An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Eqbal Al Yousuf,President of Al Yousuf Group

Eqbal Al YousufThe Young Vision, in conversation with Mr. Eqbal Al Yousuf, President of Al Yousuf LLC, explains the formula for success. Further to the conversation, he added a wonderful message for today’s youth: ‘Dreams are good, reality is better and realising your dream is the best thing that could ever happen, so make your dreams come true with bright ideas and dedication to your work.’

Founded in 1952, Al Yousuf Group have developed powerful partnerships with some of the world’s greatest brand names and principals based in East Asia, Europe and the US, and many of these have grown into extraordinarily long-term relationships. With operations ranging from motor vehicles and real estate development, to home electronics and computer operating systems, the manufacturing base covers the production of a wide range of fibreglass (FRP) boats as well as bitumen-based membranes for use in construction.

Al Yousuf LLC is a well-established group in the region and has been operating for over 60 years. Our motivation is to foresee the market direction and plan accordingly. 3 years ago we established Al Yousuf GreenTech, a company specialised in energy-saving and now everyone is looking to save energy- private and public sectors.” Says Eqbal Al Yousuf, President of Al Yousuf Group.

Mr. Eqbal Al Yousuf, when you look back on the past financial year, what do you consider to be the greatest strides the company has made and in which areas does Al Yousuf LLC still have some work to do?
The last year has been a very fulfilling period as it marked the return of our economy to its pre-crisis level. Al Yousuf LLC was able to gain a significant market share with its variety of brands. We have also introduced a new motor brand to Al Yousuf Motors, Brilliance cars from China. Brilliance is a well-established car manufacturer and has a good range from compact, saloon to 4×4 cars.

Is this progress already being reflected in the company’s figures?
Certainly. Most of our companies have achieved their targets and some have even exceeded them.

Did you experience any pleasant surprises?
Not in particular, but the general recovery of the economy was well-welcomed by all.

Many people have got to know Al Yousuf LLC as a rapidly-expanding company. Are you focused on certain growth markets?
Al Yousuf LLC is a well-established group in the region and has been operating for over 60 years. Our motivation is to foresee the market direction and plan accordingly. 3 years ago we established Al Yousuf GreenTech, a company specialised in energy-saving and now everyone is looking to save energy- private and public sectors.

As we know, Al Yousuf LLC took an initiative in participating towards a greener environment. What piece of advice you would give to the youth of the UAE when they set up their own businesses?
If you strongly believe in an idea or a business, you should give it all you have. However, do your due diligence and study your implementation well before starting. Make sure you have a budget and work accordingly. There will be opportunities all the times and the hard-working will prevail.

Al Yousuf LLC is a global organisation with a track-record of strong and continuous growth operating in a wide range of industries. Is there one strength or quality that they all share?
Certainly. We believe that quality of products and services are the common characteristics that all Al Yousuf companies share. We train and direct our teams to build relationships with all our customers on trusting our ability to provide the products and services they expect. We have a large base of loyal and repeat customers across the group and team members who have been working with us for over forty years.

By focusing on customer value, you have initiated a change in your corporate culture. What do you consider to be the core element?
Most sales people or stores managers think that customers are coming into their store to buy a product and they have to convince them with one of their products. But the reality is that customers enter a store to buy a solution and if the sales person fulfills the required solution with the right product, only then he or she has met, and even exceeded, the customer’s expectation. For example, when you enter a store to buy a car, you are looking for a solution to travel around, however, not all of us share the same travel need or have the same size family, etc. so the car (solution) has to be right for you and this is what we always aspire to provide at Al Yousuf companies.

How extensively is this model being practiced today?
This model is the core of our success and development; we maintain the understanding of this model through training, motivation and even awards ceremonies for good achievers. Our challenge is always to encourage this culture within all our companies and acknowledge those who demonstrate a true understanding of this.

Willingness to change is a critical factor in strategic terms as well. Where does Al Yousuf LLC stand in terms of innovation and what are its goals in this regard?
It is human nature to feel comfortable within the safety zones we create or we find ourselves in. The competitive world we live in at the present time laid new rules for companies small or large: if you do not develop, you will die. Al Yousuf LLC is involved with, not only trading with new technologies, but also the research, development and manufacturing of technology. Our Phoenix Motors company now produces electric vehicles after years of research and development. The first electric bus arrived in Dubai last month and we are promoting these new technologies to the private and public sectors.

In 2014, Al Yousuf LLC celebrates its 61st anniversary. What sort of boost do you expect to get from this during the financial year?
I believe this year will mark a very good 61st anniversary, thanks to the teams we have in all our companies and our partners across the globe. It is true that Al Yousuf LLC is 61 years old, but we always have young hearts with the energy, imagination and dedication to see us through the next decade.

Lastly, we thank you for your valuable time. What is your message for The Young Vision” readers who are University and High School Students?
Dreams are good, reality is better and realising your dream is the best thing that could ever happen, so make your dreams come true with bright ideas and dedication to your work.

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