10 Things You Didn’t Know About Mohammed Alshaya

A household name in the Middle Eastern business landscape, Mohammed Alshaya is an influential figure. Alshaya has taken his family business to a whole new level by modernizing retail in the region, bringing in top global brands while fostering local talent. Despite his high public profile, there are still many intriguing aspects of this magnate’s life that remain relatively unknown. Let’s delve into these lesser-known aspects of his fascinating journey.

1. Early Life and Education

Though incredibly successful now, Mohammed Alshaya wasn’t born into an empire. Born in Kuwait in 1955, Alshaya’s business acumen would be forged by years of learning and dedication. His family was already well-established in the retail business, but it wasn’t an effortless transfer of power. Young Mohammed had to earn his stripes.

Alshaya graduated from the University of Kuwait with a degree in Business Administration before moving to the US for higher studies. He earned his MBA from the esteemed Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. The time spent in the West not only helped him hone his business skills but also expanded his vision to global possibilities.

2. Transforming M.H. Alshaya Co.

After his father’s death in 1990, Alshaya took over as the Chairman of M.H. Alshaya Co. The Company was originally established as a small trading business by his father and uncle in 1890. However, Mohammed’s leadership transformed it into one of the world’s leading retail franchise operators.

Today, the company operates more than 80 global brands across the Middle East, North Africa, Russia, Turkey, and Europe. This achievement would not have been possible without Alshaya’s foresight and strategic positioning in an evolving marketplace.

3. Aesthetic Visionary

Mohammed Alshaya is not just a savvy businessman but also a visionary with a keen eye for aesthetics. This is evident in his entrepreneurial journey where he has repositioned his family business by including high-end, trendy, global brands into his franchise network.

Brands like Starbucks, H&M, and The Body Shop were introduced to the Middle Eastern market under his leadership. Alshaya’s distinct aesthetic sensibility is key to the success that the company has enjoyed in the sector as he has mastered the art of relaying a global identity while resonating with the local culture.

4. Recognized Leader

Alshaya’s visionary leadership and lasting impact on the retail industry haven’t gone unnoticed. His exceptional record led to his appointment as the Chairman of The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) for the Middle East & Africa.

Moreover, he was recognized by Retail Week in the UK with the “Special Recognition” award in 2011. He received this honor for his outstanding philanthropic work and contribution to the global retail sector.

5. Philanthropy

Besides his success in business, Alshaya is well known for his philanthropic endeavors. He always emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community and conducted numerous initiatives in areas such as education, health, and disaster relief.

His company, M.H. Alshaya Co., has worked with numerous organizations like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Red Crescent to provide humanitarian aid. They have also carried out a significant green initiative, planting thousands of trees in Kuwait.

6. Fields of Interest

While retail has been a principal focus for Mohammed Alshaya, his interests aren’t confined to this field alone. He also has significant investments in real estate and the hospitality industry.

His portfolio includes the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut, a landmark property that has garnered significant attention. Not to mention, his real estate investments span across the MENA region and further, including Europe.

7. Honorary British Award

In 2012, Alshaya was bestowed with one of the highest British honors by the Queen of England – an Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

The award was given in recognition of Alshaya’s significant business interests in the UK and his efforts in building cultural bridges between the UK and the Arab World.

8. No Public Social Media Presence

Despite being a public figure, Alshaya isn’t active on social media. This could be attributed to his private nature.

He reportedly prefers to maintain a low profile and focuses on his business ventures and philanthropic pursuits, instead of striving for a social media presence.

9. Employee Engagement

Believing that a company is only as good as its employees, Mohammad Alshaya stresses the importance of employee engagement. He is a strong advocate for staff training and development.

Under his leadership, M.H. Alshaya Co. has initiated various programs to ensure employee satisfaction and career progression. The company is reported to have one of the highest staff retention rates in the industry.

10. Commitment to Quality

Under Alshaya’s stewardship, quality has always been a significant emphasis. This commitment to quality is apparent in the selection of brands that his company franchises.

Whether it’s ensuring that Starbucks in Kuwait has the same ambiance as one in Seattle or that H&M clothes keep up with international trends, Alshaya’s focus on providing quality products and services has been a hallmark of his business empire.

To learn more about Mohammed Alshaya, visit the M.H. Alshaya Co. website www.alshaya.com