Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh is the Chairman of the Board for the Alpha Group of Companies, Bayorh is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur.
Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh joins other leading Bestselling Authors, International Speakers & entrepreneurs, CEOs, and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Bayorh join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh – Dotcom Magazine:
Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh is the Chairman of the Board for the Alpha Group of Companies, located in the United Arab Emirates. He is an oil and gas magnate, a financier, a wealthy businessman, and a philanthropist. In 2011, Mr. Bayorh combined his visionary business ideas and his leadership qualities to co-found Alpha Group, UAE. From the beginning, Mr. Bayorh has provided the guiding principles by which the many branches of Alpha Group are able to achieve success in the highly competitive worlds of financing, project development, and the numerous other industries in which they operate. Mr. Bayorh has many years of experience in entrepreneurship at the highest levels, working alongside royal families, negotiating with government officials, and handling CEOs and other executive level corporate officers. Even at an early age, he showed a penchant for leadership and has always inspired others with his humble attitude and nonpareil work ethic. He has been involved in many successful business endeavors throughout his career and in recent years he has played an integral role in the financing and development of many projects for Alpha Group.
The Alpha Group of Companies consists of four main divisions: Alpha Advisory and Project Management, Alpha Capital International, Alpha Project Development, and Alpha Investments. As Chairman of the Board, Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh coordinates the various investment vehicles and branches of development to drive sustainable growth in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. He utilizes his global network of power brokers and high-ranking partners, along with royal families and industry leaders, to create opportunities in developing countries. Alpha Group seeks to build wealth and create value for its host countries, employees, clients, partners, and shareholders alike. Mr. Bayorh and Alpha Group are committed to the continuous improvement of their operations and profitability, as well as to conducting all business and social affairs in a responsible manner.
In recent years, Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh has spearheaded multiple projects in the oil and gas industry—using his ability to navigate the, at times, arcane government protocols of developing countries and leveraging his access to top financiers and contractors. On behalf of Alpha Group UAE, Mr. Bayorh often hosts high-level delegations from countries with developing economies and travels to many African nations to help in the brokering of deals between public and private institutions. He was a key figure in structuring the Alpha Grip Management Company (AGMC) consortium of developers, which involved multiple blue-chip international companies. In partnership with the Nigerian government, the AGMC consortium is responsible for developing the $20 billion Ogidigben gas park project in Delta State Nigeria. Additionally, Mr. Bayorh attended the two-day forum held by the Somaliland Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, as a special invited guest of President Musa Behi Abdi and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The forum, which focused on the development of the Somaliland economy and foreign investment, included many intellectuals, scholars, diplomats, and leading figures. Among the many activities was the groundbreaking ceremony of the $442 million Berbera port expansion led by Dubai Ports World.
The overarching goal of Alpha Group is to tap into the potential of the many businesses comprising its portfolio while maintaining the ethics and guiding principles of the individual companies. Mr. Bayorh has captained profitable ventures in a wide range of industries, including finance, aviation, technology, oil and gas, banking, and telecommunications. He has been the principal deal maker in multibillion dollar projects, arranging financing throughout the eastern hemisphere. Alpha Group has an annual trade volume over $3 billion, has completed the financing for projects totaling $19 billion, and currently has $27 billion in projects under development. With the resources of Alpha Group UAE at his disposal and his own diverse and impressive skill set to rely on, the future looks very bright for Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh.
Q: Why did you become an entrepreneur in the first place?
The excitement, the challenges, and the opportunities of being an entrepreneur are unmatched by any position that I could have working for someone else. Nothing compares to the feeling of knowing that you were in charge of creating a project that resulted in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs for others and the creation of wealth, especially in developing countries where people need it the most.
Q: Where did the idea for Alpha Group UAE come from?
I co-founded Alpha Group UAE with His Highness Sheikh Butti bin Suhail Al Maktoum. We both had a vision to create a group of complementary businesses that would act as one company with the goals of development, scalable growth, and sustainable wealth creation in emerging economies. We especially had in mind countries in Asia, Africa, and naturally the Middle East.
Q: Tell us, how do you deal with fear?
Courage is not the absence of fear. Everyone is afraid at times. It is in our nature. I have found that first acknowledging that I am afraid and then identifying where that fear comes from are the biggest keys to my ability to deal with fear. Most often a person’s inability to deal with fear is the result of not knowing where to focus their efforts. Once I know what I need to overcome, then I can come up with a plan to win. After that, it is a matter of perseverance, patience, and humility.
Q: Tell us, how do you deal with rejection?
To be honest, I don't understand how a person can be an entrepreneur and have trouble with rejection. It is simply a part of doing business. Especially considering the industries and countries I work in and the various obstacles that are inherent in developing economies, if I had trouble with rejection, I would never make it.
Q: Name one of the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome it?
I can name it for you. The Ogidigben Gas Revolution Industrial Park. Arranging and orchestrating a $20 billion project in cooperation with the Nigerian government and multiple international corporations. I wouldn't even necessarily say that I overcame the challenge because the challenge was to make the project come to life. That was the purpose and my mission. But I overcame more obstacles along the way than I can count.
Q: What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?
Enjoy the process. Early in my career, I would too often think only of the end goal: of the day when everything was finished, all the papers were signed, and the ribbon cut, so to speak. But by being too focused on the outcome, I would struggle at times when problems arose. If it seems like something might not turn out the way you want it and all you care about is the final piece, it can be really easy to want to abandon it all. But if you take pride in the work itself and enjoy the process, the whole process is much more satisfying.
Q: What do you see as your greatest success in life, so far?
Providing jobs and sustainable wealth creation in developing countries, where there are some amazing, hard-working, courageous people who deserve every opportunity they can get.
Q: What book would you recommend and why?
"The Effective Executive" by Peter Drucker. Drucker was one of the best thinkers and writers on effective management. It is a great foundational book.
Q: What's a personal self-talk, mantra, affirmation, or self-belief that contributes to your success?
All that I need is within me Now.
Q: What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
We have some exciting upcoming news items on our gas project, some new partnerships and a bank acquisition that should be finalized soon. That is just a few upcoming things. Beyond that, we're looking to continue to build on our success.
Q: How do you bring ideas to life?
I'm a firm believer in workshopping. I have plenty of ideas that might pop into my mind, but I'm sure it is the same way for most people, these ideas are fully formulated the moment they come up. So I keep a notebook to sketch out ideas—sometimes it’s just a sentence or a phrase. From there I will work it into something a little fuller, more cogent, and then I will get a group of people from my team that I trust and we will workshop the idea to see if it is actionable. If it is, then we start the planning process.
Q: What's one trend that excites you?
The growth of fintech and cashless payment systems in Africa. It has only just begun and there is an outstanding chance for growth there.
Q: What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Honest and objective evaluation, both of myself and our business. If I can't have an honest look at myself or my business, I'm never going to be able to accurately judge investment opportunities or potential business partners.
Q: Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition?
Relationships. Whether it is among the members of our team or between our representatives and those with whom we work, it is our focus on building strong and reliable relationships that separate us from our competitors.
Q: In one sentence, describe what your hiring philosophy is?
Surround myself with people smarter than I am.
Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, nothing but the best.