From the Bahrain race tracks to the halls of government, Yateem Air Conditioning’s CEO Joseph Moussa says knowing people is key to a successful business. For Yateem Air Conditioning, retaining a lead position in the industry is not only down to first-class equipment and service, but also about knowing and being known in the community. “My hobby is cars and racing, so I race and I’m involved with the Bahrain race circuit. When I am seen over there, more people get to know me. You have to be present in the market.
“You have to be present among different kinds of people. You have to be close to the consultants, and you have to be close to the people; they should know that when they ask for you, you are there,” explains Joseph, who has been with Yateem Air Conditioning for more than 40 years.
Joseph counts government officials among the company’s many clients, some of whom have called him at the last minute to request air-conditioning support services when VIP visitors come calling, for example. “They say, ‘I’m having VIP visitors this evening. It’s Ramadan night; can you please send some people?’ And I immediately instruct my employee to visit that address,” recounts Joseph.
He says during his time in the air-conditioning industry, he has helped install systems for customers whose children in turn later become customers too. “Because I’ve been here for more than 40 years, I have people who come with their children, or grandchildren, and say, ‘You did my house, I was very happy. This is my son, we want you to do the air conditioning at his house.’”
Joseph says it is important that the company is involved in the local community, whether it is through membership of a sports team or a community group, as it gets the company’s name known to a wider audience. “We have a cricket team; we have a football team. They go and spread the word in society as well as enjoy themselves. They don’t just work hard, but also play hard,” he says.
Joseph insists on personally overseeing the details of his projects at Yateem Air Conditioning. “I get involved with every single system design and then with testing it. You have to ensure from the beginning that everything is done properly, that it’s technically correct and, based on our experience, we usually come up with the best solutions,” he adds.
Adherence to quality products and services is essential, says Joseph, especially given the geography of Bahrain. “We are a small island nation. Reputation is very important,” he says. “Ethics and honesty are paramount. If you do something wrong, people will find out the next day. Likewise, if you do something right; everybody will know about it. On a small island, people talk, and they communicate faster than in big cities and countries.”
According to Joseph, the way Yateem Air Conditioning has retained its stellar reputation is through the selection of high-quality equipment, sourced by order from well-known companies like Carrier, Siemens and Systemair.
“Our aim is to deliver the best air-conditioning system, with high energy savings, and the best indoor air quality and comfort,” he says, adding that dust is a constant challenge in Bahrain. Whether it is an air-conditioning system for a major construction project or for a small villa, Joseph assures the company is dedicated to providing the best equipment, service and design, and Yateem Air Conditioning’s longevity in the industry shows it is achieving these goals. “We want to be the best as judged by our clients. We want to render the best service, and we know how to do it.”
“We want to render the best service, and we know how to do it.”
There are new big projects coming up in Bahrain and the company is already preparing to be part of these going forward. Joseph says its future growth will depend on its share of these new developments, adding he believes it will be considerable, predicting 10% per year for the next five years. The projects range from big developments including residential and commercial schemes, hospitals, clinics and hotels to the replacement market of the old units the company has installed over the years.
Joseph says ensuring that the right people receive the right training and are in the right roles in order to fulfil these projects, is one of the biggest hurdles the company faces. “The challenge is to make sure we find the right people to add to the staff we already have, and for them to be trained on time and to cater for these projects that we will book and execute.
“Because, in Bahrain, we lack the people; we don’t have enough of a technical labour force. We have a percentage of Bahraini technicians, but we have to hire a lot from outside the country,” he explains. But Yateem Air Conditioning appears to have every aspect of the business under control and, with years of experience behind him, Joseph continues to stay a step ahead of his competitors.