University of New Haven Commencement Speech

His Excellency Mr. Amr Al-Dabbagh

His Excellency Amr Al-Dabbagh virtually addresses the graduating class of 2021 at University of New Haven, Connecticut in the United States of America. In recognition of His Excellency’s “unwavering commitment to investing in those dedicated to making a difference”, President Steve Kaplan bestowed him with Honourary Doctorate Degree.

His Excellency Mr. Amr Al-Dabbagh

Philanthropy University + OneValley

Nikhil Sinha: CEO, OneValley & Philanthropy University

Six years ago, Philanthropy University (PhilU) was launched by signing a strategic alliance with University of Berkeley with the aim of impacting 100 million individuals by 2020.  In the past six years PhilU has served over 250,000 individuals in over 35,000 organizations supporting an overall population of over 250 million. It has created dozens of high-quality courses endorsed by top institutions and developed a world class content and community platform with a number of vibrant social impact communities. These impressive outcomes have been achieved by the committed, dedicated and talented PhilU team and supported by the PhilU Board of Directors contributions from Al-Dabbagh Group (ADG).

Over the past six months, the Group has conducted an in-depth strategic analysis to determine the most effective mechanism for PhilU to achieve its important mission of enabling the social impact sector to impact a billion people in a financially sustainable manner.   As a result of this analysis, the Group has decided to combine PhilU’s assets and operations with those of OneValley.  OneValley is a Bay Area based global entrepreneurship company in which the Al Dabbagh Group already has an investment.  The merger will be effected by OneValley purchasing the operating assets of PhilU concurrently with ADG, making a significant new equity investment in OneValley to support the growth of the combined Company.

The merger of OneValley and PhilU provides a unique opportunity to build a global, integrated entrepreneurship platform combining OneValley’s Passport services and resources platform and PhilU’s learning and content platform.  The merger of the two organizations will create an end-to-end entrepreneurial community management platform with community and networking, courses and learning resources, business and technology services, access to donors/investors and access to mentors and experts.  The combined company will serve the general population of entrepreneurs with a special focus on social entrepreneurs and nonprofits.

The merger will benefit PhilU by expanding the services and resources it can offer its social impact community and by giving it access to the features, functionality, services and resources already developed by OneValley to serve entrepreneurs. The merger will allow PhilU to become part of a broader entrepreneurship focused company that is fast developing as the world’s largest entrepreneurial community. For OneValley, the merger will strengthen its learning platform and content resources through access to the platform and content already developed by PhilU. It will also give access to its users as well as the members of its over 200 online communities to this content. In addition to the revenue synergies, a merger will allow for the integration and rationalization of the merged company’s cost structure and the leveraging of each-others leadership teams.

 We are optimistic that this merger will prove to be one that is not only beneficial to both PhilU and OneValley, but that it is also a union which will positively impact and further empower our combined communities.

Dukan 2.0

Helder Miguens: Chief Operating Officer, Green Investments

This quarter we excitedly opened our first Dukan 2.0 store. In rolling out these new, revamped Dukans, we aim to offer our customers not only proximity and competitive prices, but to also satisfy their daily needs, with a variety of fresh products, complete assortment and our very own brand.

You can spot the difference right away when you walk in to our Dukan 2.0 store. We have rolled out a higher standard for the presentation of fruits & vegetables, where customers are able to hand-pick the quantity of the items they need. The fresh poultry and meat section has also received an upgrade, with more variety in it’s offerings. Perhaps most notable is the launch of a fresh, in-store bakery – a completely new addition to Dukan – offering a variety of freshly baked cakes, bread and croissant to choose from. These changes, additions and upgrades, many are seeing Dukan as a brand reborn.

The physical layout and design of the store itself has also been given a face-lift. In an effort to shift away from the grey more demure colours, we have created larger front store windows, allowing an elevation of natural light into the store, combined with our enhanced internal lighting. To ease customer’s experience and line-waiting time, we have included within the store three points of sale, to make checking-out ever more convenient and quick.

Omnipreneurship Council Guest Speaker: Professor Christine Porath

Sahar Taleb: Chief Omnipreneurship Officer, ADG

In an effort to illustrate and exemplify the values of our governing ecosystem, Omnipreneurship, the Omnipreneurship Council has begun inviting various speakers to our sessions. Each quarter, a different speaker takes a deep dive into one of our Omnipreneurial elements, propping up our values with stories and examples of them in practice.

This quarter, we were delighted to welcome Professor Christine Porath. Professor Porath is a tenured professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and is the founder of a company that helps organizations become a workplace that allows it’s colleagues to thrive in.

In 2018, she gave a very popular TED Talk entitled “Why being respectful to your co-workers is good for business”, viewed by 3,034,031 people. It is clearly a topic that has resonated around the globe, and her discussion with our council and the audience was indeed lively and engaging.

During the talk she gave to our council and audience, she touched upon a survey she’d conducted a few years ago on business school alumni after experiencing rude, insensitive and disrespectful behaviour. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey found that “incivility makes people less motivated: 66% cut back on work efforts, 80% lost time worrying about what had just happened and 12% left their job.”

As she states in her famous Ted Talk “Incivility is a bug. It is contagious and we become carriers of it just by being around it”. This reiterates the importance of our omnipreneurial value of respect. Studies have proven that performance declines when rudeness and disrespect is allowed to run unchecked in the work place. It is a common misconception that rudeness is equal to strength and leadership, when in actuality it is of the exact opposite. Those who are seen as civil, kind and respectful are viewed as real leaders, and their teams perform significantly better.

Respect at ADG is at the core of who we are and how we operate. The talk resonated with us all, and reiterated the importance of maintaining respect…in that spirit, let us all recommit to this ideal, and commit to practicing it day in and day out. After all, as Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Men are respectable only as they respect.”

“It is not so much anymore what you do with business, but how you do business that now matters.” – Paul Polman

Maryam Telmesani: Chief Sustainability Officer, ADG

The Sustainability Council had a very special guest speaker this quarter: the sustainability champion, Paul Polman. As most are aware, Mr. Polman is the former CEO of Unilever, responsible for not only transforming the company into a shining example of responsible sustainable business, but also gave shareholders a 300 % return well outperforming the industry. Today, Unilever has 155,000 employees across 190 countries and 3 billion people use their products on a daily basis. Today, Mr. Polman is continuing his invaluable and important work with Imagine, working with industry collectives to drive the broader systems changes needed to create more sustainability-minded businesses.

During his hour long talk and Q&A session with the audience, he reiterated the need for sustainable practices in the private sector to be holistic, comprehensive and thoroughly embedded into the corporate culture and all decision making processes. This resonated deeply with our council members and wider audience, who are well on their way to making this the case for all of our Group companies, in line with His Excellency’s vision.

When asked about companies that remain hesitant to put ESG issues at the core of their operations, Mr. Polman said “these companies have to shape up or ship out…. Many companies have value statements, but if values and behaviours do not align you do not get the right culture. And, there is good external pressure by the world force companies to go the ESG way.” He added that “More often now, companies understand that profit should not come from creating the world’s problems but from solving the world’s problems.”

While listening to Mr. Polman describe his mission and vision for a future that is more just, equitable and sustainable for generations to come, the inspiration amongst the audience was palpable. In setting the example he has for the world of sustainability, he has become a beacon of light that shows just what can happen when an organization puts purpose at it’s core. By putting a sense of humanity above all that we do, and by applying courageous leadership, which we at ADG are lucky to already have, we too can make a positive impact on our societies and communities for the better. There is no longer room in the world we live in to be passive; we must all be active participants in playing our role, at an individual and organizational level, to ensure we leave the world in a better state for our children, and for their children. Inaction is not an option.

Perhaps most relevant to us is the direct message that Mr. Polman had to all of our business unit’s CEO’s when he said that there is no alternative when it comes to pushing a sustainability agenda, than to lead from the front. He elaborated that “If you do not put sustainability at the core and do not live it and show that leadership, the organization will not believe you as sincere.” Mr. Polman continued  “So, the fact of the leader is the most important one, in fact, in Unilever I replaced some people just because they did not get it, or they did not want to get it, and then they became a cancer for the transformation and put the whole company at risk. We all must step up, even if it is out of our comfort zone, even if it is not something I know or am personally interested in, we all have an obligation to our planet to get educated.” As we at ADG and all our group companies make this most important shift to truly embed and have sustainability be at the core of all decisions we make, there was perhaps no better person to take inspiration from. We must always remind ourselves that in the long run, putting sustainable practices at the forefront is better… and if it’s not enough motivation that it’s better for our livelihoods and the state of our planet… it is also, provenly, better for business.

Ramadan Giving at Dukan

Helder Miguens: Chief Operating Officer, Green Investments

The spirit of charity continues this Ramadan season at Dukan. While last year saw Dukan focussing on delivering food baskets to those most in need during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, this year has a slightly different way of giving back.

As with last year, Dukan has partnered with 5 renowned local charities: Nama’a Charity, AlBir Charity in Jeddah, AlFaisalyah Charity, Daam Charity and AlBir in Wadi Bani Amir. Through this collarboration, Dukan has been selling card & e-vouchers.

These are mutli-use cards and e-vouchers that can be topped up with a balance at the users request. In addition to the standard Dukan card, we are also collaborating with a third party, Manafith, on this initiative. Manafith has created a system enabling charities to control the debit cards or e-vouchers that are specifically made for their beneficiaries. In both cases, the charity purchases these cards and provides it to their beneficiaries.

As the initiative gained traction and proved that it was truly effective, we decide to expand it by including the private sector in the equation; why would we only limit ourselves to use charities for support, when we can also use the wider support of our communities. In order to do so, we have now begun to sell cards to businesses with over 10,000 employees, businessmen and individuals. In this context, the card has multiple uses: as a donation given to beneficiaries; personal use and companies can give it to their employees as a benefit. We are proud to say that to date, we have managed to impact 150,000 people through this initiative and are excited to continually develop and enhance it, to grow that number.

#OmniAwards Sustainability Challenge: The Shortlist

Sahar Taleb: Chief Omnipreneurship Officer, ADG

Al-Dabbagh Group (ADG) is always on the look-out for the “Next Big Thing” and is a firm believer in another of our Omnipreneurial golden rules, “Collaborate to Accelerate”. Working with those outside of our Group companies allows us to gather different perspectives, fresh ideas and innovative solutions to some of our challenges.

In 2020, Tanmiah Food Company (TFC) launched a grand challenge seeking new uses and processing technologies for the waste generated by their farms. Their goal was that the waste produced becomes useful raw materials that can be used in other processes or high added value products for their core business.

Fresh thinking about the uses and the value of the waste could lead to new business models or cost-effective solutions that will make TFC’s waste valuable and promote environmentally friendly reuse or recycling of the generated waste streams.

The focus of this challenge was to find a solution that will process chicken farm waste in a cost-effective, commercially viable manner to create a positive impact on TFC as a corporate entity, on the environment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and ultimately global ecosystem.

The sustainability grand challenge came to a close mid-December with over 90 proposals from all over the world. After reviewing the proposals, the internal Jury team chose top 10 proposals that were shared with an external team of experts from different back grounds to choose the top 5.

In April 2021, ADG were happy to announce the five shortlisted organizations:

KAUST: Led by Mani Sarathy In collaboration with Bruce Cowley from the company INSECTUM. Their Solution is based on the integration of BSF treatment with Pyrolysis. The Valuable output includes: Bio-fuels, lubricants, additives, Proteins, Chitin/ chitosan, Biochar & Bio-Oil.

Polymeron (KAUST):  Led by CEO Rodrigo Jimenez (Co-founder) and Dr Noor Zaouri GM and Co-founder. Their Solution based on Pyrolysis. The Valuable output include: Biochar for bio carbon-based materials such as soil improvers, biopolymers, Bio-oil for Bio-based polymers or Bio-Fuel, and Syngas for the Pyrolysis process.

Proteinea: Led by Mahmoud El Jendy. Their solution is based on using an Insect-based biotechnology platform. The Valuable output include Bio-Oil, Chitin, Bio fertilizers, and Industrial enzymes and bio fertilizers

Shanghai Jiao Tong University: Led by  Cheng Tung Chong, Associate professor China-UK Low Carbon College. Their Solution is  called CLYMATE+ which is  based on Catalytic Microwave pyrolysis technology. The Valuable output include: Biochar, Biogas, Bio-Oil, Phenol.

Currently, TFC and ADG are working hard with the winning teams on testing their solution prototypes. Once completed, the final $1 million winner for 2020’s challenge will be chosen, paving the way for another exciting year for the Sustainability Grand Challenge!

McDonalds + Tanmiah Food Company: The Future is Bright and it has Golden Arches

Steve Ross: Director – AVP, Tanmiah Food Company

Tanmiah Food Comapany (TFC) continues to show its strong capabilities, having received more approvals from the development team at McDonalds.

Since you last heard from us (July 2020), and as the markets have begun to show some signs of strengthening, work behind the scenes has been ongoing for TFC to be ready to supply McDonalds.

As it stands, TFC’s aim is to supply McDonalds KSA with their chicken requirements at full speed from the end 2022. The road to get to that point is relatively short and means a lot of preparation work but I am very pleased to say that TFC is making great progress and on track to deliver as planned.

We will supply 18 products, accounting for a third of our 2025 target.  Due to some delays caused by the COVID pandemic, McDonalds are pushing us to expedite the first phase. To date, our Production & NPD team have already received approval on six products: Wings, Value Patty, Grilled Chicken Patty, Mc Chicken Patty, Strips and Bone In Chicken. Some of these products have already launched, while the rest will enter the trial phase May-July, 2021.

McWings are now a permanent item in the UAE and Riyadh & Dammam will launch an LTO in July with a forecast demand of around 50,000 kilos per month. The Jeddah LTO is expected to be repeated in October 2021. Strips will roll-out in July.

In addition to these items, we are also awaiting imminent feedback on the “Accelerated Product Development” for Big Leg & Thighs, Sausage Patty, Grand Patty, Cajun Patty, Spicy Burger and the Mini Asian Patty.

Al Manarah warehouse (Riyadh, KSA) is currently being converted to become the focus production location for MacDonald’s products and work is underway to be fully commissioned by November 2021.

This represents an investment of approximately 48M SAR and is in addition to the significant investment being made in ADC needed to grow the fresh chickens to meet McDonalds’ requirements.

In the mean-time TFC has also been successful in gaining approval to supply the QSR giant from existing sites at both SFPC Riyadh, KSA and Perfect Foods Factory Dubai, UAE.

Both sites were successful on the first McDonalds audit attempt scoring 91% and 92% respectively, which as quoted by the auditor “was a great achievement, unheard of for first attempts!”

This is tantamount to the dedication and hard work of all team members within TFC. Not only does this mean we can supply products earlier but we will have built in contingency going forward.  As this project gains traction, the excitement grows. The expectation is that we will be in full supply across the whole KSA McDonalds estate with the first core item, The Value Patty in late 2021 / early Q1 2022.

Internal Omnipreneurship Awards: The Highlights

Oana-Maria Pop: HYPE Innovation

After a successful start in Q4, 2020, the Internal Omnipreneurship Awards are continuing in a format that retains the best practices from the previous quarter and builds in new elements too.

            In 2020, the Internal Awards programme focused on laying the groundwork for a portal that will become synonymous with innovation, creativity, and value creation. It did so by working at the intersection of Omnipreneurship and Innovation. More specifically, the Internal Awards program looked to cement the understanding of Omnipreneurship as a philosophy, and also helped teams of innovators across ADG to put Omnipreneurship principles, values and golden rules into practice.

Continuing to build on the initial groundwork

The success of these initial steps was very encouraging and led to a more widespread awareness of that the Internal Awards stand for. As part of this journey, teams comprised of the Omnipreneurship Council Members, the Innovation Project Managers and the IT Managers, continue to schedule training sessions and seminars, to create posters, infographics and videos, and to help translate and communicate each Award description into 4 languages: Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Tagolog. In doing so, the Internal Awards in 2021 have become more inclusive.

This year, even more so that last year, everyone is invited to help solve exciting challenges and to enjoy attractive prizes offered to all Omnipreneurs and innovators. Prizes once again include smart devices but uniquely, they also include innovation education – via courses from Harvardx and MITx.

What are the objectives for 2021?

In 2021, the main objectives of the Internal Omnipreneurship Awards include:

  • higher engagement across different geographies, specialities, and sister companies
  • easier access to portal – via continuous training and support
  • focus on active participation (and not just content browsing)
  • coverage of all 18 Omnipreneurship ingredients (up from 5 ingredients last year)
  • deeper connection to strategy and the UN sustainable development goals
  • demonstration of value at each step of the way – via continuous monitoring of idea quality and path to implementation

Themes in March and April

On March 8th, two new Internal Omnipreneurship Awards went live, creating excitement and generating a wealth of valuable insights. These Awards included:

  • The Earning Award “How might we create more value from existing assets across ADG?” (176 ideas and 681 comments) – sponsored by Kalyana Sivagnanam, CEO at Petromin Corporation
  • The Delight the Stakeholders Award “What would convince you to do your daily grocery shopping at Dukan?” (322 ideas and 1656 comments) – sponsored by Dan Cristea, General Manager at Dukan

The influx of ideas was an absolute record! Throughout May 2021, the evaluation teams at Petromin (for the Earning Award) and at Dukan (for the Delight the Stakeholders Award) will therefore focus on identifying the top submitters and on rewarding them accordingly. The biggest reward, perhaps, is the chance for that idea to see the light of day – though active implementation.

Throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan, we also saw the Giving Award on the portal, sponsored by Philanthropy University. The title of this Award was “Give, Grow, Gain: How can your organisation give continuously while earning and sustaining at the same time?”. We anxiously look forward to the winners of this category!

Going beyond ideation

Clearly, the Internal Omnipreneurship Awards are just as much about cementing the understanding off the Omnipreneurship ingredients as they are about collaborative solution finding. To ensure that not just winning ideas find a path forward, a new “valorization process” has been put in place. As part of this process, CEOs and Omnipreneurship Council members were invited to run an additional triage of ideas received in the 2020 edition of the Awards. As they do this, thy will look for ideas that are generally relevant to the business, that could fit the short medium and long term strategy, and that meet a host of basic criteria such as viability and feasibility.  Those whose ideas are selected will be contacted directly and supported too work on prototypes.

We look forward to sharing more exciting news with you soon!

Chairman and CEO’s Message

His Excellency Amr Al-Dabbagh

As I write this, I am in awe of how the past months have flown by and all that has happened during them.

Notable amongst them, is Al-Dabbagh Group’s (ADG) fourth place ranking in the Great Place To Work list of organizations in the Kingdom. Dubbed as an “organization designed for resilience, not only efficiency”,  ADG was recognized for our care and commitment to our colleagues during a globally challenging 2020. I am both proud and humbled to say that the sense of security and stability we were able to provide our most precious of assets: our people – was in large part due to our strong omnipreneurial governing ecosystem. Putting the wellbeing of our people first; whether colleagues, customers or stakeholders has always been at the forefront of our ecosystem. In 2020, when push came to shove, it has proven to be the key to our resilience. Thanks to each and every one of our colleagues, we were able to navigate through the rugged terrain and come out the other end stronger than before.

Another exciting development is the recent signing between our newly established Gulf First Fast Food Company and Popeyes. It is an exclusive Master Franchise and Development Agreement that will see hundreds of new restaurants opened throughout the Kingdom over the coming years. It allows us to create hundreds of career opportunities here at home coupled with a focus on delivering the best tasting brands to our customers.

I look forward to another busy upcoming quarter, and hope that you and your families all had restful, rejuvenating and peaceful Eid break.