The economy of Kuwait is small but wealthy mostly based on petroleum. According to the World Bank, Kuwait is the fourth richest country in the world per capita. Kuwait is the second richest GCC country (Gulf Cooperation Council: 6 members are the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain) per capita (after Qatar). Kuwait is richer and has more abundant oil reserves than the United Arabian Emirates.
Mr. Mohammad Al- Jeemaz is the motivator and strategic planner for medium and small businesses in Kuwait and he also makes marketing and business strategies for countries of the GCC.
Ivana: I see that you are always active, preparing podcasts, mentoring, teaching – training for international companies and at the same time you do PR. Is it something that you miss ?
Mr. Mohammad Al- Jeemaz :Yes, I hear these words very often from a few people. However, I can’t have such a view of myself, I’m just trying to support medium and small entrepreneurs in the Kuwaiti market. Foreign companies also contact me for representation, but it’s a longer process as the Kuwaiti market and conditions are different from Europe or America. I am organizing a number of trainings on topics such as marketing strategies and business support in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates. I write motivational articles and record a lot of podcasts. I advise young, but also well-established entrepreneurs, and I am a frequent member of consulting in marketing – business strategies, and PR in small and medium-sized enterprises.
Ivana: How do you motivate young business minds and at the same time get to understand a good business plan?
Mr. Mohammad Al- Jeemaz: I prepare a business design model even before a start-up company invests even a dollar. Many young people jump into business headless, invest money inefficiently, and when they spend everything and do not divide profits, they do not know what to do next. I try to model the operation of business, ask them questions and prepare them for unexpected events.
,,Every business makes mistakes and we encounter unexpected problems, the only important thing is how we deal with them. You can’t do business without experience, but you only gain experience through years of hard work. Everyone makes mistakes, in business it is completely natural, but when you’re ready for it, you can handle it.”
An important point is setting up a business mindset. As a business coach, I ask a number of questions to guide the thinking of entrepreneurs to avoid risk and bankruptcy. Proper preparation and budget is an important foundation. We have to look at business as a whole concept and not just a goal, we get to the goal step by step. It is not possible to jump there without experience. Otherwise you will lose time and many other options.
Young people are like blank paper, only their expectations are above standard. They think business is about making a quick profit. However, after entering the business, they quickly realize that the reality is different. It’s like a global disease.
Ivana: It’s a big coincidence, but I moved close to the Kuwait embassy. So we are neighbors. I began to wonder if there are any differences between doing business in Europe and Kuwait. Do you notice any difference?
Mr. Mohammad Al- Jeemaz: At the moment, being a small entrepreneur is not very advantageous as the economy is not very profitable for medium-sized businesses. The government is rich thanks to oil supplies, however most of the income allocated to country service for citizens / Non-citizens, education, healthcare, infrastructure, general service for people versus small income for the medium and small markets. ….. For small businesses, we have The National Fund for SME Development which should allocate (2) Billion Kuwaiti dinars, equal to (6) Billion dollars. But the amount has not been used in mast way to empower the local economy of the country. But in total we are in a debt of 14 trillion dollars. This year was not very good for the oil business on the stock market, we had a huge drop. And all this affects the course of the country. An ordinary entrepreneur would not get to the main oil business, this circle is closed to the government and Kuwait petrol company group.
In May, I launched a program to help entrepreneurs in trouble, as many people lost the opportunity to do business and lost a lot of money. Everyone was scared and insecure, it was like the crisis in 2008. People were shocked. It’s like having a house on fire and not knowing how to put it out. I tried to show them a different view of the situation and their possibilities. I was interested in: How does their management work? How is the financial and economic control set up? What is the financing and reserves in the company? What are the options in the area? I focused on logistics, their business, the product, the options and we learned a lot from this crisis.
Ivana: What are the terms and conditions for investors to enter the Kuwaiti market?
Mr. Mohammad Al- Jeemaz: Companies contact me with an interest in entering the market. However, entry into the Kuwait market is not possible without a partner from Kuwait. You would establish a 49% or less partnership with the Kuwaiti partner. Another problem is that foreign partners do not understand Kuwait local market culture. Kuwaiti culture has so many differences: the consuming behavior is more in the citizens culture, shopping behaviors, technology, real estate market especially in the Gulf 6 Regions, it is necessary to choose the right marketing strategy.
In Kuwait, you have to be prepared for a long process in tenders that many investors are not prepared for. I have a company that has been waiting for 5 years and they are still in a tender that is not closed. They lose money just by waiting for their dream contract.
Ivana: Do you see the willingness of investors to invest in European markets? What businesses do Kuwaitis invest the most in? Is it also the gas and oil business?
Mr. Mohammad Al- Jeemaz: A number of Kuwaiti investors are investing in real estate and are buying in bulk in Europe, Turkey, and Malaysia. We love this style of living investment business. We invest in technology but it is very difficult because technology is changing rapidly. Technology is just something you can think of in Silicon Valley that will be made by someone in China cheaper, faster and better.
- Bitcoin: Investing in Bitcoin is also very popular. However this is a kind of gamble. There is no tactic in cryptocurrencies. It’s very dangerous. It’s not productive and no one knows what’s really going on.
- Food: Kuwait loves cafes and international food, it’s simply our lifestyle and our culture. Investing in international cuisine may be a good idea. We are simply willing to pay a lot for coffee. And we created our branded café.
- Medical business: In the medical sector I think they got the most benefit of covid-19 pandemic to gain a lot new market from gloves, masks, and sanitizers.
- Banking: We have a total of 11 banks in Kuwait, 6 traditional and 5 Islamic Banks. The central bank controls them and the Kuwaiti banks are very strong.
- Logistics services: Logistics companies are currently being destroyed by China. Kuwait is price-oriented and therefore prefers China.
- Nanotechnologies: The sector I like is nanotechnology, I see this sector as very big potentially in the future.
Ivana: The main idea of Le Globless is to learn from the best, unique, brilliant and powerful global leading minds and to share this experience. Le Globless also attracts investors from around the world. What do you think about our mission Le Globless and building a new generation of business?
Mr. Mohammad Al- Jeemaz: I really like the idea of Le Globless, I see huge potential in sharing knowledge and experience with global leaders, connecting international investors and the great thing is that you are private. I’ve called international companies many times, but your idea of learning from world leaders is an amazing idea.
I would very much like to know what your options are. The problem only I see is that each country is different and it is necessary for everyone to understand the conditions and organizations of how you want to do it.
Ivana: Investing takes a long time and requires a lot of preparation. We are primarily interested in the needs of investors. I understand that European countries have a different style of thinking and many are not ready to do business with Gulf members. Because they just don’t understand how people in Oman, Qatar, Beirut, UAE, Kuwait think.
Firstly, preparation, constant learning, perception of details and understanding of culture and lifestyle are essential. Of course, the needs of individual countries as well as the supply. I learn every day and with each meeting I am wiser, building my knowledge and gaining new experiences.
I was preparing for the Le Globless project, I built my experience, contacts, traveled a lot, I did business in gas and electricity connected with Russia for 10 years. I was building knowledge, I wanted to understand relationships, how everything works. I am constantly learning from amazing people and strong personalities. Only if we start in small steps, once we can build something amazing and huge.
We try to learn from each other. My circle of friends is very small and also the circle of private investors is really very small. If you want to do a good business and do a good job, you have to understand the needs of the investor and know what he really wants. You don’t necessarily have to be the biggest and the best analysis is the most important is trust and access.
The investor must trust you. He just knows right away that I’m the right person to have the right skills.
It’s not just about a huge analystic society, and it’s a huge time about accession.I really appreciate the joint conversation with most of the countries when we are discussing.
What is most important for us now is to find the greatest leaders and to share experience and knowledge with others. When you do something very well it will naturally come to you.
What we are trying to do is understand the needs of a private investor. That is why we have private investors about whom we know exactly what they want and we can prepare for it. Le Globless is to watch and listen and learn from leaders. When you do your job well, success always comes. Yes, many companies from the USA, Russia or Europe are not ready to invest as it is all about preparation and I have been preparing this for 10 years. We try to understand needs and we learn a lot.
If you want to do a private investor business, you have to understand the needs of investors and have their trust.
Mr. Mohammad Al- Jeemaz: Why did you choose me for the interview?
Ivana: Because I saw that you think otherwise you support women in business….I was very curious, thank you very much for your experience Dear Mr. Mohamed Al- Jeemaz and a great pleasant conversation. I look forward to an early cooperation with Kuwait.
“My great pleasure, respect and honor to speak with Mr. Mohammad Al- Jeemaz.
Copywriting : Cyril Thorne