Meshal Alnaqbi: A Financial Maestro

Meshal Alnaqbi: A Financial Maestro
Meshal Alnaqbi: A Financial Maestro

Empowering Organizations through Sound Financial Management!

Success often means achieving the things you want in life, whatever they may be. In other cases, progress, accomplishments, or advancement might be more appropriate terms to characterize success. It is not certainly an endpoint, but rather a journey that allows you to develop the abilities and assets needed to succeed.

“Success is not just about achieving your goals; it’s about how you handle the challenges along the way,” says Meshal Alnaqbi, CFO of Ducab Group, sharing his journey to leadership.

With more than 20 years of experience, he is a key player in financial innovation and making important decisions that help prestigious companies in the region succeed financially.

Meshal’s rise to the top ranks of finance began with a strong foundation in accounting and finance from the American University of Sharjah. His enduring pursuit of perfection drove him to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in 2005, showing his commitment to growing professionally.

In the course of his entire career, he has served in various senior roles at notable companies. Through all of this, he gained a thorough knowledge of financial management, strategic planning, and risk assessment. His stint as Group CFO at Ducab showcases his ability to negotiate through difficult financial circumstances with ease.

Meshal’s belief in lifelong learning is demonstrated by his pursuit of an Executive MBA from Cass Business School and completion of the Essentials of Leadership program at London Business School. Such dedication exhibits his willingness for personal and professional development.

Below are the interview highlights:

Could you please elaborate on yourself?

Meshal Alnaqbi, CPA, has a diverse educational history. In 1998, he began his undergraduate studies at the American University of Sharjah, where he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) from the same institution in 2002.

In 2005, Meshal Alnaqbi traveled to New Hampshire, United States of America, to further his education in accounting. During that time, he acquired the certification of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Meshal Alnaqbi showed a continued commitment to education and professional development, as he pursued an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree with a field of study in General Management at Cass Business School from 2010 to 2012. Moreover, he completed the Essentials of Leadership program at London Business School in 2015, focusing on organizational leadership.

What are the performance indicators of 2023 compared to 2022 in terms of sales and profit growth?

Ducab Group, one of the largest end-to-end energy solutions providers and manufacturing firms in the UAE, closed the year 2023 with exceptional achievements, in line with the UAE’s development vision. Ducab’s year-on-year growth strengthened its position regionally as well as globally as a leading manufacturing facility. This growth falls in line with the objectives of “Operation 300bn,” the UAE’s industrial strategy, which aims to raise the GDP contribution of the industrial sector from AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion by 2031.

The Group’s EBITDA performance also increased by 117% against the 2022 figures.

Also, Ducab produced more than 100,000 metric tons of copper equivalent and cables, a groundbreaking achievement for the company.

How was Ducab able to overcome the challenges of rising prices of raw materials, especially copper and others for production, due to fluctuations in import markets in the recent period?

We have extensive experience in manufacturing and have witnessed market fluctuations over decades. We also understand that these changes are inevitable and impact all industries, therefore, companies need to learn to take them in stride. To overcome such challenges, we operate according to flexible and well-thought-out plans. Our network of quality partners and our strong strategic business relationships with various entities, which we have carefully nurtured over the past decades, help us achieve our targets.

Let me explain how we minimize costs and support the environment.

We have installed copper cable granulators that allow for 100% recovery of copper from cables for recycling. The Group has also instituted buy-back arrangements with customers for the reuse of metal and wooden drums, as well as cable scrap, to improve the circular economy.

How can the company achieve profits despite the increase in shipping prices?

The success of the Ducab Group is largely attributed to forging agile and market-specific strategies and adopting a clear approach to counter current and future challenges. These strategies usually cover all aspects of the Group’s operational activities and are tailored to the needs of the global market situation. We endeavor to provide services to our customers as per best global practices to meet their needs effectively. The freight cost has dropped by 39% from 2022 to 2023.

The Hot Metal Rod facility is one such example of a technique that significantly reduces carbon emissions and the costs associated with aluminum re-melting. This cost-effective and climate-friendly technique transfers liquid metal via an overhead crane to preheated crucibles and is a great way to optimize resource use and reduce waste. It connects the Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA) and Al Taweelah facilities with the Ducab factory in the Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD) through a dedicated road for transporting molten aluminum, the first-of-its-kind facility in the United Arab Emirates.

Ducab has been making continuous efforts for years to expand into international markets. What markets will the company enter for the first time in 2024?

Ducab is executing a carefully crafted business plan to achieve more success in 2024 by building on the Group’s achievements throughout its 44-year journey.

Investing in a product base aimed at serving various sectors is part of our strategy to be a global provider of energy solutions. We will continue to develop more products in the coming period and enhance our product line with the “Made-in-UAE” label on a global level.

We also plan to work on expanding our export footprint, now covering 55 countries across the Gulf, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Additionally, Ducab is focusing this year on new quality business opportunities and projects in Europe and America, in particular.

What are the sales of Ducab Group’s products currently within and outside the UAE, by product type?

Ducab currently has a presence in 55 markets around the world, with 60% of our products carrying the “Made-in-UAE” label. These products are characterized by high-quality and innovative manufacturing based on the best global practices to meet the needs of a cross-section of customers. This success is built on the company’s ambitious growth strategy to strengthen its current business and expand into various regions around the world.

Does Ducab Group intend to acquire new companies in 2024? Why not acquire companies outside the UAE to expand its presence globally?

Ducab Group always looks towards expansion and diversification as part of its carefully structured plans and strategies for the expansion, growth, and success of our businesses. We have some options under review for implementation in 2024, but these will be announced later, we are waiting for the right time.

When will Ducab enter Saudi, Gulf, or Arab markets in general?

Ducab Group is present in the GCC countries as part of key projects such as the Oman Duqm Refinery, Riyadh Metro, and many others. We consider the Gulf and the larger Arab region as crucial areas for expansion and see huge opportunities there for growth. These regions are among our top priorities.