Interview with Ahmad Alangari, Al Gihaz

Pioneering Saudi entrepreneur Saeed Alangari started a small contracting business in the Kingdom’s electrical energy sector in the 1970s. Alangari invited his eldest son Sami aboard in 2000 and a decision that was rewarded when his eldest heir guided the family business towards millions of Saudi Riyals in revenue. Today their firm Al Gihaz provides a wide range of products and services which address concerns related to energy, electricity, civil engineering, the environment, infrastructure, industrial and high end technology products, information technology, security solutions, communications, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Value Added Services (VAS) and real estate development.

The Alangari family business’ story is one of exceptional growth considering that their success was reached across just two generations of ownership. Tharawat magazine spoke to Ahmad Alangari about what it is like to follow in the footsteps of an innovative father and brother, what he believes are the dos and don’ts of joining the family business, and why the older generation should be more patient with Generation Y.

Prior to the family business

Ahmad Alangari is one of six siblings. With two brothers and three sisters, the second generation brings to the family not only quantity but a diverse number of valuable talents. Ahmad works with his father who acts as the chairman of Al Gihaz and an elder brother 14 years his senior who is the vice chairman and president. “In 2000 my brother Sami joined the company, affecting the succession process,” explains Ahmad. “I was at school at the time because my older brother Sami precedes me in age by more than a decade,” says Ahmad. The age difference between the brothers is so pronounced that it nearly seems that Ahmad and Sami belong to different generations, though the gap doesn’t diminish the brother’s appreciation for one another. “My big brother Sami proved to be invaluable to the progress of the company,” he emphasises.