Transformation of women’s role is key to driving Saudi economy

Ahmad AR BinDawood, CEO of Danube Co. Ltd, BinDawood Group.
Updated 25 March 2018
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Transformation of women’s role is key to driving Saudi economy

The month of March has seen two major celebrations honoring women and their role in society across the Kingdom — International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day. With the current reform drive in the Kingdom that aims to see women play a more active role in society this year, these celebrations seem more profound than ever before.
International Women’s Day was marked in Saudi Arabia in a way we have never seen before. For example, we saw women joining together in a celebratory jog across Jeddah, and the BinDawood group honored the occasion by releasing data that supports the trend that Saudi female millennials are driving the growth of e-commerce in the Kingdom (they are the largest customer group of Danube’s e-commerce platform and app).
As a young leader of the group that has pioneered the development of the retail industry in Saudi Arabia and as a business leader, it’s been wonderful to see how fast the transformation of the role of women is occurring across the Kingdom. This transformation underpins Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 goals and the role women will play in driving Saudi Arabia’s economy.
As a business, BinDawood has a long legacy of championing and supporting women. For example, this week for Mother’s Day, we launched multiple video campaigns that praise and commend Saudi working mothers and honor them as the person with most responsibility in the family. Across all our Danube stores, our female customers were presented with roses and cards as a gesture of acknowledgment of the female contribution to Saudi society.
These sentiments in our marketing efforts are also backed up by our business practices where we actively seek to hire Saudi women across our teams and business units. Currently, women make up approximately 20 percent of the Saudi workforce. As a group, we employ over 10,000 people across our business entities and part of our vision is to become the retail sector’s preferred employer. That vision includes hiring more women.
There remain many barriers including organizational, attitudinal and societal, to the advancement of Saudi women in paid employment. However, as the leading retail group in Saudi Arabia, we understand that an inclusive workforce is a crucial factor to our success.


Role of Indian engineers in KSA lauded at IEF meet

Updated 17 July 2019
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Role of Indian engineers in KSA lauded at IEF meet

Indian Engineers Forum (IEF) Jeddah Chapter recently held its 13th annual general meeting at Hotel Ramada Continental.

Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed graced the event as chief guest and Consul General of India Noor Rahman Sheikh was guest of honor. IEF President Mohammed Sayeeduddin presided over the function.

Expressing appreciation for the activities of the forum, Ambassador Dr. Sayeed recalled its foundation in 2016 during his tenure as consul general of India in Jeddah.

He lauded Sayeeduddin, Amir Khan, Shuja Sheriff and other members and engineers for the activities of the forum and their contribution to the development of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Sayeed highlighted scarcity of water as an acute problem in the world in general and in India in particular. He shared his experience of interacting with engineers in the US, who developed a water condensation machine to extract water from humid air.

Consul General Noor Rahman Sheikh applauded IEF for its services to the engineering community in Saudi Arabia. He highlighted how the excellence of Indian engineers in each sector has impacted society. 

“Our zeal to be the best in whatever we do was demonstrated during last year’s Hajj. The mobile app developed by the Consul General of India is going to help the 200,000 pilgrims expected to come this year,” he said.

Amir Khan, founder and chairman of IEF, said IEF provides a platform for networking, career advancement, community service, and technology exchange. He urged Indian engineers to play a vital role in the development of Saudi Arabia, which he said would help strengthen the relations between India and the Kingdom.

Sayeeduddin thanked Dr. Sayeed for his support in the foundation of IEF. He announced that, having served as founding president for the last 13 years, he is now stepping down and the new president, unanimously elected, will be Khan Mustafa.

Nadeem Ahmed Ali, executive member of IEF, delivered a presentation on digital disruption.

Syed Nasir Khursheed, IEF general secretary, conducted the program.

Indian real estate advisory firm/ institutional channel partner 360 Realtors LLP participated in the event and were the main sponsors. A presentation covering major construction, residential and commercial projects in India was made by S. K. Vivek Kumar, head of international sales, 360 Realtors. Amit Hariyal also delivered a presentation on residential projects across the Indian cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. 

Abdul Rahman, general manager of TA Infra Projects, expressed happiness to be part of the IEF.

Khader Memon made a presentation titled “Special Investment Plan.”

The chief guest, guest of honor and sponsors were presented mementoes as a token of appreciation by the IEF president and executive committee. This was followed by the release of the annual magazine of the forum, Spectrum 2019, edited by Muazzam Sayeed.

A lively session of quiz was conducted by Munnawar Amafh. 

The event was attended by a number of guests from across the Kingdom, including Abdul Haseeb Hazari, Danish Ghafoor, Siadat Ali Khan, Shameem Kausar and Ahmed Omais.

The program started with a recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Talha Khan. Ashraf Nawaz Qureshi, IEF treasurer, welcomed the guests.

IEF Vice President Abu Bakar Sherkhan introduced the chief guest while Mohammed Shoebuddin, IEF chief coordinator, presented a vote of thanks.