Saudi retailer in nationalisation success
Jeddah, December 22, 2012
Al Azizia Panda United, a leading retail company in Saudi Arabia and a subsidiary of Savola Group, has succeeded in raising the rate of Saudization close to 39 per cent, said a senior official.
In addition to its ongoing efforts to provide job opportunities for Saudis, Al Azizia Panda has been ranked among the top five companies with the Best Work Environment in Kingdom’s commercial sector for the year 2011.
The group has 13,000 employees working in 140 branches of Panda and Hyper Panda around the Kingdom.
Commenting on the success, Dr Abdulraouf Mohammed Manna, the managing director of The Savola Group, said: "Al Azizia Panda has been recognized locally and internationally for its excellent work environment."
"At global level, in the same year, the company won a number of awards on the Asian continent in a contest held in Singapore, where Panda received the award for best human resources strategy compatible with the company's activity, and the award for excellence in training, in competition against major international companies," he remarked.
Mowafaq Mansour Jamal, the CEO of Al Azizia Panda United, said: "Since 2002, Al Azizia Panda has dedicated a significant amount of investment to Saudization, allocating a budget of SR10 million ($2.66 million) annually and another SR5 million a year for management training.
"In 2011, the company had hired 5,270 Saudis compared to 1,262 non-Saudi employees. For this year we have targeted the completion of 14 new branches in the Kingdom, which will provide 800 new jobs for young Saudis," he added.
According to him, last year, Al Azizia Panda conducted a field survey that included more than 90 per cent of its 11,000 employees, which revealed the strengths and weaknesses in the company’s communication with its employees.
Based on the results, the company has launched a number of programs and initiatives, most notably an employee assessment program to assess the fairness of the employee performance evaluation system, as well as to advance the training and development of the company.
In 2012, Al Azizia Panda established a new position with the title of Director of Culture and Communication in the Department of Human Resources, with responsibility for the institutional culture in the company and strengthening the work environment.
"In addition, the director is required to be aware of the hopes and aspirations of Al Azizia Panda employees and is responsible for supporting and developing internal communications in the company, including social networking which is used for internal communications," said the official.
Internal communications include the Panda Newsletter which is issued online by the Public Relations Department to inform and update and educate staff on key initiatives and the most important news within the company, he added.-TradeArabia News Service