Interview with Melvin DeVane Director of Business Development for Iraqi Company Dijla Alklood

Mr. DeVane offers insight and expertise about the growing construction industry in Iraq.

1. What are Dijla Alklood's key USPs over your competition in the Iraq Market?

At Dijla Alklood we believe that one of the best ways to help stabilize the region is to provide jobs for Iraqi citizens. Giving people the opportunity to provide for their families does more to fight extremism than any number of bombs.

We believe that rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure is a key component of fighting extremism, reliable power, water and waste management bring a level of standard that all people deserve.

We believe that we have the best people working with us, people that care about the products and services we provide, that always strive to improve processes and procedures, that our customers deserve our best efforts and that our high standards are maintained by all.

2.  As a Business Development Director, please tell us more about your role in the company?

My role is to help the founder of Dijla Alklood communicate his vision to international companies doing business in Iraq, identify opportunities, introduce our company and philosophies to potential customers, in turn driving revenue so that more we can then employee more of the local citizenry.

Iraq needs to be rebuilt and Dijla Alklood wants to be part of that effort, providing jobs, quality products and services..   

3. What major projects has your company been involved in the last 12 months?

Our focus for the past 24-30 months has been the FMS F16 project at Balad Air Base, Iraq. We are a subcontractor/supplier to Sallyport Global Services, SGS has the security and life support contract for Balad Air Base, Dijla Alklood has the Waste Management sub-contract. We have also provided labor, materials and supplies to other companies completing contracts at BAB such as CHS Medical and Tribalco.

4. Why is Iraq such an important market for the Middle East construction industry?

Iraq has been in the midst of war or unrest for quite some time and the infrastructure of the country is in serious disrepair. The Mosul Damn is in need of repairs and threatens to give way each rainy season.

The roads and bridges have been destroyed, the populace needs, housing, reliable power, clean water and proper waste management

5. How do you see the Iraq market developing in the next 3 years?

I believe that more Petrochemical companies will invest in Iraq, providing much needed revenue to the government which will be used to rebuild the country’s infrastructure.  

6. What are your team’s current priorities at the moment?

We are exploring different manufacturing opportunities, we want to provide jobs to the local populace. We believe that the greatest service we can provide to the country Iraq is opportunities to people who otherwise might be drawn to extremists. By employing the citizens of Iraq we believe we can fight extremism.

7. How has the internet and digital marketing changed the way you do business?

The internet has provided much needed communications in the region, it is important to have a strong digital presence if you are going to compete in the 21st century although I feel to many companies have content that is not relevant and as a consumer it can be difficult to sort through all the chaff. I feel the more direct your digital presence can be the better.

8. Please tell us more about your background and operational activity in Iraq?

As a former Director Mission Support Group for the FMS F16 project at Balad Air Base responsible for Civil Engineering, Life Support and Logistics I found that the longer I have been involved in contracting the most important thing, other than the people, is the infrastructure. You can build the most fantastic facilities but if you don’t have clean water, reliable power, good maintenance and waste management then you are courting failure or at the very least not utilizing your resources to their best advantage.

I have had the honor to work with some of the best people in the world from all diverse cultures and I have found that most people want to do a good job but for one reason or another they don’t always do their best but if you treat them with respect, provide them with quality materials and train them on the proper procedures they will perform admirably. The reverse is also true, if you don’t respect them, their culture or train them properly their work will be lacking the quality desired.

At Dijla Alklood we have committed to training our staff in proper safety procedures for any project they may be involved with. First and foremost is employee safety, you can’t provide for your family if you are injured. 

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We have been working with some of our key customers to improve the service by using the latest software and technology, taking business intelligence in Iraq onto the next level.Mason Johnson, Rebuilding Iraq Project Information Manager