The man at the helm of a multi-million import-export business has a simple but enchanting mantra for success: Focus on what’s on hand but set your heart on diverse dreams.
This is the mind-blowing story of a man who landed in Salalah 35 years ago and navigated a logistics business without having no “connections” as such but made it really big in the bargain.
It was difficult to survive in the early days but Jama Ali Mohamad was not ready to go back to where had come from empty-handed. That determination paid off quite handsomely.
“Being a successful entrepreneur means more than starting new ventures every other day. It means the right attitude towards a business and the determination and grit to achieve success,” says Jama who has been running a successful logistics company based in Salalah.
Having risen from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of corporate power, he personifies sheer persistence.
Jama who grew up in Africa was the first Somalian to arrive in Oman in 1986. “I was then in Italy and came to Oman straight from there. At that time, there was nobody from Somalia but now you can see many (Somalians) here,” Jama recalls.
He landed in Salalah without any connections and started his import and export business. “I used to export and import everything from cows, camels, flour, steel and cement from Oman to Somalia.
” It was difficult because I didn’t have any contacts…but I wasn’t ready to go back to Somalia emptyhanded…I stayed back and the rest is history.”Jama Ali Mohamad
Fast forward to 2020, Jama now runs a multi-million logistics business named Sahool Al Hojari Trading and Contracting (SHTCE) based in Salalah and Somalia.
“I keep shuttling between the two countries more often than anyone else. There is so much I could do over the last 35 years being in this great country,” Jama who received the Omani citizenship adds.
Jama’s example shows that entrepreneurial intuition and, above all, the willingness to be open to new ideas, and to always be ready to adapt a business model, are much more important than book knowledge of the kind taught in business administration courses around the world.
“I always tell people the biggest learning comes from your own experiences. I am not saying I came out successful in my first business. I tasted more failures than success. It’s how you learn from your failures that makes you a good businessman,” Jama observes.
Jama never relied on one business as he stepped into many other ventures. “My mantra for success is simple. Focus on what you’re doing but, at the same time, make sure you diversify into other businesses because you may never know what will happen tomorrow,” he points out.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a challenging time for many and Jama is no exception. “This (Covid-19) is not going to stay forever, right? The world is fighting and I am sure life will be back to normal like before,” he says.
From humble beginnings to a successful businessman, Jama credits much of his success to the Omani people. “I would first like to thank the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik for providing all the support.
I have travelled to 37 countries over the years and I must say Oman and the Omani people are the best in the world,” he adds.