Omar K. Alghanim, CEO of Alghanim Industries and Chairman of Gulf Bank believes that 2016 is a year of hope. He tends to view most business challenges as opportunities, and those of the most daunting challenges would result in greater potential reward.
He said, â€œbusiness opportunities in our part of the world are sometimes so heavily disguised that they are almost impossible to see, or even imagine in some cases. Those who can stand strong during the darkest moments truly pay honor to our region.â€
Speaking about the year ahead,Â Alghanim says, â€œThe fresh start that every new year brings has not muted the drama around ISIL, which continues to draw global heat and headlines. The attacks on Paris set a new and brutal low for the political firestorm, and I suspect the reverberations will continue for a while. How this all plays out, nobody knows. But what I do know is that day-to-day life in the Middle East will go on, much as it has for thousands of years.â€
Speaking on business terms, he believes that the business community also plays an important role, for non-profit businesses, they compete, but at the same time recognize and embrace the greater good, thus striving to collaborate in many ways to make GCC a better and more productive region. A few examples he noted were, Kuwait under the leadership of Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, has allocated $7bn to fund small and medium enterprises, in an attempt to support youth and stimulate the local economy, also the major investment in e-government, with a focus on curbing bureaucracy and increasing transparency, as well as the recent hosting of one of the largest social media conferences in the region â€“ â€œHashtag Kuwaitâ€ which put a spotlight on the importance of social media in impacting regional affairs.
For him, modern and forward-looking programmes serve as reminders that will play as a role when it comes to creating economically-inclusive environments that allow people to follow their dreams. While ISIL may continue to grab headlines, the paucity of attractive employment opportunities for youth continues to be one of the biggest threats faced by the region. He is optimistic about the ability of the Arab business community to stand and deliver.