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As the world prepares to welcome a New Year, Murshed Al Redaini, Group CEO at Yas Holding, is unwavering in his view that the UAE is poised for a period of unprecedented trade growth, and those who stay focused on the job at hand will be those who benefit.
This is a conclusion Al Redaini drew from a wealth of knowledge and experience that sets him apart from his peers – after 15 years in the United Arab Emirates armed forces, he paved the way for several positions of management, including a move to C4 Advanced Solutions (now under EDGE Group, an umbrella technology company for the defense industry), before taking the management of Yas Holding, an Abu Dhabi-based investment firm with a portfolio of activities covering nine sectors, 7,500 employees and more than 60 subsidiary operations. “Under the leadership of our Board of Directors, we aim to transform the company into an agile, innovative and progressive organization in the years to come,” said Al Redaini, before emphasizing his pride in serving the United Arab Emirates. both in the military and in business. capacity. “These two experiences taught me that hard work and resilience, combined with a very structured approach, are at the heart of the results I have achieved. Teamwork and leadership must also go hand in hand. Ensuring that you are supported by a strong management team and surrounded by a strong talent pool is also a key factor.
Over the years, Yas Holding has grown into a leading investment company which has relied on acquisitions and investments to expand into a number of sectors such as food, agriculture, health, education, aviation, real estate, technology, services and others, as well as markets such as Serbia, Morocco, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, Malaysia and Egypt. Throughout 2021, Al Redaini explains that his team has focused on strengthening key areas of the Group through consolidation and expansion. “We have seen several of our companies optimize their costs, which has led us to focus again on these areas in order to increase market share,” he says. “We have also invested in the acquisition of new businesses that complement our existing value chains. In addition, we are seeing good traction in companies that operate in critical sectors of the economy, including food, health, education, technology and others.
As for the COVID-19 pandemic, Al Redaini credits the favorable and enabling environment created by UAE leaders for helping companies like his overcome the crisis. “Out of pride, Yas Holding was very active at the start of the crisis, working to deliver products and services to the country to avoid shortages,” Al Redaini adds. Going forward, Al Redaini says he will seek to expand the group’s platforms in health, food and agriculture. In addition, he believes that the Group’s technology companies are also poised for rapid growth in key sectors over the next few years. “For example, in edutech, we will continue to build innovative digital ecosystems that fuel education along a lifelong journey in large communities, ”he adds. “More generally, our team is always busy identifying and incubating new investment initiatives that expand our current product line or potentially increase capacity and market share in our core verticals. “
While reiterating that Yas Holding is always on the lookout for solid companies that complement its existing focus areas, Al Redaini mentions some of the group’s successes. In the food sector, it is his ultra-fresh dairy company Marmoum, which, he says, is rapidly developing a loyal consumer base. Meanwhile, in the edutech space, it refers to Yas Holding’s Nebras Education group of companies, whose platform, Learning space, works to transform education by enabling personalized learning paths. Entering the healthcare industry, Al Redaini turns our attention to Global One Healthcare Holding, whose activities span biopharmacy, manufacturing, medical supply chain, hospital and clinic management, healthcare technology, and workplace health and wellness. “After the onset of the global pandemic and unprecedented pressures on the healthcare system, the industry was faced with enormous challenges, but also with potential for growth,” notes Al Redaini. “In addition, our country’s strategic orientation in this sector has been a key driver for Yas Holding’s expansion and recent acquisitions. We are interested in three different healthcare verticals: the pharmaceutical and biotechnology value chain, hospital and patient care, and global healthcare technologies focused on investments in artificial intelligence and telemedicine. “
With this in mind, Yas Holding made three strategic acquisitions in 2021: Gulf Inject, Geltec Healthcare FZE and WellPharma Medical Solutions. “These serve to strengthen the UAE’s ambitions for self-sufficiency in this vital sector,” says Al Redaini. “Additionally, they add stability to our group’s broad distribution and supply chain model that penetrates through multiple channels, reaching customers, customers and consumers within the country and beyond. When asked for his point of view on the MENA entrepreneurial ecosystemAl Redaini describes it as an ideal launching pad for any aspiring entrepreneur. “The wave of progressive regulations and financial support over the past few years clearly underscores the importance that UAE leaders have placed in this area,” he said. “The UAE is leading the way in this regard by focusing on innovation, new technologies, skills development, etc. “
For all these reasons, Al Redaini states that the doors of Yas Holding are always open to entrepreneurs in the region whose activities align with the group’s growth plans in key verticals and focus areas, such as technology. , precision agriculture and supply chain innovation. “An example of a start-up that we have invested in is our acquisition of Farmbox, a specialty farm-to-fork online grocery business, which is now an award-winning platform stocking a highly specialized range of agricultural products. organic and fresh. , “he adds. As Yas Holding is a 100% UAE-owned company, Al Redaini and his team are naturally committed to the continued development and success of the UAE.
In addition, Al Redaini considers that the country has already placed itself at the forefront of growth in the region. “Our country has also been successful in building some of the world’s most beloved companies, especially in e-commerce and technology, with recent fundraising paving the way for examples to follow,” he said. declared. Starting a business in the United Arab Emirates is therefore something that he strongly recommends, especially in the areas of technological and digital platforms and services, artificial intelligence, automation, digitization and applications. “When starting a business, it is important to make sure that you have a well-articulated product or service offering and a clear target audience whose needs you will meet, in addition to the issues you will face. respond, ”says Al Redaini. “Keeping costs under control, managing cash flow, and raising funds for growth are all critical to long-term survival. “
With the UAE continuing to attract talent that will spearhead growth across the region, he is confident that now is the time to start a business in the UAE. “As we emerge from the pandemic, customers and clients alike are looking for solutions that allow them to maintain the agility and resilience acquired over the past difficult years, while capturing growth and new revenue streams that emerge.” , concludes Al Redaini.
The Executive Summary: Yas Holding Group CEO Murshed Al Redaini’s Tips for Entrepreneurs
Think sideways and focus on the details. “I’ve learned that no question is too small or irrelevant to ask. By asking simple questions, opportunities can be accelerated, because it is often the occasion to question the situation. “
Focus on the people. “Build a strong talent pool and support your team by leading the way. As CEO, I see myself as a facilitator. “
Be open to changes. “It’s important to monitor all aspects of the health of your business to make sure adjustments can be made in the most agile way possible. Learning and adapting as a team to these challenges as they arise will better prepare you for the unforeseen challenges that lie ahead. happen.”
Control the costs and growth of feed. “Invest in infrastructure that reduce costs over time and automate processes. Focus on areas of growth that leverage existing knowledge hubs or infrastructure that enables the exploitation of your company’s full value chain and market share, while maintaining operations and investments light and efficient futures.
Develop basic skills as well as transferable skills and knowledge. “As we have a number of core competencies, industry skills and capabilities, we are agile enough to respond to challenges as well as emerging opportunities across multiple verticals by focusing on innovation and technology as a ‘core skill sets. ”