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Growing the Legacy of a Large Family Business – Muna Al Gurg

My guest on today’s show is a businesswoman and philanthropist from Dubai. She is director of retail at Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group LLC, a conglomerate of 26 companies founded by her father 58 years ago.

Muna sits on too many boards to list here so I’ll just mention a few: Along with her two sisters, Muna sits on the board of the family business founded by their father; she is the Chair of ìYoung Arab Leaders – a non-profit organisation that promotes education, entrepreneurship and youth development; and she is a founding board member and Co-Chair of Endeavor UAE, a non-profit organisation that promotes high-impact entrepreneurship in emerging and growth markets. Her first seat on a board of directors was in the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre, where she served from 2004 to 2009, helping build the cultural center.

She started her career in Dubai with Saatchi & Saatchi and in 2001 Muna joined Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, as director of marketing and communications. Since 2009, she has been director of retail, responsible for strategy and operational development for the group’s international and local retail brands.

Muna is an advocate for women in business. Within the family business she started the Al Gurg Women’s Empowerment Forum, a program providing a platform for women to voice their opinions to company board members. In 2015 she launched the Muna Al Gurg Scholarship at London Business School, supporting female students studying on the school’s MBA and Executive MBA program.

In June 2010, Muna received the prestigious Emirates Women’s Award for outstanding achievers.

We discussed Muna’s career path from Saatchi & Saatchi to the family business; the enormous risks associated with the third generation of leadership and how to mitigate them, the pluses and minuses of working with family, and tips on conflict avoidance and resolution. We also talked about how her drive for self-improvement has shaped her path in both business and philanthropy, and how she manages the overwhelm. Muna is an advocate for women in business, and we discussed her MBA scholarship fund and how to get more women into leadership positions.

My favorite quote was “Never over-promise and underdeliver.”

You can find Muna on Twitter @MunaAlGurg and LinkedIn.

Please forgive the banging you’ll hear towards the end of the show – there was some construction work next to the studio!