Every single date in the country is this man’s business.
Dr. Mohammed Al Nuwairan
CEO of the National Center of Palms and Dates (NCPD)
I was pleasantly surprised when I first heard about NCPD. Tell us about it.
The main responsibilities of the center are marketing dates and date and palm related products, as well as increasing the quality of productions. We make deals and negotiate on behalf of our producers inside and outside the country, searching for the best technology and processes worldwide to increase the efficiency of production and the supply chain process.
Why was it created?
To develop the dates sector by concentrating on production efficiency, product quality, effective marketing programs inside and outside the country, encouraging creativity and innovation, strengthening the collaboration between all parties and leveraging the dates sector as a key source of national income.
How did you end up running NCPD?
It was a long journey, 12 years in the making. After earning both my Master’s and PhD in Management Science (Manufacturing, Logistics, Supply Chain Management), I studied many worldwide cases and worked closely with many government and private agencies in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. I came back to King Faisal University to work as Assistant Professor at the School of Business, and that’s where NCPD approached me to lead their center.
What do you believe is the role of dates and palm trees in our future?
I see them as a great source of income for producers and a rewarding opportunity for investors. They will also contribute to the change in our food choices when opting for a healthier lifestyle. I would definitely call it a promising sector.
Who do you see as the champions of the palms and dates sector?
I would say Qasim Province is at the top, followed by Al Ahsa, Madinah and finally Kharj.
What’s the most important thing you’d learned during your years abroad that you brought back with you?
For me personally, I learned to be a lot more patient. I also realized how crucial customer service and commitment was for my business.
If your closest friends and family were to describe you in three words, what would those words be?
Hardworking, persistent and ambitious.
What’s your favorite aspect about Ramadan?
I always look forward to praying taraweeh and socializing with friends and family. I also enjoy the challenge of pushing myself to work harder during the month, knowing how hard it is to keep productivity up during it.
Finally, what’s your favorite type of date?
(Laughs) That’s actually a very hard question to answer, but I can definitely say that my favorite dates around the world are Saudi dates.
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia