My name is Alaa Rady. I grew and lived in Egypt where I got my Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from the American University of Cairo, after which I left Egypt for around 10 years to develop my career, and get more exposure, independence and build my work-life experience.
I started my career with Mars Inc. on a management training program in production-manufacturing in Dubai, then went back to Egypt as a part of a team starting up Mars Inc operations in Egypt, then lived in Jordan to manage the distribution and trade marketing of Mars Inc in Jordan and Lebanon.
At that point of time I realized that I needed to reinforce my profile and education with a business degree. The MBI scholarship was of categorical importance to partially finance my MBA at INSEAD business school in France/Singapore/US exchange at Wharton Business School. The MBA not only added to my academic and business knowledge, but also opened up my horizons to friends and colleagues from all-over the world and helped me develop my interpersonal skills and global exposure.
After my MBA, I joined Bain & Company, as a Strategy consultant in the Paris office, focusing on new clients in the Middle East, working on a variety of projects in private sector development, strategy, organization and M&A across France, Spain, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE. After gaining such experience I decided to go back to Mars Inc. to lead their startup in Algeria where I recruited and managed a team of 50 people gaining 12% market share in our first year of operations.
Adding value back to Egypt
At this point of time, I wanted to go back live in Egypt, and experience entrepreneurship. So I started up an investment bank/strategy consulting firm called Enmaa Financial Services, building on my previous experiences. Our first 4 years were of tremendous success as we closed transactions and delivered consulting projects for over 1.2 B LE with a team of 20 people between our Egypt and KSA offices.
Besides Enmaa Financial Services, I became an angel investor, financing different startups in service companies, the most notable of which were a CSR company in Egypt, a digital advertising company in Egypt, a PR agency in Algeria, and a world music and dance school in the US (http://www.zambaleta.org) .
In parallel I started my Doctorate of Business Administration at IE Business School in Spain focusing on finance and entrepreneurship where I wrote and published several business and academic papers. To build on my academic experience also, I started designing and teaching different innovative undergraduate and executive courses at the American University in Cairo.
Moreover I maintained my social activities by being an active member in different committees of the American Chamber of Commerce, the Egyptian Junior Businessmen association and started the INSEAD alumni chapter in Egypt, that hosts around 100 members and was active in organizing different events including an event where we invited the alumni of the top 20 global business schools in Egypt to start collaborating.
Last but not least, I still spent a good portion of my time working on volunteer projects all-over Africa, South America and Asia with various NGOs like Habitat for Humanity in Chile, La Milagrosa in Venezuela, Coup de Pouce in France, TechnoServe in Mozambique, Antelope Park in Zimbabwe, Injaz in Jordan, CRTP in Mongolia, Nahdet El Mahrousa, Endeavor and Am Cham in Egypt.
Most recent update
The Egyptian revolution took place in Egypt January 2011. I had the luck of being one of the many Egyptian citizens seeking the dawn of a new Era in Egypt, and being one of the youth to shape our new country after years of constant decay. But unfortunately the Egyptian revolution brought most businesses on hold especially service companies dealing with FDI like Enmaa Financial Services. We tried to hold the course for 6 months then we had to downsize and close down our KSA operations to cut cost and survive till the storm passes. Even though Enmaa Financial Services was very profitable to all shareholders including myself, I foresaw a period of very slow growth in Egypt that would eventually impact our company in Egypt. Therefore I decided to become a silent shareholder and board member at Enmaa Financial Services, while pursuing my learning and development journey elsewhere. I joined Philip Morris International in their HQ in Switzerland in January 2012, and moved as General Manager for Jordan and Palestine in August 2012, to lead a very interesting post-acquisition turnaround for a factory Philip Morris acquired in Jordan a year earlier.
Jimmy Dean says “I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” I hope my new journey with Philip Morris will keep me in the Arab region and at some point back to my beloved country to take part in developing it from academic, business and social perspectives.