Abie Musa

Please share a brief on your company and product portfolio.

MVL is a defense contractor in the US Federal industry with active projects in the Middle East, the GCC, Europe, Asia, and the United States. MVL’s core business is construction having been awarded over $2.5 billion in projects in our territories, including the ceiling values of the long term contracts.

What are the challenges you foresee for your sector in 2023 and how is your brand planning to overcome them?

The industry we work in is being impinged upon by a myriad of forces, not least of which are the inflationary macroeconomic environment that we are living in due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the enormous appetite for construction in Saudi. Hence, the challenges in our sector are how to overcome the rising costs of manpower, materials, and energy costs. Aside from costs, labour shortage is a challenge that causes MVL to be selective during our bidding stage about which projects to bid. There is seldom a country we work in where the labour pool is from that country, and hence labour becomes a logistical issue, causing us to consider cross-cultural elements of recruiting the right people with the right capabilities in an over diversified working environment.

With Dubai hosting COP28 this year, how is your company hoping to contribute to the nation’s climate sustainability and carbon footprint goals?

The terms “bold” and “ambitious” are words used to describe the drive that COP 28 intends to forge ahead with which is of course in line with the vision the leaders of the UAE continue to unveil over the years. Rightfully so, as the UAE is at the forefront on initiatives in favour of the environment and holding the torch for the middle east on issues of sustainability. In the construction business, MVL is at the final process wherein specialised US government specifications are already generated as the result of engineering and design that consider environmental sustainability as a priority. Hence, MVL will do our part in ensuring we are the catalyst that materialises the various design protocols that adhere to climate sustainability and carbon footprint goals.

Satisfied staff equals satisfied customers. Would you believe in this phrase and if yes, how do you plan to carry this narrative forward through your teams?

Like most companies, MVL endeavours to create a happy working environment for our team. Over 90% of our employees who have started working with MVL are still with us. We provide a flexible work schedule, and office optional half day Friday, longevity reward programme, and plenty of social gatherings that encourages and maintains a close knit team who give the company most of their day. We are thrilled about employees that have built their homes, put their children through college, or have travelled the world. Does that translate into client satisfaction? Perhaps consequently, but that is not the aim of our focus on providing a happy work environment.

What are your company’s expansion plans over the next 5-year term?

MVL is just now in the midst of an expansion that has seen our company emerge from Afghanistan into the GCC, Europe, the Indian Ocean, Nepal, Japan, and the United States. Our expansion plans now include settling into these new markets and focus on refining our craft therein and increasing our backlog. With the increased silos of work in each of the new territories, MVL is now treating the offices in each of those territories with the elements that make up our formula for success, albeit customizing for the varied local cultural and legal requirements.

As a corporate CEO, what is the mantra you follow while leading your teams through failure and success?

MVL stands for Macro Vantage, which translates into having a broad viewpoint, or big picture. Our company’s vision is to be become a world class US Government contractor and thus far we are pressing all the right buttons on the way to realizing that vision. In view of that, I would say that the mantra that MVL’s leadership has continued to chant is “to win.” Winning to us means keeping the big picture in view, and transcending issues of right and wrong that get us nowhere. Winning to MVL means staying the course, and it means internalising any failures as opportunities to learn and overcome and excel at our craft