January 2019 / News
In Country Insights With Hart’s Afghanistan Country Director
Operating in Afghanistan since 2004, Hart’s clients have included US prime contractors, clients within international institutions, NGO communities and diplomatic entities. Here, Country Director Paul Urey, shares his experiences from within the security sector in Kabul and what motivates him on a daily basis.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy the diversity of the job, from the cosmopolitan nature of the people I interact with daily, to the risk management of numerous sites across Afghanistan. No one day is the same and the challenges vary by the hour.
What is your biggest challenge in this role?
Finding the balance between moving the business unit forward and ensuring the maintenance of standards and operational tempo. Fortunately, we have a great team in country who help in aspects.
You’ve worked in many high-risk locations. How has your previous experience helped with your current position as Country Director in Afghanistan?
It’s made me understand just how important cultural awareness is, not just operationally but also from a business perspective. It’s not just about understanding the client’s requirements; good business is about understanding the clients themselves.
The biggest lesson you’ve learnt during your year in Afghanistan?
Always expect the unexpected!
You’ve worked on diverse projects ranging from the security for a London university to embassies in Kabul. Does the same method apply to each project?
No not at all, they vary in many ways. Firstly, the operational tempo is very different. Secondly, the people that you interact with daily have different mindsets. Working at London University was more customer relation/service focussed with operations worked around that mentality. In Kabul the operational requirement is the priority. Working at the University of London was a great experience for me and improved my view on client relationships significantly.
What do you believe makes Hart a security provider of choice?
Hart takes great pride in what they do and understands the importance of good client relationships. Other security providers win contracts but fail to manage them, we don’t. We have a robust Quality Assurance/Quality Control regime, plus our Contract Management Team ensures that we have dialogue with clients at least once a week. These approaches ensure that our standards are high, and our client relationships strong.
Is there something about Hart that makes you particularly proud to be part of the team?
We have an ethical approach to everything that we do. I am a strong advocate of integrity, it’s very important to me and Hart follows the same principles.
You’re currently studying your Masters in Security and Risk Management. What is the highlight of this experience for you?
The sleepless nights! I have enjoyed the theory behind crime and why people commit crime. This has given me a greater understanding of human nature and why people act or fail to act in certain circumstances. The course has also helped me to analyse more which has helped within the work environment.
Your motto to live by?
Don’t expect others to do what you’re not prepared to do yourself.