Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Saud Bahwan Dies

Saud Bahwan, Chairman of Saud Bahwan Group which is the official dealer of Toyota; Ford; MAN; and much more in the gulf, has died today.

The cause of the death is yet to be revealed. All I know so far is that he went for treatment at Paris and died there. Since the news of his death is not yet published in the local newspapers, not much is known about it.
This news was obtained from a very reliable source and you can rest assure that it is true.

Here is a brief of Mr. Saud Bahwan's life taken from his official website. I will leave you to that.

Sheikh Saud Salim Bahwan, a unique personality, is the epitome of courage and determination. A self-made man who began his career at the age of nine, using a wooden Dhow to transport his trading goods to far-off places. Battling the oceans and surviving unimaginable hardships, he built up a reputation for himself as a man with an uncanny sense for trade.

He entered the Corporate world just over 30 years ago and it wasn't long before he dominated it with his dynamism and business acumen. His magic touch led to success stories over and over again in virtually every sphere of activity, making his group of companies one of the largest and the most successful in Oman.

Mr. Saud Bahwan as a young boy when
he had just begun his trading activities

With annual sales of over 3 Billion US Dollars and employing 9400 professionals, he has set new standards in Management excellence.

Behind this dynamic businessman is a philanthropist, who cares deeply for the less fortunate in society; and one who has made contributions to innumerable social causes and projects.

Nothing short of perfection will do for Sheikh Saud Salim Bahwan, who works 16 hours a day. He says, "Leadership can be attained only through a deep conviction and a passion for excellence."

He was a good man. May he rest in peace.


muscati August 20, 2008 at 7:32 PM  

May he rest in peace. I don't know the cause of death, though I read in one of the Arabic forums that it was lung cancer.

I know that he's been living in Paris for a long time. As far back as I can remember, he's been spending more time in Paris than Oman. He hasn't been involved in the day to day running of his business and relies on a core group of managers who have been with him for a long time. Some of them since the time he first started the Toyota agency in 1977.

Al-Maawali August 20, 2008 at 7:38 PM  

O he has. At least he knows that there are people that he could trust with his company.

Who will be taking charge of the company from here? Does he have any children who are following his lead?

muscati August 20, 2008 at 7:54 PM  

Well these people built him an empire. I am sure his heirs will be smart enough to allow the same people to continue to run the company for them.

He had one son and three daughters. The son, Mohammed, used to have a business of his own and went into the car business. He was the agent for SsangYong and Kia in the 90's and then got into financial trouble and had to sell the agencies. He then became the agent for Goodyear tires and in the past few years went back to working for his father as the president of the Saud Bahwan Group.

Al-Maawali August 20, 2008 at 8:05 PM  

It seems like you know a lot about them.

I am sure that the best and most sane decision is to keep the same team, like you said.

Based on what you said about the son, do you think that he will maintain what his father built or get into financial trouble and such like he did before? Will he be capable? After all, you know what they say: "The best predictor of ones future is ones past".

muscati August 20, 2008 at 8:08 PM  

Toyotas practically sell themselves, especially in Oman where they have more than 30% market share.

He got in trouble when he was selling crappy Korean cars back when Korean cars were low in quality. He wasn't selling a good brand like Hyundai. All he had was stupid SsangYong.

Al-Maawali August 20, 2008 at 8:11 PM  

lol. I hated that car so badly. I still see a couple of them on the road from time to time.

So what you are saying is that it was the product and not the sales strategy?
I agree that Toyotas are the most popular cars in Oman but some strategy has to go into selling them, right?

ynotoman August 20, 2008 at 10:16 PM  

Well that is so bad. The more I learnt about Bahwans (the company - and by default the two brothers) the more I admired them . Saud sent his daughter to remarkable boarding schools in England which speaks volumes, as far as I’m concerned. To grow his businesses to where they are today without being a member of the establishment in the 1960s; superb. His generosity throughout Oman was so appropriate for the society.

Anonymous August 21, 2008 at 2:49 PM  

I am sad to know his death. I had the opportunity to work for Bahwans in late eighties and early nineties.

I felt some emptiness when my friend in Mysore sent me an sms about Sheikh Saud Bahwan's sad demise. Then i surfed the net about this.

I pray to Almighty his soul may rest in peace.

Ram, Bangalore, India

Al-Maawali August 21, 2008 at 6:48 PM  

Thanks for sharing guys. He was truly a great and generous man.

More has been written about him over at the Oman Community Blog -

Parisian August 22, 2008 at 3:37 PM  

M. Saud Bahwan, may his soul rest in peace, dedicated his life to the wellbeing of others. He brought food, shelter,knowledge, employment and so many other things to an entire country, Oman. But also in Paris and throughout the world, where he provided help to so many. Wherever he went whatever he did it turned into gold and he brought that tinge of love that this world is lacking.
He died as a martyr, after spending a lifetime looking after others.
His company will live on with his spirit to watch over them and God bless his family and friends who are currently mourning him. Let them all find peace at heart and mind knowing that now it is his turn to be taken care of, by God.
I will miss him tremendously.
One should strive to be patient, and remember that Allah is the One who gives life and takes it away, at a time appointed by Him. It is not for us to question His wisdom.

Al-Maawali August 22, 2008 at 9:13 PM  

Parsian, that's beautiful. Did you know him in person?

Anonymous August 23, 2008 at 2:18 AM  

He was indeed a very good man and very wise at the same time. It was his vision that made his group always achieve the impossible...He will be missed by so many.

Parisian August 23, 2008 at 7:09 PM  

I think everyone knew him, as he touched everyone some way or other in their everyday lives and now they are all remembering him, and blessing him.

ramukh August 25, 2008 at 8:35 PM  

Great man and definitely will be a great loss.

How will the group polices now shape under Mohammed bahwan, we will have to wait and see.

Anonymous August 31, 2008 at 6:19 AM  

Sheikh Saud Bahwan was perfect gentlemen, Whatever he touched it turned Gold. I am one those fortunate guys associated with him for a short period. comapny has high degree of professionalis, ethics, morale and sharp business sense. Best gift from Allah for S. Bahwan: a visionary, he can forecast or predict quite in advance. After him who will take over? Just dont wory he has able Son and his dream team; they do every thing to continue the legacy of Sheikh. Only thing is his fathers team + good professional should continue to Work with Mr.Mohd Bahwan.

Saud Bahwan built the company in passion with proper systems and procedure, nothing can change. Some professional who know him closely says that: Mohd Bahwan will over take his father in Business skills and son is also as generous as father.

I am sure company will grow up and up under Mohd Bahwan and his dream team,

Hong Kong B September 2, 2008 at 11:08 AM  

I am very sad to hear of Mr Saud Bahwan pass away. He is indeed a good man. It was God's gift that I got to know him and his son in the late eighties and early nineties. They are truly very nice gentlemen. May Mr Saud Bahwan'ssoul be rest in peace.

I do not think one has to worry about the future of the Saud Bahwan group as his son is a very intelligent and smart businessman. I am sure he will take the group into new heights with his business vision

Anonymous October 4, 2008 at 4:47 AM  

Hi There , I believe his son Mohammed has started to exit all of Saud's old employees.

Al-Maawali October 4, 2008 at 11:47 AM  

Really? Where did you hear that from? May you please care to explain?

Prty-Hrs February 20, 2009 at 9:11 PM  

He was really a good MAN ..

May Allah let him R.I.P .. =)

Mike December 12, 2009 at 9:06 PM  

Mr. Saud Bahwan was a great gentleman. Though he was a very rich man, he was down to earth. I remember those old days in 1979-80 when he used to keep his hand on my shoulders and walk and discuss very small matters with me. He gave me a career and a great life. What I am today is only because of Mr. Saud Bahwan. I am not with the Bahwan group now but I was very saddened when I heard that he had gone to Allah. May he rest in peace. Michael D'Souza

bath mateus December 21, 2009 at 8:55 AM  

Wow it’s nice posting, I like it.Adding more information it will be better....

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