An Interview with Renowned Qatari Designer Ibrahim Al-Haido
Q: What’s your story?
I am senior project engineer with a variety of interests including sustainability, fashion design, social media marketing and engineering. I am seeking to participate in developing Qatar’s economy, helping the country achieve its national vision. I’ve been apart of some amazing projects like the QF Tram. Which was the first battery-powered tram system in Qatar. This 11.5 km line connects various facilities within Education City, including an 800-m tunnel under the Dukhan Highway and a 1.2-km viaduct.
I also helped engineer the first public-sharing system for electric bikes in the region, with 8 km of bike tracks connecting various facilities within Education City, 200 battery-operated electric bikes and 20 charging stations.
As the Founder and Designer of Fursan’s luxury handbags, our specialty is in creating elegant and stylish bags for the modern woman who desires both vogue fashion and practicality.
Q: Where did the idea for Fursan come from?
I’ve always had an interest in style and fashion. It started at a young age when my family went on trips to Europe. I saw the beautiful fashion brands in the store windows as we passed by. I knew then that I had to bring such style and elegance here to Qatar.
I still love to travel around the Qatar and the rest of the world. It gives me the opportunity to see firsthand how people are dressed, how they accessorize their outfits and how they express their own unique style.
Q: What was the first step you took after you had the idea?
I have a variety of interests beyond fashion. Before getting started in the fashion, I felt it was important to pursue my education. Through my education in engineering and sustainability, I have been able to be apart of some amazing projects in Qatar.
Q: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?
I think trying for perfection right away slowed me down in the beginning. I was raised by a family of perfectionists. While ultimately it has helped me to become highly competitive which is a trait every entrepreneur should have. However, perfection simply is not possible but you can achieve excellence. I needed to understand that it’s ok not to get right on the first try. Moving forward and learning from mistakes is what makes your brand as close to perfect as humanly possible.
Q: Tell me about an accomplishment that shaped your career?
Opening our flagship store in Doha was a crowning moment for me. The first time I was able to engage in person and see the reactions on the faces to our customers in our own store was incredible. E-commerce enables your brand to reach around the world. However, the retail store experience is much more personal. Being apart of the human to human interactions in our store is something I’ve enjoyed immensely.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
One of my MBA professors at HEC Paris gave me some brilliant advice. She told me to always treat my employees the way I would want them to treat our customers. I value my employees above else. What I’ve found is that if you invest heavily in your employees, they will help you build an amazing company.
You can learn more about Ibrahim and Fursan here.