Saudi Chemical Company Holding (SCCH), a Platinum member of the U.S.-Saudi Business Council, is an investment company with nearly five decades of proven success in trading and manufacturing. Through its subsidiaries, SCCH strives to become a major contributor to the realization of Vision 2030 and aims to become the partner of choice for foreign investors. The Council recently spoke with Mr. Thamer Al-Muhaid, Group Chief Executive Officer – SCCH, to learn more about the role of the company’s subsidiaries, its recent string of MoUs with global pharmaceutical companies, and what it values most when seeking international partners.
Established 49 years ago, Saudi Chemical Company Holding has a long successful history in trading and manufacturing in different sectors. Could you speak more to your diversification strategy? Are there plans to diversify into more sectors?
Saudi Chemical Company Holding owns and manages diversified investments which contribute to Saudi Arabia’s development process. We have proudly become a strategic partner in the evolution of the Kingdom’s non-oil sector through our diversified business offerings, including those in mining and infrastructure services and pharmaceutical industries. Our strategy is focused on the continuous enhancement of administrative and operational processes, as well as receiving the maximum benefit from the integration of our subsidiaries in order to provide solutions, upgrade the quality, and improve performance and profitability for our employees, clients, suppliers and shareholders. As a national champion with strong foundations built over the last 49 years, we aim to be a part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and we will spare no effort in contributing to the strengthening of the economy and achieving prosperity.
What roles do each of your operating companies play in Saudi Chemical Company Holding’s overall strategy?
We launched a transformation strategy to benefit from the integration of our subsidiaries across all sectors, while enhancing our overall performance, profitability, and readiness to confront any potential challenges. The strategy consisted of the establishment of two units: strategic and business. One unit focuses on serving the mining, cement, and infrastructure sectors, while the other aims to serve the pharmaceuticals sector via manufacturing, logistics, sales, and marketing. We also maintain a business support unit which oversees existing and newly created departments and organizes administrative processes.
Saudi Chemical Company Holding’s revenues reached nearly $900 million in 2020. To what do you attribute this success?
Saudi Chemical Company Holding and its subsidiaries have proven their ability to overcome and effectively deal with various challenges and conditions, most recent of which was the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, we continued to practice our strategy with an emphasis on integrity, agility, dynamism, and risk management to ensure seamless business activity between our departments and subsidiaries. That, coupled with the significant role played by our employees, clients, and shareholders, as well as their dedication and readiness to work, led us to double our revenue during the past year, and allowed us to maintain our growth and leadership presence locally, regionally, and globally.
How has Vision 2030 impacted your company’s objectives over the last few years?
Vision 2030 emphasizes the importance of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil sectors and views them as promising areas for local economic growth; thus, we have launched several projects that reflect our capabilities to contribute to enhancing the local economy and meet the goals of our Kingdom’s ambitious vision.
We fully support and share in Saudi Arabia’s leadership’s belief that the energy, mining, industry, healthcare, and logistic sectors are vital pillars of Vision 2030 and understand its strategic objectives. Therefore, Saudi Chemical Company Holding, as the parent company of several subsidiaries which operate across various sectors, has set out to contribute to the realization of this vision through our work in vital sectors including infrastructure, oil, mining & quarrying, tunnelling services, road constructions & trenching services, in addition to manufacturing and marketing a wide range of medicine, vaccines, refrigerated medications and pharmaceutical products. Through these activities, we aim to increase the percentage of local content and non-oil revenues and help position our country as an attractive investment destination.
In June 2021, Saudi Chemical Company Holding signed an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline, a multi-national pharmaceutical company based in the U.K., to manufacture pharmaceutical products in the Kingdom. What is the goal of this agreement and how will it contribute to Vision 2030?
Through our agreement with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Saudi Limited, we seek to transfer consumer healthcare product technology to Saudi Arabia and ultimately benefit from GSK’s expertise. As we recently stated, we aim to be the partner of choice at all levels; and the strategic collaboration between our subsidiary, AJA Pharmaceutical Industries (AJA Pharma), and GSK would contribute to enhancing our role in localizing the pharma sector by providing high-quality products.
Saudi Chemical Company Holding also recently signed an agreement to form a joint venture with Hellman Worldwide to provide logistic services. Is this agreement part of your company’s strategy?
Saudi Chemical Company Holding signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hellman Worldwide to form an exclusive joint venture in the healthcare sector in the region to provide high quality logistic services and improve the company’s presence in international markets. This ambitious partnership conforms to our transformation project launched in 2020, and its terms come in line with the National Transformation Program’s goals to strengthen the logistic position of the Kingdom.
Saudi Chemical Company Holding announced the signing of an MOU with Eli Lilly, an American pharmaceutical company. How would this contribute to the realization of Saudi Vision 2030?
Saudi Chemical Company Holding is eager to invest in vital sectors and projects which serve the needs of the Saudi community; in this sense, and with great support from the Saudi Ministry of Investment, we signed an MoU with Eli Lilly, a global healthcare leader. The agreement aims to establish local manufacturing of Lilly’s registered insulin products within our subsidiary’s “AJA Pharma” manufacturing site in Saudi Arabia. This will contribute to achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals for the bio-pharmaceutical sector and will advance the nation’s diversification efforts while promoting national economic development.
You have proven successful in partnering with global companies to advance your goals and objectives. What do you value most when seeking potential international partners?
Over the last five decades, Saudi Chemical Company Holding has sought to put its best foot forward. We fully believe that our commitment to quality standards and innovation is the primary reason why stakeholders trust us. We look forward to more future value-added investments and aim to build strategic cooperative relations with successful partners. We will continue to explore global opportunities with which we can utilize our competitive advantage in local and regional markets and prove the pioneering footprint of our company.