Blue Box secures hotly contested Abu Dhabi contract

A North East management consultancy business is hoping to expand and take on more staff after securing a high-profile contract with the Abu Dhabi government

Graham Walton and Sylvia Dickinson of Blue Box
Graham Walton and Sylvia Dickinson of Blue Box

A North East management consultancy business is hoping to expand and take on more staff after securing a high-profile contract with the Abu Dhabi government.

Newcastle’s Blue Box Management Consultancy was chosen from a shortlist of 30 British companies to help the state’s wholly-owned investment vehicle, Mubadala Development Company PJSC, create a customer service and care strategy.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a hive of business activity and has growing links with British companies.

Blue Box managing director Graham Walton and director Sylvia Dickinson will fly out there on September 20 for the first in a series of meetings that could ultimately impact on 700 government staff.

“We are delighted to be part of the growing relationship between the UAE and the North East of England,” Walton said.

“For several years we have been helping companies to translate their business strategies into achievable goals.

“Business is tough and everybody wants to stand out from the crowd.”

Dickinson added: “It’s very exciting.

“A budget has been allocated to us and if we make the most of it, there could be other opportunities that we can harvest while we are out there.

“Both Graham and I have clients and commitments in the North East and we’ll still be keeping up with those.

“It’s a bit of a juggling situation, but businesses shouldn’t let distance stop them.”

Established in 2007, Blue Box aims to offer unbiased business health checks and advice across many sectors, reinforcing strengths and eliminating weaknesses.

While Dickinson has tended to focus on sales, Walton has extensive experience in customer care.

The company first created links with UAE around a year ago, when Walton registered with UKTI for work in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Shortly afterwards, he was asked to help Al Jazeera television with its efforts to gain ISO accreditation.

Blue Box took on responsibility for the preparatory work, which was completed successfully in around four months.

“Graham flew out around 10 time or 12 times and in the end, Al Jazeera passed with flying colours, which was really good as it became the first media organisation to achieve the accreditation,” Dickinson said.

The work also meant a strong reference from the television company when Blue Box was approached about the Mubadala project.

The consultancy has likewise received support from advice agency Business Durham and the British Business Group, which works to encourage the development of British business in Abu Dhabi.

Initially, Walton and Dickinson will be working with around 40 staff, with future work dependent on feedback.

“But we’re very confident about it,” Dickinson said.

“Whereas other companies might deliver an off-the-shelf service, we have a specific project for customer service training that we have hand built.

“This first step will hopefully open up much bigger opportunities. Then we may be able to employ more people over here to help us deliver more.

“It’s going to be an exciting piece of work.”

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