Pet Arabia is an entrepreneurial venture based in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Founded by Abdulrahman Al-Khan in 2009, it was the country’s first business to offer a range of products and services for pet owners. Despite launching in a sociocultural context not traditionally amenable to dog ownership, Pet Arabia found early success as a purveyor of high-quality food and merchandise for dogs and dog owners. By the end of its third year of operation, Pet Arabia had become a thriving venture with an online portal and four brick-and-mortar locations across Bahrain. Having incurred this level of national success in a relatively small country, Pet Arabia began to consider plans for strategic regional expansion. This case study examines the strategic inflection point at which Pet Arabia is considering expanding its business outside Bahrain into other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar. This strategic decision requires careful consideration of key elements in the face of a personal tragedy.
- Al-Khan knows from his experiences in his home country of Bahrain that the right mix and rollout of (a) online-based and (b) physical store-based commercial activities is vital to growth of the business. How should he manage those dual activities as he decides whether or not to attempt to achieve regional growth?
- Pet Arabia serves a constituency that keeps dogs as pets, which is an activity that clashes with traditional Arabic cultural values. What explains Pet Arabia’s success thus far, and what can the firm do going forward to ensure continuing success?
Should Al-Khan exit the business or try to expand regionally?