Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Interview with Mr. Saad T. Hasan

Mr. Saad T. Hasan

Chairman (Qaiwan Group)

Mr. Saad T. Hasan

President Masoud Barzani has announced that the referendum on independence is due to take place on September 25th, a crucial step towards the creation of a new independent state. What would be the implications of an eventual independence for the Kurdistan Region?

As Kurdish citizens, we are looking forward to having our own country, and it is a process that has to be implemented by the politicians in one way or another. Being in the Middle East implies certain challenges, and the assurance of long-term stability justifies the decision.

Qaiwan Group started to operate during the 90’s in the general trading activities. Nowadays, you have over 2,000 employees and presence in more than 10 countries. Could you tell us more about the history of the company?

Qaiwan Group was created in 1991 when the Kurdistan Region changed its system to promote private initiatives and business creation in an open market. Trading activities were the first focus of the group, but we gradually started to operate in different sectors and countries, either to provide products and services to Kurdistan or export them.

From the very beginning, we set ambitious goals for Qaiwan Group, and we have survived difficult times maintaining our position as a reference business group. After more than two decades of existence, we have managed to evolve dynamically with a diversification policy to become leaders in 10 different sectors. In addition, globalization has helped us to operate wherever we find an opportunity to add value to our businesses.

In order to be a key global actor in the energy industry, Qaiwan Group strives to establish strategic partnerships with global leaders in the sector. How do you reach out your potential partners and show them the opportunities of investing in Kurdistan?

Qaiwan Group has always been committed to delivering high-quality products and services as a Kurdish company, showing our potential and capability of adding value to our enterprises. It proves that we can be a strategic partner for companies worldwide, and the group counts with great international professionals that help the group to reach strategic global partners.

Innovation and technology, along with education, are the core values of HBR. What are the main innovative ideas that Qaiwan Group has implemented?

What sets Qaiwan Group apart from the others is that we always look for a unique and different approach to business, we think out of the box. The innovation in different fields maintains us a few steps ahead of our competitors and guarantees the high standards of the group.

Qaiwan Group is the largest oil trading company in Kurdistan and has always followed an expansionist strategy. What are your main goals for the future?

Qaiwan Group is going to be part of the growth and the development of a nation that strives to achieve the highest standards of living. No matters the sector, we will deliver whatever the country needs to ensure prosperity and wealth.

Qaiwan group is more than just a company in Sulemani and beyond; you are committed to the development of the local society. As an example, last May you signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Technology of Malaysia. What is the legacy that you want to leave for the nation?

Human resources are our greatest investment; beyond the projects in several sectors, Qaiwan Group believes in human development as the key component of the society due to being developed to ensure the future of the nation. Regardless the success, we must keep improving our human capital. Therefore, we are committed to bringing a cutting-edge education system into Kurdistan in the region in order to reach the highest international standards.

Qaiwan Group is a story of business success; you have built up a company of reference in the nation and beyond. What do you feel most proud of in your career?

Our people are our pride. Qaiwan Group is not just a company owned by a family; our philosophy is that each person that joins the group becomes a member of the family. Everyone works for the future of a company that feels like its own home, and that is why our employees and stakeholders grow every day.

HBR readers include the business leaders and top decision makers around the world. As a conclusion to the interview, what is the final message that you would like to send to our readers?

We believe in contributing from the company to the nation, and from the nation to the world. When it comes to Qaiwan Group and Kurdistan, we are a young and open community capable of creating prosperity to reach the world highest standards; our society is determined to take on challenges and we are eager to work along with the international community for a prosperous future.