UAE's e& enterprise plans more acquisitions to boost portfolio, CEO says

UAE's e& enterprise plans more acquisitions to boost portfolio, CEO says

Strategy of buying companies in the digital transformation space has helped the company to grow organically and inorganically, Salvador Anglada says

Abu Dhabi's e& enterprise, a subsidiary of technology and telecoms company e&, plans to continue acquiring companies as it broadens its portfolio in the highly competitive digital transformation space, its chief executive has said.

The unit of the technology conglomerate formerly known as Etisalat Group, however, is selective and is not in a hurry to forge mergers or acquisitions. The success of its strategy over the past years has enabled it to grow both organically and inorganically, Salvador Anglada told The National in an interview.

“We have a good track record of acquisitions in the past three years. We were able to acquire very, very interesting companies that we are integrating in our ecosystem,” he said on the sidelines of the Gitex Global technology conference in Dubai on Tuesday.

The company has a strong funding profile and does not require additional financing to fund its growth, Mr Anglada said.

“And this is going to continue for sure. You will see additional acquisitions in the coming quarters because there are areas that we need to improve in the capabilities that we have.”

An initial public offering, however, is not part of e& enterprise’s growth plans at the moment, Mr Anglada said.

Though the company would be ready in “whatever number of years” required for a listing, he said, taking into consideration market conditions and investor appetite.

“The IPO space is something that we have not been even talking about. But we could be ready eventually,” he said.

Industries across the broad spectrum of economies are going through a major transformation with the advent of new technology, prompting adaptation of innovative technologies to streamline and optimise their operations in order to expand consumer bases and add new revenue lines amid intensifying competition.

Digital solutions backed by robust infrastructure and consulting expertise have helped companies and users navigate through an end-to-end digital transformation journey.

The growth in providing essential digital services has been a key driver in e& enterprise's aggressive expansion.

Among its most recent acquisitions are a majority stake in Dubai-based peer-to-peer lending platform Beehive and a 65 per cent stake in Bespin Global MEA, created as a joint venture company with South Korea's Bespin Global.

The moves have allowed e& enterprise to expand its portfolio, both locally and overseas, and reach out to more sectors that in turn gives it access to wider consumer and enterprise bases.

Digital transformation is also an enormous opportunity for both economies and businesses that provide related services.

The global digital transformation market is projected to surpass $7 trillion by 2032, from an estimated $752 billion in 2022, growing at a compound annual rate of more than a quarter, the latest data from Precedence Research shows.

“Technology will be the differentiating factor. Companies will compete based on how they adopt digital technology and that will be a competitive advantage. The ones that are not doing that won't be able to succeed,” Mr Anglada said.

Data and artificial intelligence, the latter of which has evolved into a more powerful iteration with the advent of generative AI, are currently critical factors set for a “big expansion” in the future, he said.

However, the biggest challenge is the adoption of these technologies, including the reskilling of people and their attitudes on how to accept changes, Mr Anglada said.

“You need to implement technologies and you need to change the way that companies are working, the people are working,” he said.

“People cannot be worried about what technologies can do, but how they need to embrace them.”