Areej Mohsin Darwish: Steering the Business to Great Heights with Remarkable Leadership Qualities

Areej Mohsin Darwish, Chairperson of ACERE Cluster, Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC

Innovation is the key component of success of any organization. Innovative business leaders play significant role in the success of the organizations as they come up with innovative strategies to achieve organizational goals. To drive businesses to great heights, it is essential to have able, competent, participative, innovative, and remarkable leadership at the helm of the businesses. Such leaders are able to drive the growth and momentum for their businesses.

Leaders with sound leadership qualities and innovative skills lead the businesses to great heights through valuable contribution. Mrs. Areej Mohsin Haider Darwish is one such innovative business leader who has risen the corporate ladder steadily and steered business to new heights through her sound leadership qualities and innovative talent. She is the Chairperson of Automotive, Construction Equipment and Renewable Energy (ACERE) Cluster of Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC (MHD LLC). She heads the organization’s diverse operations in Oman & overseas. She says that competition is good because it fosters innovation.

Attributing Success and Leadership Skills to Visionary Father

Areej’s leadership, professional management, relentless dedication, and ability to identify opportunities has helped the organization to reach the peak of success. She attributes her success and leadership skills to her late father, Mohsin Haider Darwish, who was a visionary.

Areej aims at carrying on her late father’s legacy by taking MHD Group to greater heights of success. She is an outstanding example of successful women’s empowerment and is an inspiration to all industry peers. Analytical thinking, decision making, problem solving, and discipline are some of her best qualities which Areej owes to her late father.

Building on Strengths

Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC is one of the prominent family businesses in Oman and was established in 1974. It was turned into a Limited Liability Company in 1987. It has achieved phenomenal progress over the years and contributed to the economic growth, development, and prosperity of the country and was listed in Forbes as Top 100 Arab Family Businesses in Middle East 2020 and 2021. MHD LLC has diverse business presence and prides itself to be associated with some of the renowned international brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover, McLaren, Volvo, MG, Ford, Ashok Leyland, Michelin, Huawei, Hitachi, KDK.

By building on its business strengths, MHD LLC is looking at forging business collaboration with new business partners.

Gaining Insights into Finer Details of Business Processes

Having graduated from SQU with major in Computer Science and Maths, Mrs. Areej began her career at Petroleum Development Oman. She joined the family business in 1994. Under the able guidance and tutelage of her late father, Areej gradually climbed the ladder and worked her way up the organizational hierarchy.

Her father was firm, and she didn’t get things on a platter; it was important for him that Areej worked with every division and gain insight into the finer details of the business.

This helped Mrs. Areej to understand the business processes closely and the strategy behind the success of her family business. Being involved in the business operations minutely helped Areej to steer the business to new heights through sound leadership, planning, perseverance, foresight and determination.

Being Participative

When Areej thinks of impactful leadership, what comes to her mind is the long lasting positive and meaningful contribution a leader makes to the organization as well as community at large. Areej says that an impactful leader is one who is approachable, inspiring, passionate to achieve organizational goals with a positive mindset. Areej has always believed in participative leadership style and she has followed this at MHD LLC too. She says that leadership is about inspiring employees to work towards the vision and mission of the organization.

Leading with Optimism

Areej’s leadership is characterized by constant communication, setting challenging goals and the ability to acclimatize in uncertain environments. She follows a philosophy of leading with optimism, as positive culture is the key to sustainable business success. She is continuously learning while working with a team of professionals to run various divisions, thus, remaining a true encouragement to her staff and always inspiring them to come up with new and better processes.

Putting Growth at Top of Every Agenda

Areej is an ambitious leader who puts growth at the top of every agenda. Her vision for MHD LLC is to see the organization flourish by looking for new opportunities, strengthening relations with their business partners, expanding their footprint into new sectors by building new relationships and partnerships. She endeavors to continue to make a noteworthy contribution to the country and future generations through perseverance, determination, and effective leadership.

Keeping the Big Picture in Mind

MHD LLC has built a vision, set goals and directions and mapped a path for its team. Areej adds that true leaders inspire enthusiasm, commitment, help remind everyone of the big picture, and challenge people to outdo themselves and work towards a common goal. Areej considers it is important to keep the communication lines open. She believes that an open communicative work culture fosters a creative environment which encourages collaboration and facilitates free flow of ideas and improves employee morale.

Having Foresight, Planning and Determination

There are various factors which are attributable for the success of any business. Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC has risen the ladder of success gradually over the years. The company’s success is a culmination of foresight, strategic planning, assiduousness, and determination. Areej attributes the continued success of the family business to the opportunities that it seized, the relationships it developed over the years with its business partners and the dedication and hard work of its employees.

Competition exists in every field and Areej considers that its actually good for the businesses as it enables them to identify their unique traits and constantly pushes them to be innovative. Understanding changes in the industry, and staying ahead of the competition in key areas, such as customer service, technology, and efficiency is MHD LLC’s focus.

Mitigating Challenges with Proper Planning and Strategy

Business leaders are at the forefront of challenges. Challenges are inevitable as today’s business environment is constantly evolving. However, it gives leaders an opportunity to learn from them as challenges are filled with possibilities for change.

The challenges faced are different at different times – it could be external as well as internal challenges. Some of the challenges which MHD LLC has encountered are changes in business trends, competition, expansion of business presence, financial planning, expanding customer base and risk management.

As business grows, different problems and opportunities demand different solutions. Areej says that many of the challenges can be mitigated with proper planning and strategy. She states that as a business leader, it is important to be resilient in one’s pursuit to create a sustainable growth for the future.

Having an Action Plan to Deal with Unprecedented Times

The current global pandemic of the COVID-19 virus has adversely impacted the economy in countries around the world. Due to the nature of the pandemic, it was not possible to stop the crisis but MHD LLC had coping strategies in place to lower the risks which helped it in overcoming the challenges during COVID as it identified the potential issues and developed an action plan that was robust to maintain continuity in the face of uncertain times. As an organization, its primary concern during COVID was the safety and well-being of its staff. It implemented remote working arrangements and strengthened health and safety measures.

Maintaining best practices was an essential aspect of risk management. It was a period of continuous learning and accepting the new normal. MHD LLC had business continuity plans in place which helped it sustain ongoing operations. Technology was at the heart of the new operating model and it restructured its technological infrastructure to meet the evolving business needs.

MHD LLC is focussed on building resilience and the pandemic gave it an opportunity to examine current practices in order to pivot to new opportunities. As an organization, it emerged sturdier and better prepared for the future.

A Precise Note to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Areej’s first and foremost advice to the potential leaders is to set a goal for themselves – use good judgement and determination to achieve it. They need to focus and persevere to do the best. Knowledge is power and a business leader never stops learning. Emerging business leaders have to master their skills; this will allow them to work effectively in today’s dynamic business world. They have to be willing to think outside the paradigm; do things unconventionally. Curiosity is a prerequisite to continuous improvement. Therefore, Areej advises aspiring entrepreneurs to constantly seek opportunities and work towards achieving excellence. They also need to embrace the challenges positively and face adversity calmly and work on being agile. She advises them to keep in mind that success is a culmination of many factors but all of them put together are incomplete without a team. The employees are invaluable assets therefore she advises that caring for one of the primary assets is as important as everything else.

Making a Noteworthy Contribution to the Country

MHD LLC has achieved a place of eminence in Oman as it has been successful in creating excellence of the highest levels. Being eminent gives it the competitive advantage but the key to sustaining it is to constantly evolve and have the relentless commitment to get better every single day. Its key objective is to continue the family legacy by making a noteworthy contribution to the country.

Having Constantly Evolving Business Strategy and Plans

MHD LLC is focused on its vision of the future and its business goals are aligned with Oman’s Vision 2040. Oman’s economy is on the path of accelerated growth as it is building a productive and diversified economy with innovation, infrastructure, education, development of workforce, sustaining national resources and modern legislative framework as its key drivers. At MHD, its business strategy and plans are constantly evolving. Its strategy is to diversify its revenue across different sectors, expand its presence in Oman and globally, introduce new brands and forge strategic partnerships.

Being Committed to Sustainable Growth and Development

Besides business objectives, MHD LLC is also committed to sustainable growth and development. With the growing trend and use of electric vehicles which can drastically cut down on transportation costs, it has taken the lead and leveraged this opportunity by introducing electric charging stations. This is a relatively new concept but it foresees immense potential in this sector as every industry is turning towards more environmentally friendly technology.

MHD LLC also believes in a creating a sustainable economy by venturing into sustainable business ventures. Sustainable energy is the future of tomorrow and working towards this, it has ventured into Solar business as conservation of Energy is a national priority.