How is the company achieving all of this? With an almost obsessive commitment to making the most of scarce time, as explains Mr. Pedawi with the aid of the ancient Middle Eastern proverb, ‘‘Time is as the sword coming: if you don’t cut it, you will be cut.’’ This appreciation of time, and the belief that every opportunity must be seized, may have been accentuated through some of the adverse life experiences Mr. Pedawi has lived through. He had to flee the war-torn country with his family in the 1970s to take refuge in the Netherlands – an experience that surely informed his proactive, enthusiastic approach to business. Naturally, Mr. Pedawi feels a debt of gratitude to the Netherlands to this day. That he contracted the expertise of Van den Berg Group, the team behind Dutch Delta City, surely speaks to this intimate lingering relationship.
Mr. Pedawi believes Kurdistan has a secret weapon with regard to time management. It may seem counterintuitive in this digital age, but Mr. Pedawi actually believes that Kurdistan’s still-deficient telecommunications system is, paradoxically, often an advantage to doing business. As he explains, the lack of adequate technology means business people have no choice but to meet face to face, meaning that more quality time is devoted to cultivating client relationships.
The name of the game for Ster is perpetual innovation. In Mr. Pedawi’s words, ‘‘the sky is the limit,’’ and this is applied across the board, not just in business. The company is fully engaged in corporate social responsibility through its dedicated humanitarian work. This echoes Mr. Pedawi’s conviction that a company must make a difference to both people and the environment.
This ‘‘human’’ approach is equally evident in Mr. Pedawi’s discourse on doing business. He maintains that ‘‘legal persons, just like natural persons, are unique in their own way.’’ He has instilled a philosophy that every legal person has unique value and should be dealt with as such, just as in every other walk of life.
It’s such forward thinking that is propelling Kurdistan to the forefront of international business, a movement Mr. Pedawi is all too aware of. Indeed, he is most proud of the shift in mentality, which is evident both within Kurdish society and in outside perceptions of the region. As he explains, after many years of dedicated work, from President Masoud Barzani right throughout society, Kurdistan is now firmly plotted on the world map, and the region has gone from being ‘‘an influenced one to an influential one.’’
Mr. Pedawi’s pioneering attitude, which has manifestly borne positive results in every sector his company has entered, can act as the benchmark for newcomers to emulate, and as an inspiration to a still-growing region in need of entrepreneurial spirit.