Ahmed Alajmi, chairman and founder of THG, discusses success in KSA

Ahmed Alajmi, chairman and founder of THG, discusses success in KSA

Ahmed Alajmi chairman & founder of THG talks about success in the kingdom

Ahmed Alajmi’s entrepreneurial spirit and global travels sparked a vision for high-end dining in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Here, he talks about founding Takara Hospitality Group and prioritizing consistency.

What can you tell us about Takara Hospitality Group?

THG is a leading hospitality group in Saudi Arabia. Our focus is on providing superior dining facilities, high-quality dining experiences and ensuring customer satisfaction. Furthermore, we differentiate ourselves from our competitors by creating an environment where leadership inspires success and fair practices encourage productivity. Instead of adapting to what worked for others or focusing on appearances, we prioritize our values and principles.

How does Takara Hospitality Group create unique concepts?

We always search for the gaps in the market. Moreover, instead of importing brands, we create a version that suits the local taste. Furthermore, it is important to note that we never copy other products. Additionally, we ask ourselves daily why people choose our place or product. Subsequently, after understanding our unique selling point and its marketability, we proceed accordingly. This approach is one of our keys to success.

Your restaurant Takara won an award for Best Luxury Japanese Cuisine in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. To what do you attribute this success?

Firstly, we believe in hiring people based on their attitude rather than their knowledge or nationality. Secondly, we have a comprehensive and highly successful training and onboarding program in place. Furthermore, we always strive to teach our teams instead of assuming that they come already knowing everything. Additionally, we provide our people with genuine growth opportunities. Moreover, and most importantly, we have the best senior leaders, and this is not just because I say so. They demonstrate their leadership skills every day by inspiring their teams. They are dedicated to the company and beyond; our relation emphasizes loyalty, partnership and achieving success over mere contractual obligations.

How do you evaluate the culinary landscape in KSA and what challenges are you facing?

To succeed, you need to focus on creating unique concepts that cater to the local market. Riyadh, for example, is already saturated with franchised restaurants that do not necessarily thrive simply because they are “known.” Hence, it’s vital to develop or import a unique concept that stands out in an already saturated market.

In the hospitality sector, despite limited options in most Saudi cities, focus remains on major urban centers like Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. However, there are many other places in the country that are yet to be explored. It’s worth noting that KSA spans 2.15 million square kilometers, nearly five times the combined size of all GCC countries.

What are Takara Hospitality Group’s latest projects and what’s coming up?

Our team is keeping a close eye on the market. Meanwhile, we have plans to expand our already successful brands. Furthermore, we aim to open new locations in all significant cities across the Middle East. Additionally, we have set a goal of having at least 11 new locations up and running by December 2026. Moreover, we intend to maintain a structured and financially sound approach while pursuing our expansion plans. We have a keen interest in food manufacturing, as we believe it will contribute to the future food security of the region.


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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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