Four Ways Your Business Could Benefit from the Month of Ramadhan


Ramadhan Greeting

I have been getting a lot of confused and puzzled looks lately from people I speak to about the month of Ramadhan. That’s because instead of agreeing with the common narrative that “business is going to be slow this month”, or “we plan to leave the country because no one really works in Ramadhan”, or the popular “nothing really happens in Ramadhan”; I tell people that the month of Ramadhan is probably the most important month of the year for me and my business.  And it’s not like I run a tailor shop, or an ‘Iftar Buffet’ as a business (both are known to achieve their highest sales during the month, besides bottles of ‘Vimto’ drinks of course).  In fact, as a consultant winning business or even getting a decision from clients during this month can for many be a challenging feat.

Yet, I believe that the month of Ramadhan can be transformative for business leaders.  Provided we stick to the core essence of the holy month.  What could this be? I couldn’t find a better description of the essence of Ramadhan than this piece written by Taha Ghayyur, and Taha Ghaznavi and published on a website called Islamicity: “Fasting is to discipline our soul and moral behavior, and to develop sympathy for the less fortunate, it is a multi-functional and a comprehensive tool of change in various spheres of our lives, including: social and economic, intellectual and humanitarian, spiritual and physical, private and public, personal and common, inner and outer —all in one!

Let me put this in a more modern day corporate language; what Ramadhan really is a 30-day transformative and leadership ‘Boot-Camp’.  I’ve grown to believe that the month CAN have a powerful and positive impact on your business, and that is by refocusing on your business’ number one and most crucial asset, YOU and your employees.

So, let me get straight in to it and share with you 4 ways you can make the best use of this month and possibly grow a more successful business, and most importantly a more successful you

Ramadhan is a time to re-focus your priorities

Ramadhan is a great catalyst to master the art of priority and time management.  For me Ramadhan is a great time to focus on what I would consider more ‘creative’ and strategic work, rather than the mundane day to day tasks.  Obviously, this means managing a shorter ‘to-do list’ so that you can make time for family and worship.

Ramadhan is a time to re-connect with your clients on a more personal and less formal level

I often here people complain about how difficult it is to reach clients and arrange meetings during the month.  They opt instead to take a vacation or leave the country losing out on a great opportunity to reach out to clients in a more personal manner.  You will be surprised by how your clients would welcome that, but even more by how much you’ve reinforced your relationship with your client

Ramadhan is a good time to further nurture inclusion and cultural integration in your workplace

The Gulf workplace is known to be one of the most diverse with people from different nationalities, cultures and religions.  In normal days, we all go to work ‘punch in’ and get on with it regardless of where we come from.  The month is a great opportunity for corporations to exercise cultural integration towards developing a more productive and happy workforce.  I like some of the habits I’ve seen from some of the organisations during the month such as ‘Iftar gatherings’ or non-muslims joining the muslims in their fast.

Ramadhan is a good time for reflection, personal growth and mindfulness

The feeling of hunger is one of the most powerful a human-being can experience.  Combined with the spiritual demands of the month, Ramadhan is an opportunity for you to grow as a person through reflection.  Some of the habits that are encouraged during the month happen to be increasingly popular in the modern workplace; mindfulness and gratitude

Author: Talib Hashim

Abdulmuttalib Al Hashimi (Talib) was born in 1977. He grew up in a sleepy town called Rashidiya, a far cry from the lights and bustle of Dubai. Talib began his career taking on a number of odd jobs (Yes, the legend of the one month stint he landed as a Magician/Promoter in the summer of '96 during the Dubai Shopping Festival is true). His first taste of the corporate world came with the large international bank HSBC, where he started in a small role as a 'Recovery and Debt Collector'. Fortunately, he moved up quickly during his tenure in the bank and was eventually recruited to be part of an elite team of Traders in the banks Global Market department. Inspite of the "Wall Street" like glitz and glamour that came with his role; Talib decided to submit his resignation in the summer of 2006 and say 'Adios' to his cubicle, a regular income -a well paying one too-, his SUV and the life of employment. Together with a young Emirati lady, he established Next Level Management Consultancy, a recruitment firm with specialisation in the niche market of 'Emiratisation' (Employing and developing UAE citizens). He is always proud of the fact that he has helped numerous Emiratis find employment. And he would like to think that he contributed -even if a little bit- to helping them lead happier and more fulfilling lives. Talib holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Project Management. He is an expert in Emiratisation and GCC national employment issues and initiatives. He is also a regular speaker on the topics of employment, development of people, Emirati entrepreneurship and also cultural challenges in the workplace. He also gives a series of motivational speeches titled "10 lessons I learned in 2009". Talib is an expert in multi-cultural issues that influence the Arab workplace and helps companies bridge the gap between their expatriate and local staff. He is often accused by some to be an idealist and a dreamer, however, Talib works tirelessly to become an agent of positive change in society (and ofcourse achieve amazing success as an Entrepreneur in the process). Talib believes that all Arab youth deserve the opportunity and the right to pursue their dreams and aspirations regardless of their race, caste, colour, status and family name in society; and hence he is a strong advocate of national and Arab youth empowerment. He has a passion for travelling and backpacking. He enjoys reading books on history, autobiographies and self improvement. He is currently trying to improve his sketching skills.