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How Reselling Stationery Supplies in Grade School Inspired a $300-million Company Dedicated to Social Responsibility in the Defence and Mining Industries

Published by UAE Business

What comes to mind when you think of armory deals and African mining? Many would picture a dark scenario fraught with danger, illicit dealings and very tense dialogue. The reality is anything but a wild movie-esque plot and is more about diplomacy, and social responsibility while protecting territorial integrity. 

Enter Mr Ahmed Aziz and his Dubai-headquartered company Noraal, which, although still in its infancy, just recently surpassed $300 million in asset valuation. As part of a consolidation of his business portfolio, Noraal was launched in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic nonetheless. Ahmed is successfully scaling his newest venture to new heights by working strategically with private-sector clients and the government. Typically one to shy away from the media spotlight, Ahmed is now ready to share with the world what led him to establish one of Dubai’s most prominent multidisciplinary companies. 

BACKGROUND AND CHILDHOOD 

Today Ahmed Aziz may be busy running a multi-million dollar company, but his beginnings are quite humble. His entrepreneurial spirit emerged at a young age as he discovered the MAGIC of sales. He’d buy small stationery items, bring them to school and re-sell them to his classmates, pocketing the small profits. Brimming with innocence at the time, he had no idea of the magnitude his sales skills could have on one day making him a very prosperous businessman. 

Ahmed continued his schooling, eventually graduating with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and furthering his studies to receive his master’s in facilities management. He quickly found work in the construction industry, but within his first year realised that starting his own business would be much more conducive to reaching his career goals. So in 2006, with a youthful entrepreneurial drive, he decided to forge his own path and started his first business which specialised in trading. 

“Things were going well, and then the recession hit in 2008. I had to quickly re-evaluate my business goals, how the global economy would factor in, and how I could leverage my skills to ensure we stayed afloat,” says Mr. Ahmed. “I came across a business that was having a closing sale thus selling their construction materials at a remarkable price, so I invested all my money in buying them out and resold it all for a profit. It’s then that I discovered the true power of multiplication in sales.” 

THE LAUNCH OF NORAAL 

With that in mind, he began thinking more seriously about building a company that not only solved some of the world’s biggest problems, but that could also make him a millionaire, or perhaps even a billionaire. He knew it was possible, but bringing it to fruition is what he had to solve. 

“Our most precious resource is time. We have so much of it, but once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Most people work an average job; they put in many hours of work in exchange for an average salary. Most do not become millionaires, or if they do, they only achieve it once they’re older and retired. I started wondering how young people become significantly wealthy. What formula did they use to reach this level of financial success?” Mr Ahmed says. “I came to the conclusion that it’s all about the perceived value your product offers. It sounds simple, but in a competitive global market, like we see today, it can be hard to stand out from your competitors. I built my current company with a focus on solving high-level problems. If I can solve a million-dollar problem, I’ll be rewarded with millions of dollars. And the same goes for billion-dollar problems.” 

In 2020, Mr Ahmed established his current venture Noraal, a multidisciplinary company that specialises in business advisory services and acts as a liaison in the weapons and mining industries. He chose to focus on these two key industries as they are rife with deep-rooted, complicated issues that require thoughtfully planned solutions. The scope of Noraal’s offerings is quite grand and lucrative. 

Mr Ahmed Aziz adds, “Our team is composed of experts in their respective fields. We have employees that specialise in business advisory services, helping companies work through major restructuring to strategic planning and asset management. We have others who are experts in navigating the complicated world of weapon manufacturing and trading. In that respect, we act as middle-man between manufacturers and government agencies, ensuring all dealings are done ethically and equitably. And finally, we also have a team that is experienced in Africa’s mining industry. We currently assist their government with everything from site identification to full-scale mining logistics.” 

In his personal circles – professional and personal – Mr Ahmed is known as a generous, reliable individual who finds fulfilment in helping others. Whether it’s through Noraal where he helps businesses big and small reach their growth goals, or through his personal philanthropic endeavours, he sees social responsibility as an integral part of being a modern businessman. 

“I may lead a privileged life, and I’m very fortunate for that, so my way of being thankful for all I have is to give back to others. Wealth should not be accumulated by a few, but rather, it should be used by those who have it to make the world a better place.” 

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