United World sat down with KADDB Investment Group (KIG)’s CEO, Mr. Ahmad Al Sallakh, to discuss how the defense industry is affected by sociopolitical turmoil and the strategies both his company and his country, Jordan, are undertaking to benefit from increased investment by this sector.
Overview of Jordan’s current defence industry and the effects the sociopolitical turmoil in neighboring countries is having in the investments in security
Jordan’s defence industry is mainly represented by King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB), KADDB Investment Group (KIG)and their affiliates. With our dynamic and fast responding solutions for the changes causing the turmoil in the region, we have proven our efficiency and professionalism with our clients.
Jordan’s number one client always remains the security bodies of the Kingdom; Jordan Armed Forces, Public Security Directorate, Gendarmerie and Civil Defence Directorate, and therefore, and with the current situation surrounding Jordan, our main concern is to provide our borders with the best surveillance and border control solutions of services and products, reconnaissance vehicles, weapons, personnel production, or even food.
Our products and services have also been deployed in units with highly populated areas, where uprisings usually develop, as per the trend in the past few years in the region.
Moreover, our products and services are additionally deployed by non‐governmental organizations serving in the region, as they have proven their efficiency and competitiveness with international products as being internationally accredited.
Efforts implemented by the government to promote the development of the defence and security industry. Strategies to increase its competitiveness and achieving a high qualified workforce
KADDB and KIG are the reality application of the vision His Majesty King Abdullah II has had ever since he was an officer in the Jordan Armed Forces. His Majesty has also had the vision of creating an independent defence industrial base to elevate the industrial sector in Jordan and to be self‐sufficient as a country.
Therefore, the Bureau and the Group have been adopted by the government, and are being prompted in every trade mission, and by all diplomatic missions around the world.
Moreover, we are firm believers that our people are our asset, and thus we invest in every single employee. Clear roadmaps of career paths are identified for every position in our organization. Advanced and tailored training courses are given to our employees on all levels to elevate the human competencies and qualifications.
Our employees are also exposed to specialized international seminars and exhibitions, where they get to learn from the experience of leaders of the industry. We have recently introduced the Training for Trainees programme to encourage in‐house training, and maximum share of knowledge while reducing costs.
KADDB’S Investment Group’s main areas of expertise. Introduction to its operations and its policies of project assessments
KIG has been established to act as the commercial and investment arm for KADDB and its affiliates. The Group aims at establishing new and growing businesses in the defence and security industries along with some services that would complement these industries. The scope of work covered by the Group’s affiliates is represented in five business clusters; Automotive and Industrial Cluster, Troops Products Cluster, Electronics and Electro‐Optics Cluster, Arms and Ammunition Cluster, as well as a Supplementary Cluster, all with NATO accredited products.
The Automotive and Industrial Cluster aims to fulfil the needs and requirements of its clients in matters of Standard and customised light and heavy vehicle armouring, Assembly and production of armoured and special purpose vehicles, in addition to other related industrial solutions, as Precision machining and metal fabrication, and Design and remanufacturing of electrical units and harnesses.
The Troops’ Products Cluster focuses on providing the ultimate personal solutions for the user, whether a civilian, security or a military personnel. The fields covered by this cluster vary between the personnel protection products as in bullet proof vests and helmets and plates, in addition to special boots, to feeding the troops in and outside the field either by Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) or catering with menus customised as per the clients’ need while maintaining their nutritional value.
As for the Electronics and Electro‐Optics Cluster, it aims at bringing Night Vision and Thermal Imaging Systems in‐step with cutting edge technology and needs of the defence industry.
With the establishment of the Arms and Ammunition Cluster, the KADDB Investment Group has covered a major facet of the defence industry, where various products and calibres are tailored to different requirements. The main products of this cluster are the Nashab, RPG 32, small calibre ammunition and Shotshell cartridges.
Moreover, the KIG’s Supplementary Cluster covers a wide spectrum of supporting services within the industry. These include highly‐efficient security services and systems and a State‐of‐the‐art industrial hub, with full logistical services.
All these affiliates work in synergy to achieve the overall vision and mission on a strategic level. This is achieved through The KIG Group Standard Manual (GSM) which provides a unified standard mode of operation to all member companies. A key feature of the GSM is identifying the relationship between KIG and its affiliates and building unified practices, regardless of the work sector, culture or workforce diversity.
To ensure the efficiency of the GSM operation, periodic internal audit sessions are conduct for each module as well as an external audit conducted by Lloyds.
Maximizing the regional and international exposure of the KIG and the importance of its market outreach
The Group focuses on its market outreach through implementing effective strategies to satisfy the client and investor needs and enhance the performance of the Group.
Our prime channel of market outreach and exposure is through our participation in specialised defence exhibitions around the world. Through the past years, we have participated in defence and special operations exhibitions in, Jordan, France, UK, UAE, South Africa, Brunei, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, Malaysia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Kazakhstan.
Our exhibition’s participation policy focuses on major pillars to determine the participation, and they comprise, political reasons, brand exposure, investment attraction, client attraction, representative attraction, exposure to latest technologies, as well as displaying our capabilities, products and services.
Moreover, Trade Missions are a focused method of communication for our market outreach. Strategies of targeted regions are conducted, while analysing the needs and requirements of a certain region, in addition to penetration techniques required. In a short period of time, the KADDB Investment Group has managed to place itself on the world map by not only being active in the Middle East and Africa, but by reaching Europe, the Americas, South, Central and East Asia.
KIG as a credible and trustable partner in the region. Jordan’s capacity to become a leader in the security & defence fields
KADDB and the Group have been acknowledged internationally as business leaders in the region, and due to the fact that Jordan happens to be on a crossroad of a turmoil region while maintaining its security and stability, it is considered a gateway for interested investors.
We always aim to attract new investment opportunities that would enrich our portfolio with successful partnerships, but the process of getting engaged in a new affiliation goes through a systematic approach for proper technology and know‐how transfer. The KIG consults and coordinates all business‐related activities by having its qualified team evaluate an opportunity all the way to realizing its full potential with efficient feasibility studies and business plans as well as develop the current businesses through effective implementation of business development, marketing, communications and operational excellence activities, in addition to enhancing the Group’s corporate image.
These competencies have proven the benefit of working with the KIG as a reliable and credible partner with a proven track record and high profile worldwide. Investors with the Group would enjoy a high level of marketing exposure, accessibility to a wide range of research and industrial capabilities, provision of land and facilities through a purpose built free industrial zone, as well as contribution in working capital and facilitating all logistics and procedures.
We have partnerships with leading defence manufacturers around the world, to name a few, we are partners with Jankel Group from the UK for the production of light armoured vehicles, Brahim Holdings from Malaysia for the production of Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), Securitas from Sweden for man guarding and security services, Aselsan from Turkey for manufacturing night vision systems and Rosoboronexport from Russia for the production of the Nashab RPG 32, and the most recent partnership is with Paramount Group of South Africa to design, develop, manufacture, market and supply of defence related products over land, air and sea platforms inside Jordan and the Region.
KADDB Industrial Park Free Zone, main competitive advantages and availability of facilities for business set up by potential investors
The First Modern Private Free Zone in the Entire Middle East Dedicated to Defence and Security Industry, the KADDB Industrial Park (KIP) is a private free industrial zone registered as a limited liability company, which operates in accordance with the Free Zones Law, enjoying all the privileges and facilities provided by the law to private and public free zones. The Park provides a package of investment incentives, tax exemptions, and services related to infrastructure and communication. An affiliation with KADDB or KIG is not a pre‐ requisite.
The KADDB Industrial Park Offers:
Companies registered under the Free Zones Law enjoy the following:
2. No income or social service tax on the salary, and allowance, paid to non‐Jordanian employees working in Free Zone
3. No import fees, customs duties or other taxes will be levied on goods imported to or exported from Free Zones
4. No licensing fees or land taxes will be assessed for buildings and structures erected in the Free Zones
5. No restrictions on the repatriation of capital or profits of investments in the Free Zones (in conformity with law)
6. Re‐export of machinery, equipment, goods, and any material required to start a project, operate it, or expand it and any profits that generate from such investments (in conformity with law)
Importance of the US in the future of defence & security issues in Jordan. Potential collaborations in these fields and KIG’s role in enhancing these relationships
We have a rich history with the US in project based partnerships. The most recent project partnership is with ATK and Airbus Defence and Space, with whom KADDB has signed an agreement to cooperatively work together on of the conversion and upgrade of aircrafts currently operated by the Royal Jordanian Air force.
Special Operations Exhibition and Conference (SOFEX) as the most important defence exhibition in the region. Importance of such event for the international image of Jordan
Every two years, the global defence community gathers in Amman, Jordan for four days to attend SOFEX, a one day international conference that focuses on special operations forces and homeland security, followed by a three‐day world class exhibition that features the latest fully‐integrated and innovative special operations forces equipment and solutions from around the world.
SOFEX exhibition provides an opportunity for SMEs and the world’s leading defence, special operations and homeland security equipment manufacturers and solution providers to exhibit their latest and most advanced technologies, as well as to network and establish solid relationships with key military officials and government decision makers, and therefor highlighting Jordan on the world map as a networking zone for leaders of the industry.
SOFEX kicks off with one day conference that is attended by heads of state, Defence Ministers, Chiefs of Armed
Forces, Special Operations Commanders and counter terrorism and homeland security experts for interactive and proactive discussions on the challenges facing global security, with the objective of helping to bridge understanding and to provide an ideal platform to strengthen relationships, build partnerships and create a unified approach to promoting peace and security around the world.
Statistics of SOFEX 2014:
On the side‐lines of the Exhibition, SOFEX hosts a five‐day warrior competition which enables teams from around the world to engage in challenge‐oriented exercises with international special operations peers. In 2014,
18 nations and 34 units participated in the sixth edition of the warrior competition.
Therefore, KADDB and KIG utilize SOFEX as their showroom to showcase the most recent and most prominent products and services under a 3600sqm pavilion.
Partnership with INJAZ and KIG’s contribution to community service
Driven by the common goal of Community Service, and the effective role organizations can play in encouraging Jordanian youth to capture opportunities and enhance economic conditions of certain communities, and as an integral part of the Group’s mission, KADDB Investment Group and INJAZ partnered up in a programme aiming to serve the community the Group operates in, of which they agreed to address as the “Duleil‐Khaldiyya Community Adoption Programme”.
The KIG, KADDB and Affiliates’ trained volunteers contribute to the development of Khaldiyya and Duleil through the Community Adoption Programme and hence effectively develops living conditions and enhance economic services in the area, by long term methodical strategies and approach.
The Programme is focused on sustainable long term goals, therefore starting with schools as a main element, by improving the recreational/sports facilities in the schools and implementing Injaz motivational curriculum, which results in career guidance and clear future plans.
Another aspect of the Programme is our role in the Youth and Community Centres, where other awareness focused Injaz curriculum is applied, through the involvement of the older generation and attracting qualified potential employees with internships at our companies. We also work upon recruiting, training, and empowering local Youth Ambassadors from the community to promote and facilitate our programme and to result in success stories with benefit to all parties.