Author Ofer Petersburg Posted May 21, 2012
How did the management of a Saudi oil giant fall into the hands of a bunch of Israelis? This is a story of great talent, great trust and quite a bit of money.
Yanar, a Saudi oil holding company, is one of the largest and most important companies in the world in the marketing of oil products. Prince Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Fayj, a Saudi religious moderate, heads the company.
In recent months, as the company sought to increase its organizational efficiency, it began to look for management software. As part of their search, representatives from the company visited, among other places, an exhibition in Melbourne, Australia, where hi-tech companies from all over the world exhibited their products. After the Saudis did extensive market research, they had no doubt as to which company they would buy the unique software from.
A German company? An American company? No. The Saudis chose Daronet, an Israeli company based in Ramat Gan, whose support center is in the ultra-Orthodox community of Elad.
The program sold to the Saudi company is called TMB, and it is advanced software used to manage and increase the business efficiency of large organizations.
The purchase is worth some NIS 700,000 [over $180,000 USD]. Yedioth Ahronoth has learned that in recent days, after the deal was signed, representatives from the Saudi company were trained in Australia by an 18-member Israeli team. The members of the team all work in the company’s branch in Australia, where they all live.
The atmosphere was friendly, but before the signing, the Saudis demanded that the sale include comprehensive training of their employees on matters relating to support, so as not to rely on Israeli support. However, considering the statements of Efi Shwintarsky, the CEO of Daronet in Australia, business with the Saudis may not stop with this deal. “The Saudi representatives did not hide in the course of the negotiations how impressed they were with Israeli developments, and noted that they’d be happy to work in the future with Israeli technologies,” Shwintarsky told Yedioth Ahronoth [the paper] Thursday.
Daronet was established in 1999. It employs 120 people in Israel and 50 additional employees are scattered in branches around the world. Its main offices are next to the stock market in Ramat Gan, and its support center in Elad employs ultra-Orthodox women.
The chairman of Daronet, Elik Cohen, said Thursday that he received news of the deal from the managers of the Australian branch, and that he approved it only after having made sure it did not violate Israeli law.