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Qatar tribune
LN Mallick
Sarmad M Qureshi is the pioneer and head of Avanceon Qatar operations. He has been instrumental in establishing Avanceon’s Middle East enterprises. With 21 years of experience at Avanceon, primarily with an industrial automation and process control engineering background, Qureshi has both geographical and technological expertise in the Middle East and is a vital pillar for Avanceon. Having an entrepreneurial mind and powerful business acumen, in less than five years, he has driven the business in Avanceon’s Qatari market from start to a formidable portfolio of over 100 customers including major government, semi-government and private sector companies and giants. Avanceon is a unique addition to the Qatari business landscape introduced by him.
In an interview with Qatar Tribune, Qureshi spoke about his company’s achievements in developmental projects in Qatar and their recently awarded contract.

Tell us about your company’s contributions to developmental projects in Qatar.
Qatar has always been close to my heart for a number of reasons. I have been coming here from 2005 and am always impressed by the great professional and technical leadership of Qatar. They have a sound vision and have progressed so well. Avanceon is a specialist technology company and we design and deliver supreme technology and state-of-the-art solutions. We distribute the art of project management to our clients. Our vision is to train our Qatari client base and their young engineers so they can be useful for their country in the future. Our solutions and deliverables are Made in Qatar. 

What is unique at Avanceon?
We are responsive, empathetic, technologically advanced and prepared, and we have proven domain expertise and base in all industrial sectors. We are internationally recognised; we have strong partners; we are certified by international project management organisations; we are competitive and scalable to any large or smaller sized projects; and we have a zero delay, zero rework policy internally in our execution systems. We calculate our engineers’ efficiency in minute details and we update their tasks on a daily basis. Hence we keep an eye on the minute hourly activities and ultimately our customers are the beneficiary of it.

Tell us about Avanceon’s international standing. How Qatar can benefit from it?
Qatar is already a beneficiary of our systems, techniques and processes and our clients are satisfied with our CSIA-based project management techniques like V Life Cycle, ABACUS, AutoGEN, SPP, AMS, etc. We are a certified member of Control System Integrators Association and also listed on Control Engineering Magazine’s System Integrator Hall of Fame. It has been awarded best Industrial System Integrator of the Year in the US for a couple of years and are also recognised as the Top15 among the world’s largest System Integrators by an independent US body. We are creating value for our clients and transferring our skill sets and expertise with candor and passion and this is what our mission is.

Can you share some details about the recently-awarded contract?
As you know, Avanceon has also been awarded the contract for the provision of top-of-the-line SCADA and DSS systems for multiple clients, to meet the growing demands of a country-wide water networks and infrastructure. It is a unique system of this scale and complexity. It is state of the art and once completed, it will change the horizon and technological landscape of operations and maintenance. It’s real time data viewing as major intelligent decisions are embedded into it to eradicate the real day problems that the clients are facing in running their operations. It has unique data archiving, historization, dashboarding, cyber security, integrated communications with GIS capability with assets and all those are critical elements of it. This project will pave the way for digitization, AR solutions, IIoT, etc, in the time to come for the O&M of the businesses.

How do you plan to integrate the operations systems?
It is a mixture of various products, solutions and technologies. It will be integrated and built by Avanceon in-house. It will give more visibility and delegation to the teams of the clients in their regular operations. It will also integrate business and operational systems into a single-point decision support system. It has a high-end real-time SCADA system and integrates them with multiple support systems, such as Customer Management, Asset Management System, Geographical Information System, Weather System, Building Management System, Hydraulic Modelling System, Intelligent Command and Communication Systems, as well as CCTVs. Once completed, the project will drastically increase the handling capabilities of the water network in Qatar. This will also help our client in reducing operating costs, optimising asset investment, providing rapid incident and emergency responses, and improving asset reliability.

What is the aim of this project? 
Our clients are way smarter than us because they are process and domain experts and they know the ins and outs of their business operations. With their help and knowledge sharing, we are able to improve their operations and emergency situations. Qatar is lucky to have such professional leaders in their government and corporate; they know their vision, have expertise and clarity of mind on what they are doing, 

Has Avanceon ever received projects of such a large magnitude before?
Absolutely. Avanceon is already very well-acquainted with such massive deliveries in the past and has successfully executed such complex projects. We have the experience, expertise and appropriate partners to implement such control centres for all of our customers on a world wide scale. This was the reason we were selected for this job. We are well versed with systems in various other sectors like cement, metro, utility and traffic tunnels, sugar, upstream and downstream oil & gas, dairy, food, fertilizer, petrochemicals and various other sectors.

Tell us about Avanceon’s US operations.
We are recognised in the US for food and beverage, chemicals, pharmaceutical and related industrial automation and SCADA solutions. We have verified installed base from 1984.

Overall, how many projects has Avanceon delivered so far?
It must be more 1,500 large and medium scale projects internationally and locally.

What are your future plans?
We are a public listed company internationally and we intend to expand our base in Qatar as well as listing. We foresee a great vision in Qatar. We will be expanding our horizons in Qatar to all kinds and sectors and industries for both green and brown field projects. We are planning to open up and expand our manufacturing facility with demo teaching units, client trainings and awareness seminars and programmes. We’ll bring more internships for the youth. We’ll start university collaboration for joint research projects, after market support and maintenance divisions is initialised in a big way. In short, we have immaculate plans for the future and we are geared up to contribute towards post-FIFA 2022 in Qatar.
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