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Dr. Mansoor Al Awar - In Search of Excellence

When you are the Director of the Total Quality Department of the Dubai Police, you have a pretty tough job on hand. You are indirectly being assessed by the safety and security levels that each individual in Dubai feels. When you are the Chairman of Dubai Quality Group - you have a tougher job on hand - you are responsible in short for the quality of life in Dubai in some way or the other.

But for Dr. Mansoor Al Awar - apart from these two major responsibilities he holds in addition to various others, the toughest part of his job is perhaps measuring up to "his own quality standards - in his professional field as well as within the sphere of his personal life". And how has he measured up while doing his own assessments in terms of quality? "I'd say - excellently," admits Dr. Mansoor. "I am a very result oriented person. If I were to judge my own performance, I would do it by the results I have been able to achieve and the mark I have been able to leave."

Dr. Mansoor shared with me the letter of recognition that the patron of Dubai Quality Group - H.H Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum had written to him after just 6 months of being the Chairman of the group. "When I receive a letter like this, I feel I measure up - not only in the eyes of other, but in my own eyes too."

As I tried to trace back the roots of his phenomenal success and go further back, Dr. Mansoor spoke about his education and how he came about being where he is.

"I completed double masters in applied mathematics and applied statistics from the University of Michigan -USA. I also accrued a PHD from the University of Wales - UK. I taught both in UK and in USA for a period of time, after which I returned to Dubai - this is where I was born and staying outside for a period of time was only a part of the overall plan to plough back my learnings into Dubai."

Dr. Mansoor joined the Dubai Police as Chief Statistician of the research section in 1995. Soon, in 1997, he became Head of the Statistics Department. His career moves have been swift and on the upswing - not surprising, considering the tough standards he sets for himself. In 1998, Dr. Mansoor became the first government employee to be given the title of Director of Total Quality Department in a government organisation. Dubai police also had the status of being the first government department to start a separate cell for Quality and was also the first police force in the entire Middle East to have such an independent unit.

In a year's time in 1999, he led Dubai Police on to winning awards in 8 out or 15 categories for the Dubai Quality award - a performance that was unprecedented and bettered the very next year by totalling 9 out of 15.

These achievements led him to be nominated for elections for the post of Chairman of Dubai Quality Group and Dr. Mansoor took over this honorary assignment in January 2001.

True to his reputation and past record, he wasted no time in settling down and went to task straight away. "One of the first tasks I had on hand was to change the face of Dubai Quality Group from being that of "club style" to being a professional body. It happened soon enough and from being an association that once used to have to seek membership - it has now become a professional group that has requests for memberships piling up.

I would say that we have achieved only 10 % of what we can achieve - there is so much more we can do. When talking in terms of quality, I believe that we should benchmark ourselves with the world's best".

What, then in Dr. Mansoor's definition is quality and what contributes to it? "I'd say quality in simple terms is a way of life. When there is improvement in quality of service in the various fields - the overall quality of life improves - and that is eventually what each one of us striving for.

The amazing awareness about quality and the progress that Dubai has had boils down to the exemplary vision of H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid the Crown Prince of Dubai. In total contrast to what exists in many other Arab nations, what is happening here is that he is so advanced in his thinking that the intellectuals find it difficult to keep pace with him. In the end it's all in the leadership and management of resources!"

Is that part of the reason for his success too? "Of course yes," he emphasises. "I attribute my success to the fact that I work under the leadership of a personality like H.E. Maj. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan. I have never come across anyone in the public or private sector here or anywhere in the west, who respects science and technology to the extent that he does."

Dr. Mansoor is currently working on launching in September 2002, a project that was his brainchild - the ETQM, The Online College of Total Quality. He is Director of this college which is all about re engineering education and is all set to take the educational concepts by storm. Apart from these responsibilities that are more than a full day's work, he is Chairman of the advisory board of the Dubai Service Excellence Scheme and Chairman of the advisory board of Tanmiya. He has been elected as head of the cross organisational team in the government sector for the development of quality and is the treasurer for the board of Juvenile Association, as well as the board of Emirates Talent Association.

He does not believe in leaving quality behind at work either - the same principles seem to be followed at home too. "My children have the full freedom to express their opinion about us a parents - does not mean that the respect is lacking," he says. "I owe a lot to my mother who influenced me a lot. I'd say likewise that my children are what they are now because of what my wife has done for them. She has nurtured them and her inputs have given them a culture that is a beautiful blend."

Taking time off his hectic schedule, he finds harmony in numbers - he believes every mathematician does that. He plays the violin and sports it out occasionally with ping-pong and basketball. "I love watching good movies - be it English, Arabic or Indian. I love good cuisine, be it Lebanese, Arabic or Indian." Was there an underlying emphasis on quality in all those aspects or was I imagining it?

Dr. Mansoor continues his walk along the path of quality - improving him at each milestone and imparting to each traveller along the way his own brand of quality consciousness.


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