Saulius Baliutavičius is a customer service manager at MetLife Alico in the United Arab Emirates. Holding an 11 years of international customer service and consultancy experience Saulius shares his thoughts on living in the UAE, starting up a business there and his success on making career.

Before moving to the UAE he worked at international company in Spain. The reason to relocate to the UAE was a business idea. “One of the company’s fellow Frenchman previously worked in the UAE and had connections there. Then a business idea was born. I had all knowledge and skills required to realize the idea. So I joined the team, moved from Barcelona to Dubai and got started”, – says Saulius.

When asked about the opportunities to find work or to start a business in this country Saulius thinks positively. Gulf Cooperation Countries as UAE, Qatar or Saudi Arabia have a growing economy and can offer business and job opportunities. These countries, unlike most of the emerging markets, are relatively well devel
ped, have perfect infrastructure and almost everyone speaks English, explains he.

“On the other hand, the competition is huge. For example, certain business niches are occupied by certain nationalities. For that reason to enter into these niches is really tough. As an example I can provide the advertising market dominated by Lebanese. A small or medium-level work is taken by employees from India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Bangladesh. They are in the majority in the UAE. The local population constitutes less than 15% there”, – notices Saulius.
According to him European can compete in the areas that require higher qualification, specialized knowledge and orientation to quality: “I know my countrymen who successfully develop business in the design and installation of bureau and office sectors. There are people who manage factories, who work as sommelier in the high-class restaurants or who perform consulting activities”.

In the UAE as well as in Lithuania connections play an important role. However this role is substantially lower in the international companies because of the rating of worker’s skills and results.

Saulius has always been interested in working with people. He says customer service is an area where employee’s skills, motivation and attitudes are the key to success. Customer service manager gained work experience in Lithuania and in the UAE. So what are the differences and similarities of customer service sector in these two countries?
“In Lithuania you can forecast what to expect but the UAE is a country with a boiling-pot of many nationalities where it is not even possible to summarize the service culture. The main difference is the diversity of customer service – from difficultly conceived approach to the client to a very high quality VIP service providing companies”, – explains Saulius.

According to him Lithuanians underestimate their potential – they are hard-working, creative, performance-oriented people. However they need other features as an ability to sell themselves. Lithuanians are industrious but often unpresuming. Though now comes the next generation what is less complex and this is a good sign.
Saulius Baliutavičius participates in the Business Advisors program introduced by Global Lithuanian Leaders.

By Gražina Vincel