Mon, 25 January 2021
We chat with VKL Holdings and Al Namal Group Chairman, Dr. Varghese Kurian and Executive Director, Jeeben Varghese Kurian
Armed with a degree in Civil Engineering and experience working in the family construction business, Dr Varghese arrived in Bahrain in 1986. “I was fortunate enough to foresee the potential boom of development on the island,” he says. “In the ‘90s, I quickly equipped myself to ride the wave of progress and fulfill my vision of a prosperous and flourishing Kingdom.”
To his newly minted construction company, he added diligent work ethics and conscientious business practices, resulting in rapid growth and an established customer base. “In time, we were able to add multiple companies in related business streams to our portfolio and today, we are a well-diversified conglomerate,” says the seasoned businessman.
Over the years, the Al Namal Group of Companies has established itself as one of the largest construction companies in the Kingdom of Bahrain with a range of related in-house facilities that enable the execution of largescale and prestigious turnkey projects. The VKL Group of Companies has further diversified into investing, developing and promoting real estate, dredging, hospitality, trading and medical care sectors.
Dr Varghese attributes it to an excellent team of detail-oriented, honest professionals who are dedicated to the vision of the organisation for sustainable growth, and who carry an engrained sense of utmost humility in perseverance. He says: “Our organisation is ever growing and has currently reached the size of a 3,000-strong staff, and we continue to add skilled talent across the organisation regularly.”
The conglomerate ventured into the healthcare industry in 2014 under the umbrella of the Middle East Healthcare Group with a vision to create an ecosystem that would bring transformation from the traditional ‘sickness and cure’ model to ‘preventable wellness care’. “Since our first multispecialty medical centre in Hidd, we have steadily expanded across the Kingdom, with two more medical centres and an 85-bed multi-speciality hospital,” says Mr Jeeban Varghese Kurian.
“Our healthcare venture is backed by state-of-the-art diagnostic services (open MRI, CT Scan), operation theatres, and 24x7 emergency department and ambulance services. The goal is to provide cost-effective, high-quality medical care which embraces the highest standards of excellence in healthcare,” he adds.
Besides strategically planning to expand its reach to Riffa and Budaiya, the company is working on introducing a nephrology and dialysis unit, oncology and palliative care, and the Diabetes Center of Excellence to address the prevalence of non-communicable diseases prevalent in Bahrain.
Al Namal’s medical subsidiary has stood in solidarity with Bahrain in its fight against Covid-19, extending its whole-hearted support to the untiring efforts of HRH Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health and the NHRA to combat the pandemic. Dr Varghese elaborates: “Eight of our buildings in Hidd, comprising 253 rooms, have been handed over to the MOH for use as quarantine centres. Our 4-star hotel property, comprising 164 rooms, has been utilised for symptomatic positive cases. Our private Quarantine Centre for asymptomatic positive cases has treated more than 3000 patients. For 10 months, 30 beds at Middle East Hospital were solely dedicated to elderly care cases that were referred from the Salmaniya Medical Complex and Muharraq Geriatric Hospital. We have conducted over 40,000 elective Covid Tests across the island.”
Looking ahead, businesswise, Dr Varghese says: “I am very optimistic that the Kingdom of Bahrain will bounce back stronger than ever to reach new heights of economic prosperity in the foreseeable future.”
He believes hard work and commitment to be the key to his success, and reminds young entrepreneurs that: “Hard work has no substitute. You must work with sincerity and dedication. Focus on your goals and never give up until you achieve them.”