A leading professional services firm in the Middle East has
revealed a policy to extend its footprint into emerging markets
spanning between the Arab world and China.

The Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAGorg) has opened an
office in Istanbul, Turkey, in addition to recently opened offices
in Moscow, Bangalore and Mumbai. Plans are also underway for the
multi-disciplinary organisation to spread into Afghanistan and
Iran.

TAGorg now has 70 offices worldwide and more than 2,000
professionals.

Chairman and chief executive Talal Abu-Ghazaleh told the
International Accounting Bulletin the organisation was
moving into these new economies to follow the investment trail and
respond to client demand.

“I can see that the region extending from here to China is going
to not only witness strong growth but also integration as a result
of many factors,” Abu-Ghazaleh explained. “We are now preparing
ourselves for this coming sort of de facto free trade area. As a
result we will see a lot of needs for professional services. Some
of our most important offices were opened because of flow of
capital from the gulf. Our gulf region clients wanted to use our
services in these non-oil producing Arab countries.”

High organic growth

TAGorg’s aggressive but measured expansion strategy involves
increasing the organisation’s workforce by 20 percent this year on
the back of 25 percent growth in 2007.

Abu-Ghazaleh noted: “Normally we spend 5-10 percent of our
revenues on training. Last year, we spent 50 percent of our
revenues on training and we actually managed to get enough profits
to keep the [whole] operation going for the year.”

To accommodate this influx of manpower, which is due to an
expansion in IT, intellectual property, accounting, auditing, legal
services and real estate services, the organisation has recently
purchased large areas of floor space in the region.

This month, TAGorg secured offices in the Dubai International
Financial Centre, and recently purchased entire floors in the
Westbury Tower of Dubai and the ADDAX Tower of Abu Dhabi.
Abu-Ghazaleh said TAGorg has been growing its revenues by an
average of 50 percent year-on-year for the past decade.

Arvind Hickman