Making It

Making It is a weekly discussion with CEOs and founders who are building great businesses right here in Egypt. Each season will be a masterclass exploring how visionary CEOs are building strategy, dealing with conflict, figuring out how to scale up, and staying ahead of the competition. You’ll hear the origin story of hot startups, how family-owned businesses are institutionalizing, and the strategies publicly traded giants are using to transform themselves into the next generation of Egyptian multinationals. So, get ready to delve deep into the Egyptian business world and hear firsthand stories of how some of the top players are making it.

May 13, 2020

Where preparation meets opportunity: How TPay Mobile put Egypt on the Fintech map

Sahar Salama, Founder and CEO of TPay Mobile

In a country with low banking penetration and high mobile adoption, Sahar Salama saw a business opportunity in creating a payment solution through telecom operators. She used her experience at Link Development to create a direct operator billing model and launched TPay Mobile in 2014. 

Launched in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE simultaneously, they now operate in over 18 markets across MENA covering almost 51 mn transactions a day. 

The company made headlines in 2017 by making the first wholesale acquisition of a fintech company in Egypt when they acquired their primary competitors DCBEgypt. In 2018, they became the region’s first Dragon, when A15 sold its 76% stake to Helios Investment. Salama talks to our host, Patrick, about conception, the challenges of scaling, the importance of finding the right partners, and her future plans to make TPay what she considers a great business.

 

Making It is grateful for the generous support of:

CIB, Egypt’s number-one private-sector bank and the partner of choice for CEOs and leaders of businesses at all stages of their growth stories

The United States Agency for International Development, which has a 40 year history of inspiring Egyptian success in partnership with the Government and people of Egypt.

** Subscribe to Making it here https://bit.ly/35lugvb.

** Subscribe to Enterprise, our 6am briefing on business, finance and economics in Egypt (also free) at www.enterprise.press

You can check out TPay at: tpaymobile.com

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May 6, 2020

Amro Abouesh, CEO and Managing Director of Tanemyah

Having served as Executive Advisor for Microsofinance at Banque du Caire and then as head of the microfinance and SMEs division at the Bank of Alexandria, Amro Abouesh believed in private sector financing as a means to enable social mobility within the low income sector of society.

By founding Tanmeyah in 2009, Amro effectively launched private microfinance in Egypt and helped bring in Egypt’s leading private equity, commercial and investment banks. Today Tanmeyah sits at the top of the industry with over 270 branches across the country and an EGP 3.5 bn portfolio.

Abouesh walks us through the risk assessment process and his experience navigating policy and legislation to establish Tanmeyah and private microfinance.

 

Making It is grateful for the generous support of:

CIB, Egypt’s number-one private-sector bank and the partner of choice for CEOs and leaders of businesses at all stages of their growth stories.

The United States Agency for International Development, which has a 40 year history of inspiring Egyptian success in partnership with the Government and people of Egypt.

** Subscribe to Making it here https://bit.ly/35lugvb.

** Subscribe to Enterprise, our 6am briefing on business, finance and economics in Egypt (also free) at www.enterprise.press

You can check out Tanmeyah at tanmeyah.com/en

 

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April 29, 2020

Surviving the end of a trend: going beyond cupcakes with NOLA

Laila Sedky and Adel Sedky, Founder and CEO of NOLA

As Founder and CEO of one of the most recognizable brands in the confectionary business, Laila and Adel understand the business of selling happiness. Their tenure at Nola saw them grow the brand beyond the flagship store in Zamalek to a confectionary giant with 25 stores across 7 cities.

From leading the local cupcake craze to making pivotal decisions on the sustainability of their brand and the subsequent reorienting of their customers, all while dishing out fresh and exciting takes on classic Egyptian desserts, Laila and Adel are experts at marketing and operations, looking beyond trends, and separating between work and family.

 

Making It is grateful for the generous support of:

CIB, Egypt’s number-one private-sector bank and the partner of choice for CEOs and leaders of businesses at all stages of their growth stories

The United States Agency for International Development, which has a 40 year history of inspiring Egyptian success in partnership with the Government and people of Egypt.

** Subscribe to Making it here https://bit.ly/35lugvb.

** Subscribe to Enterprise, our 6am briefing on business, finance and economics in Egypt (also free) at www.enterprise.press.

You can check out NOLA’ extensive range of products on their website or instagram.

www.nolabakery.com

https://www.instagram.com/nolacupcakes

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April 23, 2020

We don’t need no education…in the classroom

Mohamed El Kalla, CEO of Cairo for Investment and Real Estate (CIRA). 

As the head of one of the largest private sector education operators, El Kalla is someone who understands the business of education. He has seen the seismic shifts in the industry over the past few decades: from family-owned businesses to corporations, from Cairo and Alex to the other governorates, from the super wealthy to the middle class, from individual shareholders to IPOs and private equity, and from the classroom to your home. CIRA has even led the way on a number of these trends.

His tenure saw him lead the company through a successful relisting on the EGX in 2018, which fueled a massive expansion. The company has 19 K-12 schools, one university, and over 30k students under their belt. Their lineup of brands now includes Futures, Maverick schools, British Columbia schools, and Badr University, among others. 

His active investment in education tech startups has kept him abreast of all the exciting new developments in e-learning and education platforms. 

And this was all before covid-19, where the millenia-old tradition of the classroom was rendered archaic in a span of a few months. The impact this transformation has had on our lives cannot be understated. School children now have to act like online grad school students and parents have had to become teaching assistants. Yet despite this transformation, the transition has appeared almost seamless. Having been on the frontline of that transformation, El Kalla gave us a first hand account of how hard it was to get us here. 

This is also the first podcast interview we’ve done entirely from home, making it the most appropriate episode to kick off what we hope is an exciting new season. 

You can listen to the episode on: Web | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast

 

** Subscribe to Making it here for https://bit.ly/35lugvb.

** Subscribe to Enterprise, our 6am briefing on business, finance and economics in Egypt (also free) at www.enterprise.press

Making It is grateful for the generous support of:

CIB, Egypt’s number-one private-sector bank and the partner of choice for CEOs and leaders of businesses at all stages of their growth stories
The United States Agency for International Development, which has a 40 year history of inspiring Egyptian success in partnership with the Government and people of Egypt.

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April 15, 2020

Season 2 Trailer

Making It in the time of covid-19: Making It is back for its second season. Making It is a show about building great businesses in Egypt. Each episode brings you a one-on-one sit-down with a CEO or founder at the top of their game. They are leaders at the helm of businesses going through different stages of growth and they discuss with us the issues they face, the challenges they have to overcome, and what it takes to “Make it.”

This happens to be our first season where we had to record outside the studio, courtesy of covid-19. So you’ll have to forgive us if you hear any dogs barking in the background. This is a weird time for us all, and especially for businesses, so we felt it was important to get a season out during this time, dedicate a few episodes to discuss the microbial elephant in the room, in addition to giving you guys something to kill a few hours during the lockdown.

Season 2 kicks off on Thursday, 23 April — just in time for Ramadan. Our guests this season come from a myriad of backgrounds such as microfinance, cupcakes (also just in time for Ramadan), fintech, and education. In the meantime, you can listen to our season 2 trailer, where our hosts, Patrick and Hisham, chat about their lives in quarantine, explain why the season is coming out now, and give a bit of a sneak peek as to what you can expect to hear in upcoming episodes.

Patrick has also been doling out advice and thoughts on how to manage your business and teams during this unprecedented crisis in his What’s Next blog. You can read some of these here:

 

Want to catch up on season 1? You have seven days to get caught up with seven CEOs and founders:

** Subscribe to Making it here for https://bit.ly/35lugvb.

** Subscribe to Enterprise, our 6am briefing on business, finance and economics in Egypt (also free) at www.enterprise.press.

Making It is grateful for the generous support of:

CIB, Egypt’s number-one private-sector bank and the partner of choice for CEOs and leaders of businesses at all stages of their growth stories

The United States Agency for International Development, which has a 40 year history of inspiring Egyptian success in partnership with the Government and people of Egypt.

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January 29, 2020

End of Season 1

As we wrap up our first season of Making It, Enterprise's very first podcast, we thought we'd reach out to everyone who lent us an ear these past few months and thank them for their constant feedback. If you have something you'd like to let us know about this season, or any recommendations for seasons to come, email us at makingit@enterprisemea.com

** Subscribe to Making it here for https://bit.ly/35lugvb.

** Subscribe to Enterprise, our 6am briefing on business, finance and economics in Egypt (also free) at www.enterprise.press

Making It is grateful for the generous support of:

CIB, Egypt’s number-one private-sector bank and the partner of choice for CEOs and leaders of businesses at all stages of their growth stories

The United States Agency for International Development, which has a 40 year history of inspiring Egyptian success in partnership with the Government and people of Egypt.

EFG Hermes, the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets helping businesses realize their full growth potential.

Links:

* Enterprise: Enterprise.press

* Inktank: Inktankcommunications.com

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January 22, 2020

Bringing art to the masses: How TAM is trying to democratize the art scene

TAM Gallery, formerly Arts Mart, started off as an online gallery that aimed to give new artists a chance to break into the Egyptian art world. Fast forward less than a decade later, TAM has three arms each aiming to give new artists and entry into the commercial world — and to bring new potential buyers into the market. The online gallery is still going strong, but is now complimented by a physical art space in 6th of October City as well as TAM Corporate that integrates art into public spaces. 

Lina Mowafy, the cofounder of TAM Gallery, started the business when, as a budding artist, she was unable to convince a gallery to exhibit her works. A comiseratory coffee with her childhood friend led the two to decide to create their own platform for displaying artwork. And so they did, launching amid the events of 2011 and creating an institution that’s transformed the country’s art scene.

 

** Subscribe to Making it here for https://bit.ly/35lugvb.

** Subscribe to Enterprise, our 6am briefing on business, finance and economics in Egypt (also free) at www.enterprise.press

Making It is grateful for the generous support of:

CIB, Egypt’s number-one private-sector bank and the partner of choice for CEOs and leaders of businesses at all stages of their growth stories

The United States Agency for International Development, which has a 40 year history of inspiring Egyptian success in partnership with the Government and people of Egypt.

EFG Hermes, the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets helping businesses realize their full growth potential.

Links:

* TAM Gallery: arts-mart.com

* Enterprise: Enterprise.press

* Inktank: Inktankcommunications.com

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January 16, 2020

Eat your heart out, Willy Wonka: How Edita beat out global household names to become the leading snack food producer in Egypt

If you’ve ever been starving in Egypt without a kitchen anywhere in sight, it’s likely that you’ve tried a snack by Edita. Since its founding in 1996, the maker of such brands as Todo, Molto, Bake Rolz and Twinkies, expanded its product offering, grown its manufacturing capacity, and has even launched a factory in Morocco. It did this during the economic storm that came with the EGP float and 2016 and the high interest rate environment that has only just begun to subside.

Today, Edita has done more than hold its own against some of the biggest global fast moving consumer goods brands. The company holds a leading market share in each of its five segments that span the Egyptian snack food market, including cakes, croissants, rusks (baked wheat), wafers, and candy.

While some of its local competitors were bought out, they launched a successful IPO back in 2015 that generated EGP 24.2 bn, emerging as one of the most successful FMCG plays of the past decade in Egypt.

Company founder and industry veteran Hani Berzi sat down with us to walk through the ups of developing and marketing new brands, the lows of struggling through a challenging microclimate and the highs of its ambitions to become an Egyptian multinational. Hani also gives us a nuanced perspective on the Egyptian food market, in his capacity as founder, chairman and CEO of the company and as the chairman of the Food Export Council.

 

** Subscribe to Making it here for https://bit.ly/35lugvb.

** Subscribe to Enterprise, our 6am briefing on business, finance and economics in Egypt (also free) at www.enterprise.press

Making It is grateful for the generous support of:

CIB, Egypt’s number-one private-sector bank and the partner of choice for CEOs and leaders of businesses at all stages of their growth stories

The United States Agency for International Development, which has a 40 year history of inspiring Egyptian success in partnership with the Government and people of Egypt.

EFG Hermes, the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets helping businesses realize their full growth potential.

Links:

* Edita: Edita

* Enterprise: Enterprise.press

* Inktank: Inktankcommunications.com

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December 18, 2019

Meet Sarwa Capital: the 20-year-old startup quietly building the infrastructure of consumer finance

Hazem Moussa will forgive you if you’ve never heard of Sarwa Capital, because unless you’re a finance geek (like us), Sarwa is hardly a company whose name you’ll hear every day — even though there’s a reasonable chance Sarwa has been involved in your financial life one way or another. 

They own Contact Cars (the website and the car finance business). They sell insurance, mortgages and leasing solutions— as well as white label finance for car dealers. 

Oh, and they invented the notion of securitized bond offerings in Egypt. 

The son of a prominent diplomat, Hazem is a former investment banker and one of three co-founders. He talked with us about raising money for the business before venture capital was a thing in Egypt. About life after going public on the EGX in a controversial IPO in 2018. And about how he resists micromanaging while still keeping his finger on the pulse of his business.

** Subscribe to Making it here for https://bit.ly/35lugvb.

** Subscribe to Enterprise, our 6am briefing on business, finance and economics in Egypt (also free) at www.enterprise.press

Making It is grateful for the generous support of:

CIB, Egypt’s number-one private-sector bank and the partner of choice for CEOs and leaders of businesses at all stages of their growth stories

The United States Agency for International Development, which has a 40 year history of inspiring Egyptian success in partnership with the Government and people of Egypt.

EFG Hermes, the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets helping businesses realize their full growth potential.

Links:

* Sarwa Capital: Sarwa.capital

* Enterprise: Enterprise.press

* Inktank: Inktankcommunications.com

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01. Yellow Claw & Tropkillaz - Assets feat. The Kemist
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Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2018 Enterprise Ventures LLC.