Dr. Areej Mohsin Darwish, An Empowered Leader Steering Mohsin Haider Darwish Llc To Great Heights Of Success
Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC, a family-owned business in Oman was established in 1974. It was turned into a Limited Liability Company in 1987 and since it has achieved phenomenal progress over the years and contributed to the economic growth, development and prosperity of the country.
MHD LLC diverse business divisions pride 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, AVON, YALE. MHD LLC was recently listed in the Forbes Top 100 Arab Family Businesses in Middle East 2020. At present, under the able guidance of DR. AREEJ MOHSIN DARWISH, the company continues to contribute its success to the opportunities seized and relationships maintained over the years.
MORE ABOUT DR AREEJ MOHSIN DARWISH
Dr Areej is the Chairperson of Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC, an outstanding example of successful Women’s empowerment and an inspiration to all industry peers. Her leadership, professional management, ability to spot opportunities has steered MHD LLC to the heights of success. She has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years which substantiate her as an exceptional achiever. Forbes also named her as the Middle East’s Most Influential Women in 2018, & Middle East’s 100 Powerful Businesswomen 2020
She joined MHD LLC in 1994 and has worked her way up to the position she currently holds. As the Chairperson, she headed the Internal Audit and the Computer Systems function. Under her leadership, the company achieved ISO 9001:2000 compliance for Quality Management System, ISO 27001 compliance for Information Security Management System, besides successful implementation of Business Continuity Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan for the centralized datacenter.
She also provided strategic direction to the automotive divisions and guided it to a leadership position in the luxury car segment by implementing the customer-centric operating model and executing brand reinforcement strategies.In her role as a Chairperson, she is part of the decision-making think-tank that continuously reviews the Company’s overall operations and growth. Dr Areej’s strengths as an effective strategist have reaped benefits as she has been successful in achieving considerable operational and financial improvements and significantly driving top-line revenue growth and bottom-line profits.
Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC has risen the ladder of success gradually over the years. My father, Late Mohsin Haider Darwish was the founder and he had the keen foresight to envisage the rapid economic development of Oman and the business opportunities that would emerge during the process of development. MHD LLC’s success is a culmination of strategic focus, planning, perseverance, foresight and determination.
Dr Areej further added, “At the start, MHD LLC was a proprietary business. Whilst growing up I have seen my father persevere to grow the company. Working under him, I gained invaluable real-world business experience & lessons which I still use today in the day to day business operations. He challenged me every single day and I like being challenged as it was all about growing and challenging myself to become the best version of myself. Having him as my example helped me build my “entrepreneurial spirit” and gave me the confidence to set up my own business. I launched 2 brands to cater to the growing retail industry of Oman. I first launched a chocolate shop – Blessing which has different varieties of chocolate, wedding invitation cards and baby shower gifts. My second venture is First Impression which captures the priceless fleeting moments of our life in mesmerizing 3D & 2D hand and feet impressions”
HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS
Success is not a destination but a journey towards the achievement of one’s goals. Success comes to those who pursue their goals with determination & enthusiasm. In order to be successful, it’s imperative we have a vision and work towards realizing the vision by being meticulous and organized. It is the disciplines we follow which catapult us to achieve success. As an entrepreneur, they must work consistently by tracking goals, generating new ideas and planning new ventures.
A key attribute of a successful entrepreneur is their ability to be flexible to change with the unforeseen or changing circumstances. Dr Areej firmly believes that one should perceive an opportunity with change; it’s a positive mindset. Also, that success is never a one-man job; she accords due credit to her employees as they believe in the mission & work collectively as a team to be more innovative and focused towards common goals.
She asserts, “I believe that although it would be great to go back in time, I wouldn’t like to change anything, the journey of growing our organization gave us valuable lessons that have made us who we are. Without having gone through the business processes, we wouldn’t have gained the understanding and perspective of running a business through its complexities.”
Decision making is an essential part of leadership. As a leader Dr Areej is required to make decisions on a daily basis – some may be consequential, some trivial and some very significant. In today’s fast paced and complex business world, we are tasked with decision making related to products, growth, expansion and performance. Since each situation is different, her decision making is dependent on the situation at hand. However, since all decisions play a role in shaping the future of the company, as a leader, she is fairly open minded and feels it important to take into consideration other’s ideas and point of view before making a crucial decision. She strongly believes that the best decisions are a mix of insight, expertise and ability to take the risks and she endeavors to make the right decisions which will lead the company to the path of success and a brighter future.
“Creative thinking is also at the forefront for me; I have always encouraged ‘thinking out of the box’ solutions & ideas. I believe that it is through creative thinking that we can achieve distinctive breakthroughs & devise better strategies. Allowing ourselves to think more often results in more creativity, innovation and new approaches to build a business. Our core values define us and help us in achieving our mission and vision. We will reach our vision when we continue to be progressive and successful in achieving our goals through our core values and creative thinking” stated Dr Areej.
The first step towards creative thinking is to engage the right people, at the right times. Bringing people across the organization can be challenging but creativity thrives through collaboration. Great questions always lead to great answers. Diverse ideas and experiences are the ingredients for innovative ideas and solutions. Workshops are another dynamic way to encourage creative brainstorming. At Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC, they try to give their staff the freedom to express themselves as and when they feel they require it. they get leads to diverse perspectives & find answers to challenging situations. However, in addition to engaging the employees, it’s important to reward them for their contribution. The company recognize and applauds them for their ideas and hard work and also gives them constructive feedback which works wonders and makes them motivated & boosts workplace morale
MISSION, CORE VALUES AND VISION
Well, they are all important. They are all inseparable as they complement and supplement each other. Vision is where the company wants it to be going in the long term. The mission is their strategies to reach the vision and their core values are what defines who they are and what are the guiding principles that eventually help them in achieving their final goals towards the growth of the company. They strongly believe that they will only reach their vision when they continue to be progressive and successful in achieving their goals through their core values.
Industry and business trends have evolved over the years. Globalization has brought major transformations around the world. From shifting customer attitudes to developing business technology, new products, new ideologies – there has been a considerable shift in customer preferences. The buyers are more informed, the pace of innovation is increasing & so is the competition. As a business, one has to be on the learning curve and continuously move up & take advantage of new trade opportunities, technologies and consumer demands.
GENDER FREE LEADERSHIP ROLE
Apart from having a futuristic vision, the one characteristic that Dr Areej believes every leader should vitally possess is passion and determination. Passion towards their business & determination to pursue their vision & achieve the goals they have set for the organization to help it reach to greater heights.
Dr Areej, further added, “A leader irrespective of the gender has the formidable task of leading their team and guiding them to achieve the goals set by an organization. The role of women has changed dramatically over many years. It’s so encouraging to see women leaders on the rise and playing an important role in all sectors. Though there has been an increase of women in leadership roles, women leaders have to face challenges as they have to walk the extra mile to prove their worth in the corporate world. Additionally, balancing between their homes & careers can be equally challenging. Nevertheless, with gender equality at the fore, women are rising the corporate ladder steadily & are overcoming all the barriers there are to their success & growth.”
Growth in leadership is essential if you do not want your journey to stagnate. As a leader, she feels that women today are constantly taking new steps and doing things differently to carve a niche for themselves. Today, there is a dire need for women to come out of their comfort zone, challenge themselves & be willing to take risks in order to grow continuously. Focusing on the future & the road ahead are Dr Areej’s priorities. In order to be a successful leader, she also focuses on setting an effective vision and direction for the organization. She is constantly striving to motivate her employees so that they work collectively as a group towards a common goal. Being positive & having an open mindset is the key to sustainable growth – as a leader, and she is open to learning from different experiences at all given times.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE AND CHALLENGES
Women tread a thin line as they have to balance their work and family life. It’s essential to have the right balance and prioritize the responsibilities. Dr Areej lists the commitments on a day to day basis & plans her work for the day accordingly. Additionally, she also maintains that all of us need to draw a line between work and home, this is not restricted to a man or a woman. Both should be kept independent in order to maintain a work-life balance, and the practice has to be free from gender bias. At a professional level, it’s important to delegate as it’s not possible to do it all on her own, and she also believes in healthy breaks. She takes a break from time to time to rejuvenate herself in order to be more productive and focused.
Dr Areej affirms, “Challenges are part and parcel of life. It’s important to embrace and rise above the challenges. If we resist, it will tend to persist. I am also encouraged by the fact that as we succeed with each challenge, it gives us a sense of direction to tackle future challenges & we become more proficient to bouncing back from challenges. I also stay positive & believe that every challenge presents us with an opportunity. We see things in a new perspective which is important for growth.”
Dr Areej grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and has seen the different facets of business & the way it is run since the early years of her childhood. So, she has always carried the raw entrepreneurial instinct & been unconventionally more inclined towards it. However, it was not her dream to join the family business. The only aspect that she did dream & work towards as a child was to excel in everything she did.
THE BEST ADVICE
Dream big, be determined & stay focused on your goals. Give it your hundred per cent, persevere with diligence & dedication. One should never stop learning & growing as a person. Knowledge is power; the more you know the better it is. The only boundaries that surround a person are the boundaries they set for themselves. A person needs to take it upon themselves to break the barriers that do come along in the path. There will be disappointments & setbacks. But it’s our thinking & the way we handle them that makes the difference. One should be persistent and keep working towards their goals to achieve success
On her conferring a Doctoral from the European International University for her achievements, Dr Areej shares, “I am ecstatic, to say the least; it’s a very significant milestone in my career & it’s truly an honour to be felicitated by the International University. It affirms my belief that there are no shortcuts to success. Continued perseverance, diligence and dedication are indispensable factors towards achieving one’s goals. I would like to thank my family for empowering me to achieve my goals & for their constant support & encouragement at every step.”