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The beginning of IREP
International Real Estate Partners — or IREP for short — started through the management buyout of some underdeveloped Middle Eastern assets. The buyout consisted of two individuals: Kenneth McCrae & Kamran Abbas.
Both had previously worked together in the same firm, so when this opportunity presented itself, they were hard pressed to say no. They decided to purchase the aforementioned assets from the administrators, and set up camp in Dubai, UAE.
As a team, the two are formidable. Kenneth is the strategic head, determining the vision and direction for the company, whereas Kamran is the financial and implementation head. Every transaction goes past his desk, and he is fundamental to making Kenneth’s strategy, reality.
The pair started in 2017, with 8 countries and $7 million turnover. Humble beginnings, indeed. However, their appetite was insatiable, and, within less than five years, they have grown IREP into a company with a presence in 49 countries (and counting), with a nine-figure turnover.
How did they do it?
The initial strategy for growth was diversified diversification. In short, Kenneth & Kamran wanted to diversify by: geography, client, and service line.
As a brand, IREP prides itself on being able to thrive in difficult markets; markets that others often avoid. This conviction means that no market is off-limits. IREP has thus expanded from the Middle East into: Africa, South, Eastern, and South-Eastern Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas. Our aim is to become ubiquitous, and our 49-country operation is a large stride toward that goal.
Client diversification was also a big step. IREP had the aim of developing a core service that, with customisation, could be implemented into the facilities of any prospective customer. No matter the sector, if you have assets or real estate, we can design a custom solution for you.
Next, is service line diversification. Central to IREP’s USP, is that it is a multi-disciplinary firm. Rather than dedicating themselves to one aspect of real estate and asset management, Kenneth and Kamran wanted to create a ‘one-stop-shop’, where clients only ever need go to one place.
Well, IREP’s growth doesn’t stop there. On all three aforementioned fronts — geography, client and service line — IREP continues to develop itself.
As for the former, IREP has just put into place significant expansion plans in the Americas. Under the very capable watch of Xavier Pumarejo, IREP seeks to grow its number of entities & clients throughout the region.
Another very fruitful partnership will also contribute to this future success: a deal with Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates (SperryCGA). The deal will see IREP acquire franchises to open SperryCGA affiliate offices in 21 locations in 16 countries outside the US by 2024. The first will be in Mexico City, Mexico.
This collaboration will allow IREP to further consolidate its name, growing its client list both regionally and globally.
IREP has also launched an entirely new service line: IREPfarm. A vertical & hydroponic farming capability, created through a partnership between IREP & Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS).
This has been created to step into the world of food security solutions, particularly within a Middle Eastern context. As a region, the Middle East — in particular the GCC — suffer from endemic food insecurity. On average, 90% of all foodstuffs are imported into the region. Furthermore, the arid & inhospitable conditions, coupled with predicted rises in population and tourism, will only compound the issue.
This is where IREPfarm comes to the fore. Marrying massive energy savings and vastly improved yields, it will be at the forefront of the GCC food security drive. In a tough market, IREPfarm seeks to develop a strong proof of concept, and then take the offering to other parts of the world.