When it comes to economic entrepreneurship in Kuwait, Mr. Abdulaziz Al Loughani is one of the famous players in the market. He played a vital role in technological advancements before the internet was accessible in each Kuwaiti household, as well as in adapting to the rapid changes in the technology market in the region. Al Loughani is one of the great minds behind the online Talabat.com.
Currently Mr. Al Loughani is the managing partner at Faith Capital, which is one of the earliest and most active venture capitalist groups in Kuwait. Faith Capital has been established with one vision in mind, and that is inspiring the culture of entrepreneurship in the region. In a discussion regarding the economy in Kuwait, Mr. Abdulaziz responded that Kuwait is a customerbased, driven economy with the customer being highly developed and an early adapter. When it comes to the technological solutions available, taking into consideration the size and population, Kuwait is one of the most advanced and adaptable countries in the region. It also has a great impact and influence in the technology sector. In terms of the concept of venture capitalism and the awareness of funding and investing in young startups in all stages, Al Loughani emphasizes the importance of preparing the community, specialty startups, and investors all at the same time in order to create a solid financial foundation for the economy to grow. Kuwait has all the needed resources, but these resources need to be connected together. On the same topic, he commented on the board changes that happened to the National Fund of Kuwait recently by saying that the board changes will not have that big of an impact as much as rules, regulations, and workflow changes will. On the other hand, when he was asked about the bureaucracy in Kuwait and how it is affecting the entrepreneurship community, he said, “I do not believe it is an obstacle to anyone; everyone went through that hassle.”
He also mentioned that it is a part of the challenges that entrepreneurs always face in their lifetime. We asked Mr. Loughani about their latest activities at Faith Capital, and he said that Faith has recently invested in Crowd Analyzer. He explained that Crowd Analyzer is a tool to analyze social media platforms responses for enterprises and make reports in order to strengthen their social media strategies.
This is done by using high-end technologies such as artificial intelligence and providing those insights in Arabic as well. He also elaborated on how they discover startups that are worth investing in: Faith Capital has seven main standards that it requires, focuses on the team itself, and decides whether or not the startup targets a scalable market. He said that they want a team that can solve challenges and overcome problems, while remaining passionate about their work. He also recommended a great market to target focusing on is the GCC or even MENA region.
Another topic approached with Mr. Loughani was the team that was needed for startups. We asked him whether or not a one-man show was beneficial to the project if a team member or team could not be found with whom to share the vision.
“Kuwait is a customer based, driven economy”
He replied that with the current developments and challenges, no single person would be able to cover all aspects of the business successfully. Additionally, he continued by saying that nowadays, a single individual could not be the developer, the marketer, the HR manager, and the administrator. It is impossible to cover every aspect of a successful startup by a single individual.”Even if we consider that, look at the businesses ran by a single person versus teams. They will be able to accomplish in six months what a single person can in three to four years.” Since the market is erupting with new technologies such as VR, AR, AI, etc., Mr. Loughani was asked about his vision for those technologies in the Kuwaiti market. He answered that those technologies are mainly targeting enterprises, and unfortunately enterprises in Kuwait are not keeping up with the market behind newer technologies.”Most of them still use faxes,” he said. Lastly, Mr. Loughani pointed out the importance of having a mentor during the early stages of startups. Having a mentor will give the entrepreneur a shortcut towards his goals and would provide extra incentive and encouragement for him to push the limits as he seeks new horizons. He wrapped up with a quote by Louis Pasteur:”Fortune favors the prepared mind.”