A Brief History of Me

Conducting a Seminar to Prospective Stanford University Students

My name is Mo Fakhro (Mohamed Adel Fakhro). I am a businessman, a writer, and an academic; A father, a son, and a husband.

I was born in 1978 to Adel Abdulla Fakhro, a Bahraini businessman, and Mona Yousif Almoayyed, a Bahraini business woman. Both of my parents are prominent business people whose families have a long business history of success in Bahrain, the Arabian Gulf, and India.

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Me (left) with my parents, my brother Abdulla and my sister Lubna in 1986 (before Summer was born) in Niagara Falls in the US

I attended the Ibn Khuldoon school and graduated in 1996 with high distinction. While in middle school and then high school, I developed a keen interest in the family business and used to spend a lot of time discussing business with my father during long walks and jogs every evening.

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Me, while in high school, with my father on the day of opening of the family’s first Mcdonald’s restaurant in Bahrain in 1994
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My family today owns and operates over 20 Mcdonald’s restaurants in Bahrain

In high school I excelled particularly in math, economics, and physics, and scored amongst the top 1% in the world on American standardized tests (SATs and APs) on these subjects.

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Ibn Khuldoon class of 96. I am in the back row, 4th from right

After finishing high school in 1996, I moved to the United States to further my education. I was accepted to Cornell University in the United States, which I went to for one year, starting with a combined major in Electrical Engineering and Economics.

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The United States is not only the place where I studied but also the place that imprinted in me my ideology of freedom of expression, fairness, equality, and the celebration of differences between people
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Stanford University

While Cornell is itself an excellent university, I was driven from my high school days to go to Stanford to be a part of the entrepreneurial technology culture that I had read so much about but was not able to be a part of (Stanford had not accepted me for my freshman year). On my second try, I applied to and was accepted to Stanford in 1997, and became the first Bahraini to attend Stanford in modern times.

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Me (front row wearing glasses) with my college friends unwinding

I majored in Economics at Stanford, and came to the realization that all of the major companies over history had developed, more than anything else, by being part of high growth industries. Companies that succeed focus on being a part of what will be the major industries of the future. I decided to dedicate my career efforts to achieve extraordinary returns by predicting macroeconomic trends and allocating capital to monetize those predictions.

I graduated with honors in June 2000, and wrote my graduation thesis on the impact of patents on innovation in the genomics and biotech industries. I concluded that patents need to be increased in length in order to encourage more investment in R&D. Later that year, I moved to Boston, MA to set up my own business to develop applications for the mobile internet, which I ran for a year. 

The United States and Stanford imprinted in me the ideology of freedom of expression, fairness, equality, and the celebration of differences between people, that I carry with me daily.

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Stanford Class of 2000 logo

After that I moved back to Bahrain, straight into the main family firm on my father’s side, Abdulla Yousif Fakhro Group, and immediately started to look into new ventures.

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Me with Fernando Alonzo at the launch of Go Rent A Car Dubai
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At the Budget Car Rental conference in Ireland in 2012
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Budget Bahrain and Budget Qatar are a part of the Fakhro family business

Among these were; the car rental businesses in the UAE and Qatar, various restaurant franchises in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, as well as the car distribution and repair business. 

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At the opening of the second Vapiano in Kuwait

I have also contributed to some of the group’s existing businesses, including the car rental business in Bahrain, and to some of my father’s personal businesses and properties.

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Me (left) with his younger siblings, from left Lubna, Abdulla, and Summer, in 2010

I have split my time between my family businesses and my own businesses. Today, my own businesses have developed to be a conglomerate in their own right, named MBA Fakhro. My family’s main businesses continue to develop. These family businesses include Abdulla Yousif Fakhro Group, YK Almoayyed Group, Adel Fakhro & Sons, and Suncity Ventures, among others.

MBA Fakhro today owns its own businesses in e-commerce, business software, education, foods, social networks, fitness, infrastructure, and media among others.

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Some of the innovative businesses of MBA Fakhro

While my family continues its long heritage of success

Some of the businesses of my family

MBA Fakhro Group aims to keep developing across the world and is active in India, the United States, and Europe, in a number of technology related businesses. I have maintained a cultural closeness to the US and aim to continue to develop my businesses there.

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With Dave Mortensen, President of Anytime Fitness, in Minnesota

In addition to its technology businesses, MBA Fakhro Group has also established a significant presence as a franchisee of international brands including Applebees, Anytime Fitness, and EtonHouse

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At the launch of the first Applebees in Bahrain

I married Dahouk al Aswad, a British-educated beauty, of Damascene and Turkish origin, in March 2012,

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Dahouk on the night of our engagement

and am a dedicated family man to our two children; Maryam who was born in 2013, and Adel (named for my father), who was born in 2015.

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Maryam and Adel in 2017

I became the youngest ever person to be elected to the board of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2013, where I chaired two committees, the Entrepreneurship committee, and the Internal Audit Committee.

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With the Crown Prince of Bahrain

I was also appointed to the board of directors of Tamkeen (the Labour Fund) in 2015 and am also currently a board member of Ibn Khuldoon school. I served as a board member of al Muntada Society as Treasurer from 2012 to 2018.

In my free time I write articles and poetry, and spend at least two hours every day learning about new technologies in the fields of computer science, genomics, and mechanical engineering in order to keep steering MBA Fakhro Group’s businesses and R&D efforts in these fields towards the cutting edge of development. I spend a significant percentage of my time travelling for work to India, the United States, Europe, and China. I am also a member of YPO and enjoy meeting people from chapters around the world.

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With celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at a YPO dinner

Although I find innovation and learning especially fulfilling, I more generally aim to keep the Fakhro group of companies as a significant force in the next generation, not just in Bahrain, but across the Gulf, and the rest of the world.

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Mo with his son Adel celebrating Christmas with the family

I hope the family will continue to enjoy the close knit and warm relationships that they do today, and continue to pass on to the next generation the values of hard work, integrity, and commitment to the customer and to the communities in which they operate.

I feel that, while it is easy to sit on one’s laurels and enjoy the fruits of the established businesses, to be successful a family business must always strive to adapt and look for new horizons.