Young Owners Forum in Bodrum, Turkey
Centuro Global, 30 September, 2019
Our Chairwoman, Asma Bashir, and founder & CEO Zain Ali, attended the inaugural Young Owners Forum in Bodrum, Turkey from 20th– 22ndSeptember. It was a fantastic gathering of business owners from across Europe, the Middle East, Africa & Asia, as well as investors and business advisers. The topics discussed ranged from the rise of robotics, to challenges facing young business owners, to how to target a global market.
Professor Adrian Cooper, the CEO of Oxford Economics (a leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis) forecast that 20 million manufacturing jobs could be lost to robots by 2030. This would be a reduction in the global manufacturing workforce of 8.5%. From 2011-2016, in China alone there was a 267% rise in the number of robots per worker, with a 40% rise in the US and 27% rise in Germany.
A Chinese delegation also attended the conference and led a panel discussing the landscape in China. Elena Zheng of Huobi Global discussed the speed at which technology is developed in China, which renders many pieces of tech obsolete by the time they are completed, making it a race to stay relevant. The sheer size of the population at 1.5 billion, over half of which own smartphones, make it a massive market for business resulting in phenomenal opportunity.
Our Chairman, Asma, sat on a panel including speakers from Germany, Spain, Oman, Iraq and Nigeria discussing leadership to inspire the younger generation of business owners. Tariq Al-Barwani, the founder of Knowledge Oman, emphasised the importance for early stage entrepreneurs to test their idea in the market and creating an MVP before going full steam ahead with a startup. Asma discussed two of her biggest challenges in her early days as a founder of a company in the early 2000s. These were setting up a strong team and servicing the needs of demanding clients. If you can carefully curate a balanced team with all of the required skillsets and complementary personalities, you will be onto a winner. Meanwhile, doing everything you can to keep clients happy, which can be very time consuming, is crucial. Asma also advised that her top tip for success is to ensure you continue to innovate and never stay stagnant, which was echoed by members of the panel. Miguel Martin, a renowned Spanish angel investor and member of the World Business Angel Investment Forum emphasised the importance of thinking 3, 5, or even 10 years in advance just to keep up with technological developments and to stay one step ahead of your competitors.
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend networking with amazing individuals in the beautiful seaside town of Bodrum. We look forward to the second edition of this wonderful conference next year.