Interviews

A Natural Leader

by BTM

Fri, 09 September 2022

al namal group Executive Director, Jeeben Varghese Kurian,

Al Namal Group is one of the Kingdom’s most renowned business entities, with divisions in real estate, construction, health, hospitality and more. Kristian Harrison spoke to Executive Director, Jeeben Varghese Kurian, about the company’s continued success and his personal goals. 

Can you tell us about your career to date and how you came to be involved with the Al Namal Group?
I am from a second generation business family and am a qualified architectural engineer. From a young age, seeing my father being involved and working very hard to provide for our family, I was always interested in the business and I’ve been involved for a couple of years now. Every father is a role model to his child, so being involved in his enterprise was inevitable in my eyes.

Can you tell us a bit about the history of Al Namal and VKL Holdings, such as when it was founded and how many companies fall under your umbrella?
My grandfather was a small-time contractor in his village and my father, who came to Bahrain in search of work, always had a dream to start his own company. With his civil engineering background he was able to start his own firm in the year 1990, which started off with humble beginnings. We started with small-scale projects and now we have advanced with numerous large developments under our name. We have more than 30 companies across various countries like Bahrain, UAE, India and Georgia. 

What do you believe is the reason for the group’s success and how do you manage so many branches?
Most of our divisions were started to cater to our needs within the construction industry, thus making us a fully-integrated construction company able to meet all the demands of any major project we accepted. This further enabled us to stand out as a strong player in the market. My father started out in the medical field keeping his commitment to return to society at the forefront. 

On a personal level, what has it been like for you being mentored by your father who is a renowned and successful businessman in Bahrain and the region?
My father is a very family-oriented person. He believes in hard work and determination, and that teaching oneself with hands-on experience is the best way to pave one’s path forward and that theory has helped me navigate and find my way within the company.

How do you feel Bahrain’s real estate market has responded post-COVID? Is it recovering?
We have not reached our pre-COVID height, however there has been a growth in the market in the last quarter and we expect a slight increase in the next year. 

What are Al Namal Group’s plans for the future?
We are looking to grow within the KSA and Indian markets. In KSA there are huge opportunities within the construction and hospitality sector. In India we are looking to expand within the hospitality sector. In Bahrain, we currently have three medical centres, one multi-speciality hospital and three more medical centres on its way. We are further contributing into the educational sector of the Kingdom, with plans to open three kindergartens and a school in the next few years. 

Do you have any words for Bahrain This Month on the occasion of our 25th anniversary?
I offer my hearty congratulations to the entire team on completing 25 glorious years within the Kingdom. George Middleton has been a pioneer in spearheading the growth of the media sector in Bahrain and I wish him and Bahrain This Month many more successful years.

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