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Shrook Mansour Bin Sultan, head of government affairs for Saudi Arabia, 3M

Shrook Mansour Bin Sultan
Shrook Mansour Bin Sultan worked at various GCC companies including Qatar Airways before joining 3M

Shrook Mansour Bin Sultan is the new head of government affairs in Saudi Arabia for US multinational conglomerate 3M, which operates in the fields of industry, worker safety, US healthcare and consumer goods.

Her responsibilities include leading the company’s public policy initiatives, such as engagement opportunities with government entities to support the kingdom’s policymakers on regulatory matters.

What does your organisation do?

3M believes science helps create a brighter world for everyone. By unlocking the power of people, ideas and science to reimagine what’s possible, we uniquely address the opportunities and challenges of our customers, communities and planet. 

Within government affairs, we are primarily responsible for engaging with senior government officials. We are here as counsellors, advisers and guardians to serve the needs of the various 3M businesses and functions throughout the company.

The government affairs team supports hundreds of government engagements and projects in nearly every subsidiary across the world each year.

As a global function, we prioritise these activities to maximise positive impact not only for the company, but also for the markets we operate in. 

What do you look for when hiring talent?  

At 3M, we bring together diverse perspectives, skills and experiences to create a more inclusive employee experience.

While I am not responsible for hiring talent, in my opinion, having the right company culture in a workplace can also make all the difference as it helps to accomplish bigger tasks in an organisation.

Here at 3M, our people and the culture we live, are one of our four priorities. We define our culture through five elements which exemplify who we are when we are at our best and challenge us to live and work differently. 

These elements are customer at our core, innovating boldly, powered by inclusion, winning with agility, and unwavering integrity. Each element contains defining characteristics that we can incorporate through new approaches and ways of thinking.

What counts for more – luck or hard work? 

In my view, luck is when opportunity meets readiness and preparation, and preparation cannot be done without hard work. 

What was your biggest ‘lucky’ moment?  

Joining 3M is one of my greatest moments so far. Nevertheless, I would not be where I am today if it was not for the hard work and experiences that I took away from previous opportunities with Qatar Airways and other companies in the GCC that paved the way for my future.

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

I believe in owning your own decision regardless of the outcome. Of course, no one likes to make mistakes, but at the same time, every mistake is an opportunity to learn. 

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

As a millennial, I am very much a person of my time, and if I had one day, I would fast forward to our achievements around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As an advocate for change, I would particularly focus on the following:

  • Improving education globally so every individual has access and opportunities to quality education.
  • Developing sustainable cities and communities. 
  • Addressing climate change and action to safeguard the future of generations to come. 

What three factors do entrepreneurs misjudge about the Gulf market?

Perhaps the misconceptions that we have around entrepreneurship and the Gulf markets are often related to the advantages of doing business in our region –including the ease of opening a company, the strategic location of the GCC, and the advantages of a good taxation system combined with greater opportunities.

It is also a very agile and nimble region with two distinctive advantages: its large youth population, and its diversity in terms of its expat population.

The GCC places a strong emphasis on the future where entrepreneurial initiatives are highly supported by government, which provides greater access to funding for prospective entrepreneurs.

Dream mentor?

Lubna Al Olayan is an inspiring female mentor with strong influence. As one of the top 100 influential people by Time Magazine and Forbes’ most powerful women, she was the first woman in Saudi to deliver an opening keynote at the Jeddah Economic Forum and was also appointed as a Chairwoman of Saudi British Bank.

Lubna Al Olayan speaking at the World Economic Forum