Owner

Mo Fakhro, pictured at his desk, on the 29th Floor of his family’s Fakhro Tower, in 2020

MBA Fakhro Group is owned by Mo Fakhro, who conceptualized the vision for the group, to change the world for the better through innovation and invention, while still in his dorm room in Stanford University in California. He has spent a good part of his life working hard and travelling in pursuit of excellence for himself and his companies.

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

Mo (left) with his parents, his brother Abdulla and his sister Lubna in 1986 (before Summer was born) in Niagra Falls in the US

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

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

In high school Mo 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.

Ibn Khuldoon class of 96. Mohammed is in the back row, 4th from right

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

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

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

Mo (front row wearing glasses) with his college friends unwinding

He majored in Economics at Stanford, and came to the realization that all of the major societies and companies over history had developed, more than anything else, through invention and innovation. He decided then to dedicate a significant portion of his career towards finding ways to innovate and invent existing technologies. He graduated with honors in June 2000, and wrote his graduation thesis on the impact of patents on innovation in the genomics and biotech industries. He concluded that patents need to be increased in length in order to encourage more investment in R&D. Later that year, he moved to Boston, MA to set up his own business to develop applications for the mobile internet, which he ran for a year. 

The United States and Stanford imprinted in him the ideology of freedom of expression, fairness, equality, and the celebration of differences between people, that he carries with him daily.

Stanford Class of 2000 logo

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

Mo with Fernando Alonzo at the launch of Go Rent A Car Dubai
At the Budget Car Rental conference in Ireland in 2012
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. 

At the opening of the second Vapiano in Kuwait

He has also contributed to some of the group’s existing businesses, including the car rental business in Bahrain, and to some of his father’s personal businesses and properties.

 

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

He has split his time between his family businesses and his own businesses. Today, his own businesses have developed to be a conglomerate in their own right, and form the Our Businesses part of MBA Fakhro Group.

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

Some of the innovative businesses of MBA Fakhro Group

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

Mo with Dave Mortensen, President of Anytime Fitness, in Minnesota

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

At the launch of the first Applebees in Bahrain

In addition to owning its own businesses, MBA Fakhro Group also acts as his holding company for his stakes in some of his family’s companies.

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

Dahouk on the night of her engagement to Mohammed

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

Maryam and Adel in 2017

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

Mohammed with the Crown Prince of Bahrain

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

In his free time he writes articles and poetry, and spends 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. He spends a significant percentage of his time travelling for work to India, the United States, Europe, and China. He is also a member of YPO and enjoys meeting people from chapters around the world.

With celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at a YPO dinner

Although he finds innovation and learning especially fulfilling, Mo more generally aims 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.

Mo with his son Adel celebrating Christmas with the family

He hopes the Fakhros will continue to enjoy the close knit and warm family 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.

He feels 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.