In order to operate a commercial business in Bahrain back then, all foreign workers needed a local sponsor. If you were involved in a service industry, the local Bahraini must own 51% of the business and the foreigner 49% legally under the law. However, if you wanted to sell goods as a foreigner you officially could not, as this was deemed easier business and kept solely reserved for the local Bahraini’s, who for generations had been traders in pearls, spices and other goods.
However on a more practical basis, many foreigners just put the business in the local Bahraini’s name and had a side agreement allowing them to trade as if they owned the business and these people just paid their local sponsor 10% or a fixed fee every month and everyone was happy.
Bob and I called ourselves PCB because we wanted to set-up a company called Porsche Cars Bahrain, but at this time we did not even have any contact with the Porsche Factory. In order not to upset them before we started, we abbreviated our trading name to PCB.
We did not have a sponsor and therefore all our work was being done on a private basis, totally illegally, with just a basic letterhead, typewriter, telephone, answering machine and pager device.