Saudi Arabia…the largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa, a society of over 30 million predominantly young consumers, with a market for goods and services bigger than the rest of the Gulf region combined.
Saudi Arabia….also a country which can divide opinion and present certain stereotypes- especially with regards to the position and opportunities for women, both in professional and general social settings.
And yet as a woman actively doing business in Saudi Arabia plus the wider Gulf and Middle East I feel that first of all before I can say why you should join me on this trade mission, I have to dispel some of what we hear and is said about selling into Saudi Arabia.
Firstly to answer that age old question that quite frankly I am sick of being asked… no I have ZERO problems doing business in this part of the world!
In fact in some ways as an educated British businesswoman I’m perhaps somewhat of a novelty
and potentially create a level of intrigue with the locals or those businessmen when reaching out and requesting meetings with them for the first time. But as far as I see it then provided I can get in front of who I want to see, demonstrate my knowledge and ability to do business then what does it matter the initial reason for accepting to see me?
Yes it is male dominated, but such is this region and actually much of business at the higher ranks in general regardless of geography I would argue? (Certainly within the context of my industry anyway)
So why do I believe in running this trade mission for healthy food and drink brands to such a ‘challenging’ market and targeting the ‘minority’ female consumers?
Because I know from experience that in Saudi Arabia with the right market insights and connections it isn’t as difficult to do sizeable business there.
I also believe that as a woman, doing my best to both give opportunities and empower others around the world that I have an obligation to facilitate brand owners of fantastic healthy products wishing to enter this market via this trade mission.
Furthermore when it comes to Saudi female consumers then this is also empowerment and increasing their status in society. By bringing greater nutritional choices and some of the best that the UK has to offer by way of healthier eating and drinking to this market the we are actively supporting those women in Saudi Arabia who are striving to take their health and well being into their own hands.
They are entering the work force and can drive themselves to the office, they are exercising in the newly opened female gyms and they are pushing for further progress.
Let’s help them continue to be the ones driving healthy lifestyles and the demand for better eating choices, as the data shows it is the Saudi women who are leading on this, much more so than the men.
The has also been validated by many Gulf based people I’ve discussed this topic with during my time herein the UAE and Kuwait this month: EVERYONE agrees that Saudi Arabia is a big up and coming opportunity for health food and drink br
ands and especially when targeting the Saudi female, largely millennial consumers. And these guys are in the know…
So if you’ve considered Saudi Arabia as a market in the past but hesitated for whatever reason then NOW is the time to act.
Join us on this mission this coming November when the country’s largest food and drink show is taking place to discover what this incredibly changing market could do for your brand and business (not to mention personal) growth.
On a final note I want to clear that this is NOT a mission and activity just for women, because I believe in being inclusive not exclusive. Instead it is about taking out into Saudi Arabia healthy food and drink brands which appeal to female consumers, irrespective of whether they are owned or led by women.
I’d also be grateful for my network to help me spread the word so we can make this an incredible enriching experience for all involved!
Thanks for reading as ever,