Em Sherif Restaurant Qatar wins 2020 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award

In another big achievement for the Group, Ali Bin Ali Hospitality’s Em Sherif Restaurant Qatar has been awarded the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award by Tripadvisor. The recognition is based on a full year of Tripadvisor reviews, prior to any changes caused by the Covid- pandemic. The announcement was made in October 2020.

Tripadvisor, one of world’s largest travel platforms, is used by travelers across the globe who upload their reviews and feedback about their overall experience at a restaurant. Em Sherif Restaurant Qatar has consistently received great diner feedback, placing them in the top 10% of hospitality businesses around the globe.

Speaking about the recent accolade, Group General Manager – Ali Bin Ali Hospitality Bassel Salim Ammar said: “This is a proud moment for the entire ABA Hospitality division and I applaud the dedication of the Em Sherif Restaurant Qatar team. This recognition is extremely precious because it is totally based on the feedback of our esteemed customers. We are happy that our food, hospitality and overall Em Sherif experience has been appreciated and recognized.”

“Winners of the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this distinguished recognition,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners’ achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well deserving, but they are also a great source of inspiration for diners as the world begins to venture out again.”

 

Ali Bin Ali Holding’s iSpot achieves new feat, recognized as number 1 Apple Premium Reseller in the world

Adding a new feather in Ali Bin Ali Holding’s cap, the iSpot store at Doha Festival City has been recognized as the Number 1 Apple Premium Reseller in the world in Q3 2020.

iSpot is part the Group’s Consumer Electronics Division – Prime Distribution & Trading Company.

iSpot, an Apple Premium Reseller, achieved the best rating ever based on the latest Apple Audit Report and was ranked Number 1 out of 400+ resellers around the globe. The ranking is given to stores with 100% audit results, which account for a limited number of stores in the world.

Apple Inc. conducted an audit session by last Q2 and Q3 2020, wherein iSpot had the best rate ever by achieving 100% compliance with the Apple standard planogram and guidelines for an Apple Store. iSpot succeed in meeting Apple’s expectations in terms of store look, display, stock, staff training and performance, and best customer experience.

Speaking about the latest achievement, General Manager of Prime Distribution & Trading Company Mr. Mohammad Imran said: “We are extremely proud to ensure the best achievement ever for the Apple business and promise to continue providing the best service to our customers.

“The formula for iSpot’s success has been a strategy to move away from a typical retail sales focus to a more customer-centric approach. Our high levels of expertise are widely recognized by Apple Inc. and thus, we are the only company in Qatar holding the following accreditations: Apple Premium Reseller, Apple Solutions Expert for Education and Authorized Service Provider.”

Congratulations to iSpot & ABA Holding for the fabulous achievement!

ABA Holding achieves new high, recognized as an ACCA Approved Employer

Adding a new feather to the Group’s hat, Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding has been recognized as an ACCA Approved Employer.  Effective 20 July, 2020, the conglomerate is part of the ACCA Approved Employer Program that recognizes employers’ high standards of staff training and development.

Founded in 1904, ACCA – the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants – has more than 227,000 fully qualified members and 544,000 future members worldwide.

ACCA awarded the recognition to ABA Holding in view of the continuing professional development opportunities provided to our staff in the Finance and Audit communities.

Through this award, ABA Holding has proved that we are committed to ensuring that our Finance professionals have the right skills, ethics and competencies to add value and drive the business forward.

Speaking about this latest achievement, ABA Group Chief Financial Officer Mr. Iftekhar Ahmad said: “Our people are our biggest asset and we prioritize their development. Ali Bin Ali Holding is continuously exploring options to keep our staff up-to-date with latest knowledge and developments that can assist their professional growth. I thank ACCA for recognizing our efforts.”

ACCA has a set of standards that needs to be met before they can recognize an organization as an Approved Employer.  This also reflects highest standards practiced at ABA Finance and Audit.

The recognition will be beneficial to ABA Holding at multiple levels with regard to recruitment (by gaining access to ACCA qualified professionals), retention of talents, research and industry insights, network, events and pricing reductions on a range of ACCA offerings and training solutions.

 

ABA Fashion and Galeries Lafayette Doha, ABA Luxury fight it out at The Kick-Off Football League

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.

Ali Bin Ali Information Technology Department honors its high achievers

 

On June 19, 2019, the Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Information Technology Department held its annual awards event to recognize and celebrate the hard work and achievements of ABA ITD staff during 2018. 

 

The gathering was held at the ABA Head Office IT Department and attended by Ali Bin Ali Holding officials, including Mr. Mohamad Ebrik, Chief Operating Officer – ICT, and Mr. Youssef Moussa, General Manager – ABA ITD, who were delighted to show their utmost appreciation for the ITD staff.

 

This annual event of the ABA IT Department aims to embolden its team and recognizes achievers under three distinct categories, giving them a chance to receive the Spirit of IT award, the IT Innovator award and the Customer Service award. This year, the IT management also added 13 Certificates of Appreciation in recognition of the IT staff’s outstanding dedication and lasting contribution to Ali Bin Ali Holding’s Forward ERP Project.

 

The Spirit of IT award was won by Mr. Varghese Thomas – Enterprise Application Manager, recognizing his positive attitude, teamwork, effective contribution to IT goals and consistency in achieving high-quality results. 

 

The IT Innovator award was bestowed on Mrs. Navami Sivaprasad – Programmer, for making a technological impact across single or multiple units and applying innovations to existing or emerging technologies.

 

The Customer Service award was bagged by Mr. Krishna Giri – Systems Engineer, who proved himself as a team member who works effectively and efficiently to understand customer needs.

 

Certificates of Appreciation were handed over to the team involved in the Oracle ERP Project ‘Technical Track’ for providing support and assistance to the FORWARD Project team. 

The winners are Mrs. Anupama Bhagyanath, Mr. Assad Hussein, Mr. Ismail Puthan Peedikayil, Mr. Jithin Jacob Joseph, Mr. Khader Abulail, Mr. Koteswara Rao Atla, Mr. Moaiyad Alhakawati, Mrs. Navami Sivaprasad, Mr. Osama Hamad, Mr. Rohith Reddy, Mr. Sajjad Osman, Mr. Udayakumar Prabhakar and Mr. Varghese Thomas.

 

Congratulating the winners, Mr. Ebrik said: “Our industry is continuously evolving and we are facing a lot of challenges. But, through everyone’s effort to be steadfast in providing quality IT services and solutions to the Group, we can be victorious and achieve the IT goals. These awards will inspire others to go the extra mile and aim to achieve professional growth.”

 

Mr. Moussa added, “Today, we are gathered to recognize the excellent work and exceptional performance of our colleagues. It is also meant to uplift everyone’s morale to continue their dedication and hard work. We have set different criteria for each award and these employees have met high standards to deserve the award. These employees have strong work ethics and have been dependable and reliable, constantly showing a positive attitude to create a good environment.”

ABA’s Monoprix Qatar celebrates success of FORWARD in the division

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.

ABA Fashion and Galeries Lafayette Doha celebrate successful implementation of FORWARD

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.

FORWARD e-HR Partner application goes live in KSA

Spreading its wings beyond Qatar, Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding’s FORWARD ERP project has gone live in two divisions of ABA Holding in KSA. FORWARD achieved this milestone on September 9, 2018 by branching out two e-HR partner modules – HR Core and Payroll – to Platinum Sands and Noon Al Momayaza. Both these divisions are part of the Company’s Luxury and Hospitality divisions, respectively.

 

The Go Live date for the Self-Service module of the same application will Go Live on October 1, 2018 after the completion of end-user training.

 

While the system will be centralized in Qatar, employees in KSA will be using the e-HR Partner employee self-service application and send in their leave and other requests through their accounts/profiles. Almost 200 staff members in KSA are now ready to use the FORWARD e-HR Partner application.

 

Similar to the transition phase of the e-HR Partner in Qatar, there will be a period of parallel run in KSA, too. As a step to cope with this change, the employees will continue with the traditional methods – running parallel to the new application. After a couple of months, the e-HR application will be completely functional and used by all KSA employees.

 

FORWARD’s journey in KSA started in September 2017 when the solution was agreed upon. Although done remotely, the FORWARD team – with support from the staff in

KSA – conducted a comprehensive collection of data sheets and security profiles. In April 2018, once all data were gathered, the Intrasoft team traveled to KSA for two weeks to conduct the User Acceptance Training (UAT).

 

The implementation process was not free of challenges mainly because of certain localizations imposed by KSA. To support them, the Oracle ERP upgrade was initiated by the FORWARD team in May 2018.

 

Another major hindrance was the prevailing political situation, which made mobility to and from KSA difficult. All communication, knowledge transfer and decisions had to be taken over Skype calls and emails, which sometimes slowed down processes.

 

However, the synergies between KSA staff & Team FORWARD ensured the team was able to rise above all odds and ABA’s e-HR Partner has successfully gone live at the first international location.

 

Speaking about the journey, Senior Manager ABA HR and FORWARD Functional Track Lead (FTL) Mr. Ajay Daniel John said: “The most challenging part of this implementation was definitely the physical distance. A lot of work had to be done virtually. This Go Live was only possible because of the constant communication and co-operation between the KSA staff, FORWARD team and the HR team in Qatar. We still have a long way to go in stabilizing the application, but it is a positive start and the parallel run period will help us identify and resolve issues, if any.”

FORWARD, ABA Holding’s most ambitious project is moving ahead slowly but steadily. It is gradually automating functions in all the divisions of the Company. The next few months will witness the ERP project Go Live in important divisions including International Agencies (IA), Prime Consumer Products (PCP) and Qcare.

Prime Distribution Trading Company signs partnership with I-Life Digital Technology

Introducing yet another innovative tech brand in the Qatar market, Ali Bin Ali Holding’s Prime Distribution and Trading Company ceremoniously announced its partnership with I-Life Digital Technology on August 14, 2018. 

 

In an event held at The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa, US based I-Life Digital Technology signed up Prime Distribution Trading Company as their distributor partner for Qatar.

I-Life also used the occasion to introduce two flagship models – the ultra-slim notebook, ZED AIR 3 and the portable all-in-one PC, ZED PC.

 

Present at the event were Mr. Deepak Bhatia, I-Life’s Global Director for Sales and Marketing, and Mr. Mohammad Imran, Prime Distribution Trading Company’s General Manager. The function was also attended by members of the local media, social media influencers and Prime Distribution and Trading Company’s retail customers.

 

Speaking about the new brand, Mr. Imran said, “We are excited to partner with I-Life for its range of budget smart devices exclusively for the Qatar market. We are confident that I-Life’s product proposition, coupled with Prime Distribution’s unique capabilities to provide the widest range of products seamlessly across the market, will go a long way. 

“I-Life, with its range of affordable products, will cater to the demands of the the consumer and thereby, grow the market.”

 

I-Life is one of the fastest-growing PC companies in the region with a presence across 45 countries in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, CIS, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. The brand addresses first-time buyers, students and price-conscious consumers across the region with its range of tablet PC, ultra-slim notebook, all-in-one PCs, smartphones and smart watches. The introduction of I-Life into the Qatar market by Prime Distribution and Trading Company has opened a new segment of affordable devices in the country. 

 

140 days since Forward e-HR Partner ‘Go Live’

We have completed 140 days since the Forward e-HR Partner ‘Go Live’. On this occasion, we want to share with you some important information about the system and how it is affecting ABA’s daily HR and Admin operations.

 

Forward e-HR Partner is already achieving the objectives for which it has been implemented.

 

The Self Service HR facility is the most ‘visible’ component of the system, which is handling and processing requests from all ABA staff members. The usefulness, ease of use and reliability of the system are becoming more evident with time and through users’ interactions.

 

Thanks to the dedication, commitment and hard work of the e-HR Partner implementation team (Business Partners, HR Division coordinators, Help Desk staff), we are almost ready to completely replace the old HRMS with the Forward e-HR Partners.

 

System Statistics

Number of transactions performed by e-HR Partner ‘Go Live’: 12,545.

Company letters request    2,138

Documents of record          69

Education and qualification                37

Other professional qualification       72

Medical insurance request                57

Personal information          952

Ticket information request   1,323

Exit permit request   279

Change bank account request 123

Self-service generic

Approval process   4,312

Training request   179

 

Forward Help Desk

 

Integral to the Forward system’s full implementation at ABA is the establishment of a support mechanism for the system. Accordingly, part of the Forward system support is the Forward Help Desk, which was launched simultaneously with the e-HR Partner Go Live. The Forward Help Desk is run by the ABA IT Department and located within the department.

 

The Forward Help Desk has received 1,954 requests, closing 1,840 requests to date – which accounts for around 95% of all requests.