Posts Tagged ‘job vacancy Saudi Arabia’

A map would be a good idea.

July 5, 2014

Final day in KL. Had a very productive time so far and will certainly be coming back. There is a huge amount of business to be had and I want my fair share for m2r Education.

If you recall, we had the ‘privilege’ of having a tour guide with us on the KL part of the mission. Shame he couldn’t actually find anywhere. On our final day, Columbus was again with us. I was particularly looking forward to our first meeting, with the Ministry of Human Resources and Skills.  Working in recruitment this would be a perfect meeting and one I would get a lot of information from. The rest of the delegation also felt the same way. We boarded the bus with a huge sense of anticipation and Marco Polo put us all at ease as we headed off to Putrajaya, located 25 km south of Kuala Lumpur. Putrajaya serves as the federal administrative centre of Malaysia. Did you know that Putrajaya has nine bridges and 14 different designs of street lamps? Well, our intrepid guide filled us in with extremely fascinating facts as we headed to our first meeting.

Putrajaya. One bridge and one set of street lamps.

Putrajaya. One bridge and one set of street lamps.

Now. this first meeting was scheduled for 9am.  Excitement on the bus was building as I am sure you can imagine. Vasco da Gama was in complete control. After all, he was a tour guide, assigned to us and obviously knew his job. We put down his indiscretion the previous evening to nerves. 9am came and went and a high degree of deja vu was setting in. Putrajaya is very stunning but do we really need to see the same bridge 50 times? Maybe he was ensuring we saw every single street lamp before we alighted.

10am came and went. So did 10.15am. Hmmmm. Maybe our tour guide wasn’t all he seems. Surely not as it would make no sense whatsoever that we had been given a guide who couldn’t even find his way out of a paper bag, would it? Well, let’s put it this way, don’t buy him a paper bag for his birthday.

We were lost. He had no clue where the ministry was. Brilliant. His comeback was that he was a ‘tourist guide’ and the not a business tour guide. Oh cheers. Great planning then. No meeting but at least we saw 5 million street lamps and bridges. Less Columbus and more Columbo.

Off to the next meeting in that case! Thankfully he knew where this one was. Just. He also managed to successfully negotiate his own locale and find the rest of the day’s meetings too.

President's Palace, Putrajaya

President’s Palace, Putrajaya. Had worse meetings…

Being able to have a meeting in the above building was incredible. We were all seated in a UN style room which gave some of the group the opportunity to grab forty winks. No names mentioned and if I showed you the picture I would pixelate their  faces anyway….

Almost the UN

Almost the UN..

Very good meeting though, extremely informative and came out with information overload. Thoroughly impressed.

The final meeting was rather odd, only because it started in a manner to which none of us were accustomed. I have no intention of being derogatory to our hosts but it really showed how different cultures express themselves. As usual we all had to introduce ourselves, I have no issue with this and of course, makes follow up meetings a lot easier to arrange. What we didn’t expect was that each and every one of the 28 delegates received a hearty round of applause by the 5 company representatives who were hosting the meeting. As you can imagine, the introductions took some time to get through and we had to stifle laughter for fear of appearing extremely rude. Again, I must stress, I would never ever denigrate a host, especially one that was gracious and gave us food and gifts, it was just not what we were used to, that was all!

After what seemed like an eternity in getting back to the hotel it was decided that we should spend our last night exploring the sights of Changkat. We did. This is all I am saying on the matter. Click the link!

So it was farewell Malaysia, a thoroughly mind blowing trip for me and one which gave me tremendous confidence that we could secure a lot of business there. The group were bonding very well and although we were all very tired, struggling with jet lag and the humidity, no one was grumbling or complaining. So far so good.

Before I sign off I must tell you about my own Columbus / Columbo experience as we left for Indonesia. Now, suffice to say and in my defence, most people almost followed suit. I stress the almost.

Picture the scene. The airport for the Air Asia flight is literally bolted onto a shopping mall. You therefore drag your case and carry on bags past all the shops before you arrive at departures. Very few signs, it is merely stumbled upon. I wonder how many people have gone out for a leisurely shop and ended up on a flight to Vietnam…

So, I ended up in the airport and like most overseas airports I have visited, the first thing you do (or so I thought) is get all your bags scanned before check in. So, scanned and through, I wandered, somewhat aimlessly and also alone, through the airport looking for check in. After 10 minutes of walking I began to notice that I was the only one pulling a 25kg suitcase. Still, unfazed, I pressed on in true British style. Until I saw the gate. Then sheer panic set in. I had somehow managed to get all the way through immigration and 2 security checks with my suitcase that contained items such as razor blades, aerosols etc etc. Rather worrying when you think about it!

At that precise moment my thoughts we not about the lack of proper airport security checks but more of how on earth am I going to get my case on the plane!!! Some rather bemused Air Asia staff took pity on me, the way they looked suggested I was the first ever person to commit such a level of idiocy. I was assured that if I took my case all the way to the plane it would be manually tagged and essentially treated like a pushchair. Thankfully it was and arrived safe and sound in Jakarta. The only thing that didn’t make it was my dignity……

So seasoned and unseasoned travelers alike, take heed. No matter how much you travel, new ‘interesting’ experiences will always find you. It’s how you deal with them that counts.

Adieu.

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Time flies

November 22, 2013

Has it been a week already? I am sure Riyadh has a time warp of some sort, after all, it has everything else!
My meetings went very well, clients were extremely appreciative of the effort I have made to come and visit them. I am genuinely interested in building solid partnerships and this has been gratefully accepted. When I work with organisations that truly value our support, input and advice, it makes the job easier and also gives added motivation to assist. Here I am treated as a partner and an equal and it is truly refreshing.

I still find it amazing that UK recruitment companies who want to work overseas but cannot be bothered to make the business trips required in order to cement relationships. This is why we are building an excellent reputation and you are not. Long may your laziness be our catalyst for growth.

As usual my trips are always laced with a modicum of hilarity, generally attributed to me leaving my brain back in the hotel room. This time was no exception. I think trying to open a wall thinking it was a door probably ranks as number one, but for those who understand the culture here, plonking myself down slap bang in the middle of the family section at the Ritz Carlton whilst waiting for my dinner companions ranks very close indeed. I think my utter naivety was the saving grace here.

If you are going to mistakenly sit in the family section, there are worse places than this..

If you are going to mistakenly sit in the family section, there are worse places than this..

Ritz Carlton, Riyadh. The most amazingly opulent hotel I have seen.

Riyadh is certainly a haven for shopping and opulence on a grand scale. I have never seen so many Versace shops in one city before, not to mention Leboutin, Louis Vuitton, Bugatti, Chanel and Debenhams. The past week has been an eye opener for me too. Having only worked in the Eastern Province before, I have never seen women’s only floors in malls with security guards making sure that it is a bone fide woman wishing to enter. Shops only open to families, men and women’s queues at fast food outlets and separate offices for sexes too. But, at no point have I felt any concern or have had any issues, totally the opposite. Everyone I have met has been friendly, helpful (apart from the taxi driver who dropped me at the wrong place and then admitted he could not read and had very bad eyesight) and gave me no cause to worry at all.

I have been treated to amazing dinners in unbelievable settings, received extremely humbling gifts and experienced hospitality that in the UK, companies would not even dream of doing. Nothing has been too much.

Trips to the British Embassy, major universities and colleges were extremely interesting and I leave with a knowledge bank that will now help to develop our strategy for 2014 and beyond. Companies need our help and we are best placed to serve. I plan to come back back in February for an education conference, I am sure this will come round in a blink of an eye.

The Kingdom Tower, Riyadh. An amazing building.

The Kingdom Tower, Riyadh. An amazing building.

Next stop Eastern Province – I wonder what the next week (aka 5 minutes) will bring.

When it rains, it pours.

November 18, 2013

Two working days in and so far so good.

Riyadh is certainly different from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, definitely more conservative. Not in a bad way, just different. For example, I have never seen segregation at a fast food counter for men and women. Plus, the women’s line moves a lot quicker and it is service with a smile, as opposed to a grimace. I am used to family and single sections but family only shops and malls? This is an eye opener. Next to my hotel is the wonderful Al Faisaliah tower which contains a fantastic mall which has a great Harvey Nichols. I assume. I am not allowed in unless I am with a family, ideally my own. So, it looks great from the outside, probably has dancing polar bears and talking deer inside, but I will never find out. Great excuse for not buying any gifts though!!!

However, Riyadh is growing on me. Amazing buildings, well, massive buildings. I can’t cope with  the driving though! It makes Wacky Races look like a country drive in an old Morris 1000. Seriously folks, drive with eyes open, it helps.

After the ridiculous downpour, which I now understand has not happened in over 12 months, the majority of offices were closed on Monday (country wide) due to rain. Imagine in the UK if this happened, we would work for 2 days every year. Yes, I know some people do, but that’s a blog for another day.

Flooding in Riyadh

Flooding in Riyadh

Lightening strikes the Al Faisaliah Tower

Lightening strikes the Al Faisaliah Tower

So, onto business. The only reason I am here. So far so good. 2 education clients met, both very happy with our service and both want to develop long term business. The first will be taking out on Thursday to see all their colleges, we should have done this on Monday but due to the ‘national emergency’ all were closed…. Looks like we will be getting a lot more business from them, probably min 100 new vacancies in 2014 which bodes well and and will please the bank.

The second meeting went even better. CEO is delighted with us, all invoices signed off and new roles discussed. All 350 (min!) of them. Yes, that’s right, 350 roles. English, Maths and IT Teachers. They also want us to hold two interview events  in the UK for next year in order to fill the roles. At this point the bank are doing cartwheels. It is refreshing when clients speak to me as a partner and ask for advice, intelligent opinion and market intel. These are the sort of clients that I want to deal with and encourages us to work at the upper echelon of our ability.

I was taken to see the number one university in the Middle East, King Saud University. We have  a large number of teachers working there and I was pleased to get the opportunity to meet some of them. To put it into some perspective, KSU has 15000 students undergoing the 1 yr Preparatory Year Programme (English, Maths, IT) and 1000 Teachers administer the classes. Not all at once, obviously.  This is the largest PYP in the world and we are part of it’s development.

This PYP is the biggest in the world

This PYP is the biggest in the world

King Saud University PYP

So, 3 more business days in Riyadh, if they continue like this then I will be asking the bank to buy me some gold shoes. Size 8 please.

International customer service – 5 top tips

May 24, 2011

So, how do you keep clients happy when you are working across the globe?

Here are m2r’s top 5 tips on how to retain clients that span time zones, languages, culture and of course, distance.

1. Visit regularly

It is too easy to win the client and then resign yourself to emails and phone calls. You have to make the effort to keep developing the relationship. In cultures where friendship comes before business, if you do not want to invest in the time or effort to visit these companies, your relationship will be very short lived. Try to go at least once a quarter, depending on distance.

2. Take an interest in the country where the client is based

If the client thinks you are only after their money, again, no trust will be formed. You are a guest in their country and you need to make a concerted effort to understand the culture, at least some of the native language, the history and also, get a feel for the place. Don’t spend your time in the hotel or the bar, this will not lend itself to building client relationships.

3. Get them to take an interest in where you are from.

Building relationships is a two way process, so, involve your client by showing them your home town etc. They will feel that there is a bond and a trust and that you want to involve them in more than just a one dimensional relationship. I am from Wakefield and trust me, very few of my clients knew of Wakefield before I visited them! Now they now all about the place. It has really helped cement my relationship with them.

4. Get to know your clients as human beings.

This is especially prevalent in cultures where family comes first. If the client feels that you are only interested in their business, you may get one order but that will be it. Take an interest in their life. Again, if this does not interest you then maybe international business is not for you.

5. Go the extra mile

Companies want to work overseas, sometimes for the wrong reasons and this leads to cynicism towards your whole industry. Show your international clients that you are different by delivering exceptional service, maintaining close contact and taking a genuine interest in their business, themselves as individuals and their country. You need to act and appear that you are merely an overseas extension of their current supply chain, not just a person or company that is looking at just the financial reward. This will only lead to very short term gain and open the doors to your competition.

From my experience, using these five tips as a guide will put you head and shoulders above your competition and cement your business relationship with your overseas clients. Don’t forget to deliver what you say and always exceed expectations, but that goes without saying!

Call us for vacancies in Bahrain!

November 9, 2010

Great advertising sales job in the Middle East!

November 3, 2010

We are working on behalf of this well-established GCC-based organisation requiring a professional General Manager to head up their regional office in the Middle East.

Reporting directly to the CEO, you will have full responsibility for driving the business to achieve strict revenue and growth targets. You are an individual who has had full profit & loss accountability as well as in-depth exposure to sales, marketing, business development and client retention strategies.

Successful experience in online / offline advertising is essential, as is a demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and the passion and initiative to handle 360 degree business demands.

Beyond internal organizational leadership, you will be responsible for handling key relationships with business partners, suppliers and stakeholders therefore a high degree of diplomacy, tact and maturity is fundamental.

You have a minimum of 8 years print and on-line publishing experience working in a fast paced environment; you will be able to demonstrate revenue and budget achievement, be an excellent team player and have strong communication skills. You must have worked as a GM or in similar capacity within this environment and have a stable career. Written and spoken Arabic fluency is preferred.

The role provides an excellent executive package which will be discussed with the client upon successful candidacy.

m2r is working on behalf of this organisation (the Client) and acting as their CV filtering service. Your application, if deemed appropriate, will be forwarded directly to the client. By applying for this role, you authorise us to submit your details.