Bahraini businessman named among World's 100 Most Powerful Arabs
Recently named one of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Arabs, Bahraini businessman Akram Miknas now celebrates his 70th birthday. We got to know more about one of the island’s most notable exports.
Among the most successful businessmen to emerge from not just from the island, but the entire Gulf region, Akram Miknas is an inspiration to Bahrainis’ everywhere. Mr Miknas is best known as the founder of Promoseven Holdings group, under which umbrella resides some of the most sought-after brands in advertising and PR, and which today is reportedly the largest advertising and communications network in the Middle East and North Africa. Mr Miknas also owns several major hospitality and leisure companies in the kingdom, has real estate investments here and in the UAE, and is owner of the McDonald’s franchise in Lebanon. Recently celebrating the beginning of his eighth decade on May 29, but remaining as active as ever, Mr Miknas took time out to chat to Time Out.
How does it feel to be named by Arabian Business as one of The World’s 100 Most Influential Arabs? Any recognition for a man who has worked hard for everything he has earned is always well appreciated. For me the recognition is only an incentive to do more, to enjoy my life more. Because if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, then there’s something wrong with it.
Why do you think you have been picked for this honour? I think I earned it firstly through my commitment to my community, and my advertising success. Our group is probably the largest in the Middle East and it’s influenced the industry in very positive ways. It shows my commitment to the region and my love for life.
How did it all begin? I founded the company in 1968, but before that I was working selling encyclopaedias, insurance and exhibitions, and that’s what led me to advertising.
What advice would you give to that younger you starting out in life and business? Never give up. If you believe in something, keep trying. It might not work the first time, or the second time, but if you’re confident about what you want to do, confident you will achieve it, you will.
What is there left to achieve? Every day people tell me ‘you’ve done so much, why not retire?’ The achievement itself is not a matter of money. If you’re an achiever you’ll recognise in yourself that there’s no end to it. Every day there are more achievements and more challenges, and that’s what makes you matter.
What do you love most about your homeland Bahrain? The people. I know the people very well. I’m not saying the people in the rest of the Gulf are not beautiful, but here I know the people and feel a part them.
What do you predict for the region in coming years? I think the region can only get better. The conversation between people is always improving, the society is improving – higher education, higher culture. I can only believe it’s not only money that matters, but people themselves who matter, and how we can make them better. We need to learn more from the international community.
How would you describe your personality? I think I’m creative, I’m very positive. I don’t see black – show me a black page and I see white. I’m extremely happy, have no regrets, and see myself as a man who can go forward and do more.
What advice would you give to our readers? In all honesty, you have a lot of brilliant people among your readers who will be writing stories of success in the future.