“When you really want something, the whole universe conspires for you”
More often than not you will find that the difference between people who make it and the one who don’t is only self-belief and the passion to go after one’s dreams.
So when Amit Marwah thought that a conventional corporate career path is not fanning the flames of his professional goals, he decided to leave his job with Mckinsey in 2009 to join a start-up organization in the Gulf. The move was straight away termed as risky and unwarranted by peers. 10 years down the line, Amit feels it was the best professional decision of his life. Since then, Amit has been instrumental in starting & growing five successful businesses in the Middle East.
An underdog, as he likes to describe himself, Amit has come a long way from wanting to become an ad maker while with Ogilvy & Mather, to realizing he loves numbers, analytics & business strategy more than ad jingles. His quest for doing something unique in his professional life, made him taking up roles in Investments & strategy consulting to finally finding his call with Dayim Holdings in the Middle East.
A Man of Grit and Determination
Amit is an extremely competitive person and his passions include fitness, sports & financial markets. He aspires to constantly go to the next level as he dreads being average and that is what motivates him in difficult times. He adds, “I firmly believe in the science behind the 1% rule. Keep on adding 1% to your last performance and you will keep moving forward towards your goal. Ability is achieved through deliberate practice and habit. Habit is the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire and it’s our routine habits which we need to master”
He follows strict work ethics and plans on a daily basis to control his thoughts and channelizes the energy in a productive manner. His idolizes Elon Musk for being a visionary and having a never give up attitude and Virat Kohli for busting the myth, that one needs to be born special, to do extraordinary things in life.
He considers meeting his wife and the birth of their two kids as the highest point of his personal life. On the professional front, he still awaits his highest point which would probably be when he takes his different companies public. That, he thinks, would be a great culmination of the efforts put in by the entire leadership team, since our inception. He considers himself to be extremely fortunate to be a part of starting five different new businesses since he joined Dayim Holdings. He considers it to be a start and that his best years are clearly ahead of him. All the great experiences he had had over the last 10 years in the Arab world is definitely attributable to leadership in his organization and the partners he has worked with.
Dayim Holdings – A Perpetual Re-definer of Market Standards
Dayim Holdings was founded as a vehicle for investment, strategic partnerships and joint ventures in Saudi Arabia. It operates and manages various companies in sectors with high market growth potential using a combination of joint venturing, investment and strategic partnership and creating long-term value for the shareholders. The vision was to act as an incubator of international brands in the Gulf Region and create businesses in the B2B services domain. The current portfolio of companies started currently spans oil & gas EPC contracting, heavy equipment rental, rental of smart trucks, man guarding services, high tech safety & security equipment, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and systems integration services.
The businesses in the Gulf region have often been criticized for not being able to offer service of international standards. Amit and his team’s endeavour have been to change the same, in partnership with some of the top global organizations. They have successfully incubated five successful businesses in different sectors and are now a regional company present in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar & Kuwait, with a goal to elevate the service level and redefining the market standards in every sector, they enter. He believes that there are massive possibilities in the whole GCC region especially in the service sector including entertainment, e-commerce, healthcare, hospitality, security, transportation, rental, and logistics to name a few.
Last few years have been challenging for the whole region. But this is leading to long term healthy consolidation for the industry. Amit says they are looking at this opportunity to bring more international brands and service prepositions to sectors, which have been traditionally dominated by local companies.
Another daunting set of challenges came from policies and regulations, access to bank finance, and acquiring the right talent. Amit says,” Having a sound strategy, having a marketable product with excellent service, and having efficient processes are all important. But eventually, it comes down to the quality of people within the organization to actually execute the business on the ground. We have been lucky to have found some fantastic people spearheading and managing these businesses.” Raising funds is another challenge that has been faced by greenfield businesses globally. But it is even a greater challenge here in the gulf. Startups and SMEs here face considerable difficulties securing finance from conventional sources such as bank financing.
Entrepreneurship – A Different Mindset
Amit shares his entrepreneurial journey’s learning as an adviser to the young ones in the industry. He says,” It’s all about getting the basic elements right like spotting a gap in the market, devising a meticulously planned research and execution plans, hiring driven & dynamic people and offering your customers an absolute delightful level of service.” Businesses which consider customers as long-term stakeholders and brand ambassadors of business always thrive above the competition.
A Pulsating Life
Amit believes that it’s the ups and downs which make life and its story intriguing & romantic. That’s the thing, we all can learn from champions that they are able to process setbacks quickly and get on with it. Exposure of starting multiple new businesses in such a short span has fast tracked his professional evolution. However, the whole journey has not been without its ups and downs, with its fair set of challenges. Amit believes that some of the best structures & solutions tend to come up, when one’s back is against the wall.
There are some fascinating new businesses he is working on including warehousing automation, material handling, audio visual rentals, e-learning, with some of the top global brands.
Life has been one amazing journey for him where a so-called risky decision turned into a wonderful one and as he says, “We live the life in our heads and that’s where we can win most of our battles and challenges.”