December 6th, 2019 – London – Diversity is high on everybody’s priority list. It has become a major hiring initiative for the biggest players the racing sport industry, and not just because it helps to both land and retain top talent. Embracing diversity as one’s core values and treating people of all genders, ages, races and ethnicities equally is the right thing to do. Turns out, it’s also the best way to drive innovation and competition.
Martina Kindt is a well-known female power player in both the GCC and in the male dominated world of Formula One and Car racing. Where so many people ask questions about a woman in a male dominated world, they ask even more questions about a successful business woman in the Middle East.
Having studied Economic Sciences in her native Belgium, she set up her own company in 1986 dedicated to the distribution of Bell helmets, acquiring the BELL name in 2000 whilst restructuring the whole company.
As owner/CEO of the Group, she took the Group to a number 1 status in the world, setting the Bell brand as benchmark for Safety and technical innovations. Under her leadership and vision, Bell has reached an all-time high working with the most famous names in racing and world champions such as, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and more recently Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonzo and so many others.
In Western Philosophy, power has usually been defined as strength and domination, this definition has been reproduced in sport, where masculine ideals of force and aggression are emphasized. Martine Kindt was pioneering an alternative feminist conception of power stresses energy and creativity
“A push for diversity is especially important in the racing industry, for two primary reasons” highlighted Mme Kindt since the early 2000’s; “The first is that these are particularly revolutionary times for the auto industry, as it undergoes a period of transformation unseen perhaps since the days of Henry Ford and his Model T assembly line and, with advances in autonomous vehicles, clean energy, mobility and other areas happening at an almost dizzying pace, companies and sport team could simply not afford to not innovate. They needed every edge they can get to compete in this landscape and women were the perfect fit for the evolution of the sports car industry.”
After leading Bell for so many years, Martina has recently left the Management Team of Bell Helmets whilst remaining one of the main shareholders in the Bell group. She founded Kappa Konsults, an innovative consulting company based on her previous experiences “I learned so much during my years with Bell, I believe that my expertise and worldwide connections are a huge asset in Kappa Konsults. I believe there are no textbook quotes for advising your clients, but rather it comes down to listening to their needs and finding practical simple solutions that are in line with their vision. I did the same in the racing world.”
Living in the last 4 years in the Middle East whilst running a successful business there have put Martina in the eye of several EU companies who wish to explore the Middle East Business Connections. Indeed, other than the many F1 connections at the highest level, she is very well connected with the Bahraini Royal family and government and quite well known in Bahrain Diplomatic circles.
…./”I believe there is a real possibility for Belgian and EU companies to conduct business in the Gulf, there is huge untapped potential and sometimes, all it requires is for EU companies to find the right partner in the Gulf and that is where we come in. I believe we can play an essential role in facilitating those commercial exchanges. Likewise, we can promote the Bahraini business friendly environment and help them find good EU partners. We could consider setting up a Belgo-Bahraini Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the various Belgian Export bodies (FIT & AWEX)….”
Martina has decided to team up as a Senior Advisor with Licorne Gulf Holdings of Alexandre Katrangi, the iconic advisor to Saudi royalty and partner Irina Duisimbekova, owner and founder of several ventures across the globe.
The decision to team up with Alexandre Katrangi and Irina Duisimbekova in Bahrain is a strategic move which is best explained as joining forces. As Martina explains: “Alexandre has been advising me during the strategic sale period of Bell Helmets, I have seen his skills when it comes to mergers and acquisitions and I believe he is a very strong capable advisor. Irina has a more practical mind, being very technical and versed in IT and cryptocurrency. They bring huge experience and knowledge to the table and I believe that together we are a very strong team.”
Leading Belgium entrepreneurs have always been encouraged to operate globally and create synergies in major economic sectors such as chemistry, renewable energies, transport and logistics, and health. As a well-developed free market economy, based on both industrial and service sectors, Belgium is heavily dependent on international trade and most of its economic sectors are geared toward exporting products. The nation’s exports are equivalent to almost two-thirds of its GNP, creating constant necessity for sustainable partnerships and exchange of know-how
As one of the founding members of the European Community (later the EU), Belgium has been one of the foremost proponents of regional economic integration and cooperation with GCC countries. Rapidly growing economies, strategic location, new diversification plans, economic and political stability make the GCC and especially Bahrain a primary destination for investors and entrepreneurs seeking to establish operations in the MENA Region… These are some of the many assets that make the GCC one of the best Economic and Trade Partners for Belgium. Mme Kindt, through insight, knowledge, know-how and permanent presence, contributes to the establishment of higher trade relations between the Belgium and Bahrain
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