(MENAFN - Arab News) Twenty-nine-year-old Thamer Al-Farshouti is the youngest Saudi businessman in Jeddah. Thamer is a role model for young Saudi businessmen. He is one of those who have overcome many obstacles at the outset of their professional careers.
He began his business six years ago from scratch with a mere SR300.
Thamer told Arab News: "I was faced with many difficulties just like any other businessman who is starting out. I had to undergo long and tedious government procedures, paying constant visits to the Passport Department, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the municipality, the Ministry of Labor and the Labor Office. The paperwork involved in getting started was tremendous, from acquiring official documents such as permits and visas to recruiting expatriates," he said. Thamer also suffered insubordination due to his age. "My employees would often look down upon me because I was so young. I now have a group of companies and small projects in Jeddah, Dubai and India who are specialized in the field of telecommunications, information technology, travel and tourism and business solutions."
Thamer now has more than 100 employees. Saudi citizens account for more than 60 percent of his work force and all his establishments are within the green (safe) zone of the Nitaqat nationalization scheme.
Thamer's mother opened the headquarters of his company called "Adama Group" in the presence of prominent local personalities. Thamer said he was honored by the presence of his mother, saying that her participation highlights the pivotal role she has played in his life's trajectory. He told attendees that her blessing was the secret to his success during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the launch of the headquarters.
Thamer was inspired to set up his first initiative in 2008. This was a project that was to contribute to the development of fields that were largely absent in Saudi Arabia.
He called on youth to enter the free business market since there are opportunities galore in the Saudi market.
Zuhair Al-Marhoumi, a member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said he admired Thamer's perseverance. He said it is important to benefit from such an experience and showcase it to the business community and Saudi youth in particular to encourage them to adopt social responsibility when embarking on business initiatives.