Gulf Bank’s ‘Let’s Talk Business’ Podcast Interviews Largest Event Management Company

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KUWAIT: Tareq Al-Saleh interviews Ahmed Al-Majed on the second episode of Gulf Bank’s “Let’s Talk Business” podcast.

KUWAIT: Gulf Bank aired the second episode of its “Let’s Talk Business” podcast with Ahmed Al-Majed, Managing Director of the Suffix company for the management of sporting events. The program, moderated by Tareq Al-Saleh, Deputy Managing Director of Gulf Bank’s Economic Research Unit, features stories of entrepreneurs in a streamlined economic framework, targeting aspiring entrepreneurs who are planning to start their own businesses. The bank’s new podcast is part of its overall strategy to promote economic and community sustainability in Kuwait.

Follow our passions

Ahmed Al-Majed began his presentation on the start of his work in the sports equipment sector, an industry he loved but was not as popular in Kuwait at the time, at least not popular enough to support a business. He said: “I learned then that a business shouldn’t be built on personal passion alone. You can be passionate about something, but the market might not be ready for it. This is what happened to me when I founded my first local sporting goods store in 2004.

Competetion

When asked about the competition in the industry, Al-Majed spoke about his company philosophy and unique vision for doing business in the sporting event management industry, saying, “At Suffix we see ourselves as complementary to the industry. We work with all sectors of the country. We don’t necessarily see ourselves as anyone’s competitors, rather we are an additional support system for many people and entities. The market is very large and our mission is much larger, which is why we welcome any effort that succeeds in reaching a new category of customers and promoting a culture of sport and health.

Focus on the customer experience

The Suffix Company is responsible for the organization of the annual “Gulf Bank 642 Marathon” and has been running the event successfully for over seven years. With the marathon reaching higher and higher heights each year, Gulf Bank recently announced the three-year extension of its strategic partnership with Suffix. Al-Majed spoke about the most important thing that sets the marathon apart from other events, highlighting the unique and enjoyable experience that Gulf Bank creates for all participants, saying, “The marathon is for everyone, whether you are a sports enthusiast or that you are just participating for a day, so it is important that this marathon is always more than just a race. Therefore, we work to create a great experience for each participant, despite their logistical difficulty. We make sure that the competitors pass through the different monuments of Kuwait, starting with Souq Sharq, Kuwait Towers and Souq Al-Mubarakiya, as we want to add a sense of excitement, especially for those who are not interested or not. love sports. In this way, we hope to inspire everyone to adopt healthy habits like walking and running. “

Patience paves the way for success

During the interview, Al-Majed explained the need for continuous work and planning, and not to expect overwhelming success on the first try. Al-Majed continued, “When we launched the Gulf Bank 642 Marathon series in its first year, we had 1,400 people, but it was like we had a million participants, and we were very happy with it. number. After just three years, the number of participants reached 10,000, which placed the “Gulf Bank 642 Marathon” on the list of the greatest marathons in the world. We also recently received a bronze ranking by World Athletics, an honor we have received among 128 marathons around the world. “

Working during the pandemic

The lockdown and long curfews in Kuwait were among the big challenges the Suffix company faced and managed to overcome them with technology. Al-Majed said, “Today, technology has become a staple in every business, whether it is a digital business or not. The use of technology allows us to keep working and reduce costs, in addition to increasing the capacity for innovation. In just a few years, we have gradually evolved into the digital company we know today, and although our core business is sport event management, technology has now become the core of our work. During the pandemic, our sector was one of the most affected. We took the opportunity to prove our ability to work and manage events digitally and remotely, launching various services in the early days of the closure and curfew. We have found it to resonate very well with customers, whose loyalty to us has grown significantly over this time.

Risk management

When asked about the financial side of the business, Al-Majed said that when the business was started there was very high reliance on running sports events as a source of income, while running sports facilities was not. accounted for only 6 percent of the size of the company. According to Al-Majed, this financial model posed a great risk to the feasibility of the company. The partners’ vision was to focus on developing the sports facilities management division to constitute 60 percent of the size of the company. In this way, the business could ensure the sustainability of income throughout the year, and in different seasons.

Funding

Regarding financing, A-Majed said: “We still see Suffix as a small company, with great potential for growth, without investors needing to enter the business model at this time. We have many goals that we are looking for now, and we prefer to achieve them without pitfalls or pressures. Grabbing a financial investment helps you accelerate growth, but it may not help you accelerate success. So, as my partner Ahmed Al Hezami always says, we choose to enjoy the trip. We may look to attract investors when we achieve our goals for the next five years. “

“Let’s Talk Business” is Gulf Bank’s latest podcast, created in collaboration with Belmokhba, a local creative content creation and production house. The episodes air on Gulf Bank’s digital and social media channels.

Gulf Bank’s vision is to be the leading Kuwaiti bank of the future. The Bank constantly mobilizes and empowers its employees within the framework of an inclusive and diverse work environment, in recognition of the role of each employee in delivering excellence to customers and serving the community as a whole. With its extensive branch network and innovative digital services, Gulf Bank is able to give its clients the choice of how and where to conduct their banking transactions, while ensuring a simple and transparent banking experience.

Gulf Bank is committed to maintaining a strong sustainability agenda at the community, economic and environmental levels through sustainability initiatives that are strategically selected to benefit both the country and the Bank. Gulf Bank supports Vision Kuwait 2035 “New Kuwait” and works with the various parties involved to achieve it. For more information on Gulf Bank’s various initiatives and activities, customers can visit any of Gulf Bank’s branches or log into Gulf Bank’s online / mobile banking services. Customers can also direct their inquiries via WhatsApp to 1805805 for round-the-clock support from Gulf Bank representatives, or call the Customer Contact Center on the same number.

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