How Entrepreneurs Fahad Al Sufayeh and Omid Rahravani are introducing new technologies to the Middle East
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How entrepreneurs Fahad Al Sufayeh and Omid Rahravani are introducing new technologies to the Middle East

How entrepreneurs Fahad Al Sufayeh and Omid Rahravani are introducing new technologies to the Middle East

From IoT to national poll voting apps, and e-learning to women empowerment and AI platforms, these two entrepreneurs are helping evolve the technology landscape of the Middle East

Omid Rahravani and Fahad Al Sufayeh

Recognised and trusted by enterprises around the world , brokering over $350m worth of technology contracts, Fahad Al Sufayeh and Omid Rahravani began their entrepreneurial journey two decades ago, transforming themselves into self-made millionaires.

As childhood friends who grew up in Kuwait, they had enormous dreams and visions of success that they were determined to achieve. After deciding to partner and venture out on their own, they started from the bottom and worked their way up, overcoming all obstacles that lay in their path and took the biggest financial risks. This paid off as they are now recognised and respected by enterprises and some of the wealthiest people in the world.

Fahad al Sufayeh and Omid Rahravani could you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Fahad: My father was one of the first diplomats and politicians in Kuwait, having extended family relations to the former Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Salam Al Sabah, who ruled during the years from 1965 -1977, and to the recent Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah. The Kuwait Royal family are the second wealthiest in the world and have been ruling the country since 1752. I’m also the brother-in-law to Governor Sheikh Faisal Al Sabah, who is also a member of the Kuwait Royal Family.

Fahad Al Sufayeh and Omid Rahravani
(left-right) Fahad Al Sufayeh and Omid Rahravani

I have over 18 years of experience in developing and launching new businesses. I am the founder and chairman of Fahad & Omid Company, with our main headquarters located at the prestigious Salhiya area in the heart of the most expensive commercial and business district of Kuwait City. I provide strategic direction and executive leadership to my subsidiary companies to rapid growth opportunities. Over the years I have worked directly with many international companies who are leaders in their sectors.

Omid: I am an American and live in Los Angeles, but grew up in Kuwait with my father who moved there in the 1950s to start one of the first petroleum and oil distribution companies, that has been a great success until this day.

I started my career as a financial advisor for the prestigious Wall Street brokerage firm Morgan Stanley, based in the former World Trade Center in New York and who manage over $1.1 trillion. Moving on my journey, I have also been a trusted strategic advisor for international investors, royal families and global companies looking to expand into the Middle East.

Fahad and I are really proud of our journey and company’s achievements. At the time we went against the grain and started the venture entirely on our own, without taking any financial help from family members or connections. While we both were working whilst studying to fund our dreams, we faced a lot of adversity but overcame everything and powered through with our vision. To date our company has brokered over $350mn of international contracts, primarily in the technology industry, and we have big plans to hit the $1bn mark very soon.

What is the nature of your company and its primary goals?

Omid: Our group of company services and products are being distributed to a large diversified group of individuals, corporations and governments. We work closely with our international business partners to drive sales, profit growth and market share leadership in the Middle East, helping them reach geographic expansion goals. We strive to partner with companies that wish to market their innovative products and services within the Middle East and our objective has always been to create growth opportunities for our international business partners that yields them significant results.

To give an idea of our business diversity, one of our subsidiary companies, Sahara Oil Express, is a leader in distribution of petroleum oil lubricants, winning awards in the process.

From left: Fahad Al Sufayeh, Governor Sheikh Faisal Al Sabah, Omid Rahravani

Another example is our sales representation of ultra-rare luxury goods, such as the famous Porsche Design Super Yacht that we introduced to the Middle East market.

We have a passion for investing in startups, especially at seed and growth stages, whilst sometimes offering these opportunities to our exclusive network of ultra-high net worth individuals. We see ourselves as leaders when it comes to introducing new innovative technologies to the Middle East, and are always on the lookout for the next big thing.

What was your first successful investment made into the tech sector?

In 2008, we created and introduced Kuwait’s first online parliament-voting system nowabq8.com. It was tailored to the country’s political system, helping the government build their influence and political power by increasing the voter’s participation in the country’s democracy. The late National Assembly Speaker, Jassem Al-Kharafi, who was one of the richest men in the world at the time, praised our application saying it would make Kuwait’s politics more transparent and play a pivotal role to the electoral process. The launch was a big success and widely covered in Kuwait’s mainstream national media, such as Alanba, Annahar, Alrai and KUNA.

From left: Late billionaire Jassem Al Kharafi and Fahad Al Sufayeh (2008)

Why has your company invested heavily in marketing Anousheh Ansari’s IoT company Prodea Systems?

Fahad: We are proud to be trusted advisors for the Richardson-based company Prodea Systems Inc owned by the celebrity astronaut Anousheh Ansari. Prodea is a revolutionary technology and services management company (SaaS/PaaS) who enable service providers to quickly add and integrate best-of-breed IoT Solutions into their existing offerings. A great Prodea client example is Osram, who are a multi-billion dollar company and one of the largest light manufacturers in the world. Osram use Prodea’s Arrayent IoT services platform for their Lightify family of products, allowing consumers to remotely personalise and programme their system via a smartphone or tablet.

Anousheh Ansari
Anousheh Ansari and Omid Rahravani

We strongly believe that IoT is the future, and have invested a fortune marketing Prodea Systems, highlighting its achievements and in particular introducing it to Kuwait. Prodea Systems estimates the worldwide market for IoT products and services could be as much as $5 trillion by the year 2021.

Anousheh Ansari

Anousheh is one of the richest Iranian Americans in the world with a net worth estimate of $750m. She  became the first Muslim female in space, and the first self-funded women to fly to the International Space station. She is also the co-founder of The Billion Dollar Fund for Women and is the CEO of XPRIZE Foundation, a $10m competition that ignited a new era for commercial space flight.

Tell us about your latest Tech project called Dayplanz?

Fahad: DaypLanz is a really special project that is still a bit of a secret, but to give you an idea it is going to be an exclusive platform dedicated to connecting, inspiring and empowering women around world, and will be the first of its kind. The app is under development and will be launched mid 2021 operating from California and later expanding to Abu Dhabi, so this is something we are really looking forward to next year.

We have structured DaypLanz with the help of our highly reputable super lawyer, Michael Cohen, founder of Cohen IP Law Group, who also represents many Fortune 500 companies and is regularly featured in American media.

The DaypLanz project is dedicated to my wife, Sheikha Dalal Al Sabah, member of the Kuwait Royal Family. She is very passionate about woman empowerment and woman’s rights in the Middle East, and is greatly inspired by Anousheh Ansari’s Billion Dollar Fund for Women, which has a goal of investing $1bn in women-founded companies by 2020.

What are some of the upcoming tech projects for Fahad & Omid Company?

We are constantly searching for new investment opportunities with creative technology companies and startups who will benefit our region and transform our way of life. There is large scope to greatly improve the educational landscape in the MENA region, and we are working on an exciting project that provides a comprehensive solution for schools and universities. Our goal is to develop an exclusive online e-learning application based on the requirements for the Middle East region, helping educators take their classrooms to the next level.

Fahad Al Sufayeh

For more details visit www.fahadomid.com. Linkedin: Fahad Al Sufayeh and Omid Rahravani

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