Meet Ms. Esmahan Bokhowa, Managing Director of Saar Mall
I started my career in 1994 as an Accounts Executive in Bokhowa Group WLL. This early experience helped me learn a lot along the way. Today I manage dual positions in business – as the Finance Director at Bokhowa Group WLL and the General Manager of Saar Mall. The valuable skills and experiences I have gained from my previous role have helped me throughout my professional development.
The biggest influence in my life is and will always be my father. He has been running a construction business for over 40 years. When I was a child he would take me to visit our construction sites and I truly believe these visits have contributed a lot in building my passion, commitment, discipline, and dedication to work and life.
Talking about my business, Saar Mall is a stylish and contemporary mall which was opened in 2013 with the main aim of offering something for everyone. It has mid-market brands, restaurants, cafés, a Carrefour supermarket, banks, an indoor play area, Big Game Zone, and a Mini-Cinema for kids. While working, I have always been a multi-tasker and a morning person. I normally start my day very early as I believe that the morning is the time when one’s energy levels are at their peak. So, I mostly prefer to have my meetings and tasks be completed in the first half of the day. As the General Manager for Saar Mall, we are constantly planning numerous social and cultural events for various occasions such as Labor Day, the Eid Festivals, Think Pink, National day, farmers market and many more.
Businesses go through many challenges. There are numerous incidents and minor crises that we have experienced on a regular basis. When that happens, me and my brothers, we sit together and calmly talk through the issue with our father. This is how we deal with any crisis we face. The unwavering support of my father and siblings is essential to me. For me, this open consultation and brainstorming with family and colleagues paves the way for solutions at my work.
When it comes to empowering women, I believe that women in Bahrain are really blessed to have opportunities on par with their male counterparts in both the private and public sectors. If I had anything to say to budding women professionals and entrepreneurs, it would be to strive for perseverance and resilience in the face of setbacks. Self-discipline, an undying passion for what you do and the self-confidence to sell your idea through persistent marketing will take you where you want to be. A lot of Bahraini businesses inspire me when it comes to this, and I am really impressed by the way they present, manage and market their products. The ones that inspire me the most are the start-ups that work so hard to establish and scale their businesses. Lastly, I’d say others to try and harness that competitive streak, to beat your opponents and win the game!