“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barak Obama
Every businessman (or woman) in Bahrain faces some challenges with their company, whether it’s with the CR, legislation, bureaucracy, labor laws and many more. We totally get it, the business ecosystem in Bahrain can be pretty challenging sometimes, and now with the increase in prices and VAT coming up Bahrainis, are freaking out. Literally. This is why a group of young entrepreneurs came together to create Alghad Coalition, a grassroot movement that’s going to be representing and voicing the concerns of Bahrain’s business community.
The group aims to win a majority in the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry election to have a solid platform to launch its agenda from. Alghad is all about demonstrating that the younger generation is able to empower themselves and be involved in key economic decision-making regardless of age.
But what are the key issues that Alghad is really trying to solve? We spoke to Hamed Fakhro, one of the members of Alghad Coalition and he outlined some of the key issues their campaign plans on resolving, here they are:
- There will be a 24/7 open door policy within the BCCI and a monthly “Majlis” where there is going to be an open casual gathering with the coalition for everyone to voice their concerns and opinions. This allows the group to understand the challenges and needs of the business to help them out.
- Attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for Bahraini businesses with a sector-focused strategy in order to diversify Bahrain’s economy and to increase its GDP, thus improving the country’s economic infrastructure.
- To help Bahrain achieve a strong service-oriented infrastructure to transition from an oil-based economy to a service exporting country, and to provide opportunities for local companies to build themselves and grow, which in turn enable them to employ more Bahrainis. “The whole point is simple economics,” Hamed says, “keeping the dinar in Bahrain instead of it leaving the country.” He also adds that we’re supposed to manufacture, produce and provide services, instead of getting them from outside. “Once we provide them to ourselves, we start having a sustainable economy.”
- Encouraging young talent through exchange programs and international internships, knowledge transfer (sending talented locals to Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Germany, and Japan to gain experience and skills and bring it back to Bahrain).
- Maintaining healthy KPIs within the Chamber for a good experience when dealing with applicants, guests, and international visitors, and having all documentation made public.
- Tackling environmental issues by recommending green policies and transitioning to clean energy through local technologies focusing on solar.
- Defending the rights of laborers, small businesses, and employees by pushing for healthy levels of customer service in all governmental entities. Hamed states that having a stable labor force and the market is essential for a successful economy. “If the rights of employees and labors are protected, Bahrain then becomes a more attractive destination, as it becomes even easier for companies to grow and expand.”
- Promoting local businesses domestically and internationally, and making sure locals have a competitive edge. “It’s all about keeping the dinar within Bahrain,” Hamed says. According to him, we should aim at importing direct investment exporting services or goods instead to have a strong economic infrastructure.
- Working closely with the Bahraini parliament and its members to assist in economic policy development.
- Working closely with government to voice the concerns of the market.
- Promoting a sustainable economy by supporting SMEs and entrepreneurship.
Speaking to Hamed Fakhro, a businessman, real estate developer, founder of Hack Arabia and Puffie amongst other projects, he said that there are three core aims of Alghad’s, “one is to spread the awareness that it’s not impossible for the new generation, the second is to take an active part in the business community, and finally to take charge in transforming Bahrain’s economic destiny.”
He also mentioned that with the new CR regulations, every member has a mandatory membership in the BCCI that comes with opening and renewing their CR. Now that it’s mandatory, more than 5,000 members of the community are able to voice out their queries and vote for the party of their choosing.
“With all the turbulence and significant increases in prices and new economic realities, we have no choice but to depend on ourselves to get our economy back on track,” Hamed concludes.
Alghad Coalition constitutes of 11 members from a variety of different business backgrounds, Here they are:
Want to know more about this awesome group? Get a glimpse on what these influential people are doing here.
Interested in knowing more about Alghad? You can read all about them on their website here. Make sure you also follow them on their Instagram to stay up to date with their future events and announcement.