Delivering On A Promise: Estithmar Holding CEO Henrik Christiansen With Estithmar Holding being an integrated part of the corporate environment of Qatar, Christiansen sees a bunch of new opportunities in the market, while ensuring to deliver on their already existing projects.

By Tamara Pupic

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CEO of Estithmar Holding Henrik Christiansen

"The world's eyes will be on Qatar this November, as the country is expecting to welcome over 1.5 million visitors for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and for a small country such as ours, that requires an immense amount of planning and execution," says Henrik Christiansen, CEO of Estithmar Holding (previously Investment Holding Group) which has been leading a number of major flagship tourism and infrastructure projects in Qatar. Since launching in 2008, Estithmar Holding has grown into a conglomerate providing services and engineering solutions to clients in construction, building materials supplies, food, chemicals, real estate, and other sectors.

In April 2022, Estithmar Holding completed the first reverse acquisition in Qatar when it acquired a group of professional services companies called Elegancia Group, which is a deal that also marks the creation of one of the country's largest conglomerates on the Qatar Stock Exchange. "It was an honor to be part of this landmark transaction, a first in Qatari business history," says Christiansen. "The deal forms one of the largest and most diverse business groups in Qatar, which is now primed and well-equipped to support the state of Qatar in delivering its 2030 National Vision."

The new entity employs more than 30,000 qualified employees, across 45 companies, operating in five main sectors, and Christiansen believes that the synergies between all businesses will now allow the group to add significant value to its clients. "One of our focus areas for the next period is to ensure the full integration of strategy, systems, processes, and culture of Estithmar Holding and Elegancia Group, because our strategy across all our businesses is customer-centric," he explains. "Our customers are at the center of everything we do, and we aim to add value to their projects and businesses through the knowledge and skills of our employees."

With Estithmar Holding being an integrated part of the corporate environment of Qatar, Christiansen sees a bunch of new opportunities in the market, while ensuring to deliver on their already existing projects. "Our facilities management sector will also support the delivery of the World Cup over the course of the 28-day tournament, but I would say that healthcare remains a key sector for us," Christiansen says. "We are currently gearing up to open The View Hospital, a new general 244-bed hospital in the Al Qutaifiya area that will provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services."

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Other current and upcoming projects include developing Al Maha Island, an entertainment destination in Qatar with Doha Winter Wonderland, 10 national and international restaurants, a beach club and a concert area for live music and entertainment. There is also Katara Hills, a VVIP hospitality area with 20 exclusive units, as well as The Palace Hotel and Spa LXR.

According to Christiansen, Qatar's economy is being powered by a rigorous diversification agenda, a vibrant environment for innovation, and a business-friendly ecosystem. "That is the magic recipe for growth," he says. "It has worked for Qatar even as many economies around the world have been declining." As such, Christiansen says that opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs in Qatar are plentiful, and especially so for one particular group of them. "Qatar's economic diversification and climate mitigation strategies offer ample opportunities for sustainability-conscious investors who want to balance profit and environmental prudence," he points out.

As for Estithmar Holding itself, Christiansen notes that his company's mission is to contribute to the development of Qatar and its local economy, while delivering steady and sustainable returns for its shareholders, and Christiansen explains that the key to achieving this is the group's values: trust, integrity, responsibility, and excellence. "As with any organization, everything boils down to the people," Christiansen says. "It might sound cliché, but it's true– the knowledge and experience of our people is our core competence. Our employees are the engine that is driving the company forward, and my role is to guide, support, and empower them. This philosophy allows us to provide the best possible customer service."

Keeping that idea in mind, Christiansen urges other entrepreneurs and executives in Qatar to follow his lead in striving to build the right company culture at their respective organizations. "Focus on doing the right things, not doing things right. Too many leaders micromanage," Christiansen concludes. "Live your values, don't make them up for picture frames in the meeting rooms."

Related: Born In The UAE, Conquering The World: AWJ Investments Is Going Places With Co-Founder And Group CEO Manhal Naser

Tamara Pupic

Entrepreneur Staff

Managing Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Tamara Pupic is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Middle East.

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