Written by: Kameel Kishek & Karam Risheg
An icon for the youth, the 21-year-old Abdallah Abu Sheikh is the managing director of LUX Development Partners (LUXDP); a renewable energy and power development company. Abu Sheikh once again proved that proactivity and initiative open the door for unprecedented opportunities after recently partnering with the Tanzanian government in securing a $350 million deal.
LUXDP‘s role is going to be dedicated towards helping the government secure investments and financing the projects. Further information about Abu Sheikh, LUXDP, and the newly formed partnership are discussed by Abdallah Abu Sheikh himself below:
What kind of projects would be developed by LUXDP?
The projects signed with the Tanzanian Government are mainly Energy and infrastructure Projects, LUXDP is mainly focused on the conventional power and renewable energy side of business while our partner companies handle the infrastructure projects.
How do you see LUDXP progressing over the coming years?
As an entity, LUXDP is very new but the experience the LUX team has covers the full spectrum of the industry. LUXDP is progressing and growing daily and this is because we believe in working hand in hand with strategic partners who are experienced and reliable, and through this LUXDP will hopefully develop to be one of the very few full-service providers globally.
How did you come across this opportunity, and what are the milestones or goals you hope this deal would accomplish?
In a global Economy such as today, competition in explored markets is on the rise while the margins of return are diminishing. Many people consider Africa a risky market but as a family we have been conducting business in Africa for the past 12 years and I think this helped us develop some basis of business conduct that makes it easier for us to navigate our way through.
From your experiences abroad what do you think the Jordanian economy is lacking and how could it be improved in those sectors ?
The Jordanian economy has been doing well relatively especially in the renewable energy sector but there is a lot that can be improved. One vital angle where I see the Jordanian economy suffering is that HM the King does a marvelous job marketing Jordan and attracting foreign investors but the problem happens after the investors come to Jordan; where there is no vehicle or specialized entity to facilitate their stay and make it as fruitful as possible for the domestic economy, in many cases the lack of the ability of the government to keep those investors sends them elsewhere and Jordan loses precious opportunities.
Another thing that should be integrated into the government is a sort of quality control agency overlooking and making sure the government personnel and the civil workers as well as the government facilities are up to standard to receive foreign and domestic investment. This might sound simple but it is absolutely vital to encourage the way the economy works and has proven to be very valuable in many other countries.
At such an age how do you have the experience and knowledge to structure nation-wide deals like this one? And what gives you the edge over competition knowing that huge organization are in competition over this market?
As I always say age is irrelevant, if you learn to do something and spend the proper amount of time studying it, it does not matter how old you are. What gave us the edge over many of our competitors is our experience in Africa and our ability to navigate through the African culture, we managed to get to a deep understanding of the African business etiquette and this is a vital thing many competitors lack. Many people are in competition but it takes the right people to be able to put together the winning formula in an industry where finance is the name of the game through integrating in a way that covers everything from the logistics, to supply, to finance and structure of the deals, and this takes a lot of experience and countless hours of work.
Who would you consider as an inspiration, or a person you think helped you get to where you are today ?
Working in this industry i came across many people who are truly noticeable, but if I had to say one person who has personally guided me through many obstacles and was always a father figure to me is Dr. Abdulaziz Jazzar. Dr. Aziz is the CEO of Malaz Capital and is one of the most profound intellectuals in the financial market. Another person worthy of mentioning is my associate Tareq Amro who helped lay most of the ground work for us in Tanzania and was able to follow through until everything was set.
Since you’ve accomplished such an incredible feat in Tanzania, are you planning to do that in other countries in the near future?
We already have our eyes on many things in various places in Africa, we have done a good job before in the Middle East but moving to Africa now we are already negotiating several utility scale project with several African governments.
What Abdallah managed to accomplish at such an age is highly motivational for the youth of today, and the fact that he persistently worked on himself and his own beliefs reflects how determent he is to make a change for the better in the world we live in. With the likes of AbuSheikh, it’s definitely safe to say that the future is bright.