DUBAI, November 7, 2019: Magnus Olsson, Co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of Careem, the Dubai-based transportation network company, described the UAE as a country of hope that embraces innovators based on the inspiring and motivating vision of its wise leadership.
Mr. Olsson’s observations were made as guest of honor at the Higher Colleges of Technology’s (HCT) LEQA forum, held recently at the HCT-Dubai Men’s campus. LEQA (Learning from Entrepreneurs through Questions & Answers) is an interactive forum where HCT students and employees hear from senior management leaders and entrepreneurs in UAE commerce and industry, on how to be successful in the 21st century’s globalized economy.
Mr. Olsson told the audience of approximately 800 HCT students, staff and faculty that he is inspired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as a strong leader from whom we learn valuable lessons. He further expressed his pride in being a resident in the UAE, which he considers home.
He enthralled the audience with an account of the challenges in establishing Careem and its ultimate success story. He advised that Careem succeeded in providing an easy transportation option to individuals in the Arab world, as well as creating job opportunities for youth, thereby reducing unemployment rates. Hence, it achieved its founders’ and partners’ main objective of finding a concept to provide a beneficial service to the public.
Careem has now become a household name across the greater Middle East, it has more than 3,000 permanent employees across an operational network that spans 13 countries. Careem has created more than 1,700,000 income opportunities and through its platform, enabled customers to use their Reward points to donate to more than 500,000 meals to children across the world via the WFP “Share a Meal” programme.
Mr. Olsson added that ample opportunities are available for youth to establish similar businesses, especially in the UAE, where government institutions support innovation, entrepreneurship and the establishment of small and medium enterprises.
“The key to success is to set their ideas and launch them confidently, gradually overcoming their hesitation and challenges along the way. It is a learning experience that will ultimately pave the way to success,” he said.
He noted that the joint efforts of a dedicated team are also essential for success, emphasizing the importance of motivating staff and allowing them to grow their passion so as to believe in the business idea and adopt it fully.
Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT President and CEO, said that he was pleased to host such an inspiring business person and entrepreneur as Magnus Olsson, particularly as Careem was founded in the UAE and is a great model of success. He quoted HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who said in reaction to the acquisition of Careem by Uber that “many businesses have flourished in the desert of Dubai, as the world opens up to those who are determined to succeed and prove doubters wrong”.
Dr. Al Shamsi pointed out that the regular LEQA forum hosts successful Emirati and international entrepreneurs and innovators in order to instill an entrepreneurial culture in national youth, so as to make full use of the InncuVation centers, or innovation hubs, in several HCT campuses, which have been set up in support of the HCT 4.0 pillar of graduating companies, thereby assisting young Emiratis to set up their own businesses.