With the aim of sharing the vision and strategy for the business in the coming months, Ali Bin Ali Holding’s Fashion and Galeries Lafayette Doha organized a general assembly session for their staff.
The gathering was held on December 27, 2019 at Em Sheriff Restaurant in Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel. The assembly focused on sharing the global financial picture and challenges for the division.
Speaking about the event, Head of Retail – Galeries Lafayette Doha Ms. Hadami Magtouf said: “It is very important to make sure that all staff members are aligned with the vision of the business. Only then can we expect them to deliver their best.
“This assembly will not only update them about the future business strategy but also give an overview of the division’s goals.”
The assembly was a part of the employee engagement program of ABA Holding and the opportunity was also used to award the deserving employees of ABA Fashion and Galeries Lafayette.
Adding a fun element to the event, a musical performance was presented by Ahmed Amri, Ahmed Hadriche and Youssef Ghazaoui. The evening concluded with a scrumptious buffet at Em Sherif.
On December 20, 2019 Ali Bin Ali Holding’s Fashion, Luxury and Galeries Lafayette organized an inter-division football match. The Kick-Off Football League witnessed stiff competition between ABA Fashion and Galeries Lafayette Doha, and ABA Luxury.
At 7am, the team members and organizers gathered at Markhiya Stadium and were all set for an exciting game. There were a total of 70 participants and eight teams. Apart from the members of the divisions, who were there to cheer the teams, also present at the event to lend support was ABA Holding’s General Manager – Administration, Mr. Moataz Ahmed Eid.
After an exciting tournament, The Painters Team from Galeries Lafayette Doha led by Mathias Mamodbay emerged victorious and the Ultras/Mont Blanc Team were the runners-up. Mr. Moataz gave away the trophies and medals for the winners.
The Kick-Off Football League, a part of ABA HR’S employee engagement program, was a great opportunity for team-building and fun outside the work environment.
Like every year, Ali Bin Ali Holding joined the nation as it celebrated the Qatar National Day on December 18, 2020. The ABA Head Office tower was specially branded for the occasion and flags were installed outside the building.
Congratulatory messages and emails were also sent out to the staff, celebrating the unity and strength of the nation that more 4000 employees of ABA Holding call home.
Under the slogan ‘The path of excellence is difficult’, this year’s National Day celebrated the challenges Qatar faced, fought back and always emerged victorious.
Qatar National Day, also known as Founder’s Day, pays homage to Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, the nation’s esteemed founder. It also accentuates the identity and history of the country and celebrates the ideas and visionary aspirations that Qatar was founded on.
Celebrating ABA Travel Bureau’s 50th anniversary, Ali Bin Ali Holding’s Travels division organized a gathering for its staff on December 14, 2019, to commemorate the occasion.
The special dinner was held at Em Sherif Restaurant in Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel.
Apart from the division’s staff, including General Manager of ABA Travel Bureau Mr. Saeed Al Hajri, also present at the event were the country managers of Oman Air, Sri Lankan Airlines and Royal Air Maroc.
The golden jubilee celebration of ABA Travel Bureau was also the perfect occasion to highlight the efforts of all who have made a difference and contributed to the success of the ABA Travels division.
“This is a very special moment for ABA Travels. It has been a long and fruitful 50 years of serving the industry and people. We thank all who have contributed to this wonderful journey and we will continue to deliver the best of services,” said Mr. Al Hajri.
Established in 1969, the ABA Travels division now consists of Ali Bin Ali Travel Bureau, Ali Bin Ali International Travel & Tourism, and Ali Bin Ali Cargo. Ali Bin Ali Travel Bureau represents several major airlines as General Sales Agents and other airlines as an appointed Sales Agent.
Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding has been moving forward and growing its business at different levels. To keep pace with these developments, an ABA corporate presentation was organized to update the relevant people about changes in the Company.
On June 20, 2019, the ABA management team and selected members of staff from different divisions of the Group gathered at the Salwa meeting room of Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel for an all-encompassing presentation about Ali Bin Ali Holding. The meeting concluded with a delightful lunch at ABA Hospitality’s Em Sherif restaurant at the Sheraton.
The presentation, organized by the Group Head Office, was addressed by the ABA Legal, ABA IT, ABA Internal Audit and ABA HR departments. The agenda covered crucial topics like the legal structure of ABA Holding, rollout of HR policies and also best practices like the re-launch of the cybersecurity initiative and launch of the code of conduct initiative.
All the sessions were highly educative and interactive as well. The attendees were given enough time to clear their doubts and even share opinion on the topics.
Speaking about the presentation meet, Group General Manager – Human Resources Mr. Aldrine Fernandez said: “We are a big conglomerate and are constantly evolving. It is very important that we update our policies accordingly and make sure that everyone is up-to-date about the changes and it is practiced in all our divisions. As a Group, we give utmost importance to ethics, and besides our business policies, we also fine-tune the Group’s code of conduct to make sure our founder’s values are followed.”
After implementing the FORWARD application in February 2019 and using it since then, it was time for Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding’s Monoprix division to celebrate the successful implementation. On May 30, 2019, the Monoprix Qatar team and members from FORWARD PMO gathered to commemorate this achievement.
Apart from the team that worked on the FORWARD Project, Regional General Manager of Monoprix Qatar Mr. Sébastien Farhat, FORWARD Project Sponsor Mr. Mohamad Ebrik and ABA Holding PMO Manager Mr. Youssef Farajallah were all there to applaud the hard work the team had put in.
Opening the gathering, Mr. Sebastian said: “Whatever we achieved was because of teamwork. True to the values of Ali Bin Ali S.H.A.R.P, where people are very important, together we made this achievement possible in a short timeframe. It was with all your efforts, particularly the team that developed the requirements as per the needs of the different streams of business, we met our expectations.”
Applauding the efforts of the team, Mr. Ebrik said: “Monoprix is one of the new babies of Ali Bin Ali Holding and the expansion, growth and pace that we have been going through is really good. The ERP solution is now functioning in full swing in the division but it is important that the people behind the system makes it work to its full potential. It is up to you to benefit or not benefit from it.
“In terms of knowledge and growth, using the best systems in the world is a big plus for you as it increases your value. Next, the FORWARD team will refocus with you on how to enhance what has been delivered.”
It was also the perfect opportunity to recognize the heroes in the division who went that extra mile to make the transition smooth.
Shyam Thushara Peiris – Senior Accountant, Afroj Alam – Store Financial Controller, Rezaul Karim Bhuiyan – Store Financial Controller, Mohammed Mahiuddin – Store Financial Controller, and Mohammed Ehteshamuddin – Gold System Administrator, were awarded for their outstanding role in the project.
Dianne Daraman – Accountant, Manohar Pratap – Accounts Assistant, Bimal Khadka – Accounts Assistant, Bijay Chaulagain – Accounts Assistant, Sajan Shah – Accounts Assistant, Bharat Bhatta – Assistant Accountant, Diana Grace Dolor – Assistant Accountant, and Bipin Neupane – Invoice Control Clerk, were also recognized for their unrelenting support to the project.
After the successful implementation and stabilization of the FORWARD application in the divisions, Ali Bin Ali Fashion and Galeries Lafayette Doha celebrated the efficient automation of the work process in their divisions on May 23, 2019.
The two divisions, which have the same management and a similar workflow, worked on the project together and also went live on the same day. For both the divisions, FORWARD automated the Finance modules and interfaced with the Oracle Retail application.
Mr. David Miller, General Manager for both ABA Fashion and Galeries Lafayette Doha, was present on the occasion – heading a proud team that did an extraordinary job while implementing the application. The event was also attended by FORWARD project sponsor Mr. Mohamad Ebrik and members of the FORWARD PMO team.
“I thank the team for all the efforts you have put in. We were trying to integrate multiple operations during the transition process and the dedication everyone showed without any complaint was really commendable. You worked late on weeknights and also on the weekend to make this possible. Of course, we have some tiny issues and I know we will overcome those over time and reach the level we desire,” Mr. Miller said.
Mr. Ebrik explained, “We were very apprehensive when we started implementation of the FORWARD project at Galeries Lafayette Doha, ABA Fashion and 21 High st simultaneously. There was a lot happening at the same time. New businesses were opening, FORWARD was being applied, RetailTech – which is another first-time project for Galeries Lafayette and ABA Fashion, annual budget. But when we gave the go ahead, everybody was focused on making it happen. This is one of the key success areas as we did not drag the project and the objective was to complete it fast, even with so many other things happening in parallel. We received so much positivity from the division – it really helped us.”
The occasion was also the perfect stage to bring the FORWARD heroes in the divisions under the spotlight. While the entire team got together and made their contribution to this success, it was a couple of members who played a particularly pivotal role. Dilif Kumar Tripura – Management Accountant of Galeries Lafayette Doha, and Samuel Maina – Accounts Assistant at ABA Fashion, were honored with the FORWARD hero title from the divisions.
Depicting the glamorous business of both ABA Fashion and Galeries Lafayette Doha, a huge banner replicating the Hollywood walk of fame was set up. All members from both the divisions who worked on the FORWARD project put their handprint on the stars and signed on it to mark their feat.
With the much-anticipated opening of Galleries Lafayette in Qatar and ABA Fashion introducing a couple of new stores, it was an intensive journey for the team to implement the FORWARD application. The shift to the new system marked a watershed in the way the divisions function, adding a lot of automation and producing error-free results.
After going live with the Group’s ERP FORWARD project in February 2019, it was time for Ali Bin Ali Hospitality to celebrate the success implementation of the solution in the division.
On May 23, 2019, the ABA Hospitality team led by General Manager Mr. Philippe Tardieu, FORWARD Project Sponsor Mr. Mohamad Ebrik and members of the FORWARD PMO gathered to applaud the achievement.
Opening the event, Mr. Tardieu welcomed all and said: “We are very happy with the FORWARD solution and would like to thank our entire Finance team and the PMO team for making this possible. More modules will be added to the system soon, making the work process more efficient in the division. We are very positive about this new system.”
Mr Ebrik said, “Hospitality is one of the latest batches of the ERP project and we have reached here today because of everybody’s dedication and hard work. However, this is not the end. It is the start of a new journey to use the system to its full potential. There will be another few months of stabilization period to make sure all tools of the system are put to full use. It is important for the team to know the system really well so that they can extract, analyze and then provide feedback to the business to move forward.”
All members of the small team from ABA Hospitality who were involved in the FORWARD project gave their very best to make the transition a success. The simultaneous process of opening new restaurants, implementing a new solution and integrating it with the existing one was not an easy one. Recognizing this feat and acknowledging their contribution, the heroes from the division were also awarded at the event.
Ahmed Abdelbaki – Finance Manager, Gururajan – Accounts Supervisor, Irshad Hassan – Accounts Supervisor, and Razzak Hossain – Senior Accountant, were handed certificates by Mr. Tardieu.
A banner designed like a food cart was set up in line with the theme ‘FORWARD – the new secret ingredient of change’. The team members placed jars, indicating the key ingredients of FORWARD, on the cart to complete the visual.
The FORWARD ERP application will mainly support the Finance and Procurement functions of the Hospitality division. The restaurant chains will be using the Micros system to handle Point of Sale (POS) services but it will be integrated with FORWARD.
Adding yet another feather to its cap, Ali Bin Ali Holding’s Monoprix outlet at the Twin Tower in West Bay was recognized for ‘Best Hygiene Practices for April 2019’.
The certificate was awarded by Boecker®, the largest public health company in the Middle East.
In a letter dated May 15, the public health company wrote: “Monoprix West Bay achieved the highest score of 92.31% among all Boecker® Q-Platinum clients in Qatar for the Month of April 2019.”
This recognition by Boecker® confirms Monoprix Qatar’s constant endeavors to implement proper food safety practices on its premises, from receipt of raw materials to serving of the end products. The certificate also re-affirms that all food handlers are following the food safety guidelines as per the food safety training conducted by Boecker®.
The iconic French supermarket was introduced in Qatar in 2013 and since then has served quality products to people in the country.
Speaking about this latest addition to their portfolio, Regional General Manager of Monoprix Mr. Sébastien Farhat said: “Food safety is a culture and it should be always adopted to deliver the best to customers. We at Monoprix Qatar have always lived by this value and are elated to be recognized for that effort.”
Boecker® provides a holistic range of products, including Food Safety and Biosecurity across Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. All Boecker® services are ISO9001:2008-certified. The Boecker® signature Q Platinum Award™ certification has been tailored to meet the needs of small to medium food establishments, a certification assured by the CIEH-UK.
Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding’s International Agencies (IA) went live with the FORWARD application on December 8, 2018 and the division has been successfully using the system since then.
To celebrate this journey, a gathering was organized in the division on April 11, 2019.
All IA team members, along with General Manger Mr. Ghassan Aibef and ex-General Manager Mr. Viji Kurien, who was at the helm of the project in the division, were present at the event. Also present were members of the FORWARD team, the driving force behind the project.
The event was opened by Mr. Ghassan who welcomed everyone to the IA Go Live event and reminded everybody that it was the beginning of a big change, which is still a work in progress. He then handed over the stage to Mr. Viji, who had led the IA team through the transition and implemented FORWARD in the division.
Reminiscing about the FORWARD journey, Mr. Viji said: “Implementation of the FORWARD application was kind of inevitable, surely the time had come for change. It was a painful journey but there was some real good effort from the IA team, with support from the PMO and Intrasoft, which made it possible for IA to Go Live without failure.
“It’s like planting a fruit tree; today we are all cribbing about it and yes, there are teething problems, but surely benefits are going to come. Five years down the line, this is going to be the best operating system for the company.
“That’s where all of us will leave our footprint behind for posterity to say that somebody did this hard work and will thank us for this. That’s what we all should be proud of. I know of many companies that went live with ERP multiple times but rolled (it) back. It is absolutely fantastic and credit goes to ABA, as we have not gone back despite the problems we may be having with the new system. That by itself is a huge positive and a reflection of the commitment we have had from the ABA team.”
While the entire team along with FORWARD PMO put in their best efforts to make the transition smooth, there were some members who played a pivotal role. The Go Live celebration gathering was also used as a stage to recognize the contribution of these heroes.
Ruvaani Chetty – Supply Chain Manager, International Agencies; Prasath – Accounts Supervisor, International Agencies; Crouse Grandell Perez – Sales Manager, International Agencies; and Karla Steenkamp – Market Manager, International Agencies, were awarded with certificates of appreciation for their good work.
Considering the nature of IA’s business with countries around the globe and how FORWARD would make the processes easy, the theme of the event also revolved around it. All involved in the project placed the IA, ABA and FORWARD flags around the Earth printed on a banner. It represented the dream of taking over the world and lead the change to automation.
International Agencies has been using the Inventory, Sales and Finance modules of the FORWARD system and the operations are working smoothly. Being an important part of Ali Bin Ali Holding’s FMCG business, this stability of the system in the division is really inspiring for all other divisions of the Group.