The Business Year

Dakhil Al Dakhil, CEO of Rasameel Investment Co.

KUWAIT - Finance

Dakhil Al Dakhil

CEO, Rasameel Investment Co

Bio

As CEO of Rasameel Dakhil enriches the company with extensive years of experience in Alternative Investments. He started his career in early 2004 in Private Equity at the Industrial and Financial Investments Company in Kuwait. Over the years, Dakhil was also exposed to Real Estate, locally, GCC and internationally. He managed to close multiple real estate transactions across different sectors and difference jurisdictions of a value over 500 million US dollars.  Al Dakhil was a founding executive member at Dimah Capital after serving a substantial period of time at Al Aman Investment Company where he managed to close several private equity deals; notably, a USD100 million private equity Asian fund, Al Fayez. With a background of Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, Dakhil is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the CFA institute since 2008.

“We have changed the structure of our company, focusing on asset management and venture capital investing.”

Dakhil Al Dakhil, CEO of Rasameel Investment Co., talks to TBY about SMEs and start-ups, changes in the Kuwaiti market, and goals for the short term.

As an investment organization focused on SMEs and start-ups, what qualities do you seek when deciding to financially support newcomers to the market?

Dakhil Al Dakhil: Rasameel has been through many changes over the past years. We have changed the structure of our company, focusing on asset management and venture capital investing. This is actually a new unit that we have recently opened. When it comes to investments, we think of them in simple terms: we do not want to “reinvent the wheel.” Instead, we look at the potential of replicating a particular product or service of a company when put in a different market; if there is a chance of success elsewhere, we know the company is a good fit. We want to invest in companies that have the potential to grow and expand beyond the borders of the GCC. With each investment consideration, we think of the bigger picture, and based on our calculations, we decide whether to go for it. The things to pay in mind are also the company’s ability to pivot and approach challenges, and their financial backing. It is important to understand the team that is leading the SMEs before investing. A great advantage of our firm, as a shariah-compliant organization, is the fact that we do not invest in initiatives that are not sustainable. This is big because of the situation globally where people want to see more corporate responsibility and sustainable practices. In fact, that is one of the things we look at as well. Our philosophy determines our actions, and we believe that whatever we do, we should help the world develop and keep it safe. We are all responsible for the wellbeing of the planet and people, and anything you do has to bring value—that is our philosophy. With all these in mind, the underlying strength and uniqueness of our approach is the fact that for us to participate, both parties have to be able to gain from this participation.

What changes have you observed in terms of the entrepreneurial ventures in the Kuwaiti market?

Dakhil Al Dakhil: There are certain trends that touch the world from time to time, and right now it is the trend of entrepreneurship and SMEs. Many people with great ideas have launched their businesses with success over the past few years. Kuwait is a beautiful country with plenty of talent and capital. Our culture has always been filled with pioneering and innovation, so seeing these young entrepreneurs making their way through the challenges of the market is truly wonderful. There are a few major reasons why Kuwait is a great space to start a business and scale. First of all, we have no taxes, which allows companies to save as much as they can while they try to break at the beginning. Secondly, the environment is peaceful here. There are not many costs, and, especially for Kuwaitis, the support is immense. Finally, the population is small, so you can quickly experiment and explore what works and what does not before you take your product or service abroad; however, for that same reason you have to take it abroad at some point, because there is not enough people here to make a business scalable. That is the model and success story of the many companies that started here: practice, grow, experiment within, and then take it elsewhere.

What is your approach to investing and the unique strategy of Rasameel?

Dakhil Al Dakhil: First, we should use our investments to not only save for the future but build and empower advancement. This is what we are doing at Rasameel. Through our products such as the disruptive technologies portfolio, we help our clients gain and make money, while empowering technological advancement of the world. This way, we are truly investing in the future, rather than just investing for the sake of saving money. There is not much innovative investing in the country, which is what we are trying to change. By empowering these new solutions and experimental approaches, we can influence the growth and change in our economy. Moreover, we will soon launch an all-encompassing platform that will enable our clients to learn about investments, build their own portfolios, and research the market with the use of our expertise and technology. Instead of looking through dozens of websites and magazines, they will be able to go onto our platform and see it all, segregated, analyzed, and updated on the daily basis. We provide the power from insights with conviction on the direction of certain stocks and themes.

What is Rasameel’s major area of focus for the coming months?

Dakhil Al Dakhil: Most importantly, we want to complete the digital transformation of our infrastructure. We will soon become a fully regulated fintech company by the Capital Markets Authority, which is a big change for us and a major achievement. We want to deploy and improve this new platform, which will allow our clients to be even more aware and fluent in terms of investment opportunities and abilities. These two aspects—the transformation of the company and the added value we will bring to our clients—will truly accelerate and empower our growth in the coming years. I am extremely positive about the coming months.

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