Halal Business

Why helping your competitor is good business?

By Abu Imran

This is an inspiring story about how to deal with competition wisely and profitably. This story will change your whole outlook on money and career. I hope it will give you the same liberating feeling that it gave me when I first heard it. 

The story is believed to have been told by a man who was a high flying manager of major departmental stores in the U.K., Malaysia and China. 

He had been brought in by a leading superstore in Saudi Arabia as a regional manager for the Makkah region. Bin Dawood store is one of the leading grocery stores in Saudi Arabia. If you been to Makkah for your Haj or Umrah you would most probably have shopped in one.  After living and working in Saudi for some time, he later narrated how he found it so strange about how business was done in Saudi.

New Rival on the block

The store is always bustling with customers for the wide variety of quality products. One day, a rival new company were entering the kingdom and decided to open a megastore right next to Bin Dawood, within meters.

This is head-on collision strategy where you open your store right next to a rival tapping into their customers.The man was really annoyed and remarked to the owners  “Why can’t they open just somewhere else.” What happen next, is something that they don’t teach anywhere even in Harvard Business School.

Help your enemy

The owners of the superstore frowned on his outlook. Instead of nodding in agreement with him, they ask him to do something that is really mind-boggling. The owners instruct him to send his workers to the other rival store and offer them tea and food and any help they needed to setup!

The man was flabbergasted. If this were to happen anywhere else, it is tantamount to an invasion which must be fought back. It would lead to a series of tactics to destroy the competitor. It is kill or be killed.

But here the owners have a very different operating system than the rest of the world. They do not see it as a threat because they believe that nothing can happen to them which has not been decreed by Allah.

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What destined for you is yours

Yet, the owners simply replied, “Our rizq is fixed, they cannot take even a single riyal from what has been decreed for  us.”

The Bin Dawood owners have an unwavering faith in their provider which is a higher power. Your income does not come from your strategy, who you hire or fire but it is direct from Allah. Everything else is only a means to an end.

Such confidence, that your income is not going to affect one bit by your competitor is really liberating. They just do their best, and their best here is actually helping their rival set up.

So the next time you, have a tough time with your boss or competitor remember that they can’t even take away anything from you. They themselves are provided by the same creator.

You need to believe

You should give priority to cultivating your relationship with your creator and then think about strategy. Allah has dominion over all thing which means that he is the one who decides the outcome of your effort. Whenever there is a conflict, victory is with those who have confidence in their creator. 

Most people worry about their competitor and scheme how to outperform them. They may call it strategizing but this need for scheming stems from fear. Allah is the one who gave rizq . As a Muslim, we should all believe that Allah has dominion over all things. So never put your work, business or boss before Allah. Whoever they are or how urgent a thing is, it is all in the control of Allah.  


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