How would you describe your career history, up until joining Four Principles (FP)?
My career has been fast moving, very diversified and always involved a lot of traveling around branches and sites. Since I graduated with my MSc in 2014, my career has been a succession of cross-functional, problem-solving positions, in different departments and organizations. I’ve typically been moved internally every 6-12 months to address a new pain-point or area of need, hence, I always had an “internal consultant” role, even prior to FP.
What motivated you to join FP? How has your career progressed since?
I enjoyed working in corporate businesses, however often ended up bored due to the lack of diversity of business activity. Consequently, I realized I’d be more suited to a career in management consulting. Due to my background as an engineer and involvement in lean management studies at university, FP was the logical choice.
After leaving FP, I took on the role of Chief Transformation Officer for Tania Water, one of the largest water companies in KSA. I was later promoted to Chief Operating Officer, where I achieved my ultimate corporate career goal. The progress was swift thanks to the great advantage FP provided in terms of knowledge, problem solving skills and the ability to properly structure work, as well as leading teams to implement plans and visions.
More recently, I relocated back to Dubai to launch my tech start-up in the bitcoin mining space. This kind of business is highly overhead-sensitive and operational performance sensitive, so my FP experience allows me to understand the ins-and-outs of how to run it efficiently.
How did you find the move from ‘internal consultant’ prior to FP, to ‘external consultant’ dealing with FP clients?
Being an internal consultant provides some benefits, as you already have subjective knowledge about an organization, the politics, and the profiles of employees. However, it also involves you in such work-place politics and presents unnecessary challenges.
Being an external consultant with FP clients, allowed me to work with less exposure to internal politics and with full endorsement by the executive management, which was more efficient and straightforward. It provided experience with many different industries and a multitude of profiles, addressing a wide range of challenges and developing wide ranging skills. These highly adaptable skills allow you to identify patterns that are common to all businesses. Hence, you develop the ability to implement action plans/strategies, while preventing issues that an internal consultant may not have foreseen.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
There were times where I was highly challenged during my career and during these tough times, I’m proud that I always took on the challenge and learnt that believing in my instincts can bring rich experiences, success and countless lessons. Sometimes you need to go down so you can jump higher or, feel lost so you find the correct path.
Aside from this, I’m proud of my adaptability and fast learning skills that allowed me to always standout vis-à-vis of my peers. The part that brings me most pride was securing a COO role. For me, it was confirmation that a company board see your strength and entrust you with running their business. I oversaw and was accountable for 2500 employees – the decisions I took and results that were ultimately achieved, had direct impacts on them. A great responsibility, but also a great honor.
How did your FP experience benefit your career?
My FP experience allowed me to develop a framework for analyzing problems and identifying patterns. Through multiple projects with FP, I realized the method and human-capital side of a project, is the ultimate factor that can make any endeavor fail or succeed. Not the budget, nor the amount of talented people, nor the tools.
You can achieve a lot with a little, if you have the right approach/method, and if you manage the human-capital side properly. Additionally, I learnt that for change to happen, it can start with just 1 or 2 well-chosen and empowered people, who can create waves of change within the organization and have a massive impact on a business.