A Collaborative Research Project between New York University Abu Dhabi & Tharawat Family Business Forum

Case Study

Almajdouie Group

FAMILY BUSINESS OVERVIEW

Founded in 1965 by Ali Ibrahim Almajdouie, Almajdouie Holding started out as a land transportation company in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

Over five decades of operation, the group has grown to incorporate multiple business lines across various industries including automotive, real estate, food, and steel manufacturing, while logistics has always remained its core business. Today, the group has over 5,000 employees in Saudi Arabia and associate offices across North America, Europe, the Far East, Middle East, and Africa. Of the founder’s nine children, five sons occupy executive roles and members of the third generation have recently begun to join the group.

By the Numbers

1965

Founding Year

SAUDI ARABIA

Operations

5000+

Employees

7

Family Members Involved

1940 – 1967

Founding Journey

Shaikh Ali Ibrahim Almajdouie was born in 1940 in the small southwestern Saudi Arabian town of Baljurashi, a local trade hub hosting a weekly market.

His childhood was defined by the struggle to overcome financial hardship. Shaikh Ali quit school at the age of eleven to dedicate himself to the family’s financial wellbeing. Accompanied by family members, he moved between different cities where he held small jobs for three years. At the age of 13, he moved to the kingdom’s Eastern Province and managed to secure a job at Aramco – the kingdom’s national oil company. Shaikh Ali settled in the Eastern Province where he continued his education and built a successful career in the public sector. In parallel, he continued to seek out entrepreneurial opportunities. In 1962, he used the entirety of his savings to purchase his first truck—a five-ton Ford that he drove on a daily basis to transport imported goods from the port to customers in the mainland. The initiative proved successful and Shaikh Ali hired his first employees and focused entirely on his business, until he officially registered it in 1967.

Founder Shaikh Ali Almajdouie. Dammam, KSA. 1983. Source: Almajdouie family

Almajdouie Fleets in Operations. Dammam, Saudi Arabia. 1985. Source: Almajdouie family

1968 – 1985

Growth and Consolidation

Thanks to the flourishing oil industry, Saudi Arabia experienced an economic upswing in the 1970s.

This trend, coupled with the increasing demands of the military, led to a corresponding surge in land transportation. Shaikh Ali leveraged the pace of this development to set his business on a course of exponential growth. In the mid-1970s Almajdouie became Aramco’s official conveyor; the oil company became his main customer. Over the following years, Shaikh Ali had grown his fleet to thirty-five trucks and had over thirty employees working with him. While the company was enjoying a period of rapid growth through the early 1980s, Shaikh Ali began to diversify his operations. Almajdouie became involved in various industries, and was selected to become Hyundai’s new distributor in the Eastern Province of Saudi in the 1980s – marking therefore the business’s involvement in automobile, which would later become a key industry for the group.

The Business Family

Shaikh Ali Almajdouie was a firm believer in the value of young people – that their combination of creative energy and the desire to prove themselves was a virtue in business, and that knowledge should be transferred to the younger generations.

Seeing this potential in his sons, he encouraged them to join the family business upon graduation. The succession to the next generation proved extremely helpful to the growth of the business. The Almajdouie Group had grown from a small land transport provider to a diversified conglomerate involved in multiple industries, with each of Shaikh Ali’s sons leading a business line. In 2009, the Almajdouie family finalized an 80-page family constitution focused on achieving two main goals: to avoid the group becoming a safety net for future generations and to prevent conflicts from arising between family members, a common problem they observed affecting other family businesses in the Gulf region.

Abdullah Almajdouie, Prince Sultan Bin Salman, Shaikh Ali Almajdouie and Yousef Almajdouie celebrating the opening of the Handicapped Center in Al Baha. Shaikh Ali Almajdouie Residence, Dammam, KSA. 2010. Source: Almajdouie family

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