Friday, August 09, 2019

How Do We Ensure That Middle Eastern Family Businesses Survive?

According to Hassan Jameel, Deputy President and Vice-Chairman, Abdul Latif Jameel (ALJ), family businesses play an outsized role, accounting for over three-quarters of the private sector economy’s workforce. Many of the largest businesses in the region remain family run, having grown over the course of several generations from small enterprises into conglomerates spanning sectors and geographies.  Even his own firm, ALJ, established by his grandfather, started off as a small vehicle distributor in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Today, 70 years later, the company has grown to become a significant global distributor and has diversified into multiple sectors including energy, real estate and finance, operating in more than 30 countries around the world.
For many the idea of a family business immediately conjures up an image of a small shop, in which a son is stacking the shelves while his father ponders the proud day he hands over the keys. It is easy to forget that some of the business world’s biggest names, such as Ford, Walmart or Tata, are or once were family enterprises, built on big ideas seized by bold entrepreneurs that have now been passed down through generations.
Learn how some of the biggest family businesses in the region grew from humble beginnings and discover what was behind their success.

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