Al Mulla Saleh was one of the firsts in Kuwait to own a car
Growing amid rich political atmosphere, Al Mulla Saleh showed strong signs of leadership and political acumen. He grabbed the attention of Sheikh Mohammed who decided to assign him to Kuwait’s commissioner office in Al Muhammarah, known now as Khorramshahr and was part of the principality of Arabstan. Located near Karun river, ships docked at Al Muhammarah port to unload cargos heading to Kuwait.
Mulla Saleh bin Mohammed Al Mulla (in his latest years)
Later on, Al Mulla Saleh played a key role in the issuance of passports during the era of Sheikh Ahmed al-Jaber Al Sabah. He was the first who we may call Director of Passports. He used to fill up applications addressed to the British Commissioner in Kuwait. Applicants take their applications to the commissioner who approve the issuance of the passports.
Al Mulla Saleh has shown great interest in cars since it was brought first to Kuwait back in 1912. That first car was a gift from Sheikh Mohammed Qasim Al Ibrahim to Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah. Kuwaiti traders were very impressed its with performance and decided to purchase their own. Al Mulla Saleh was one of the first traders to acquire a car; it was one of the first American made Willys-Overland vehicles to reach Kuwait. Willys-Overland is known now as Jeep, and sold in Kuwait by “Al Mulla & Behbehani”, a 2006 joint venture owned by Al Mulla family. Willys-Overland was the most popular vehicles in Kuwait due to their trusted chassis and very dependable mechanics which worked perfectly on poorly paved roads.
Kuwait wall as seen from inside with the entrance built by Mulla Saleh
Those are some of Al Mulla family contributions in all aspects of public life. Today Al Mulla Group is one of the most prominent economic groups in Kuwait contributing to its modern renaissance and laying a solid foundation for the economy.
Bader Abdulla Saleh Al Mulla
Known for his love and passion towards cars, Bader Saleh Al Mulla led Al Mulla Group to establish its car business. In June 21, 1955, at the age of 18, he succeeded his father as the government secretary. After the independence in 1961, he was appointed as a director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was chosen by the Kingdom of Norway as its honorary consular. He died in June 1969 at the age of 32 years.
Abdulla Mulla Saleh Mohammed Al Mulla
With the discovery of oil in 1938, a new era of development and economy began in Kuwait. Abdulla Saleh Al Mulla, a very well know diplomatic and business figure, realized the country’s need for all kinds of new technology; thus, he exploited his acute economic view to lay down the foundation of “ Al Mulla Group”, one of the most important economical groups in Kuwait.
In 1938, he established with Saleh Jamal, a small shop for electronic appliances. After an astonishing success, he established Bader Al Mulla and Brothers Company in 1947 which became the sole distributor for Chrylser Cars. In 1972, Al Mulla Group introduced Mitsubishi Cars for the first time in Kuwait and the Middle East through its new affiliate company “ Al Maseelah Trading Company ".
Following the death of the founder in 1955, his son, Bader, took over as a chairman, until his death in 1969. His brother Najeeb succedded him, presiding over the steady expansion of the Group’s interests.
In 1978, Al Mulla family took a historical decision when it established a board of directors in which the family was represented by 4 members to manage the group with another 7 highly expereinced professionals. It was the first Kuwaiti company to be directed by a multinational board. The introduction of Mitsubishi board. The introduction of Mitsubishi coincided with launch of the first generation of the legendary “Galant”, a car known for its strong sport design, high performance engines and unprecedented technologies. Anwar Al Mulla, Deputy Chairman and CEO of the Group recalls: “the beginning of the seventies was dominated by big American Cars; however, a promising future trend towards economical smaller cars was clear; thus Mitsubishi was the basis of this future that yield now to become the second most sold mark in Kuwait”.
Al Mulla says “since its establishment, Al Mulla Group focused on the special provision in sales and services and the Group sales were reinforced by the provision of strong and high quality of Mitsubishi Cars that was keen on offering the best it has”.
He adds: “Mitsubishi was the first Japanese manufacturer to introduce the 4WD choice in a comfortable when it launched the first generation of Pajero in 1982. It is now considered the best SUV of its category in Kuwait”.
During the last three years, Al Mulla Group recorded the highest market share of Mitsubishi in the GCC. A record would not be achieved without the committer of Al Mulla Group in marketing, sale and service.
The small appliances shop in 1938 was the first step leading to the establishment of Al Mulla Group that includes today more than 13 companies that operates in the commercial work sectors. The Group extended to become the agent of the CMC cars in the State of the United Arab Emirates; it offers within its services, cars rental services.
Abdullah Saleh Mohammad Al Mulla was born in 1915 and was among the first 300 whose names were registered at the American Missionary School in Kuwait in 1930. He succeded his father as the Secretary of State in 1941 and was known as the “Second Secretary” than his son, Bader succeeded him to become what is known as the “Third Secretary”. He was equivalent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and represented Kuwait internally and abroad and was, before that, the first official representative between the government of Kuwait and the Oil Company in 1934. He was the companion of Sheikh Abdulla Al Salem Al Sabah (11th governor of Kuwait) in all his trips. Formerly, he used to accompany Sheikh Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah (10th governor of Kuwait) in his political and private trips. His presence was eminent in the development and opening of new vital utilities for the post-oil period. He always fulfilled his obligations towards charity works and supporting Kuwaiti students.
He was not only an exceptional man, he was also clear-sighted towards a promising future of Kuwait after the discovery of oil. He recognized the country needs for modern technology, transportations and dynamic movement. In 1938, he and partner Saleh Jamal, set up a small electrical and domestic appliances shop in Safat, the heart of the old city, swiftly acquiring the GEC (UK) franchise. When the new transport means began to invade the country, he founded another company in 1947 under the name of “Bader Al Mulla & Bros Co.” which became the sole distributor of Chrysler Cars and one of the biggest companies in the Kuwaiti market. Years later it acquired the dealership of Mitsubishi Cars which is now the second best sold brand in Kuwait. In 1972, when the company proved its success in many work sectors, Al Maseelah Trading Company was founded, including various work sections covering almost all economic sectors, the most important of which is Mitsubishi which is highly appraised by the customers, gaining their confidence and respect.