“Our goal is to become an intelligent enterprise,” says Jasim Abdul Rahman, group chief information officer of Power International Holding (PIH), “a digital-first, data-driven company that has the flexibility to evolve, diversify, and grow.”

Since its beginnings in building contracting nearly four decades ago, Qatar-based PIH has expanded into a highly successful conglomerate with more than 40,000 employees operating in several countries and with extensive interests across five main sectors: general contracting (UCC Holding), real estate development (ASSETS), agriculture and food industries (Baladna), lifestyle (AURA Group) and general services.

Diversification and rapid growth create significant business and operational challenges. Although specific business challenges may be different in each industry, there are pressures that are common across all sectors. Every part of the business needs to be more efficient, responsive, and agile – particularly in a post-COVID-19 world.

In July 2019, PIH embarked on an ambitious, three-year digital transformation program across the entire group. PIH’s IT landscape was becoming increasingly complex, with 16 different enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that did not communicate and data spread across different siloes. This resulted in a lack of visibility that was making businesses more difficult to manage because of delays to financial closing and slow decision-making.

Despite some unavoidable delays due to COVID-19, the target date for the first milestone – creating the foundations for an intelligent enterprise by the end of 2020 – is now within sight. PIH selected SAP S/4HANA as the new digital core for the group in consultation with LTI, a leading SAP partner with expertise in the construction sector.

PIH wanted a future-proof system that provided a common framework across all its current businesses but with the flexibility to move into new industries as the company continues to expand.

“SAP has the right capabilities and road map in place and shares our purpose of adding value to society for a better lifestyle,” adds Abdul Rahman.

SAP S/4HANA heads an extensive array of SAP solutions across the group, ranging from a number of industry-specific variants to line-of-business applications, like SAP SuccessFactors solutions and the SAP Ariba Procurement portfolio. Using SAP S/4HANA means that PIH now has one ERP system across every business, with harmonized processes and a single chart of accounts.

PIH has become data-driven from top to bottom, with easy access to information. Data can now flow automatically from everywhere – such as Internet of Things (IoT) assets and point-of-sale systems – straight into the SAP systems, and everything that happens across the company can be seen on dashboards.

Commenting on the company’s migration to SAP, Ramez Al-Khayyat, vice chairman and group CEO of PIH says, “We truly believe in embracing a comprehensive digital transformation that will gear the group to perform future big leaps. Becoming data-driven makes us future ready.”

“PIH is a young and entrepreneurial company that is growing extremely fast, and there is no limit to our ambitions,” he adds. “One of our strategic goals is aiming to be the model conglomerate, and with SAP we now have the flexibility to expand and diversify into more sectors and the right infrastructure in place for our future acquisitions, divestiture, or spin-off any of our businesses into separately listed companies in the future.

Mazen Raad is the managing director of Qatar at SAP.