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Self-drive cars and unmanned aircraft are a reality, so why not autonomous enterprises?

Published 19 December 2022 in Magazine • 9 min read

Innovation and the pursuit of excellence are driving the success of Saudi family enterprise Obeikan Investment Group (OIG). Chief Executive Abdallah Al-Obeikan talks to Hischam El-Agamy about the company’s digital transformation journey and his mission to create a fully autonomous business.

We live in a world of rapid transformation, a world where digital disruption and megatrends are affecting all industries.  Successful family businesses are those that are willing to move away from traditional opportunities and react quickly and decisively to change.  

The story of Obeikan’s success began in 1982 with a single commercial print shop in Riyadh. 

Over the past 40 years, OIG has diversified into new industries and markets and now has a diverse set of operations in manufacturing, packaging, education and healthcare. It is one of the leading business groups in the Middle East and North Africa and one of Saudi Arabia’s top 100 largest companies, serving more than 80 markets globally.  

Since 2017, the company has increased its focus on digital transformation, and is supported by more than 3,000 staff whose ways of working have been transformed by a digital environment and the solutions that the group has adopted.  

A business imperative  

Al-Obeikan, who has been at the helm of the business since 2002, was quick to take advantage of the digital opportunities he saw evolving in the world around him. 

“For me, harnessing the power of digital was not a choice, it was a business imperative.  Since our inception, a strategic…

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