Murat Giray graduated from Istanbul Technical University with a degree in civil engineering and a master’s in industrial engineering. He has 35 years of experience in managing construction and contracting companies, 14 of them with Saudi Arabian Baytur, starting with the incorporation of the company in Al Khobar in 2008.
What milestones has BAYTUR experienced since its establishment in the local market?
Murat Giray: Our company was founded in 2008, and we have been working with our Saudi and Turkish partners until 2016. One of the major milestones in the company’s timeline is when our Turkish partners transferred their shares to our Saudi partners. We became a 100% Saudi company in 2016 while maintaining the same company culture, management philosophy, and approach to the business. Then, under the patronage of His Excellency, the overall ongoing cultural reforms over the past five to six years are something that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world: this is another highlight that we are witnessing. We are reinventing our operations accordingly, as we are keen to support the programs implemented by Vision 2030.
How do you ensure the operational efficiency of Baytur’s activity?
Murat Giray: Operational efficiency has long been a key component of our corporate culture, which we work to both replicate and enhance; however, we have witnessed certain impacts on the economy and businesses, with the pandemic being a significant shock, particularly over the past year. Additionally, our company has occasionally had to think outside the box due to the current inflationary climate, in addition to prevailing global logistical challenges. Each business has its own efficiency goals and operational strategies for achieving them; however, some of them need to be redefined given the current labor and logistical problems. And because operational efficiency is a top priority in our company culture, we are working to adapt to it.
How is the concept of innovation applied to your daily operations?
Murat Giray: The bulk of the innovation we are attempting to implement in our company is focused on measuring efficiency and, if possible, finding better ways to measure and control innovation itself. Construction technologies are widely used; they are not developed on a daily basis, but they can be implemented because, while some innovations are currently on the ground, they are not easily implemented in mass constructions. We deal with standard contracts or non-repetitive construction projects the majority of the time. We are primarily interested in sophisticated, non-repetitive buildings. As a result, in our company, we are primarily attempting to implement innovation in our efficiency descriptions, as well as in our control and measurement activities.
What is Baytur’s involvement in the giga-projects currently blooming in the Kingdom?
Murat Giray: Baytur is one of the first companies to have completed a project to date, namely the NEOM Bay Airport, which is currently in use. It was conceived in 2019 and completed within four months. There was a vacant airstrip there, and we upgraded it to become an ICAO-approved CAT 1 airport with all the features of an international airport with a terminal structure, including an airfield, lighting, and air navigation equipment. The project is quite ambitious, and we want to continue working toward our goal of participating in it and maintaining our presence there. Along with a few other contractors, we have already signed a deal with NEOM for the piling works. We want to be a part of NEOM until the end and are proud to have been a part of it from the beginning.
How is the Jabal Omar Project advancing, and what is its importance?
Murat Giray: Jabal Omar is undoubtedly one of the major investments and among the greatest locations for Haram. We take great pride in having constructed there. We refer to this as phase two, which consists of four hotel buildings with 1,402 rooms total. The project’s total area is 200,000sqm. This iconic project symbolizes the magnitude of both ongoing and future projects that are reshaping the Kingdom. In my nearly 35 years of expertise, the number of tenders and projects to which we have been invited or involved over the past two years has been unparalleled, demonstrating the sheer dynamism of the Saudi vision.