Dubai, UAE: The emergence of exciting young startups and brands that are perceived as ethical and cool was the topic of the final plenary session at the fourth Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES 2018), which concluded today at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.
Entitled ‘What’s your CUE (Cool, Universal and Ethical) – Building Brands from the Islamic Economy for the World,’ the session featured three Muslim entrepreneurs who are advancing Islamic brands into the wider global market.
Participating as panellists in the session were Helianti Hilman, Founder and CEO, Javara, Indonesia; Tina Memic, Founder, The Brand Consult, UAE and Muhammed Chbib, Serial Entrepreneur, UAE.
Speaking about his latest venture Tajawal, an online segment of a large Saudi-based corporation, Muhammed Chbib explained that it has seen strong growth in net sales since it launched in January 2016. He said that the ability to overcome challenges was a significant part of its success.
“The single biggest challenge that we have is finding the right people with the right mindsets, which translates into the right behaviours. You can find people with certain technical skills but very, very few people in the region think big, think global. The horizon of their vision ends at the border between Dubai and Sharjah. That’s something we needed to break. How did we do that? What we said is that we have a set of values, we have a vision and we have a mission,” Chbib said.
Highlighting the ethical drivers behind the launch of her brand Javara, one of Indonesia’s leading purveyors of artisanal food products that aim to keep alive the country’s heritage of food biodiversity, indigenous wisdom & culinary tradition, Helianti Hilman said: “We were focused on the spirituality of food. If we look at how food has become so industrialised, so globalised, we see that it’s losing its meaning as a tool for community and for families. It’s losing its spirituality. So that was the mandate I had to start my company – to use food as a tool as diplomacy to continue the wisdom we have.”
Tina Memic, now running her own brand consultancy, described her pride at having worked with Bateel, saying that it was the only local brand that had managed to go global. She discussed what she said were the three ‘Ps’ –‘People, Product and Passion’ Expanding on the ‘People’ aspect, she said:
A separate session entitled ‘The Future of Work in the Muslim World’ discussed how fast-emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and blockchain are impacting the world of employment. Taking part in the discussion were Thaslima Begum, Founder, Teek Taka, UK; Mokhtar Al Khansali, Founder, Port of Moka, USA; Mohammed Raafi Hussein, Founder, Finocracy, UAE and Hadi Partovi, Founder, Code.org, USA.
The sessions were followed by ‘The Wild Idea’ showcase, a new edition to the summit. A selected number of participants were invited to share their unique ideas to drive the Islamic economy forward and change mind-sets. Hashim Farooq, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft, UAE shared his idea which focused on the need to start “talking about what we have learnt rather than what we have done” to change the way we teach.
“Kids must not have to spend their entire future behind a screen. We need to stop thinking about the economics that drive us to be very constrained in our lives; we need to start thinking about the people that we actually empower,” Farooq.
Abdur Rahman Sayd, Executive Director, Algebra, spoke about his idea ‘The Art of Prophetic Communication’ and stressed the importance of conducting business practices based on the six principles of ‘Listen, Give, Connect, Imagine, Invite and Love’.
GIES 2018 concluded at Madinat Jumeirah today. Around 3,000 delegates attended the two-day summit which featured keynote speeches, panel discussions, presentations and seminars from heads of state, government officials, and business leaders. GIES 2018 was organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre in cooperation with Thomson Reuters as Strategic Partner.
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Ruba Abdel Halim
Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry
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© Press Release 2018