Most Mena HNWIs 'view failure positively'
Dubai, November 13, 2012
Ninety one per cent of Middle East high net worth individuals (HNWIs) agree that viewing failure positively is essential for an economy to grow, in comparison to 74 per cent globally, said a new report.
Compared to those in Western economies, respondents from the Mena region tend to have a more positive view of setbacks, show greater persistence and better see the benefits of overcoming adversity, according to the latest report in the Barclays Wealth Insights series entitled "If at First You Don’t Succeed… Mapping Global Attitudes to Adversity,"
The overwhelming majority of respondents in the Middle East (91 per cent) and Asia (80 per cent) believe that viewing failure positively is essential for an economy to grow, whilst these figures drop to 71 per cent and 69 per cent in the US and Europe, the Barclays survey pointed out.
In addition, respondents in Asia and Central & South America are far more positive about the opportunities presented by the recent global crisis (53 and 60 per cent) compared to the US and Europe (44 and 42 per cent).
Based on a global survey of more than 2,000 HNWIs comprising entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors, the report, provides an in-depth study into the different ways in which individuals around the world view and respond to setbacks.
The report explores how different cultures value traits such as persistence and optimism, the role of luck and how entrepreneurs view setbacks as a stepping stone to future success.
More respondents in the Middle East (81 per cent) than any other region believe that past failure in entrepreneurial endeavours increases the chance that a new business will succeed, said Barclays in its report.
This attitude to failure is further demonstrated when respondents were asked whether they would hire an individual who had experienced entrepreneurial failure; within the Mena region, Saudi (89 per cent) and Qatari (86 per cent) respondents confirmed that they would, compared to 61 per cent of UAE respondents.
Elsewhere, just 42 per cent and 47 per cent of respondents in the UK and Japan respectively would hire someone with a failed enterprise on their CV. This figure drops to just 25 per cent in Monaco, sad the Barclays report.
The research on persistence reveals that 74 per cent of Saudi HNWIs are of the view that entrepreneurs should persist if their business is floundering, as opposed to cutting losses.
Within the Mena region, 36 per cent of Qataris are most likely to cut their losses when the business is underperforming. However, an overwhelming 100 per cent believe that past failure will increase chances of future success in entrepreneurial endeavours, said the survey.
According to Barclays, majority of the respondents believe that being successful is significantly reliant on ‘skills/intelligence’ and ‘effort/hard work.
On average, over a third of respondents attributed success to these factors (35 per cent each). Chance and connections, on the other hand, are seen as much less important factors, at 16 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, said the report.
UAE ranked highest in the region when it comes to belief in ’skills/intelligence’ and ‘effort/hard work’ at 35 per cent and 36 per cent respectively. In Qatar, respondents believe that 34 per cent of success is due to chance which is the highest of all countries surveyed.
Dr Greg B. Davies, the head of Behavioural Finance at Barclays, warns against being too self-assured.
“Strong belief in skill rather than luck could give you a degree of over-confidence in future decisions. This mindset can be hazardous to the long-term security of a business, or to an investor, as you end up taking more risks on the assumption that your success has been wholly attributed to your own good decisions,” he noted.
When asked about learning from failure there are variations within the Mena region amongst respondents who have experienced failure. Respondents in Qatar 73 per cent (the highest globally), UAE 45 per cent and Saudi 34 per cent cite that they have learnt a great deal from past failures.
When these respondents were asked if they were able to bounce back quickly from failure the responses were similar; 85 per cent in Qatar agreed with this statement, compared to 45 per cent in Saudi and 37 per cent in UAE.
The report revealed a contrast in the number of people who see themselves as entrepreneurs in Western versus Eastern economies.
According to the research, just 29 per cent of respondents in the US and 30 per cent in Europe regard themselves as entrepreneurs, compared to 47 per cent in Asia, 50 per cent in the Middle East and 55 per cent in Central & South America.
In addition, 56 per cent of these entrepreneurs globally say that they learned a great deal from failure, compared with 41 per cent of non-entrepreneurs.
Rory Gilbert, the managing director and head of Wealth and Investment Management, Barclays, Mena, said: "Traditionally, many regard Europe and North America as entrepreneurial hotbeds, but these findings support the widely held belief that we are seeing a global shift, with a fear of failure perhaps holding these ‘established’ economies back."
"Governments across the globe have highlighted the crucial role that entrepreneurs will play in kick-starting the global economy, so understanding their psyche, their culture of perseverance and how this differs across regions will be critical in making this opportunity become a reality," he added.
The Barclays report also revealed some significant findings relating to the mindset of individuals in different regions.
"In the Middle East, 83 per cent of respondents agree that anyone who works hard enough can become a successful entrepreneur. The corresponding figures from the US and Europe are just 49 and 44 per cent respectively, the survey pointed out.-TradeArabia News Service