Gulf News: What are the main challenges in running a company catering to women investors?
Rashid: Every company has its challenges in the beginning, however for Forsa we have managed to overcome our main challenge of ensuring that the company is known as a profit centre company and not perceived as a non-profit organisation just because it is a company for women.
We have also managed to better understand a less understood market segment - investor women - and learned more about their investment needs and behaviour through extensive market research development and by speaking to as many women in general regarding their investment habits.
Gulf News: Is the setting up of a women-focused investment company based on cultural factors or business reasons?
Rashid: Forsa was set up purely for business reasons. With the UAE's economy undergoing rapid expansion, Dubai World launched Forsa to offer a robust investment platform for women and will utilise the huge untapped market of women's wealth in the region. Recent figures show that women investors in the Gulf control Dh140 billion in wealth. The number of high net worth individuals in the Middle East has increased, primarily as a result of inheritance and personal creation. Fortunately, we have access to a host of resources through our industry-leading partners and Dubai World companies.
Gulf News: How does it help women investors in terms of return on investment?
Rashid: Given the right opportunity and proper guidance, GCC and expatriate women have the capability to boost their personal development and wealth through access to a portfolio of lucrative investment opportunities and deal flows. Women are now more proactive in seeking investment opportunities and encouraging them to become more involved in investment and business activities will give women a more prominent role in the country's economic growth. Women generally have a lesser understanding of asset allocation, but prefer liquid investments and investing in real estate projects, which will give them reasonable returns.
Gulf News: Which potential group of investors are you targeting?
Rashid: Forsa is targeting high net worth women investors, who are willing to make earnings grow by means of investment vehicles. Women today are more educated and make their own financial decisions. They have control over their finances and are not intimidated with investing money and bearing some risks. They have better investment knowledge and are keen to invest their money and experiment with various investment opportunities.