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Put your credit card away Seven ways to fund your startup on the sly

Turning innovation
Sheraa Chairperson
Harmeek Singh
H.E. Sheikha
The founder and Chairman
of Plan b is all about
Bint Sultan
differentiating his brand-
and always staying
Al Qasimi
ahead of the game Harnessing
potential in
the UAE

show me
the money!
MENA fintech startup
NOW Money wants
to help everyone get
access to banking

9 77231 1 541 008 >

march 2017 | www.entrepreneur.com/me | UAE AED20

march 2017

H.E. Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi,
Chairperson, Sheraa

20 24 28 36
Incubating innovation Turning heads Mastering marketing MARKETING
H.E. Sheikha Bodour Plan b founder and Nadim Ghrayeb, Regional Redefining influencer
Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman Harmeek Singh Sales and Marketing marketing
Chairperson of Sheraa, on on how he ensures his Manager, Cadillac Middle Edelmans Director of
harnessing entrepreneurial enterprise stands out in a East, on the brands Digital MEA Ema Linaker
potential in the UAE. competitive market. transformation in terms of explains why influencer
its image and ideals. marketing in the MENA region
has to grow up in 2017.
The pursuit of happiness Q&A
Bayt.coms Suhail Show me the money!
Al-Masri busts the MENA fintech startup
myths associated with Now Money wants to help
keeping your employees everyone get access to banking
happy at work. systems.

55 Dubai Chamber and Smart Dubai Office invite applications

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CONTENTS march 2017

24 46
Harmeek Singh,
founder and ESQUIRE GUY PRO
Chairman, Keeping up with the times Securing your IP
Plan b Group
Want to understand Fatema Fathnezhad, legal
millennials? The Esquire consultant at Cedar White
Guy explains why its simpler Bradley group, explores
than you think. the two key documents
every UAE startup needs
52 to secure their intellectual
TECH: property.
Industry 4.0 is here
Volker Bischoff, General
Manager, Robert Bosch
Middle East explains why 54 YaHallas Alif
Industry 4.0 is the reality of smartphone and
Alpha tablet
manufacturing today- and is
here to stay.
42 65
#TamTalksTech Taxing times ahead ECOSYSTEM
Gadgets and doodads Lovrenc Kessler, Managing Keeping entrepreneurs at
that you mightve missed Partner of Simon-Kuchers home
out on, sourced by a tech office in Dubai says that with A new Endeavor Jordan study
aficionado. Yes, its okay to VAT coming soon to the GCC, sheds light on migration
want them all and no, its companies need to rethink trends among Jordans
not our fault. their pricing strategies. homegrown businesses.

A scene from the
Endeavor Jordan
David Llorente,
event to discuss
CEO, Narrativa at
business migration
48 Forward

10 Entrepreneur march 2017

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CONTENTS march 2017

78 58
Q&A Cashing in on the opportunity
Bridging the gap Zpizzas Dubai franchisee
Qatar-based Education Harsh Pancholia on why
Basket wants to guide the opening a franchise business is
MENA regions youth in their better than starting your own.
higher education forays.
SKILLSET Not a magic pill
Identifying potential James Clear offers a
Jezreel Bokingo, founder beginners guide on deliberate
and MD, The Wingman practice to help you achieve
74 MENA fintech startup NOW Money wants to help everyone on the importance of your goals.
get access to banking prospecting for sales- and
how you might not be doing 16
enough of it. EDITORS NOTE
44 50 By Aby Sam Thomas
Trep gear Growing into YOUR MONEY IN PICTURES:
The executive selection for entrepreneurship Put your credit card away Its go time!
the entrepreneur on your Bizworld UAE CEO Helen Coplex CEO Zach Ferres on A look at Facebook MENAs
list that has everything. Al Uzaizi lists eight skills seven ways you can fund #SheMeansBusiness, an
Okay, maybe for a little every entrepreneur needs to your startup when VC money initiative to encourage
self-reward as well. develop for business. is not an option. female entrepreneurship.

Nadim Ghrayeb,
Regional Sales
and Marketing
Manager, Cadillac
Middle East

12 Entrepreneur march 2017

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publications in the MENA region are officially licensed
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14 Entrepreneur march 2017


Scaling the startup ladder

Working for an entrepreneur is nearly as hard
as being an entrepreneur

ve always maintained that be- have somehow gone south for him
ing an entrepreneur or working to be so forlorn and glum. I found
for one is not for the faint- myself giving him a few suggestions
hearted, but I was still taken on what he could do to get out of his
aback when a particularly misery:
enterprising friend of mine (who
works at a Dubai-based startup) STEP ONE COMMUNICATE
confessed to feeling a crushing Your work at a startup shouldnt
sense of frustration at work. As one come at the cost of your well-being,
of the companys early recruits, I physical or emotional. Regardless
remembered him being a passionate of your feelings of loyalty toward STEP THREE DECISION TIME
champion of his employers, and yet, your company, I can assure you If, after all of the above, nothing
here he was now, looking disillu- that wallowing in a murky pool of changes in your environment once
sioned and demotivated. Im really self-pity is definitely not worth it. If your personal deadline has rolled
overloaded, he said to me, as he you have a problem, voice it to your in, then Id say that it might be
complained about his overwhelming employers- your bosses are entre- time for you to make a career move.
workload. There were just too many preneurs, and they have a hundred I cant say theres any job worth
tasks being thrown on his plate for different things on their minds all being miserable for, and while you
him to execute, he explained, and the time, and so it falls on you to may have signed up to be a part
adding to the pain was the fact that bring issues to the table. of the madness that is a requisite
when things invariably fell through of a startup, it shouldnt be so
the cracks, he felt himself being at STEP TWO SET A DEADLINE TO overpowering that you become
the receiving end of the blame. Ev- EXPECT CHANGE dejected and disappointed. Making
erything [that goes wrong] seems Its one thing to take your problems the decision to move on from a
to be my fault, he said. I feel sorry to your employers; its another thing company that you invested so much
for myself. altogether to see solutions come time and work into is difficult- but
For all of the conversation about from them on the same. This, how- it may be well worth your while.
the bravery of entrepreneurs in ever, doesnt mean that you should
building businesses, there isnt have to wait indefinitely for change
enough being said about the daring to happen- as I told my friend,
shown by the people who work for doing so will only see you fall back
these upstart founders. After all, the into despair. In order to avoid that,
risk these people take by choosing set a realistic deadline for expecting
to work for a startup (as opposed your entrepreneurial bosses to af-
to putting their talent to use at a fect change in your startup environ-
more established company) is pretty ment. If they value you as an em-
monumental. More often than not, ployee, they should make an effort
these are driven individuals who to help- and I do believe this has to
are ready to go above and beyond come from the top. As we have re-
what they are expected (read as: peatedly attested to in Entrepreneur Aby Sam Thomas
paid) to do. I believe that my friend Middle East: a company is nothing Editor in Chief
was one such kind of person, and without its team, and the people at @thisisaby
so, his work circumstances must its top should remember that. aby@bncpublishing.net

16 Entrepreneur march 2017


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Emerging technologies
Smart Dubai Office and 1776 launch
a hunt for blockchain innovations

n line with the Blockchain Strategy unveiled by
Dubai in October 2016 -a vision to become the
first blockchain-powered city by 2020- Smart
Dubai Office (SDO) and global entrepreneurship
network 1776 are looking for startups that can
transform conventional industries using their
blockchain technology. SDO and 1776 are now
inviting applications from enterprises for the
Blockchain Challenge, a pitch competition to be
Samer Abu Ltaif, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf and Veresh Sita, Chief Digital Officer,
held on May 22, 2017 in Dubai. Selecting up to 20
Emaar Properties startups from the applications, the finalists of the
Challenge will travel to Dubai to pitch their blockchain
Calling young innovators product/solution to investors, business leaders,
and others. Besides monetary rewards, and 1776
Microsoft launches UAE edition of Imagine Cup 2017 membership opportunities for the winning startups,
with Emaar Properties the competition also offers a chance to receive pitch

training, and networking opportunities for competing
tudent developers, Microsoft is regional round will be $15,000 for startups. The three winning startups will also work
looking for the next big innova- first, $10,000 for second, and $7,000 with the respective Dubai stakeholders to implement
tion from the student commu- for third place winners. their blockchain solution in the city.
nity, and heres your chance to Speaking about the challenge,
show off your best software so- Samer Abu Ltaif, Regional General
lution. Microsoft Gulf, in partnership Manager, Microsoft Gulf says that Mi-
with Emaar Properties, is hosting the crosoft is very proud of the change
UAE edition of the Microsoft Imagine that were seeing in the UAE, given
Cup 2017, a large-scale student the number of accelerators head-
A team at the Enterprise
competition offering young develop- ing here, and the number of venture Challenge Qatar
ers a chance to mold the world of capitalists that are starting to show
tomorrow using their creativity and interest, and he sees the Imagine Cup
tech skills. Having debuted in 2003, as a golden opportunity in the cur-
the competition holds the status of rent climate. With regard to the sup-
Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office with
being the largest and one of the oldest port from Emaar, Abu Ltaif says he Evan Burfield, co-founder and CEO of 1776 in December 2016
technology challenges, and it kicks off considers the group to be a key player
its regional round in April 2017. Like shaping the lives of people in multiple According to the challenges official website detailing
the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative cities around the globe. There is a the evaluation criteria, the jury panel will judge
(of which Imagine Cup is a part), the lot of emphasis on digital transforma- startups on parameters including level of innovation
challenge is based on the premise that tion in the context of urbanization in the use of blockchain, market size, business plans,
many of todays successful tech plat- and building cities[Like Emaar], we team composition, and other skills. The contest has
forms began as student projects, and are equally hungry to learn together also laid down a set of requirements that startups
is designed to create an avenue for and share those values with them, must meet to be eligible to apply, which includes
young entrepreneurs and innovators, he adds. factors such as scalable products, suitability to
in bringing their ideas to market. Emaar, on its part, also regards the implement in Dubai, and directly impacting the
Imagine Cup selects most promising tie-up to be logical, both in terms of quality of life in the city, among others. Dubai
ideas/teams in over 100 countries by matching of values and objectives government launched its Blockchain Strategy
conducting local and online editions around tech innovations. We believe to support its Smart City ambitions, by turning
of the contest. These selected teams that we are building iconic experi- paperless and shifting government transactions to
will then embark on an all-expenses- ences for people, but we are really blockchain platform- an online encrypted database-
paid trip to the World Finals to building it for future generations, by 2020. Subsequently, initiatives promoting
compete with global student teams says Veresh Sita, Chief Digital Officer, blockchain have continued to be a focus for the
for a US$100,000 grand cash prize. Emaar Properties. We want to focus UAE. While recently Dubais government partnered
Further this year, the contest has de- on youth, youth development and with IBM for testing blockchain technology for trade
cided to not bind itself by categories youth empowerment. Instead of us, finance activities, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi
and invites technology solutions of in a vacuum, trying to figure out what (NBAD) also announced that it integrated global
image source: 1776 | imagine cup

every type, from every field that run future generations desire, we see no blockchain startup Ripples technology into its
on Azure cloud, and demonstrate better way than to actually use the systems. For more information on the deadlines and
the potential for digital transforma- youth of today to help us design the details of the Blockchain Challenge, visit the official
tion. The cash prize for this years cities of the future, he explains. website. www.1776.vc/sdo-blockchain-challenge

18 Entrepreneur march 2017

Sheraa reflects our
faith in the ability of our
youth to make a differ-
ence, and to contribute
positively to the pros-
perity of our economy
and the development of
our society.
H.E. Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi,
Chairperson, Sheraa

20 Entrepreneur march 2017

With the healthcare
It is in we
vital that GCC
provide our young
projected to grow at
compoundwith the means
to thrive as individuals
and make the most and
of over 12%,
effectiveUS$71 billion
by 2020,
to the we are all

models they presented for

their enterprises in sectors as
varied as gaming and F&B. In-
deed, the Sheraa teams prow-
ess in selecting enterprises
was easy to see, as was the

effectiveness of their coaching
and incubation efforts at their
location in the American Uni-
versity of Sharjah. Through
the first year, this journey has
been immensely successful
and exciting for the entire
Sheraa team, Al Qasimi says.
In particular, the support
of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan

Sheraa Chairperson bin Muhammad Al Qasimi,

Member of the UAE Supreme

H.E. Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi Council and Ruler of Sharjah,
has been instrumental in our
overall success and ensuring
Harnessing entrepreneurial potential in the UAE that our messages reach out
By Aby Sam Thomas to aspiring entrepreneurs

within the Emirate and across
the country. In less than a
here was since Sheraas launch in And for the record, Al Qasimi year, Sheraa has hosted more
no missing January 2016. Sheraa was and her team at Sheraa seem than 110 local and interna-
the sense of conceived with an aim to to have certainly delivered tional motivational speakers,
pride (and harness the entrepreneurial on that premise. The entre- conducted over 50 training
happiness, skills of the regions youth, preneurs who pitched their workshops and sessions in
of course) she remembers. Through startups at the Showcase Day self-development, entrepre-
resplendent my interactions with young were remarkably cool and neurial, and tech skills, and
on H.E. entrepreneurs over the years, confident, and it was hard not trained over 1,300 aspiring
Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan it became increasingly clear to miss the refined business entrepreneurs. >>>
Al Qasimis face as she, that they had so much to
with UAE Supreme Council offer, especially with regards
Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to developing the economy
H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin of Sharjah through innova-
Mohammed Al Qasimi, sit- tion. When we felt the need Medcare Women &
Children Hospital
ting beside her, watched the to establish an institution to
first cohort of entrepreneurs cater to this entrepreneurship
graduating from Sheraas ambition and development,
accelerator program present we wanted to position our-
their respective startups at selves more as incubators
its Showcase Day in February. for innovation than just an
It was a momentous occasion entity that supports startups
for her, no doubt- as Sheraas or SMEs. We wanted to make
Chairperson, Al Qasimi had successful examples out of
been a part of this program peoples creative ideas, and
right from its conceptual support their business plans, Dr. Azad Moopen,
His Excellency
FounderKhalid Al Huraimel, CEO, BEEAH,
Director,H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed
stage, and now, she was bear- as well as empower them as Chairman and Managing
Al Qasimi, Supreme Council
Aster DM Member and Ruler of Sharjah, H.E. Sheikha Bodour Bint
ing witness to the results of strategic contributors to our Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, and
her and her teams efforts existing economy. Najla Al-Midfa, General Manager, Sheeraa

H.E. Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi,

Chairperson, Sheraa

With the healthcare

With all that it has accom-
sector in GCC
Aligned with Sharjahs Starting up (smart)
plished so far, the importance projected to grow at
economic vision to tran- H.E. Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimis tips
of Sheraa as an institution asit
compound annual
from diversification for entrepreneurs
cannot be understated. rate of overSheraa
to innovation, 12%, and
While there are excellent exceed
was set upUS$71 billion
to cater to The first and undoubtedly glasses. In their minds
schools and universities the rising energy and de- most important thing when eye, they imagine it to be
which teach students busi-
by 2020, we are all starting a new business is a runaway success from
sire towards successful
ness management and critical set to maximize the
entrepreneurship. for it to involve something the word go, and often fail
thinking skills, platforms like opportunity at hand. that you are personally to take into account issues
Sheraa are able to channel program, and advancing with- passionate about. This that can easily derail it.
this knowledge towards build- in our accelerator program. is what instills the will to I would also advocate
ing enterprises and turning Sheraa has also made it a make it a success. You joining a small business
theory into practice, bridging priority to engage with differ- should not consider a new forum and speaking to its
the skills gap that exists ent entities in both the public venture if you are merely members about their ex-
between what industries need and private spaces- according looking at it as a way to periences- I guarantee this
and what academia currently to Al Qasimi, such alliances make money. You will need will throw up several things
provides, mentoring young and partnerships help get the drive and energy to keep you havent considered.
entrepreneurs, and building upstart businesses under its a business going when Similarly, conduct extensive
locally relevant businesses, wing better chances at mak- times get tough which market research. Find out
Al Qasimi notes. As a ing it big. On our inaugural invariably will happen- and about other operations in
government-sponsored entity, Showcase Day, we had the these qualities will be in your area. Is the market
Sheraa provides through its pleasure of announcing three short supply if the venture already crowded? What can
accelerator teams subsidized new entrepreneurship tracks: is not something that is you offer that is different?
licensing, co-working space travel and tourism, sustain- all-consuming for you. What is the demand for
and access to investors and ability, and social enterprise, You also need others, who your product or service?
private sector companies. Al Qasimi says. We have have already launched their Also, you should never stop
We have received excellent partnered with industry lead- own businesses, to talk learning. I believe that it
feedback from students across ers in each track, Air Arabia, about pitfalls and draw- is important to never stop
University City, our core Beeah and Crescent Enter- backs that you might not learning and educating
target base. As we continue prises, to direct specific ven- anticipate. My experience yourself, because in the
to educate and inspire them, ture creation resources, and is that people often see fast-paced world we live
students take tangible steps help empower entrepreneurs their own proposed busi- in today, information is
by enrolling in our incubation interested in these fields. ness through rose-tinted constantly changing.

22 Entrepreneur march 2017

Startups showcase
Sheraas presence in Sharjah trepreneurs is not something A look at the 10 enterprises in Sheraas inaugural
is also significant considering new- she has long been a accelerator program
that it is a major step in pre- champion for innovators and
senting the Emirate as a new thinking differently, and her 1. CARTPOOL is a crowd- connect, share study materials
hub for entrepreneurial talent role at Sheraa is just an ex- powered platform that and find peer tutors.
in the UAE. Aligned with tension of this personal prem- facilities group buying for
Sharjahs economic vision to ise. When I ask her whats her individuals giving them ac- 6. TAYARs hardware and
transit from diversification to personal mission or dream cess to significantly reduced software solution allows users
innovation, Sheraa was set up that drives her to do all that prices. The platform lists to monitor and control electrical
to cater to the rising energy she does, her reply is an in- niche products specifically devices through their smart-
and desire towards successful dication of her farsighted ap- targeting millennials. phones, and also strategizes
entrepreneurship, for which proach to securing the UAEs methods for more efficient
we are developing the Emir- future. We must always 2. CAMEL GOAT INTERAC- energy consumption.
ates existing infrastructure, bear in mind that nothing is TIVE is an indie video game
Al Qasimi says. We feel it is more important to a nation company for gamers who 7. YADOH FATIMA is an
our responsibility to promote than its continuity, its next want to experience creative, F&B startup that brings the
a mindset of challenging the generation, Al Qasimi says. meaningful and story-driven traditional Emirati breakfast
difficult and the impossible, Without the proper invest- adventure games. experience back with efficiency
by planning a sustainable ment in its youth, economic and affordability to employees
future for civil communities. and social evolution comes 3. HAMZA uses the latest in government entities.
This transformation of the to a standstill. It is vital that findings in natural language
Emirate is also aided by the we provide our young people processing to facilitate the 8. THE MAWADA PROJECT
fact that it is, already, attract- with the means to thrive as creation of high-quality creates skill-building
ing a large number of people individuals and make the Arabic content. Hamza is a community engagement pro-
owing to the educational most effective contributions writing enhancement plat- grams for children, providing
institutions housed in it. to the society. We have the form that corrects spelling them with transformative ex-
Sharjah has long established resources to nurture a highly and grammar mistakes, and periences that shape them into
its credentials as a hub talented, highly educated pool provides style enhancement young leaders of the future.
for education and human of students and young entre- suggestions.
capital, Al Qasimi explains. preneurs, and my personal 9. YALLA PICKUP is an app
Welcoming a diverse mix of mission is to help these gifted 4. JUXTAPIECE, created that allows customers to con-
students who bring inspira- young people have the oppor- using unique technology, nect to pickup truck owners in
tion and innovation through tunities to realize their po- produces modern, hand- a secure, affordable way.
their thoughts, ideas, skills tential. Sharjah and the UAE crafted, customized art pieces
and creativity from various in general have made such a using a variety of wood types 10. KEZA is a seamless
parts of the world, Sheraa dynamic progress in a short and styles as the primary technology platform that
taps into this spirit at an time; we now play major roles material. aims to streamline the F&B
early age and hones their in many aspects of global af- industry from the dining
skills. It is a catalyst for fairs. I have every confidence 5. MOGZ is a collaborative experience to the management
increased interest in estab- that our future will be equally educational platform that of restaurants.
lishing and investing in small industrious, and we will have enables university students to www.sheraa.ae
and medium businesses, with our youth to thank.
the purpose of living a life
less ordinary, moving away
from their comfort zones to
explore the path of entre-
preneurship. The countrys
vision of embarking on a path
of innovation and developing
a knowledge-based economy
is also inherent in Sharjahs
ambitions and aspirations
regarding necessary infra-
structure for startup-friendly
environment. With institu-
tions like Sheraa, I believe the
Emirate is well positioned to
become a regional base for
images courtesy sheraa

Sheraa graduates, strategic partners and key players at Sheraas Showcase Day with H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi,
It must be noted here that Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and H.E. Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment
Al Qasimis support of en- and Development Authority.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 23

Dr. Azad
Moopen, Founder
Chairman and
Managing of services including market-
Director, Aster ing campaigns, experiential
DM Healthcare
events management, brand-
ing services, activations and
launches, visual merchan-
dising, and other projects.
Headquartered in Dubai,
with offices in Abu Dhabi,
India, and London, the Plan
b umbrella today covers eight
companies -Plan b Advertis-
ing (creative and printing),

Plan b Events (marketing,
public events, exhibitions
and in-house production),
SiO2 Events (a boutique
events agency), bSocial (the
groups PR and social media
wing), bMovies (digital me-

dia, application and technol-
ogy), bCreative (a boutique
creative agency), Next Door
(sports management) and
bDecor (interior design)- and
boasts of a team of more
than 350 experienced multi-
Plan b Founder and Chairman disciplinary professionals.
Given the bustling business,

Harmeek Singh social and cultural events

space in the UAE, and its
position of a Middle East
With eight companies currently under its umbrella, trade hub, while its true
that event management and
Plan b is using its in-house expertise to stand out in a competitive market
advertising enterprises have
By Sindhu Hariharan always been recipients of
robust growth, only a few

have managed to carve a
ts easy to see that one India, Singh arrived in Dubai beginning, and found himself niche for themselves- and
of the attributes that in 2003 with his first job wearing multiple hats for Plan b seems to be one such
got Plan b founder and here being at a media sales almost a year before he was company in this space. Our
Chairman Harmeek company. He moved on from able to hire a small team. main edge is the fact that we
Singh to his current the role after 10 months, but But those tough times have are in control of every aspect
position of business Singh found that his regular since paid off- Plan b has of even the most complex
success is his almost clients were willing to follow today cemented its place as 360 degree campaign, owing
relentless desire to him to whatever he set out one of the UAEs most well- to our in-house capabilities
make sure he and his enter- to do next. This gave me a known marketing and events through the eight group
prise always stand out- the small platform to build and companies, offering a variety companies, notes Singh. >>>
entrepreneur is all about grow a sustainable freelance
differentiating his brand and business, earning around
always staying ahead of the AED150,000 per month to
Our main edge is the fact that we are
game. Turning heads- thats AED200,000 per month in control of every aspect of even the
what its all about, Singh at the time, which gave me most complex 360 degree campaign,
explains. And thats how we again the capital to plunge owing to our in-house capabilities
managed to hyper grow Plan into entrepreneurship,
b in a short amount of time. he remembers. Officially through the eight group companies,
Hyper growth is a good way launching Plan b Advertis- notes Singh. This acts as a major
to refer to Plan bs evolu- ing in 2004, he admits that advantage in a very demanding service
tion over the years. After it was a Herculean task to
trying his hand at a slew of operate every aspect of his industry, and allows us to offer faster
businesses back home in business by himself at the turnaround times to our customers.

24 Entrepreneur march 2017

Harmeek Singh,
founder and Chairman,
Plan b Group

march 2017 Entrepreneur 25


One of Plan bs events

at The Kite Beach

This acts as a major advan- Strengthening of our individual sound metaphorical, it is

tage in a very demanding very hard to fall when you
service industry, and allows verticals, bringing in a strategy of have your feet firm on the
us to offer faster turnaround consistent improvement and devel- ground, says Singh. As you
times to our customers. may excel, move, and elevate
Also, due to the nature of opment across our offerings, and into bigger and better things
our industry, which is very expansion of our footprint are our just make sure you keep
talent-driven, we make sure yourself grounded and close
to keep on investing in top three main long-term objectives. to what you are about. As
talent and embrace diversity. for Plan b itself, Singh has
We have a very diverse work- and technology, and gives sourcing capital invites loss already laid out a roadmap
force, which creates a very our customers the benefit of control, and hence chose for the enterprise that he
stimulating environment, of cost-effectiveness, as we to pace my growth based hopes to realize in the years
setting the tone of our com- have minimal layers of mark- on my capacity at all times, to come. Strengthening
pany culture. ups with everything falling rather than raising funds, of our individual verticals,
This strategy of having supposedly in-house. As for Singh notes. He adds that bringing in a strategy of
in-house expertise along a the road ahead for the indus- despite this decision, the consistent improvement
number of different verticals try at large, Singh believes group today is an entity that and development across our
also makes sound business experiential campaigns are in fact funds and acquires offerings, and expansion of
sense, Singh reveals. Plan b the way forward, and from successful businesses and our footprint are our three
operates a group of compa- his enterprises perspective, IPs [Intellectual Property]. main long-term objectives,
nies, so our diversification Plan b has addressed this Coming from a person who he says. Based upon the
is balanced upon individual early on by investing in its started right at the bottom, pace of our growth, we have
business units that are re- own development and tech- and bootstrapped his way to received a lot of interest from
sponsible for their own bot- nology wing. the top in this way, aspiring entities abroad in a franchise
tom lines. The benefit of Its important to note entrepreneurs should take model, which is something
having the expertise across here that Plan b has been to heart the dictum that under consideration at the
the group gives us in-house an entirely self-funded enter- Singh considers as key to his moment.
capability for a lot of product prise so far, with Singh not turnaround story: Strong Today, with a large part of
development and R&D, which having used any external foundations and staying an entrepreneurs time being
keeps us up to speed with capital to build the busi- grounded, both are the key spent on attempting to influ-
the rapidly moving trends ness. I personally feel that to everything. While it may ence and communicate en-

26 Entrepreneur march 2017

terprise vision to stakeholders (be it Keeping your employees TREP TALK
investors or customers or employees), happy takes more than just Harmeek Singh, founder and
one cant escape learning how to sell. Chairman, Plan b
As a person who started his career in
a paycheck; you need to cre-
sales, its no wonder then that Singh ate a positive culture to What would you count among the
has a head start in this aspect, and I inspire your staff. We try regions biggest challenges for
ask him about how significant is the to provide each individual entrepreneurs?
ability to sell vis--vis the product/ with the drive they need Well real entrepreneurs dont let
idea focus, when it comes to a startup. to perform, by empowering any challenges stop thembut if I had
Surprisingly, despite his own profes- to choose it would be competition
sional background, Singh believes
them, welcoming change, UAE is a very dynamic and competi-
that while sales are the lifeline of any fresh ideas, and by celebrat- tive market especially in the lead-up to
business, the absence of a product ing personal milestones EXPO 2020, exceedingly it would be
desire and service excellence can together as a family. considered one of the main challenging
cost the business a lot. Successful factors and should be recognized.
businesses subscribe to the 80:20 in his attitude towards his employees
rule where you make 80% of your as well- here is an entrepreneur who What are your views on the cur-
sales through 20% of your custom- believes the right work culture plays rent tough business conditions for
ers. And that is only possible once an integral role in an enterprises SMEs in the region? What would
you become your customers need success. This is clearly evident from be your advice to them to get
as opposed to want, and that in Singhs response to my question about through the conditions?
turn comes with exceptional product his personal leadership strategy for Macroeconomic conditions are
grade and unmatched service quality. his organization. I have nurtured a something
Singh also walks the talk, and Plan b family, rather than employees, at Plan everyone
has in fact had a pulse on customers b, Singh says. Keeping your employ- has to sail
fingers, and plotted its growth strate- ees happy takes more than just a pay- through, and
gies accordingly. [In the creative check; you need to create a positive since 2008,
business], you need to be able to culture to inspire your staff. We try to tidal changes
make your customers understand the provide each individual with the drive have become
type of value you can add, and cater they need to perform, by empower- a mainstay of
the needs your competitors wont. ing them, welcoming change, fresh general mar-
We invest a lot of time in getting to ideas, and by celebrating personal kets across
know and understand our customers milestones together as a family. Our the world.
to develop a long-term relationship, event veterans still look forward to My advice to
and build their trust by acting on our come to work every day, and motivate SMEs and
commitments and over deliver on new staff to perform at their best. Our upcoming
expectations. company culture is a reflection of our businesses
The importance Singh places on brand values- and [it] transfers in our would be to hold on to their market
caring for his customers is reflected clients organizations. sharewhile we may not be in control
of the economy on the macro level,
we should be in control of our own
product and service. Downturns can
serve as an opportunity if you look
at the right places. Just ensure that
youre safeguarding and maintaining
your service levels and delivery expec-
tations, and ride the wave in a steady
manner. Soon enough you will see
yourself riding high out of the low.

What are your top tips for an

entrepreneur to start and grow a
business here in the MENA region?
Remain patient, nothing comes easy,
and it takes hard work and determina-
tion to achieve a sustainable business
organization. Shrug off disappoint-
Images courtesy plan b

ment, believe in your brand and make

Emaars first luxury sure youre making a difference to
sales experiential somethingeveryday.
lounge in Harrods,
Dr. Azad
Moopen, Founder
Chairman and
Director, Aster
DM Healthcare

Cadillac Middle East
Regional Sales and Marketing Manager
Nadim Ghrayeb
Cadillac is undergoing a transformation in terms of its image and messaging-
and Ghrayeb wants to show that the brand is living and breathing what it stands for
By Aby Sam Thomas

For a luxury brand as has been happening here in that everything at Cadillac is
recognizable and storied as the Middle East as well- and shaped around. It is not only
Cadillac, one would perhaps Ghrayeb has been tasked our brand that holds these
assume that its Regional with marketing the brand values true we have also
Sales and Marketing Manager across the region. Cadillac revamped who our brand and
for the Middle East, Nadim has undergone a big change vehicles are aimed at.
Ghrayeb, would have a rela- in its brand image and the For a luxury brand that has
tively easy job on his hands. way it communicates to the more than 100 years of histo-
But that does not seem to public, he says. When you ry behind it (and a presence
be the scenario at all: over look at any kind of mate- in the Middle East for more
the last two years, Cadillac rial from the brand, from a than 80 years), Cadillacs
has been going through a billboard to TV, you can see shift in tone and messaging
self-imposed transforma- Cadillac reflects our way of is characteristic of its efforts
tion in terms of how it is thinking: its sophisticated, to stand out and attract
perceived in the market, and bold, and optimistic in tone, customers in what is an ex-
yes, this shift in direction and these are our core values tremely competitive market
out there. Todays Cadillac fields that share a common
drivers are also bold, so- passion and a driven pursuit
phisticated and optimistic, to realize their dreams, and
explains Ghrayeb. Looking live their aspirations. And
at the new luxury segment, this thus explains the Dare
our customers are looking Greatly theme that governs
for a global symbol of style, Cadillac as a brand today-
which represents the inde- but the genius of the motto
pendently minded. We call is in that it is also reflective
them entrepreneurials. They of all of the innovations the
are not always entrepreneurs automotive company has
in the literal definition of the showcased since its estab-
word, but they are successful lishment way back in 1902.
Cadillac ATS-V sedan
people in their respective Our history was built on

28 Entrepreneur march 2017

our customers are looking
for a global symbol of
style, which represents
the independently
minded. We call them
entrepreneurials. They are
not always entrepreneurs
in the literal definition
of the word, but they are
successful people in their
respective fields that
share a common passion and
a driven pursuit to realize
their dreams, and live their
Nadim Ghrayeb, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager,
Cadillac Middle East

daring, the Cadillac website to maintain, he explains. a rich market of self-starters XT5, which brings innovative
proudly declares. Our future Now with our new brand who look for a brand like engineering, craftsmanship
is too. direction and fantastic model ours to align with. As for and driving experience to the
Images shot at Khazzan X Cadillac, Dubai, UAE | www.khazzan.ae

With respect to the Middle line-up that is growing and its portfolio here, Ghrayeb crossover segment, he says.
East specifically, Ghrayeb diversifying, we are continu- reveals that every model We will also look to create
says that Cadillac enjoys ing to elevate it. What helps in the Cadillac line-up is excitement around our per-
great brand recall here, and us in the Middle East is that available in the region, thus formance V-Series vehicles, a
that factor has given it quite the majority of the popula- giving customers here the lineup that combines all the
some momentum in the tion is young. They are often luxury of choice. However, hallmark designs of a Cadil-
market. Cadillac has been ambitious, they share our our main focus is on the re- lac with exceptional perfor-
in the region for a very long brand values and are always cently launched CT6, which mance. The range includes
time, with a positive brand daring to look to the future redefines the luxury sedan the CTS-V sedan, with a
perception, that models like and grow. Also with SMEs segment with advanced tech- supercharged V-8 engine
the Escalade has enabled us on an upward trend, there is nology and design, and the producing 640HP giving it >>>

march 2017 Entrepreneur 29

Mastering marketing
Nadim Ghrayeb offers
entrepreneurs five tips
for branding

1. Be daring This might be

a clich, but it is true. Always
look to do things differently.
In a world that is becoming
more homogenized, people
are looking for new and dif-
ferent experiences, and this
applies, regardless of whether
they are going to a restaurant
or buying a new car.
Nadim Ghrayeb, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager, Cadillac Middle East
2. Listen to your customer
This might sound obvious;
a sprint time of 3.7 seconds the very best experience now, we sell them a lifestyle, however, many companies are
from 0-100km/h. Also in is what we judge ourselves taking them on a journey inward looking and change
Cadillacs performance line on. In the luxury market, of various experiences that and update their products
up is the ATS-V sedan and customers in the region are they identify with, mak- only based on what they
coupe powered by a 3.6LTT passionate about the prod- ing them proud to drive a think. It is critical now to
engine producing 460HP ucts they purchase. Theyre Cadillac, as it mirrors their listen to the customer, take
with an acceleration of 3.8 knowledgeable about the life and ambitions. Its a their feedback, and integrate
seconds from 0-100km/h. automotive industry and tough premise, no doubt, but it into next gen products.
But with the Middle East vehicles. Similar to their Ghrayeb is confident that
being a crowded space in global counterparts, this has the brand can indeed make 3. If its not broken, dont
terms of the automotive changed the luxury car mar- it work- after all, daring fix it If you have a product
market, how does the num- ket as car buyers in this re- greatly is what Cadillac is all that is working, dont change
ber of players in the field gion have high expectations about. it or look to branch out a 100
affect Cadillacs ambitions of brands. What different ways for the sake of
for the region? The market they appreciate, Cadillac CTS-V sedan it. By all means, be forward
is very competitive, and I in addition to a thinking, but the brand and
believe this creates healthy high value and products have to evolve with
competition and drives us to quality vehicle, the customer.
continue working harder to is a unique and
achieve our goals, Ghrayeb share-worthy 4. More is less We often
replies. However, other experience. see a number of brands
brands are not our focus; our When we sell a advertising looking cluttered
customers and giving them customer a car with many messages trying
to be communicated in one
image. Simplicity is key: have
as few messages as possible,
Community and collaboration and communicate them pow-
Nadim Ghrayeb explains the Khazzan X Cadillac community space in Dubai, UAE erfully to make it easier for
the customer to understand
Dare Greatly is what we live while working on not traditionally the kind of thing an automaker your brand.
the Cadillac brand, as a testament to our past would do, but we see it as an innovative way
and our vision of the future. As a company that to address a need we saw and to be a part of 5. Having a good product
has always looked to push the boundaries of Dubai. is not enough As men-
what is possible, we are looking to continue this The partnership with Khazzan gives us a space tioned earlier, just having a
thinking to drive us to further success. in the region to allow people to be creative, co- good product is not the only
We have built a platform with Dare Greatly create and be inspired. We look to strengthen factor in customers buying
that celebrates and is led by individual passion this message with collaborations with local decision. Companies have to
and creativity. For instance, we partnered with artists like Hussain Daghriri: a young Saudi give customers a full experi-
Khazzan to create Khazzan X Cadillac, a multi- photographer who travelled across the Southern ence in and outside of their
purpose community space based in the center Region of Saudi Arabia and documented the store, continually talking and
of Dubai, with an on-site caf that hosts eve- varied culture of that region. His journey was listening to the customer
rything from art installations to yoga classes, then exhibited at Khazzan X Cadillac to give and engaging with them in
from markets to meetings, from guest speakers others the opportunity to learn and be inspired an authentic way even when
to craft classes. Creating a community space is of the great work we have done with Hussain. they leave the store.

30 Entrepreneur march 2017


notch technology, in-office As much as we hate to admit

game rooms, or infinite snack that personal matters are com-
supplies, the options to pull in pletely sealed away while at
the crme de la crme of job work (and vice versa), the re-
candidates and make sure they ality suggests otherwise. This

The pursuit
are kept happy and productive is the first myth to recognize
are now more diverse than regarding employee happiness.
ever. The line between personal and
The reality is: there is an professional happiness is actu-
increasingly heavy demand on ally blurry.

of happiness
the employers end to cater to Bayt.com, the leading job site
employees well-being, health, in the Middle East, surveyed
and contentment at work. And professionals from various
while many forward-thinking industries, career levels, and
startups would jump at the locations to understand their
next opportunity with their views on happiness and what
Busting the myths associated with having teeth, to make sure their work- influences it. As predicted,
happy employees at your enterprise place is as happy as it could there are many factors that
get, it is a good idea to step impact employee happi-
By Suhail Al-Masri
back: see what truly makes a ness that overarch personal,

difference for the employee geographical, socio-cultural,
n average, employ- The concept of employee hap- and what is practically within and professional dimensions.
ees spend two- piness is one of true value to the control of the company. The Bayt.com Happiness in the
thirds of their day the corporate world. Not only Middle East Survey, January
at work. Being in are well-established business- Many companies are beginning 2017, revealed that more than
the office, among es progressing to maximize to offer gym subscriptions half (56%) of respondents are
their colleagues and managers, their employees satisfaction, or discounts, nutrition happy with their lives, at least
is a major part of their life at startups and entrepreneurs are counseling, healthy office to some extent.
large. How happy they feel at also beginning to view happi- meals, and generally more The survey findings are very
work is, therefore, significant ness as a talent sourcing and attention and care towards positive in certain elements,
at the personal and profes- retention trick. And whether the physical and mental such as the 83% satisfaction
sional scale. they use flexible hours, top- health of their talent. rate with family relationships.
Top 5 Important Factors That Impact Happiness
Q. Which of the following do you consider the top 5 most important factors that impact your general happiness levels in your country of
top 5 important factors that impact happiness
residence? (Please select up to 5)
GCC Levant North Africa
KSA UAE Kuwait Qatar Bahrain Oman Lebanon Jordan Egypt Morocco Algeria Tunisia
51 54 51 46 54 34 41 49 54 46 59 50 55
General safety and
48 47 58 56 51 42 41 55 54 40 52 56 48
Leading a stable
48 51 44 50 46 42 44 61 54 49 44 48 44
financial life
Ability to maintain
healthy personal 38 38 36 34 27 42 45 41 33 37 37 43 48
Low cost of living 37 37 33 30 28 30 34 32 41 39 39 38 36
Attitude and
behavior of people in 32 33 31 34 38 45 40 30 29 34 26 26 29
Clean environment 30 28 41 33 32 21 39 32 29 31 25 30 26
Access to healthcare
26 26 25 26 35 28 27 27 20 28 26 22 22
Availability of utilities 24 23 26 29 21 36 20 24 21 25 18 25 25
Stability of political
23 24 21 21 18 23 31 23 26 21 21 25 21
tables and infographics bayt.com

Access to Educational
18 15 12 18 17 17 20 19 15 19 20 23 19
Institutions 9
Opportunities to
17 15 22 23 22 25 20 28 13 17 19 14 15
Availability of
entertainment 17 20 22 16 20 21 18 12 23 13 11 15 22
Comfortable weather 14 12 12 10 15 13 17 19 15 15 18 14 15
12 13 11 10 15 17 11 5 13 11 14 11 16
32 Entrepreneur march 2017
Availability of public
11 10 18 9 10 9 13 10 10 11 11 12 10
transport facilities
feel overwhelmed at
work at least some of
the time.

But there are also a few con- attention and care towards the There Are Many Factors That
cerning areas. So, this is the physical and mental health of
time to debunk some of the their talent. Contribute to Workplace Stress
myths surrounding employee
happiness and hone in on the MYTH Stress is not work- 28.2% Low salaries
12.3% Lack of job security
factors that truly make a dif- related 9.7% Workplace environment
ference. In addition to the day-to-day 9.1% Lack of work-life balance
life, many individuals experi- 6.2% Relationship with your manager
nearly half of surveyed ence stress from the pressures 5.6% Unchallenging work
employees referred to and undesirable circumstances 5% Relationship with coworkers
work related issues as the related to work. Stress in the 4.7% Deadlines
main stress contributor in workplace, if not contained 4.7% Company policies
their lives. These issues, and coped with, can signifi- 3.9% Nature of work itself
which include work-life 3.2% Work load
cantly impact employees job
balance, job security, 7.4% Other
satisfaction and performance.
deadlines, and workload, A Bayt.com poll, Stress in the
are all within the reach and MENA Workplace, Septem- I tend to have frequent arguments with
control of companies. ber 2016, showed that 52%
of professionals believe that
my managers, coworkers or customers
MYTH Health and well- workplaces are more stressful
being are personal issues these days than they were a 31.5% 26.6%
Although health is a topic that few years back. Disagree
would normally fall under the Indeed, professionals across Agree
personal life category, it is the Middle East and North
unwise for businesses and Africa (MENA) can experience
organizations to completely stress to varying degrees, and
ignore it. Take, for example, due to numerous causes. For 7.1%
physical health and fitness. instance, 70% of respondents Strongly agree 19.5%
Research, such as the Bayt.com to the Bayt.com Happiness in Strongly
Happiness in the Middle East the Middle East Survey cited 15.3% disagree
Survey, have repeatedly the increasing cost of living Neutral
shown the correlation between as the main stress contributor.
healthiness and happiness. But This particular factor may be
even in terms of performance beyond the direct influence of
and productivity, employees employers (although salaries 74.8%
of professionals believe that
who are physically healthy come into play as discussed in
are less likely to demonstrate the next point). jobs at their companies are
inconsistent performance or more demanding than
have health-related productiv- Employers are encouraged others.
ity issues. Mental health too to engage in candid and
can be of significant impact on frequent conversations with
their employees. the goal
employee productivity, satis-
is to gauge the employees
faction, and overall happiness
at the workplace.
stress level and guide them 69.1%
towards a happier and more of professionals agree that
As an employer, you might balanced state.
still be wondering what your 2016 there is more pressure at
2015 work this year in comparison
role is in this matter. Accord- That being said, nearly half of
ing to the Bayt.com Health surveyed employees referred to last year.
and Lifestyle in the Middle to work related issues as
East poll, March 2016, 96% the main stress contributor
of polled respondents believe in their lives. These issues,
it is the employers responsi- which include work-life bal- Manyare
Employers areencouraged
concerned to that MYTH
they may lose their
Salaries dont
bility to promote employees ance, job security, deadlines, jobs soon
engage in candid and frequent influence happiness
health and wellness. This can and workload, are all within conversations with their Money cannot buy happiness
go beyond the basic health the reach and control of com- 36.5%
employees. Whether through but money is, without doubt,
insurance. Many companies panies. Stress is an issue that surveys,
Very meetings, or casual a powerful26.4%
tool. Not only is
are beginning to offer gym sub- businesses, especially those chats, the goal is to gauge the it needed Somewhat
for sustenance and
scriptions or discounts, nutri- who are in the startup phase, employees stress level and physical well-being,
concerned but it is
tion counseling, healthy office must be aware of and compe- guide them towards a happier also frequently a requirement
meals, and generally more tent to handle. and more balanced state. for quality education, >>>

17.7% Not at all
Not very concerned
march 2017 Entrepreneur 33


healthcare, investments, en- and pay structures against the MYTH Career growth is equipped with all the training
tertainment, and many other regions cost of living. There less of a priority and development resources.
essential life aspects. So, we are highly effective tools to Out of all professional life A main takeaway here is:
can say that happiness is not do that, such as the Bayt.com elements that impact happi- providing opportunities of ca-
the immediate outcome of Salary Search. Using this, ness, the availability of career reer advancement might be of
money, but it is realistically so employers can ensure that advancement opportuni- higher value to certain employ-
in the long-term. they are not undercompensat- ties seemed to be the most ees. Some may be happier with
Although millennials, who ing or overcompensating their neglected item. The Bayt.com a new position, a promotion,
will soon make up the major- employees at all times. Happiness in the Middle East or even a training opportunity,
ity of the workforce, are now 38% of those surveyed in Survey reported that only over a lavish private office for
giving high value to non- the Bayt.com Middle East and three in 10 surveyed employees example. Companies simply
monetary job attributes, such North Africa Salary Sur- are satisfied with the career need to listen.
as opportunities for career vey, May 2016, claimed they advancement opportunities at Employee happiness is a very
growth and learning on-the- had never received a salary their current jobs. important topic. There are
job, the Bayt.com Millennials adjustment, despite the ever- If employees feel stuck in numerous factors that could
in the Middle East and North increasing costs of living. It is their current position and that influence it and, in return, it
Africa Survey, February 2014, not surprising, therefore, that there is no room for them to can have a significant impact
showed that seeking a higher salaries can easily become a grow or advance in their pro- on productivity and perfor-
salary is still a significant major source of unhappiness fessions, it is very unlikely that mance. Companies are right to
incentive to join a specific at work. they will be happy at work. adopt progressive policies and
company or field of work. Talented employees in most invest in their employees sat-
What employees often strug- providing opportunities of cases have a clear career map, isfaction. But to successfully
career advancement might
gle with in our region is the with milestones to tick off, achieve employee happiness,
be of higher value to certain
mismatch between salaries employees. Some may be
and end-goals to pursue. They employers need to define their
and cost-of-living. Compa- happier with a new position, want to have an employer who corporate culture, assess their
nies who are invested in their over a lavish private office listens, supports, and empow- employees needs and goals,
Professional Life Elements That Impact Happiness
employees happiness should
truly assess their salary levels
for example. Companies simply
need to listen.
ers. They want to feel secure
about their career future and
and begin implementing their
strategies accordingly.
Q. Given below are some elements that people claim are important to their PROFESSIONAL LIFE and have a direct impact on their happiness
and wellbeing. On a scale of 1 5 where 1 is Extremely Dissatisfied and 5 is Extremely Satisfied, please specify your level of satisfaction on
each of these elements.
Professional life elements that impact happiness

Top 2 GCC Levant North Africa

satisfaction Total
box KSA UAE Kuwait Qatar Bahrain Oman Lebanon Jordan Egypt Morocco Algeria Tunisia
Support from
colleagues/ co- 51 55 58 54 59 61 58 47 46 46 47 56 39

Working hours 50 56 59 45 53 57 47 51 50 48 37 53 45

Work-life balance 49 55 49 46 55 45 51 42 44 42 49 55 49

Recognition at
46 45 49 39 51 43 40 46 43 44 46 49 54
Freedom to take
46 47 48 42 49 47 43 49 39 45 42 48 51
decisions at work
Support received
from direct/ line 42 43 46 49 51 41 40 40 40 41 41 42 38
Amount of
pressure/ stress 39 40 45 41 47 45 38 32 41 35 31 40 41
faced at work
33 38 40 35 39 37 30 25 33 31 24 32 24
Availability of
30 30 36 32 43 37 30 30 29 27 26 34 25
infographics bayt.com

Suhail Al-Masri is the VP of Employer Solutions at Bayt.com. Al-Masri has more than 20 years of experience in sales leadership,
consultative sales, account management, marketing management, and operations management. His mission at Bayt.com goes in line with
All figures are %s theBase:
Total mission
Working/ to empower peopleProfessionals
Unemployed with the tools(3,317)
and knowledge to build their lifestyles of choice.

34 Entrepreneur march 2017


Think youre
getting the most
from influencers?

Why influencer marketing in the MENA region
has to grow up in 2017
By Ema Linaker

36 Entrepreneur march 2017

which can range from an all expenses paid trip to being among the first consumers to use a new product.
> Cost per engagement (CPE) - influencers are compensated based on the number of engagements their
content draws (likes, shares, retweets).
> Cost per click (CPC) - brands pay for consumers who have taken an action after being inspired by
influencer content (typically clicking through to visit a brands landing page).
> Cost per acquisition (CPA) - influencers are compensated based on the number of sales or subscription
sign-ups they drive.

s Ive noted in a Which influencer marketing pricing model have you found to be the most eective?
number of other
articles over the Pay per post/video 17%
past year, influ-
ence is becom- Free product or experiences 16%
ing a major contributor to
CPE (Cost per Engagement) 25%
driving sales- which means
that an effective influ- CPC (Cost per Click) 25%
encer marketing strategy
CPA (Cost per Acquisition) 7%
is essential for any busi-
ness looking to maximize Other 10%
organic sales. And when I
say strategy, I dont mean 0% 25% 50% 75% 100%

go out and hire an influ- Which influencer marketing models have you tried? (Select all that apply)
encer for a single campaign.
According to The State of todays hypercompetitive
Pay per post/video money into an increasingly57% positive ROI. A considered,
Influencer Marketing Report, marketing environment. important weapon in the strategic, long-term approach
marketing 38%
Free product or experiences
published in November Unfortunately, what Im armory. My big- to influencer relationships
2016, only 17% of market- seeingCPEhappen in the Mid-
(Cost per Engagement) gest concern, quite
43% frankly, is is an essential complement
ers think that pay-per-post dle East is the distortion that the situation is getting to any customer-focused
CPC (Cost per Click) 40%
or flat rate pricing, sadly of influencer relationship so bad that we could see a strategy. >>>
chart The State of Influencer Marketing Report

the most widespread form of marketing

CPA (Costbypermedia
Acquisition)agencies15% backlash, with brands get-
influencer compensation, is and a select few celebrity Other 6%
ting turned off by unfulfilled the most credible form
effective. Instead, to be ef- influencers that view influ- promises based on a false of advertising comes
fective, influencer marketing ence as a purely transaction- 0% premise
25% of overnight 50%
success, straight
75% from the 100%
must be an integral part of al relationship. This tells me and as a result, cutting back people we know and
branding; it needs a consist- that5the region
2016 really
Linqia, Inc. has
All rights not
reserved. on influencer marketing. trust. 83% of online
ent voice thats applied over yet bought into the power of This would be a huge shame respondents in 60
a sustained period of time influencer marketing, hence because, when done prop- countries say they trust
to develop the relationship the lack of investment in erly, influencer relationship the recommendation of
of trust thats essential in terms of time, resources, and marketing delivers a strong, friends and family.

According to an article in The greater value juxtaposed to

Cashing in on the opportunity New Yorker, the Middle East is more mainstream media. In
Challenges exist, but there is a business case to be LOreals fastest-growing new short, they are more authentic
made for influencers in the Middle East market. When my company to their audiences and, as a
indaHash launched its first result, more entertaining and
By Barbara Soltysinska
campaign in the region for relatable. For example, brands
Dubai Tourism, it took just 48 in the region love vlogger Max

T he huge growth in the use

of social media in the Mid-
dle East presents marketers
Snapchat usage has leapt from
3% to 12% in just a year, and
YouTube watch times are up
hours for it to be booked out
and performing. In fact, just
last year, Dubai held its first
of Arabia, as he encapsulates
the crossover between the
expat and Emirati cultures and
with great opportunity to capi- 80% year on year- in fact, the ever Social Media Influencers maintains his authenticity.
talize on influencer marketing. MENA region has the highest Summit, highlighting the grow- There is also a close-knit and
A report from We Are Social online video viewership after ing importance of the medium fast growing community of
in 2016 highlighted how active the United States. in the region. mummy bloggers and food-
the region is with as much as In the wave of widespread Influencers in growing ies in the region. >>>
75% of the population of Qatar digital adoption comes the rise markets like the
using social media, 69% of of the social media influencer, Middle East can be
those in the UAE and 40% in with reports suggesting that disproportionately
Saudi Arabia. More generally, as many as 71% of consumers influential, due to the
internet usage has grown 17% would be interested in buying fact that within a more
year on year -more than 20 from a brand if endorsed by an conservative culture or
million new users and many of influencer. Beauty bloggers ap- society, they represent
these users are mobile- using pear particularly popular, with a more independent
their phones to access both 63% of consumers influenced voice and distinct
the internet and social media. in purchase decisions by them. personality which has

march 2017 Entrepreneur 37


person- so why is this clearly tive, and clients who think

significant insight utterly otherwise in this market are
ignored by so many brands burying their heads in the
here in the Middle East? sand. Poorly thought-out
Theres a very good, and campaigns dont even regis-
very human, reason for ter on the consumers radar,
this. While its tempting to and ad-blocking technology
think that your message has is pretty sophisticated and
a greater chance of getting effective these days.
through to your audience if
Playing by the rules means
you use as many channels as more and better business
possible, that channel usage for influencers, so its clearly
is reaching saturation point. in their best interests to do
And thats when people turn so. Thats especially important
as the cult of the super
away from traditional mar- influencer emerges.
keting channels altogether
and instead ask their friends To communicate to todays
to help them choose. Middle Eastern customer,
Why is influencer the most credible form of Targeting and, more impor- brands must recognize that
relationship marketing advertising comes straight tantly, communicating with all communication has to
so important? from the people we know consumers has never been come from a place of trust.
What people buy is hugely and trust. 83% of online more complex than it is to- Inherent skepticism can only
influenced by what other respondents in 60 countries day. We are living in a world be overcome through the
people around them are buy- say they trust the recom- of content shock -some- professional development
ing. There is much research mendation of friends and thing Ive written about a and nurturing of influencer
to show that peer-to-peer family. And Edelmans Trust number of times before- relationships. It can only be-
recommendation is the sin- Barometer for 2016 saw where multiple platforms, come effective and measur-
gle biggest driver of purchase 65% of respondents state sources and screens are con- ably deliver brand awareness
intent in this region. Accord- that they rate a person like stantly vying for attention. and business impact if brand
ing to The Nielsen Global yourself as a credible or Traditional advertising ap- managers invest in those
Trust in Advertising Report, extremely credible spokes- proaches are no longer effec- relationships.

>>> In a developing influencer MENA region also matures, it content created by influencers, international businesses to
market, brands dont neces- is likely that its market will fol- they are able to reuse it in their embrace influencer marketing.
sarily need to do much in this low the same trend. Parenting digital marketing and so vastly As in the early days of social
space to attract attention, bloggers are already seen to increase their ROI. Influencers, media usage, it is time to move
and so, it may be tempting to be directly influencing fellow in the main, are not profes- away from the spray and
blow the budget with top tier parents within local businesses sional marketers and require pray approach, and strategi-
influencers who have some- and brands, particularly within guidance, especially in a newer cally apply objectives to the
thing akin to celebrity status. fashion and beauty verticals. market, and so with indaHash, multitude of online person-
But marketers with an eye on Quality control is also impor- the influencers are guided on alities that exist. Choosing,
the long-term might be better tant, as there are still only a the appropriate hashtags, crea- and working carefully with
to think about a more strate- handful of decent influenc- tive and brand messaging to social media influencers, who
gic approach with mid-tier or ers in the region, so marketers ensure they adhere to the brief represent the values and vision
power users with followings need to ensure that there is a and to any regulatory require- of your brand, to deliver mes-
between 1,000 and 20,000. moderation layer that ensures ments. sages, create product aware-
In more developed markets quality without impeding ef- Brand marketers have had ness and even CSR will lead
like the US or Western Europe, ficiency. The 100,000+ global time to embrace their digital to a transparent, measurable
it is this tier that enjoys the influencers on our platform strategy. With a wane in print return on investment for GCC
highest engagement rates- are vetted for a good aesthetic advertising opportunities, and businesses looking to increase
between 5-12% with indaHash standard, as well as their reach a social engagement opportu- visibility online- translating of
campaigns versus an industry and engagement rates. As the nity that cannot be ignored, it course, to offline footfall and
average of just 0.5%. As the brands retain copyright for makes sense for regional and brand goodwill.

Barbara Soltysinska is the co-founder of indaHash, an international platform for native ad campaigns with influencers, and LifeTube, the biggest
YouTube multichannel network in Central Europe. Barbaras achievements include being declared the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year in the
New Business category for outstanding contribution to interactive marketing and advertising, and she also is the first woman to win the
Man of the Year title at the MIXX awards IAB, Poland, 2015, one of the most important awards in the interactive sector.

38 Entrepreneur march 2017

ment and exposure, as well ing that they are working
as a deep understanding of with ethical brands that
the influencers audience understand the paramount
and how that audience can importance of creating
be motivated. Investing in transparent, authentic, and
building a relationship with meaningful relationships.
an influencer thats not a The risk to the industry is
good match for your brand enormous if we dont get this
is simply throwing money right, particularly if adver-
away a strong foundation of tisers and brands feel that
research and data is key. the industry is behaving in
a less-than-ethical fashion.
2. Take contracts and It is essential that every-
compliance seriously one -brands, digital agen-
Exercising control over cies, public relations firms,
influencers is a controversial and influencer marketing
topic. We need as an indus- companies- toe the line.
try to agree on ways of work- Playing by the rules means
ing and ethical guidelines more and better business for
that protect our clients from influencers, so its clearly in
non-compliant influencers. their best interests to do so.
Conversely, influencers need Thats especially important
to protect their own position as the cult of the super influ-
and reputation by ensur- encer emerges. >>>

Its a two-way street

Its not just the brands- influencers need to
protect themselves too
By Kristin Wong-Ward

Whos going to defend in Hawaii named Ryan Higa.

the interests of the digital He came up with a slapstick
influencers? We often talk skit incorporating Dave, one
about the importance of of the Minions. Tweens were

legal contracts that protect obsessed with Higa, and his

brands when dealing with video got hundreds of thou-
influencers. The argument sands of views on its first
often made is that brands day- big numbers for 2010.
must demand full control, The film grossed US$450
and be contractually clear million globally. Having
So where should you start? and relevance and then plots that the influencer was run a major brands digital-
Here are four avenues to them against a specific role hired to promote a positive marketing division, I am
explore: within the communications image about the product. It well aware of what brands
mix. By developing this kind sounds good at first glance, are looking for -and worried
1. Invest time in of framework, it becomes a but as someone who has about- when they hitch their
identifying the right lot easier to not only create been working in the digital reputation to an individual
kind of influencer an approach that works for marketing arena for years, I whose job is to grab eyeballs.
When youre venturing into your business but also create would ask: whos protecting Now Im based in Dubai,
new territory, its helpful metrics that support the the influencers? and I run a company that
to start by building a investment in the strategy. Ive worked with digital represents influencers and
structure for your strategic These metrics are crucial. influencers since the birth of unites them with appropri-
development. At Edelman, It is our collective respon- this sector. While at the Hol- ate brands. What has struck
we use a methodology called sibility to really understand lywood production company me is that, especially in this
Fluency, which guides you the metrics for success and that made Despicable Me, region, influencers are often
through mapping influencers ROI with influencers. Deals we hired a wacky YouTuber poorly utilized. >>>
against reach, resonance, should be based on align-

march 2017 Entrepreneur 39


>>> Brands tend to forget cial actors or glossy print

that an influencer herself models who happen to have
is, well, a brand. She is run- followers- theyre individu-
ning a business, spending als with unique stories who
heaps of time and effort have a relationship with
crafting a content strategy their fans. Thats why
that attracts the thousands influencers are so power-
(or millions) of followers ful to begin with. Abuse
that make her so appeal- that relationship, and it will
ing to companies. I help the disappear.
3. The rise (and rise) of 4. Instagram and influencer grow that audi- Contracts are critical.
the super influencer Snapchat are ence and make it more loyal They force a meeting of the
We are already seeing essentially TV for and engaged. I do that by minds between brands and
networks like Telfaz11 and millennials today protecting influencers. influencers. Negotiating the
other super influencers Instagram and Snapchat Protecting them from contract allows both parties
starting to monetize their are now so ubiquitous what? Advertisers. The to discuss issues that may
brands in new and exciting among millennials in the money is tempting, but a arise down the line, to every-
ways. Names like Fahad Middle East that some single paid post that pro- ones benefit. But brands
Albutairi, Charles Elachi, influencer channels on these motes the wrong brand to need to do their homework.
Chaker Khazaal, Kim platforms are more powerful the wrong audience will cost Just because they hold the
Ghattas, Tima Shomali, than traditional radio an influencer thousands of money doesnt mean they
and Karl Sharro are fast and television channels. followers and unquantifiable can call all the shots- or even
becoming the PewDiePies of So watching where the engagement and goodwill. that they should want to.
the Arab world. influencers you identify as And even if the brand is a As for influencers, they too
a match for your branding good fit, strict corporate must do their homework. I
Investing in building a
relationship with an and marketing decide rules about messaging tell my clients: understand
influencer thats not a good to establish their brand leave influencers sounding the terms of engagement
match for your brand is communities will be telling contrived. The audience and how the brand is enti-
simply throwing money away.
for the future of the market notices, and no one wins. tled to use your work. Study
According to Kevin Kings in the Middle East. You need Some brands understand the fine print. Make sure
Global Digital Trends Re- to be where your customers this better than others. In their brand truly furthers
ports 2017, many influencers are, and if your customers less-developed markets, your brand.
will recognize money-making are already congregating many brands dont under- No deal is worth sacrificing
opportunities and establish on one or the other, thats stand that social media is your brand. Thats a lesson
brands of their own in the where the meaningful not a platform for traditional that applies to my clients
coming year. While some dialogue will take place. advertising. Influencers are as well as to the companies
influencers will use their Instagram is clearly not anonymous commer- that seek their influence.
personality to create their targeting Snapchats
own brand and publishing functionality and customer Kristin Wong-Ward is the founder of Rose & Pacific, an
ecosystem, others will pur- base, a strategy that influencer agency based in Dubai. R&P works with digital
sue ventures that might be appears to be working if influencers to help them build their businesses, expand
anything from clothing and the 2016 growth numbers their platforms, and increase revenue through partnerships.
makeup lines to technology are anything to go by. But Kristin also produces television and digital content. Before
moving to Dubai, Kristin was a feature film and television executive in Los
ventures and apps to social- Snapchat now has regional Angeles, California. She contributed to the story development, production,
and cause-based businesses. representation, so we and marketing departments of one of the most successful film companies
Some influencers might can expect to see further in Hollywood and built its digital division. She worked on films including
even use their community to development and different Despicable Me, Hop, The Lorax, and Despicable Me 2, which have earned
more than US$2 billion globally. Previously, Kristin worked at an A-list
crowdfund projects. types of influencers making talent management firm, packaging and producing film and TV projects for
With this increase in the most of that platforms all the major studios and production companies.
exposure and visibility, we Spectacles and different
anticipate agencies and storytelling formats like
publishers will look to ac- circular video. brand and its influencers. so by creating meaningful
quire influencers to act as This year, we expect to No matter which platform experiences for their
umbrella or inclusive media see more brands provide your influencers choose, audiences- experiences that
brands. Companies to watch their communities with the brands that find are interactive, tangible, and
in this area include Hearst, direct and unique ways success with influencer seamlessly engaging for your
Mic, Vox, and Complex. to interact with both the marketing in 2017 will do community.

Ema Linaker is the Director of Digital at Edelman, MEA. She is a digital native who has been working integrated communications for leading
brands and agencies for over 20 years. She has worked at Google, Nuance, Ogilvy & Mather, and prior to her current role at Edelman, she used to
head up Leo Burnetts team of social, mobile and digital experts, working on multinational brands like McDonalds, Samsung and P&G.

40 Entrepreneur march 2017

Leadership forums

April 30th - May 1st, 2017
Sofitel The Palm Dubai, UAE
+971 44 55 79 26

Find out what it takes to

lead in tough times

Discover the latest in:

Leadership and development Culture and engagement Data and analytics
Inclusive leadership Flexibility and innovation HR optimisation
Influencing without authority Change management The future of learning

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& more



This months tech line-up features products that are all about making your home lives easier and smarter-
and make you look better as well. Its okay to want them all and no, its not our fault.

GSP 350
The hub spot
LG launches personal robots

LGs eye-catching Hub contents inside of the refrig- sion on its display. It can also And because the Hub Robot
Robot takes the concept erator to recipes with step- respond to you using body is able to distinguish differ-
of the smart home to the by-step audio instructions. language, such as nodding ent family members faces
next level. By connecting to Additionally, the Hub Robot its head when answering with its camera, it can be
other smart appliances in offers conveniences such as simple questions, and is programmed with a differ-
the home, the Hub Robot the ability to play music, set always aware of activities ent greeting for each family
uses Amazon Alexas voice alarms, create reminders and inside the home, such as member. Hub Robot makes
recognition technology to provide weather and traffic when family members leave, home and family manage-
complete household tasks updates. Its not just for come home and go to bed. ment a breeze.
such as turning on the air tedious functions though,
conditioner or changing LGs Hub Robot can interact
a dryer cycle with simple with the entire family in a
verbal commands. The Hub variety of different ways. It
Hub Robot
Robot features an interactive can move and swivel in place,
display that can show you as well as express emotions
everything from images of by showing a facial expres-

42 Entrepreneur march 2017


Double down
LG introduces TWINWash Doing chores just got better by up to 30 minutes,
with the LG TWINWash and wait for it- can also
washing machine. A first of be managed using your
its kind, TWINWash allows smartphone. Thanks to its
you to do two loads of SmartThinQ application, you
laundry at the same time. It can remotely troubleshoot
has two completely separate problems, monitor and
washing compartments; the control the washer from
main one on top that is large anywhere, anytime.
enough to accommodate TWINWash works hard so
loads up to 19 kg, and a you dont have to and, well,
smaller one on the bottom it looks good doing it. The
that handles loads up to all-in-one machine is striking
3.5 kg. The powerful main in stainless silver with
washing machine handles chrome trim and black tint-
the bulk of laundry, while a surefire way to upgrade
the mini washer can be set your life and home decor.
to a different cycle
to handle smaller
loads. TWINWash
features innovative
suspension, six-
motion DD technology,
washing machine
TurboWash, which
reduces wash time

Blown away
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Dyson blows away the has intelligent heat control, technology, producing a high settings and a cold shot too.
competition with the helping to ensure hair pressure, high velocity jet The dryer is complete with
introduction of its new isnt exposed to excessive air stream. Supersonic gives two magnetic attachments,
Supersonic hair dryer. The temperatures. A glass bead more flexibility of control a smoothing nozzle and
Supersonic uses fast but thermistor measures the than ever before with four diffuser, to ensure healthy,
focused airflow to dry hair temperature 20 times a heat settings, three airflow good-looking hair.
quickly and carefully. Its second and transmits this
engineered to fit comfortably data to the microprocessor,
in your hand, run more which controls the heating
quietly and protect hair from element. The volume of the
extreme heat damage. The air drawn into the motor
Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is amplified by three due
is powered by its patented to Dysons Air Multiplier
V9 digital motor, which is
up to eight times faster and Dyson Supersonic
half the weight of other hair hair dryer
dryer motors. In addition,
the motor is small enough to
be positioned in the handle
rather than the head for a
more ergonomic design. The
Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

#TAMTALKSTECH Tamara Clarke, a former software development professional, is the tech and lifestyle enthusiast behind The Global
Gazette, one of the most active blogs in the Middle East. The Global Gazette has been welcomed and lauded by some of the most
influential tech brands in the region. Clarkes goal is to inform about technology and how it supports our lifestyles. See her work both in
print regional publications and online on her blog where she discusses everything from how a new gadget improves day-to-day life to
how to coordinate your smartphone accessories. Visit www.theglobalgazette.com and talk to her on Twitter @TamaraClarke.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 43


Trep trimmings
The executive selection
From better goods to better wardrobe bests, every issue, we choose a few items that make
the approved executive selection list. In this issue, we present the dos and donts to selecting and
wearing a suit, and a cool accessory to round out your look.

The single-button suit jacket,
in my opinion, is changing the
game. Once seen as the casual
mans go-to for those fancy
events, the one-button is now
gaining popularity at black tie
and formal events. I love the
one-button suit because it gives
you the deeper [lapel] to show
off a killer shirt and tie combo
or vest.

The double-button suit, will
probably be in every mans
powerful. Its the jacket for
Fuelled by fondness for measurements- in the For those unaccustomed every working day. It shows off
tailored clothing and tired comfort of your home or to wearing suits, the duo just enough tie and shirt.
of facing the common task workplace. (Theyll even recommends a grey or navy
of trying to find well-cut head to the gym -as the suit- subtle in style, but with THE TRIPLE-BUTTON
suits in Dubai, John Douglas startup had once done- all distinguishing details such It has come and gone out of
and Ryan Smith launched without a shop front.) as button holes a different the fashion world, but its a
Suit Up Dubai in December Everyones tastes are color, leaving the last sleeve great suit for the taller man,
2016. With backgrounds in different, says Douglas, on button undone to show your showing less [lapel] in the
operations and sales, plus a choosing a suitable suit. tailored suit as off-the- jacket.
keen eye for detail and high He likens choosing a fabric shelve dont have working
level of customer care, the to varying an individuals sleeve buttons. And if youre THE DOUBLE-BREASTED
duo tested free tailor-made personality. Its not a secret into tailored suits and brave The double-breasted jacket
images courtesy Suit Up Dubai, boxknocks

clothing services to family that when you feel confident in peculiar touches, the duo was predominantly worn by the
and friends. The startup in what youre wearing, suggest its time to take out more political, and conserva-
currently offers affordable, you have an increased the checker suits, or mix it tive man. It shows off sophis-
quality tailormade fitting level of confidence, he up with a different colored tication. For that reason, the
services in Dubai and Abu adds, explaining that the trousers, jackets or waist double-breasted jacket should
Dhabi -including choices wearer should go with what coats. be worn at ceremonies, gradua-
of fabric and bespoke makes him comfortable. www.suitupdubai.com tion events, and ball parties.

44 Entrepreneur march 2017

Execs, to make a lasting is created using an average
impression, the Suit Up Dubai based on neck size. Lets be
founders emphasize that honest, there arent many of
the most important factor us that have the average body
in wearing a perfect fitting that would allow off-the-shelf
suit is the fit type, even more to fit perfectly. A suit thats
important than style and not perfectly fitted makes even
color. Slim fit, body fit or the most beautiful colored
classic fit, its the fitting of a suits look bad, if youre a
suit that really does show the muscular guy then show off
difference between one suit your shape, if you dont have
to another. Off-the-shelf is the shape, we can help to
usually the easiest option for create more shape [to make
most of us with no time to get you] look slimmer or for the
to a tailor, but off-the-shelve gentleman the classic fit.


SHOULDERS The shoulder TROUSERS The waist should
seam should finish flush, with be the perfect measurement
the end of the shoulder. No allowing you to wear your
kink, over halls or wrinkles. The trousers with no need for a
seam on top of the shoulder belt, regardless of fit style
should be the same length as always watch out for the kinks
the bone under it. at the bottom around your
ankle when your trousers are
too long.
MID-SECTION Chest, waist and
hip should always show some KNOW YOUR KNOTS This
shape, regardless of yours, the can be a key factor in the way
breast should follow your body your suit will look. Its the
with no gaps or kinks when small details at times that
closed and when open, we make a big difference. If you
dont want too much space that dont know how to tie them,
your jacket flaps around when there are thousands of videos
walking. on YouTube on how to tie new
ARMS The arm length should
show some cuff without having Editors pick
to constantly pull your shirt FABRIC FIT FOR PURPOSE BOXKNOCKS
cuff down and the arm hole Always ask, What is your suit As an entrepreneur himself,
(literally the hole your arm made up of? Always ask your BOXknocks founder Tareq
fits through), should be high tailor or check the label in the Samara knows the significance Simon Baker
for Givenchy
enough to show a separation shop. Some fabrics hold heat of making an impact in Gentlemen
the Only
from your chest to your arm. more than others and in Dubai, boardroom. The UAE-based Absolute
with the summer coming up, startup offers a range of mens
that could be problem if you accessories, and this feather Lapel Pin,
have the wrong sort of fabric. lapel pin is a dandy touch your BOXknocks
Likewise, if you travel to other ensemble. With its distinctive
countries, a lightweight suit texture, its a nice piece to
may not be the best for the round out your look.
colder conditions. www.boxknocks.com

march 2017 Entrepreneur 45


Keeping up with the times

Want to understand millennials? Its simpler
than you think By Ross McCammon

If youve been a part of made in 1980, with less sta-

the workforce for more than ble avenues up. And recent
15 years, youve probably court decisions have said
heard some of the following that paying dues in the
complaints: form of working long hours
Millennials are disloyal! is illegal. And according to
Millennials wont work CNBCs recent All-America
long hours! Economic Survey, 18% of
Millennials feel entitled! millennials regard work-life
And theyre narcissistic! balance as most important in
And if you were stand- an employer, whereas 19% of
ing anywhere near me on a the general public feels the
subway platform during the same way.
morning commute, theres a The above facts suggest
chance I was the one saying that most negative assump- Older worker: Seriously? The millennial generation
those things. I have rolled tions about millennials are - IBM, 1964 is stunningly similar to every
my eyes at millennials who wrong. But unfair bias by other generation Ive led
have had five jobs before the older workers has happened Entry-level worker: Is it salt- and managed in the past 25
age of 28. I have wondered ever since people started P-E-T-E-R or P-E-T-R-E? years.
why anyone that young cares working in large offices Older worker: [Just stares] Though, of course, time has
about work-life balance. together. As Googles head - East India Company, 1674 changed one thing. David
(When I was 23, my idea of of human resources, Laszlo Reid, CEO and co-founder
We dont need to understand
a healthy work-life balance Bock, recently told The New of EaseCentral, an HR and
millennials. We need to
meant I didnt fall over while York Times: What weve understand that the youngest benefits platform, says the
walking to my desk due to seen is that every single generation is the least experi- only difference between the
lack of sleep and the 20 generation enters the work- enced but the most idealistic. new kids and the, um, older
or 30 cigarettes I smoked force and feels like theyre a Know why? Because theyre the ones is the primary medium
youngest generation, and thats
the night before.) And, yes, unique generation, and the what youngest generations do.
through which they get their
I have been dismayed by generation thats one or two information. For millenni-
millennials nonstop social ahead of them looks back Anyway. Heres how to als, its the mobile internet-
media action at work. and says, Who are these deal with millennials: which makes millennials, he
But Ive recently started weird, strange kids coming 1. Stop with millennials. says, much more socially
questioning this attitude into the workforce with their 2. There you go. diverse and overall more in-
(OK, my attitude). Perhaps attitudes of entitlement and In fact, disregard all gen- formed about social issues.
it was how impressed Ive not wanting to fit in? Its a erational differences, says We dont need to un-
been with the young workers cycle thats been repeated Christian Brucculeri, CEO derstand millennials. We
Ive shared an office with. every 10 to 15 years for the of Snaps, a mobile platform need to understand that the
Or, its being old enough now past 50 years. that creates branded con- youngest generation is the
to realize that narcissism More research uncovered tent. The same basic prin- least experienced but the
does not have an age limit. the following bits of histori- ciples apply to the millennial most idealistic. Know why?
So I took a look at the data, cal office dialogue: generation as to any other Because theyre the youngest
and the data had an attitude age group, he says. Some generation, and thats what
about me, too. It said Ive Entry-level worker: Yeah, Ill people are inspired, excited, youngest generations do.
See this article in its entirety on Entrepreneur.com

been a raging idiot. be right there. But lemme hardworking, humble and Can that be irritating? Of
Sure, millennials switch Instagram this starfruit. curious. Some are entitled, course.
jobs more than any other Older worker: Youre kid- unfocused and political. Not Is irritation a symptom of
generation, and more than ding, right? everyone is great! old age? Indeed.
half say theyre looking for - Whole Foods, 2016 Chris Paradysz, co-CEO Do I still think work-life
a new job- but their median and co-founder of PMX, a balance is a pipe dream for
income, adjusted for infla- Entry-level worker: Am I just digital marketing agency unserious people? I do.
tion, is about US$2,000 less gonna be, like, tabulating all with clients like Wrangler Is someone on my lawn? Ill
than the boomer generation day? and Steve Madden, agrees: go check.

46 Entrepreneur march 2017


experience. In reality, we are

merely reinforcing our cur-
rent habits- not improving
Claiming that improvement
requires attention and effort
sounds logical enough. But
what does deliberate practice
actually look like in the real
world? Lets talk about that

Examples of deliberate
One of my favorite examples
of deliberate practice is dis-
cussed in Talent is Overrated
by Geoff Colvin. In the book,
Colvin describes how Benja-
min Franklin used deliberate
practice to improve his writ-
of improving performance. ing skills.
The beginners guide to When Ben Hogan carefully When he was a teenager,
deliberate practice reconstructed each step of
his golf swing, he was engag-
Benjamin Franklin was criti-
cized by his father for his
By James Clear ing in deliberate practice. poor writing abilities. Unlike

He wasnt just taking cuts. most teenagers, young Ben
n some circles, Ben Hogan Hogan methodically broke He was finely tuning his took his fathers advice seri-
is credited with invent- the game of golf down into technique. ously and vowed to improve
ing practice. chunks and figured out how The greatest challenge his writing skills.
Hogan was one of the he could master each sec- of deliberate practice is to He began by finding a
greatest golfers of the tion. For example, he was remain focused. In the begin- publication written by some
20th century, an accom- one of the first golfers to as- ning, showing up and putting of the best authors of his
plishment he achieved sign specific yardages to each in your reps is the most day. Then, Franklin went
through tireless repetition. golf club. Then, he studied important thing. But after a through each article line
He simply loved to practice. each course carefully and while we begin to carelessly by line and wrote down the
Hogan said, I couldnt wait used trees and sand bunkers overlook small errors and meaning of every sentence.
to get up in the morning so as reference points to inform miss daily opportunities for Next, he rewrote each article
I could hit balls. Id be at him about the distance of improvement. in his own words and then
the practice tee at the crack each shot. This is because the natural compared his version to
of dawn, hit balls for a few Hogan finished his career tendency of the human brain the original. Each time,
hours, then take a break and with nine major champi- is to transform repeated I discovered some of my
get right back to it. onships- ranking fourth behaviors into automatic faults, and corrected them.
For Hogan, every practice all-time. During his prime, habits. For example, when Eventually, Franklin realized
session had a purpose. He re- other golfers simply attrib- you first learned to tie your his vocabulary held him back
portedly spent years break- uted his remarkable success shoes you had to think from better writing, and so
ing down each phase of the to Hogans secret. Today, carefully about each step he focused intensely on that
golf swing and testing new experts have a new term for of the process. Today, after area.
methods for each segment. his rigorous style of improve- many repetitions, your brain Deliberate practice always
The result was near perfec- ment: deliberate practice. can perform this sequence follows the same pattern:
tion. He developed one of the automatically. The more break the overall process
most finely tuned golf swings What is deliberate we repeat a task, the more down into parts, identify
in the history of the game. practice? mindless it becomes. your weaknesses, test new
His precision made him Deliberate practice refers to Mindless activity is the strategies for each section,
more like a surgeon than a a special type of practice that enemy of deliberate practice. and then integrate your
golfer. During the 1953 Mas- is purposeful and systematic. The danger of practicing the learning into the overall
ters, for example, Hogan hit While regular practice might same thing again and again process. Here are some more
the flagstick on back-to-back include mindless repetitions, is that progress becomes as- examples.
holes. A few days later, he deliberate practice requires sumed. Too often, we assume
broke the tournament scor- focused attention and is con- we are getting better simply 1. Cooking Jiro Ono, the
ing record. ducted with the specific goal because we are gaining subject of the documentary

48 Entrepreneur march 2017

Jiro Dreams of Sushi, is a 300,000 different chunks. equal would hardly be back system is coaching. One
chef and owner of an award- Interestingly, Carlsen accurate. Assuming this consistent finding across dis-
winning sushi restaurant in learned the game by playing is typical of their practice ciplines is that coaches are
Tokyo. Jiro has dedicated his computer chess, which routine and they are equally often essential for sustaining
life to perfecting the art of allowed him to play multiple skilled at the start, which deliberate practice. In many
making sushi and he expects games at once. Not only did would you predict would be cases, it is nearly impossible
the same of his apprentices. this strategy allow him to the better shooter after only to both perform a task and
Each apprentice must learn chunks much faster 100 hours of practice? measure your progress at
master one tiny part of the than someone playing in- the same time. Good coaches
sushi-making process at a person games, but also gave The unsung hero of can track your progress,
time- how to wring a towel, him a chance to make more deliberate practice find small ways to improve,
how to use a knife, how to mistakes and correct his Perhaps the greatest dif- and hold you accountable to
cut the fish, and so on. One weaknesses at an accelerated ference between deliberate delivering your best effort
apprentice trained under Jiro pace. practice and simple rep- each day.
for ten years before being etition is this: feedback.
allowed to cook the eggs. 4. Music Many great Anyone who has mastered The promise of
Each step of the process is musicians recommend the art of deliberate practice deliberate practice
taught with the utmost care. repeating the most -whether they are an athlete Humans have a remarkable
challenging sections of like Ben Hogan or a writer capacity to improve their
2. Martial arts Josh a song until you master like Ben Franklin- has devel- performance in nearly any
Waitzkin, author of The Art them. Virtuoso violinist oped methods for receiving area of life if they train in the
of Learning, is a martial Nathan Milstein says, continual feedback on their correct way. This is easier
artist who holds several US Practice as much as you performance. said than done.
national medals and a 2004 feel you can accomplish with There are many ways to re- Deliberate practice is not
world championship. In the concentration. Once when I ceive feedback. Lets discuss a comfortable activity. It
finals of one competition, became concerned because two. requires sustained effort and
he noticed a weakness: others around me practiced The first effective feedback concentration. The people
when an opponent illegally all day long, I asked [my system is measurement. who master the art of delib-
head-butted him in the nose, professor] how many hours The things we measure are erate practice are committed
Waitzkin flew into a rage. I should practice, and he the things we improve. This to being lifelong learners- al-
His emotion caused him said, It really doesnt matter holds true for the number of ways exploring and experi-
to lose control and forget how long. If you practice pages we read, the number of menting and refining.
his strategy. Afterward, with your fingers, no amount push-ups we do, the number Deliberate practice is not
he specifically sought out is enough. If you practice of sales calls we make, and a magic pill, but if you can
training partners who with your head, two hours is any other task that is impor- manage to maintain your
would fight dirty so he could plenty. tant to us. It is only through focus and commitment, then
practice remaining calm measurement that we have the promise of deliberate
and principled in the face 5. Basketball Consider any proof of whether we are practice is quite alluring:
of chaos. They were giving the following example from getting better or worse. to get the most out of what
me a valuable opportunity Aubrey Daniels, Player A The second effective feed- youve got.
to expand my threshold for shoots 200 practice shots,
turbulence, Waitzkin wrote. Player B shoots 50. The
Dirty players were my best Player B retrieves his own
teachers. shots, dribbles leisurely and
takes several breaks to talk
3. Chess Magnus Carlsen to friends. Player A has a
is a chess grandmaster colleague who retrieves the
and one of the highest- ball after each attempt. The
rated players in history. colleague keeps a record of
One distinguishing feature shots made. If the shot is
of great chess players is missed the colleague records
their ability to recognize whether the miss was short,
chunks, which are specific long, left or right and the
arrangements of pieces on shooter reviews the results
the board. Some experts after every 10 minutes of
estimate that grandmasters practice. To characterize
can identify around their hour of practice as

James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he uses behavior science to share ideas for mastering your habits, improving your health,
and increasing your creativity. To get useful ideas on improving your mental and physical performance, join his free newsletter JamesClear.com/newsletter.
To have James speak at your entrepreneurial event contact him jamesClear.com/contact

march 2017 Entrepreneur 49


4. Curiosity and an
appetite for knowledge
Curiosity can be a great
driving force for entrepre-
neurs. A constant appetite
for learning and knowledge
can put you on a path of
continuous self-development
and growth. Developing this
skill starts at childhood, by
encouraging children to pick
up new hobbies, pursue their
interest, and explore the
world around them.

5. Confidence and
It takes a lot of confidence to
start a business, and it takes
Growing into even greater confidence to
persuade potential clients
entrepreneurship and ultimately grow your
Eight skills every entrepreneur needs to develop for business business. Believing in your
abilities and your idea is
(and for life) By Helen Al Uzaizi essential during the entre-
preneurship journey, but this
The entrepreneurial sense of dread, yet it plays an activities that allow them to doesnt happen overnight.
spirit is not a gift bestowed important role in the entre- express themselves creative- This skill needs nurturing. It
on a small percentage of the preneurship journey. Failure ly. Nurturing ingenuity and can be done by encouraging
population. On the con- can become a self-fulfilling creativity is a fun investment children to believe in them-
trary, we at BizWorld UAE prophecy; if you fail once, get that can pay off greatly in the selves and their abilities. It
believe everyone is born stuck in that mindset, and future. will help them grow up to be
an entrepreneur- they just never try again, then you will individuals with conviction
need to develop certain never climb out of the pit. Children, by learning that and the ability to communi-
skills and behaviors at an Or you can choose to look at they can make a difference in cate their ideas and point of
their immediate community, will
early age to truly grow into failure as a valuable lesson, view to others.
develop an understanding to the
truly successful and effec- an experience where you challenges our society faces.
tive entrepreneurs. These learn, move on, and grow. By By participating in activities like 6. Compassion and
behaviors not only define a developing a resilient con- cleanups or food drives, theyll emotional intelligence
successful entrepreneur, but stitution, entrepreneurs will continue on this path of commu- Empathy is as crucial for
can also be applied to any be more likely to overcome nity engagement in the future. a progressive society as it
career path, develop leader- setbacks and have the deter- is for entrepreneurs work-
ship capabilities, and shape mination to get back up and 3. Dedication and ing with a team. This goes
individuals who are engaged keep moving forward. commitment to beyond relating to others
in their community. To make productivity emotions, but working with
the most of these skills, they 2. Ingenuity, creativity, Developing a sense of re- others to help accomplish
must be nurtured at a young and critical thinking sponsibility to accomplish their goals and aspirations.
age to realistically shape The difference between an tasks will help you in all Parents can set an example
future entrepreneurs. Here entrepreneur that is just stages of life, from finishing for their children by showing
are eight such traits that one getting by and one who is homework at school all the them what it means to listen
needs to develop for business thriving is a creative drive way through to a profession- to others, support those
(and for life): and an innovative approach al setting. By starting early around them, and why it is
to solving problems. Devel- and developing a sense of ac- so important to do so.
1. Learning from failure oping this skill can start at countability, you essentially
and getting back up early childhood; kids can de- create a habit and become 7. Positivity and optimism
Just saying the word fail- velop these skills by learning addicted to the feeling of ac- Entrepreneurs are often told
ure brings about a creeping to experiment and through complishment. that they need to surround

Helen Al Uzaizi is the CEO of BizWorld UAE and founder of the entrepreneurship education platform for the MENA region, Future Entrepreneurs.
With a 15+ year career in the corporate and startup worlds, Helen directed her passion to the entrepreneurship education field, working to instill
the entrepreneurial mindset in the next generation of leaders.

50 Entrepreneur march 2017

themselves with positive | THE FIX |
people, but equally impor-
tant, they need to be positive The race is on
to succeed. Having a nega- Ford invests US$1 billion in autonomous vehicle
tive outlook can drain ones
technology startup Argo AI
energy and alienate people,

hurting personal and profes-
sional prospects. Children iving into the industrys self-
arent born pessimistic, its a driving race, Ford Motors has
learned trait, and so is opti- invested US$1 billion for the
mism. Thats why optimism next five years in Argo AI, an
needs to be nurtured at an Artificial Intelligence startup
early age so they can be posi- focused on developing autonomous vehi-
tive about their abilities and cle technology. Fun fact? The AI startup
their future prospects. was founded by Bryan Salesky, a former
employee from Googles self-driving
The difference between an team, and Peter Rander, who previ-
entrepreneur that is just getting ously headed Ubers autonomous efforts updating its software, with Uber looking
by and one who is thriving is a up until September 2016. With Fords for cities to test its self-driving feature,
creative drive and an innovative
proficiency in the automotive sector and and Googles parent company Alphabet
approach to solving problems.
Developing this skill can start at Argo AIs robotics know-how, a team launching new division Waymo to primar-
early childhood. from the two entities would develop a ily focus on developing its autonomous
virtual driver system for Fords autono- vehicle tech. And if we look closer to
8. Engaging the mous vehicle thats set to be delivered in home, UAE is taking steps to being a
community 2021. The investment essentially means smart city, further closer to the vision
Entrepreneurs experience that Ford is gaining a majority stake in of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed
loneliness, sometimes ampli- the startup, though Ford CEO Mark Fields bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President
fied by the stress of their has expressed how Argo AI will oper- and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of
daily lives. The best cure for ate independently, and is incentivizing Dubai. In collaboration with firm Ehang,
loneliness is helping others employee retention by offering equity in the Road and Transportation Agency
because it provides a deep the startup. recently revealed their plans for the
sense of fulfillment and And in the future, Argo AI plans to Chinese EHang 184 passenger drone to
belonging to the community. license its tech to other companies too. launch operations soon. Showcased at
In addition, by becoming Quite familiar to those watching the the World Government Summit in Dubai,
involved in the community industry too- if you remember, last year, the autonomous aerial vehicle was tested
you gain new perspectives Volvo partnered with automotive safety and found capable of carrying a person.
and further boost your company Autoliv to develop autonomous With a lot of players involved, we might
self-esteem. Children, by software, and license it in the future too. finally be closer to having flying cars and
learning that they can make Thats not to ignore Teslas approach to more, soon.
a difference in their immedi-
ate community, will develop
an understanding to the
challenges our society faces.
By participating in activities
like cleanups or food drives,
theyll continue on this path
of community engagement in
the future.
Nurturing these skills in
children today can create
more capable and effective
entrepreneurs, leaders, and
responsible citizens. While
the BizWorld programs focus
on the practical aspects of
entrepreneurship, we place
image courtesy ford motors

equal emphasis on develop-

ing these skills that help the
entrepreneurial spirit truly
Peter Rander, Argo AI COO, Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO, Bryan Salesky, Argo AI CEO and Raj Nair, Ford EVP

march 2017 Entrepreneur 51


support the quick, easy, and Industry 4.0 opens the door
secure transfer of data from to a whole new workforce
sensors that SMEs supply in areas such as mechatron-
to manufacturers to the ics engineering, industrial
production systems of large mechanics, and electrical
companies. The protocol is engineering for automation
freely available and free of technology. For the younger
charge. Letting companies generation, now is the time
of all size exchange data to consider choosing STEM
will increase innovation and areas of study; the career
competitiveness, as well as possibilities are endless as
help Industry 4.0 become Industry 4.0 expands across
more widely established. all sectors.
This is good news for the
global economy, as well 4. Connected technology =
as here in the UAE, where ease and efficiency for

Industry 4.0 day and optimize efficiency,

connecting machinery to the
there are strategic govern-
ment visions in place to
Imagine, you want to buy a

is here
internet is the next step. But drive industrial and manu- new car but in this age of
in reality, many machines facturing development. personalization, you want to
used in skilled trades or make it your own, and give
Its not fiction, manufacturing are still not Industrial scale machinery it the personal touch. Once
its not the future- connected. Investing in all is a big investment for youve configured the car
new machinery doesnt have manufacturers to make the of your dreams, the per-
its the reality of to be the only solution most of their machinery to- sonalized data is transmit-
manufacturing today actually, lots of old ma- day and optimize efficiency, ted to the manufacturers
By Volker Bischoff chinery can be retrofit with connecting machinery to the information systems. Your
solutions: the sensors, the internet is the next step. design data is connected
software and connections and shared with different

hen we think to bring them into the new 3. Automation = new job systems, flowing in two
about the first industrial age. This enables opportunities directions to the manufac-
industrial things such as predictive Theres been a lot of talk turing floor and to suppliers,
revolution, we maintenance, reducing that with the rise in auto- to ensure parts and materi-
imagine heavy- downtime while increasing mation of services as seen in als are ready for produc-
weight iron machinery. productivity an investment Industry 4.0, human capital tion. This forms a network
As we enter a new era in that can pay for itself in just will pay the price. And while between manufacturer and
industrial manufacturing, 18 months, versus buying it means that there may be supplier. Once connected,
we couldnt be further away new machinery. a redistribution of work- a basic chassis and all the
from that. Smart, intelligent force, it paves the way for required materials are given
machines are improving our 2. Open standards = open new opportunities. Actually, an ID tag. This tag enables
lives both on an industrial economy
scale and in our homes. Its Bosch is helping to remove
been termed Industry 4.0 one of the biggest barri-
and has been gaining atten- ers for smaller companies
tion on the global stage. But seeking to enter connected
what does it actually mean industry. The company is
and what are its applica- seizing the initiative and
tions in everyday life? Here presenting a new, open
are four things you may not industry standard it has
know about Industry 4.0: developed in-house for the
exchange of data in connect-
1. Old machine + rapid con- ed industry. This will enable
nectivity = new benefit interplay between a wide
Industrial scale machinery variety of partners in the
is a big investment for internet of things (IoT) and
manufacturers to make the in Industry 4.0. The new
most of their machinery to- standard will, for instance,

Volker Bischoff is General Manager of Robert Bosch Middle East, part of the Bosch Group and a leading global supplier of technology and services.
Bosch offers products and solutions from automotive parts and equipment, drive and control technology and power tools to thermotechnology
and security systems across the region.

52 Entrepreneur march 2017

Closing the gap
the parts to guide them- How Kuwait-based logistics giant Agility is embracing digital disruption
selves through the factory By Tarek Sultan
the products are in the right

place, at the right time, for igital disruption in the logistics industry markets where we have strong local relation-
maximum efficiency. When is happening in ways big and small. ships with regulators, shippers, and transport
the chassis passes an intel- For a mature company in a mature suppliers.
ligent station, its ID tag is industry like ours, this can be either terrifying Using similar reasoning, we are partner-
scanned. Your design data is or exhilarating. Personally, I am excited about ing with Colle Capital, an early-stage venture
transferred to a cloud server the potential to close known gaps with our capitalist. One of Colle Capitals portfolio
and interactive communica- customers, drive efficiencies, deepen access to companies, called Hyliion, has developed a hy-
tions platform, which runs services, and open entirely new markets with brid technology for the trucking industry that
all relevant production line new ways of doing business. Our approach reduces fuel consumption and correspond-
data in real time; intel- at Agility is two-fold. First, disrupt ourselves ing emissions by a staggering 30%. These
ligently connecting man, from within, and simultaneously, invest in the savings are achieved by recycling otherwise
machine and production. disrupters. wasted kinetic energy and through a simple
But this doesnt mean that 30-minute trailer retrofit. Hyliion has the
factories will no longer need The certainty of disruption potential to disrupt multiple industries, from
human talent; Industry 4.0 Change in our industry is inevitable. Heres a supply to oil-and-gas and beyond. Imagine
technology actively assists quick example. Even if you only spend US$10 for a moment the impact of a near-term 30%
assembly workers. The on an e-commerce platform like Amazon, you reduction in diesel consumption for trucks.
technology is fine-tuned get a digital experience that works simply, While we believe that this technology will
to workers individual easily, and well. You can buy your product, succeed in its own right, we also believe that
capabilities to boost their track its progress en-route, and manage we can accelerate value creation by using the
efficiencies. Even handheld returns or concerns, all on a single platform. technology in our own fleets and promoting
tools have smart technology However, when it comes to freight forwarding, the technology with customers around the
to connect man and ma- shippers can spend anywhere from hundreds world. This philosophy of finding multiple
chine better making wrong of thousands to millions of dollars on freight points of leverage is at the heart of our tech
assembly impossible. Now, and still have to write emails, make calls, fill strategy.
you are eagerly awaiting out paperwork, and very often, still not know
your car you dont want to with precision where their goods are at any
experience a delay. Suppos- point in time. It doesnt add up. Its neither
ing one of the machines in coincidental nor surprising that venture
the production line is about capitalists have quadrupled investments in
to breakdown? Since it is freight forwarding startups in the last couple
part of the Industry 4.0 of years, according to The Wall Street Journal.
platform, the data generated Venture capital funding for freight forwarding
by the machine predicts the companies exceeded $1 billion in 2015, more Agility warehouse
breakdown before it hap- than double the amount invested in the five
pens. This means no more prior years. Put simply: the industry is ripe for Disruption without distraction
pulling out repair manuals; change. The challenge of being a big company is not
workers can use video gog- distracting the core business, even as we
gles and augmented reality Partnering with the disrupters invest in the technologies that may change
to connect in real time and Digital disruption is not just about improving it forever. There are many cautionary tales
fix the impending problem the business we have today. Its also about of logistics titans in our industry that spent
swiftly, meaning little or no anticipating new ways of doing business. On hundreds of millions of dollars on transform-
interruption to production. this front, Agility has created a new technol- ing their technology platforms and ultimately
Everything is in place, even ogy venture to invest in disruptive technology failed. Internally, our approach has been meas-
with last minute changes related to logistics. The idea is to look outside ured change: engage widely, pilot at every
your new car is ready to roll! our company at new business models that step, and roll out in phases, fixing problems
we feel that we can either adopt internally or early and continuously. From our technology
Innovations in Industry 4.0 promote through our business. For example, venture perspective, we ring-fence our invest-
mean better quality services we have invested in Cargo X, a platform that ments from the business until it makes sense
and products, more effi- is looking to revolutionize how road freight timing-wise, geography wise or service-wise
cient use of materials and is booked in complex markets like Brazil. Our to link them together. In this way, we hope to
improved safety standards. goal is not just to see it succeed in Brazil, but reap the benefits of revolution with the rela-
These innovations are not to help bring the model to other emerging tive ease of evolution.
the stuff of science fiction;
they are a reality of modern
image courtesy agility

manufacturing today, re- Tarek Sultan is the Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Agility, one of the worlds leading
gardless of scale and size. providers of integrated logistics. It is a publicly traded company with more than $4.3 billion in
revenue and more than 22,000 employees in over 500 offices across 100 countries.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 53


Designed Alif smartphone

LTPS AUO (2.5D Arc screen)
Android 6.0 Marshmallow

in Dubai
6000+ mAh Battery Capacity
FHD 1920x1080 pixels
13MP Rear + 5MP Front Camera
with Dual Flash
YaHalla founder and CEO Corning Gorilla Glass 3
5.5 inch Display
Bader Samir Tayeb is keen on GSM / WCDMA / FDD-LTE
making his Emirati tech brand Fingerprint Scanner,
Multi-function upto 5 fingers
stand out in the market 64 Bit MTK6753 Octa Core
16G (Micro SD card Up to 64GB)
By Aby Sam Thomas Mali T720
Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi Support, GPS

You need to spend only

a few minutes with Bader
Samir Tayeb, the founder
and CEO of YaHalla Global UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Technologies LLC, to see the Inspired by Sheikh Moham-
enthusiasm and excitement meds drive to make Dubai
he has for his enterprise, and the UAE a leader in
which the Emirati entre- terms of technology uptake wood-accented design and well, Tayeb says- he show-
preneur hopes and dreams and application, Tayeb says its superior battery prowess, cased his company and its
to become the leading that he has followed the and as for the Alpha tablet, offerings to the world for the
technology company of the same principle in crafting its built-in LED projector, first time at GITEX in Dubai
region. As a UAE brand and building the gadgets un- which transforms your small last year, and the response
that has already released a der the YaHalla brand. The screen into, well, a large he got was very heartening,
smartphone (Alif), a tablet specs for the devices speak one, is perhaps its most he claims. People didnt ex-
(Alpha), and is now working for themselves- as an ex- prominent feature. And the pect a smartphone brand to
on bringing out more such ample, Tayeb points toward reception to YaHallas prod- come out of the UAE, Tayeb
gadgets into the market, Ya- the Alif smartphones sleek ucts has been positive as says. So, the reaction was
Hallas uniqueness is what good- it was more than what
is making it stand out right I expected!
now, and Tayebs determi- Right now, Tayeb says he
Alpha tablet
nation and passion looks to DLP 0.3EM Inch DMD panel is in talks with both private
be what will take the com- Capacitive Touchscreen and government entities in
pany further forward on the Brightness 50 Lumens the UAE who are keen on
1280x800 Resolution
road to success. Projection Distance : 20 to 380 CM supporting a homegrown
Armed with a family 8000mAh Battery brand like YaHalla, while
business background and 8 inches size also stepping up the compa-
Camera : 5 MP
experience in the bank- Rear + 2 MP Front nys marketing endeavors to
ing sector, Tayeb set up Android 4.4 make itself better known to
YaHalla to fulfill his own Processor Speed (max) 1.4GHz potential customers in the
RK3188 Quad-Core
entrepreneurial ambitions Mali-400MP GPU
UAE, the GCC, and beyond.
(I always wanted to cre- 32GB, 2 GB RAM After all, just in terms of a
ate something of my own, WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS brand name, YaHalla is es-
ever since I was a kid, he sentially catered toward the
says), and he found him- Arabic-speaking user, for
self being spurred ahead in whom the standard Hello!
this endeavor by the Smart greeting when picking up
City vision of H.H. Sheikh the phone is you guessed
Mohammed bin Rashid Al it- YaHalla! According to
Maktoum, Vice President Tayeb, its marketing and
and Prime Minister of the branding efforts are key to

54 Entrepreneur march 2017

H.E. Hisham Al Shirawi,
2nd Vice-Chairman,
Dubai Chamber at the
making YaHalla work as a dream given the crowded Smartpreneur 2017 launch
business- he believes that nature of the market today,
if marketed correctly, the Tayeb says that it is still
companys products specs large enough to entertain
are of such a high grade such possibilities- statis-
that it would easily appeal tics portal Statista.com
to the tech savvy populace predicts that by 2017,
of the UAE and the region. over a third of the worlds
As for the road ahead, population is projected
Tayeb says he is going to to own a smartphone, an
continue with his efforts to estimated total of almost A panel discussion
make YaHalla more known 2.6 billion smartphone at the Smartpreneur
2017 launch at
in the mobile devices users in the world. With Dubai Chamber
market, while continu- the future holding such
ing with his research and potential, Tayeb feels that
development efforts on new YaHalla can indeed tap into
products to be launched. this market- and from his
Tayeb is clear that he wants perspective, he is keen on
YaHalla to be the future making sure his products
leader in this space, and are able to stand up to the
while it may be a grand best in the market today.
For the record, YaHallas
Tayeb says he is in talks with insistence on adhering
both private and government to exacting high quality
entities in the UAE who
standards for its range of Get smart
are keen on supporting
a homegrown brand like products are indeed getting Dubai Chamber and Smart Dubai Office invite
YaHalla, while also stepping it noticed- for instance, applications for Smartpreneur 2017
up the companys marketing Tayeb was presented with
endeavors to make itself the Tech Innovation award The Dubai Chamber of ested to apply are required
better known to potential
customers in the UAE, the at the 2016 Enterprise Commerce and Industry in to submit their business
GCC, and beyond. Agility Awards staged by association with the Smart ideas, which must belong to
Entrepreneur Middle East. Dubai Office have launched the following areas covered
As for whats next for the the second edition of the under the Smart Dubai
Bader Samir brand, Tayeb reveals that Dubai Smartpreneur compe- mandate: smart economy,
founder besides newer editions tition. Aiming to transform smart living, smart mobil-
and CEO, of its existing product Dubai into a Smart City, a ity, smart governance,
YaHalla portfolio, YaHalla also vision in line with that of smart environment, and
has smartwatches, smart- H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin smart people. The ideas
glasses, drones, and more Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE will then go through an
in the offing- hes keeping Vice-President and Prime assessment process by a
his cards close to his chest Minister and Ruler of Dubai, jury panel, and participants
as to what more exactly the Smartpreneur challenge who qualify will then attend
refers to, but once again, invites entrepreneurs based a two-day workshop on
Tayebs excitement about in the UAE to contribute building relationships, and
the future is easily palpa- to this digital transforma- developing a full business
ble. And we wish him all tion with their technology plan, in relation to the sector
the luck for it! innovations. H.E. Hisham Al to which they belong. Cash
Shirawi, 2nd Vice-Chairman, prizes worth AED150,000,
Dubai Chamber, Essa Al and the opportunity to join a
Zaabi, Senior Vice Presi- year-long Tejar Dubai entre-
dent - Institutional Support preneurship program await
Sector, Dubai Chamber, and the top three winners of
General Coordinator, Tejar the Smartpreneur contest.
Dubai, launched Smart- The challenge is being held
image courtesy yahalla | dubai chamber

preneur in the presence of this year with the support

entrepreneurs and other of Dubai Startup Hub, and
members of the UAEs busi- in collaboration with IBM.
ness community. For more details about the
According to a statement competition, check out
on the launch, those inter- www.dubaichamber.com.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 55


or she show off their creativ-

ity, and allow the customer to
discover their talents?
Over the past 12 to 18
months, I have been working
to build my skincare brand,
Herbal Essentials, while
competing with established,
better-funded brands. As a
result, I have been amused
to receive various snippets
of well-meaning advice, all
geared at becoming a digital
entrepreneur: Launch your
e-commerce platform, and
sell through that, as it will
increase your brand reach and
valuation. (A note here: peo-
ple here often seem obsessed
about valuations, which dont
really mean anything to an
entrepreneur whose business
is not for sale. For the record,
though, yes, we at Herbal Es-
sentials are online, and we
offer worldwide shipping as
But the point I wish to make
here is that when it comes to
Not all about the clicks smaller brands or early-stage
businesses, please do not
The case for retail businesses to have a brick and mortar forget to allow the customer
(who is the ultimate judge
presence (even in the e-commerce era)
on whether you will succeed
By Aly Rahimtoola or fail) the opportunity to
experience your products and

iven the headline of this one, but well, I did. This will cost efficiencies and market services. For many businesses,
piece, before readers therefore make my next com- entry in a far quicker man- this means giving them the
start sending in com- ment on the retail landscape ner than traditional retail- opportunity to experience the
ments that I am out of sound quite contradictory ing channels, but there are brand in a live format. I cant
touch with reality, or of my feelings on technol- pockets of the economy that help think that people seem
that I am living in the 19th ogy, but let me say it anyway: will need -and always depend to forget that some businesses
century, let me hereby make e-commerce or social selling on- the brick and mortar retail such as fragrances, fashion or
the statement that I love is not the be-all and end-all of stores. Detractors from this skincare need the end con-
technology. I embrace it, and retailing. While e-commerce, statement will point to tradi- sumer to feel the texture of the
I have been an early adopter especially in the MENA region, tional retailing sectors such product, smell the fragrance
of all things digital. If it has is growing exponentially with as fashion, and point to the note, try on the dress or shirt,
a LED screen on it, then I every second person wanting success of Net-a-Porter and and consult with a retail advi-
have probably owned it, its to be a digital entrepreneur, other online fashion sites. To
prototype, and I will prob- people should not forget that this, I would concur and state
ably be first in line to buy its the ultimate way to build a that these e-commerce portals
successor as well. The older brand is to allow the consumer are wonderful for established
readership might remember or potential customers to see brands where the consumer
the Apple Newton from 1994 it, feel it, smell it quite sim- knows what he or she wants,
the forerunner to the iPhone ply, to experience it. but what about the up-and-
and iPad- I bet that very few E-commerce might afford coming designer that no one
of you saw one, let alone own numerous benefits such as has ever seen? Where does he

Aly Rahimtoola is the founder and CEO of Herbal Essentials, a Dubai-based consumer skincare brand. He is an Endeavor Entrepreneur.

56 Entrepreneur march 2017

develop a loyal customer base,
there is no substitute for a
superb retail experience, and
for people to feel your product
up close and personal.
But dont get me wrong: if
you know you need to buy a
specific brand or item, and
want to stick to what you
have always purchased, then
e-commerce is wonderfully
useful and a great way to make
repeat sales. Souq, MarkaVIP,
JadoPado and other regional
e-commerce portals are great
businesses (as Noon will be
too), and there is no doubt
established brands will focus
on these portals in the months
and years to come where ef-
ficiencies and rent savings can
be passed on to the consumer.
The potential loser in this
triangle will be the traditional
sor on how to fix that irritat- retail landlords who for many
ing skin concern. Until the decades have been dependent
digital world can figure out on the same brands opening
how to teleport what I call this stores in multiple locations.
real-world experience through
a mobile device or tablet, then The lesson here is that for
the case for brick and mortar smaller brands or new-
stores will always exist. E- comers trying to enter the
commerce isnt the sole way market, scale, and develop
for a brand to grow. a loyal customer base,
Entrepreneurs and startups there is no substitute for
need to remember this point, a superb retail experience,
and then follow a strategy and for people to feel
that compliments how best your product up close and
they can reach and interact personal.
with their customers. I am
willing to place a large wager How many malls in the UAE
that they would or could carry the exact same big name
develop a deeper consumer shops as other malls? With
relationship with human the advent of e-commerce,
interaction and old fashioned this will change. Smart retail
customer service, than by an landlords in the UAE and
app on their mobile device. GCC, who understand this and
The fact that e-commerce can see the seismic shift in
portals in North America that channel strategy that is about
have grown into giants with to happen should seek out
amazing valuations on the smaller niche brands offering
strength of their digital reach them discounted or cheaper
like Warby Parker, Amazon rentals to lure them in and
and Birchbox to name but a retain footfall and interest
few, are all opening, or have from consumers. A potential
opened, physical retail stores alliance between smaller niche

helps to make my point. The startup brands supported by

lesson here is that for smaller the retail landlords could be
brands or newcomers trying an interesting alternative to
to enter the market, scale, and the big brands going online.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 57

A zpizza
outlet in
3. You get to research
the business viability
before you start it I
have been able to apply my
analytical skills before open-
ing zpizza by carrying out
research on the viability of
the business. One vital piece
of information that fran-
chisees hope to obtain is the
confidence in which the new
investment will succeed.
As a business owner, my
previous experiences have
allowed me the ability to suf-
ficiently network as well as
Medativ founder
Mohamed Elawad
use my connections to open
doors that might not have
been opened beforehand.

4. Franchise businesses

Cashing in on opportunity have higher rates of suc-

cess It is a proven concept
Heres why opening a franchise business is better that franchises have a higher
rate of success in compari-
than starting your own By Harsh Pancholia
son to a startup business. As

a sizeable amount of work
onsidering ventur- 1. With a franchise busi- risks involved, opening a has already been achieved by
ing into the world ness, you get to enjoy a new outlet has, on the whole, the franchisor, high-brand
of entrepreneur- support system from the been less risky than starting awareness and recall has
ship by starting a start Opening zpizza has a business from scratch. I successfully been accom-
franchise busi- been a fantastic, worthwhile have been fortunate enough plished. As it is my goal to
ness? There are definitely opportunity for me, as it has to begin a project that has triumph, I primarily deter-
advantages to going down allowed me an ideal balance an existing proven business mined how much I would
this route when starting up a between being independent model, and, as a result of have to invest, how much I
business- here are a few that and receiving guidance. With the power of the internet, was willing to risk, and had
I realized when I brought an abundance of valuable I have had the opportunity to gain a deep understanding
the California-based casual previous experience, the to carry out searches on
dining restaurant, zpizza, to franchisor has provided zpizzas background before companies and businesses
the UAE: me with a strong support signing any contracts. One are always more willing to
system, while allowing me to great advantage of opening engage with internationally
Harsh Pancholia, run my own business. During zpizza, rather than a brand recognized brands, as fran-
chisees representing an
MD, Arabian the preparation of opening new business, is that I have
International international brand often
Food zpizza, they shared their vast spent less time and invest- receive more credibility.
knowledge and expertise on ment in my busi-
the products. Additionally, ness. Additionally,
as the business model had before investing,
already been set up, I felt I was privileged
safe in the knowledge of the in that I could
available resources. acquire financial
figures from the
2. Your risk factor in franchisors, and,
launching a franchise in turn, I gained
business is considerably knowledge of what
less Although, admittedly, to expect from the
there are still a number of beginning.

Holding a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Babson College in Boston, Harsh Pancholia was raised by a family with strong business and
entrepreneurial backgrounds, and is the fifth generation Pancholia Dubai resident. Pancholia founded Arabian International Food in 2015 and after discovering
the UAEs growing demand for fresh, healthier choices, he decided to open zpizza, the California-based pizza outlet that attracted international interest with its
healthier options and all-natural ingredients.

58 Entrepreneur march 2017

| geek |

Brainy bins
GeniCan is a smart trashcan that scans your trash
to generate grocery lists

rom making elabo- them away! So obviously,
rate shopping lists to the best spot for the device
posting notes on the was the garbage can and/or
refrigerator to smartphone recycle bin, founder Griffin
apps, the humble grocery writes in a blog, explaining
list has come a long way. A the motivation behind Geni-
common theme across this Can. As a user, you simply
evolution is the fact that the need to scan items before
activity involves forget- tossing them into the can,
fulness. To counter this and the device adds it to an
problem, entrepreneur and associated smartphone app.
inventor Rob Griffin created For items with no/unread-
GeniCan, a smart trashcan able barcodes, you state the
that scans your trash to item name, and GeniCan
generate grocery lists. Along would add that to your
with other futuristic smart grocery list as well.
home technologies, GeniCan If grocery shopping still
also made an appearance sounds like a daunting task,
at the CES 2017 event in then worry not, GeniCan can
January at Las Vegas. The make it easier. Through a
patent pending attachable partnership with Amazon
device for your trashcan called the Amazon Dash
of the required initial invest- Additionally, as brands com- uses barcode scanners and Replenishment Service,
ment. Before jumping in with monly have franchises all voice recognition technology GeniCan also arranges to
two feet and making changes over the world, they benefit to help you make shopping deliver supplies directly to
to existing products, it is from an internationally rec- lists based on what youre your home or office. While
essential for me to preserve ognized brand name. With disposing. the device only supports
the brand. I continually over 100 branches across The founders, who per- products and barcodes
strive to remain enthusiastic two continents includ- sonally experienced issues of the US market in their
about zpizza, in the hope ing the US, South Korea, relating to shopping for their current database, and uses
that this shines through Vietnam, Bahrain and the grocery, knew that there only English for voice recog-
my employees. Recruiting a UAE zpizza has the benefit was a problem to solve, and nition, the app allows users
great team will ensure suc- of an immediately recogniz- also that Internet of Things to add descriptions and
cess for zpizza by treating able brand name, with an (IoT) could solve it. The images for new items, and
employees with respect, established reputation. best time to capture those the startup also says that
offering worthwhile training items for the shopping list it will focus on supporting
and challenging staff, they 6. Business relation- is the second you throw additional countries.
too will exert their passion ships As the franchisor
for the brand. has previously built strong
establishments, I have been
5. You are building a busi- able to benefit from these
ness based off a well- already-in-place relation-
established model zpizza ships. Typically, companies
reaps the rewards of having and businesses are always
been tried and tested. Open- more willing to engage with
ing a new outlet has ensured internationally recognized
that the already success- brands, as franchisees rep-
ful ideas and operational resenting an international
methods and procedures can brand often receive more
www.zpizza.com | www.genican.com

be followed. The franchising credibility. This, in turn,

model has given me access to makes it easier to initiate
these systems and proce- a working relationship for
dures, with me only having the supply chain, as well
to make some tweaks based as helping to gain access to
on the setup that I have. prime locations.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 59

money ask the money guy | vc viewpoint | your money | ECON

Similar options are available

in the United Arab Emirates
through platforms such as
Aflamnah and Eureeca. This
option can be risky, as many
investors with equity on
your books can quickly bog
down your corporate opera-

2. Life and debt

Debt is a four-letter word,
but that doesnt mean you
should strike it from your
vocabulary. One powerful
advantage of debt is that it
can allow you to maintain
your equity. If your busi-
ness is still in the bar napkin
phase, taking out loans
Put your credit card away against your personal credit
or business assets might
Seven ways to fund your startup on the sly make sense.
By Zach Ferres
If your business is beyond
that initial startup phase,
there are new options avail-
California might be known have the same luster- boot- 1. The wisdom of crowds able such as venture debt.
for the Gold Rush of 1849, strapping was the name of Crowdsourcing has moved Unlike a regular loan, ven-
but a newfound thirst for the funding game. beyond tips for finding the ture debt comes in exchange
riches has swept across the Founders spent time sell- best restaurants. The JOBS for rights to purchase equity.
globe. Modern-day prospec- ing rather than pitching Act of 2015 threw open the It can be particularly useful
tors are more interested investors for big checks. I floodgates of equity crowd- for startups that dont yet
in finding a mother lode of remember hitting my dad funding in the US Crowd- have positive cash flow or
venture capital dollars than up for help covering my car funding platforms such as assets to serve as collat-
they are in panning for shiny payments so I could make SeedInvest, Indiegogo and eral. Venture debt can help
rocks. VC fever is upon us, payroll. We maxed credit Fundable have lowered entry lengthen your runway and
as evidenced by the recent cards and waited for that barriers for people interested give you the time you need to
mind-boggling US$68 billion next customer payment to in funding small businesses. fully flesh out your plans.
valuation of unicorn startup come in the mail.
Uber. The VC gold rush dramati- Seed funding is similar to 3. Reaping what you sow
The ride-hailing apps stag- cally changed the narrative, VC, but with fewer catches. Seed funding is similar to
gering valuation made it the but this flood of funding has This option typically comes VC, but with fewer catches.
most valuable startup in the been a blessing and a curse. from an angel investor or This option typically comes
world, ahead of powerhouses Lessons from the pre-boom someone in your personal from an angel investor or
such as Airbnb, Snap Inc. era are worth resurrecting. network. someone in your personal
and SpaceX. Capitalizing on The shiny gleam
the free flow of VC invest- of easy VC funding
ment in 2016, Uber took blinds many compa-
in $3.5 billion from Saudi nies to reality. You
investors, added a $2 billion might not qualify for
leveraged loan, and acquired or necessarily want
a Chinese rival in a $35 bil- this sort of invest-
lion mega-merger. ment. Depending on
The streets of Silicon Val- the company youve
ley, it seems, are paved with created, the stage of
VC gold. But that hasnt your growth and your
www.eureeca.com | www.grants.gov

always been the case. In goals, you might not

the lean times of the Great even attract any VC
Recession (circa 2007) the interest. Fortunately,
idea of venture capital in- there are other fund-
vestment for startups didnt ing options:

60 Entrepreneur march 2017

network. A seed investment are spread throughout the
transaction involves a cash- Middle East, according
for-equity (or future equity) to a report from Gust and
exchange, but you dont need Fundacity. Entrepreneurs
to pay back the investment might want to check out
or make any sort of personal accelerators with a proven
guarantee. Its a great option track record, including in5
for early ventures that have Innovation Centre in the
a large potential upside. An- UAE, UK Lebanon Tech Hub
gelList has built a database and Flat6Labs in several
of angel investors located MENA countries.
in and interested in Dubai,
offering you thousands of Bootstrapping might be my
potential contacts. favorite funding method.
Youre essentially selling
your product or service or
4. Survival of the fittest using a credit card to grow
There are countless pitch
your startup. Negotiate bar-
competitions throughout
ter or trade deals with other
the world that offer prize companies. Employ staff in
money to promising startups exchange for company equity
without taking equity. In as opposed to instant cash.
my backyard, the Arizona
Innovation Challenge offers A Midas-like obsession with
$250,000 as its gold medal- VC funding isnt in your
definitely nothing to scoff at. be strings attached in the ness conditions such as the best interest. Thankfully,
Aside from the obvious form of compliance reports. fabled free zones of the UAE. there are plenty of other op-
financial benefit, these The US-Middle East Part- A lot of founders will take tions available. Once youve
contests offer ancillary nership Initiative offers on a side hustle to make narrowed your focus, build
advantages, such as the grants of up to $150,000 enough money to fund their a plan around your chosen
opportunity to perfect your to organizations working to venture. A recent survey of option- an accelerator will
pitch, gain feedback from in- develop independent media small business owners by want to see very different
dustry experts and network organizations; expand op- American Express OPEN things from your company
with key business contacts. portunities for women and found that about 15% were than a local angel invest-
Dubais upcoming STEP 2017 youth; and support citizen working a second job to ment syndicate. Go down
conference includes a pitch efforts to contribute to make ends meet. Potential too many paths at once, and
competition with cash prizes positive economic, social investors and lenders will youll fail to do any of them
that could provide the thing and political empowerment. likely be impressed with well. By carefully weigh-
your startup needs to surge Opportunities in the UAE are what you manage to accom- ing each funding method
from a promising idea to a fairly plentiful, including the plish through sheer will and and strategically choos-
growing venture. Khalifa Fund for Enterprise a bit of elbow grease. ing your best bet, youll be
Development, twofour54 and positioned to strike gold for
5. A grant adventure the Mohammad bin Rashid 7. Accelerate your growth your startup.
The government is literally Establishment for Small and Startup accelerators and
giving money away- with Medium Enterprise Develop- startup studios are increas-
a few provisos. Nonprofits ment. ing in popularity worldwide.
working in science, technol- The number of accelerators
ogy, education and medi- 6. The old-fashioned way in the US increased by 50%
cine can seek federal grant Bootstrapping might be my from 2008 to 2014, ac-
money. A quick search of favorite funding method. cording to Brookings. These
Grants.gov turns up more Youre essentially selling organizations offer benefits
than 1,000 federal grant pro- your product or service or beyond a cash infusion.
grams. The downside? The using a credit card to grow Startup studios and accel-
applications are typically your startup. Negotiate bar- erators gild their investment
onerous and can quickly ter or trade deals with other with a blend of services,
become a time suck. companies. Employ staff in product development,
The government wont exchange for company equity capital, space and mentor-
ask for equity in your as opposed to instant cash. ship in exchange for equity.
startup, but there will still Seek out favorable busi- More than 46 accelerators

Zach Ferres is the CEO of Coplex, a Los Angeles- and Phoenix-based startup studio focused on truly collaborative design and development.
Coplex builds startups and digital products using lean and agile techniques. Follow the company on Twitter @hellocoplex.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 61


and methodologies therein. 2. Remind yourself of

Also, companies should make your objectives
forays into offering special- Its easy to get lost in the
ized services and reduce their grind and shuffle of daily
reliance on generic services life. Ive found that writing
that do not have any inno- down goals and thinking of
vation or value addition to them daily helps to inspire
offer. There is a famous quote us to success. The capability
that captures the fundamen- to imagine specific details,
tal core for business success: and building personal con-
Turnover is vanity, profit is nections to our goals can
sanity and cash is reality. improve our comfort with
The biggest challenge for the challenges were likely to
the industry in 2017 will face on the pursuit of excel-
be maintaining cash flow lence.
robustness. To achieve this,
companies must be aggres- 3. Think of the future
sive and proactive in control- It helps to have a clear vision
ling their accounts receiva- about our long-term goals. If
Planning pathways bles situation while retaining you cant think more than a
their existing strength in month ahead, try to stretch
to progress service organization. your imagination to one
By Tariq Chauhan This year, the primary reso- more month, to create a two-
lution for companies must be month plan. The anticipation

e are poised at an industry, we are under a to embark on the pursuit of and visualization of long-
the end of the lot of pressure from clients excellence. Companies should term objectives is a powerful
first quarter of a to reduce operational costs, facilitate the cross exchange motivator that can inspire
very challenging which will require innovation of knowledge and experi- us to improve our efforts and
year with a slug- and skill enhancement. ence between colleagues and reduce our anxieties.
gish economy The key to survival in the management, to benefit every
and subdued business senti- given market conditions is individual as well as the 4. Keep yourself account-
ment. The remaining three increasing investments, both company overall. able for your goals
quarters of 2017 will require towards employee-centric So, whats the best way to Set constant reminders to
us to tighten our belts and initiatives, as well as innova- achieve success on the pur- analyze where you are today,
put in a comprehensive and tion and technology. The suit of excellence? and where you need to be.
robust plan to analyze our prudent strategy would be Theres no one size fits all Its vital to make a wish
key results and identify criti- to perform a balancing act solution and various meth- list, visualize the outcome,
cal focus areas. between maintaining growth, ods would be relevant and identify the obstacles, and
The most important for whilst rationalizing costs by applicable to a variety of plan the processes needed to
professionals today is to improving productivity levels situations. However, there overcome challenges on the
clearly align their personal across the board. are a couple of time-tested way.
and career goals with certain In a nutshell, a success- approaches that are near
milestones. At people-centric ful 2017 strategy must be universal. Success is not an overnight
organizations (like EFS), it built upon three critical KPI development, but rather the
is imperative for employees indicators i.e. deliverance 1. Tackling macro culmination of a series of
to look at their work-life on ensuring maximum cli- challenges at micro lessons learned from various
balance to ensure that they ent satisfaction, exercising levels mistakes. The end outcome
have definitive personal prudence in maintaining net Breaking down any problem is influenced just as much by
resolutions, which makes a profit margins, and 360-de- into a series of interlinked skill, as it is by the motiva-
qualitative difference to ones gree sustainability. simple and small goals is an tion and attitude driving the
personal life whilst working To do this, companies easy way to build confidence pursuit of excellence. As for-
on professional KPIs. must dedicate consider- and momentum to achieve mer Indian President Dr. A.
We believe there is great able resources to improve more difficult and long- P. J. Abdul Kalam once said:
prospect of growth in 2017, efficiencies and synergies. term objectives. Consistent A dream is not that which
with the major challenge There must be a concerted incremental steps deliver you see while sleeping; it is
being managing costs and effort to expand the scope bigger results than one large something that does not let
facing fierce competition. As and breadth of skills training desperate lunge. you sleep.

Tariq Chauhan is a Harvard Business School alumnus and a professional entrepreneur, with over 26 years of diverse experience in international
banking, technology and asset management, real estate and a track record of building and establishing companies across the GCC, USA, UK and
Asia. Since 2010, Tariq has been at the helm of EFS Facilities Services Group, leading as the Group Chief Executive Officer and as a member of
EFS Board of Directors. Tariq has led the evolution of EFS Facilities Services business portfolio and spearheaded the companys expansion into 23
markets across MENA, Turkey and South Asia, and supervised the growth of its workforce to more than 12,000 professionals globally.

62 Entrepreneur march 2017

April 26-27, 2017

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ask the money guy | vc viewpoint | your money | ECON

consumers cannot do much about

VAT enforcement and therefore will
continue to buy the everyday goods that
they need. However, there may be some
short-term changes in buying behavior
for big-ticket items (price-elastic goods
such as cars, fine dining, watches etc.),
with demand brought forward as these
are occasional items and are more
Since VAT is borne by the end con-
sumer, most businesses will be able to
maintain tax neutrality. However, VAT
will come with certain legal require-
ments and reporting compliance. This
will impact businesses overhead costs,
as they will require more staff (i.e.
compliance, legal, accountants, and IT
professionals), and new IT systems to
Taxing times ahead incorporate the taxes.

With VAT coming soon to the GCC, companies need Risks for retailers margins
to rethink pricing strategies Its up to retailers to manage the up-
coming VAT to their advantage. Thats
By Lovrenc Kessler why the impact on businesses is likely

to be twofold: first, since VAT is set
n the Gulf Cooperation Council pose a risk to profits. So what effects low at 5%, the change in demand for
(GCC), declining oil prices have can businesses expect from the new tax, goods is likely to be minimal. Second,
forced states to look at other and how can they tackle it sustainably? retailers may be able to use VAT as an
revenue sources, and have thus put opportunity to improve their margins,
pressure on businesses and their Impact of VAT on consumers but if mismanaged profitability could
margins. The UAE, until now a tax-free and businesses suffer, resulting in price wars.
country, announced that value-added As VAT is a tax on consumption, ex- Some retailers may be tempted to
tax (VAT) is to be introduced in 2018, cluding essential items, it should not absorb the VAT in order to maintain
which as a whole will intensify price impact the cost of living to a noticeable or reduce prices. The danger in this
pressure and deteriorate margins, mak- extent. So whilst the overall impact strategy lies in the increased volume
ing price management more important on consumer demand will be minimal, required to preserve margins. In ad-
than ever. for a while large-scale re-pricing will dition to reduced margins, trying to
The findings of Simon-Kuchers make buyers more price aware, i.e. maintain or lower prices could create a
Global Pricing Study highlight the risks more conscious of prices in general. price war scenario, with few winners.
of sloppy pricing and show that compa- Unaccustomed to paying any taxes At the same time, increasing prices to
nies are still investing too little in price on their purchases, seeing the VAT counteract this would lead to losing out
management and pricing tools. How- listed will have a psychological impact on customers and in effect give rise to
ever, those that invest in price man- on consumers. The good news is that inflationary pressure.
agement have more pricing power to Retailers therefore need to employ
counter price pressure and attain 25% smart pricing strategies such as bun-
higher EBITDA margins. An alarming dling goods, reviewing pack sizes, and
49% of the companies stated that they taking a granular approach to managing
are actively engaged in price wars, and price points. They also must ensure
facing price pressure. Furthermore, that communication and promotion
only six out of 10 companies managed are sharpened during this period of
to increase their margins compared to change and actively sell the value of
previous year. This general business their goods. Most importantly, they
climate shows decision makers in the should not react with knee-jerk price
region how the introduction of VAT and cuts when faced with erratic volume
a lack of effective price management changes. >>>

Lovrenc Kessler is Managing Partner of Simon-Kuchers office in Dubai, responsible for the companys business in the entire Middle East.
Simon-Kucher & Partners is a global consulting firm with 980 professionals in 33 offices worldwide focusing on TopLine Power. Founded
in Germany in 1985, the company has more than 30 years of experience providing strategy and marketing consulting and is regarded as the
worlds leading pricing advisor.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 65

International Conference & 2017
on Finance
Fourth and banking
International Services in
InternationalConference & Iraq
on International
Finance and banking Services in Iraq
10 11 April 2017, Phoenicia Hotel, Beirut
onon Finance
Finance and
and bankingServices
banking Services ininIraq
11 April 2017, Phoenicia Hotel, Beirut
1111 April
April 2017,
2017, Phoenicia
Phoenicia Hotel,
Hotel, Beirut
Join us at the most imperative, stimulating and game-changing
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to exchange, Bank challenge,
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Prof Ali Allawi H.E. Ali al-Allaq H.E. Dr Salman al-Jumili Dr Sami al-Araji Mustafa al-Hiti H.E. Jabar Ali al-Luaibi
Prof Ali Allawi H.E. Ali al-Allaq H.E. Dr Salman al-Jumili Dr Sami al-Araji Mustafa al-Hiti H.E. Jabar Ali al-Luaibi
Prof Ali Allawi H.E. Ali al-Allaq H.E. Dr Salman al-Jumili Dr Sami al-Araji Mustafa al-Hiti H.E. Jabar Ali al-Luaibi
Former Minister Governor of the CBI Minister of Planning Chairman NIC Head of the Minister of Oil
ProfFormer Minister
Ali Allawi Governor
H.E. of the CBI
Ali al-Allaq Minister
H.E. Dr Salmanofal-Jumili
Planning Dr Sami
Chairman NIC
al-Araji Headal-Hiti
Mustafa of the H.E. Jabar Ali al-Luaibi
Minister of Oil
FinanceMinister Governor of the CBI Minister of Planning Chairman NIC Reconstruction
Head of the Minister of Oil
of Finance Reconstruction
Former of Finance
Minister Governor of the CBI Minister of Planning Chairman NIC Head Fund
of the Minister of Oil
of Finance Fund
Attend to:to:
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an anto: view of Iraqs nancial and banking infrastructure and the major opportunities for invest-
Attend to: inside view of Iraqs nancial and banking infrastructure and the major opportunities for invest-
Get an inside view of Iraqs nancial and banking infrastructure and the major opportunities for invest-
ment andand
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an inside view of Iraqs nancial and banking infrastructure and the major opportunities for invest-
and partnership
and directly or or
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indirectly involvedininthe
modernisation and
and growth of one
growth of one of
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emerging directly
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ToTo register,
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ask the money guy | vc viewpoint | your money | ECON

| in the loop |
Seven tips to successfully
manage VAT
Companies should use the time before
Allez les entrepreneurs!
VAT implementation to analyze their France offers a visa for entrepreneurs and startups
price positioning more accurately. This

requires managers to take the following ancy being an entrepreneur in
steps: France? With the launch of the
French Tech Visa, perhaps you
1. Avoiding general X% price increases can, as the French is luring in foreign
when VAT comes into place, and entrepreneurial talent with it. Part of
instead smartly reworking the entire the initiative to expand its Passeport
price strategy. Talent scheme launched in 2016,
the French Tech Visa aims to attract
2. Starting a systematic price foreign tech talents including startup
optimization process, classifying founders and employees, talent to
products by their degree of competition, join French startups, and investors
price elasticity, marginal return, growth and angel investors. The visa is valid
potential etc. and reviewing price for four years on a renewable basis,
optimization factors for each category. covering the spouse of the main ap- Foreign Affairs and International De-
Impact simulations, price fine-tuning plicant to ensure similar labor market velopment, the Commissariat gnral
(such as new price barriers), price access and no work permit required lInvestissment, Bpifrance, Business
communication etc. need to be for work performed as an employee. France, and Caisse des Dpts et Con-
considered. Prospective foreign founders are sigation- indeed, its a key step for the
sought to apply to the French Tech countrys entrepreneurial ecosystem.
3. Thinking innovatively and Ticket program- a year-round seed It echoes a sentiment of inclusion in
implementing intelligent options such accelerator program for international welcoming foreign talent in UAE too.
as bundling and modified stock keeping entrepreneurs who are looking at Earlier in February, the UAE Cabinet,
units (SKUs). building a startup in Europe, offer- presided by His Highness Sheikh
ing services for startups in various Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
4. Informing and legally signaling lifecycles, from being a budding UAE Vice President, Prime Minister
general objectives via marketing early-stage startup to a sustainable and Ruler of Dubai, had approved an
activities, and making sure the industry one as it provides financial support entry visa scheme to attract profes-
is consistently heading in the right and training, to customer acquisition. sionals to UAE- which, if youre keep-
direction. Foreign tech talent are sought to join ing watch on his Twitter account, was
French startups while foreign tech in- where it was also discussed. Accord-
5. Preventing price decreases, as vestors are invited to launch their VC ing to a release by the Government
many contracts refer to net prices and firm with an office in France, or work of Dubai, the new system will include
these will not change. Suppliers and with a French VC firm. At the mo- two phases: its first phase includes
contractors should be prepared, think ment, EEA and Switzerland citizens tourism, health and educational
ahead, and develop price adjustment dont require a visa to work within visas, while its second phase includes
strategies for their trade partners to Frances ecosystem. Managed by the acquiring talent in health, scientific,
reduce negotiation pressure. French Ministry for the Economy and research, technical and cultural fields.
Finance, its partners include the Direc- Certainly, theres more to come for
6. Preparing the sales team with tion Gnrale des Entreprises, the budding entrepreneurs.
training sessions, explaining Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of http://visa.lafrenchtech.com/
statements, Q&A sessions etc.

7. Acting rather than waiting,

implementing a new price strategy
that incorporates VAT as soon as
possible ideally starting now and
gradually implementing changes so
that by the time VAT is in place they
can demonstrate price consistency and
create a positive image.

If managers quickly take these tips on

board, they will be thoroughly prepared
to face the market changes that the VAT
introduction will entail.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 67

start it up ecosystem | whos got VC | Q&A | STARTUP FINANCE

they would consider relocat-

ing to, 67% of the survey
respondents said they would
prefer to move their business
to the UAE; 24% of respond-
ents (majority of these from
the tech industry) stated that
they would choose to relocate
to the US- a move that may
not be as easy after recent
developments in US around
immigration regulations.
Historically, Jordan is
known for producing strong
A scene from the Endeavor Jordan event to discuss business migration tech talent, and most regional
enterprises count a signifi-
cant portion of technical staff
Keeping entrepreneurs at home with ties to Jordan. In terms
of entrepreneurial successes
A new Endeavor Jordan study sheds light on migration in the region, the acquisition
trends among Jordans homegrown businesses of Maktoob.com -a company
By Sindhu Hariharan
founded by Jordanian entre-
preneur Samih Toukan- by
Yahoo always features as a key
The Jordanian chapter were to start your business The World Banks research, instance. Subsequently, and
of global entrepreneurship all over again, would you set Jordans economic growth more recently, notable MENA
support organization, En- it up in Jordan? says Rasha was observed to be sub- startups such as Jamalon,
deavor, has a tricky problem Manna, Managing Director, dued in 2016, as regional MadfooatCom, CashBasha,
on its hands when it comes Endeavor Jordan. Astonish- instability takes a toll on the and Kharabeesh have all been
to developing their pipeline ingly, 60% of respondents country. Jordan has been able to start their ventures
of startups they want to sup- said they would not. Not just playing a substantial role in from scratch in Jordan,
port in the country. Despite that, 45% of the respondents managing spillovers from and gone on to scale their
its mandate to transform the also said that they would the Syrian crisis, notes the businesses in the country.
Kingdoms entrepreneurial consider moving not just their World Bank. Moreover, in the Given this history, Endeavor
ecosystem, Endeavor Jordan headquarters, but entire op- banks ease of doing busi- Jordan was keen to look at
claims to be unable to find erations as well. With regard ness ranking -a metric that the key reasons leading to
high-impact entrepreneurs to the study sample, while ranks economies from 1 to such migration trends, and
who lead high-growth, in- 125 may not be a number 190 with first place being the found that 74% of respond-
novative businesses that can commensurate to the count best- Jordans recent stand- ents were wanting to access
create material wealth and of companies who set out to ing is at 118, in comparison to larger markets. High taxation
employment in Jordan- and launch in Jordan, the griev- UAEs 26th rank and Saudi (45%), regulatory instability
the reason for this is because ances are quite common, and Arabias 94th position. This (40%), and access to fund-
these founders are either its important to note that perhaps explains the regions ing (38%) constituted a few
in the process of relocating almost half of them belong to figuring on top of Jordanian other reasons for enterprises
from Jordan, or have already the technology sector. That entrepreneurs wish list for to look outside Jordan. In
relocated to markets more is why Endeavor Jordan also migration. When asked where the case of online bookstore
favorable for their business. hosted an interactive event
Endeavor Jordan conducted post the survey for both
the Jordan Business Migra- public and private sector
tion Survey in November representatives to discuss
2016 among 125 Jordanian solutions.
enterprises, and the results Speaking about the study
shocked the organization. and the event thereafter,
When these companies (of Manna states that the survey
different sizes and from results are perhaps an indica-
a variety of sectors) were tor of Jordanian entrepre-
asked if they were currently neurs lack of confidence in
considering moving their any short-term reversal of

business out of Jordan, 72% the unfavorable economic and

said that they were. We entrepreneurial situation
asked entrepreneurs: If you in the country. According to

68 Entrepreneur march 2017

Jordanian entrepreneurs speak
Jamalon, founded by Jordanian Ala markets stems from the needs of out on Endeavor Jordans business
Alsallal, the founder relocated to each venture. For us [CashBasha], migration survey results
Dubai in 2016, although the startup our network, our reach, Jordan is the
maintains operations in Jordan only place we would be able to pro- Nasser Saleh, founder and CEO,
(where almost 90% of his employ- gress with such momentum in such MadfooatCom
ees are based) for keeping costs short time, he adds. This optimism While MadfooatCom currently has
down. However, Alsallal tells En- was uncovered in Endeavors survey no plans to move out of Jordan,
deavor that last year, when Jamalon as well, with over two-thirds of re- Saleh says that the startup may
set in motion its plans to scale up spondents who choose to keep their consider moving in the future,
and introduce publish-on-demand business in Jordan saying, Jordan if current and new investors in
capabilities to the Middle East, they is home. A quarter of the busi- the company demand that we relocate to a more
did not find Jordans regulatory nesspersons also said that the low investment-friendly country. He adds that the
environment to be conducive for cost of human capital was among startup might consider relocating our headquarters
the new model. Similarly, Jordan- the reasons they remain in Jordan. A and keeping part of the operations in Jordan if the
based media platform Kharabeesh is case in point is the startup Mad- tax system becomes more unfair for our sector,
another startup whose co-founders, fooatCom, a fintech venture behind and if the cost of quality technology resources and
along with most of the executive the launch of Jordans electronic operations becomes higher than other countries.
team, relocated to Dubai this year. payment system eFAWATEER. While
Speaking of the ways to address the the fact that the companys major Mohammed Asfour, CEO, Kharabeesh
observed trends, Endeavor Jordans client is the Central Bank of Jordan Our business in the UAE has
Manna says, Any rectification of has a lot to do with the startup stay- been growing much faster than
the local entrepreneurial ecosystem ing in Jordan, MadfooatCom founder it has in Jordan, which made the
requires the support, collective ef- and CEO Nasser Saleh says that the move a necessity. It has also facili-
forts and long-term commitment of high quality of financial services and tated our expansion into the Saudi
all relevant stakeholders from the technology talent, and a favorable market. However, the company
public and private sectors backed by ecosystem, are reasons that keep does not plan to relocate its operations from Jordan,
a cohesive government strategy that them in the country. which will continue to serve as a support office to
develops a consistent policy frame- Dubai and the KSA.
work. For instance, inadequate Any rectification of the local
sources of venture capital in Jordan entrepreneurial ecosystem Ala Alsallal, founder, Jamalon
results in most ventures relying on requires the support, collective Customs and taxation regulations
informal funding through family and efforts and long-term for exports, as well as free-zone
friends. Even with tangible devel- commitment of all relevant regulations, have been so behind
stakeholders from the public
opments in this scenario in recent [in Jordan, compared to] other
and private sectors backed by a
years, the risk appetite of the finan- cohesive government strategy countries in the region. Given that
cial institutions continues to be low. that develops a consistent policy 95% of Jamalons sales are outside
Hence, Endeavor emphasizes that a framework. of Jordan, we found Dubai to be a good location for
long-term commitment from stake- our print-on-demand, which will shape the future
holders, a more holistic approach, On its part, Endeavor Jordan admits of the publishing industry in MENA. We would have
and public-private joint efforts is that while it is understandable for loved to have set this up in Jordan.
needed to reverse this trend. founders and business develop-
However, despite these dominant ment personnel to be based out of Fouad Jeryes, co-founder, CashBasha
trends revealed by the data, its im- the larger markets in the region, In my view, and to the most sincere of my inten-
portant to note that there is also op- their concern lies with the ventures tions, Jordan in itself is a startup. That is its prime
timism among the nations entrepre- (such as the 45% of the surveyed advantage. The dynamics of the country present a
neurs that more success is to come. respondents) that wish to relocate hotbed for tech startups to blossom. Its a resource-
Besides success stories to inspire their operations entirely. The or- ful environment where most advice, partners, and
aspiring entrepreneurs, and a grow- ganization says: with prices rising support systems are way less than six degrees away
ing support system, Jordan has also in Jordan and the best of the coun- from you. Although KSA might be
had global recognition and commen- trys talent increasingly seeking jobs the major market to serve, and the
dations come its way recently. In a abroad, Jordan is fast losing what is UAE allows for mature products
recent visit to the country, Amazons considered its competitive advan- to seek larger clients, the cost of
Jeff Bezos was heard praising the tage. And it is to plug this leak that setting up shop, recruiting talent
incentives offered by the Jordanian Endeavor Jordan wants to act as a and proving product viability in
economy for ICT ventures, and the catalyst for sustainable economic Jordan is practical and achievable.
Kingdoms investment climate in growth in the region, and wants to With Jordan being a spring-board for companies
general. As an entrepreneur who had tap into its network of mentors to and a place where their headquarters are still based,
a chance to meet Bezos in this visit, help create employment opportu- we mustnt forget that this part of the world is
CashBasha co-founder Fouad Jeryes nities in the local market. Heres sadly fragmented, and Jordan is a small market, but
insists that not all businesses are wishing the organization all the best companies jump to other areas to reach additional
the same, and decisions to enter new in this endeavor. customers. Its expansion, not desertion.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 69

in pictures
Q&A with Rasha Kashkoush, Facebook
Corporate Communications of MENA and

Can you take us through the kind of

events/programs that Facebook will be
running for #SheMeansBusiness in the
MENA region?
#SheMeansBusiness is an initiative
to help give more women with great
business ideas the opportunity, support
Clare Woodcraft-Scott, CEO of Emirates Foundation, Mai Medhat, CEO and co-founder of Eventtus, Iman Ben and practical advice they need to turn
Chaibah, founder and CEO of Sail Publishing, and Sarah Beydoun, founder of Sarahs Bag
these ideas into reality. In the Middle East
and North Africa, #SheMeansBusiness is

Its go time!
partnering with organizations in the UAE
and Egypt to train 10,000 women in one
year. In the UAE, Facebook is working
Facebook MENA launches #SheMeansBusiness to encourage with Sheraa Sharjah and Emirates
female entrepreneurship Foundation. These organizations are

building a coalition of other UAE-based
omens role in society startup incubators, NGOs, and womens
has a great impact on the organizations to further reach that goal.
economy- and indeed, is In Egypt, Ahead of the Curve will take
an influence of progres- the lead in building a team of partners to
sion. According to a McKinsey research, reach women across the country.
increasing womens participation in
the workforce in GCC alone would add What would your pitch be to MENA
US$180 billion or a 7% increase to women to get them to participate
the economy in 2025- an optimistic in Facebooks #SheMeansBusiness
Rasha Kashkoush, Facebook Corporate Communications
possibility for the business scene in of MENA and Turkey initiative? In other words, whats in it
the region. In the spirit of encourag- for them?
ing womens participation in business, Publishing, and Sarah Beydoun, founder Training, learning, and community.
Facebook launched the MENA edition of of Sarahs Bag. #SheMeansBusiness will give more
its global initiative #SheMeansBusiness #SheMeansBusiness aims to train women with great business ideas the
on February 22, 2017 in Dubai, UAE. women entrepreneurs, women-owned practical advice they need to turn these
The event welcomed attendees, includ- and women-led businesses to utilize ideas into reality. Were working with
ing Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA at and leverage Facebook and Instagram our partners in the region to provide
Facebook, Clare Woodcraft-Scott, CEO for their business. For its MENA mar- advice, knowledge and tools that will
of Emirates Foundation, with a short ket, Facebook has partnered with UAE give more women across the MENA the
discussion from its partners Francesca initiatives Sheraa Sharjah and Emir- support they need to continue growing.
Capobianchi, SMB Community Engage- ates Foundation to build a network of Specifically, Facebook and Instagram
ment Program Manager at Facebook, UAE-based startup incubators, NGOs are fueling small business growth its
Dina Sheriff, CEO, Ahead of the Curve, and womens organizations to reach a great way for small and medium
and Najla Al-Midfa, General Manager their goals, says Rasha Kashkoush, businesses (SMBs) to reach existing
of Sheraa Sharjah. It also featured a Facebook Corporate Communications of customers and find new ones, simply
quick panel from a few of the startups MENA and Turkey. In Egypt, Facebook because its where people are spending
featured on its platform: Mai Medhat, has partnered with Ahead of the Curve their time. In the Middle East and North
CEO and co-founder of Eventtus, Iman to lead in growing a team of partners Africa, more than 152 million people
Ben Chaibah, founder and CEO of Sail to extend its reach among women in access Facebook every month. Across
the region. Using workshops, the UAE, 74% of people are already
#SheMeansBusiness women entrepreneurs training sessions and online connected to at least one business
resources, along with its in a foreign country; in Egypt and in
community to provide sup- Saudi Arabia, the figure is at 63%. For
port, it seeks to provide users SMBs, marketing used to be expensive
insights, skills and network and difficult, but Facebook Pages
to scale their business online. are increasingly becoming a primary
images courtesy #shemeansbusiness

For female entrepreneurs, its presence for small businesses, used by

certainly an indication of ad- more than 65 million small businesses
vancement, and we cant wait around the world because theyre free,
to see its fruition. easy to use, and they work well on
https://shemeansbusiness.fb.com/ae mobile.

70 Entrepreneur march 2017


Hub Zero Bringing your games to the MENA region

City Walk
Dubai, UAE Join DGC Games Dubai and meet with the
leading games publishers and VR Innovators.



Book your pass and benefit from early bird

registration fees until 15th of March.

Book your stand now in the exhibition

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march 2017 Entrepreneur 71


Key elements of a non-

disclosure agreement
A well drafted non-disclosure
agreement should, among
other points and at the very
least, address the following
five essential components:

1. It should clearly
identify the parties to the
non-disclosure agreement.
When a non-disclosure agree-
ment is signed, a confiden-
tial relationship is created
between the individual or
entity disclosing confidential
information (Discloser) and
the individual or entity receiv-
ing (Receiver) the confidential
information. This relationship
legally binds the Receiver to
keep the information a secret.

Securing your IP 2. It should clearly

define what comprises
The two key legal documents every UAE startup needs confidential information.
This helps establish the sub-
By Fatema Fathnezhad ject matter that is being dis-

closed and helps the Receiver
hen starting a new documents that you need to lists, pricing plans, manufac- identify what information is
business, founders have in place to jumpstart the turing processes or formulas, confidential.
are usually busy protection of your startups novel invention designs, or
working on a million intellectual property in the confidential material con- 3. It should clearly list
things at once, and dealing UAE. tained in copyrighted software exclusions from the
with legal documents is not programs. definition of confidential
the most exciting item on the 1. NON-DISCLOSURE The UAEs general contract information.
to-do list. However, a startups AGREEMENT law, labor law, and unfair Exclusions to the definition of
intellectual property is typi- A non-disclosure agreement, competition law provide for confidential information are
cally its most important and commonly known as an NDA protection of confidential in- based on generally established
valuable asset, and founders or a confidentiality agreement, formation through contractual principles of law. A party
should take steps early on to is one of the best ways to relations. As a result, a best receiving such excluded infor-
protect it. protect valuable confidential practice for you when looking mation has no obligation to
A quick way to organize the information and intellectual to protect your startups confi- keep it confidential. For exam-
strategy around your startups property of your business. dential information is to enter ple, a common exclusion from
intellectual property is to Through the use of a non- into contracts with employees the definition of confidential
make a checklist of all of your disclosure agreement, you can or third parties to obligate the information is information
initial intellectual property protect the confidentiality of party receiving confidential that was disclosed to, created,
considerations. This will help secret information that may information to keep it a secret. or discovered by the Receiver
you keep track of each item as be disclosed in, for example, prior to (or independent of)
you deal with them. Examples a financing round, a business Types of non-disclosure any involvement with the
of concerns that can go on this transaction or an employment agreements Discloser.
checklist include branding, relationship. Usually, this is A non-disclosure agreement
trade marks, patents, trade information that gives your can be one-sided or mu- 4. It should clearly
secrets, copyrights, confiden- business a competitive edge tual. A one-sided non-disclo- define the obligations of
tiality, invention assignments, and is not generally known in sure agreement exists when Receiver.
user-generated content, data the market. Examples of such only one party is disclosing Generally, a Receiver will have
privacy, consumer protections, information can include ideas confidential information. A a duty to hold and protect the
etc. for a new website, financial mutual non-disclosure agree- secrecy of the confidential
To help simplify the basics data and plans, specific know- ment exists when both parties information as if it were their
and get you started, weve how of a business, sales data are exchanging confidential own confidential information,
outlined the two key legal and plans, customer data and information. and strictly limit the access

72 Entrepreneur march 2017

to and use of the confidential because its often the value of 1. Technology assignment Depending on the type of in-
information to only situations your intellectual portfolio that agreement. tellectual property assignment
that require it. Additionally, investors and venture capital This agreement assigns any agreement being used, the
it is common to see language firms will be evaluating. intellectual property created description of the intellectual
stating that the Receiver may In contrast to international before founding of a startup. property may also contain in-
not breach the confidential norms, in the UAE, the assign- Technology assignment agree- formation about any relevant
relationship, induce others to ment to employers of owner- ments usually come into play applications or registrations,
breach it, or induce others to ship to works created by their for technology startups, where associated goodwill (business
acquire the confidential infor- employees during the course a developer may assign or sell reputation), or a description
mation by improper means. of employment is dependent their rights in a software code of assets being transferred.
on the type of employment to a startup in exchange for
5. It should clearly state and the intellectual property equity or cash. A non-disclosure agreement
a term during which the rights of concern. A recom- should define a time period
confidential information mended approach to ensure 2. Invention assignment during which the Receiver is
will be disclosed. that any prior or unwritten agreement. obligated to maintain confi-
A non-disclosure agreement agreements to assign intel- This agreement assigns any dentiality of the information.
should have a term dur- lectual property are clearly intellectual property rights in
ing which the confidential documented is to put in place relevant work product created 3. It should clearly define
information will be disclosed. a confirmatory assignment be- by employees or contractors of the obligations of the
This term usually depends on tween the parties. A confirma- a startup, after its foundation. parties.
the nature of the transaction tory assignment is a confir- Invention assignment agree- Generally, an Assignor will
or relationship between the mation of a prior unwritten ments are commonly signed by have a duty to assign its own-
Discloser and the Receiver. assignment of intellectual not only employees, but also ership interest to the Assignee.
property rights between two founders, of a startup. This Depending on the type of in-
6. It should clearly state or more parties. Despite this ensures that the startup has tellectual property assignment
a time period during which and as mentioned above, the clean ownership of all items agreement that is being used,
confidentiality of the UAEs general contract law, in its intellectual property the Assignee may also have an
information must be main- labor law, and unfair competi- portfolio. obligation to pay a lump sum
tained. tion law provide for protection or a specified amount of equity
A non-disclosure agreement of confidential information Key elements of an intel- to the Assignor.
should define a time period through contractual relations. lectual property assign-
during which the Receiver is As a result, a best practice ment agreement 4. It should clearly state
obligated to maintain confi- to begin with when founding A well-drafted intellectual a term during which the
dentiality of the information. a startup is to assign all rel- property assignment agree- intellectual property
evant intellectual property to ment should, among other assignment agreement
2. INTELLECTUAL the company through entering points and at the very least, will be effective.
PROPERTY ASSIGNMENT into an intellectual property address the following four es- Depending on the type of in-
AGREEMENT assignment agreement. sential components: tellectual property assignment
An intellectual property as- agreement being used, the
signment agreement is one of Types of intellectual 1. It should clearly term can be for a specific date
the tools that you will need property assignment identify the parties to the of transfer and assignment of
to ensure that your startup agreements intellectual property already existing or developed
has complete and clean Intellectual property assign- assignment agreement. intellectual property, or for as
ownership of all intellectual ment agreements should not By signing an intellectual long as a term of employment
property assets of the busi- only cover employee and property assignment agree- or contractor relationship is
ness in writing. This helps contractor works created ment, the party assigning (As- expected to last.
your startup avoid any costly during the course of employ- signor) assigns its ownership In conclusion, to properly
issues that could result from, ment, but also works created interest in any intellectual protect your startups intel-
for example, claims by patent as a result of funding by your property to the party receiving lectual property, you should
trolls or competing companies startup, and financial rights it (Assignee). consider investing some time
trying to copy your software (royalties) in all works. There at the early founding stages
or product offering. Whats are two types of assignment 2. It should clearly in drafting an intellectual
more, intellectual property agreements, a technology as- identify and describe the property checklist, and putting
assignment agreements are signment agreement and an intellectual property to into place well-drafted non-
key to keeping your startups invention assignment agree- be assigned and/or being disclosure agreements and
ownership in its intellectual ment that you can consider transferred and assigned. intellectual property assign-
property portfolio in order. using to build and protect This helps exactly detail the ment agreements. It may take
This can be especially impor- your startups intellectual intellectual property being some time- but it pays to do it
tant for technology startups, property portfolio: transferred and assigned. right. Good luck!

Fatema Fathnezhad works as a legal consultant with Khalid A. Altamimi Advocates & Legal Consultants, a member firm of the Cedar White Bradley
group. She advises startups on a variety of IP protection and commercial matters. Fatema can be reached on fatema.fathnezhad@cwblegal.com.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 73

start it up ecosystem | whos got VC | Q&A | STARTUP FINANCE

The Venture GCC

winner NOW
Money with rate among the UAE low-
Gaurav Sabharwal, income market is at 98%. It
Managing Director,
is actually higher than in the
Pernod Ricard Gulf
wealthier segment, which at
first seems strange, but makes
sense when you consider its
the primary method of contact
with family back home, says
Budd. She adds that theyre
also in talks with some large
phone manufacturers to offer
exclusive deals to make smart-
phones affordable for their
users. As for those who dont
own a smartphone, users
are given a functional NOW
Money payment card to with-
draw their cash from their
NOW account from the ATM,
and remit via an exchange
center. Budd adds that they
also have a thorough onboard-
Show me the money! ing process to guarantee users
receive sufficient training to
MENA fintech startup NOW Money wants to help everyone use the app and send money
to their home countries. They
get access to banking
also have a multi-lingual call
By Pamella de Leon center to provide customer
support, with an in-app chat

ccording to the World dont have access to banking houses, says Budd. Cus- in the works. Compared to
Banks Migration and and remittance services with tomers can monitor their outbound remittances sent
Remittances Factbook direct access to a current transactions, remit money, as cash (which is often hard
2016 report, migrants account, debit card and remit- top up their phone with credit to follow), the startup tracks
are sending earnings tance from their proprietary and pay utility bills safely and payments from salary, to
worth more than US$441 bil- app and service center. Utiliz- conveniently from the app. remittance, to collection by
lion to families in developing ing their acumen in finance It also enables users to access overseas. This is an important
countries, contributing to the from experiences in retail multiple online exchange step change in the progress
10% of GDP of some 25 de- banking analytics and invest- houses, and select one based the UAE is making towards
veloping countries. With KSA, ment banking for UK and GCC on the rate and services of- combatting money laundering
UAE and Kuwait among the banks, as well as recognizing fered. and criminal funding. With
top ten high-income countries mobile moneys potential to respect to security and pri-
categorized as main sources of deliver customer service at Given the average vacy, facial recognition tech
remittances in 2014, six GCC low cost, the duo founded the salary, living expenses is used to enable users to log
countries accounted for $98 startup in September 2015, in Dubai and remittance in to the NOW Money app- a
billion in outward remittance with Budd developing part- fees paid of a typical photo cannot be used to fake
flows in 2014. As the regions nerships and clients, and Dil- NOW Money user, we an entry, since movement is
expat population transfer lon focusing on the startups estimate a saving of accounted for by this feature:
money to respective home finance and strategy. Besides AED1700 a year with the user has to blink to log in.
countries, theres a prevalent providing financial inclusion NOW, in comparison to It also records the way you
reality that there is a struggle to whoever has no access to exchange houses. hold your phone and type, so
(especially among blue-collar banking services, the apps suspicious behavior will cause
workers) to access bank ac- USP is its low remittance fees One might wonder here that an alert notification. Although
counts- and this is what compared to conventional given that the app requires its pin codes and passwords are
fintech startup NOW Money is methods. Given the aver- users to have a smartphone, still present as per the current
trying to solve. age salary, living expenses in how does NOW Money deal compliance laws require-
With a tagline of empower- Dubai and remittance fees with workers and their re- ment, the team believes such
ing the unbanked, founders paid of a typical NOW Money cipients who dont have such a system is still susceptible
Katharine Budd and Ian Dillon user, we estimate a saving of mobile devices? Budd replies to hackers, and thus Budd
launched NOW Money to AED1700 a year with NOW, that based on their research, asserts the advantage of biom-
provide expat workers who in comparison to exchange the smartphone penetration etrics.

74 Entrepreneur march 2017

Going from ideation to launch, of our audience, Budd says,
of course, wasnt easy- for adding that having a focus
instance, Budd says licensing group was integral in develop-
was one such hurdle, as guid- ing the apps UX, after which
ance on the requisite pro- the team had internal testing,
cesses was minimal, especially before moving on to real
for a new business concept clients.
and one based on financial
services. The duo credits a You can never place too
much emphasis on the
number of advisors for them emotional side of your
getting better acquainted business. The numbers
with the MENA fintech scene- are important in showing
these include Stuart Walker, the business is viable and
scalable, but people like
their legal counsel at Afridi
stories, not graphs.
& Angell, Amanda Perry of NOW Money team
Vital Corporate Solutions who NOW Money today partners
assisted them with licensing, with corporates to give ac- use the service, so that helps! of the apps value- besides
and Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi counts to staff; the app is live Additionally, the majority winning IBMs Startup of
as their local partner. Secur- with a test group from each of of corporates we meet care the Year 2016 and the Global
ing key members such as Fia- their corporate clients, who about staff welfare. Theyve Women in STEM Best Startup
chra Woodman as their CTO provide them with integral been limited in terms of 2016, it has also gained rec-
and Niraj Shah as lead devel- feedback for future versions. financial options for staff on ognition as the GCC regional
oper was, as Budd puts it, a With respect to clientele, low-income, and also have to winner of The Venture 2017,
game changer too- these two Budd says they have a range, accommodate for their long a startup competition seeking
team members are based in although the driver market trips weekly or monthly to promising social enterprises
the UK, and as such, they have is starting to look big for make manual remittances from all over the world. Rep-
access to Londons fintech us (delivery, cabs, etc.). In back home, and deal with the resenting the region, NOW
scene and their partners addition, we have hospital- consequences when those re- Money will be one of the
too, such as AimBrain, NOW ity, construction, and [we] mittances fail. Of course, they 30 startups competing for a
Moneys biometric security are just starting to talk to are happy to know their staff share of the $1 million fund-
partner. They have developed some bigger retail organiza- have a secure and conveni- ing prize in the final round in
the NOW Money backend of tions. And the response so ent way of managing finances Los Angeles, US in July. Budd
the app in conjunction with far? Corporate clients have from their pocket. counts the accelerator week
a UAE-based UI/UX designer, been receptive, Budd replies. For what its worth, the eco- at the University of Oxford
who understands the psyche We dont charge them to system at large is taking note in March as an opportunity
to spruce up their pitching
strategy for a broader audi-
ence. Theyre also keen on not
NOW Money only introducing the financial
inclusion opportunity in the
region, but also represent-
ing the GCC startup scene.
And theyre certainly gearing
themselves up for it- follow-
ing the judges advice from
the GCC round, Budd notes
how the judges emphasized
the significance of how the
startup can really measure its
social impact, You can never
place too much emphasis on
the emotional side of your
business. The numbers are
important in showing the
business is viable and scal-
able, but people like stories,
not graphs. This is more

important for a US audience

in a social enterprise compe-
tition. >>>

march 2017 Entrepreneur 75

start it up ecosystem | whos got VC | Q&A | STARTUP FINANCE

NOW Money is free to use, demonstrate appetite in the

NOW Money founders Ian Dillon
with revenue generated from market for it, your idea is just and Katharine Budd
a small percentage on remit- that- only an idea. An inves-
tances, which Budd adds is tor is not going to make your
much less [than] that you idea into a credible business-
would get in a brick and only you make it happen!
mortar exchange house, which
is typically advertised at 4%, Investors like to
but can be 10%+ when fee see as little risk and
and FX rate is aggregated. as much traction as
Though initially self-funded, possible from a solid
the duo count themselves team who know how
lucky to have met their seed to work together.
investor (who is, as yet,
undisclosed), who has pro- Following their seed funding,
vided them with $0.5 million. NOW Money has expanded TREP TALK
Their financial advisors also their team to include a mar- NOW Money co-founder and CEO Katharine Budd
included Allied Investment keting manager to develop the
Partners, an entity regulated UI/UX and digital marketing ON DEVELOPING THEIR ON INVESTOR INTEREST
by Central Bank, who are strategy, among others. The PROPRIETARY TECH IN FINTECH
assisting them in managing startup has also dipped their Although buying software Although traditional
their next raise of $5 million. toes in developing strong con- may allow you to get a investors such as VCs
Budd admits its unusual for tent marketing and a following product out quicker, it can are interested in fintech,
a startup to be involved with on social media to share their get quite restrictive when they are still only dipping
an investment bank, but for insights on fintech- in fact, you want to do something a toe in the water. This
the startup, its been the right if you notice Budds Twitter new. Additionally, none of the is understandable, as
choice as they have helped account (@kat_budd) and the providers we looked at had payments are challenging
NOW Money with early startups timeline at exactly what we needed, so and complex to learn
hurdles, notably with access @NOWMoneyME, its notice- we would have been spending about compared with
to banking partnerships and able how theyve been training a lot on adjustments anyway. easier options such as
approaching regulatory. And users of the app. As for whats In-house development means e-commerce, or safer
on the subject of investors, ahead, besides prepping for the NOW ecosystem is wholly investments in longer-
Budd points out an observa- The Ventures final round in ours, so we have complete standing companies. Fintech
tion that startups should July, Budd talks about their control and other companies is a different ball game. It
note: Investors like to see excitement for the regions cant buy the same product needs patient investors who
as little risk and as much opportunity- especially with from a vendor. understand the financial
traction as possible from a KSA and Bahrain, which market and have more to
solid team who know how to theyre looking at as a GCC ON WHETHER BEING AN offer than just finance.
work together. She brings up hub. As each market differs, APP WOULD LIMIT ITS
the usual notion of first-time NOW Money plans to cater to GROWTH AND UTILITY ON PITCHING ADVICE FOR
entrepreneurs wary of sharing various markets needs (with Being solely mobile is the STARTUPS
ideas in fear of someone steal- partnerships already on the way forward. Incumbent Have confidence in your
ing them, Talking about your works), as well as diversify- businesses are desperately actual pitch and deck.
idea is your point of market ing their offers for their users, trying to reinvent Often, its not even about
validation. Until you have including lending and more themselves digitally. It [has] the product, its about your
a working product and can services. been proven that digital, passion and ability to deliver.
automation and advanced If you really believe in what
intelligence provides youre doing and are able to
enormous benefits to portray that to the judges,
companies in terms of both then they will know that
growth and scale. It is going this will also represent your
to be difficult for current ability to represent it to your
businesses to either up-skill, customers and have success
or replace their current as a commercial business. I
workforces in time to ride have seen some great ideas
the AI wave, but fortunately pitched in a dull way, and
for us and other mobile equally, some businesses
businesses at the start of the with a loss-making model
journey, were building a team pitched enthusiastically take
around it. the win!

76 Entrepreneur march 2017


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start it up ecosystem | whos got VC | Q&A | STARTUP FINANCE

depending on the students

current grades, requirements
from the course, career plans
and budget. Irrespective of
the level of education (un-
dergraduate, post graduate
etc.), the enterprise presents
students with global course
options, in line with their
specifications and creden-

We are the official

representatives for
academic institutions in
the MENA region, and are
remunerated by them as a
percentage of the tuition
fee for every person we
successfully enroll.

At a time when every task

is getting automated or be-
ing replaced by technology,
Left to right: Education Basket counts the
Education Basket personal and customized
Jessica Naim and
attention offered to students
Mylne El Fakhry as being its USP. We assist
the students throughout the
entire application process

Bridging the gap and later on, once an accept-

ance is received, throughout
the visa procedure [for an
Education Basket wants to guide the MENA regions youth overseas institution] and
in their higher education forays the hunt for appropriate
accommodation, adds El
By Sindhu Hariharan
Fakhry. Finally, we do keep

in touch with our students
report published After all, its rarely (if ever) to kickstart [our] regional to make sure their transi-
by the Institute an easy task to get into these project, explains El Fakhry. tion period goes smoothly
of International schools, and MENA students Launched in Doha in 2013, and we receive their attend-
Education re- need to be prepared and Education Basket today ance records as well as their
vealed that in guided to make the best out has operations across the grade reports to share with
2016, the number of Middle of their learning opportuni- GCC, with offices in Kuwait, their parents and sponsors
East students travelling to ties abroad- and thats what Lebanon and Egypt, and its (at the students discre-
study to universities in the Education Baskets found- founders believe that the tion). She emphasizes that
United States increased by ers set out to do with their companys structure today the teams counselors offer
almost 5%, when compared enterprise. Started by long- has successfully progressed unbiased advice, and they
with the previous year. time friends Jessica Naim from a startup to a medium- also go the extra mile to
This is just one indication and Mylne El Fakhry, who sized company. Explaining secure scholarships from
of the interest in overseas were formerly a journalist the full suite of services various sources. In doing so,
higher education showcased and financial consultant provided by the education the company has managed
by students in this region, respectively, the duo picked consultancy, El Fakhry says, to arrive at a pretty straight-
and with MENA companies Qatar to launch Education Academic orientation is at forward revenue model: We
often citing inadequate Basket. Qatar, with its the core of our business, and are the official representa-
skills among talent as major 2030 vision dedicated to every case is unique, so the tives for academic institu-
IMAGE credits education basket

impediments to business transforming a commod- advice we give when it comes tions in the MENA region,
growth, this trend is a ity reliant market into a to choosing a major, univer- and are remunerated by
healthy sign- but it comes knowledge-based economy, sity or country for higher them as a percentage of the
with its own set of hurdles. seemed like the perfect place education is customized tuition fee for every person

78 Entrepreneur march 2017

Despite such high ambitions, Kingdom, says El Fakhry.
the founders have been cau- Just like students, partners
tious and selective when it who appreciated our work
comes to raising funds for also referred us to other
growth. The decision has institutions, and instead of
been driven primarily by us approaching potential
the ability of the partner universities for agreements,
[investor] to help them we started being approached
expand with their expertise by them directly.
and network. After careful But the business develop-
consideration, we decided ment efforts of Education
to join forces with Eurotech Basket arent limited to
[in January 2016], a 17-year- sealing partnerships. The
old Kuwait-based corporate research and market intel-
training company with a ligence team has a huge task
very rich network of clients on their hands in staying
across the region and of- updated of the dynamic
fices in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, regulations in the regions
we successfully enroll. foraying into foreign edu- Lebanon, Turkey, Malaysia education sphere, and hence
Speaking about why the cation led to setting up an and London, says El Fakhry. constantly screens websites
company picked Qatar for office in Kuwait, Education Considering the nature of of the regions education
its inception, El Fakhry is Basket is now also venturing business, references and Ministries, local newspapers,
thankful to Qatars emphasis into the regions largest mar- relationships play a key role and other official announce-
on becoming an educational ket- Egypt. We have already in scaling such a venture, ments for changes. They
hub, and the government started a due diligence pro- Education Basket has been also participate in industry
allocating its second largest cess in two new markets, one quick to realize this. Our trainings, fairs, and other
budget to education. She in the GCC (for Q4 2017) and numbers helped us sign our activities hosted by universi-
adds that the countrys ini- another in North Africa (for first agreements with educa- ties and consular services
tiatives like Education City, Q2 2018), adds El Fakhry. tion partners in the United to achieve this. In fact, as >>>
and the World Innovation
Summit for Education under
the umbrella of Qatar Foun-
dation have all helped boost
their business, and allowed
us to operate profitably since
day one. As for subsequent
expansion decisions, the
intrinsic thirst of Lebanese
people for academic ad-
vancement prompted the
entry into Lebanon, and
the company has now even
centralized their support
functions (finance, mar-
keting, administration) in
Beirut, owing to the citys
bustling startup ecosystem.
While Kuwaitis history of

After careful consid-

eration, we decided to join
forces with Eurotech [in
January 2016], a 17-year-old
Kuwait-based corporate
image @PamHachem of Education Basket

training company with a very

rich network of clients
across the region and of-
fices in Saudi Arabia, Dubai,
Lebanon, Turkey, Malaysia
and London.

march 2017 Entrepreneur 79

start it up ecosystem | whos got VC | Q&A | STARTUP FINANCE

Mylne El Fakhry, co-founder and Executive Director,
Education Basket

What are a few key chal- when they invest in higher

lenges you anticipate or education abroad. The
already face in scaling up outcome would be obtaining
your business? a degree from a recognized
[First], protectionist regula- institution across the region
tions governing for-profit in order to land a job when
educational businesses, and they come back. For others,
[second], optimizing existing studying abroad sometimes
resources to fulfill ambitious could be seeking a new ad-
Education Basket team at an event projects. venture, opening up to other
cultures and experience new
part of the SMEs expansion With business fundamentals In your experience of run- ways of life. Finally, others
strategy for 2017, Education working in its favor, Educa- ning Education Basket, seek more affordable univer-
Basket is also organizing its tion Basket has thus been what are a few preferred sity options abroad.
first higher education fair successful in providing coun- vocations or courses that
within the next few months, seling for over 1500 stu- are in top demand today What are your top five
bringing global universi- dents across the region, and among MENAs youth? tips for an entrepreneur to
ties and student community claims to have placed over Medicine, engineering start a business in MENA?
together in Kuwait, Qatar 600 of them in institutions and law degrees are still [Firstly], data is key but not
and Lebanon. Further, look- based in the US, Canada, very popular amongst high visible to the naked eye, be
ing to leverage the online UK, EU, Russia, UAE, and school students looking into ready to dig for it. [Second],
medium to develop a loyal other countries. While the education abroad. However, cut costs on everything
customer base, the company team admits that 2016 has with the GCCs different except salaries and legal
has developed customized been a tough year for GCC- visions to be implemented advice. [Third], gut feeling
online content in Arabic based education businesses, in the coming decades, the and ambition are useless
and English, working with Education Basket has seen trend is about to change. without a solid business
university partners. We revenue grow at an average Some Gulf nations are try- plan. [Fourth], when hiring,
have allocated an impor- 30% rate since their launch. ing to shift towards more think: trust, competence
tant budget for our online As for the future, El Fakhry service-oriented economies, and resourcefulness (in that
strategy and developed an notes various external fac- and humanities as well as order). [Finally], make sure
interactive web portal where tors that serve as a positive social sciences are starting the expectations of your
students can create their influence for their growth to trend amongst master investor(s) are aligned with
private space to communi- story. An increase in the rec- students. Students tend to the nature and pace of your
cate with our team members, ognition of the advantages look for education excellence business model.
share their files and fol- of an international educa-
low up on their application tion experience, coupled
process. And to drive these with the improved focus on
activities, Education Basket human capital development
claims to be blessed with a by the regions governments,
team of dynamic people, in simplified global mobility,
touch with students needs and access to institutional
and trends. The diversity financing options for stu-
within our team often allows dents, have all placed the
students to relate to our spotlight on higher educa-
own experiences, but more tion, and these are expected
importantly, feel confident to have positive outcomes
about our services, adds El on the region, if channeled
Fakhry. through a clear plan. Educa-
tion Basket believes this is
We have allocated an impor- where they come in, and
tant budget for our online
for those just out of school,
strategy and developed an
interactive web portal where feeling overwhelmed with
students can create their the options facing them, the
private space to communicate company has just one thing
with our team members to say to you: Get in touch!

80 Entrepreneur march 2017


ning the lottery. You can, however,

drastically improve your chances by
offering your services to more people,
and the easiest way to do that is
to dedicate regular hours each day
solely for finding new prospects and
for following up on existing leads.
Its not the most fun activity, but its
necessary if you want a steady stream
of customers coming in.

3. Fine-tune your sales pitch

Dont just talk about what you do
and how awesome your services are.
Know your prospects specific needs,
and communicate how you can cater
to these. Being able to offer tangible
benefits to your customers show that
you genuinely value your clients and
dont just see them as cash cows.

Identifying potential
Take your game to business development
agencies: they are experts in their field
and they save you time, money and energy,
Prospecting is the crucial sales tactic that you might not be providing you fertile grounds for
expanding your reach.
doing enough of By Jezreel Bokingo
4. Switch up your tactics

hen it comes to sales, Sadly, a lot of sellers dont pros- Think out of the box and dont just
concentrating on closing pect enough, or dont do it properly. rely on usual methods like emailing
a deal with a current Either they dont understand how to and networking. Take your game to
client is not enough. You do it, or they just dont view it as an business development agencies: they
have to think long-term important step. This is understand- are experts in their field and they
to be successful in this competitive able: prospecting involves communi- save you time, money and energy,
industry, and being able to tap cating to strangers, and it comes with providing you fertile grounds for
into a steady stream of customers a high possibility of getting rejected. expanding your reach. There are so
interested in your services is the best But just because its not enjoyable many ways you can make people
way to keep your numbers up. doesnt mean you should stop giving aware about what youre offering, at
The secret lies in properly identi- it your best. reasonable cost- you just have to use
fying potential clients, an essential Heres what you can do to make them to your advantage.
process known as prospecting. Skip- prospecting easier:
ping it would be akin to looking for 5. Utilize your existing
an object in a pitch-black room, and 1. Know your target market customers
prospecting half-heartedly wouldnt Once you have your list of prospects, Take care of your customers: re-
be any better. But do it right, and you zoom in on the people or companies member their birthdays, send them
might just be rewarded with consist- whom you think can benefit most invites to exclusive events, and get
ent sales. from your services. Study your past feedback from them. Word of mouth
It takes a lot of time and effort to sales to create a profile of your ideal will always be one of the best forms
create a pipeline with enough good customer and check your database of advertising, and happy customers
prospects to see you through quarter for people who fit your template. telling other people how pleased they
after quarter. You have to capture This way, the time and effort you are with your services is an effec-
your prospects attention, keep them spend prospecting is maximized. tive method of increasing awareness
interested, and make them want of your brand. Also, once youve
what youre offering. To accomplish 2. Prospect regularly closed a sale, dont hesitate to ask
that, you have to nurture your rela- Lets be realistic: your chances of your client if they know anyone else
tionship with your prospects, and getting a customer immediately after who might need your services. Who
this requires a massive amount of just a single cold call are just a bit knows, your next client might just be
patience. higher than your chances of win- closer than you think!

Jezreel Bokingo is the founder and Managing Director of The Wingman, a business development agency. A business opportunity creator,
strategist and a creative, he is passionate in business development, relationship management, demand generation, sales strategy and event
management that help global entrepreneurs win new business and expand in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. He has worked
with blue chip clients that include Emirates, Jumeirah International Group, Majid Al Futaim, Nasdaq Dubai, AXA Insurance and Chalhoub
Group, just to name a few. www.wingmandubai.com

82 Entrepreneur march 2017

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