Few companies today, particularly family businesses, can boast three quarters of a century of positively contributing to a sustainable future, combining both commercial and altruistic activities.
However, this is the case for Abdul Latif Jameel, which, following the spirit of its’ late founder, has spent the last seven and a half decades innovating and investing in multiple industries with extensive growth initially throughout Arabia and then beyond, across the rest of the world, working with local, national and international communities.
Let's take a very brief look back at the Company's history. The origins of Abdul Latif Jameel date back to 1945 with a small trading company in Jeddah and later a Toyota distributor in Saudi Arabia.
After establishing an extensive operations infrastructure, they rapidly built the largest vehicle distribution network in the country, supplemented with supporting businesses such as financial services, advertising and media and land and real estate development and, in the years since, have grown, internationalized and diversified to a global multi-sector business lines.
Abdul Latif Jameel and his team next to the Toyota BJ Series, Jeddah Saudi Arabia, 1955
One of these key diversification strategies has been into sustainable solutions in water and renewable energy.
In the early years, the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (or MENAT) region was the nexus of Abdul Latif Jameel's operations, where they built deep roots and local knowledge. However, the business’s desire to invest in the future whilst developing the communities in which it operates expanded its presence to some 30 countries. As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel KBE, son of the founder, himself notes on the Company's website, “The Arabian proverb ‘If a wind blows, ride it!’ was a favorite of my father, the founder of Abdul Latif Jameel. It sums up his pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit that lives on in our company today”.
In addition to transportation and mobility, the current extensive portfolio include: engineering, financial services, real estate, energy and environmental services, health, consumer products and media and advertising. The energy and environmental services sector include Almar Water Solutions and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, the group's water and renewable energy companies.
Fady Jameel, Deputy President and Vice Chairman, Abdul Latif Jameel, described the important of developing and driving forward the industry – the very essence of Almar: “Water is a key, if not the key, critical issue both for the planet and humankind. Innovating, developing and investing in processes and technologies that enable us, as a society, to provide an adequate supply of water for our communities, industries and agriculture – in a way that doesn’t harm, but is in harmony with the environment – is one of the biggest challenges we will ever face.”
Carlos Cosin, CEO of Almar Water celebrated the anniversary commenting “At Almar Water Solutions we are very proud to be part of the Abdul Latif Jameel Family and I would like to congratulate them for everything they have achieved in these 75 years. Investing in a sustainable future is crucial for the survival of the planet, and therefore, of humanity.”
Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) is a leader in providing comprehensive clean and renewable energy solutions worldwide. It works to drive the global transition to a more sustainable energy future for all, developing infrastructure to improve energy performance and competitiveness, becoming and independent power producer itself, and exploring emergent technologies to accelerate this transition through the specialist FRV-X division.
Fady Jameel Deputy President & Vice Chairman Abdul Latif Jameel (left) discusses the issues for the water industry with Carlos Cosin, CEO, Almar Water Solutions (right) during the recording of a recent podcast.
Together with FRV, Almar Water continues to explore the complementary nature of renewable energy and water solutions to address how we manage one of the world’s mist precious resources: water.
In addition to its diversified business portfolio, Jameel family has built and impressive philanthropic legacy that began with its founder in the mid-1940s and continues today with four main organizations, and activities ranging from local community projects to breakthrough partnerships of global impact with internationally respected associations and institutions, helping hundreds of thousands of people:
- Bab Rizq Jameel: aimed at generating positive change in the lives of the men and women of Saudi Arabia, supporting young talents to find a better future and develop their potential. It helps job seekers, entrepreneurs and small businesses to achieve economic independence and prosper in life.
- Art Jameel: recognizes the role of art in society and promotes the art scene, supporting artists and entrepreneurs in the sector. Current initiatives include the management of heritage institutes and restoration programs, as well as a wide range of artistic and educational initiatives.
- Community Jameel Saudi Arabia: a separately funded and managed entity, which supports the community, including the unemployed, and different social initiatives to achieve the Saudi Vision 2030 agenda.
- Community Jameel: an international organization that promotes scientific and technological advances and innovations in the fields of education, health and climate to build a better future.
For all this and more, today Abdul Latif Jameel proudly celebrates its 75th Anniversary, and we at Almar Water Solutions would like to congratulate the Jameel family for everything they have achieved over that time.
To learn more about this history of achievement, and to hear personal stories from those around the world that have been part of this amazing journey, see more at jameel75.com.
Almar Water Solutions was established in 2016, with the aim of expanding Abdul Latif Jameel's portfolio of solutions for the water industry, creating a team with proven international management and technical expertise in this sector.
The mission of Almar Water Solutions is to respond to the growing need for clean, fresh water by implementing a sustainable program of desalination, purification, wastewater treatment and reuse.
The company also focuses on the collaborative development of hybrid renewable energy and reverse osmosis desalination plants to minimize the energy consumed in water production and reduce the carbon footprint of the desalination process.