Eng Aref Boualwan
Eng Aref Boualwan, Senior Manager for Digital Transformation & Strategy at industry giant, Consolidated Contractor's Company (CCC), takes the lead in developing strategic partnerships with start-ups that build disruptive technologies. Boualwan believes that connecting the right tech start-ups with big construction players is key to boosting digitization in the industry.
Speaking on the major developments in the start-up ecosystem in the region, he reports that the entrepreneurship ecosystem is gaining momentum year after year due to many governments realizing the significance of creating support structures to nurture the raising of ideas locally as well as for attracting foreign start-ups.
In addition, investors are injecting more money into the start-up ecosystem, with success stories of exits and acquisitions offering further trust in the great potentials at stake. Several international and regional incubators, accelerators and start-up hubs are spreading across the region with some universities joining forces as well.
In construction he says, “I hope to witness a technology startup founded in the Middle East be the one to shake up the industry.” He evaluates that start-ups can play a big role in digitizing the construction industry, an industry that has fallen behind when it comes to technological advancements and that counts as one of the least automated industries.
Construction technology start-ups could help support the construction industry to put an end to the expansion of construction schedules, the continuous increase in labor and material costs as well as improving quality and safety. With the increase in complexity of construction projects in the region and the tough market conditions, Boualwan believes the GCC construction scene is at a cusp of a new, ever evolving era of engaging construction technology start-ups.
To truly grasp this potential, it is essential for start-ups to partner with a major player in the construction scene. Consolidated Contractor's Company provides the full start-up ecosystem to help new companies get to this place. Along with support ranging from diversified subject matter experts, and in-depth industry expertise, the group offers a live project environment for proof of concept pilots; bridging the gap between start-ups and project owners and providing the domain specific knowledge to them that is required to digitize the construction industry.