x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

A Passion for Adventure: Zain founder tells of success through service

Saad Al Barrak's memoir recounts how he turned a newly privatised mobile telecoms company into the multinational giant Zain.

A Passion for Adventure by Saad Al Barrak.
A Passion for Adventure by Saad Al Barrak.

Since resigning as head of telecommunications giant Zain in February 2011, Saad Al Barrak has left behind an enviable legacy of success. During his seven years at the company, he managed to transform it into a multinational corporation catering to 72 million customers across 23 countries. Though dubbed a biography, A Passion is clearly more Zain than Barrak.

After attempts at establishing a career in engineering, Barrak gets his first corporate break in 1987 while working for International Turnkey Systems in Kuwait. A promotion to CEO eventually paves the way for an opportunity with Mobile Telecommunications Company, a struggling, recently privatised company which would undergo major revamping to emerge as the successful Zain. The rest, as they say, is history, with Barak at the helm of several benchmark-setting ventures.

Barrak insists on the human quality of service, which in turn underscores the passion behind his words. Idealistic though it may be, the very fact of its emphasis sets this memoir apart from its financially inclined peers.