Nadia Al-Dosari: Woman of Steel

Nadia Al-Dosari
Nadia Al-Dosari

Nadia Al-Dosari

Nadia Al-Dosari is a Saudi businesswoman who paid no heed to social misconceptions. She armed herself with confidence and international academic and professional expertise to invest in the iron and steel industry sector of the Kingdom.

She not only excelled in her job but also contributed to her family’s business. “I believe industries are what make countries powerful and trade is the first part of the work,” Al-Dosari said.

“It would be a difficult start for any woman, but I have worked in an American company for training and development, and have experience working in other countries such as Turkey, the US and Britain,” she said.

She believes that administrative and industrial positions need managerial mindsets that do not differentiate between a man and a woman as far as efficiency is concerned.

Al-Dosari said that some women who are still beginners in the field feel that the industry is big. “Indeed it is a huge field comprising a wide variety of industries,” she said.

She added: “I saw entire villages in Turkey and Greece make filaments for sport shoes.”

Nadia Al-Dosari

Nadia Al-Dosari

There are women in China that are working from their homes for manufacturers of jams and pickles. This is true for women in Turkey and Syria as well, but it is more rampant in China, she said.

Al-Dosari said that Saudi businesswomen do not refrain from investing in the industrial field because such “opportunities are not available in the first place.”

“The fact that I work within my family makes it easier in terms of implementation,” she added.

“Without the support of my family, I would not be able to achieve what I did. I think Saudi women have little experience in the industrial field.”

According to Al-Dosari, Saudi women’s reluctance to participate is not because of fear only, but “it is perhaps due to their lack of understanding.”

She explained that apart from the heavy industry, there is the light industry that comprises, for example, consumables. food items, clothing, supplementary materials and so on.

“Investing in the industrial field of iron and steel is difficult. As I said, I’m supported by my family at all levels,” she said.

Al-Dosari stated that this particular area of investment remains exclusive for men even outside Saudi Arabia.

She asserted that the management of such projects need strength, will and a special philosophy the woman must be convinced of. “Also, it needs a lot of faith in teamwork. The experience is not only of an individual but also of the partnership.”

“Perhaps not everyone knows that one of the advantages of working and investing in the Kingdom is in it being a subcontinent, not a mini-state,” she said.

Al-Dosari continued: “The Kingdom with its large size and regional diversity makes it versatile. The north is different than the south and the east, while the west differs from the center, but each region has its own resources.”

She said that a person with a smart, thinking mind finds opportunities even in the desert. Al-Dosari considers herself to be one such person as she found diversity in her work.

“Every day I find a variety of opportunities for investment that open the door for anyone who wants to do it,” she said.

She noted that a person wanting to invest in any field should bear in mind that the market is unsteady and that what you invest can result in a profit or loss.

Al-Dosari said some women just love being called a “businesswomen” without really being aware of the meaning of the word.

She explained: “I saw owners of salons calling themselves businesswomen irrespective of the fact that outside Saudi Arabia this title is limited to those who work in the field of industry or commerce that extends to several branches and facilities, not just a small shop.”

She said the first step toward becoming a businesswoman is the ability to absorb the reality, to produce and to affect. Then comes the financial value and how to invest. After that is the ability to accept losses, if any.

Al-Dosari added, “I always love to read biographies and experiences of successful people.”

She likes innovative mindsets such as that of Bill Gates and Walt Disney.

“The latter bought kilometers of swamplands in Florida that were undesirable, and turned it into his big dream, the Disney World. It is today a complete city, which has raised the shares of the region. Not to mention that the price of that land has doubled, despite the fact that the idea was opposed by many,” Al-Dosari said.

She said areas that make an excellent field for investment are that of productive families and industrial areas. “With the right balance of financial and administrative abilities, one can actually serve the country by investing in these fields.”

Al-Dosari has topped the list of Arab News’ influential figures list for three years in a row. “It was a result of our company’s performance that I manage, as well as several other factors.”

She also had the honor of being selected in the “Ernst Young” and “The Financial” lists of the most prominent active faces in commerce and industry.

“Being listed itself is not my goal. What I like to see is how enthusiastic young women are about their work after that,” Al-Dosari said.

For the influential figures list in 2012, she was chosen from among 500 public figures in the Arab world. The final list comprised big names such as that of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Omar Sharif.

The business of iron recycling (scrap) “is in itself a pro-environment one as it does not damage the environment,” she said.

For her project, Al-Dosari has received special recognition from former US President Bill Clinton. She is a distinctive and active member in supporting environmental protection programs.

Nadia Al-Dosari

Nadia Al-Dosari


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