Media excerpts of ‘A Passion for Adventure’

“I started my career as an engineer and then I failed so I was promoted to a manager. When I failed as a manager I was promoted to CEO and when I failed as a CEO, I became a consultant. Only when I fail as a consultant will I become a politician,” Al Barrak laughs. Arabian Business Magazine

“The essence of leadership is change; if you do not change your company, you are not a leader,” he adds. Al Barrak’s time at Zain will probably be best remembered for the firm’s 2005, $3.36bn acquisition of Celtel Africa, the African telecommunications firm founded by the Sudanese billionaire, Mo Ibrahim. Arabian Business Magazine

Arabian Gulf CEOs rarely write, especially about themselves and their success stories. Books on corporate successes are rare, especially those written by corporate leaders. In that context, the publication of this book itself is an encouraging development. A Passion for Adventure is a simple monologue, a good read for all those who are interested in the complex world of business in the Arab World. - Gulf News

The Arab ICT sector has also attracted some of the most enterprising and daring minds in corporate Arabia — among them is Saad al-Barrak. As the head of Kuwait’s MTC/Zain, al-Barrak led the telecom company from a purview over one small nation to a customer base of some 70 million customers and an intercontinental footprint. Executive Magazine

Saad al Barrak is finally free of Zain, the company he tried to build up into a global mobile telecoms force to rival the handful of world leaders. Zain stood out as the single privately financed mobile operator from the Middle East region to grow out of its national boundaries. All the others are funded through state-owned or ruler-owned investments. He took over as CEO of a small Kuwait operator, MTC, in 2002 and within two years grew it to become one of the biggest in the region. Global Telecoms Magazine

The book guides the reader through the various overseas acquisitions he sealed, it also looks closely at how Zain undertook its expansion in Africa, beating other companies in numerous deals. The corruption that has marred many deals on the continent is ruled out: Mr al-Barrak swears to this day that he would never pay a bribe to achieve the dreams of expansion that he worked so hard for.    Financial Times