Company and nation – why serving both creates perfect symmetry


Company and nation – why serving both creates perfect symmetry

Looking at the horizon – succession planning for your UAE business
November 29, 2017

Contrary to popular belief, the higher tiers of business are not stand-alone entities.

Quite the opposite. It is the ground-breaking leaders of the world who have the power to change the globe in a dramatic and tangible way. There’s just one thing that they must do first: make it their core mission to serve their nation as well as their business.

Companies which find continued success over a span of decades understand that becoming a household name goes hand-in-hand with serving the nation at large.

In fact, this approach to the region’s needs is one of the major reasons why a company can maintain its position at the top of any business sector. Making connections and strengthening bonds with the wider community creates a sense of unity within any nation. Just as the heart pumps blood swiftly around the body, good businesses pump life into the nation.

So I would like to take the opportunity to delve deeper into this important link, and how all companies are deeply connected to our country.

Innovative products improve the quality of life

Innovation ought to be a main goal of every business. Taking a leap of faith in adding new products to a portfolio is one of the most pro-active ways to revitalise the company. We must also note that, in most every sector, consumers crave new, exciting products – and are willing to pay higher prices for them.

Taking a leap of faith in adding new products to a portfolio is one of the most pro-active ways to revitalise the company.

It’s not just about the bottom line, though. This approach is beneficial on a broad range of levels. An innovative new product or service is more than a novelty; it has the power to transform both businesses and lifestyles in one swift move. Bringing a product or service to a region can enable a population to strive for great things – from advances in anything from printing technology to the automotive industry, innovation brings a welcome advancement in both technological and economic terms.

Cross-sectional growth boosts the economy

No industry is an island. As one sector flourishes, so do the industries around it as a direct result. Take the introduction of high-tech quality printing products and office equipment and how that in turn helped boost UAE companies’ productivity and success rates. With the very latest technology at their fingertips, businesses were able to become industry leaders and gain a standing in the global market. This snowball effect means companies can continue to gain momentum and thus help the economy thrive.

This pattern is not uncommon in Abu Dhabi. The GDP grows year-on-year and while historically oil has been at the centre of the national economy, it isn’t the entire story. In fact, it only makes up around half of Abu Dhabi’s GDP – which demonstrates the importance of non-oil industries.

Successful businesses create new job roles

With every new business comes a wealth of jobs. But it is only with the continuous success of our industries that these numbers can continue to grow. We have a duty as job creators to ensure the progress of the job market year upon year. As our enterprises expand and diversify, we have the opportunity to strengthen the job market, the impact of which can be great. In doing so, it’s not merely our own businesses that profit from the advancements, but our great nation as a whole.

We have a duty as job creators to ensure the progress of the job market year upon year.

Building the region’s infrastructural character

A growing nation needs the right infrastructure to support it and our nation is growing more than ever. Over the last quarter century or so, the population of Abu Dhabi has multiplied by a factor of five. It continues to grow. Hence, the emphasis on both cultural and business-centric infrastructure has become integral.

Funds are being pumped in to ensure that the region’s infrastructure is current and fit for those who live here. These developments also add character to the area. The buildings that create our infrastructure quickly become the very symbols that define them. It’s hard to imagine the skyline here without the likes of Capital Gate or The Landmark looming above it.

Altruism and the ‘year of giving’

When you sow the seeds of altruism, you reap the rewards. Since the UAE’s President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, declared 2017 to be the ‘Year of Giving’ we must delve into what this truly means for businesses in the region. It is quite simple: altruistic pursuits need to be an intrinsic part of every enterprise in the UAE.

Within this declaration, it is stated that businesses ought to give to and support all that they can within the ‘social, medical, educational and environmental sectors’. So, with that noble aim always in mind, each business person should take the time to consider the ways they may give back to society.

This act is not merely about good public relations; it goes far deeper than that. By investing both time and funds in supporting the community, we can ensure that there’s a sense of stability within the UAE as a whole. This in turn strengthens the social mobility of individuals, which serves to create a prospering economy.

A duty to save the environment

Furthermore, it’s not just the future of the region on which we need to focus, but the future of the planet as well. Businesses here must have a commitment to saving the environment in any way that is open to them.

Businesses here must have a commitment to saving the environment in any way that is open to them.

Since there is an unmistakable power that comes alongside leading a business, it’s crucial that we each play a role here. The aim of ensuring the security of the future of the earth is an ongoing one which is well-documented. The Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 states clearly that this goal needs to be a part of the national initiative in coming years.

While there are many minor changes we may make here, one which we must consider is through the use of renewable energy. The figures show that this is an area where there are great financial opportunities due to exceptional growth. There’s no doubt that we will need to continue our development of alternatives energy resources in the future, and so delving into this sector at this moment in time is clearly a move which many companies will make.

Investing in a bright future for the UAE

As we each strive forward in our personal journeys, it’s crucial that we take the time to look outside of ourselves and consider how we may support those around us. As a business owner, the first step here is keeping a clear view of the initiatives I’ve outlined in this article. They may not be applicable to every area of every company, but they can be used as a guide to help further the development of both local industries and the great UAE region as a whole.

Once we make this our mission, we can each truly invest in the future of our businesses and the future of the nation.

About the Author: Mohamed Hareb Al Otaiba, Chairman of MHAO
It was clear from an early age that MHAO’s current chairman, Mr Mohamed Hareb Al Otaiba, was destined to follow in the entrepreneurial footsteps of his father and grandfathers who led the Emirati family holding company before him. He would, however, be called to the role earlier than expected due to the unfortunate passing of his father in 1995 while Mr Al Otabia was just 2X years old. His young age would in no way deter him from fully embracing the leadership position, and since taking over the family business he has led with focus and drive to further accelerate the upward trajectory of MHAO, securing additional big-name brands for the company’s portfolio. Today, Mr Al Otaiba has a wealth of experience in sales and operations management and boasts many prestigious and long-lasting business relationships with top global organisations, including Avis, Bosch, and Xerox. Looking to the future, Mr Al Otaiba’s goal is clear: to make MHAO a household name synonymous with high-quality, throughout the UAE and beyond. 

Top