Welcome to a new episode of Al-Mo’asher (المؤشر) in which we will go on a journey into clear skies to Arabia Weather.
The journey of “Arabia Weather” is a special one in the world of entrepreneurship. Nevertheless, the company faced a number of obstacles sometimes. Today we will talk to the founder and CEO of this company, Mr. Mohammed Al-Shaker, who will tell us more details about this journey.
(Voice Over): Arabia Weather began its journey through the gates of Oasis 500 in 2006 under the name “Weather of Jordan” right after the case of floods which took place in Petra and Aqaba on 2nd February 2006, 14 people were killed in the incident. The problem at the time did not lie in the accuracy of the provided information but in the communication process with the people,this prompted the entrepreneur, Mohammed Al-Shaker, to search for solutions and that lead to the emergence of Weather of Jordan when he was just a university student.
(Mohammed Al-Shaker): We started with an action plan and a certain method which evolved over time, I cannot say that it changed. At the beginning, we focused solely on individuals. In addition, we relied mainly on advertisement for revenue due to the popularity that Arabia Weather had whether locally or regionally.
But later on this idea evolved and we started focusing, on what we call, the private sector in the weather forecast. In another meaning, we started creating equations and algorithms and focused on analyzing the received data and we became an accredited center in the region, generally in the field of meteorology.
So the area of revenues was no longer exclusive to advertisement but also from selling these products either to the media or the sectors of air, marine and terrestrial navigation. For example, we provide not only weather information for the media, but also a device, a system and an integrated program for weather forecast presentation.
Currently, the most important sectors benefiting from Arabia Weather services are the media sector, different TV channels, in addition to air navigation, aviation and airports, also the agricultural sectors and the maritime sector, such as marine navigation, ships, oil, gas and energy companies and others.
(Voice over): In general, Arabia Weather was able to overcome several obstacles throughout its long journey, but what about the investment portfolio?
(Mohammed Al-Shaker): The last investment round was held at the end of 2015 from several local and international investment funds, which led the company to enter a new stage. We noticed we became the biggest company in the Arab world that provides such services. The number of weather information users daily is around 75 million Arabs. We have now several products and we have offices in both The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and The United Arab Emirates.
(Voice over): Entrepreneurs usually agree that obstacles and difficulties faced during their journey are the same. How was it different for Arabia Weather?
(Mohammed Al-Shaker): We had to train our team right from the beginning on dealing with this market and technologies, so we invested a lot of time in this training. The team is the reason why we are what we are today after the long training they had on what we do today. There were maybe some financial and legal obstacles and a difficulty entering new markets. In general, they were common obstacles.
(Voice over): Arabia Weather is a Jordanian entrepreneurship which stood in the face of strong winds, that is what made it one of the international companies today, which prompted Forbes, the American magazine specialized in the world of finance and business, to classify Arabia Weather as one of the 100 leading entrepreneur companies in 2017. Therefore, we had to know in one sentence, what is Mohammed Al-Shaker’s advice for Jordanian entrepreneurs?
(Mohammed Al-Shaker): The most important thing mainly is persistence, in addition to passion and focusing on one goal, focusing on one thing, so it is persistence, passion and concentrationand never giving up because entrepreneurship is a long and difficult path, not a very happy journey.
(Voice over): Rain represents goodness and giving in many cultures. The principle of forecasts in the world of meteorology is similar to those in the world of finance and business. The expected weather events in the first world is similar to the profitability expectations in the second, they are uncertain but predicted with high accuracy. Only persistence backed by science is the only guarantee for success in both worlds.