Abdulaziz Al Owais: We Should All Work Together To Achieve One Goal
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“In its professionalism, Almarai has no rivals. I have worked for other companies, but I have never experienced such a motivating environment.”
You can tell that Abdulaziz Al Owais — Almarai Farming Division’s HR Manager — is impressed with his workplace. He has nothing but praise for the company.
Graduated from Riyadh’s Imam University in 1997, with a degree in English Language studies, he joined the HR team of a retail business company —Alshaya Trading Est. — and then moved to Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation in their HR Planning & Development department. In 2001 he joined Almarai — firstly working within the Corporate Division’s Recruitment Department and then into the Farming Division, where has been since 2004.
“It is important that we understand the company’s business needs,” he says. “There should be continuous development, not only to survive but also to top competitors. I was amazed by Almarai’s operations across all its divisions when I joined. Quality, dedication and focus were factors that I could see in each department. And I believe we should appreciate every single employee in the company for their efforts and dedication.
“It was actually a great opportunity for me to be a part of Almarai,” Abdulaziz continues. “I’m proud to be a member of the HR team, where we all work together to achieve one goal in line with other operational and supportive divisions, which is essential for success.
“When I joined Almarai it was a great opportunity being within the Corporate Division to be exposed to all its business units. My goal was to understand their needs and translated it into actions to support them professionally to achieve their business objectives.”
Within the Farming Division, Abdulaziz looks after recruitment, training and development needs, and general HR services for the division’s 1,500 employees working on the farms and in Head Office. He has four people reporting directly to him with another eight ‘on the front line’ in the farms. Nowadays he tries to visit the farms a least two or three times every fortnight.
A quarter of those working in the farming division are Saudis, but Filipinos make up around 43% of the divisional workforce with the rest predominantly Nepalese, Sri Lankan, Kenyan, Irish and New Zealanders.
“Almarai’s Farming Division has an incredibly wide range of operations across all its arable and dairy farms, such as construction, machinery, laboratories, animal husbandry, crop growing, engineering, veterinary services, feeding, administration and so on. Anyone who visits the Division is amazed by its timeliness, objectivity and accuracy in all of its operations.
“Quality is a by-word here, and we have gathered a lot of expertise from different countries over the years. Our dairy farms were the first in the world to be granted the ISO 9002 certification. So, I really enjoy working for Almarai, with its dynamic and professional environment. We have a committed workforce and Almarai has become part of my family even though — compared with many others – I have not been in Almarai for a long time.
Abdulaziz was born and raised in Unaizah in Qassim province, some 25 kms south of Buraidah. He also lived in Khamis Mushait for about 7 years, as well as living in Taif for three years with his parents. He finally settled in Riyadh in 1990.
“I love going back to visit my city of origin from time to time along with my family for relaxation and visiting other family members and acquaintances. Sometimes I rent a small farm in Unaizah for a couple of days with my family, and we sit, relax, swim and enjoy the tranquility and the slower rhythm of life there.”
One of Abdulaziz’s passions was playing football. He was a good mid-field player who loved to expend energy within the team to win. “I was playing football twice a week, but I stopped some time ago due to work and family commitments. I don’t have much time after work. However, I have a strong desire to get back again into playing football at least once a week.
Swimming is another of my hobbies, which I enjoy very much. In the summer time I tend to swim at least twice a week. For the rest of my free time, though, I usually spend it with my family.
Abdulaziz enjoys traveling and has visited as far afield as the United States, Europe, Asia and New Zealand. Three years ago he spent a dream holiday in the Himalayas.
“The beauty of nature is something I search for wherever I go,” he concludes.