Hadi Al Sarhani, founder of Unique Diamonds, Oman’s sole distributor of Eco2Fume, an eco-friendly pest control fumigant, has been recognised as one of the Top Ten Innovators by Shell LiveWire for his green business idea.
Hadi was nominated to the award programme for thinking out of the box and coming up with a solution to the challenges faced in the agricultural sector in Oman. Farmers have come to realize that pests are increasingly developing resistance to traditional fumigation chemicals and, at the same time, serious concerns are being raised over its effect on public health. Amongst these market sentiments, there was a need for an effective and innovative solution, which is what promoted Hadi to start his new business venture. He did extensive research before deciding to import the product from the United States and today his company has grown to employ 10 staff members. His company also became the first in the GCC region to train the home-user to deliver fumigation.
But Hadi’s innovation just does not end here. The drive to develop tourism in Oman, alongside gaps in the market, prompted him to diversify his business and move into caravan renting as well. Hadi says, “I have come to realize that the Sultanate of Oman has many beautiful places, but we cannot reach them because we do not have enough facilities.”
Talking about his experience in the competition, Hadi said, “I heard about the competition through Shell Intilaaqah team in Oman who were very proactive in approaching entrepreneurs and Shell Intilaaqah graduates. I started drafting my entry and filming the short video that was a required part of the application. I got a total number of 3,866 votes and won the second place in the competition.”
Thanking Shell LiveWire for his award, Hadi said, “I am grateful to Shell LiveWIRE for supporting Unique Diamond’s work. With Shell Intilaaqah, Omani entrepreneurs have found a partner who believes in their potential and pushes them to excel. This recognition is a big motivating factor for me to do even better in my businesses and to inspire other young Omanis to consider setting up their own businesses. I graduated from Shell Intilaaqah in 1998 and I’m very happy to get reconnected to the programme after all these years.”
Dr Ali Al Lawati, General Manager of External Relations at Shell Development Oman said, “Hadi is a great example of how an innovative approach contributes to making a positive impact to business, and I congratulate Hadi on his success. Innovative, wealth-creating businesses are important drivers of economic growth and each of our ten award winners is having a positive impact in their respective business sectors. Shell is proud to support such innovative enterprises to grow and achieve long-term sustainability.”
The Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators awards programme offers young entrepreneurs, who have shown success through innovation to build their business ventures, the opportunity to receive further investment. By supporting innovation, Shell LiveWIRE intends not only to promote the long-term sustainability and growth of the individual winners, but also to create role models for future entrepreneurs.
The inaugural 2015 awards saw 27 businesses compete for a place in the top ten, representing ten Shell LiveWIRE programmes around the world, and encompassing a diverse range of industries. Nine other businesses, which have benefited from one of the 16 Shell LiveWIRE programmes operating globally, shared in funding totaling $60,000. Three businesses received runners-up prizes of $10,000 each.