Founded by Ali Abdul Wahab Al Mutawa shortly after World War I, the Ali Abdulwahab Sons & Co. company in Kuwait has flourished throughout the last nine decades and today holds over 1,500 employees. It is one of the leading and most prominent Kuwaiti trading companies in retail and wholesale, with around 90 years track record in business, and is an agent for over 40 U.S. & European commercial brands.
The late Ali Abdul Wahab Al Mutawa started his business as an entrepreneur in 1918, after World War I. He was a merchant of food products and textiles and then expanded his business, especially after World War II and the beginning of commercial production of oil at that time. There was an increasing need and dependence of inhabitants in the surrounding areas on Kuwait as a natural harbor. Northeastern Saudi Arabia, the South Republic of Iraq and the mid-Western Iran areas, were areas that did not enjoy the natural ports or access to the sea and world trade as much as Kuwait did. Trade activity and transit trade from and to Kuwait bloomed at that time because of its easy connection to the Indian Peninsula and Eastern Africa. The late Ali Al Mutawa was also known for his honesty, which earned him a good reputation and thus laid the foundation stone in building his name across the region from the very beginnings of commercial and trade activities in the region.
After the death of the late Ali Abdul Wahab Al Mutawa in February 1946, his eldest son Abdul Aziz Ali Al Mutawa together with his brother Abdullah founded, an efficient trade system, under the name of their father “Ali Abdul Wahab Sons & Co.”, where the late Abdul Aziz continued in collaboration with his brother Abdullah the expansion of the business until 1956. Afterwards, Abdullah managed the company on his own until his brother Faisal Ali Al Mutawa joined the company in 1970, right after his graduation from the American University of Beirut. They jointly ran the business until Abdullah passed away in early September 2006. Since then, his successor Faisal Ali Al Mutawa took over the management of the company.
Faisal Ali Al Mutawa was born in Kuwait in 1945; he undertook his high school education in Kuwait then enrolled into the American University of Beirut (AUB), to graduate in 1970 with a bachelor degree in Business Administration and Political Sciences. Immediately after his graduation, he joined the family business Ali Abdul Wahab Sons & Co. After retaining different positions throughout the years, he took over the position of Vice President and Managing Director, after the death of his brother Abdullah in 2006. Then he became the General Manager and Chief Executive.
The good name of Ali Abdul Wahab Sons & Co. was built through the company’s own activities but also through the family’s outside involvement in various institutions. Faisal Ali Al Mutawa held many important positions in other institutions. He was the founder and Chairman of The Securities Group – Kuwaiti shareholding co., Kuwait Overland Transport Company – Kuwaiti shareholding co., a Board Member of Gulf Bank – Kuwait, and the representative of the Kuwaiti banks in the Board of Directors of Kuwait Industrial Bank and Kuwait Clearing Company, in addition to his membership of the Board of Directors of Jordan Kuwait Bank. In addition, he was a board member of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1992 until 2003, where he occupied a high position by heading the Financial and Economic Committee and his membership of the Chamber office. He was also a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board of Kuwait Investment Projects Company, founder and Chairman of Kuwait Students Union – Beirut, in addition to the membership of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board of American-Kuwaiti Friendship Association.
Faisal continues to hold several positions, to name few, a membership to the Advisory Council of the Faculty of Business Administration and Management of the Alumni Club of the American University of Beirut, founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Heart Federation, President of the Union of Pharmaceutical Companies in Kuwait, and member & Assistant to the Secretary General of the National Democratic Alliance. He was also a member of the Committee that prepared for the People’s Conference that was held in Jeddah during the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait, as well as being the President of the Information Committee during the assembly of the conference, and a member of the delegation that represented the Public Conference in Europe.
Moreover, Faisal Ali Al Mutawa established Bayan Investment Company – Kuwait Shareholding Company – in 1997, with the objectives of carrying out all direct investment operations for its own benefit and the benefit of its clients in various economic sectors with promising investment horizons. In addition, Bayan aims at providing various consultancy and investment services needed by the business community, and with follows its development strategy in activities and applying its optimistic vision to expand the investment operations. Hence, Bayan Investment was enlisted in Kuwait Stock Exchange in 2003 and then in Dubai Financial Market in 2006.
Indeed, the many activities of Faisal Ali Al Mutawa and the Al Mutawa family have led to the family reputation being regionally and internationally recognised.
Ali Abdul Wahab Sons & Co. now ranks among the top trading companies in Kuwait dealing with a diversified range of products, having agency representation from some of the World’s foremost manufacturers of consumer goods such as Proctor & Gamble and Clorox, Kelvinator of USA, Coleman International Inc. – USA. Also, Electrical Appliances such as Bosch and Siemens of Germany, and pharmaceuticals companies such as Hoffman La Roche Ltd. of Switzerland, The Athlete’s Foot, Shoebox New York, as well as Curves, the leading women’s fitness center.
As far as luxury furnishing and furniture, the company has an agency representation from “Century” and “Bassett” of USA, and “Nolte Kitchen” of Germany; and in view of the company’s long experience gained over the past decades, Ali Abdul Wahab Sons & Co. created its own brands carried the names of “Explorers Base” and “Carbon Fiber”.
Ali Abdul Wahab Sons & Co. is today one of the leading local companies in furniture, electrical appliances, and kitchens. It seeks diversification through expansion in the fashion industry, clothing, sports goods, picnics and camping equipment, not to mention its long experience in the distribution of consumer products and pharmaceuticals. The company undertakes the distribution of pharmaceutical products for various pharmacies in Kuwait, aside of its possession to more than 22 pharmacies, to be considered the largest retailer of the pharmaceutical sector in Kuwait. The family business has a large share in the real estate residential & investment sector and through the deployment of high-end properties in prime locations in Kuwait.
The steady growth over the past 90 years, has been accompanied by the continuous efforts to provide a permanent suitable work environment for the family business’s over 1500 employees. Their hard work aims to diligently provide the best services and high quality, which has helped to raise the value of sales to more than $20 million per annum with a continuous growth.
Tharawat Magazine, Issue 5, 2010