Most inspirational leaders strive to make the world a better place. Hussain Al Salmi, the Group CEO of Majd Group LLC, is one such leader. He has always been passionate about making a change, and he embarked on his professional journey with the aim to make a difference in the world. He is currently accomplishing this goal of his through his excellent leadership at Majd Group, which helps students improve their learning outcomes. “I am proud of the work that we have done, and I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students,” he says.
Hussain firmly believes that businesses can play a “powerful role” in solving some of the world’s most pressing problems by trying new innovative strategies, which have the potential to change societies and countries. For example, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), a sister company of Majd Group, built the world’s largest 3D-printed concrete house in Oman in 2021. Hussain points out that it was a significant milestone for the country and everyone involved.
“The best way to achieve success is to focus on creating value for others,” he says. “When we do this, we are not only helping ourselves but also helping to build a better world for everyone.”
Building a University from Scratch
It is not easy to start a company and then lead it. It requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to take risks. Hussain was inspired to take the leap of faith and start his family own company because he wanted to make a difference in the world.
He and his team first endeavor was to build a university from scratch. In 2007, they rented two small villas near a beach as their institution’s building, and they started with 48 students. Later, they succeeded to establish their permanent university campus in the middle of nowhere. Hussain points out that before 2012, its location was an empty land and almost everyone objected to that. Despite that, they started the process and completed the “uniquely” designed building. “The population of the area grew, and other universities and colleges then had the enthusiasm to change their location and follow our lead,” Hussain says.
After the University, he and his team established Finland Oman School, History of Science Centre, and then acquired Our Planet International School. His decision to establish them was driven by his belief that education is the key to a better future, and he also felt the need to create a company that could help people of all ages learn and grow.
When Hussain first entered the field of education, he encountered a series of challenges. Now, he chairs and is a part of a lot of committees where his involvement is needed to exchange experience of his successful journey and get motivated by it. One of the most valuable lessons he has learned over the course of his professional journey is that failure is not the end of the world. He now sees it simply as an opportunity to learn and grow.
“I’m not going to say that I’ve failed, but I’m going to say that my failures taught me a lot and thickened my skin to embrace now the success that we have reached,” he says.
About Majd Group
Hussain tapped into the success he achieved during his educational journey to lay the foundation for Majd Group. Under the Group umbrella, there are qualified educational companies – subsidiaries and sister companies. In addition to education and higher education, the Group, in a short time, has also built a significant presence in IT, energy, training and vocational training, healthcare, and other sectors.
Majd Group forayed into the IT sector with Source Code Company with the aim to have the most recent technologies to help students, stakeholders, and employees access the facilities they need. Its ventures in the energy sector are Advanced Solar Technology, Hydrogen Rise, and ELAF. They are fueling the Group’s rise as a prominent player in the renewable energy and green hydrogen space; also, it is using solar renewable energy, and it has a patent in the oil and gas sector.
The Group marked its presence in the health sector when it brought to Oman the latest, much-needed diagnostic tests, which were not available in the country, by establishing the Advanced Laboratory Centre and German Geonym Centre.
Majd Group also moving towards the establishment of a new shopping mall and produced the “Sons of Sinbad” movie that explains the History of Oman in 3 episodes. And, it hosted the first exhibition of Rembrandt van Rijn’s works in the Middle East. Hussain points out that they were the first to establish a German university, GUtech, affiliated to RWTH Aachen University, in Oman. And to establish OGtech to enable the Group to be a part of the growing training and vocational training sector.
Hussain says that they have started to focus on personalized learning in education and higher education and are taking the lead in developing innovative learning solutions. In addition to that, they are also investing in research and development to develop innovative learning solutions that can help students learn more effectively and efficiently. Hussain reveals that they are collaborating with other institutions in the research sector and attracting research projects that their qualified lecturers could join.
He and his team are working with employers, other stakeholders, and institutions to make education more relevant to the real world. Hussain wants students to graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed when they join the workforce.
And he plans to expand the Group’s presence in new markets and industries as well as develop new products and services that meet the needs of their customers. He also intends to invest in research and development to stay ahead of the curve. “We want to build a strong and sustainable business that can make a positive impact on the world,” he says.
Innovative Ideas Hold Significant Importance
At both GUtech and Majd Group, innovative ideas hold significant importance. Innovative ideas play a crucial role in their mission to provide high-quality education and prepare students for the careers of the future. They help enhance educational excellence. Hussain explains that innovative ideas can lead to the development of cutting-edge teaching methods, curriculum improvements, and the incorporation of emerging technologies. These innovations can enhance the quality of education provided by GUtech, ensuring that students receive the best possible learning experiences.
Innovative ideas also help in preparation for future careers. Hussain points out that their educational goal is to prepare students for the careers of tomorrow, and innovative ideas can help identify and incorporate emerging trends and skills that will be in demand in the job market. This ensures that graduates are well-equipped to excel in their chosen fields.
It is well-established that innovation is critical to the field of research and development. Under Hussain’s leadership, GUtech and Majd Group are using innovative ideas to foster research initiatives, projects, and collaborations that contribute to advancements in various fields, which is further enhancing the university’s reputation and impact. And, by continually embracing innovative ideas, he believes that GUtech and Majd Group can maintain a competitive edge in the higher education landscape. “This can attract top students and faculty members and help secure partnerships with other leading educational institutions globally,” he says.
He also points out that the world of education is constantly evolving, and innovative ideas enable GUtech to adapt to changing demands, whether they involve shifts in pedagogy, emerging disciplines, or societal needs. This adaptability ensures that the university remains relevant and responsive.
Hussain encourages innovative thinking among both students and faculty members, which, according to him, helps create a culture of innovation within GUtech. He explains that this culture fosters creativity, problem-solving, and a willingness to explore new and unconventional solutions to challenges.
And he believes that innovative ideas can also lead to community engagement initiatives that benefit Oman and the region. He feels that GUtech can play a role in addressing local challenges through innovative projects and partnerships, which can strengthen ties with the community.
Dream: To Become a Major International Player
Hussain’s vision is to see Majd Group and GUtech becoming a leader in the education and energy industries, providing high-quality products and services that help people of all ages to learn and grow. He wants them to be recognized for their innovative approach to education, commitment to excellence, and their positive impact on the world.
“I believe that everyone has the potential to learn and achieve their goals, and I want to help people reach their full potential,” he says. “I also believe that education is the key to a better future, and I want to help create a world where everyone has access to quality education.”
Hussain leads by examples, because for him, it is the best way to influence change. He is, therefore, committed to creating a positive work environment where employees feel valued and respected and embrace innovation and continuous improvement. Hussain is also of the opinion that by working together, they can create a better future for all.
And his and his team’s dream is not limited to Oman. They dream of growing into a major international player that is a renowned in the educational sector and attracts some of the most talented students and the best employees and professors.
Making a Positive Impact
As the Group CEO of Majd Group, Hussain does not define success in terms of financial gain or market dominance. For him, it is about making a positive impact on the world and leaving a legacy. He believes success is achieved when they can create value for their customers and stakeholders, build a strong and sustainable business, develop their employees, help them reach their full potential, and make a positive impact on the communities where they operate.
Hussain does not have one fixed definition of success. His definition varies from one industry to another. When it comes to the education sector, success, for him, means providing students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life, make a positive contribution to society, and prepare themselves for what comes after school. The definition of success for the high education space is preparing students for the careers of tomorrow and helping them develop into lifelong learners.
When Hussain is overseeing the progress and growth of his companies in the energy sector, he defines success in terms of providing their customers with reliable and affordable energy while also reducing the environmental impact. And when it is the IT sector, success means developing innovative solutions that help customers operate more efficiently and effectively.
“In healthcare, I define success as providing our patients with high-quality care and improving their quality of life by bringing worldwide diagnostics to Oman,” Hussain says. “In other investment areas, I define success as generating returns for our investors while also supporting businesses that are making a positive impact on the world.” He feels that by working towards these goals, they can create a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.
Group CEO’s Regular Day at Work
As the Group CEO, he is responsible for setting the overall vision and strategy for Majd Group and managing its finances and resources. He also oversees the day-to-day operations of businesses managed by the Group, ensures that they comply with every applicable law and regulation, represents the Group in front of the public and investors, and builds and maintains relationships with key stakeholders.
Because he handles a range of varied responsibilities, Hussain does not have a regular day at work. His day varies depending on the needs of the Group. His typical day is likely to involve meeting with his team to discuss their progress and priorities. In addition to that, he also regularly reviews reports and data to track their performance, meets other partners to discuss their products and services, works on strategic planning and initiatives, and represents the Group at various industry events and conferences.
Leaders often struggle to maintain a work-life balance when their work schedules are irregular and hectic. Hussain feels that maintaining a balance between personal and professional life can be challenging, especially for CEOs and other high-level executives. He, however, knows that finding a balance is crucial for avoiding burnout and becoming the most productive self. To achieve this, Hussain tries to maintain a work-life balance by setting boundaries, such as allocating time for family, sports, and other social activities.
Hussain also underscores the importance of scheduling time for oneself every week to relax and recharge. “This could involve spending time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies, or simply taking a break to do nothing,” he says. And he believes in delegating tasks to his team, which frees up his time and allows him to focus on the most important things.
He also tries to maintain a work-life balance by taking breaks throughout the day, even if it is just for a few minutes – gets up and moves around or steps outside for some fresh air. And he does not mind saying “no.” “It’s okay to say no to extra work or commitments if you are already feeling overwhelmed,” he says.
At Majd Group, Hussain has created a positive work environment, which keeps him and his team motivated. It encourages his team to share their ideas and feedback. He has also set clear goals and expectations, because, he says, employees are more likely to feel motivated if they feel valued and respected. And, employees need to know what is expected of them in order to be successful.
Hussain is very much invested in the growth and success of his employees. He offers them opportunities for growth, development, and training. He also helps employees set and achieve their goals. And Hussain regularly recognizes and rewards their good work. “This shows them that their hard work is appreciated,” he says.
“I am grateful to have a team of talented and dedicated employees, and I am proud of the work that we do together. I am also grateful to our customers for their trust and support,” he adds.
For Hussain, the best recognition he has received as a leader is the positive feedback and recognition from the government and industry sectors by selecting him as an active member of different committees and councils related to innovation, education, and business.
Message to Aspiring Leaders
Hussain tells aspiring leaders to be passionate about what they do. In a message to them, he also says that they should be willing to work and preserve. He believes that anyone can achieve their goals if they are willing to work hard and persevere. And he encourages aspiring leaders to be humble and learn from their mistakes.
“Also, be ethical and responsible in your business dealings,” he adds. “And build a strong team around you.”
Hussain is excited about the future of Majd Group and is committed to its success. And he hopes to see his story inspire others to pursue their dreams and positively impact the world.