Economy & Business Middle East Resilience & Society

empowerME Conversations

February 9, 2021

Transforming homz

By Atlantic Council

In episode 5 of empowerME Conversations podcast, host Amjad Ahmad interviews Homzmart Co-Founder and CEO Mahmoud Ibrahim about his multiple entrepreneurial ventures, the growth in e-commerce in the Middle East, proactive changes governments are making to laws and regulations (and changes that are still needed), the importance of developing talent through mentoring, women’s economic inclusion in his businesses, and the need for the region to go beyond digitization and create change through innovation. 

The region was in a phase of embracing the change over the last 10 years…it was digitizing fast…I think now it’s time to create change. Why are we not creating another Tesla, another Amazon, another Alibaba?”

Mahmoud Ibrahim, Homzmart Co-Founder and CEO

Key Takeaways

0:00 Intro
0:59 Mahmoud shares a little background of what made him choose the path of founding startups
3:18 Mahmoud talks about the challenges that he and the company faced especially with regards to the market
5:29 Mahmoud also shares some of the lessons he learned in Pakistan and how that market developed in terms of e-commerce in those early stages
7:59 Mahmoud shares his thoughts on why he thinks Alibaba were attracted to the Daraz as a marketplace
11:11 Mahmoud talks about success in startups and if he has seen a ripple effect of success stories in the case of Daraz
12:52 Mahmoud talks about what made him start Homzmart, the three factors to starting a new business, why he chose that particular industry and why in Egypt
18:45 Mahmoud talks about the difference between when he operated Jumia versus now Homzmart specifically with regard to government
20:42 Mahmoud talks about digitization and the common thing that he has noticed in the e-commerce markets that creates a business opportunity
23:17 Mahmoud explains how the positive government regulations of making it easier to do business has made young people want to be entrepreneurs
25:00 Mahmoud talks about what he perceives now as his biggest challenge to scaling his business across the region
26:51 Mahmoud explains how talent has played part in the success of his business
30:07 Mahmoud talks about the experience he has had with Homzmart when it comes to women and women inclusion in the business
32:42 Mahmoud shares his point of view as a CEO on women moving up the ladder within Homzmart and taking on leadership positions
36:05 Mahmoud talks about the one thing that policymakers could focus on that would really move the needle in terms of having more companies started
39:32 Mahmoud explains how he finds the financing environment to be and at the various stages of startups in Egypt
42:35 Mahmoud talks about how easy it would be to start a business especially for the youths especially in Egypt
45:36 Mahmoud talks about the next big area that he would tell a young entrepreneur with a million dollar seed funding to focus on
48:36 Mahmoud shares the vision of Homzmart in the next 12 months

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The empowerME conversations podcast features conversations with business and government leaders shaping the Middle East. The podcast sheds light on key opportunities and challenges for companies and governments, and Season 1 will focus on top regional entrepreneurs and their path to success as well as struggles they faced along the way.

empowerME

empowerME at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East is shaping solutions to empower entrepreneurs, women, and youth and building coalitions of public and private partnerships to drive regional economic integration, prosperity, and job creation.

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