Long road from poverty to triumph

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Top Malaysian banker, entrepreneur tells of his journey in new autobiography

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The dramatic arc of my story rises in success, but cannot be said to crash in tragedy. The setbacks I have faced only fed my further growth.

Hussain Najadi is no stranger to hardship and oppression.

Najadi, who is the founder, Chairman and CEO of AIAK Group, which founded AMBANK, the fifth largest bank in Malaysia, has faced a life of obstacles and has multiple successes and triumphs to show for it.

In his new autobiography, ‘The Sea and the Hills: The Life of Hussain Najadi’, he discusses some of those hardships and triumphs.

While Najadi has seen unequivocal success in the banking industry, his story is much more than business and finance. From being ejected from his home country of Bahrain as a teenager for conspiring against British colonial rule to rising as the leader in the Malaysian banking industry, Najadi’s life is anything but ordinary.

“The story is an affirmation of life’s purpose, of a spirit of adventure, and of unbridled optimism,” says Najadi.

Even in the face of hardship and struggle in his life, he never gave up. Instead, he used the obstacles to propel himself forward.

“The dramatic arc of my story rises in success, but cannot be said to crash in tragedy. The setbacks I have faced only fed my further growth,” says Najadi.

According to Najadi, the secret to his success is what he calls The Golden Triangle – the combined power of Western technology, management and know-how, Asian natural resources, and Arab capital. With this philosophy, he quickly rose to create the Arab-Malaysian Development Bank and become the leader in wholesale and corporate banking in Southeast Asia.

Aside from high finance, Najadi was also one of the first to revolt against the Arab lifestyle and was part of the movement that was instrumental in bringing about the reformation of Arab society.

As Najadi looks back on his life, he sees that every triumph and tragedy had a clear purpose.

“The moral of any man’s life story – and I have no doubt each man has his own lesson to learn – is best appreciated when seen from a distance, with the benefit of time and perspective,” says Najadi. “Only then is the landscape laid out in its full beauty.”

‘The Sea and the Hills: The Life of Hussain Najadi’
By Hussain Najadi
ISBN: 978-1-4691-8093-9
Paperback: $14.95
Available at http://www.amazon.com

About the author
Originally from Bahrain, Hussain Najadi was ejected from his home country as a teenager. He then spent much of his life struggling for justice in the Arab culture. Now living in Malaysia, he is celebrated as a leader and innovator in the Malaysian and Southeast Asian banking industry. He is currently serving as Chairman and CEO of AIAK Group in Kuala Lumpur.

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Matthew Bryant
Bohlsen Group
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