Abu Dhabi's Injazat aims to become $1bn company within five years

Acquisition by G42 last year will help it scale up its business, chief executive Ussama Dahabiyeh says

Injazat’s CEO, Ussama Dahabiyeh.  Portraits shot on May 9,2021.  Victor Besa / The National.
Reporter: Alkesh Sharma for Business
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Abu Dhabi-based technology company Injazat aims to grow its revenue base to $1 billion in the next five years as it looks to expand to the broader Mena market.

"It is an ambitious target but it is achievable. The environment that we are working in and the opportunities that we see in front of us will make it feasible," chief executive Ussama Dahabiyeh told The National.

Injazat is focusing on three key differentiators that will help it join the $1bn club – a broader range of products and services, improved client experience and strategic partnerships, as opposed to being “just vendors”, he said.

“Many catalysts are driving Injazat’s accelerated growth. Covid-19 has proved that digital transformation is not a choice but a priority,” said Mr Dahabiyeh.

He declined to disclose the company’s current revenue.

Injazat is well positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities in the technology industry.

Overall information technology spending across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa is expected to grow by 2.8 per cent to $77.5bn this year, according to the International Data Corporation.

Mr Dahabiyeh, who joined Injazat as chief financial officer from Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company in 2016, took over as chief executive last month after Khaled Al Melhi stepped down.

Founded in 2005, Injazat is among the region's market leaders for digital transformation, cloud services and cyber security.

It unveiled a new strategy in 2019 to diversify its core business of managing IT operations and services.

The company now offers end-to-end digital products and services – from hybrid clouds and cyber security to the management of applications in emerging technology.

“As a technology company, we are reinventing ourselves. Our transformation journey is never ending,” said Mr Dahabiyeh.

“We also built another growth engine in the past two years to co-create and partner with our customers to build and incubate digital businesses.”

Injazat was part of Mubadala's information, communications and technology portfolio before it was acquired by the emirate's artificial intelligence and cloud computing company, Group 42, in November. Mubadala acquired a stake in G42 as part of the deal.

Mr Dahabiyeh said the acquisition has helped the company to expand its technology capabilities and scale up its business.

“We are progressing to build a national technology champion and G42’s backing is enabling us to scale [up] fast while operating with agility ... facilitating our growth through their network companies and allowing access to their IPs [intellectual properties],” said Mr Dahabiyeh.

Expansion into other GCC and Mena markets in the coming months will also help the company to broaden its client base and add new revenue lines.

“At Injazat, we are growing the services business and also increasingly investing in technology products that can be definitely sold cross-border,” said Mr Dahabiyeh.

The company will expand its team of about 800 employees when it sets up offices outside the UAE, he said.

Injazat said it has hired highly-skilled security analysts and engineers to boost its operations. Courtesy Injazat
Injazat said it has hired highly-skilled security analysts and engineers to boost its operations. Courtesy Injazat

Injazat is working with global technology companies such as Oracle, Microsoft and Google to bring their services to the region. It recently signed an agreement with Alphabet-owned Google to become its cloud partner in the UAE.

“There is a great push among local companies to migrate to [the] cloud. This is definitely on top of our agenda to help them scale and innovate by moving their operations to the cloud,” said Mr Dahabiyeh.

"Cyber security is another priority area. We recently launched a new security operation centre that has integrated nine different security technologies."

In March, Injazat announced a joint venture with Dubai-based energy company Lamprell to create digital solutions for the renewable and oil and gas industries, with an initial funding of $7 million, split equally between the partners.

Covid-19, which upended many industries worldwide, has been a “blessing in disguise” for Injazat, said Mr Dahabiyeh. The company has learnt many lessons on being agile and adaptive during the pandemic.

“The pandemic has accelerated our [transformation] plans by nearly five years and increased the adoption of our [technology] solutions across business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries. Our strategy is perfectly aligned with the new world,” he said.

Injazat’s CEO, Ussama Dahabiyeh.  Portraits shot on May 9,2021.  Victor Besa / The National.
Reporter: Alkesh Sharma for Business
Mr Dahabiyeh says the top two lessons learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic are agility and adaptability. Victor Besa / The National

During the pandemic, Injazat built the MICloud project for Mubadala that helped the sovereign wealth fund migrate its global business to the cloud, adding greater flexibility to its operations and reducing emissions.

The project, which took more than 250,000 man-hours, involved the migration of over 160 IT services and activation of 1,500 online servers across six data centres.

“We are proud to have completed this project with 70 per cent of the team operating remotely due to the pandemic ... and shifting their legacy on-premise infrastructure to a hybrid cloud solution specifically designed for Mubadala’s requirements,” said Mr Dahabiyeh.

Injazat, which currently serves more than 50 clients, spends at least 5 per cent of its annual revenue on research and development but aims to treble this to 15 per cent, he said.