Established in 1940, Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons Group is one of Bahrain’s largest, most diversified and forward-thinking companies, and has the market knowledge and experience to make it the ideal partner for investors looking to establish business in the Gulf.
When Yousuf Khalil Almoayyed opened a small one-man shop selling electrical goods, sugar, tea, coffee and sandalwood roof beams back in 1940, he surely never imagined his company would go on to become one of the largest and most successful business groups in Bahrain, with operations in Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman and a 5,000-strong workforce.
Representing over 300 international brands,Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons Group now comprises several companiesoperating in a diverse range of industries, including automobiles, electronics, heavy equipment, building materials, construction and food & beverages. The late Mr. Almoayyed’s success earned him the reputation as a visionary and pioneer in business. Today, his legacy and vision live on through his children and grandchildren, who make up the company’s board of directors and ensure that Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons remains one of Bahrain’s most recognized and trusted brands, and a major contributor to Kingdom’s development and Vision 2030 plan for economic diversification.
“The government has been committed to diversifying the economy away from the oil industry, and to encouraging other sectors like tourism, banking and services. They are giving lots of facilities to companies who want to come and invest in Bahrain,” says Mona Y Almoayyed, daughter of Mr. Almoayyed and the company’s managing director.
“We are very happy with the situation and we were very pleased with the 2017 results, with our profits rising by 30 percent, compared to 2016. The best thing about our business is we are very diversified. So even when some business lines go down like electronics or automobiles, others go up like cement or concrete, which is a sector on the rise, especially in the GCC region.”
Ms. Almoayyed notes that due to the rising popularity of online shopping, the Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons’ retail stores have witnessed a slowdown. As a result, the board is looking into strengthening the company’s presence in the e-commerce segment.
“We feel that e-commerce will be a key potential growing market. We also see a lot of potential in the service and maintenance sector. We sell safety instruments. For example, we sell fire alarms, securities, lifts and air conditioning. So, retail is going down but Internet and services will go up.”
The company’s board of directors is made up of six women and five men, which is something very unique in the Middle East. Ms. Almoayyed became the first Bahraini woman elected to the board of a public company, Maritime and Mercantile International, and in 2001 became MD of the family firm. Last year she was named the Ninth Most Powerful Arab Businesswoman by Forbes.
Ms. Almoayyed says part of the company’s success can be attributed to her father’s belief and confidence in women to excel in top management.
“I don’t know for a fact, but I think we are the only company in the Middle East where there are more women than men on the board of directors. Also, the best part: usually in family businesses, once the founder dies the new generations fight over control, but we stuck together and we made it a shareholding company. We are now four sisters and two brothers and so our shareholding is in the company.”
In line with the Vision 2030 plan, Bahrain’s forward-thinking government continues to move ahead with policies and reforms to make it the most attractive and open investment destination in the Gulf. Furthermore, the Kingdom is one of only of two nations in the region to have a free trade agreement with the U.S., which, along with the regions’ top human capital, world-class infrastructure and strategic location, make it the ideal gateway to the $1.5 trillion Gulf market of 36 million consumers.
As one of the Bahrain’s longest established companies, Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons can serve as the perfect partner for U.S. investors seeking to explore the opportunities Bahrain and the wider region has to offer.
“I think we can be the perfect partners because we have a long history.We understand the market and our board of directors is composed of the old and the new generation, so we are open to new ideas and businesses,” explains Ms. Almoayyed.
“We are very open-minded, forward-thinking, and honest. We have the capital and the financial muscle; we have the human resources. We have all the desired elements and we are very happy to explore new ventures.”