‘If expatriates can do it, Saudis must do it’



JEDDAH: HABIB SHAIKH

Published — Saturday 6 July 2013

Last update 8 July 2013 7:44 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Businessman Ali Al-Shamrani is a firm believer that hard work pays off.
His proof of this is the successful business started with his brothers almost four decades ago in a tiny workshop. He is now the owner and chairman of Al-Shamrani Factory Drawbar Trailers in Jeddah Industrial City, with major customers in the Kingdom and abroad.
“Harvard is fine but it takes hard work to succeed in any business, industry or work,” said Al-Shamrani in an interview with Arab News.
Al-Shamrani said he studied only up to primary level but his children have undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. Some of them work for him. “At the factory I treat them like any other worker.”
He said they have to “behave and produce results just like the other 150 staff members” from various countries around the world.
“It is strenuous working with steel, which Saudis find hard to adjust to, but we send them for training at the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation colleges in the Western Region,” he said.
“I like to quote what the Chinese say: ‘If one can do it, we can do it.’ If expatriates can do it, Saudis must do it, or at least learn to do it. I believe that at the end of the day, Saudis will have to shoulder greater responsibilities — big or small, executive or entry-level, sincerely and whole-heartedly, if they want to maintain their standard of life and living and see the country grow and develop.”
“Their forefathers have left them a legacy of initiatives coupled with hard work, which they should adhere to and follow in letter and spirit. The nation has stood by them through thick and thin, encouraging and supporting them through various scholarships for study and training at home and abroad.”
“We advise young Saudis to fear Allah, respect His creatures and get ready for hard work.”
He said that no country is an island, sufficient unto itself. All countries need many hands, including those of immigrants or expatriates. But it is also true that a country can only accommodate a limited number of foreign workers.
He said he started the factory with his brothers in 1976 in the Eastern Region in a small six-by-six-meter workshop.
“We decided to specialize in manufacturing trailers because big projects and facilities were under construction, which needed such machinery. The projects have not stopped, so our business is strong too. We’re proud that we are able to do our bit for national development.”
He said that in those days it was extremely hard work. “To get an idea one has to think of the pyramids, how they were built. This is an exaggeration, but the point is that sheer human effort was exerted,” he said.
He said it has now become much easier in his business with fast and efficient technology, and trained workers. As a result, his company has orders from all over the world.
He said the first expansion of the factory took place 20 years ago, and now the fourth big expansion has started.
The business faces various challenges. “Problems are many, but solutions are not few. There is no problem without a solution. Every country faces problems. No country wanting top progress can do so without facing problems. It corrects, learns from experience and grows. As one experienced in the sector, we bring these to the attention of the relevant authorities, with suggestions. Communication is the door to solutions.”
He said that one way to learn and expand is participation in exhibitions, “which are windows to new ideas. We attend these shows both at home and abroad.”
Al-Shamrani said that he makes time for his family of 27, which includes four wives and 62 grandsons and granddaughters. He said the family unit remains a crucial part of a civilized and cohesive society. “Time spent with the family is as invigorating as time spent in a spa, no, even more satisfying and rejuvenating,” he said.
At the factory, he spends part of the day in a sparse loft in the big workshop. He also has a plush office and modern conference room in the main building.
Mohammed Tahqique, a mechanical engineer, who is a factory manager and has been with the organization since 1978, said he found working under Al-Shamrani a learning experience. “He does not interfere at all. He welcomes new ideas and innovations,” Tahqique said.
“He appreciates sincerity and hard work and expects the same from all of us including his sons and daughters working with us. His son Abdul Khaliq handles the key personnel department with efficiency.”
Al-Shamrani lets the workers join their family functions, and invites them to celebrate various events with his own family.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

SYDNEY: Amnesty International has demanded that Mustafa Al-Hosawi, a Saudi prisoner at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, be treated for the torture he underwent at the hands of the CIA.The US branch of the organization sent a message to health officials at the...
JEDDAH: The city’s airport staff saved a 20-year-old woman who tried to throw herself from the upper floor to the mezzanine floor in the southern hall. Sources said the suicide attempt was due to family disputes. Administrators said a supervisor in t...
RIYADH: Education Minister Ahmad Al-Issa has ordered to gradually close down private night schools beginning from the current year. The closure of these schools will be complete by 1439H.Al-Issa’s decision is based on reports of a body, which highlig...
RIYADH: Riyadh and Phnom Penh have signed a labor deal to recruit domestics and general workers from Cambodia.Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani and his Cambodian counterpart Ait Samana signed the agreement.Al-Haqabani said the Kingdom is keen on open...
Jeddah: The Criminal Court in Jeddah has sentenced a man to nine months in jail for beating his wife and insulting her by calling her “stubborn and ignorant.” The man has also been required to make a written pledge not to go near his wife, while the...
MUNICH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister defended his country’s treatment of women on Friday, saying it had made progress on female education but would take time to let them drive cars.“When it comes to issues like women’s driving, this is not a relig...
RIYADH: A cross-section of Saudi society on Friday denounced the Jazan massacre that shook the nation on Thursday, when a gunman went on the rampage killing seven education officials and injuring several others in Al-Dair governorate.The culprit, ide...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Awad Al-Balawi, head of the Saudi Border Guard, recently confirmed the expansion of the employment program for women within the border security sector. He said that the sector is entering a new phase as women will be employed in a n...
RIYADH: A medical team of the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital (KASCH) at the King Abdulaziz Medical City (National Guard) here have successfully conducted the first liver transplant on a baby boy. Fahad Mari Said Al-Sairdh, father of the...
JEDDAH: The Makkah Investigation and Prosecution Board reintroduced the crane crash incident to the Riyadh Investigation and Prosecution Board recently, adding 10 more employees and supervisors from different government agencies before the courts. Th...
JEDDAH: The teacher who gunned down seven education officials in Al-Dair governorate on Thursday had been showing behavioral problems in recent days, Al-Janob Misfer Al-Subhan, director of King Faisal Secondary School in Dharan, was quoted as saying...
JEDDAH: The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is investigating the Nakheel Mall case, in which a girl was beaten up by a group of Haia members, an official of the commission has said. “The HRC is supposed to guarantee the rights of those harmed, whoever...
AL-AHSA: King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Ahsa is currently studying the possibility of admitting female students to specialize in veterinary medicine, the director of the university, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saati, confirmed. He said the matter has been p...
JEDDAH: A fingerprinting campaign, titled “Imprint Homeland,” against extremism and terrorism, was launched at the Jeddah corniche on Thursday night. The drive will cover all the 17 regions of Makkah province.The campaign, initiated by the Makkah gov...
RIYADH: The number of unemployed Saudi nationals reached 647,000 by the end of last year, of whom 56 percent, or 363,800, hold bachelor’s degrees or licenses. Female bachelor’s degree and license holders accounted for three-fourths of unemployed Saud...

Stay Connected

Facebook