sectors, all geared to ensure a stronger position for the Group and provide it with a competitive edge to gain higher grounds among other large groups of companies in Kuwait.
In an exclusive interview with Insights Success, Edrees shares his wisdom on developing organizations and talent for success.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Briefly describe your professional journey up until now.
I am a keen and astute HR professional with a track record of leading Multicultural HR and Administration teams at listed companies across Kuwait, GCC, and internationally with oversight of multi-million-dollar budgets and headcounts exceeding 8000+ staff. Trained in international HR best practices from top establishments in UK and Canada, I am skilled at supporting executive management with effective HR strategy aligned with the company vision and mission.
What challenges did you face along the way?
I started working during my graduation studies at Kuwait University. My professional journey began as a teller at Al-Tijari Bank (now CBK, Kuwait). Progressing through the roles of Human Resource Officer, Senior Officer, Manager and Group General Manage Human Resources my career has witnessed the paradigm shift how Human Resources profession has evolved over the years.
HR professionals are always faced with these challenges instilling the right attitude, culture, and ethical behavior across the organization. If you can ensure that these winning elements are aligned effectively across your workforce, it will help the organization to steer forward way ahead of competition. This involves constant collaboration and leadership with stakeholders and top management.
What significant impact have you brought to your industry?
I am a proponent of the LEAN methodology without compromising on quality. Through these years, I have bought significant cost savings while maintaining employee satisfaction. Streamlining and restructuring the workforce has helped organizations to prosper and expand far and beyond.
Tell us about your company and its foundation pillar.
With its humble beginnings way back in 1958, the firm has developed into a leading player in the Kuwaiti market, expanding its presence across GCC countries.
The company strives “To build successful businesses and lasting partnerships, driven by values.” And the values at the core are Passion, Customer Focus, Excellence, Unity, Integrity, and Accountability.
How does your company promote workforce flexibility, and what is your role in it?
Since I joined our firm in July 2021, we have been encouraging employees to learn new skills as they grow along with the organization. Job enrichment efforts, upskilling, and reskilling are a part of our culture now, enabling employees to be more flexible in their jobs and taking up new challenges.
What is your take on technology’s importance, and how are you leveraging it?
Digitization efforts have been an integral part of my experience over the years. I have been instrumental in introducing IT systems and specialists to navigate companies ensuring sustainability and profitability.
Reports and analytics play a major part in our decisions. Firewalls and Network security are important factors in protecting company information. While technology is vital, one thing to bear in mind is that it should be a facilitator and not a constraint. From an HR perspective, reliance on technology should not be a hindrance to employee engagement.
What will be the next significant change in your industry, and how are you preparing for it?
As a firm believer in technology as a facilitator pre and post covid, technology will continue to evolve for the betterment of organizations resulting in timely feedback paving way to improved employee and customer satisfaction. Organization-wide analytics across departments to play a greater role going forward. This is my understanding regarding the trends as someone who spends time meeting with Senior HR leaders across the globe through functions at London Business School and Harvard.
What are your goals in the upcoming future?
As someone who has spent my career with major banks in the region, I am always keen on understanding new trend in the banking industry and looking forward to actively continue my association.
Further, executive leadership training programs are planned to leverage my expertise in this field.
What advice would you like to give the next generation of aspiring business leaders?
Focus on your employees as your most valuable assets. Introduce a performance-oriented culture where they are nurtured and taken care of with competitive salaries, benefits, and bonuses.