Thoughts on a business pioneer ‘scaling back the empire’.

0 Posted by - May 19, 2011 - Views & Interviews

Article Gulf Daily News

‘Business champion eases back the throttle’

Article in the Gulf Daily News – 18.05.2011



The article about Jamil Wafa in the  Gulf Daily News (GDN) yesterday bothered me and had me thinking all day, the first thought was ‘Thank you GDN’ its taken you a while but this was an interesting article worth reading, please produce more like this.  But that wasn’t what was bothering me there was something deeper. I was reading about a man who began work at 17 and went on to be educated in the ‘University of Life’. It was the heaviness of the ‘parting advice’ that was bothering me,


‘Persevere, be honest, communicate and look people in the eye when they talk to you”


These were Mr Wafa’s words ending the article, I immediately felt a sense of respect for this man who I’d never heard of before but what I got from this small insight was a picture of successful business man who understood and appreciated the dynamics of business. His 60 years of ‘hard work’ built him an empire that came through sweat and ‘steely determination’ as he puts it.


Compare this to some leaders today who attend private schooling then top universities, gain work experience in reputable organizations for a small time and then jump to assume positions of authority through connections, family names etc. These individuals will always be at a disadvantage to people like Mr Wafa as they will have a limited experience and scope of bottom up business compared to someone who started work from the age of 17.


What bothered me was that he and others like him will be let down by apathetic people who lack skills and commitment and don’t have the experience or understand the pain of planning and hours that go in to making something successful.


Visions, strategies and projects must always be aligned and can only be executed successfully if management and authorities commit fully to them with passion and integrity. Like in any well run organisation there should be complete accountability of individuals who fall short and don’t deliver. A culture needs to be created where all understand the seriousness of wasting time, money and effort of others. If a culture of open transparency is not encouraged then there will be many more business pioneers and organizations who will lose morale and decide to ‘scale back’ or relocate.


Mr Wafa seems to have regrets that the neighboring countries ‘are taking the lead’. Bahrain has a solid vision known as vision 2030 but the people at the top have to work harder to heed Mr Wafa’s advice.  Perhaps more people in authority need to go through ‘the university of life’ to understand that creating a vision is easy but ‘steely determination’ and dynamism is required to make this vision a successful reality.

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