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HE Sheikh Nawaf Nasser Bin Khaled Al Thani

QATAR - Economy

Leading By Example

Chairman, NBK Holding

Bio

HE Sheikh Nawaf Nasser Bin Khaled Al Thani is one of the most prominent business figures in Qatar and the Middle East. He studied Business Administration in the UK. As well as being Chairman of Nasser Bin Khaled Holding, he is Chairman of Al Wa’ab City, Chairman of Doha Insurance, and Chairman of Nasser Bin Nawaf & Partners Holdings. He is a member of the extended Ruling Family.

What are the specific strengths of NBK Holding that have helped it to emerge as one of the leading companies in Qatar? NBK Holding owes its success to a long-term […]

What are the specific strengths of NBK Holding that have helped it to emerge as one of the leading companies in Qatar?

NBK Holding owes its success to a long-term strategy of building a balanced portfolio of outstanding brands and businesses. Whether it is our range of international brands or our homegrown subsidiaries, it is our corporate vision and core values that have kept us on track. Our corporate leadership has also ensured that we have had the first-mover advantage in many of the industries we forayed into over the years. More than anything else, I believe NBK owes its success to an unwavering commitment to outstanding customer service and product quality. Any company that wishes to makes its mark in Qatar, or for that matter in any other market, must deliver on these key points. NBK Holding has been a prominent player in the Qatari market for more than six decades. A lot has changed in that time span. Today’s business environment places very different demands upon any company that wishes to enter and succeed in the market.

How do you assess Qatar’s recent economic performance when compared to the international business environment?

There is no doubt that Qatar’s amazing economic track record in recent years has been a key driver of local business. Qatar has made giant strides to achieve a prominent status in the economic landscape of the region and, in fact, the world. Even when the world saw a huge collective slump beginning in 2008-2009, Qatar weathered the economic storm better than most countries, thanks to its vast hydrocarbon resources and prompt action by the government to ensure economic stability. In such a strong economic environment, confidence runs high and there is a general sense of optimism. NBK Holding as well as all other businesses in Qatar have been the beneficiaries of these excellent economic conditions in the past years. Most of our subsidiaries have seen strong growth during the past 12 months.

What is the importance of having a diversified portfolio to the overall success of the holding?

In a market that is growing as quickly as Qatar, new opportunities are constantly coming up in every industry. At NBK, we have made it our long-term mission to identify these opportunities and capitalize on them. In addition to maximizing our profitability, this strategy also gives us a diversified portfolio that is better able to withstand market fluctuations in different industries. Strong growth in one area of the economy inevitably drives growth in other industries. Our presence in a variety of markets allows us to keep a close eye on the pulse of the economy and to make better business decisions as an organization.

How do you select partners when entering into joint ventures with international companies?

The selection of our business partners is one of the cornerstones of NBK’s long history of success. It involves a careful mutual vetting process to ensure that our organizations are compatible in several important regards. Once the expectations of each partner are spelled out and agreed upon, our analysts run the numbers to ensure the financial viability of the collaboration for both parties. If all goes to plan, it is usually the beginning of a long and mutually fruitful partnership.

International investors and companies are flocking to Qatar of late. What would be your advice to these entrepreneurs targeting the Qatari market?

For international companies that get their strategy right, there are indeed huge opportunities in the Qatari market. I think the single most important factor in this market is choosing the right business partner. An experienced Qatari partner can open doors for a new company, help them navigate the bureaucratic landscape and provide unique local insights for impactful brand positioning and marketing. Choosing the right business partner who stands alongside you and actively works with you to grow the business is not necessarily an easy task, but it is an essential one for long-term success.

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