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Thursday, 12 May 2022

My Morning Routine: Mohamed Khattab, chief transformation officer, B.TECH

Mohamed Khattab, chief transformation officer, B.TECH: Each week, My Morning 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 B.TECH Chief Transformation Officer Mohamed Khattab (LinkedIn). B.TECH landed investment in 2016 from the UK’s DPI and bills itself as Egypt’s largest retailer and distributor of home appliances and consumer electronics.

My name is Mohamed Khattab, and I’m B.TECH’s chief transformation officer. When I first started my tenure at B.TECH, my mandate was to build B.TECH’s e-commerce business — the first omnichannel retail offering in Egypt. We started off as a three-person team in the e-commerce department, now our team is 250 people strong, contributing more than 20% of B.TECH’s top-line.

For the past two years, I’ve been focusing on the transformation of the company. Part of my job is growing e-commerce even further through differentiated business models and through launching new e-commerce models. As CTO, I am also focused on the transformation of the company from a traditional retailer with an online presence to a tech platform with a physical presence, putting tech at the core of the company and the way we work.

My daily routine is extremely important to me: I’m the father of a three-year-old girl and one-year-old boy, so I haven’t had to set an alarm for the past three years [laughs]. My kids typically wake me up at 05:30 am for our usual hour of morning playtime. After playtime is over, I enjoy a cup of coffee, have breakfast, and get ready to head to the office. I typically get to the office by 8 or 8:30am. I us my commute to and from work to tune in to the All-In podcast.

The first thing I do when I get to work is read Enterprise. After I catch up on the news, I usually check my email for 15 to 30 minutes. Afterward, my daily “meetings marathon” starts from 9:30am till the day’s end. Given my scope of work, my daily meetings are very diverse. The meetings, on any given day, get into different fields including e-commerce, consumer finance, tech development, and retail transformation. The diversity is exciting but also very tiring [laughs].

I try to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I’m a big believer in the importance of mindfulness. When I’m at work, I’m 100% there, and when I’m home, I equally dedicate my attention to my family. This helps me maintain a healthy balance.

To relax and switch off from work I enjoy exploring new restaurants. I’m a foodie, and I love discovering new cuisines. The food scene in Egypt evolved dramatically in recent years. I have a lot of restaurants on my list that I haven’t checked out yet and look forward to trying them all out soon [laughs].

To stay focused, I like to play sports. Whether it’s tennis, volleyball, soccer, or just hitting the gym, physical activity definitely helps energize me for the next day of work.

The three things that I have to do every day are spending time with my kids, drinking lots of coffee, and interviewing potential candidates. Because we are constantly scaling and building new teams, I typically spend a third of my week interviewing people. I believe a manager’s most valuable asset is the team they hire. The quality of the team is directly proportionate to the quality of the business. That’s why I dedicate so much of my time to the recruitment side of the job.

I think the future of B.TECH is extremely exciting. On a professional level, my goal is to transform the organization, which has proven itself over the years, into a much larger and much more advanced company. On a personal level, I’m planning on getting into professional fishing. I’m an avid diver and like to travel every now and then to the Red Sea to escape the hustle and bustle of Cairo.

The last great thing I watched is WeCrashed. The show takes you through the rise and fall of WeWork, a startup that was once considered the world’s most valuable unicorn. The series brilliantly delves into the process of building a startup. WeCrashed also sheds light on how founders can mistakenly prioritize boosting the valuation of their startups at all costs, instead of focusing on building a sustainable business. I highly recommend WeCrashed to entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting a company of their own.

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