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KW23_EC_KIPCO_Sheikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah_PORTRAIT

KUWAIT - Economy

Sheikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah

GROUP CEO, KUWAIT PROJECTS COMPANY (KIPCO)

Bio

Sheikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad
Al Sabah was appointed KIPCO’s
Group CEO in January 2022 and has
been a board member since 2020. She
is the founder & chair of the board of
trustees of the American University of
Kuwait (AUK) and chairperson of United
Education Company. She was formerly
CEO of Al Futtooh Holding Company
and currently holds board positions in
Gulf Insurance Group, OSN, and Kamco
Invest. Sheikha Dana holds an honorary
doctorate of Humane Letters from
Dartmouth College in the US and a BA in
English literature from Kuwait University.
She also studied at Indiana University in
Bloomington in the US.

By complementing the government’s work through private sector, KIPCO is working to drive change forward and help realize the country’s vision.
By complementing the government’s work through private sector, KIPCO is working to drive change forward and help realize the country’s vision.
What is your perspective on the progress being made in economic diversification?

Kuwaitis have been engaged in entrepreneurship for a long time. We had always traded and participated in the international market. In the industrial era, we were fortunate to have struck oil and build our country with its support. We cannot, however, depend on oil forever. When it comes to diversifying the economy and seeking alternatives, I believe the movement has already begun. With the ESG policies being implemented and the net zero initiatives in place, we can take the country forward toward a more sustainable future. The economy must be diversified. The government has a plan and will hopefully execute it in a timely manner, and we, as the private sector, stand ready to support where we can. Overall, we, at KIPCO, are staying optimistic.

Given its wide range of projects, where does KIPCO stand in empowering Kuwait economy’s development?

We are currently taking part in a merger with Qurain Petrochemicals that will enhance our portfolio. We are taking great steps toward integrating digitalization into all aspects of our business. It is an important milestone. In this new portfolio, we will include alternative investments or strengthen existing ones, such as the logistics and healthcare. We have education, food, petrochemicals, banking, media, and oil and gas. With the support of our other companies, such as SADAFCO and ATC, we aim to enhance our portfolio in the foodstuff and healthcare sectors. Especially with the net zero goal and the ESG, we are looking more into renewable energies. We are working in alignment with the government, looking at its policies, and trying to support the change by creating jobs or putting Kuwait on the map for renewable energies. Additionally, Kuwait is facing a major housing problem, and this is where KIPCO can help the government, by delivering projects and accelerating the developments.

What are the greatest skills and strategies women can employ to excel in the Kuwaiti business scene?

When it comes to the ways in which women can overcome challenges, there are a few tools and strategies. First, women typically have to double or triple the amount of work to be viewed as having made progress in comparison to their male colleagues. This requires patience and resilience in order for us to move forward. Moreover, women are multi-taskers by nature and tend to be less emotional about business matters, which greatly improves their leadership and management skills. Business opportunities for women in Kuwait are significantly better now. In the 1980s, there were fewer women working in the private sector. Now, it is completely different. The entire dynamics of society have changed. For example, there are now three female CEOs in the banking sector. Women have also become more prominent in industry and logistics. Even at the government level, there are two ministers now. In the end, through diligent work and resilience women can truly excel in the workplace, as they do in life.

Where does KIPCO plan to focus its efforts in the coming months?

We will make the greatest effort in food security, medicine, healthcare, education, and technology. These are the basics. Since January 2022, we have been working on diversifying our portfolio, and due to the nature of Kuwait Vision 2035, it feels only natural to focus heavily on the fundamentals. We want to align ourselves with the government and help Kuwait grow. There are also other pillars, such as banking and insurance, which are the extras. We are working on improving our agility and become even larger following the merger. We will have to reevaluate our assets and choose our portfolio going forward. We aim to deliver great yield for our shareholders and grow our company. With the right strategy and a sustainable approach, we are certain to make the most of what is yet to come.

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