Starting a company and emerging victorious is an arduous journey that demands resilience, perseverance and unwavering determination. The path to success is filled with countless obstacles, ranging from fierce competition and financial constraints to market volatility and unexpected setbacks. The process of building a company from scratch entails tireless efforts, sleepless nights, and the ability to adapt swiftly to ever-changing circumstances. It demands not only a brilliant business idea but also the strategic execution of plans, effective team management, and a keen understanding of the target market. Mr. Haddad is one of the few who has not only achieved this greatness but has continued to be an Elite in his industry for fifty-five years with the ever changing world.
Mr. Haddad, Chairman of MACE Group is in the business of improving quality of life and building a better future for local communities through infrastructure development. He graduated in Civil Engineering from the School of Engineering – AUB. After graduating from university, he began working for the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) in Kuwait, Aden, and Libya.
Appreciating how fundamental the purpose of a civil engineer is to one’s local community and knowing that if he wanted to put into practice the qualities he deemed fundamental he would need to be his own boss. And so it was that MACE was founded, tuned to focus on ‘service to humanity’ the company logo and purpose.
MACE very soon became known as the quality benchmark in the construction industry, initially in developing oil fields and maintaining cross-country pipelines, flow lines, and pump stations and later on in very broad based civil infrastructure.
MACE is actively engaged in Operations and Maintenance (O&M) projects across Dhakhira in Qatar, as well as Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With a strong presence in these regions, MACE is committed to delivering top-notch O&M services, ensuring the seamless functioning of critical infrastructure. Moreover, the company extends its expertise to the realm of irrigation works in Al Ain, contributing significantly to sustainable water management in the UAE. MACE’s versatile engagement underscores its dedication to fostering sustainable development and infrastructure management across key locations in the Middle East.
MACE: Being the Best in the Infrastructure Industry
MACE was established in 1968 in Libya and then branched off to the Gulf and Saudi Arabia in early 1972. Since that time, MACE has flourished in the region, priding itself on the necessary work done to improve the daily lives of the local population through the infrastructure they have been building.
The Engineering field is a demanding field for imagination and development. Society is made up of different walks of life. The advanced world is always searching for new products and constantly altering requirements for sustainability as the world gets smaller by connectivity, smarter, more conscious of its daily impact on the world and larger by population, all at the same time. A successful engineer/contractor will always research and look for ways and means to find solutions to reduce costs, increase profitability, and meet all the requirements above. This can only be done by researching and finding ways to save and improve products. Sustainability is the key word. MACE as a company does not believe in short-term dispensability. It believes in a good product that is built to last.
Having worked for clients of different needs, MACE had a great chance for success. MACE has fifty-five years of varied experience. Starting during the early days in Libya gave MACE a chance to do pipelines for oil and gas, which eventually led to building houses and other buildings such as schools, locations of leisure, etc.
“Once a contractor proves his willingness and dependability, his business can only grow and succeed,” says Mr. Haddad.
A versatile and Skilled Team is the Key to MACE’s Success
MACE has a versatile team of engineers who were trained by Mr. Haddad initially and who have gone on to train all recruits in the MACE methods, all with the underlying belief and purpose of service to humanity and quality work.
Mr. Haddad believes, “In business, one cannot become stagnant.”
Mr. Haddad expresses a deep-seated interest in the early days of MACE, particularly during assignments in the Libyan and Saudi oil fields. Reflecting on that period, he observes that the equipment utilized at the time has undergone significant advancements or, in some cases, has been entirely phased out. Central to his concerns is the commitment to sustainability and making sure to minimize environmental impact.
The MACE family has also been an integral part of MACE’s versatile team for over four decades, with their unwavering dedication and expertise shaping the company’s success. Mr. Haddad’s daughters and son-in-law actively play a part in the day-to-day operations, solidifying the family’s commitment to the company’s ongoing growth and prosperity. Their collective involvement and shared vision create a strong foundation for MACE’s continued excellence in the industry.
Uncovering Fresh Opportunities with Experience and Resilience
Working alongside American counterparts in the oilfields of Libya has provided MACE with valuable opportunities to learn, adapt, and develop new methods aimed at reducing costs and increasing profitability. These endeavors have not gone unnoticed, as evidenced by the proliferation of engineering magazines featuring MACE’s innovative products. Continuously striving for improvement, MACE remains committed to exploring novel techniques that can enhance their operations.
MACE is charting a course towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly future through a robust commitment to recycling practices. Recognizing the imperative to mitigate environmental impact, the company is proactively embracing green initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. By implementing innovative recycling strategies across its operations, MACE is not only contributing to waste reduction but is also aligning itself with global sustainability goals.
MACE has emerged as a frontrunner in the establishment of successful new fields like streamlining operation and maintenance processes, providing high-quality housing solutions, and implementing efficient feeding systems to accommodate increased operation and maintenance periods when oil companies need to service their field plants. These initiatives have not only bolstered safety standards but have also fueled overall growth and development within the company.
During a discussion on staying ahead in a fiercely competitive industry, Mr. Haddad, a key figure at MACE, shared his insights. He emphasized that “On the financial side of running a company efficiently, my observations would be that run-of-the-mill businesses always pray to overtake others. To keep abreast of other businesses, company leaders have to assign certain duties to special employees, study every activity and advise management about that activity’s contribution to the company’s balance sheet.”
Thriving through Client Collaboration
Building and maintaining good relationships with clients is crucial for the success of any business. It helps to increase customer loyalty, generate repeat business, and attract new customers through positive word-of-mouth. Good client relations also improve communication and foster trust, leading to better collaboration and increased efficiency. In addition, satisfied clients are more likely to provide valuable feedback and insights to help businesses improve their products and services. A strong client relationship can ultimately lead to long-term success and growth for businesses.
Mr. Haddad appreciates his clients’ support in rough times by saying, “Without our core clients’ support in the UAE, we would not be able to bridge the difficult times to the bright future ahead. We are extremely thankful for these Clients who know who they are and who believe that MACE is the only company for the job that we do and have done and these key clients are doing all in their power to assist us to get the job done.”
The engineering industry has been highly competitive for the last few decades, and staying ahead of competitors can be challenging. Companies must constantly innovate and develop new technologies to remain relevant and meet changing customer needs. Additionally, they must be responsive to market trends, regulatory changes, and shifting global economic conditions.
Mr. Haddad says, “The most crucial point today in the engineering field, especially in the UAE, being a front runner and leader in the sourcing of and implementation of new environmental health and sustainability techniques is to keep up with these new advances and ensure MACE is always one step ahead. Sustainability – water and new and alternative energy sources will always be the core areas one must focus on. The new generation is so vested in these areas so they must honour what they bring to the table on this front.”
Adapting and Thriving: Leadership Strategies in Times of Crises
Covid had a significant impact on our industry in many aspects. Though there is now an upturn in project requirements, contracting and contractors are still facing a shortage of work as well as an increase in the cost of materials and services of specialized suppliers. It is in times like this where a company like MACE is able to reap the benefits for the good honest work provided when ‘Times were good.’
In cases like the past three years, where the world entered into and still is in a transitional period, with covid and its impact, the Ukraine war, and many other destabilizing factors that certain generations have never witnessed, the management has to weigh a company’s chances for survival and quantify the cost of the fight. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to take things slow and not spend more money on things like new equipment or hiring more people. The people in charge have a big job to make sure the company can keep going without spending too much.
Mr. Haddad’s advice for aspiring young people to succeed in Life
“After being in business for almost sixty years, I found out that LUCK is not a good measure of success. Knowledge and experience, coupled with judgement, can be trusted unless you want to be a POKER PLAYER. Being in a service-oriented industry, the most important trait for success is loving what you do and doing it with a pure heart for the good of the people. The true measure of a man is not who he is and how he treats others when times are good but who he is when times are difficult. I hope and trust that these traits have served MACE through the good and the bad times.”
MACE, under the visionary leadership of Mr. Haddad, is poised to continue its trajectory of excellence in the infrastructure industry. Rooted in a deep commitment to service humanity and build a sustainable future, MACE has thrived for over five decades, consistently setting benchmarks for quality in construction and infrastructure development. The company’s resilience and adaptability, demonstrated notably during challenging times such as the recent global crises, showcase its ability to navigate uncertainties with strategic acumen. As the company embraces new technologies, environmental initiatives, and leadership strategies, MACE is well-positioned to not only meet but exceed the evolving demands of the engineering field. With a versatile and skilled team, a commitment to sustainability, and a legacy of client trust, MACE is poised to continue its legacy of building a better future for communities and contributing to the advancement of the infrastructure sector.