Lasting legacy

Areej Mohsin Haider Darwish, Joint Deputy Chairperson of MHD believes that succession planning is the key to ensure a smooth transition which creates a multi-generational institution

Areej Mohsin Haider DarwishGive us a brief on your roles and responsibilities at MHD?

As joint deputy chairperson of Mohsin Haider Darwish (MHD), I am responsible for steering and guiding the overall business operations of the multi-diversified group. Additionally, I have also taken on the charge of directly over-seeing some of the operating divisions and activities of the company including automobiles.

Is there an induction process to bring the next generation of family members into the business?

The MHD family has traditionally looked inwards first to exploit entrepreneurial talent. My father introduced my sister and me into the business over 20 years ago and we have not looked back. The next generation has started to move to the University, with my eldest son Mohsin now finishing his education in the UK and will be subsequently inducted into the business. We envisage that our next generation would someday be a vibrant part of the empire bringing new ideas and initiatives with them.

Is there a succession plan to ensure a smooth generational transition in the business?

For family held businesses, planning for succession is the toughest and most critical challenge. Succession planning is the key to ensure a smooth transition which creates a multi-generational institution that represents the family’s values and mission for generations to come. The next generation of MHD family would be gradually inducted into the business as and when they complete their education.

As an entrepreneur, what are the challenges that you face in running the business?

There are innumerable challenges that we face. Meeting all the business objectives while at the same time meeting all stakeholders’ expectations is an unimaginable task. Luckily, we can bank on our father’s vision and experience as also the professional team to back us up. The single biggest challenge for me personally though is time-management!

What prospects do you see in your company in the next three to five years?

The MHD Group has robust and well-diversified product and services portfolio and we are looking at the challenging market scenario with confidence. We also have a team of professionals who can leverage and exploit these resources and opportunities to the maximum. We have also devised and started implementing plans for exploiting emerging overseas opportunities.

Your advice to young Omani entrepreneurs, who are keen to set up business?

Entrepreneurship is often a difficult undertaking, as a vast majority of new businesses fail to understand the market dynamics and fold up within a short period of time. I would definitely encourage the Omani youth to go forward with a cohesive plan and join the growing field of entrepreneurs who are scripting success stories in the Sultanate.

My advice to the new entrepreneurs would be- Learn to dream and pursue your dreams with single minded dedication and commitment. There will be tough times and pitfalls and challenges but with persistence and focus, you will eventually get there.

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