The original report was published in The New York Times on Sunday, April 3, 2011
Jaidah: a flagship name in Qatar
With a significant business portfolio, the Jaidah family has anchored its name in households and businesses alike
Chief Development Officer of Jaidah Group
Jaidah Group is an excellent example of how a company can diversify based on its core activities, and furthermore become one of the most respected conglomerates in the region.
The group’s roots can be traced back to the 19th century when the Jaidah family traded basic goods in Qatar. While the company still retails goods such as furniture and vehicles, its offer has expanded over the years to also include heavy equipment, computers and other technological products, industrial supplies, and even services in both the upstream and downstream oil and gas/energy sectors.
Moreover, Jaidah Group has teamed up with some of the world’s best brands in their respective fields, such as GM, Fujitsu, Xerox, Elba, Ligne Roset, Halliburton and most recently, Herve Gambs and Dedon.
With these powerful partnerships, the group has better weathered the economic recession.
“These are brands that have strong foundations and financial backing that allow them to continue functioning even during these hard times,” says Mohammed Jaidah, the group’s chief development officer.
In contrast to the strategies of the more cautious among the competition, Jaidah Automotive earlier this year launched its brand new Khalifa Showroom near the Great Mosque in Doha. Previously, the group had opened a new Ligne Roset showroom also in Doha, during the worst period of the global crisis. Fortunately, it proved successful.
“Within the management, we were a little worried about this decision but we were pleased to find out that in the luxury sector, the demand still exists in Qatar. People still want luxury here and are ready to spend considerably on it,” explains Mr. Jaidah.
In fact, he considers these difficult financial times to be the best moments for following new business pursuits, as there is less activity and more time for inventing, planning and strategizing. And, the best place to pursue new business, according to Mr. Jaidah, is in unsatisfied demands in the market.
As much as the group has grown, it still considers itself a family business. However, with increased competition from new entrants in the market, Jaidah Group, like many other family businesses, is modifying its management style in order to become more competitive and better able to adapt to the changing economic environment.
Looking forward, Jaidah Group is optimistic as it seeks out more unsatisfied demands to fulfill.
“Qatar is still a very young market,” says Mr. Jaidah, adding that it has proven nearly “recession-proof” thanks to the strength of its foundations. Additionally, the group looks forward to forming new partnerships with foreign SMEs entering Qatar.