Businessman Mohammed Ahmed Juma’an narrates his life journeyA story of success [Archives:2004/704/Business & Economy]

January 19 2004

Al-Raie Al-A'am International House has honoured Haj Mohammed Ahmed Juma'an, chairman of the board of directors of Juma'am Establishment for Industrial Machines and Equipment for Agriculture and other industries. Al-Raie Al-A'am International House annually honours top winners of the House prize for leading personalities in the fields of journalism, literature, art, science, celebrities, pioneers in economy, industry and investment in addition to businessmen in the Arab world.
His potentials, willpower, the expansion of his comprehension and many initiatives, have created the private and general aspects in his life, also contributing to making that was the environment around him including economic and social circumstances. Also what those circumstances have produced of sweet and bitter tastes of life have together contributed to the making of his life. The one who makes history is not like he who writes it, and he who lives the pains and joys resulting from life and its events is not the same as he who hears about them.
When I review five decades of my life in which I placed all that I possess of material and moral potentials, beginning with will and determination for better life and honest living and the positive outcomes that I and my family and sons of the homeland have
achieved, there unfolds before my eyes a long tape of painful images but motivating work and challenge and search for better life and other very joyful images of what has been achieved through the use of reason and action together and taking well-studied initiatives and calculations. Reason is what God invested the human with distinguishing him from other creatures and the road to success is to employ it in the way accepted by God and satisfying the people and the homeland. This has been the essential impetus in developing the work that extends from the year 1958 till now and by the will of God would be open along the future and that is what I recommend my children and grandchildren; the use of reason, openness and sincerity with God, the homeland and the human.
The first image is that of fourteen years old boy bearing the name of Mohammed Ahmed Juma'an deciding at that age to leave his kind family that was working in farming, to work with his uncle at a restaurant in Aden. No other one than himself can imagine the meaning of leaving the family towards the unknown and what does it mean for this child who did not have anything but his strength and decision to start a better life that he may or may not find. The child was equipped with some education confined to reading and writing acquired at institutes teaching the Koran, without scientific and practical skills except the love of science and knowledge and adventure for realizing a better life for a family living on agriculture with its primitive ways and limited production.
The second image was that of the important commercial port of Aden situated at the communication route with India and world continents and the activities performed there by Indians, Arabs and Europeans. There was his decision to move to the trade business. He opened a small trade shop selling clothes and other things. It was an indescribable feeling that I lived by moving from working in a restaurant to business where there is dealing with the market and foreign currency; Indian rupees to the sterling pound and rial. From there started the commercial work with the northern part of the homeland where the first announcement of the company began in 1958.
In Aden where the British colonization, merchants of India and Europe and the Arabs, where he moved from a restaurant into commerce, from limited income to open income in the world of commerce, that child-man realized that the market was in need of importing goods from abroad to meet some needs of the market. He hired a translator for his foreign correspondence and started dealing with neighbouring countries and financial dealings with banks. He was among the pioneers who opened credits with foreign companies.
The third image is that of nowadays presenting a work extending for fifty years the strife was the guiding principle, seeking the help of God, the sincere work and serving the country. The other image of his is that he has sons and daughters, educated and graduated from the best universities of the United States of America.
Under sponsorship of SMART Advertising & Promotional Solutions, the business page staff of Yemen Times conducted this interview with this celebrity Yemeni businessman.

Q: How did you perceive your future when first embarked on practicing trade?
A: I cannot give you a detailed review of my practical life or present an extensive research of the philosophy of my businesses I had practiced. In short the question has recalled to my mind he many difficulties that intercepted me during my long journey that ultimately ended with an asset of success and fruitful results. I find it my obligation to answer your questions about my business works and the stages they had gone through to be published on pages of your newspaper as I believe that words have role in building societies and to express the many contradictions that life bears and are basically useful lessons open before man new horizons for the future.

Q: Let's begin then a question about your education degree.
A: Concerning my education degree or scientific level, I dare say I am a graduate from the school of life that hat taught me a lot. It is the eternal school on which the community and individuals draw however high they reached and whatever knowledge they have acquired.

Q: What about your life and practical experience?
A: I have a large-scale practical experience in my life and I used to have my unique style on whose guidelines I used to follow the right path and make out of it an impetus drawing for me features of my future. This has led in consequence to motivate my ambition, making it extend and develop. It has worked actively from the inner part of my mind and interacted with mentalities of all those possessing knowledge and experience in business action and that ambition attracted me like a torrent towards m goals.

Q: Ambitions could have negatives as well as positives; could you tell us about ambitions negatives?
A: That's true. This ambition has created a burden in my life due to many factors, I think no one cane escape from however keen he was to avoid them. Life is full of surprises, contradictions and burdens. During the course of my practical life I have been faced with many burdens of which I suffered much, among which for instance the attempted desire for leapfrogging.

Q: How could you manage to overcome such desires?
A: I sought the guidance of practical and scientific development to tackle it. I adopted an administrative and financial system and employment of experienced cadres entertaining good scientific and mentality standards which resulted over stages in a better performance.

Q: Is the mentality fruitage the only effective role?
A: Mentality is in the first place. I daresay the one without mind has no knowledge, not that he without knowledge has any brain. Fruitage of brains is associated with human tendencies and hard work and what they imply of ambitious personal intentions aimed for achieving the best. The man can surmount the stages of negatives through learning from mistakes and taking sound stances to push his business and investment activities into the right direction.

Q: In your first experience, how could you form the vision?
A: It has become clear through the self-estimation and channeling it towards ambition. By using organized practical development the vision became clear before me and I could reach a stabilized conviction and deep faith that despite of various mentalities, those holding specialties, broad knowledge and creative talents can with their sophistication and wisdom can push the businesses they are managing into the right course with utmost accuracy and keenness and with sharp mentality believing in profit and loss.

Q: After you have attained the stage of success in your work, how do you assess it?
A: Economists say success comes out of correct comprehension that usher man to resort to active reason and good planning. The unique talent the man possesses can be a motive pushing us to make ambition we aim at on condition it is directed accurately heading through virtue and taking it as a launching point. Thus the loyalty would be that of principle connected to our values and morals. In this way the honest work is the principle of man as everyday he feels a new creativity culminating his activity and results of his effort. Correct realization begins with distinguishing between the good and the bad. Only in this way the person can feel happiness and taste the real flavor of success he has attained.

Q: What are the stands you believe in?
A: The stands I believe in are not the ones motivating an act beneficial for the present and future if that does not lead us to rise over the level of self-judgment that obliges us to be keen on and protect. Our understanding of the past is not a sole way for gaining awareness about the present or is an easy shortcut. It is rather one way stemming from the effort for recalling the events of the past to the comprehensive thinking that connects between the past and the present then the future. It probes its depths as one event directing man to the attempt to discover the factors leading the judgment on its aspects and results using the most accurate scales.

Q: What are the results you have achieved?
A: Among results of this endeavor is the learning of facts that are ought to be characterised by distinguished mental, moral and cultural virtues which are the end of the mental effort whose fruitage is represented by the success achieved through this endeavor.

Q: How could you attain success within the then available culture?
A: The human is not only a reasonable creature, but rather an active worker whose capabilities do not stop at the limit of perception or thinking about what is in his environment or pondering his past and present, rather his abilities are embodied in thinking and them movement and work till his activity becomes a tangible form and his efforts can be of clear impact. Man is the only creature that suffers from the gift of thinking that does not stop at giving only, but transcends sometimes to suffering and facing the multiple problems which he confronts to deal with them with all his physical and mental potentials.

Q: What are the characteristics of the effective human?
A: Despite his outward simple features, the man was created in this world possessing much power with deep secrets. He keeps a long-term strong strife to catch the means of his living and ensuring his security and protection of himself and family. He tends to tackle overcoming the problems by unleashing his forces with all moments of pride and ignorance that haunt him, sometimes scoring success and failure in others in order to defeat his weakness and soar high with his individual life to the positions discovered by his mind and his soul that is looking for the good.

Q: How can you reconcile self strife and that of nature?
A: Both self and nature strife are not two separate factors. They are rather interconnected and interactive. This leads us in the end to say that the man who encounters the problems is the one who is free in his behaviour and aware of what is god for him with many options open before him. There is no work he may do without being preceded by freedom the individual entertains and uses in reaching resolutions serving his interests and actions. The free man is the one aware of his decisions and evaluating their results, be they positive or negative. The nature of our decisions depends on the extent of our power in taking the conscious and sound determination without ignoring that life has limits and restraints.

Q: Do you assess your success as resulting from your courage and creativity in work?
A: Any boldness leads to progress or produces creativity and success; nevertheless they are not the outcome of only boldness. They should be accompanied by faith, rightful distinction, suitable choice, freedom and creative human effort. Life is a continuous dealing between thought and action and each pushes the other. The wiser the thought was the more creative and accurate the work was.