The month of August witnessed the passing away of Sheikh Saud Bahwan. Known to the whole of Oman’s car industry as an industry pioneer and leader, Sheikh Saud built up his group of companies from very humble beginnings as a trader along Muscat’s waterfront to the corporate powerhouse it has become. Along the way, he made sure that the international brands he sold became household names in Oman.
Perhaps, more than any other brand the group is associated with Toyota, market leader in terms of numbers and image. The number of awards and accolades that the Saud Bahwan Group has won for its yeoman stewardship of the Toyota brand is indicative of the immense respect that Sheikh Saud commanded from his peers across the world.
There are many lessons to be learnt from the way the man rose from his humble beginnings – from his business acumen, to his keen eye for the mettle of the people he hired, to the unadvertised and selfless charity that he became known for, not just in his hometown of Sur, but across Oman.
The landmark event will no doubt impact on the dynamics of the car business in Oman. It just can’t help doing so – considering the aura that Sheikh Saud cast on it.
Let us endeavour so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry – Mark Twain