Lessons in success by Ammar Aqeel Alhassan

As a young adult in school, I was most interested in music and hanging out with friends. I studied just enough to pass my school exams and avoid punishment from my parents. My high school grades were average, in fact, I barely passed my accounting exam with a score of D!

I was very ambitious though. As early as 14 years old, I knew I wanted to be a senior executive in the financial sector (the sector was booming in the early 1990’s). So I elected to study business at school. It helped that I was good in math and had a passion for business. Thankfully I never worked in the financial sector, as I would learn later in life that the sector entered a long period of decline when I was well on my way to a successful career elsewhere.

After graduating from school, my career turned out to be very unusual. I joined the University of Bahrain to complete a degree in Accounting, and whilst I was there, I secured a job in a water bottling company as an Accounts Assistant. I realised then that a professional qualification is very valuable to employers.

To cut a long story short, I chose to study a professional accounting qualification whilst continuing to work as well. I was professionally qualified at 22 years of age, shortly after securing my second job with my current employer BMMI. Today, I hold an executive position at BMMI, one of the most successful regional listed companies. I am 3incredibly proud of what our team was able to achieve over the last decade.

I am often asked what makes success. Many things do, not least the fact that everyone sees success differently. I think that the following two points greatly help fostering success:

  1. Take a genuine interest in addressing the needs, as much as you can, of the people around you. By doing so you, will help grow individuals; perhaps through knowledge, health or happiness.
  2. Identify a need that you can fulfil and work hard to that end. For example, one need could be to bridge a certain gap in the market, or an underserved profession, etc. It helps greatly if you identify a trade that you are good at and also passionate about.

I believe that individuals who are liked and needed will always be rewarded handsomely by society. Success does not come easily, if it did, we would be living in a non-existent and unrealistic utopian society. Success requires deliberate planning, hard work and courage. Luck, on the other hand, rarely ever results in producing success.

Best regards,
Ammar Aqeel Alhassan
Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President of Support