Interview – Bader Abdulaziz Kanoo

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Bader Abdulaziz Kanoo

Investvine sat down with Bader Abdulaziz Kanoo of the Kanoo Group of Companies, one of the largest independent, family owned companies in the Gulf region.

OIC, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia

Q1. Saudi Arabia and Malaysia are both leading members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the two countries have enjoyed warm and close relations. The economic ties are particularly strong with Malaysia attracting Saudi and Gulf investors by the hordes. To what extent did this background influence the Kanoo Group to look to invest in Malaysia?

Obviously, the links between the GCC countries and Malaysia have a very long history dating back centuries. However, when we are looking into business and opportunities we are doing so on a very rational basis and according to a defined set of parameters.¬†¬† In my understanding, emotions like ‚Äúwarm feelings‚ÄĚ should play no role when analyzing business fundamentals, because in business we are always faced with hard facts. However if fundamentals are right and one has to compare between two equal opportunities, that emotional element might make the difference.

Looking into the matter of GCC investors hording to Malaysia, I see it a bit different. There is definitely an established club of GCC investors with interest in Malaysia. However looking at FDI over the last years, it is obvious that this investment represents only a fraction of the overall FDI in Malaysia. I actually see that there are many untapped opportunities and multiple avenues to make use of cross-fertilities.

Political stability and leadership

Q2.  The Malaysian polity has been churning of late with major and surprising changes but when compared with other South-East Asian countries, it has been comparatively stable.  While it is stating the obvious that political stability is a strong magnet for investors, how important is this particular factor for the Kanoo Group?

Politic stability is of paramount importance for any investment decision and part of all investment analysis. When a private investor enters into a foreign jurisdiction and takes part in the economic activities there, the framework has to guarantee legal and economic conditions to ensure operations and free flow of capital.  I  believe  it  goes  without  saying  that  for  any  long-term  engagement political, social and economic stability is a decisive factor.

Ease of doing business in Malaysia

Q3. The Kanoo Group has a worldview of business and your business interests are spread all over the globe. When it comes to the ease of doing business, how would you rate Malaysia on a scale of 1-10 (1 lowest; 10 highest)?

True. Our operations span from Australia to the United States and each country we are becoming part of the systems has its own specificities.  While we are now at the stage of doing the first steps into Malaysia via BioME, it would be too early to tell.

However, from our first experience and compared to other territories we are working in, I can rate the proactive business attitude and reactivity of the governmental institutions which take care of our activities on your scale from one to ten with 10.

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Business philosophy of Kanoo Group

Q4.  What is the business philosophy of the Kanoo Group? And where does Asia fit into the Kanoo Group’s future plans?

Asia is a top priority for our Group. As a multifaceted conglomerate being active in manufacturing, services, development and trade, we are looking into markets with   substantial   and   sustainable   growth.   Asia’s   demographics   and   rapid development over the last two decades is most attractive for us and will allow us as well to deploy the depth of capabilities to the region. Being one of the longest established family owned conglomerates in the Gulf with a history of over 120 years,  our  strategic  planning  is  based  on long-term  perspectives  and market depth. That’s where Asia and Africa are playing a vital role in our expansion strategy.

Essence of doing business in Malaysia

Q5. From your vast experience, what would you say are the vital elements of doing business successfully in Malaysia? What would be your advice to potential investors?

My¬† first¬† and¬† foremost¬† advice¬† is¬† that¬† we¬† should¬† not¬† take¬† things¬† as¬† granted. Though there are close ties and that ‚Äúwarm relations‚ÄĚ, one should always be aware¬† that¬† both¬† of¬† regions¬† have¬† very¬† different¬† cultural¬† backgrounds¬† and different challenges. It is always important to listen and, if one wants to take part in an economy, to adopt practices accordingly.

I am personally very much impressed with the level of organisation and professionalism of the governmental institutions on both Federal and State level. I would advise any investor to engage openly with the authorities right from the beginning and seek a win-win situation rather then profit-taking only.

Hertz advertisement new

Opportunities

Q.6 You are a man of many hats being on the board of directors in various companies but as the Chairman of BioMe can you tell us what opportunities you foresee and in what specific area’s?

BioME is focused on the structuring of opportunities for us and our partners to invest in sustainable, knowledge based integrated and single developments. I am very upbeat on modern biotechnologies as core process and thus bringing back the science component to the Muslim environment. Looking back into history, science was driven by Islam and Muslims for many centuries and only in the last two centuries that has lost momentum. The major threats I see for a sustainable future are climate change and desertification, water and food shortage, loss of Biodiversity and unsustainable extraction of non-renewable resources.

And that are also the areas we are addressing with BioME. In the specific context of your question, we are looking to built an integrated, knowledge based Bio- economy in Malaysia.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Bader Abdulaziz Kanoo

Investvine sat down with Bader Abdulaziz Kanoo of the Kanoo Group of Companies, one of the largest independent, family owned companies in the Gulf region.

OIC, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia

Q1. Saudi Arabia and Malaysia are both leading members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the two countries have enjoyed warm and close relations. The economic ties are particularly strong with Malaysia attracting Saudi and Gulf investors by the hordes. To what extent did this background influence the Kanoo Group to look to invest in Malaysia?

Obviously, the links between the GCC countries and Malaysia have a very long history dating back centuries. However, when we are looking into business and opportunities we are doing so on a very rational basis and according to a defined set of parameters.¬†¬† In my understanding, emotions like ‚Äúwarm feelings‚ÄĚ should play no role when analyzing business fundamentals, because in business we are always faced with hard facts. However if fundamentals are right and one has to compare between two equal opportunities, that emotional element might make the difference.

Looking into the matter of GCC investors hording to Malaysia, I see it a bit different. There is definitely an established club of GCC investors with interest in Malaysia. However looking at FDI over the last years, it is obvious that this investment represents only a fraction of the overall FDI in Malaysia. I actually see that there are many untapped opportunities and multiple avenues to make use of cross-fertilities.

Political stability and leadership

Q2.  The Malaysian polity has been churning of late with major and surprising changes but when compared with other South-East Asian countries, it has been comparatively stable.  While it is stating the obvious that political stability is a strong magnet for investors, how important is this particular factor for the Kanoo Group?

Politic stability is of paramount importance for any investment decision and part of all investment analysis. When a private investor enters into a foreign jurisdiction and takes part in the economic activities there, the framework has to guarantee legal and economic conditions to ensure operations and free flow of capital.  I  believe  it  goes  without  saying  that  for  any  long-term  engagement political, social and economic stability is a decisive factor.

Ease of doing business in Malaysia

Q3. The Kanoo Group has a worldview of business and your business interests are spread all over the globe. When it comes to the ease of doing business, how would you rate Malaysia on a scale of 1-10 (1 lowest; 10 highest)?

True. Our operations span from Australia to the United States and each country we are becoming part of the systems has its own specificities.  While we are now at the stage of doing the first steps into Malaysia via BioME, it would be too early to tell.

However, from our first experience and compared to other territories we are working in, I can rate the proactive business attitude and reactivity of the governmental institutions which take care of our activities on your scale from one to ten with 10.

Hertz advertisement new

Business philosophy of Kanoo Group

Q4.  What is the business philosophy of the Kanoo Group? And where does Asia fit into the Kanoo Group’s future plans?

Asia is a top priority for our Group. As a multifaceted conglomerate being active in manufacturing, services, development and trade, we are looking into markets with   substantial   and   sustainable   growth.   Asia’s   demographics   and   rapid development over the last two decades is most attractive for us and will allow us as well to deploy the depth of capabilities to the region. Being one of the longest established family owned conglomerates in the Gulf with a history of over 120 years,  our  strategic  planning  is  based  on long-term  perspectives  and market depth. That’s where Asia and Africa are playing a vital role in our expansion strategy.

Essence of doing business in Malaysia

Q5. From your vast experience, what would you say are the vital elements of doing business successfully in Malaysia? What would be your advice to potential investors?

My¬† first¬† and¬† foremost¬† advice¬† is¬† that¬† we¬† should¬† not¬† take¬† things¬† as¬† granted. Though there are close ties and that ‚Äúwarm relations‚ÄĚ, one should always be aware¬† that¬† both¬† of¬† regions¬† have¬† very¬† different¬† cultural¬† backgrounds¬† and different challenges. It is always important to listen and, if one wants to take part in an economy, to adopt practices accordingly.

I am personally very much impressed with the level of organisation and professionalism of the governmental institutions on both Federal and State level. I would advise any investor to engage openly with the authorities right from the beginning and seek a win-win situation rather then profit-taking only.

Hertz advertisement new

Opportunities

Q.6 You are a man of many hats being on the board of directors in various companies but as the Chairman of BioMe can you tell us what opportunities you foresee and in what specific area’s?

BioME is focused on the structuring of opportunities for us and our partners to invest in sustainable, knowledge based integrated and single developments. I am very upbeat on modern biotechnologies as core process and thus bringing back the science component to the Muslim environment. Looking back into history, science was driven by Islam and Muslims for many centuries and only in the last two centuries that has lost momentum. The major threats I see for a sustainable future are climate change and desertification, water and food shortage, loss of Biodiversity and unsustainable extraction of non-renewable resources.

And that are also the areas we are addressing with BioME. In the specific context of your question, we are looking to built an integrated, knowledge based Bio- economy in Malaysia.

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