Dr. Alexander Thomas

The Contracting Maestro of the Sultanate : Dr. Alexander Thomas

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Chief Executive Director | Al Adrak Trading & Contracting Co LLC 

With a legacy of over three-and-a-half decades, Al Adrak Trading & Contracting Co. LLC is a leading construction company in Oman. The Company is a multi-award-winning, internationally recognised and integrated engineering construction services firm with around 6,000 employees.

As its CEO, Dr Alexander Thomas, a civil engineer by profession, is a veteran who brings to the table unmatched competencies and vast experience in civil, mechanical, electrical, and infrastructural engineering, backed by top-flight EPC and project management support. The gigantic operational footprint of the Group covers the length and breadth of Oman. 

Dr. Alexander Thomas Success Story

Fledgling Years 

A young Dr Thomas, fresh out of engineering school, arrived in Oman in 1986. As the economy in the Sultanate of Oman moved at a slow pace, Dr Thomas could not find work easily. So he decided to start out in contract and maintenance work for his livelihood. The construction business, as Dr Thomas saw it then, had everything to do with developing close and lasting working relationships with clients.

This ethos can be seen embedded in the corporate DNA of the Group to this day. He recalls how the seed capital to Al Adrak Trading & Contracting Co LLC was just a meagre 32 Omani rials. The Company initially worked out of his home and went by M /s Al Jazir Establishment. In 1987, Al Adrak was established and later became a Limited Liability Company in 1994.

Major Breakthrough 

It was not all smooth sailing for the company at the start. However, Dr Alexander Thomas received his breakthrough when he was contacted for a project in the Ministry of Commerce building. This contract gave a solid financial base t o the company and paved the way for similar projects with the British Embassy and the Central Laboratory renovation soon after. This transition phase from 1995 onwards saw the company evolve into a robust professional enterprise. 

Today, Al Adrak is well-positioned for strong growth locally and regionally. Around 6,000 employees are on the payroll of the group, which has an order book that tops $1 billion. By working hand in hand with the government authorities, the goal of the group presently is to help crystallise the developmental aspirations of Oman for the ultimate benefit of its people. 

Multiple Diverse Verticals

The Adrak Group of companies operates within several verticals including education, healthcare, hospitality and trading. The Adrak Hotels, established i n 2010, and New Rotana, set up in 2006, are a few examples of the company’s successful efforts to diversify. The company’s trading subsidiary, New Rotana Trading Company, specialises in overseas trading and construction industry subdivisions like carpentry and aluminium fabrication. It holds an import license to source products mostly from India.

On the education front, the Adrak-owned Trinity College of Engineering is one of the fastest-growing engineering colleges in Kerala. It is approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and affiliated with the APJ Abdul Kalam Kerala Technological University. In addition, Trinity has been ranked as the Top College for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the State by the Kerala Startup mission consistently over the years. 

Fostering a Sense of Togetherness 

The Company underscores The importance of building and maintaining a happy and skilled workforce. This can be seen from the modern, fully equipped camps that we have built for our workers at operational sites around the country. Facilities for recreation, leisure, entertainment, and even sports are an integral part of their accommodation camps for staff and workers.

The annual company get-togethers and inter-company tournaments are events the entire Adrak family looks forward to. Dr Alexander believes this has helped foster a sense of togetherness among the staff and has improved the quality and productivity of their work. 

Safety First 

With an emphasis on creating safe working conditions and providing the requisite safety gear and personal protective equipment (PPE), the HSE team at Adrak undertakes periodic intensive training programs covering all aspects of HSE.

An in-house cross-functional team, from senior management and the respective project departments, is tasked with ensuring that the entire staff is fully versed in all the latest safety regulations for onsite projects and the shop floor operations. Maintaining top standards in all aspects of HSE is a way of life at Adrak. ISO 9001, BS OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001, etc., are testimonials of the company’s standards. 

Pledge Towards Social Upliftment

As a wholly Omani-owned company, Al Adrak is committed to playing the part of a nurturing and caring corporate citizen. The company takes pride in its efforts to embed itself in the communities it works with. Adrak takes special efforts to recruit and train local Omanis to be part of the workforce, sources from Omani run small and medium businesses, procures local goods and services, and supports social initiatives.

Dr Thomas is also a passionate activist for environmentally responsible and sustainable development. He initiated the planting of 1.2 million mangrove trees around a private island in Kerala’s backwaters. This largest private mangrove forest in the country has successfully prevented erosion and illegal lake sand extraction and has become a model for conservation. He contributes financially to organising mass marriage functions for the economically weaker sections of society.

Dr Thomas also regularly donates to the Ashraya Charitable Society, an institution that provides refuge t o over 800 people and education to several scores of children. In addition, he pledged and pressed the entire workforce of Al Adrak to the search, rescue, and rebuilding efforts following Super Cyclone Gonu, the worst natural disaster in Oman’s history. 

Decorated Honours

Racking up the accolades, Dr Thomas was recently honoured with the prestigious Golden Achievement Award, Dubai 6th Edition, in February 2021. He also received the Achievement Award from the European Business Academy, M ilan and the Quality Award in Berlin in 2019. Dr Thomas has also been featured on the Forbes list of Top 100 Businessmen in the Middle East. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate in Business Management & Administration from Cosmopolitan University. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Thomas stepped up in benevolence and handed over Adlife, his newly built multi-speciality hospital in Al Amerat, to the Ministry of Health as a quarantine facility to treat Covid-19 patients in the country. However, what truly sets the Group apart from its competition, even during times of crisis, is its people. The dedication of the staff to provide world-class service to the clients, capacity for innovation and problem solving, and unwavering commitment to improving the industries they serve make Al Adrak the mega-success that it is today. Spearheading these initiatives is Dr Thomas himself, who inculcates good practices making Adrak a great place to work and a company to which clients want to return. 

Like Father, Like Son

Bearing in mind how well Al Adrak treats its employees, it does not take a great leap of logic to understand why Dr Thomas’s son would have wanted to join the family business. It is easy to imagine a young business-minded man setting out to achieve the ideal enterprise; one that cares for its employees and creates systems to enhance their lives in a very real way and achieve success along the way.

It is equally easy to imagine the trail of thought that led to Aadil Thomas Alexander choosing to join Al Adrak from the myriad of options available to him for exactly this reason. The young Aadil left his mark in the sporting annals of Indian School Al Ghubra before acquiring his Civil Engineering degree from TKM College of Engineering in Kerala. His time in the latter shaped him heavily: surrounded as he was by vociferous dissent and multiple credos at play. He stated later that he considers it the mark of a well rounded individual to emerge from such an ideologically charged environment unscathed despite having absorbed the best parts of them all.

He also unleashed his artistic potential during those days: a trait that in combination with exposure to numerous perspectives influenced his openness to adopt fresh concepts from around the world into Adrak’s project designs. This receptive mindset has grown into one of Aadil’s strengths as the Executive Director of Al Adrak; leveraging the global interconnect to learn and replicate proven high-quality solutions from the worldwide industry. 

Experience in Building a Future 

The past decade has proven to be a powerful teacher to Aadil. His hands-on experience with the flagship OMR 50 million Mazoon Dairy project undertaken by the company for the state-owned Oman Food Investment Holding Co (SAOC) contributed greatly to the nation’s food security. Similarly, Al Adrak’s role in the government’s Affordable Housing Project’ alongside the Ministry of Housing (MoH)- popularly known to the public as Hai Al Naseem Housing- provides economical homes to thousands of families.

His confidence lends itself well to leadership, and he is now at the helm of Insight Engineering LLC, a venture capitalist firm named BeyondTeq and the well-established Adlife Hospital. Brimming with new ideas and guided by experience, Aadil epitomises the next-generation achiever; driven by ambition, but tempered by respect for traditional values.