Two brothers co-founded IWAN Developments in 2005 with a lofty aim of creating customer-tailored high-quality homes by incorporating creative ideas thereby maintaining a forward approach, without jeopardising quality, style and functionality.
With a vision, a sibling leadership in place, and seed money to get started, the brothers opened their first office; the rest, as they say, is history. Since that day, IWAN has grown into a multibillion-pound corporation of companies with several major developments and achievements to their name, spearheaded by each of the brothers
In an interview, the brothers shared that making collaborative decisions, regardless of their specialty, was, and still is, key to their success together. When they co-founded IWAN Developments, there was a clear understanding of who was good at what, and each was allowed to play to their individual strengths.
Ehab was the dreamer, the creative, the big vision guy who saw the possibility and had the imagination necessary to create stunning architectural designs. His younger brother, Waleed, was the businessperson, the big picture guy who understood the workings of the land, a budget-conscious, bottom-line guy who was able to handle the details, finances, and deals necessary to actually build his older brother’s vision.
Ehab’s creative talent paired with Waleed’s technical understanding and business foresight made the two an ultimate business match, but the key to its success, according to Waleed, is open communication.
“While both of us are dedicated to achieving growth, Ehab puts more focus on the beauty of the design while I’m more focused on what is selling in the market. In the end, it’s all about compromise and respect…. both of us believe innovation and the unique beauty of our homes is a standout quality of our brand. Our ability to constructively connect our two different points of view has allowed us to grow our brand in the right direction. We balance each other out!”
A creative mind, Ehab admits that he never once thought about the commercial aspect of his creations. That was all Waleed. In an interview with Insight, Ehab explained, “I was just doing something I loved and was very good at it, and the thing that I was good at turned out to be the thing that was really good…Waleed was much farther-thinking. When I designed good things, sometimes he’d say, “We can sell this” and we did. He was thinking about how you build a company, maybe even then he was thinking, “How do you change the world?”
There is a common trend for successful partnerships. The most well-rounded pair recognised their individual limitations and respected what the other could bring to a partnership. For that to happen, both parties need to play to their strengths and be willing to set their ego aside for the vision of the business and the strength of their partnership. In today’s fast-paced environment, a “do-it-alone” approach is not the best strategy for growth. Companies that initially grew organically need to look for new ways to drive collaborative innovation that delivers on what their customers need today – and in the future. When it comes to your partner’s environment, it’s about alignment: specifically, alignment on the customer’s intended outcomes, on the touch points along the customer journey, and on incentives for the customer. When alignment happens, every constituency wins. A partnership like Waleed’s and Ehab’s is an ideal collaboration of playing to your strengths and drafting the skills and talents of a partner. No one person can do it all, but a great partnership can offer the best of multiple arenas. The Mokhtar brothers were able to see the big picture and ultimately leveraged a dream and smart business decision into an empire that is now a living legacy.