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Egypt's 5 Most Successful Partners, in the Eyes of Hugo Boss

The global luxury brand gathered 5 of the country's top industry co-founders for a series of talks on how joining strengths - but also weaknesses - took their companies to the next level.

What does it take to become partners in success? Hugo Boss Egypt invited 5 of Egypt’s most successful partners for a day at their store, to discuss their best kept secrets to having a successful leading team - to both ride the waves and weather the storms. Aiming to shed light on the success of young people in various fields, from fitness, to digital, to production, the brand's “BOSS Partners in Success” campaign sheds the light on the country's inspiring founding partners, while triggering discussions on the number one skill every partner should learn to build a successful team. Here's the five championing partnerships:

ABDEL LATIF WAKED, NOUR AHMADEIN & RANA KORTAM – UBER  

With Egypt as the fastest growing market for the global ride-hailing company, Uber Egypt's offices are certainly one of the most hustling environments in the startup landscape. And at the helm of it all, there's a trio whose appetite for risk and an unrelenting passion achieved the unthinkable in just a few months: Abdel Latif Wakid, Nour Ahmadein and Rana Kortam. 

“We believe that respect, clear alignment on mutual goals, being equally invested and believing in the same vision are what allowed us to create a workplace culture that is constantly growing, adapting and thriving,” the partners say, highlighting their complementary skillsets. From operations, policy and marketing to strategy and planning, what brings them together is the unwavering belief in the work they do, the ability to problem-solve and the “rolling your sleeve up” mentality. It is this determination and ownership of their work that helped them reach a whopping  4 million users and the creators of 150,000 economic opportunities for Egyptians. "At Uber, there’s a belief that building a successful partnership is exactly like building a successful and healthy relationship or friendship; it requires trust, passion, the ability to challenge one another, checking egos at the door, independence and more. And finally, Uber’s number one rule of thumb to achieve success is meritocracy – the best idea in the room wins, regardless of who or where it comes from," they explain.

AMY MOWAFI, ADAM MOWAFI, TIMMY MOWAFI & WALLY MOWAFI - MO4 NETWORK

 

They call their team "MO4 Misfits," a term that embodies the fearless disruptive spirit the founders live and breathe. The four siblings, who were raised in England, returned to Egypt to take on their first venture, Tazkarty - an online ticketing and reservation platform - in 2012, in a makeshift office set in their living room, where they conjured up the mammoth media platforms CairoZoom and CairoScene. Eight years later, their MO4 Network includes six media platforms, a production house, a marketing, creative and PR agency, a VR incubator, an AI and app development team and a 170-strong team across offices in Cairo, Dubai and London.

Was it a good idea to partner with siblings? For the Mowafi family, it may just have been the recipe to merge strengths ad battle the odds in a country undergoing a wave of social transformation. "Our company has been through economic crises, two revolutions, PR disasters and a dollar float. No matter how bad things get, we always have it instilled in our heads that we can bounce back up and better,” says Timmy Mowafi.

The entrepreneurs explain that when things get tough, it’s their different characters that aid in crafting solutions“Whilst we all have different characteristics, we all share the same drive for survival and adaptability," Timmy says, highlighting the importance of trustworthiness and cohesion; being mutually respectful of each others’ strengths and weaknesses and leveraging on those for a greater good. Much like a puzzle where every piece fits together, the balance between the creative one, the one who’s more experienced, the one who’s good with advice and the one who panics, is key to their smashing success. 

MOHAMED EL BASSIOUNI & RAMEZ YOUSSEF - TAYARAH

Tayarah's steering duo is the perfect mixture of charisma and strategy. The company's inception dates back to Disalata, a web series run by Mohamed El Bassiouni and hosted by Ramez Youssef. But their chemistry and friendship set the scene for a groundbreaking partnership, leading them into co-found Tayarah, a company that specialises in branded video content. “I love how Ramez turns almost everything to an opportunity and how he can sell this opportunity to anyone," says El Bassiouni.

"I also admire his attention to details, his time management skills and how he never takes no for an answer,” he adds, pointing out that respect and trust are key to their partnership. For the duo, sharing the same vision and having distinctive responsibilities are what makes or breaks a partnership. 

Tayarah's strength comes from their differences; with two complete opposites sharing the same vision and strategy, the company was able to set itself among top advertising agencies. “If you know Bassio, the first thing you’d notice is how decent and polite he is; a very rare quality that you don’t find every day, and without a doubt this reflects on everything he does. He created a respectful name like Tayarah, where you can actually see his decency in our work,” Youssef says.

AYMAN HAKKY, MAHMOUD ABDEL HAKIM & SEIF FAWZY – THE TRIFACTORY

The story behind Trifactory is a story of passion without boundaries. It all started with a post Ayman Hakki wrote on Facebook in 2012, looking to form a group for a triathlon training; the author of the first comment would become his co-founder, Mahmoud Abdel Hakim. What started as a small group training together was radically transformed, as the third musketeer, Seif Fawzy, joined later on, creating The Trifactory, a sports management company specialising in endurance and mass participation sports event. 

Finding the right people who shared the same vision and passion was the essence of this partnership; They had all caught the triathlon bug and were all determined and passionate to spread the sport in Egypt. “There is no destination too far, no dream too big, and no goal too ambitious when you have the right partners by your side pushing you through the long paths to higher goals,” says Hakki. 

“What I like the most about us as partners is how different our skills and backgrounds are.  It's important when considering a partner to look for someone who would complement you and bring something different to the table,” Hakki adds, as he explains the importance of sharing the same vision and completing one another. "In times of friction or disagreement, having mutual respect, clear communication and sharing the same values and dream is what will keep it going. These are the essential principles followed at The Trifactory."

GIOVANINA ATIEH & MARIA MUÑOZ -MAISON PYRAMIDE

Simple connections and spontaneous bonds often set us off on great journeys; this was the case for Giovanina Atieh and Maria Muñoz, who met at an event three years ago and clicked. Figuring out that they both have common interests in work and fashion, they saw the potential of exploring the idea of digital fashion in Egypt and the region, which resulted in Maison Pyramide, a house of international fashion consultants and creatives.

The lady bosses say that it is their shared work ethics, support for each other, patience and common vision are the essence of their partnership. While partners typically agree on most things in the beginning, there will always be differences down the road; so reaching a middle ground and putting one’s pride aside are what keeps the ship from sinking, they explain. “I admire Nina as a business partner, a business woman and a person with an incredible work ethic. One of the things I respect most about her is the fact that she’s always pushing others to be the best version of themselves; and that definitely reflects on the team and Maison Pyramide as a whole,” says Muñoz. 

“We face lots of internal and external issues, and what saves us all the time is that there’s always one of us panicking and one saying ‘you know what, let’s step back, calm down, then react,” she continues. At Maison Pyramide, success is growth; seeing the company grow with quality and people, which is why acknowledging the power of the team - to be honest and blunt about your dreams and issues, and overcome the challenges with the team because it’s never a one-man-show – defines whether you make it or break it for the partners. 


Photo Credits:

Project and ProductionI Maison PyramideI @maisonpyramide

Art Director I Nadra El Defrawy I @nkeldefrawy

PhotographyI Timothy E. KaldasI @timothykaldas

StylingI Alia Dessouky and Farah Seif I @aliadessouki and @farahseif_

MUAI Diana Harby I @dianaharbymua

HairI Al Sagheer Salons I @alsagheersalons

Props I Ehem I @ehem.co


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