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Abdulrahman Ali Alolayan

People, Person, Dimples

Abdulrahman Ali Alolayan is founding CEO of Dammam BioTech Valley, a leading biotech innovation and research hub in Saudi Arabia. He is also founder of the Taibah Valley biotech investment company and a board member of various private and public companies.

What does your company do?

At Dammam BioTech Valley we pave the way for biotechnology innovators and scientists to communalise they’re inventions and ideas. We support biotech startups, invest in local and global biotech companies and build partnerships with global biotech corporations and venture capitalists.

What do you look for when hiring talent?  

People need a leader that they believe in, a mission they buy into and the right environment. When I look for talent, usually I try to explore their attitude, their aspirations and whether they have the basic skills for the job. Attitude and aspiration usually are more important, but we also value skills and experience. 

What counts for more – luck or hard work?   

I think the combination of hard work and luck is what made me who I am today. Hard work and being around the right people brought luck into my life. 

What was your biggest ‘lucky’ moment?  

I think I have many lucky moments. The moment I came into the world. 

What one thing do you wish you’d done differently?   

I do not have regrets. Decisions I made in the past were the best at the time and situations I was in.

If you could rule the world for a day, what three things would you change?   

  1. Education for all. 
  2. Wealth distribution that includes the bottom of the pyramid.
  3. Praise teachers and educators. 

What do entrepreneurs misjudge about the Gulf market?

A lot of international entrepreneurs misjudge the mass of talent available in the region. There is so much talent, with exceptional qualifications, skills and attitudes.

Dream mentor?

Milton Friedman

US economist, statistician and Nobel prizewinner Milton Friedman. Picture: Creative Commons