x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Two heads better than one, even for brothers

The Life: Pascal Mouawad and his older brother Fred last year inherited the family jewellery chain, which was founded in Beirut and is now based in Dubai. Pascal explains why two entrepreneurs can be stronger than one.

Pascal Mouawad says running the jewellery chain Mouwad with his brother makes good business sense.
Pascal Mouawad says running the jewellery chain Mouwad with his brother makes good business sense.

Pascal Mouawad and his older brother Fred last year inherited the family jewellery chain, which was founded in Beirut and is now based in Dubai. Pascal explains why two entrepreneurs can be stronger than one.

You are both entrepreneurs who have other successful businesses worldwide. Do you clash when you are running Mouawad?

It is a very valid question. We have our own personalities. There are obviously clashes, but they are not big enough to be alarming. Fred and I run the business on the same level, there is not one person above the other. As the fourth generation, our job is to be the gatekeeper of Mouawad and make sure the company lives for the next 121 years.

Surely the decision-making process is more difficult though?

We try to work together as much as we can. We are both educated in business and try to work together in a way that involves other people in decision-making. If we don't agree, then we ask others for input. We try to keep our emotions out of the business and try to make decisions that are driven by its best interests. I think if you try to put too much of your personal taste on anything then you will be pulling in a certain direction.

But brothers can often be particularly stubborn with one another.

It is hard. But we are both smart enough to say let's not be too opinionated and make sure our opinions are based on solid foundations. If one brother says"let's stick with 15 stores" and the other says "let's go to 30", then you have a problem. Luckily for us we are on the same page and have the same vision.

How often do you communicate with Fred?

We are on e-mail every day for hours. When we feel the need to talk something through on the phone, we will get on the phone. This usually happens twice a week. We are in constant communication.

Do you never wish you could run the business alone?

Two of us are stronger than one of us. We both have our strengths and weaknesses so we split tasks. We can be in two different continents, supporting two different clients and can make deals at the same time.

You have another brother Alan who lives in Switzerland and helps your father with his property and watch business. At family gatherings, do you all seek to get the biggest thumbs up from Dad?

As a family, my father decided to hand over the jewellery business to two of his sons and his other business to one son. My brothers and I are close in age. We grew up together and have a very strong bond. There was never a competitive edge, each one recognises that each has different skills. We respect one another, which is one of the most important aspect of brotherhood.

rjones@thenational.ae