OABC hosts Northeastern University students for Oman Family Business Forum

March 09, 2020

L-R: Mark Rix, CEO, Apex Media; Dr Gregory Collier, North Eastern University; Miriam Richter, North Eastern University; Paul Murphy, general manager, Grand Hyatt Muscat; Fouad Eid, vice president, Apergy; Richard van-Schie, general manager, DB Schenker Khimji’s LLC and William Hunt, CEO, National Detergent Company

Twenty Northeastern University students representing family businesses from around the world, together with professors, panelists, American British Academy (ABA) students, and OABC board members, participated in the Oman Family Business Forum, organised by the Oman American Business Center on March 5. 

The event was sponsored by Grand Hyatt Muscat. Members of the OABC participated in a panel discussion moderated by Dr Greg Collier, professor of practice at Northeastern University, and answered questions designed to encourage and impart knowledge to the students, each of whom are about to graduate and possibly enter their own family businesses. Non-family CEOs in Oman shared their personal experience in serving family businesses, from the unique opportunities presented, to the differences between such organisations and other corporate structures.

Other CEOs discussed their partnerships or joint ventures with family-run companies, and the importance of shared values and cultural understanding in business. Panelists discussed the significance of gaining industry experience upon graduation, before returning to work in the family business, and each left the students with some closing remarks about their futures, regardless of paths chosen.

Mark Rix, CEO of Apex Media, encouraged the students to ‘never stop learning, no matter your age or how long you work - there is always more to learn’. Students from ABA were also invited to attend and benefit from the wealth of knowledge in the room. “We are thrilled with the willingness of our members, each of whom are busy executives, to offer their time and support during a critical point in these students’ lives,” said Rebecca Olson, executive director of the OABC.

“Providing a space for the exchange of ideas and the building up of understanding is a key objective of the OABC. We are grateful for the opportunity to host these students from a top US university, and also to discuss a topic of such great importance and interest to the Oman business community.”

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