Keeping it in the family: Son and father partner for diverse businesses in UAE

Dubai entreprenuer Mohamed Al Banna with his Father Bashir Mohamed Al Banna stresses on the need to combine experience with disruption to find success in modern day business

By Sandhya D'Mello

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Mohamed Al Banna with his Father Bashir Mohamed Al Banna
Mohamed Al Banna with his Father Bashir Mohamed Al Banna

Published: Thu 29 Feb 2024, 8:06 PM

Last updated: Sun 3 Mar 2024, 7:58 AM

There is no one single way for businesses and enterprises to evolve from their nascent stage to flourishing establishments that last for generations. This week’s story of Dubai resident and influencer Mohamed Al Banna, who is in his 40s, is proof of how a father, Bashir Al Banna, can join his son’s business to add value to it with his experience despite having a successful real estate business of his own.

Al Banna said: “My father had a lucrative realty business, but we believed in diversifying our ventures, and he joined me and that was a great moment for me to see the launch of Connect Lead, a management consultancy company.”

Al Banna, serial entrepreneur, advisor, mentor, group CEO of Lead Ventures, points out that entrepreneurship as a skill is today far more facilitated with technology to build sustainable ventures and family offices, and family businesses are seeing younger generations in search of the latest disruption that promises lucrative exits with rich returns on investments.

Al Banna’s Lead Ventures is a foreign direct investment market entry specialist that assists companies looking to enter the UAE market. The business provides comprehensive services for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, including company formation, business development, strategic partnerships (public and private), contract development, consultancy, marketing and public relations.

Al Banna is bullish about the emerging Web 3.0 trends, which compelled him to venture into

Mohamed Al Banna, serial entrepreneur and group CEO of Lead Ventures
Mohamed Al Banna, serial entrepreneur and group CEO of Lead Ventures

“We envision building an ecosystem of key players who will, alongside us, effectively penetrate the local market and reach desired aspirations in no time while simultaneously ensuring the highest level of professionalism through our venture lead,” says Al Banna.

Al Banna shares a deep bond with his 74-year-old father and business partner, Bashir Al Banna. “No matter how much we tread ahead in modern times, some things will always remain like a priceless treasure trove, and those are principles of business values and integrity handed over to us by our elders,” said Al Banna.

“At a time when I could have easily joined my father's thriving real estate business, I chose to experience life differently. Driven by ambition and hungry to learn, I wanted to experience the corporate world and started my career at 19 as a salesperson, where I was selected from a group of 200 experienced people,” he added.

Al Banna has previously worked with popular brands like ABN Amro, Amlak Finance, and RakBank. “I believe in building a stronger foundation for the younger generation today by mentoring them in the right direction,” he added.

Al Banna says he has seen the younger generation driven by a “can-do” attitude, which makes them scale greater heights of success. However, if only family offices and their younger generations find a common ground, it could help unlock results stemming from combining experience and disruption, providing much-needed support to young entrepreneurs.

The Al Bannas have ventured into many verticals and hold diversified interests in multiple businesses. The areas include traditional sectors and they have emerged as major players in mentoring startups. Mohamed Al Banna is currently a mentor at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University.

Startups require mentoring for several crucial reasons and Al Banna thinks one of the prime reasons is mentors bring valuable experience and insights to the table, often having navigated similar challenges in their own entrepreneurial journeys. This guidance can help startups avoid common pitfalls and make more informed decisions, saving time and resources.

Al Banna, through his mentorship, intends to provide access to networks and resources that startups may not otherwise have. They can make introductions to potential investors, partners, or customers, opening doors that would otherwise remain closed. This network effect can significantly accelerate the growth and success of a startup.

“Mentors offer accountability and perspective. They can challenge founders' assumptions, push them out of their comfort zones, and provide constructive criticism. This feedback loop is essential for continuous improvement and adaptation in the fast-paced startup environment,” concluded Al Banna.

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