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How I got here: Ismail Al Hammadi, managing director, Al Ruwad Real Estate

How I got here: Ismail Al Hammadi, managing director, Al Ruwad Real Estate

Al Hammadi details his journey from the government sector to his own real estate firm

Education

I studied public relations, communication and advertising, which I must admit is my primary passion. This learning helped me a great deal in building my career, as well as shaping my own personal development and allowing me to become well versed in building strong relationships with governmental bodies. My early education served as a cornerstone for more than 20 years of accumulated experience in business affairs and the real estate industry, which in turn offered me the knowledge and ability to create my own organisations.

My start

As a graduate in 1997 I become a license inspector for Dubai’s Department of Economic Development. During my eight years there I coordinated and implemented many projects and programmes. In 2004 I took the position of general manager of government relations for Dubai Industrial City, which gave me five more years of consolidated experience in planning and developing government relations. My real breakthrough was in 2010 when I became sales manager for land and industrial land sales with TECOM Investment. This gave me a superior knowledge of the market and a wealth of experience in land services, leading me to the position of executive director of business development in 2013. The experience gave me the courage to explore my lifelong passion of creating my own projects, starting a journey of self-discovery. This is how Al Ruwad Real Estate was born in 2013, followed two years later by Biznet Consulting.

Approach

Bill Bernbach, co-founder of Doyle Dane Bernbach, said an idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it. I couldn’t agree more. Looking up to Dubai’s vision for 2020 painted by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, we at Al Ruwad and Biznet Consulting are walking the same path of creativity and innovation. Within well-run companies, creativity and innovation have always been recognised as a sure path to success. Apart from that, we practice corporate social responsibility and count it as another metric for success. Transparency is huge for building credibility in today’s marketplace, and I generally think that transparency is a strong quality for companies and employees to pursue. Another focal point for our projects is successful human capital management. We believe in diversity and we perceive people as assets. Every employee, whether directly or indirectly, has the ability to significantly impact productivity, retention, customer satisfaction, growth, and our business’ bottom line.

Highs and lows

I have been blessed to not record any major failures in my career, and I am proud to say that I have stormed through any challenges that have risen along my journey. I feel a deep satisfaction at the results of my two companies – Al Ruwad Real Estate and Biznet Consulting – that helped me to achieve my ambition in entrepreneurship and create a name for myself in the capital and business market. This has given me a deep sense of professional as well as personal gratification. The compensation of my life’s work has started to surface into amazing figures as the two companies together stand at a market value of more than Dhs2bn, while my personal sales ratings for TECOM Investment exceeded Dhs1bn and Dhs800m.

Dos and don’ts

The first ‘do’ that crosses my mind is to never rest on your laurels. Business is innovation and progress. From regularly updating products and services, to adopting new technology and improved practices, change is a must. Second, make a business plan and measure your progress. The most successful businesses concentrate on medium or long term plans and follow their progress with various performance metrics. Last, but not least, invest in people. Hire only the best and keep your employees engaged. On the ‘don’t’ side, do not underestimate the importance of effective financial planning. The lack of proper financial management is what causes even the most reliable firms to run into difficulties. Do not ignore what’s happening in your market. Consumer needs and preferences are constantly evolving and not keeping up can cause a business to flounder. Lastly, do not leave out a contingency plan until it is too late.

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