UAE’s Most Inspiring Business Leaders in 2021

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UAE’s 10

Most Inspiring


Leaders in 2021


UAE The Future Epicentre of Global The new oil is data and the new energy is renewable, maybe that is why the Middle East countries are majorly shifting their focus from oil to the new-found loves of the world. In the recent times, the Middle-Eastern market has opened-up for the world, providing more flexible, relaxed and business friendly environment for the world to do business with and in. Recently, I had been to Bahrain, a country worth-talking about when it comes to finance, but to fit the current market flex, this beautiful country is infusing tech in everything fin. This is just one example of the many countries in the ME that is changing for better theirs and the world's. However, with the global meltdown a little far from the corner, several countries are struggling to lessen their business risks. But with the next generation of leadership taking over the change in Middle East region, the market is witnessing a positive curve. These leaders have turned the table through their experience and by serving modern market needs. Hence, we at Prime View Magazine, bring to you our annual special where we talk about such companies and leaders who are making positive dents in their industry. We also speak about how they influence their competition and the market at large. Picking-up companies from various industries and speaking about their journey and offerings, our current edition is a dedication to their upbeat strategies. Read to know more about them. Do let us know what you think! Prime View Magazine

UAE’s 10 Most Inspiring Business Leaders in 2021.







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Cover Story


General Manager




Ceo & Founder




Ali Al Jarwan is a man of many hats; enjoying the status of a visionary business leader, an award-winning technocrat, an experienced oil-field professional, and earned several industrial recognition awards from ADNOC, BP and the SPE. He is also an Honorary SPE member. Headquartered in Dubai, Dragon Oil is a privately held and wholly-owned subsidiary of Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) L.L.C. It is engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and gas in Turkmenistan, Yemen and Tunisia. On 4th March 2017, Ali Al Jarwan joined Dragon Oil as MD Exploration & Production and CEO. Owing to his invaluable life experiences, Mr. Ali Al Jarwan has travelled and transitioned from a B.Sc student to an established successful business leader with over 3 decades of leadership and technical experience in Exploration & Production.


Prior to joining Dragon Oil, Ali Al Jarwan held several leadership positions in ADNOC group among them was Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) from June 2006 to June 2016. He also served as Board Member in several organizations such as NPPC, NDC, Atheer, IRSHAD and the Petroleum Institute. In academics, Ali Al Jarwan earned a B.Sc degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma; MBA from the International Institute of Management Development in S witzerland; and a degree in General Management from Cranfield School of Management in the UK. Because of his outstanding efforts and outstanding performance at different positions, Ali Al Jarwan has been honoured with several awards, including the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) ‘Regional Service Award’ in 1992, the distinguished SPE membership in 1999 and SPE/AIME (American Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers) honorary membership in 2013, and The Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. He has also chaired some international conferences like GEO in 2002, the 8th HSE International Conference in 2006 and ADIPEC

THE TALE OF TRANSITION “My story started when I was in 8th grade. I saw a magazine on the table, it was called “Al Arabi” at the time, and the headline was “This is how the oil exploded in the UAE” with a picture of a flare at Jebel Dhanna. This fascinated me more than anything and at that very moment, I knew that I was going to be an engineer in the oil fields,” said Ali Al Jarwan while talking about his journey. “Years passed, and the Etihad of the Emirates came into order. I was applying for university with the intention of going to the University of Cairo – and I was given 3 options to fill in for what I wanted to major in. I wrote down Petroleum Engineering against all three. My passion was so strong. My application papers were then transferred to ADNOC and I ended up travelling to the States with 17 other students from the UAE and studied Petroleum Engineering.

That is how my career started. It is very important in life to do what you love and I can confidently say that I love what I do, I live it every day in the service of my nation and in the service of our partners and host Government entities,” he further added.

GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS “Every day brings a new challenge at work and tackling it effectively is an accomplishment. The transformation of Dragon Oil into a mid-size IOC has been a very satisfying achievement, and I spend a lot of my energy on fostering young leaders. But if you insist on one, I would think that steering the development of three new offshore fields in Abu Dhabi is the biggest accomplishment,” Ali Al Jarwan proudly shared. 10

HURDLES ON THE WAY The company has gone through a number of downturns but the storm they faced in 2020 was extraordinary. They are still reeling in its aftermath. But they sailed through 2020 because of their agility and with the cooperation of their partners and host government authorities. And they are going to build upon that success this year as well as in the future.

WHAT IS SUCCESS? For Ali Al Jarwan, success is the ability to handle the responsibilities and steer his team in pursuit of the defined goals. He is satisfied when he can motivate each of his employees to think critically to innovate and improvise. Mr. Ali Al Jarwan and his Dragon team are on a journey and reaching their destination in a safe, timely and efficient manner is a success, whilst managing the unknowns.


FUTURE OUTLOOK Dragon Oil today is a progressive mid-size IOC with a promise to make its mark in various parts of the world. It started in Turkmenistan in 1971 and has grown since, with a strong track record across the MENA and Caspian regions. It has access to resources of several billion barrels and is engaged in exploration, development and production. Its producing assets are in Egypt, Turkmenistan and Iraq. They currently produce upwards of 160,000 barrels of oil per day and they have an aspiration to reach 300,000 BoE per day in the near future. They are an agile company with a highly motivated and competent workforce who have the ability to manage challenges that we face today or might face in the future.

Ali Al Jarwan is a people-oriented person with an eye for details. He trusts his and always empowers them. In turn, they trust him and do their best to deliver. His years of experience, industry knowledge and ability to connect and communicate help Mr. Ali Al Jarwan to perform in various parts of the world. The most important trait is the selfless drive to lead and succeed, have empathy with people and supremacy of the larger goals above your personal needs. One has to nurture talent to make collaborative and inspired teams driven to success.

“VISION” IN LIFE To become an oil-field professional in the service of the nation was Ali Al Jarwan’s passion and his vision was to excel in whatever responsibilities that came my way. He always aimed at overcoming higher and higher challenges. 11

He helped my people and contributed to their all-around growth. The foremost of his priorities was developing competent and motivated nationals into future leaders and empowering them. He and his team now do the same with the national workforce in the host countries.


SECRET TO INNOVATION The secret is diversity! To survive in this environment today innovation is the only solution. Diversity comes from age differences amongst the team, different cultures, different experiences and different perspectives. The more diversity in the team the higher the creative ideas therefore the higher the results of innovation.

THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE GLOBAL SUCCESS “I have been dedicated to my work all of my life so far. New Challenges inspire me. However, I was sometimes advised by my friends to slow down and enjoy other aspects of life, which I respect and value. In my view, engaging with people in the journey is more important than the journey itself, because, in the end, one is a leader of the team, and not of oneself”, shared Ali Al Jarwan.

The team collaborates with partners and hosts Governments to achieve their goals and aspirations. Dragon Oil is uniquely placed to serve its interests due to its agility and innovative work culture. They also serve the local communities where they operate as responsible partners.

“One of the major characteristics that I believe every leader should possess is to be humble. Being humble allows one to listen and respect other opinions as well as consider everyone else’s ideas and perspectives”, he further added.


Privacy is a basic human right and is enshrined in the legislation of many of the world’s most democratic countries. However, until recently, digital privacy has not been considered important at all. With the introduction of the EU GDPR in May 2018, the spotlight changed and digital privacy has now become the next frontier in human rights. Indeed, there are those who would say we have already long- missed the boat in this regard. First and foremost, I believe we need to understand why we make a distinction between privacy and digital privacy? It could be argued that one is tangible and another intangible? What we can’t see ourselves others can’t see. However, this is certainly far from the case when it comes to digital privacy and is folly in my view.

Consider this: do we really want everyone in the cyber-world to know everything we do, everywhere we go, have access to our personal health and wealth information? Indeed, knowing everything we do down to the most mundane activities of daily living? Without realizing the value of the data jigsaw that makes up our lives we are actually creating and extending our digital persona every time we use technology whether intentionally or not. For example, when we want to set up a new account we’re asked to login with, for instance, our Facebook credentials. It’s convenient, great …… but is it too convenient and how many of us actually know what is going on behind the scenes? In reality, we are being “road mapped” in cyberspace with the vast majority of us not even know it is happening! Our desire for instant access comes without us thinking about what the overall personal consequences and implications of providing our digital footprint will be later on. As we become a more ‘connected society’ there are those who passionately believe there is without doubt a blurring of the lines of what is good, proportionate and appropriate when technology is used to collect private information. I believe securing the privacy of every human being is paramount to realising the full potential of our very future. So, what do we need to do to rebalance the blurry lines? I believe we need to empower people to be at the centre of gravity of the internet as a way of ensuring they will always control their own data‬. Personal data given, albeit freely, over the Internet or stored in devices connected to the Internet, remains the property of, and is solely governed by, the individual and should not be used without the express consent of that individual, whether it is claimed to be in the public domain or not. 14



The independence and rights of every individual must be uppermost in achieving our ultimate future potential. An example of this is a U.S. company called Clearview that is capturing billions of faces from people on the internet to create a giant database that is currently being used by over 600 law enforcement agencies to detect people suspected of committing crimes. Is it right to create a surveillance state where every law-abiding citizen now has their personal data being used in this way? Is it appropriate and proportional? Should it be regulated? These are questions we urgently need to be addressed by our lawmakers. Digital data, in whatever form, obtained by whatever means, without the absolute consent of its unequivocal data owner, should not be used by any “repository” for research, inducement, incentive nor as a bargaining tool without the explicit, revocable and informed permission of the data owner. Yet this is exactly what is happening. Being respectful and placing value on every human being’s data should be foremost in securing our digital future. The converse of having our digital footprint used positively can start off innocently enough and with the best of intentions; however, what if someone told you that the very information you provide freely could be used to influence your social or political views and in turn influence how you vote for new legislation or even as to who governs a country? And again, in the world of criminality our footprint in the wrong hands can have a devastating outcome on our finances, let alone the consequences of financing criminality, abuses and wars. So, we all need to be very cognisant of the choices we make regarding the impact of the trade-off that convenience has with respect to our digital privacy. With respect to our digital identity, everyone, everywhere has the right to be known and validated through the possession of a government-issued form of identification, which can be securely verified and used only by its owner. But what is the right information that government and business leaders need to provide to navigate this data ocean? Most technologists immediately rush to the pieces surrounding the data; storage, transfer, interaction, visualization, analytics, etc. These are all important, but the harder pieces to tackle are data privacy and data security. We all recognise and acknowledge that data is the currency of government. Vast amounts of data are being collected, stored and manipulated by every government agency every hour of every day. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) the amount of personal data being collected and shared is exploding. As a consequence, this creates issues for government in both the way they manage data and around the public policy they enact to regulate it. Technology leaders are seeing an unprecedented amount of information sharing applications, personal cloud storage, analytic tools and collaboration software that users can download and deploy. Technology has certainly improved aspects of our lives, but the digital generation has grown-up in a society where technology provides convenience first and foremost with data security and privacy being secondary or worse, completely ignored. So, if digital privacy is the next frontier of human rights then investment is needed in cyber security as this is the tax that society will have to pay for the use and convenience of the internet. When we truly understand this, only then can government start to address the complex issues that the Internet of Things brings to our society. What governments need to do is invest in a multi-pronged strategy; invest and recognise that technology solves the business needs of the citizens and the state; invest in data privacy policies that clearly articulate the potential problems and provide flexible solutions for those problems that we know about now and future proof against those yet to be discovered. In other words, involve all stakeholders so that collaborative buy-in is achieved covering security infrastructure, policies, technologies and the people impacted.


A cause of real concern currently is the lack of security focus on critical infrastructure and items of significant importance that would cause us all serious challenges if anything happened to them. This failure endangers our entire economy, our national security and the continuity of commerce. The technology strategies to keep our data safe will change over time, but keeping the data safe from bad actors associated with organized crime, unfriendly governments and others must always be a priority. Corporate leaders now need to think outside the box when looking for methods to protect our organisations and to secure our corporate assets. The traditional approach to infrastructure being IT governed, IT provisioned, and IT owned is no longer sufficient. Our company, Sedicii, is at the forefront of helping organisations ethically and confidentially verify information without ever having sight or knowledge of the information being verified. We believe in the right of an individual to own and manage their own data but also completely accept that trust must be established between parties in order that the digital world can work effectively. We will always be respectful and cognisant of the information owners’ right to complete and total privacy and ownership of their own digital persona. We all must recognize the need to offer solutions that are easy to work with securely and difficult to use insecurely. No matter how the data is delivered, it is the data itself that needs to be secure. We should keep in mind that technology will continue to develop very rapidly but let’s not lose sight of the fact that it is there to serve the people and not the other way round. Privacy really matters!




Established in 2013, Steered by an expert professional, Ali Zaidi, General Manager, Aafiya is a specialized integrated service provider for healthcare management. Bearing the name which stands for “good health”, Aafiya was started with the mission to facilitate comprehensive health insurance services of high-quality standards to all the sectors of the population. While the stakeholders were considering making health insurance mandatory in UAE, it was vital to support the insurance companies to manage and facilitate a smooth claim process and take care of entire operations - That's when Aafiya came into the picture to provide comprehensive health insurance services. Health Insurance became mandatory in 2014 and Aafiya came next year. It is the hub that connects insurance companies, policyholders, and health care providers. While it has a basic role to work as an administrator, it understands the need to facilitate cashless service at the time of medical necessity. The team is committed to patient safety and emerges as a trustworthy healthcare facilitator in the region. In a very short period, it has carved its niche in the third-party administrator (TPA) sector and has been recognized as a specialized integrated service provider for healthcare management.

LEADING WITH TECHNOLOGY • Machine Learning can review large volumes of data and discover specific trends without any human intervention. For instance, a human can process 200-300 claims but when it comes to ML it can scale up to 10,000 claims per day • Through its algorithms, Machine Learning technology gains experience and keeps improving in its accuracy and efficiency. Currently, the accuracy of the data ranges between 30-40%, however, with the incorporation of ML the accuracy can range from 92-95%. • Lastly, it helps reduce operational costs. In this way, Aafiya aims at providing faster, better, tailor-made, and data-driven services to its clients which includes Insurance Companies as well as the insured members

HARNESSING THE FULL POTENTIAL OF DIGITALIZATION The rising need and importance of AI make it pretty clear that the need for digitalization and AI go hand in hand. In recent years global insurance has seen the rising importance of technology across the supply chain of Insurance. This has more commonly been referred to as insurance, this trend provides for both threats to and opportunities for incumbents and newcomers alike. Technology and new data sources are changing the economy and society fundamentally, and promise to transform the insurance industry as well. Digitalization is changing the role of insurance, from pure risk protection towards predicting and preventing risks. The risks insurers cover and the ways they underwrite, distribute, and manage claims are also changing. Hence, there is a need to keep abreast with these demanding times and changes around the world to provide services more efficiently. Aafiya aims at developing its internal software with further advanced technologies being used around the world for minimizing risks, controlling losses at the same time providing quick and efficient services to the insured members.

THE “SECRET SAUCE” BEHIND SUCCESS “Nothing worthwhile comes easy, continuous hard work is the only way to get results that last” – Steve Jobs Success for Ali Zaidi combines efforts of helping the company to achieve its larger goals and enhancing employee engagement and spurring their commitment to greater growth. He believes hard work is the most important aspect of becoming successful. Without being willing to work hard and put everything into what you are doing, success is nearly impossible. As a leader, Mr Zaidi wants his team to feel capable of achieving their goals 21

as well as the company’s objective, so he can make it a priority to personally help them meet their individualized milestones.

THE BIGGEST FAILURES & LEARNING “I would not term it as a failure, however, there were several obstacles and challenges which I have faced throughout my professional journey. It’s the time and passion for your work that helps you resolve problems. With all the years of experience, I have learned to always be prepared for obstacles and always have an alternate plan in place in case the first plan fails”, Ali proudly shared, recollecting his early day's hurdles and learning from them.

INNOVATIONS ON THE WAY Ali aims to make Aafiya a globally recognized brand, his step towards the same is complete digitalization of all processes happening in and around the organization. His long-term vision is to make Aafiya a global brand in healthcare management and he believes innovation is the key to achieving this goal. For sustainable growth and creating a niche in the market, Mr Zaidi would want Aafiya to become the market leader in terms of achieving the following.

FROM THE VISIONARY’S DESK The Best Advice Ever Received “I recently met someone at an award ceremony, while we were having a general conversation, he said something that touched my heart, he said, “if things happened according to your wish, it's good, but it doesn’t, it's even better because if the plan is not as per you, it's as per the divine force and he will always think good about you, so believe in it”, shared Mr Zaidi.

Leadership Style & Skills

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” - John Quincy Adams. While sharing his thoughts on leadership, Mr Zaidi said “A leader is a leader when has a supportive team. For me, leadership skills would be keeping complete transparency and letting my colleagues easily approach me without any hesitation. By truly believing and trying to action this quote.”

THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS Ali Zaidi’s greatest accomplishment would be building and growing Aafiya from a mere start-up to making it amongst the top 5 TPA’s in highly competitive marketing. The second would be, conceptualizing Dahab, premium membership for our privileged clients.

THE FUTURE ROADMAP OF AAFIYA An important factor around which most of Aafiya’s service delivery options are focused is technology. The effectiveness of technologically advanced solutions through digital means increases due to their farreaching impact on the users. There has been a hype around the term, ‘Machine Learning’ with Insurers turning to ML as it helps in predicting customers' needs and helps companies to make better decisions. Ahead of its time, Aafiya has decided as a part of its strategic plan for the year 2021 to invest and develop in Machine Learning technology – it’s a powerful tool that holds the potential to revolutionize the entire gamut of business. It is the first one in the TPA industry to implement ML in these services.


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The Letter to Leaders As a pioneer you might approach yourself-“I agreed to accept this?” The appropriate response is yes and numerous are happy you did. As a director or building main you have the ability, want and manner to lead others. You acknowledged this test and obligation as a hireling pioneer and your errand won’t be for the swoon of heart. You will require conviction, strength and above all pledge to yourself as well as other people to be successful.So what is being a pioneer and all the more significantly, what do compelling pioneers do any other way? John Buchan states, “The assignment of initiative isn’t to place significance into individuals, however to evoke it, for the enormity is there as of now.” If transformational-genuinely viable administration is to happen it is through building up the authority in you and of people around you. Really powerful pioneers instinctually and purposefully experience their convictions – through their activities. A considerable lot of your activities as a pioneer will be illogical to institutional preparing, practices, and conviction structures inside your association. Your capacity as a pioneer to perceive and explore through difficulties will be the contrast between foundational versus situational change. Customary ways to deal with persistent change starts with the attitude of how would they address the issue inside the current institutional structures. From the beginning this approach will yield common outcomes when the normal outcomes are a long way from run of the mill. As transformational pioneers, you should be anything other than regular. Change endeavors should be drawn closer with a crisp arrangement of eyes open to all potential outcomes for genuinely impactful and supportable outcomes to happen. As a pioneer you should have the right stuff to foresee and withstand the institutional protection from secure existing conditions that will definitely will happen. As a transformational pioneer you should have the fearlessness to surrender positional expert and endow authority in others. This distributive initiative approach comes through strengthening, coordinated effort and shared responsibility as the standard and desire for all. Each individual in your association has intrinsic and learned administration aptitudes. Administrators and building principals must have an intense familiarity with every individual’s abilities and use them for the advantage of the association. On the off chance that you comprehend what institutional boundaries are set up that demonstration against organizing these endeavors you will be more fruitful in separating them. In doing as such you will make a culture enabled to go out on a limb and bolster creative ways to deal with settle the intricate issues your school or area may confront. We are altogether conceived with natural interest however after some time institutional norming limits our senses. 24

Pioneers can’t contradict institutional practice but instead, discover approaches to change the conviction structures that characterize the way of life and supports interest. Be True to Yourself A pioneer is a man who others normally incline toward and through this association, enhance the initiative and efficiency of others towards finishing the association’s objectives. A pioneer must have full consciousness of your staffs’ qualities, constraints and you should have the bravery to perceive your qualities and shortcomings too. There is almost certainly that you will be tried professionally and by and by on each choice and move you make. You should be clear and predictable in your embraced and authorized convictions on what is best for the association and how you expect to move the association towards the course you look for. Remain consistent with your own and expert feelings and you will discover others will put resources into you and your authority. Put People over Processes No association will be fruitful until the point when the pioneer encompasses the association with skilled and submitted representatives. Human capital is the most imperative resource for any effective and reasonable association. This is additionally the most troublesome region confronting capable pioneers yet completely essential to progress or disappointment. Individuals trump forms. As a pioneer you are coordinated through arrangements, statutes and desires to take after specific procedures. Procedures are imperative They give an unmistakable “guide” for others to take after to guarantee proficiency of activities. Plainly comprehended and identifiable procedures empowers every individual in your association the capacity to work all the more productively. As a pioneer you will discover circumstances where procedures may knock up against what is best for your work force. At the point when this happens you should will and ready to survey these obstructions and change them. Keep in mind forget your work force will be relied upon to complete the procedures and your duty is to guarantee they have each opportunity to be effective. In the event that methods or approaches go about as obstructions to use your association’s human capital-change them. Have a Plan When others put stock in your feelings and promise to the association they have to know you have an arrangement. Be particular with regards to the objectives of the association, forms for coordinated effort, have a distributive authority structure as a top priority. Recognize and expressly lay out the means to execute the arrangement. When this is expert your staff can picture activity. Be predictable. Try not to misjudge consistency with firmness. Others will put resources into you when they feel persuaded you are predictable in your conviction structure and way to deal with complex issues. Transformational pioneers insert ceaseless criticism forms and the adaptability to turn when essential. In the event that your activities are conflicting it will make an increased domain of tension constraining or dispensing with others to put resources into your heading and authority. Impart and after that Communicate Again Correspondence is the way to moving every one of the parts working in synchronized mold. A pioneer imparts conviction, reason and responsibility each moment of consistently through activities, basic leadership and the average correspondence mediums. Most importantly, pioneers comprehend listening is the most essential factor of being a powerful communicator. The message is more vital than the medium. As a pioneer you should be available to include from others, process that information and roll out the improvements important to guarantee achievement. 25

When the question of what color is comes to your mind, millions of definitions arise, Color psychology is one of the most important sciences that started gain presence in the corporate world since late 1980’s. I founded my company in 2008 to simply the understanding of Color Theory and how to use it to our advantage in our day to day lives. The Gracious F is the leading color solutions consultancy in GCC, dedicated to assisting people and organizations in benefitting through the power of Color Science and Psychology, based in Dubai, it has assisted a variety of individuals and businesses and holds a Portfolio of national and international organizations. Successfully combining color psychology in all spectrums of individual re-branding and self-development, to businesses that are looking to enhance their awareness and strategy through color solutions in branding & marketing, Luxury Retail training, PR, Workshops, or residential and corporate interior design. My core values are focused around ,Empowering women to be educated and to be their best self individually and professionally, serve the community and support local and youth talent, Learning every day, developing and helping my team to grow and exceed in their individual and professional lives. Color psychology does not only help organizations in increasing their revenues, but also their teams Strengths and weaknesses, the color theory allows us to understand core personality of individuals, through the four-color groups which are used for personality profiling. With the know-how of which personality group your team members belong to, leaders can communicate with their team in their language and use their personality know how tools to enhance their productivity and efficiency. The knowledge of which color personality groups my teams belong to has been a crucial benefit for me as a leader and entrepreneurs to be able to take care of their mental wellbeing and motivation, during these difficult times with a uncertainty within all their surroundings. Mostly all companies and leaders are currently facing lack of motivation, anxiety, depression, and There are tips which I would like share with all entrepreneurs in how to focus on team wellbeing and motivation 1. Use of the primary psychology on daily bases to create balance, red for Strength, Yellow for creativity, Blue for focus and Green for Balance 2. Train your team to take one hour per day to do something that makes them happy for themselves 3. Cleary communicate your expectations as a leader in these difficult times and give them more realistic goals to achieve during this time to avoid mental exhaustion 4. Take advantage as leaders to take this time in re-structuring departments that need more attention, research within your industry, and find new ways of achieving revenues in the new era.


5. When it comes to working remotely, this challenge for employee and for the employer, have certain colours around your desk space or whenever you are sitting to work from to maintain efficiency and motivation. Main three colors are: Red, Yellow & Blue.

ABOUT AUTHOR Fatima Al Shirawi is an Emirati founder and entrepreneur of The Gracious F Colour Consulting Company.Fatima Al Shirawi is an Emirati founder and entrepreneur of The Gracious F Colour Consulting Company. With a Passion for Travel, education and giving back to the community.

Education BA in Sociology and Marketing from George Washington University, DC Short course in Fashion Design from Polimoda Institute in Florence , BA in – Fashion design from London College of Fashion Certified Colour Consultant from the Colour Affects Institute.

Fatima E. Al Shirawi ( founder) 29

By Betsy Wiersma, Wiersma Experience Marketing



hat differentiates your business from the pack? What communicates your business’s heart and soul? What can unite employees, connect with customers and help your community? Consider philanthropy as a business tool! We call it “Do Good and Have Fun!” For the last 16 years, I have dedicated my life to uniting amazing women from all walks of life to help others. Our Denver Colorado CampExperience ™ Network has raised over $1 million in cash and in-kind support for 50+ charities in Colorado and around the world. We gather women for both online and in-person events, promotions and campaigns, and each year we choose charity partners to receive the Network’s donations. Over the 16 years we are partnered with large organizations like our Mile High United Way in Denver and small organizations like the Sock It To Em Sock Campaign. Each time we look for a specific project or group we can make a difference for and engage our volunteers. There are so many examples of Doing Good and Having Fun. One of my favorites was 1000 Acts of Peace in September of 2019. We gathered donations of more than 20,000 items of shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, floss, tooth paste, combs, sanitized wipes, Kleenex, a bottle of water and a Luna bar. Then 130 ladies assembled 1000 knapsacks in 2 hours, loaded onto busses and delivered the donations to the Mayor of Colorado Springs, Colorado, to gift to agencies that served people experiencing homelessness.

We have developed a style of “sisterhood by choice” in that we treat each other as family and treat others as our own. Our community involvement generates positive energy, publicity and more opportunities for our members and sponsors. This experience has proven the following three tips for your organization’s community success.

Match Your Mission to Your Mate A great way to choose a community partner is to match the passions and purpose of your organization with a like-hearted “mate.” Like dating, try some conversations with potential community partners and find a match. You might start with your stakeholders to see where they are involved and what type of experiences are working. There may be timely issues in your community or you may need to serve multiple markets across a country or a region. Look for:

• Leadership stability and fiscal responsibility. • Check some references to ensure a top reputation. • What are the deliverable goods and/or services and who specifically is served? How is the “good” measured?

• What are the needs and specific opportunities to

involve staff or customers? For example, our volunteers gathered new socks for men, women and children and the socks stayed in each market to help local groups.

The process of partnering has elevated the stature of our organization, attracted new members and kept the loyalty of current members. Our focus on helping others rates high in surveys about organization interest and market reputation. 31

Choose A Scale That Makes Success Easy My mom always asked, “Did you bite off more than you can chew?” Even as I kid I wanted to do it all, save it all and take every opportunity for the FUN of getting involved. I have discovered (the overcommitted and tired way) that with community involvement (and life) you can choose the “scale” of involvement. This means when you discover the magic of a cause that matches your interest, develop a “menu” of ideas both large and small. This scales serves you in many ways:

In a world running fast and working hard, take a minute for some thoughtful strategy. Consider philanthropy and some Do Good Have Fun for you and your team!

• The menu of specific needs and tasks can fit the

multiple interests of your employees and customers. Just Do It … Go, Review and Repeat! Include the time, level of commitment, location After creating the perfect partnership and developing and what to expect when serving. your action plan just do it! Take action and begin. The magic of the Do Good is the Have Fun! • When you start and complete an exact task, the small success starts positive momentum. When you get even small “wins,” you start to stack up the good deeds and start the reputation of the project to be viable and FUN!

• The process of developing the menu can unlock more creativity and is great for the process of developing a working partnership with your community

In hundreds of projects, we find that the journey of helping others is even better than the destination of any goal. Goals can always move and change. The journey is the juicy relationship-building process. The activities connect hearts and minds. The positive impact generates possibility thinking and a fresh outlook. And these relationships and shifted perspectives contribute not only in the community but back in the organization.


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