Muscat: An Omani entrepreneur has been recognised as one of the top 10 innovators by Shell LiveWire for his eco-friendly business idea.
Hadi Al Sarhani, founder of Unique Diamonds, Oman’s sole distributor of Eco2Fume, an eco-friendly pest control fumigant, has been recognised as one of the top 10 innovators by Shell LiveWire for his green business idea.
Al Sarhani was nominated for the reward programme for thinking out-of-the-box and coming up with a solution for the challenges faced in the agricultural sector in Oman. Farmers have come to realise that pests are increasingly developing resistance to traditional fumigation chemicals and, at the same time, serious concerns are being raised over its effect on public health.
Given these market sentiments, there is a need for an effective and innovative solution, which is what prompted Al Sarhani to start his new business venture. He undertook extensive research before deciding to import the product from the United States and today his company has grown to employ 10 staff members. His company has also become the first in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region to train home users for delivering fumigation.
But Al Sarhani’s innovation just does not end here. The drive to develop tourism in Oman, along with the gaps in the market, prompted him to diversify his business and move into caravan renting as well. “I have come to realise that the Sultanate of Oman has many beautiful places, but we cannot reach them because we do not have enough facilities.”
Talking about his experience in the competition, Al Sarhani said, “I heard about the competition through the Shell Intilaaqah team in Oman, who were very proactive in approaching entrepreneurs and Shell Intilaaqah graduates. I started drafting my entry and filming the short video that was a required part of the application. I got a total number of 3,866 votes and won the second place in the competition.”
Thanking Shell LiveWire for the award, Al Sarhani said, “I am grateful to Shell LiveWire for supporting Unique Diamond’s work. With Shell Intilaaqah, Omani entrepreneurs have found a partner, who believes in their potential and pushes them to excel. This recognition is a big motivating factor for me to do even better in my businesses and to inspire other young Omanis to consider setting up their own businesses. I graduated from Shell Intilaaqah in 1998 and I’m very happy to get reconnected with the programme after all these years.”
Dr Ali Al Lawati, general manager of External Relations at Shell Development Oman said, “Hadi is a great example of how an innovative approach contributes to making a positive impact to business, and I congratulate Hadi on his success. Innovative, wealth-creating businesses are important drivers of economic growth and each of our 10 award winners is having a positive impact in their respective business sectors. Shell is proud to support such innovative enterprises to grow and achieve long-term sustainability.”
The Shell LiveWire top 10 innovators award programme offers young entrepreneurs, who have shown success through innovation to build their business ventures, the opportunity to receive further investment. By supporting innovation, Shell LiveWIRE intends to not only promote long-term sustainability and growth of the individual winners, but to create role models for future entrepreneurs.
The inaugural 2015 awards saw 27 businesses compete for a place among the top 10, representing 10 Shell LiveWire programmes around the world, and encompassing a diverse range of industries. Nine other businesses, who have benefited from one of the 16 Shell LiveWire programmes operating globally, shared in funding totalling $60,000. Three businesses received runner-up prizes of $10,000 each.