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Four Tips On Finding Success As An Entrepreneur In The Automotive Industry Look at the automotive segment as a vast field with limitless possibilities- consider spare parts, technical training, maintenance, car care, accessories, and so much more.

By Oweis Zahran

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The automotive industry is one of the most robust and growing sectors globally and locally, and it is comparable to real estate or any other mainstream pillar of a sustainable economy. In this region, the UAE represents just under a quarter of the GCC car sales market, second only to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. According to reports, an estimated 1.4 million cars were sold nationally in 2016, and figures are projected to grow with sales of 2 million expected annually by 2021.

Approximately 80% of the UAE automotive market is passenger cars, and the remaining 20% is commercial vehicles (trucks, vans, and buses). The country's strategic positioning makes it a regional hub for car parts and components, and it has made itself a key player in the car parts trade within the Gulf and African region. Given these facts and figures, being an entrepreneur in the automotive industry is less of a bumpier ride than competing in other industries in the current climate. Here's my take on how to achieve success in the automotive industry:

1. Know the problem you're trying to solve Firstly, identify the gap in the market that you can capitalize on, which will allow you to have an edge, and of course, less competition. Knowing your demographic and what their demands are is the most important step, so that you can address it and provide timely, quality, and cost-effective solutions.

2. Have a limitless vision Look at the automotive segment as a vast field with limitless possibilities- consider spare parts, technical training, maintenance, car care, accessories, and so much more. Select one or more avenues you are passionate about, start small, and become good at whatever service you want to provide. Focus on customer loyalty to have repeat business.

3. Team up with big players Establish strategic partnerships with reputable names internationally and locally. This helps in building a reputation and becoming a reliable source for your customers. Investing time and effort in researching and signing up with the right partners and suppliers is worth the effort for long-term success. Once you attain the reputation and trust, you can pitch for institutional work with government organizations or corporations.

4. Stay relevant Never stop innovating. Keep an eye out for new developments like autonomous driving, electric cars, and the technology that comes with it. The automotive industry is evolving quickly, and in order to stay on top of the game, you need to be aware of what is happening in this industry, and what part you can play in it.

Related: Cadillac Middle East MD Christian Soemmer On How The 115-Year-Old Brand Is Still Making Waves Globally

Oweis Zahran

CEO, OWS Auto

As a dynamic entrepreneur in both the automotive industry and in the VC space, Oweis Zahran is a hands-on CEO with expertise in business development, operations, innovation and diversification. Through his strategic foresight, drive and determination, he has built multiple businesses and a strong foundation including his successful multi-million-dollar company OWS Automotive and the ever growing OWS Capital.

As an American, Oweis has been spending his time in the Middle East region since he was a teenager and dabbled early on in the business world. Once he graduated from the University Of Maryland, he moved to the UAE to launch his automotive venture. He has been the force behind launching multiple innovative solutions in the automotive world and as a born leader and visionary, Oweis’s hands-on experience prepared him to seamlessly embrace a leadership role, which helped in the evolution, expansion and success of scaling his business from the MENA region to globally.

From setting up the largest end to end transportation management companies, OWS Automotive, in the UAE and expanding it to seven countries to developing exclusive auto solutions to launching a joint venture with the governments of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman, Oweis Zahran achieved a lot before he even celebrated his 30 th birthday. Oweis’s ability to build high-performance teams, including his strategically selected executive management staff, has served as a growth catalyst and infused productive energy to his businesses with massive expansion plans being rolled out for OWS Automotive into Saudi Arabia as well as South East Asia including Brunei, Philippines and Malaysia. In 2020, OWS Capital was launched with a series of partnerships and verticals that came into being under its umbrella.

One of them is MELT ME, a joint partnership with Hollywood icon Steve Harvey, who are already working alongside government bodies such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai tourism to bring unique IPs to the country. In 2021, one such event under MELT ME was the first annual Steve Harvey Golf Tournament which was a resounding success. Primarily focused on bridging the gap between the Middle East and Western cultures, with a mandate to create synergy between the two regions whilst breaking down barriers and showcasing what each region represents, MELT ME will be redefining the celebrity events landscape in the Middle East region. Under OWS Capital, cutting-edge health and wellness gym brand Platform Health Club was launched in 2022 across the UAE with an aim to deliver unique and personalized quality service. From celebrity trainers to high-tech and top-of-range equipment, the gyms will cater to health-conscious audiences in the country. The vision for 2022 and beyond for OWS Capital is to bring unique experiences and cutting-edge businesses in the fitness and entertainment verticals to the region with ambitious expansion plans already in the works.

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