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.

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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December 12, 2019

One ring to rule them all: How the Azza Fahmy brand became a precious heirloom that was nourished into a global luxury powerhouse

After taking over the helm at Azza Fahmy back in 2006, Fatma Ghali, along with her sister Amina, built on the legacy of their mother, spearheading the expansion of the brand outside of Egypt and added a contemporary perspective to the company’s designs. They established a foothold in the European market through collaborations with leading fashion designers such as Julien MacDonald and Mathew Williamson and fashion houses such as Preen. They also popularized their brands with exhibits at the British Museum.

In today’s episode, Fatma Ghali talks to us about the challenges of taking on a 50-year legacy is branching out of its historical field of jewelry design and is moving into all aspects of design, including architecture, having designed KarmSolar’s Sahl Hasheesh campus. Azza Fahmy branded products are currently being sold in the company's 16 stores, located in six different countries and across four continents, in addition to the most widely used online and e-commerce sites. 

** 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:

* Azza Fahmy: azzafahmy.com

* Enterprise: Enterprise.press

* Inktank: Inktankcommunications.com

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December 5, 2019

The team player: How Karim Awad has grown EFG Hermes from a regional giant into a global player

Karim Awad started at EFG Hermes as an analyst and rose to become the head of EFG’s high-profile investment banking unit — a job he held until he was tapped to run the firm as Group CEO in 2013. In an industry known for its outsized egos, Karim is Scottie Pippen, the consummate team player from the 1990s Chicago Bulls. 

In this week’s episode, Karim talks about the firm’s unique culture and how it helped him transform EFG into not just an Egyptian multinational, but a top-30 player in the global IPO market and a non-bank financial services powerhouse here at home.

** 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:

* EFG Hermes: EFGHermes.com

* Enterprise: Enterprise.press

* Inktank: Inktankcommunications.com

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November 28, 2019

Mr and Mrs Claus: The couple behind the killer concierge app Elves

Seeing the rapid growth of digital assistants, Abeer El Sisi and Karim El Sahy co-founded Elves in 2016, along with Ahmed Kassem. They looked at the deficiencies in current digital assistants and realized the human element was still needed. By efficiently connecting people with human assistants, Elves’ AI platform learns from these interactions and in turn becomes more efficient and better adept at connecting users with services.

In today’s episode, Abeer and Karim talk to us about the challenges of being a married couple with the lofty aim of creating the best AI-based digital concierge service provider there is. Today, Elves has over 650,000 users and is looking to close another seed round, after having broken Egypt’s seed funding record with USD 2 mn in 2017.

** 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:

* Elves: elvesapp.com

* Enterprise: Enterprise.press

* Inktank: Inktankcommunications.com

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November 22, 2019

Back from the brink: How Gourmet Egypt survived the float of the EGP

After a ten-year run leading a high-end retailer of imported food in Egypt, Jalal Abu Ghazaleh nearly fell off a cliff when the devaluation of the EGP saw prices skyrocket, inflation go through the roof — and an effective ban on imports put in place.

In today’s episode, Jalal talks with us about how he built the business from a one-desk meat importer into a retail powerhouse and an early pioneer of e-commerce — and saved his business by becoming a food manufacturer. Today, his private-equity backed business is growing nationally, looking at regional expansion and mulling prospects for an IPO sometime down the road.

** Subscribe to Making It here for free: 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:

* Gourmet: GourmetEgypt.com

* Enterprise: Enterprise.press

* Inktank: Inktankcommunications.com

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November 20, 2019

Making It: The Introduction

Enterprise is venturing into new territory with our very first podcast, Making It, and we thought it was time to take you a little more in depth. Patrick, Enterprise’s editor-in-chief and co-founder, tells our origin story, how Enterprise came to be, and how it all led to Making It.

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November 17, 2019

Trailer

Introducing Enterprise’s first podcast series that tackles great businesses in Egypt and the stories behind them, straight from the founders and CEOs themselves.

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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.