Mustafa Kheriba, is a resident of the UAE, and holds a BA and an MBA. He is the Managing Director and CEO of Arithma Capita, and hold multiple Board seats on many regional firms. Currently he is a Member of the Board of Directors of Mirabank, a commercial bank based in Serbia. Our interlocutor is winner of many business awards such as MENA best FUND MANAGER 2 years in a row, and best ASSET MANAGER of the year.
Office of Mirabank is opened for several years in Serbia and it operates successfully. How cooperation process goes between Serbia and UAE, is business affected by pandemic and what is the secret of successful business is what Mustafa Kheriba is going to reveal to us in the following interview. We will use this opportunity to thank him once again for responding positively to our invitation for this interview and we are looking forward to all future cooperation between Serbia and United Arab Emirates.
What are your business experiences and what are the business challenges that you are facing?
There are many challenges that are facing the business today. Macro economic conditions slowed down due to COVID, limited access to liquidity, managing talent and finding opportunistic deals and exits.
What is your motivation? Where did you get your inspiration from?
My motivation is that I want to build a legacy, something that I can be proud of as I have been doing in my past roles. I am inspired by my family and the UAE leadership. There is a great sense of being able to accomplish greatness when you live in the UAE.
What is the secret of your success and how did your business achieve such results?
Focus focus focus. You must clearly set targets and goals and seek to achieve them. It takes a lot of sleepless nights, hard work and dedication. But perseverance is the key to success.
What is your definition of success?
Success is waking up every morning and looking forward to your day and being excited by what you can achieve.
What is your definition of a really good business team?
People with great attitude willing to do the work and willing to learn. Attitude is far more important than aptitude.
Are you the winner of any business awards and if so which ones?
MENA best FUND MANAGER 2 years in a row, best ASSET MANAGER as well.
We know that knowledge (especially business knowledge) often stay in the family circle. Is it the same with you and do you like to share your knowledge with friends and coworkers?
We live in a world today where you need a team to succeed. Nothing can ever be done by one individual. No knowledge is meant to be kept in a secret, on the contrary, knowledge is meant to be shared. It’s important to create a succession plan for any business and it’s more important to help foster growth and career advancement for your team. A leader must always make their team feel appreciated and valued.
We are proud of the growing cooperation between Serbia and the United Arab Emirates. What is your opinion about economic cooperation between Serbia and United Arab Emirates?
There is a very good economic and political relationship that exists and is being fostered further between our two countries. I believe that we have just started with the alignment of interests and synergies that may exists both in the UAE and Serbia. The best is yet to come, I believe.
Office of Mirabank is opened for several years in Serbia and it operates sucessfully. Some big serbian companies are clients of Mirabank, so are you satisfied?
At Mirabank we are able to carve ourselves a niche in an othewise mature market. For a small and new bank we have been successful in gaining the trust of the local market as well as meet the needs of the UAE based firms wanting to do business in Serbia. Under the Chairman’s vision and direction, and the relentless hard work put in by the CEO and Executive committee the bank can now boast a great success story with a bright future.
What is the business environment in the United Arab Emirates now? Is the situation different now when the pandemic is disappearing slowly?
The UAE has responded and adapted to the pandemic situation in a brilliant way. It has tackled the issue and has been very observant and diligent in containing the spread of the virus as well as providing all the means necessary for the nationals and residents of the country to get their vaccinations done. It has handled this situation brilliantly. As such, businesses now almost went back to normal situation and some sectors and industries have surpassed their pre-covid outlook.
Have you visited Serbia?
Yes, I have visited Serbia many times.
Some serbian products are marketed in the United Arab Emirates, did you try some of them?
Unfortunately not yet.
Are you familiar with the information: how many Serbian businessmen are currently operating in the United Arab Emirates?
I don’t have such information at the moment.
The number of Serbian businessmen that are finding companies in the United Arab Emirates is growing so much and they are representing Serbian products in the United Arab Emirate market, so we belive that it’s important for all of them to know something more about business culture. May you tell us something more about that topic?
Serbian business people are smart people. I am sure that they would have done their homework before embarking on this investment. However, it’s important to know that the UAE has one of the best business environments in the world. There is a mature legal system, a robust government regulatory bodies, a mature banking environment and an up and coming demographic with great consumption powers. You can not go wrong setting up a business in the UAE.
What are the most famous business events in your country?
Most significant is Expo 2020 and the whole world is looking forward to it.
What is your message for young people who will read this interview? We belive that they will find wisdom in your words.
Whether it’s in Serbia or in the UAE, they have to know that nothing is impossible. If you put your mind into something you will achieve it, and if you don’t manage to do so, you will learn something on the way. Having a goal is the most important thing. Working towards something that would motivate you every single day.