Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Emirati business leader, educator, and author Dr Adil Alzarooni, currently the CEO of Al Zarooni Emirates Investments (ZEI) and Al Bidayer Holding, and the Founder of Citizens School, has come a long way from his humble beginnings. Before rising through the ranks to become a prominent figure in the business world, Alzarooni started his entrepreneurial journey running a chain of laundries in his 20s, all funded by his own savings and earnings as a top student at Etisalat College of Engineering.

During this time, Alzarooni kept his business venture a secret from his family, fearing failure and embarrassment. Little did he know that this experience would teach him invaluable lessons in sales, customer service, financial literacy, and efficient management practices. It laid the foundation for his future success.

Two profound lessons shaped Alzarooni’s entrepreneurial spirit during his time running the laundries. First, he understood the importance of creating meaningful experiences in every aspect of life. He believed that education, healthcare, and even food and beverage should be treated as experiences, rather than mere transactions.

Second, Alzarooni challenged the prevailing notion of the fear of failure, which he believed was deeply ingrained in traditional education systems. He criticized the existing systems for training students to become employees who avoid failure at all costs. Recognizing that failure is a normal part of the entrepreneurial journey, Alzarooni emphasized the importance of learning from mistakes and embracing failure as a valuable learning opportunity.

These lessons would go on to shape Alzarooni’s business approach and contribute to his lifelong pursuit of learning. His journey continued as he excelled as a telecommunications engineer, worked with Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) to attract foreign direct investments, and eventually took over leadership of Al Zarooni Emirates Investments, diversifying the family business into healthcare, logistics, and financial services.

However, Alzarooni’s passion for education and his belief in the need for a new approach to schooling led him to launch Citizens School in 2022. This innovative institution aims to nurture entrepreneurial skills in students from an early age and challenges the traditional factory-like model of education. With mentors instead of teachers, a focus on research and teamwork, and an emphasis on embracing failure as part of the learning process, Citizens School represents a paradigm shift in education.

Alzarooni’s dedication to education and lifelong learning doesn’t stop at Citizens School. He has also ventured into industries that require education, such as wellbeing initiatives and long-term wealth management. Through initiatives like SocialGYM, he aims to provide reliable information on health practices in an age of misinformation on social media. Additionally, his venture, KANZ Capital, addresses the lack of financial education by empowering individuals to make informed financial decisions.

Looking toward the future, Alzarooni’s next big venture is Life++, a real estate development brand focused on creating an environment that promotes a good quality of life. By challenging the conventional notion of living solely as an employee, Alzarooni aims to teach residents how to live optimally and peacefully.

Throughout his journey, Alzarooni remains grateful for the support of his family, who have entrusted him with their wealth. He aspires to involve his children in the business and continue venturing into various industries, making a lasting impact throughout his life.

Dr Adil Alzarooni’s accomplishments extend beyond his entrepreneurial pursuits. With a bachelor’s degree in engineering, an MBA, and a PhD in family businesses and business systems, he is a well-rounded academic. He has also authored books on economic zones and family businesses, demonstrating his expertise in these areas.

He is also:

• Founder of Citizens School

• CEO of Al Zarooni Emirates Investments (ZEI) which invests in multiple sectors and companies such as The Entertainer, Manzil Healthcare, Stonepine, Citizens Education Hub, etc.

• The founder of CapiZona Ventures, which is currently working on the following projects: SocialGYM – Fitness and Wellness, KANZ – Fintech, Unesportsity – Gaming and e-sports.

• CEO of Al Bidayer Holding (the family office founded by Sheikh Mohammed Saud Sultan Saqer Al Qasimi in Sharjah), which has investments in real estate and food and beverage (with franchises of brands like Dunkin’ and Wonderbee)

Dr Adil Alzarooni’s story is one of resilience, innovation, and a commitment to lifelong learning. From running laundries to leading educational initiatives, he has emerged as a trailblazer, challenging traditional norms and inspiring others to embrace failure and embrace the journey of learning.


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