AlAbdulrazzaq Group – Going Beyond the Norm

Kuwait-based AlAbdulrazzaq Group, a conglomerate of diverse companies, has been expanding its reach in terms of both its regions and its business lines.

The family-owned AlAbdulrazzaq Group, founded in 1951, operates a number of diverse subsidiaries which offer turnkey solutions within logistics, trading, construction, investments, real estate and, most recently, food and beverage.

The Group companies include major players such as ARC which is active in marine infrastructure development and Derwaza investments. The group portfolio also includes a number of investment and financial consulting companies with significant assets under their management.

Clear Leadership

From its native Kuwait, the Group gradually expanded to the GCC and MENA regions, as well as to Europe through investments in various sectors including technology, software, and real estate. The most recent expansion can be credited to 25-year-old Abdulaziz L. AlAbdulrazzaq, the CEO of AlAbdulrazzaq Group. He is the fourth generation of the family business, who arranged the group’s entry into the US market in 2018.

Before returning to Kuwait to join the family business and becoming the CEO of AlAbdulrazzaq Group, he first set up a real estate company and progressively grew the business both in property management and investment. The value of the group’s assets has grown significantly within the mindset of younger management.

His leadership has clearly been an immense success but wasn’t it a challenge to take over this responsibility at such a young age? “Our family very much encourages the younger generation,” he affirms. “My father started in the company when he was 18 and was Managing Director at the age of 25. He is still involved in the business, along with other family members, and oversees activities from the position of the Chairman of the Board. There is no problem in having young people in management, as long as you have the right support to go along with it.”

He reveals that he has also restructured the Group and pushed the business towards further expansion and diversification in terms of both businesses and regions – a key factor for staying afloat and growing in challenging times, as well as offsetting country-specific trends, he says.

Navigating Through the Challenge

The company was actively involved in helping society during the Covid-19 pandemic, supporting the healthcare sector, donating equipment, and sending its staff to help in hospitals. At the same time, the utmost care was provided to the Group’s own staff.

“The Group is nothing without its employees, our employees are, without doubt, our number one asset, they are the heart and soul of our business. We continually strive to provide a safe, supportive and engaging environment for our team, and that’s what we did during the pandemic.”

“Our employees tend to stay with us a long time, because we do as much as we can, wherever we can, and try as much as we can to show appreciation, and not to take away from them. That is our reputation.”

Although challenging, Abdulaziz points out that the last two years have also been a period of new opportunities – opportunities that come once in a lifetime. “We made investments at a time when you’re not supposed to be investing.”

“In the unpredictable global pandemic environment, many businesses were selling at very low prices, assets became available that would have otherwise been difficult to obtain. Also, the focus on consumers increased significantly, which made us decide it was a good time to shift to the B2C segment, a new direction for the Group.”

The New Line of Business

AlAbdulrazzaq Group has diversified into the food and beverage sector, introducing its newest subsidiary, AlAbdulrazzaq Food Company (AFC), launched in early 2021. AFC secured the franchise rights of Alfred, a rapidly growing concept café established in Los Angeles in 2013, in 7 countries in the region, starting with three stores in Kuwait, and one in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Alfred, Kuwait City was the first store to open back in February 2021. In just 2 months a second location was launched, in Yarmouk. By the end of 2022, AFC has plans to open its third location in Kafian, which is currently under construction.

Now the company is expanding into the GCC region as planned. Its first location outside Kuwait is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which will open in Q4 2022.

“Our entry to the market has been very strong. We have secured franchise rights in seven countries and are looking to expand even further. In the next 10 years we plan to have about 200 stores in the region,” says Abdulaziz.

Global with a Local Focus

He affirms that within any expansion, the focus on local community development is strong, as the group supports young entrepreneurs.

“I believe it is important to give back to my country. I am a young person myself, and I have the privilege of coming from a family with a business background, one that supports whatever business idea I may have. I would like to provide similar support to those people who are looking to raise capital to promote their own business ideas, as well as to help the wider community by engaging with our business.”

In conclusion, he affirms that the Group will focus on accelerating the execution of its growth strategy while continuing to support its employees, clients, and the community.

“We, as a company, do not put our needs before others. We try to help anywhere we can. That has been the concern and focus of the family for a very long time and will for days to come.”

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