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A look into Transguard Group’s record breaking 2019


With AED 1.6 billion in secured contracts, more than 1 million hours in staff training and earning a number of major awards, 2019 was a year of record-breaking expansion and growth against a landscape of challenging economic circumstances for Transguard Group.

“While this was a terrific year for us, I do not believe it was a coincidence that 2019 was also our self-proclaimed year of the customer,” explained Greg Ward, Managing Director. “While customer centricity has always been at the heart of how we operate, this year we took a closer look at what it means to focus on our customers, which was followed by taking solid steps to ensure that every member of the Transguard team, at every level of the business, understood how to think and act along the lines of customer satisfaction. This has had a ripple effect on not only how we do business, but who we do business with; as our 2019 results show, we’re continuing our upward trajectory.”

Successes in Security
“Our Security division made major in-roads not only with major malls in the UAE, but also with large tourist attractions and with several embassies, including both of the British embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” said Tim Mundell, Chief Security Officer.

Transguard’s security team was also out in force at many of the year’s major events, including the recent Race to Dubai and the Emirates Airlines Rugby 7s, among others. Launched a year ago, Transguard’s Executive Protection division tripled its reach in 2019 and added a number of high net worth individuals, A-list Hollywood celebrities and international fashion designers to its roster of clients. “Our K9 division also experienced impressive growth this year due to new contracts with several major international airlines and freight carriers; this division was also showcased during September’s AVSEC exhibition, which brought international attention to our world-class Explosive Detection Dogs,” Mundell continued.

The completion of Transguard’s state-of-the-art control room was another highlight for the company’s Security division: The technical build of this command centre involved bringing together the world’s most cutting-edge technology, including secure data centres, security information management, digital information display and physical access control systems; each aspect of this technology offers its own blend of cutting-edge innovation, delivery excellence and product quality.

Photo: Transguard Group 2019 Milestone

Facilities Management Division Sets the Standard for Service
Property Management, a new service line from Transguard’s Facilities Management division, helped to expand the reach of Transguard Group into new areas, while its consumer division, Transguard Living, doubled its size and expanded its service offering into Abu Dhabi. “A year after expanding into the Northern Emirates with an office in Ras Al Khaimah, Transguard Living has deepened its core offerings with a revitalized approach to its Move service and a new team of highly trained technicians,” said Stephen Beesley, Chief Operations Officer. “We were also gratified to see our new division, Property Management, honoured with its first award – Property Management Company of the Year – which is quite the accomplishment considering that 2019 was the first year of its operation. We look forward to continuing to grow the market in this division in 2020.”

Manpower Grows from Strength to Strength
The Hospitality division of Transguard Group experienced global gains at the end of 2019 with the signing of a framework agreement with a major international hotel chain: “Our experienced Hospitality team is already supporting 60 five-star hotels across the UAE, so we consider our presence within an internationally known hotel brand as further recognition of the high standard of our training and excellent performance record,” said Alex MacDonald, Senior Director – Manpower and Mobilisation. “We’ve experienced 50% growth with hotels this year; to put this in perspective, teams are responsible for cleaning 73,000 kitchens and 5 million hotel rooms, which offers a glimpse at the size of our footprint in the UAE.”

Workforce Solutions, the white collar staffing unit of Transguard Group, launched its Executive Search division in the first half of 2019, and counts several globally renowned companies as clients, including a major cosmetics and skin care label.

Transguard also began an innovative partnership with one of the UAE’s most prominent airline to provide chauffeur services to its Business Class passengers.

Continuing Employee Development
Underscoring its ongoing commitment to nurture its future success from within, Transguard Group announced in June that nearly 90% of its internal promotions during the 2018-2019 financial year were awarded to employees who completed training at the company’s Centre of Excellence (COE). Of the 2,436 employees who were promoted, more than 2,100 completed either job-specific or English-enhancement training at the 38,000 square foot Dubai Investments Park facility.

“Over the course of the last financial year, an impressive 55% of all open positions were filled by internal staff members who were qualified for and promoted into new roles,” explained Catherine Masters, Senior Director – Aviation and Centre of Excellence. “This is particularly exciting because our people are our strength; when we give them opportunities to expand their skills we’re growing the future of the business, and the COE is an integral part of this process.” When it was established in 2017, the COE set a target of completing 1 million training hours by 2020; to date, the COE has far outstripped with goal, and completed more than 1.4 million hours of training by November 2019.

To further underscore the company’s efforts toward employee upskilling, in late 2019 Transguard launched its new Career Development Department, which is specifically dedicated to working with current employees: “Our new Career Development Department was established to give every employee an equal opportunity to have a firm footing on the career ladder,” explained Natalie Divers, Senior Director – Legal and Human Resources. “The process starts with a year of service and a clean HR record; from there, we help guide the employee toward the training and additional skills he or she will need to progress to the next level. We’re also connecting them with other employees who have made similar advances in their own careers, which drives home the message that progression truly is possible within Transguard.”

Welfare Initiatives Gain Momentum
Transguard’s residential facilities received a number of upgrades over the last 12 months, including the addition of three “T-Mart” convenience stores, with three more in the pipeline for 2020. Unlimited in-room wifi has also been implemented in a number of Transguard’s accommodations, including the newly opened Jebel Ali 7: At seven stories tall, this massive residential building is capable of housing 10,000 residents, making it the largest of its kind in Dubai.

This year also marked the launch of Taste of Home, Transguard’s own catering company, which was developed out of the desire to produce quality food at an affordable price for site-based employees. Officially opening at the end of December, Taste of Home is capable of producing 100,000 meals per day out of its kitchens in Dubai Investment Park.

Editor’s note: More information about Jebel Ali 7 and Taste of Home will be released in the coming weeks

Finally, with nearly 3,800 recreational activities taking place in Transguard’s accommodations, including the “TG Olympics” and Transguard Carnival (with the most recent of which welcoming a record 5,000 attendees), keeping our site-based employees happy and engaged at work and at home continued to be a driving force for our CSR team. “You will often hear a Transguard employee say, ‘Work hard, play hard,’ because that’s truly our mentality,” said Lena ter Laare, Director – CSR & Marketing. “At every level of the company we encourage our employees to invest just as much in their leisure time as they do in their working hours because we appreciate the value of balance. This helps foster an incredibly positive environment that also encourages team work and creative thinking.”

A Mindful Approach to the Environment
Efficiencies in Transguard’s approach to energy and water consumption also led to exceptional savings, with the company recording a 14% reduction in year-on-year utility costs. In addition, the installation of more than 1,200 solar panels are expected to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by nearly 500 metric tons.

In May 2018, a paperless initiative began in Transguard’s headquarters, including the elimination of paper invoices to clients. To date, the company has saved 1.5 million sheets of paper; this equates to nearly AED 100,000 in savings in ink and paper.

A Year of Accolades
Last, but certainly not least, 2019 was a memorable year for accolades, with Transguard Group receiving a number of impressive national, business and industry-specific awards including the Property Management Company of the Year at the Construction Innovation Awards 2019.

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