HumanSoft is a Kuwaiti shareholding company with a mission to provide integrated solutions in the field of human and technological development. Over the years the company has evolved into one of the largest companies of its kind in the country. Founder, Chairman and Managing Director Fahad Al Othman comments on HumanSoft’s role and ambitions.
HumanSoft is one of the Kuwaiti companies spearheading the development of the region’s knowledge economy. What is your company’s vision?
Our vision revolves around providing services that integrate human resources and information technology (IT) development to help organizations maximize on their human capital, individuals realize their full potential and economies prosper in our highly globalized markets. We invest in creating solutions in education at all levels, IT, and organizational development to meet the specific needs of our local markets by providing them with the best technologies and practices available globally. We pursue this complex mission through our specialized subsidiaries that offer a balance between specialization and comprehensiveness, working with and representing world leaders such as Microsoft, Cisco, Sun, Oracle, and Thomson NETg.
In the long term I would like to see the entire region contributing positively to the rest of the world and, I believe, if provided with good education and opportunities for economic development, the region can do that.
Do you feel that Kuwait can become the regional center for education and training services in the future?
Definitely. Kuwait offers the most sophisticated base for operations in the Gulf. It is unique in many ways. It has: a population that is historically known for its business inclination and expertise; several generations who have reached higher education levels; the written constitution and laws that foreign investors need to see to feel protected; a financial sector with 40-50 years of banking and investment experience; a relatively mature stock exchange and central bank; and, overall a very positive business environment. In particular, Kuwait is currently enjoying the security of the post-Saddam era, the huge capitals that returned home after September 11, and increased oil revenues.
Is your growth strategy focused more on moving into new markets or more on expanding the range of services you offer?
I would say both are important. We are already well established in Kuwait and the Gulf. Our learning solutions and e-learning subsidiary operates at the Middle East level. But our ambition is to be global.
At the same time we aim to replicate in other fields what we have achieved in information technology.
Early on in 1995, we envisaged the opportunity of utilizing the training and certification of leading IT vendors such as Microsoft, Oracle, and Sun, to create the technical cadres the Middle East is in dire need of. However, we had to localize what IT vendors develop for practicing IT professionals to make it accessible to the masses of young Arabs. The learning solution we came up with was at the time a novel concept that enabled us to tap what was an entirely new market for IT vendor training.
You already work with the most renowned names on the international IT scene. Where can HumanSoft benefit most from further partnerships with US companies?
American companies have a lot to offer and like all oil producing countries in this region, Kuwait suffers from overcapitalization. There are billions of dollars in need of decent investment opportunities throughout the Gulf but this is a market that you must commit to. As a company, in spite of being for-profit, we are eager to bring long-term value to wherever we work. This is the business philosophy that has made us so successful and it is what we are passionate about. So we look for American companies who are interested in people, who share our vision, who can join us in an equal partnership, and believe in the region as a long-term proposition.
You have lived in the United States. What did you gain from this experience?
As a person who lived and studied there, I personally owe a tremendous debt to the U.S. I met good people there and experienced love and appreciation from people who supposedly differ in religion, culture, and color. Kuwaitis have a true love for the American people that was only enhanced by your liberation of our country. I encourage all businesspeople, researchers, academics and journalists to really invest in understanding Kuwait. Kuwait can be a very important ally and help disseminate a lot of the good things about America throughout this part of the world.