Monday, March 23, 2015

Bahrain’s New Economy

Daniel Bell (1974) came up with the concept of Post-Industrialism or Post Industrial Society. It refers to the shift from a dominance of the manufacturing industry with its assembly line workers to the growth of the service industry and its accompanying service oriented employees. It comes with increased automation replacing blue-collar workers with machines and enhanced focus on service, lean structures and professional workers.

What does this have to do with anything?

I don’t know but it brings to mind a phenomenon that is taking place right here at home. The information above this paragraph came from Wikipedia, below it is just me theorizing on what is taking place with the market in Bahrain today and relating it to Bell’s theory. It has no merit academically, economically, politically, comically or otherwise. However, with all pieces of useless research must come the researcher’s own contribution and I will gift you mine; no citation required.

In its early days, Bahrain started out as a pearl trade country moving later on to manufacturing from aluminum extrusion to refining GCC oil. Jobs in large manufacturers like Alba or Bapco were highly lucrative and extremely competitive and the service industry was yet to be born. Then came the banking “revolution” creating our own little post industrial culture especially after opening the competition in the telecom industry and I observed that service suddenly became a priority on everyone’s agenda.

Now here comes my little contribution to this particular body of research…

The financial crisis and later on the political one have created an employment void. People lost jobs in the service industry and business have shrunk tremendously causing a shortage of positions available for the increasing number of college graduates. However, the amazing outcome of these mishaps is a new wave of employees: the self-employed. Home grown businesses have emerged with the social media spike and we have seen many of them flourish before our eyes on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and then move out of the virtual world and into the trade fairs and markets and permanent offices, shops and kitchens.

So Bahrain moves from the industrial revolution, to the service industry to the entrepreneurial industry; what I would like to call “post-post-industrialism”.

Please let us not focus on the ridiculousness of the term I’m about to coin and let’s pay attention to its meaning.

We, Bahrainis, do not succumb to market conditions or go around begging for jobs. We CREATE jobs for ourselves and we do it well! We have talents and business sense and we put them together to create innovative products and services that compete with those in medium and large companies. We do what we love and that is our job. The typical Bahraini is independent and resourceful. We don’t wait for handouts or help. We earn our respect and place in society and business and we make a name that sells itself. We don’t shy away from laborious tasks and we don’t look down upon those who perform them if we happen to be more fortunate. We are down to earth and amiable and we get our hands dirty and we are PROUD OF IT.

This article is a tribute to all of those Bahraini entrepreneurs who made it and those who are about to make it and even to those who might have failed because its only a matter of time until success comes-a-knockin’.

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