Meet Hiam! Our Head of Business Development has a rich and varied career that has seen her take up roles in education, training, technology, the oil and gas industry, and now business development. Passionate about making a difference and adding genuine value to the industry through the projects that we deliver, Hiam’s knowledge and insight have played a vital role in our continued growth across the MENA region since she joined the team in 2021. Through her direction and drive, we have achieved several key milestones and developed lasting collaborative relationships with local operators and suppliers.
> What attracted you to join 3t Transform?
3t Transform and its profile was growing in the Middle East before I joined the company so although new to the market, the role very much suited my experience and IT, technology and engineering sector knowledge.
The technology that 3t Transform provides and works with was also a huge draw for me. At the time of joining, 3t Transform had begun to utilise cutting-edge VR technology and the chance to learn and work with more advanced technology was incredibly appealing.
The opportunity to join 3t Energy Group and its portfolio of businesses was really attractive – to be part of a forward-thinking, innovative organisation and work with like-minded professionals who shared similar expertise, interests, and backgrounds was appealing on a personal and professional level. I knew that there was so much I could learn from the senior team, and equally, there was plenty I could contribute and pass on to others.
Between the technology on offer, the team, and the opportunity to be part of something new and exciting in the region, using my experience to help reach targets and build its profile, joining 3t Transform seemed like an interesting and worthwhile career journey for me – and I’ve been proven right so far!
> Can you tell us a bit about your career history and how it has contributed to the progression into your current position?
My passion for learning and development traces back to my role as an instructor at two Syrian universities before I entered the oil and gas industry. Here, I witnessed the difference that training can make. Since then, this has been consistent throughout my career, becoming a passion that has led me to 3t Transform.
Studying IT engineering in Syria, I secured a job at a gas factory, completing a full year’s induction training programme via Petrofac’s local training centre to gain insight and familiarity with the oil and gas industry. Upon completion, I remained at the training facility in a new role as Instrumentation Trainer for Petrofac, where I worked for two years before moving to the UAE following the war in Syria.
I continued to work with Petrofac but moved into business development, working as part of the global business development team for the training business entity. I developed my BD and sales skills on a global level and following Petrofac’s acquisition of Software Systems I was selected to look after the technology business, which included software, compliance, competence, eLearning, and technology. I worked as Project Manager, then Account Manager, and then as the representative for Business Development.
In January 2021, I moved to 3t Transform. My background in the oil and gas industry and my experience in training and then Business Development have contributed massively to my role at 3t Transform. The connections and relationships I developed, and my knowledge of the oil and gas industry, allowed me to comfortably promote the solutions we offer whilst understanding the technology. Thanks to my IT and software background, I can act as a bridge between the business users and the technical team, speaking the language of both and allowing me to guide projects and develop relationships.
> You have quite an extensive career in business development, where do you hope to see 3t Transform grow in the MENA region across the next 3-5 years?
My aim is to continue to invigorate training solutions, impassion the workforce about training, and helping raise standards across the region. When an organisation implements a 3t Transform solution, I want the workforce to get excited about the technology and experiences we provide.
The goal is that service providers, drilling contractors, and operators in the MENA region are all using our solutions or at least aware of 3t Transform and our capabilities. I want to help play a vital role in strengthening relationships with these contractors and operators. I joined to be part of 3t Transform’s exciting journey, and the progress this far has been incredible. I want that to continue and reach new heights.
For me, the key is to work on valuable projects that make a lasting impact on the industry. With plenty of these kinds of projects in the pipeline, the next few years are going to be incredibly exciting.
> From experience, how important is innovation and challenging traditional norms/methods for businesses and industries to develop?
Innovation is essential and at the core of everything 3t Energy Group does. With changing goals and higher standards for employee safety, training and development, and providing a safe working environment, innovation and the latest technologies are crucial to achieving these goals.
The tools available at our disposal are pivotal in helping organisations excel and provide the workforce with the knowledge, confidence, and understanding to complete their jobs. Having personnel training in fully immersive VR environments allows clients to replicate different scenarios and incidents, allowing the workforce to make, and then learn from mistakes, informing them of the right way to respond and eradicating these same mistakes in the field. Without the training, these mistakes will be costly in real-life environments, and the experience needed to understand how to respond can take years to accumulate. Our programmes can eradicate that whilst properly preparing personnel.
Technology and innovation are also crucial to futureproof the industry by attracting and engaging with the next generation of personnel, allowing them to immerse themselves in high-risk assets that they wouldn’t yet have access to. An effective induction programme, our technology provides a prerequisite for young people before going offshore, offering a modern and more engaging way of learning rather than being bound to classrooms for the entire training process. Our technology meets young people on their terms, delivering training to get them excited about entering the industry.
> Since joining the Group, what have been the biggest developments in the MENA region and how has this impacted the industry? How has 3t Transform worked to address these developments?
There has definitely been an increase in activity, particularly for drilling operators with new rigs in development. This has resulted in the industry needing new hires and training requirements.
Our training compliance software has played a crucial role in this recruitment drive by addressing and evaluating the skills and knowledge gaps of the incoming workforce, and where they fit into the workplace.
The software has also been crucial in re-skilling, where we witness people moving between industries, meaning they may require a different set of skills than what they currently possess. Having this software in place has helped many of our clients move people between roles and respective responsibilities. On top of this, because we work with academic institutions, the increase in activity requires the latest technology and content integrated into training curriculums.
We need to respond to new requests and activities as quickly as possible. Thanks to the team, including the establishment of a new branch in Saudi to meet local demand, we can work on multiple projects at any one time, utilising our positive relationships with local operators and contractors to deliver projects.
Hiam Saad, Head of Business Development – MENA