Go Green Founder Ayed Al Qahtani’s Second Act
The Saudi environment has many defenders, and a big one is Ayed Al Qahtani, the founder and CEO of a company in Jubail called the Saudi Factory for Environmental Solvents.
Most Saudis have probably never heard of Ayed’s firm. But many use his “Go Green” brand of environmentally friendly household and industrial products across the Kingdom, in the UAE and Kuwait.
Ayed started his business in 2014 after retiring as an executive in Aramco’s Oil Supply Planning and Scheduling Department (OSPAS). He worked for 25 years at Aramco, mostly in contracting and trading, where he gained the knowledge and expertise to launch Saudi’s biggest green-branded business.
As he was approaching retirement at Aramco, Ayed took heed of the Saudi government’s public endorsement of environmental principles and policies. That gave him the confidence to start his own business. A start-up loan from Wa’ed in 2020 is helping him build a new factory in Jubail.
“I started seeing the messaging on the government’s social media sites, telling the people to keep our land green and clean,” Ayed said. “This was clearly the direction from top government.”
Ayed’s plunge into the world of non-corrosive, non-flammable, biodegradable solvents, cleaners and liquids came at an opportune time, as Saudi Arabia began to transition to a future not reliant on oil.
Ayed launched Go Green and began acquiring retail and industrial customers across the Kingdom, like Lulu and Sabic. But his bet on Saudi’s green future really began to pay off in March 2019, when his business won the first of three large contracts to supply Aramco with industrial solvents.
Aramco uses Go Green products to clean its refineries and oil drilling equipment in Ras Al Tanura and Abqaiq, he said. Supplying Aramco is requiring Ayed to take his business to a new level, to meet the increased production demands. He is grateful for Aramco’s business, and knows he must meet the highest standards to keep it.
“We know the business with Aramco is very, very important,” Ayed said. “The customer is always right.”
On the grounds of the Royal Commission Industrial City in Jubail, Ayed is now building a new 7,300 square-meter production facility that will more than double his existing production capacity and centralize his operations, which are now spread across five locations in Dammam and Jubail.
It is a big step for Ayed, and another sign of the strength of Saudi Arabia’s environmental movement, a trend that Wa’ed played a part in setting in motion. “I’m grateful to Wa’ed for helping me take my business to a new level,” Ayed said. “This will not only help me but help keep Saudi clean.”
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