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Thursday, 17 June 2021

My WFH Routine: Ola El Dib, country manager for Lenovo Egypt and the Levant

Ola El Dib, country manager for Lenovo Egypt and the Levant: Each week, my Morning / WFH Routine looks at how a successful member of the community starts their day — and then throws in a couple of random business questions just for fun. Speaking to us this week is Ola El Dib, country manager for Lenovo Egypt and the Levant (LinkedIn).

My name is Ola El Dib. I'm the country manager for Lenovo Egypt and the Levant and a daughter, mother and wife. I’ve been with Lenovo for the past decade and moved into my current position two and a half years ago. The bulk of my career has been spent working at different IT companies in Egypt and the Levant after a brief stint at the Culture Ministry.

I’m responsible for leading and developing the Lenovo brand across the region. I oversee sales and operations in all our commercial, consumer, SMB and tablet segments. Lenovo is a USD 60 bn Fortune 500 company with 63k employees in 180 countries around the world. Our goal is to deliver smarter technology for all.

Egypt is a very important market for us. It's one of the top four markets in the MENA region. We had a great 4Q2020 where we reached almost 32% in overall market share across all our segments. In commercial and consumer electronics sales Lenovo holds the top position in terms of market share. Our tablets also hold more than 43% market share — they’re our single highest growth segment.

There’s a big digital transformation happening in the world of work. We’ve been going into the office at 50% capacity for most of the past year and continue to work at that same 50-50 split. We never fully shut down our offices here because we believe that coming into the office is very important to maintaining a culture of collaboration. But we were well prepared with the right infrastructure to have a flexible work schedule before the pandemic hit. I think businesses will be glad to accommodate this set up for the sake of employee engagement and attracting new talent.

Over the past year I’ve learned not to take anything for granted and focus on becoming a more balanced person. We saw the importance of having a team around us and being very well connected, not only during working hours but maintaining a balanced relationship with our team and our people.

I only sleep for five or six hours a day. I usually wake up around 7 am and start my day with prayers and checking in on my family. I start my work day at 8:30 am by checking my calendar and setting the schedule for the day. Mornings are usually a very busy time for me. When I walk into the office I check in with my staff and get through some emails. The first half of my day is generally focused on sales, and in the afternoon I’m looking at operations. I generally leave the office at 6 or 7 pm.

I make sure to stay up to date with emails or outstanding issues from work before I go to sleep so that I’ve cleared my schedule for the next day and left no team members waiting on unaddressed issues from my end.

When I’m not working I love shopping, cooking and reading. If I'm not shopping, then I’m staying up to date with fashion pages on instagram or cooking unconventional meals. I also like to read books on self-development and psychology. Sometimes I like to wind down by cruising in my car and listening to the Quran or whatever is on 87.8 fm.

Having studied French literature in university, I’m more familiar with French books. Le Rouge et Le Noir by Stendhal and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo are my favorites. Otherwise, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of my favorite books of all time. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins is up there too.

IT used to be a very male-dominated industry. There weren’t very many women around when I first got into working in IT, but a lot has changed since then. There are way more women in the field now. I’d say 50% of our operations and administrative employees are women who are doing a great job.

The culture at the company allows everyone the chance to grow. To support women in the workplace, Lenovo has a mentorship program called Women in Lenovo Leadership. I’ve been part of their program for the past five years where I get to professionally guide my colleagues and help them advance in their careers.

I've learned over the past year that being alone doesn't mean being lonely. If you’re alone at home or elsewhere you can stay connected and motivated if you have the right people around you. Being honest to yourself and the people around you is key to being successful.

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