From adversity, opportunity

Battling and overcoming childhood ailments, one woman made it her business to help  
From adversity, opportunity
Laila Bin Hareb Almheiri, Emirati serial entrepreneur, founder & CEO of Alive Group

Women entrepreneurs face many challenges on the way to being independent and leading a business, as the stories on International Women’s Day recently reminded us.

What if a woman was to lead several businesses?

One such personality is Laila Bin Hareb Almheiri, an Emirati serial entrepreneur, and the founder & CEO of Alive Group. Under the Group, she set up innovative diagnostics (Alive Medical), education (Alive Education and Events), and cybersecurity awareness (Alive Newledge), all of which she spearheads. As if that wasn’t enough, she works as the senior advisor to Bain & Company.

Read: IWD: Unlocking new levels of success for women

In an exclusive interview with Economy Middle East, we asked Laila about her challenging journey as a businesswoman, her aims, her teams, and how she spends her day managing them.

What is your story with entrepreneurship and is there one behind the name “ALIVE”?


I retired as a CEO from the federal government, but looking back, I began my career in the early 1990s as a software engineer. Eventually, I worked as an IT manager with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) but have always gravitated to the bigger picture.

However, at that time, I didn’t know what I wanted to accomplish, but it was like an itch that I needed to scratch. Fuelled by a childlike curiosity to explore diverse avenues, I worked exceptionally hard and networked with like-minded people to grow in various fields such as aviation, cybersecurity, holistic health, and sleep apnea treatments.

Eventually, my passion for helping people and creating resilience led me to establish my companies. The name “Alive” was born after I battled encephalitis and paralysis, which propelled me to make it my life’s mission to improve people’s lives. I focused on managing fatigue in aviation and transportation, promoting health and well-being, and building human resilience against cyber threats and cyberbullying.

I felt that this was the best way to give back to society.


What is the strategy behind founding a multi-disciplinary group (Aviation, transport, cybersecurity, holistic healthcare) instead of focusing resources on one sector?


I view my companies as individual pieces of a larger puzzle that I am building towards a common goal to promote a positive socio-economic change and positively impact various sectors.

To achieve this vision, I strive to facilitate growth by establishing critical pipelines that enable businesses to expand in the UAE and beyond. By leveraging technology and integrating various businesses, they can mutually benefit from each other’s growth. When one business grows, I make sure that the others prosper as well.

I believe that focusing solely on one sector is limiting what I can do. Each business is motivated by events that have personally impacted me, and I lead with passion which is why I can manage a multi-disciplinary group.

What brand of leadership are you instilling in the group and how do you make it cascade top to bottom in your organization?


As an entrepreneur, I learned the hard way about the many challenges and hardships that come with it. While I believe that hands-on experience is the best teacher, I’m also keen on being open to new ideas and perspectives. Despite experiencing several slow-burning failures, I quickly realized that they were opportunities to improve and grow.

I somehow became addicted to failure because I became addicted to learning. This is the nature of leadership I like to instill – leading by example, being accountable for our actions, and allowing ourselves to make mistakes and learn from them.

I strongly believe that everyone should be a mini-leader in their own right, and I search for leadership qualities in all those I collaborate with.

What is ALIVE’s USP? Can you name 3 key differentiators that make the company attractive to customers?


We build human resilience through technology-based innovative solutions. Our cybersecurity training platform, Alive Newledge, uses advanced VR technology to create gamified scenarios that engage employees and teach them how to prevent and respond to cyberattacks. Our cyber-awareness programs are enabled to suit the metaverse.

Our 3D scanning technology at Alive Medical provides natural solutions for sleep apnea, while ZPods, our innovative beds, offer a customizable, sensory-friendly sleep experience with advanced features like lighting control and Bluetooth speakers. Among other features that make us stand out, we’re always on the lookout for new technology that is making noise in the market and that can benefit us.

Tell us about your use of web 3.0, generative AI, at ALIVE.


One of our key principles is to embrace innovative technology in order to enhance our services. As we move into the era of Industry 4.0, we recognize that integrating technology into our business models and processes is essential to establish sustainable and organized roadmaps for the future of work.

Thanks to the increased user-friendliness of emerging technologies, we have already implemented generative AI and Web 3.0 across all of our products. Furthermore, by incorporating Virtual Reality into our solutions, we remain at the forefront of competition, exemplified by Newledge’s adoption of this cutting-edge technology. Our cyber-awareness is metaverse-ready which enables us to further integrate our services into Web 3.0.

Furthermore, our medical diagnostics, as well as cybersecurity solutions, are all operational with Artificial Intelligence.

We acknowledge the importance of keeping pace with the rapidly changing technological landscape and recognize that failing to do so would render us obsolete.

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