Entrepreneur and Role model
As the Chairperson of ACERE cluster of Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC, a renowned business house in Oman which was listed in the Top 100 Family Businesses by Forbes in 2021, Areej Mohsin Darwish is a role model for women in Oman and beyond.
Step by step, the charismatic Areej has shattered the glass ceiling. With a keen interest in Information technology, she graduated in Computer Science from Sultan Qaboos University and started her career at Petroleum Development, Oman. She joined the family business 27 years ago and has been playing a key role in MHD’s business operations since then.
From humble beginnings in 1974, the company was established as an LLC in 1987 under the outstanding leadership of Areej’s father, the Late Mohsin Haider Darwish. The Late founder had the keen foresight to envision the economic development of Oman and the business opportunities that would emerge in the process. Diversification is important both for business growth and reducing risks. The company has always aimed at diversification across sectors and brands, and has grown their business lines and expanded their presence across the Sultanate. Today, MHD LLC is associated with renowned global brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover, McLaren, Hongqi, MG, Ford, Ashok Leyland and Michelin.
Areej spearheads the Automotive, Construction Equipment, and Renewable Energy (ACERE) division of the business house. Through her visionary leadership, she has driven thoughtful decision-making, motivated teams, and brought about significant change ensuring the organization continues to be on the path of growth and success.
What is the passion that has driven her for almost three decades, we ask her. “My passion is my work, my family business – our vision and goals. I am passionate about each working day as no two days are the same; each day brings something new and different,” she tells us.
Having been surrounded by entrepreneurs, Areej has seen the finer details of growing and managing a business since she was young. Sharing what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur, she says, “As an
entrepreneur, we need to carefully plan our business objectives in line with our long-term goals. We need to take calculated risks because if we play it safe all the time, we cannot be assured of growth and
success. We need to have an insatiable appetite for growth and development. We need to put our ideas into practice, go ahead with implementing them to the best of our abilities, and then see how it goes. We need to have the courage to make the hard choices.”
Resilience and resourcefulness are two of Areej’s biggest strengths. She ensures that the organization
launches new products and services from time to time that present new revenue generation opportunities. This is part of their larger business strategy. “Today’s world is in continual change. Business is not the same today as it was yesterday or what it will be tomorrow. So, our strategy has to be in line with the change,” she says.
Areej’s continuous quest for excellence has seen her bestowed with prestigious awards – ‘50 Most
Powerful Businesswomen – MENA’ from Forbes Middle East; Achievement in Business – Arab
Women of the Year Awards 2022 ‘Woman of the Year – Gold winner from Stevie Award, International
Businesswomen Award from Harvard Business Council International award, Women of Influence in the ArabWorld by CEO Middle East and many more.
Yet, she believes that the path to success is not a straight line but a curved one with challenges along the way. Ask her how she overcomes her challenges, and she reveals, “I embrace challenges with positivity as I am a very positive person and of the opinion that we can overcome challenges with the right attitude, attuning our perception, and taking the right action. Challenges in life help build our leadership skills. Every challenge is an opportunity to take us and our team to the next level. On the other hand, my personal challenge is to achieve the work-life balance. My aim is to passionately enjoy my profession while maintaining balance between home and work. As we journey through life, it’s my goal to continually focus on myvision for the future.”
A motivating leader, Areej’s aim is to inspire progress that will build meaningful values for the future generation. She believes that in order to be successful we need to build a strong team as people are the greatest asset. She also believes that it’s in aiming for the stars that one raises themselves to the height of their potential.