Ali Bin Ali Group Steps Forward To Support Kerala Flood Victims

The Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Group, recently strengthened its longstanding tradition of being an active corporate partner of the global community. Following the devastating floods that affected the Southern Indian State of Kerala, the Group stepped forward to assist in recovery and rehabilitation efforts by handing over a contribution of QAR 50,770 to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. The effort was coordinated as an extension of ABA’s Corporate Social Responsibility mandate, which seeks to participate in community initiatives that bring about meaningful change.  

In order to assist the State of Kerala the Ali Bin Ali Group organized a week-long campaign to collect donations for victims of the catastrophe. ABA Group’s management and employees of all divisions of the conglomerate came together to raise funds that were specifically designated towards flood relief and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the natural calamity.


At a special gathering held on September 27, 2018, in the presence of senior managers of ABA Group, General Manager – Finance Mr. Ganesh P.K. handed over the cheque to Mr. K.M.Varghese, The President of the Indian Embassy in Qatar. The event was also attended by The General Secretary of the Indian Embassy Mr. Juttas Paul.  


Speaking on behalf of the ABA Group Mr. Ganesh addressed those present, saying “The State of Kerala recently suffered the worst floods in nearly a century following an unusually heavy rainfall, resulting in deaths, large-scale evacuation and massive destruction of property. Ali Bin Ali Group family wishes to express our deepest empathy for all the people affected by this calamity. As a responsible corporate house, many of whose employees are from the flood-hit state, Ali Bin Ali Group is committed to supporting Kerala and its people.” 


Responding to ABA’s generosity of spirit and lauding the ABA initiative, Mr. K.M Varghese said: “We are very happy with the contribution made by Ali Bin Ali Group with regard to Kerala flood relief efforts”.  Mr. Varghese discussed the current situation in Kerala and stressed that the Indian Embassy in Qatar really appreciated the fact that so many helping hands have been extended during such a critical time.


It was the initiative of the ABA staff that made it possible to coordinate between so many divisions of the Group and make the campaign successful. We would like to thank each and every member of the ABA family for their generous contribution and firm support for the drive.


ABA International Travel & Tourism awarded ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Certification

In yet another honor for Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding, Ali Bin Ali International Travel & Tourism was awarded the ISO 9001:2015 certification, an internationally recognized standard that ensures that ABA Travel services meet the needs of clients through an effective quality management system. 


ABA’s Travel Division was awarded the prestigious certification by Trans Continental Certification Pvt. Ltd, accredited by United Accreditation Foundation (UAF), USA. The well-earned honor was based on a detailed audit of quality management systems, process and procedures.


The ISO certification was awarded after inspecting and testing ABA Travel’s travel management system and operations, from customer enquiry to product and service delivery, on various parameters and specifications.


On September 26, 2018, at a small event organized at the ABA Travel main office in Al Sadd, the certificate was handed over to ABA International Travel & Tourism General Manager Mr. Saeed Al Hajri. Also present at the event was Mr. Chandana De’Silva, Mr. Henry George, Mr. Azhar Baksh, Mr. Suneth Peiris and Mr. Ahmad Yusoof. 


Reacting to the recognition, Mr. Al Hajri said: “Ali Bin Ali International Travel & Tourism is proud to have been awarded the ISO 9001 certification. Our decision to work towards ISO 9001:2015 accreditation demonstrates our commitment to providing high-quality and consistent service to our clients and our ongoing investment in technology, development and processes and procedures. 

“We can proudly state that our successful certification is testament to the positive engagement of colleagues at all levels, and demonstrates a clear desire as one team to embrace the standard as a fundamental element of our growth and customer focus strategy. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks for your continued commitment and loyalty.”


ABA Management Academy launched in collaboration with Harvard Business Publishing

With the aim of heightening the competence and enhancing the skills set of Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Group’s future leaders, the Group Human Resources team has launched the ABA Management Academy in collaboration with Harvard Business Publishing. 


On September 18, 2018, the participants nominated to the academy, together with the ABA General Manager community, were invited to the launch of the ABA Management Academy at Al Mayass restaurant, The Pearl-Qatar. 


Introducing the event, ABA HR Group Learning and Development Lead Ms. Eleni Ntoulaveri said: “This program is the result of our extensive previous experience and it is specifically designed to address the development needs of our growing management community.  We partnered with Harvard Business Publishing to create a bespoke development solution, which will be a great asset and a real gem in our HR solutions portfolio.”


ABA Group HR took this opportunity not only to announce the launch of the training initiative, but also demonstrate the functionality of the Harvard online learning tool – Harvard Manage Mentor – and share its vision for future training initiatives.


Mr. Stefaan Van Waes, who is heading the Middle East Region for Harvard Publishing Corporate Learning, was invited to host this face-to-face launch session for Ali Bin Ali on the premises of Al Mayas restaurant at The Pearl-Qatar. He presented the Harvard Manage Mentor and Spark tools and addressed queries from the participants.


This event set the tone for the training agenda of ABA for the next period. Training initiatives will address the operational needs of the divisions, and at the same time foster and promote the growth of the Group’s talent pool. 



ABA Travels celebrates going live with FORWARD application

A special event was organized at the ABA Travels office on September 16, 2018 to celebrate the implementation of the FORWARD ERP application at the Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Travel division. Though it is the Finance and Procurement teams that are primarily involved in the project, it was a moment of pride for the entire family of ABA Travels.


Apart from the FORWARD and Travels Team members, those present on the occasion included GM Travel & Cargo Mr. Saeed Al-Hajri, FORWARD Project Sponsor Mr. Mohamad A. Ebrik, ABA Group Chief Financial Officer Mr. Iftekhar Ahmad, GM Human Resources Mr. Aldrine Fernandez, Group GM Finance Mr. Ganesh P.K, GM ABA IT Mr. Youssef Moussa, and Group Corporate Communications Manager Mr. Imad Hashim.


The informal gathering aimed at celebrating the hard work of the entire team and recognizing the heroes who left no stone unturned to make the transition process smooth.


Opening the event, Mr. Al-Hajri thanked the FORWARD Team and said: “Mr. Ebrik and his team have done a great job in introducing ERP and automating our financial operations. I wish the ABA Travels Finance Team all the best as they start working with this new application.”


Mr. Ebrik applauded the role the Travels Team played in the implementation and said: “We can bring in new systems any time but it’s the team that made it possible to get the latest technology. It is the effort of Team ABA Travels along with the team at the Head Office and the Project Team that made this implementation possible.”


The FORWARD Team also took the opportunity to recognize the heroes in the ABA Travels Team. While the entire team had a big role in the process, Azhar Baksh and Parag Karki went the extra mile. 


The ABA Travels Team also expressed their appreciation for the support they received and handed over gift vouchers to each member of the FORWARD Project Team.


Concluding the event, Mr. Iftekhar said: “It is the hard work of all the people involved that made this implementation possible. Despite ABA Travels’ tight schedule during the summer, the teams worked together to be on track. I look forward to the division closing the month much earlier.”


FORWARD e-HR Partner application goes live in KSA

Spreading its wings beyond Qatar, Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding’s FORWARD ERP project has gone live in two divisions of ABA Holding in KSA. FORWARD achieved this milestone on September 9, 2018 by branching out two e-HR partner modules – HR Core and Payroll – to Platinum Sands and Noon Al Momayaza. Both these divisions are part of the Company’s Luxury and Hospitality divisions, respectively.


The Go Live date for the Self-Service module of the same application will Go Live on October 1, 2018 after the completion of end-user training.


While the system will be centralized in Qatar, employees in KSA will be using the e-HR Partner employee self-service application and send in their leave and other requests through their accounts/profiles. Almost 200 staff members in KSA are now ready to use the FORWARD e-HR Partner application.


Similar to the transition phase of the e-HR Partner in Qatar, there will be a period of parallel run in KSA, too. As a step to cope with this change, the employees will continue with the traditional methods – running parallel to the new application. After a couple of months, the e-HR application will be completely functional and used by all KSA employees.


FORWARD’s journey in KSA started in September 2017 when the solution was agreed upon. Although done remotely, the FORWARD team – with support from the staff in

KSA – conducted a comprehensive collection of data sheets and security profiles. In April 2018, once all data were gathered, the Intrasoft team traveled to KSA for two weeks to conduct the User Acceptance Training (UAT).


The implementation process was not free of challenges mainly because of certain localizations imposed by KSA. To support them, the Oracle ERP upgrade was initiated by the FORWARD team in May 2018.


Another major hindrance was the prevailing political situation, which made mobility to and from KSA difficult. All communication, knowledge transfer and decisions had to be taken over Skype calls and emails, which sometimes slowed down processes.


However, the synergies between KSA staff & Team FORWARD ensured the team was able to rise above all odds and ABA’s e-HR Partner has successfully gone live at the first international location.


Speaking about the journey, Senior Manager ABA HR and FORWARD Functional Track Lead (FTL) Mr. Ajay Daniel John said: “The most challenging part of this implementation was definitely the physical distance. A lot of work had to be done virtually. This Go Live was only possible because of the constant communication and co-operation between the KSA staff, FORWARD team and the HR team in Qatar. We still have a long way to go in stabilizing the application, but it is a positive start and the parallel run period will help us identify and resolve issues, if any.”

FORWARD, ABA Holding’s most ambitious project is moving ahead slowly but steadily. It is gradually automating functions in all the divisions of the Company. The next few months will witness the ERP project Go Live in important divisions including International Agencies (IA), Prime Consumer Products (PCP) and Qcare.