A 5’ interview with Abdulla Al Gurg, Esag Group

How would you describe yourself?

I am an open-minded person and a strategist by choice.

What do others say about you?

I have been called a people person. I think that every nod, every smile and every interaction can completely change the course of someone’s day. We can either wield that influence in a positive or negative way, and I believe that empowering others is the right way.

What’s your greatest achievement in business?

Steering the group towards positive change in management and advancing our technology, all while keeping our company values intact.

What’s your greatest fear?

We are all afraid of the unknown to some degree, but I am very cognizant of the fact that to pursue new ideas, you need to overcome those fears.

What’s the largest problem facing your industry today?

The lack of credit facilities in the banking sector is undoubtedly negatively impacting the growth of SMEs.

What do you enjoy the most about working at your company?

The ability to take decisions without unnecessary red tape or bureaucracy. This helps me make the vision for the Group a reality within a short time frame and also achieve visible, unambiguous growth.

What virtue do you admire most in other people?

I appreciate those with a calm demeanour, and who can accept change. One of the most positive aspects of change is that it is never dull. On the contrary, it can create passion. And it is this passion, excitement, creativity and energy that becomes the spark that keeps us going.

What inspires you?

Success. My definition of success is being where you want to be and doing what you want to do. If you truly listen to your inner voice, I feel that you end up doing something meaningful and worthy. You not only benefit yourself but those around you.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I have a passion for Middle Eastern art, especially the ways that artists reflect upon their history and literary traditions.

What do you think is the most important attributes of successful people?

Being patient and grounded. Success is about listening more than talking, as well as keeping company with those who are cleverer than you, as it’s one of the fastest ways to learn. Active listening requires understanding, and that involves asking follow-up questions and watching body language. A smart person listens and learns.

How do you make decisions?

I believe it is critical to think through decisions before making them. Gut instincts can only take you so far in life, and anyone who operates outside of a sound decision framework will eventually fall prey to an act over oversight, misinformation, misunderstanding or another negative factor.

What’s the biggest luxury in your life?

Time. It’s not so much that we don’t have the time, more that we don’t have the pleasure of being oblivious to the ticking of the clock. That’s the way life is. And if time were to stop, there would be no life at all.

Who do you look up to in life and business?

In life, it’s my mother, Dr Raja Al Gurg. She inspires me daily with her never ending commitment to every aspect of her life, be it professional or personal. In business, it is my grandfather HE Easa Saleh Al Gurg, who truly defines the word ‘visionary’. His wise counsel and sound judgement is certainly worth emulating.

What gets you out of bed each day?

The desire to succeed.