Expansion Champions: Impararia – On aligned visions and disruptive technologies
Our Expansion Champions series celebrates some of the most exciting members of our community who have made their mark in MENA and beyond. We sat down with Mohamed-Ali El-Hani, CEO of Impararia, as we delved into the company’s journey into the UAE and Saudi Arabia, highlighting its business model and upcoming projects.
Founded in Montreal as an aerospace and defense technology company, Impararia has since shifted its focus to providing innovative solutions for the architecture, engineering and construction industry, particularly within the context of smart cities.
El-Hani describes Impararia’s business model as disruptive, alluding to its goal of promoting an industrial approach to construction rather than a traditional one. This objective made it necessary to seek out ecosystems where such a model had room to grow and value to contribute.
Naturally, as one of the world’s most promising hubs of innovation worldwide, the MENA region proved to be an optimal market for Impararia.
Knowing what Impararia could contribute to smart city projects in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, El-Hani sought out a local expansion partner who was well-immersed in the culture, and understood the administrative process fully. Through AstroLabs, the company was able to quickly and seamlessly set up in the UAE, and then in Saudi Arabia, and is already transforming the AEC industry in the region.
Over the past decade, MENA governments have been leading highly ambitious giga-projects, which present companies like Impararia with plenty of opportunities to challenge the outdated methodologies that are in place today.
El-Hani understood that this ambition in MENA to drive the future of construction aligns perfectly with the company’s mission. The efforts by the Saudi government to foster a forward-thinking, disruptive mentality among its people was, in fact, one of the driving factors behind El-Hani’s decision to expand. He found that the government’s strategy of helping to revolutionize the way people think is a great reflection of how Impararia is re-organizing the methodology of smart city construction.
The appeal of smart cities, lies in the challenging nature of their construction. Building a smart city can be extremely taxing in terms of resources, time and labor, considering the hassle of managing the different parties involved like architects, engineers and contractors.
This is how Impararia was able to contribute, providing technologies and methodologies that streamline the process in a holistic way. In addition to solutions like building information management technologies, Impararia focuses on injecting best practices into the industry, namely the usage of efficient modular architecture, and combining all stakeholders under one all-encompassing operation.
Beyond Market Entry: Cultural Integration
The feats Impararia was able to achieve following the expansion are the result of a daring idea and well-informed execution. However, they can be attributed in part to a successful integration within local cultures and lifestyles.
Shortly after landing in MENA, the Impararia team took the time to amass some on-ground experience, meeting locals, understanding the local lifestyle, and learning all the communication and business best practices proper to the region.
This was possible as Impararia relied on our extensive network and expertise not only to solve early licensing challenges, but also to connect and share ideas with local players in construction, tech and business.
Equipped with a newfound understanding of the culture, the company was able to pour its focus into post-setup processes, such as talent recruitment and day-to-day operations management, and kick off its operations in MENA.
Today, Impararia is already proving its worth as an agent of transformation in the regional AEC landscape, but there are still considerable steps ahead for the company. Impararia’s mission lies in remodeling the entire methodology of an industry, not exactly a short-term goal. But this lays out the field for plenty of opportunities to solve and innovate. So with that, the prospective growth awaiting Impararia in MENA will be an exciting one to watch.