Power Letters 2022: Mohammad A. Baker, deputy chairman and CEO, GMG
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Power Letters 2022: Mohammad A. Baker, deputy chairman and CEO, GMG

Power Letters 2022: Mohammad A. Baker, deputy chairman and CEO, GMG

Whether it is acquiring new international brands or developing homegrown concepts, when an opportunity presents itself, we go after it

Over the past several years, the industries we operate in at GMG have been experiencing significant disruption. Whether through climate change, rapid digitalisation, the Covid-19 pandemic, or other forces, many business models have now fundamentally changed.

Yet despite the challenges faced around the world in 2021, a clear socio-economic revival was underway. We saw extraordinary resilience from communities in rebounding from global challenges. Many nations in the Middle East in particular have continued to progress on their ambitious national development visions. Great efforts have been made to increase the ease of doing business, to spur entrepreneurship and to open borders to foreign investment and talent.

This recovery was perhaps no more evident than in the Middle East’s retail sector. The industry’s revival has heralded a broader recovery of the region’s economy. In our home market of the UAE, for example, the retail sector recorded a string of positive gains in recent quarters. This has included a rise in footfall at retail outlets and a continued surge in e-commerce transactions. Combined with strong public-private collaboration on industry reforms, the UAE was actually positioned 14th globally in Kearney’s latest Global Retail Development Index.

Amidst this environment, we at GMG have recognised that communities and governments around the world are striving to progress sustainable development goals that are often anchored in personal wellbeing. The size of the global wellness market – considered a subset of the wider ‘wellbeing’ concept – has expanded considerably in recent years. McKinsey & Company has estimated the global wellness market at more than $1.5 trillion with annual growth of 5-10 per cent as consumers view wellness across dimensions such as better health, fitness, nutrition, and more.

At GMG, we therefore set ourselves a new purpose-centric vision in 2021 to inspire people to win in ways that make the world better. We are doing this by daring ourselves and others to develop better products and experiences that change lives. This has included redesigning our business to reiterate our mission to promote healthier and more active lifestyles through four main business verticals – GMG Sports, GMG Food, GMG Health, and GMG Consumer Goods. As a result of our restructure and global launch, we were proud to announce plans to double our global workforce by 2025.

Looking ahead, in 2022, I am optimistic that communities around the world will not just survive but thrive. There will continue to be significant societal shifts and changes in consumer behaviour due to factors like the fourth industrial revolution. With that, we see potential in every market we operate in. We’re looking forward to exploring opportunities across new product categories, markets and sectors. In addition to expected growth in our sports and health divisions, we are especially excited about our food manufacturing vertical, which will now leverage five state-of-the-art factories to cover six dedicated product lines all under one roof within 2022. Geographically, we also have ambitious plans for our Asian markets in 2022 and will build on recent investments in markets like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq.

Whether it is acquiring new international brands or developing homegrown concepts, when an opportunity presents itself, we go after it. This is the drive that keeps pushing us to move forward, to be the change, and to remain a trusted partner.

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