What are the main benefits for companies working with 36N? What services does 36N offer that set it apart from other companies in Kurdistan and/or Iraq?
We are looking to attract companies that require facilities, property, and operations management as well as training. We have training to IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) and NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) standards. We have our own training department that is locally based, and we will be able to provide companies with quality-assured courses that are particular to their needs and the markets in which they work. In property management, we are currently providing facilities support and management for several international oil companies. We assist them with their building management, supported by our 24-hour call service center.

We are looking to provide the companies with reassurance. The services we provide are achievable, qualified, and accredited according to international standards. We are a company that is based in the Kurdistan Region, but we want people to know that we have the international standards of service they are looking for at an affordable and competitive price.

In property management, we are currently providing facilities support and management for several international oil companies. We assist them with their building management, supported by our 24-hour call service center.

Which companies have you targeted in the Kurdistan Region?
36N has been operating for two years. It already has substantial contracts with IOCs, and we are looking to develop that. The mainstay is oil and gas in this area, but there are a lot of companies that want to emerge in Erbil with commercial businesses, residential properties, and the like. We are looking to provide a plethora of services for all four groups in the area– oil and gas, property, residential, and industrial. We are looking to target everything and give people the choice of our quality services.

Why should companies in the oil and gas or real estate sectors that are doing facilities and property management or training in-house work with 36N?
We have been looking at the markets and researching what companies are currently doing with training and in-house systems. We believe that we can add value to their companies by saving them money and improving their systems. We have already had instances of companies having to send their personnel out of the country to do health and safety courses when there is no need. We are a perfectly reputable company with a brand-new, state-of-the-art training facility here in Erbil. We have the trained and qualified instructors to achieve their goals. We are going to hopefully provide the same services to these companies but save them having to do it outside of the country. It saves them time, it means that they can recruit people locally instead of having to rely on personnel that may be qualified overseas, and it provides more employment for the local community.

How does 36N maintain its international standards in terms of the services that it provides?
Thankfully one of my fortes is compliance management. I have worked with various companies over the years in the oilfields and the maritime industry that have very high compliance standards. This is an area that I like to maintain in our company so there is a compliance manager in charge of all their needs, giving the customer that reassurance of quality services.

Can you tell us a little about the training side of things?
While we operate according to international standards, one of the good things about our company is the fact that we are a local company. That means we can rely on good sourcing of subcontractors and partners for ventures. We can also rely on the training that we give to bring those companies in line with our standards to achieve the overall service that we want to provide to clients. We have technical training and health and safety training. We are accredited and licensed to provide training by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). We are also accredited by the British Institute of Facilities Management. These accreditations are not easy to obtain, but they are well worth the investment on our part to show everybody that we mean to do business to correct and achievable standards in Erbil and Iraq.

What are the 36N’s plans for the Region?
We are most definitely looking to expand our operations. The current geopolitical situation external to Erbil is very difficult for everybody at the moment, but we are looking at it as positively as we can. This gives me in particular the opportunity to enhance our profile in the leaner, more difficult times, which we do not see as being forever. We are here, we are open, and our clients are here. We have maintained services for our clients throughout the situation, and we will continue to do so. We are seeing distinct improvements in business as more people are coming back to the Region. We continue to see it grow, and we will grow with it. For that to happen, we do have designs on satellite offices other than Basra and our main headquarters here. Slemani, Duhok, and, of course, Baghdad are all areas of interest to us.

Do you work with locals or do you bring in foreign staff?
We are primarily a Kurdish-Iraqi company. We are very proud of that connection. Although I am a British citizen, the partners and I have over fifty years of experience living and working in Kurdistan, Iraq, and the wider region. We want to maintain that strong link. We want to employ a high percentage of Kurdish-Iraqi people. Yes, there are times where we need to look outside the Region to employ people for certain specialized tasks in line with client requirements, but we will always look to the local community first.

As someone who also works in the southern part of the country, how would you define the opportunities in the market here?
Business develops in a free-flowing manner here for all that are registered and apply the rules of the KRG. Erbil and Basra are obviously very different in their geopolitical makeup, but we have the ability to operate in both parts of the country. We have an office in Basra and we have an office here that is our main headquarters, but we are looking to open up satellite offices throughout the KRG. This is a clear indication of how we see the opportunities developing here to give first-class integrated facilities management services to the wider region.