Tanseeq Investment Group – Creating a Landscaping Legacy
We speak with the CEO of Tanseeq Investment Group to learn the remarkable history of the company and the dedication to its one-stop solution landscaping philosophy.
Tanseeq Investment Group was established in 2011, in Dubai, UAE, by Chairman Mr Ahmad A R Anoohi and CEO, Mr Naser M Ahmed. The group, uniquely for its region, offers a wide and all-encompassing range of landscaping products, services and solutions under one roof. It achieves this by heading fifteen successful companies that each specialize in a select discipline of landscaping and, together, offer a one-stop solution for all landscaping requirements.
Tanseeq Investment Group’s flagship, and first, company, Proscape LLC is a landscape contracting company that commenced its operations in 2000. “I met my future business partner in 1990 when we were working on Safa Park, one of Dubai Municipality’s first major landscaping projects,” recalls Naser Ahmed, CEO of Tanseeq Investment Group. “Ten years later, Ahmad [Anoohi] and I started Proscape with four people: myself, him, a secretary and an accountant.”
Anoohi and Ahmed started Proscape in a modest office space. However, in the span of just a few years, Proscape became one of the principal landscaping companies in the GCC region, having executed major projects in key sectors of the Emirates, such as in recreation, hospitality, retail, corporate and residential.
“In 2007, Proscape secured the project for the landscaping works of Dubai Mall – the largest shopping mall in the world,” Ahmed relates. Dubai Mall was inaugurated two years later, in 2009. “In the same decade, Proscape attained and successfully executed the complete landscaping works of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world.” The Burj Khalifa was inaugurated on 4th January 2010 and became the jewel in Dubai’s already glittering crown.
Nevertheless, as busy as Proscape was, there was no denying the difficulties of the 2008 global economic downturn. “The recession in 2008 was the beginning of a significantly challenging time for us. Fortunately, we were working on projects we had been contracted for from before the credit crunch, and this kept us very busy until the completion of the Burj Khalifa. The impact of the recession was not immediate, but we did feel the effects of the recession from 2010 – 2013.”
Proscape was able to navigate this crisis successfully. The company continued to grow, both in size and in its portfolio, completing landmark projects, such as Four Seasons Resort Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts, La Mer, Bvlgari Hotel and Resort, Dubai and ICD Brookfield Place. Proscape also executed the majority of the landscaping works for the massive global convention, Expo 2020 Dubai, including: Sustainability District; Mobility District; Al Wasl Plaza; UAE pavilion; and several other national pavilions.
A One-Stop Landscaping Solution
After the successful establishment of Proscape, Anoohi and Ahmed started a second company called Stones & Slates LLC in 2003, a trading company specializing in natural stones for hard landscaping projects in the UAE. Continuing to expand their venture, they established their third company Tanseeq LLC in 2006, which is now a leading supplier of high-quality landscaping architecture products in the GCC region.
“We started landscape contracting and soon realised we needed a more reliable supply chain. More often than not, we were being let down by other suppliers,” Ahmed tells us. “To compensate for this drawback, we began a process of backward integration. It was a gradual process, at first, but we are now fifteen companies strong. Every company in the group supports our supply chain and strengthens our relationships with clients while additionally catering to other clients in the landscape industry. We can complete projects in time while maintaining a high level of quality.”
By 2010, the group comprised 2,500 employees. Today, Tanseeq Investment Group employs over five thousand trained personnel, including 700 engineers, architects and technical staff.
Apart from Proscape, Stones & Slates and Tanseeq, the group is also home to Metaline LLC, Timbertech LLC, Proscape Golf LLC, Proscape FM LLC and Acacia LLC.
Metaline specialises in the design, supply, fabrication and installation of metal indoor and outdoor architectural, mechanical and structural elements; Timbertech specialises in the supply and installation of timber landscaping elements, such as boardwalks, pergolas, cabanas, mashrabiya screens and custom furniture; Proscape Golf specialises in the project management, design and construction of golf courses; Proscape FM provides comprehensive facility management and maintenance services for soft landscaping, irrigation systems, water features, swimming pools and sports fields; and Acacia is recognised as one of the most reputable suppliers of plants and ornamental trees for landscape applications in the GCC.
As a whole, the group covers the entire landscaping process, from design, supply, installation to execution and maintenance. “As a group, we are a one-stop solution for landscaping with all products and services available in-house. We can complete premium quality projects on time, and within the client’s budget,” Ahmed says.
Tanseeq Investment Group is also active in the retail market: Acacia Garden Centre LLC is one of the largest garden centres in the UAE, covering an area of 65,000 ft2; and, Unilflora LLC specializes in the supply and delivery of high-quality interiorscape elements, such as indoor plants and decorative green walls, for residences, corporate offices and F&B outlets.
With the unification of such a wide range of companies under the Tanseeq Investment umbrella, one might be forgiven for thinking it might pose a serious challenge to preserve the foundational culture across the entire group. For Ahmed, however, this might be a demanding but not an insurmountable task.
“People ask me how do you maintain the same ethos and values across so many subsidiaries? It derives from the top-down, not bottom-up,” Ahmed insists. “When we employ staff, we make sure their values are compatible with our philosophy. Having grown from scratch, we haven’t acquired any companies from the outside, so everyone in the group is someone we have recruited, trained, and screened. We look for integrity, loyalty, and good teamwork skills, and it is a culture we have carefully nurtured from day one, for the last 21 years.”
Because of its focus on working with prominent clients on large-scale projects, Tanseeq Investment Group inevitably experiences temporary quieter periods of operations. However, Ahmed sees those periods as a vital space for transformation and innovation.
“It’s cyclical. We have a period where we work hard on a project, and then there is a short lull. We use this period for upskilling our staff and improving their capabilities while searching for the next major project,” Ahmed proclaims. “I’m very optimistic. We have grown a hundred-fold in the last 20 years and we are well-prepared for the future.”
The Employment Process
A large enterprise, such as Tanseeq Investment Group, requires a great deal of talent and labour to keep it running smoothly, and seeking out that talent is an essential component of the group’s business philosophy.
“Currently, we’re using several solutions to recruit staff for positions that are not technical, such as HR, admin and finance,” Ahmed says. “When it comes to technical staff, we’re the only landscaping company in the region that is training engineers for those roles. We set new recruits on a probation period of six months, in sets of about 8-10 people at a time, for each discipline. By the end of six months, we know who are the most committed and hard-working staff, and who lack the level of dedication we require. We want people who are excited to grow the company with us.”
It is a process Ahmed has a strong personal stake in.
“When we start a new operation, I personally select new recruits. We liaise with recruitment agents to connect to the most promising candidates, interview them, and then bring the best onboard,” Ahmed states. “We enlist our managers and staff in several specialized training and development programs. When training skilled and unskilled labour, we have in-house facilities designed to motivate them to improve their skill set.”
Along with competent and well-trained staff, Ahmed also recognizes the critical importance of the digitalization of business operations in the rapidly evolving modern era.
“As a group, we have readily adopted Microsoft Dynamics 365 across the companies to integrate all major business activities,” Ahmed affirms. “This includes finance, day-to-day operations, supply chain management and human resource activities.”
Mr Naser M Ahmed, CEO Mr Ahmad A R Anoohi, Chairman of Tanseeq Investment Group