Businesses have often played a major role in transforming societies and changing people’s lives for the better, and Centena Group, a UAE-based multinational conglomerate has been doing just that, thanks to a persistent policy and goal-oriented approach.
The group, which is nearing four decades of operations, has transformed its business landscape by diversifying into varied sectors and investing in solutions and services that have gone on to impact the everyday lives of people.
“The key for us was to build beyond business and create a transformational impact on people’s lives. Our efforts have been focused on giving back to society,” says Raghunath.
ATLAB, the education division of Centena Group, was one of the first to introduce the STEAM curriculum in the UAE. Today it hosts various innovative programs in the fields of robotics, coding and AI with academic institutions in the UAE. Aimed at students starting from KG to year 12, these programs hope to transform the next generation of students into innovators.
The UAE leg of the First Lego Leagues (FLL) in association with the Ministry of Education and the Gulf 3D Printing Olympiad are some of the initiatives that have fueled creative thinking and innovation among students.
Towards making society more secure with enhanced levels of people identification, great inroads have been made by Screencheck ME in pioneering innovative biometric and access control solutions in the region. Screencheck has also been working closely with tech solution providers towards implementing latest technologies such as RFID/IoT with a special focus on enhancing the efficiency of the workplace and employee productivity.
“Any business achieves success when it provides value to society and its users. Centena Life and Analytical Science Division, for example, has been consistently enhancing the quality of diagnostics, life science research, food, environmental and industrial testing, thanks to new and advanced instrumentation and related solutions,” says Raghunath.
Another socially critical area where the group has been adding value is emission control and environmental monitoring using cost-effective instrumentation technologies. Through its Industrial Automation Division—Emphor IAD—has been providing process automation, instrumentation & control, and system integration solutions and services to various segments, such as oil & gas, petrochemicals, cement, LNG and the power industry, enhancing the productivity of the people and production processes.
Maritronics, Emphor Marine and Tensosys, the three marine divisions of Centena Group, have been working on transforming the marine industry through greater levels of automation and digitization of processes, especially with fleet servicing and maintenance. Some of the innovative solutions, like more efficient ballast water management, have played a significant role in protecting sea waters from extreme pollutants.
Pushing beyond brick and mortar, the Centena Group is also creating several B2B online e-commerce portals. This firstof-its-kind initiative is an effort to integrate the latest tech to enhance the buying efficiency and experience of customers.
Under the leadership of Raghunath, the group has expanded its operations across the GCC, UK, India, Singapore and Sri Lanka, with 22 offices and a market presence across 72 countries.
While it has always been about creating a transformation in society, the efforts have to start from within. This is evident in Centena Group winning the Dubai Chamber CSR Label award for three years in a row.
“We lay equal emphasis on our human capital development,” says the chairman. We believe happy and proud employees make successful companies.
Raghunath introduced employee stock options way back in 2005, making Centena Group one of the first companies in the region to allow employees to be part shareholders.
“Ultimately, it is all about contributing to a better world and providing value to our users. As we strive towards achieving this goal on a continual basis, we have been blessed as our efforts have been yielding results,” he adds.