Mrs. Ebtissam Algosaibi: An Entrepreneur in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Mrs. Ebtissam Algosaibi: An Entrepreneur in the

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Introduction and General Analysis

The actual idea of starting the Erum was actually came into thought one night when the

Ebtissam was on the vacation with family back in 1986. She wasn’t even planned to go for such a business, but as the idea came into thought, so she gets excited and curious. She has been the student, the student of Islamic art but had no training related to the creation of jewelry. Moreover, shewas somehow attached to this profession in a way that she possess the passion for painting and even had an interest in history as well. The very next morning she began to start working on the idea quietly and didn’t tell anyone except her husband Abdulrehman.

To move ahead of the idea, she started visiting many local goldsmiths but felt unsatisfied with their work.  She then decided to have her own atelier so that she could work and maintain product quality on her own, but later on her husband refused this idea. As the time passes, she contacted a trusted dealer in London through family contacts to purchase some marvelous stones.  The approach from the beginning was quite aggressive and she was in a hurry for sure. She actually wanted to be a self-madewomen, therefore didn’t even borrowed a penny from her father and husband.

From the begging Erum was positioned as the exclusive brand and the target market was somehow niche. The products were quite expensive and quality oriented. The core customers were the women’s of Saudi Royal family and as well as the other high profile people.  Moreover the best part of their strategy was the aggressiveness in the strategy because they used to organize the exhibitions on a regular basis and generates Millions. Each and every product was exceptional and costly, whichpossess the Arabic Calligraphy and adds an exceptional value to its unique proposition.


Mrs. Ebtissam Algosaibi believed that company has tremendous potential to gown not only in Saudi Arabia, but in another region as well.  She was concerned about the strategies which need to be applied while maintaining the exceptional brand name across the globe. Moreover, this case also discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by the owner being a women entrepreneur in countries like Saudi Arabia or Middle East.  The company needs to make the decision that by using what means it should move ahead.


SWOT Analysis


  • Unique and state of the art Islamic design.
  • A strong approach towards the exhibitions.
  • Highly exclusive product
  • A comprehensive store network.
  • Outstanding quality 

Erum biggest strength was the state of the art new and original Islamic design jewelry. The company has been doing an exceptional job since the beginning and they have been working aggressively towards the introduction of new designs by introducing around 200 designs each year. Since the price was quite high therefore the profit margin wasquite exceptional. Moreover, there stores were present in main cities of Saudi Arabia and recently had been opened in Dubai. The quality of the product was superb and matchless because of exclusive and niche target market.


  • Limitedbudget and resources for marketing and other uses.
  • The enormous struggle to continuouslyintroduce new designs.
  • The possible inability to meet demand due to the small size of the company
  • A huge portion of the market cannot afford due to high prices. 

Since Erum was managed by the single owner, therefore it can be said that the resources were limited which need to be spent carefully. Erum was more focused towards the introduction of

New designs therefore the owner needs to do the enormous struggle byherself for better outcomes which sometime neglect other departmental issues. If the company goes for expansion globally so it is a possibility that Erum might face issues while meeting demand because of limited resources. The prices were too high therefore a major portion of the market cannot even think to buy it. Although this is an exclusive product, but a first company can be introduced.


  • Entire Middle East region and other Islamic states specifically.
  • The introduction of new designs to capture other mind sets.
  • Export opportunities.
  • Low cost products to capture the remaining segment of the markets.

Being in the expansion phase, there are immense opportunities for Erum at both national and international levels.Moreover, by introducing some new designs, even other than Islamic culture can help the company in penetrating to other markets. There are several export opportunities are also present because in countries like Iran, Pakistan, India and Egypt the demand of such products are rising. Erum can also introduce the low cost products to capture the remaining segments of the market..................

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Ms. Ebtissam Algosaibi has created a leading high-end jewelry company in the Middle East, Erum Jewellery, based in her home town, Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia. She believes, Erum has the potential to become a global player like Cartier and Chopard. How should it expand Erum for the Saudi market? The case also has to deal with new opportunities and old problems for women in business in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. "Hide
by Daniel J. Isenberg Source: Harvard Business School 14 pages. Publication Date: June 30, 2009. Prod. #: 809166-PDF-ENG

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