21 November 2021 – Khaleej Times – www.khaleejtimes.com
For scores of entrepreneurs and expatriates from around the world, the UAE is a land of limitless opportunities. Kerry Adler — the CEO of SkyPower Global who has made the young nation his home — can vouch for it.
“Come to the UAE and see for yourself a country that is safe; respects the rule of law; and provides the ability for everybody to succeed in what it is that they desire,” said the ambassador of clean energy.
SkyPower Global is the largest and one of the most successful developers and owners of solar energy projects in the world.
Adler, a Canadian citizen, opened his office in the UAE seven years ago and spent time predominantly in Dubai and most recently — the last 10 months — in Abu Dhabi.
“The UAE not only offers a diverse culture and geography but also many opportunities that appeal to different desires and age groups. If there’s something you want, you can be sure to find it here. However, if you don’t come and go, you’ll never know,” he said.
SkyPower’s international team of experienced professionals, power project specialists and partners have built, assembled and acquired an extensive pipeline of over 25,000 megawatts worldwide. This portfolio of large utility-scale solar photovoltaics projects makes SkyPower the world’s largest solar development company.
It is majority-owned by CIM, a transformational urban real estate and infrastructure investment firm, which was founded in 1994 with an initial investment of over $30 billion (Dh110.19 billion).
Adler discovered that in the UAE, though you have to work hard, there are countless opportunities powered by government support programmes.
Soon, he figured out that the government not only helps entrepreneurs but also encourages and fosters their growth.
“There are agencies that are set up to assist new entrants; business zones that are designed specifically around industry sectors; and a tremendous amount of expertise that provides the greatest opportunity for any entrepreneur to take their business to a different level globally,” said Adler.
“The UAE is a land of hope, pride, tolerance and an economy whose growth has remained strong despite the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.
For Adler, the country’s greatest asset is its people. “The multicultural nature of its population provides the ability to address markets around the world from one centralised hub.”
He added: “Giving people the ability to travel from the UAE to over 100 countries in under four hours also places the nation in a unique position. Its secure, safe and focused government policies and initiatives foster growth and ensure that residents have the ability to travel freely and pursue opportunities across a wide geographic region.”
A mission to make a difference
Building businesses is something Adler truly enjoys. Through the years, he has always focused on industries that contribute to the betterment of humanity.
“In the late ’90s, I helped launch the business process outsourcing industry in India, which created not only a new industry but also an opportunity for the country to benefit from its highly educated population, low cost of labour, and Internet infrastructure,” said Adler.
In early 2000, he decided he wanted to do something that had a more profound impact on humanity.
In the early days of climate change, his vision was to use renewable energy as a means to replace fossil fuels.
Almost 20 years later, climate change has become a global crisis, and SkyPower — the company he founded in 2003 — is now a leading firm developing large utility-scale projects around the world.
“Our journey has not been without challenges. The greatest impediment to growing a renewable company today is being able to secure the necessary capital to bring power to the people who deserve it the most,” he said.
“Developing countries around the world struggle with providing even the most basic of power. Our vision and mission is to enable these countries to provide at least basic electricity to foster greater economic growth; improve education; provide healthcare facilities; and ensure that the fabric of society can benefit from all humanity, not just from OECD countries,” said the entrepreneur who is in his mids-50s.