25 Jun

5 tips for entrepreneurs from RAKEZ CEO Ramy Jallad

Author: Group CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) Ramy Jallad shares his tips for entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Published by: Inc. Arabia

Ramy Jallad, Group CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), says that working with entrepreneurs is “infectious.” “We work with everyone from startups on a shoestring budget to SMEs and corporates with large industrial plants,” he tells us. “But at the end of the day, they’re all entrepreneurs.”

Entrepreneur, he says, is no longer just a word for startup founders. It has become a character trait that reflects the innovation, diversity, and leadership of an individual, whether they be heading up a tech startup or a government organization. Entrepreneurs, according to him, lead while constantly looking ahead for opportunities and innovation.

As Group CEO of RAKEZ, working with entrepreneurs pushes him to constantly evolve RAKEZ’s products to better service them. “There are 46 free zones in the UAE and others all over the region, so we have to make sure that we’re on top of our game,” he tells us.

Here are five tips that he believes can help entrepreneurs stay ahead.

1.Produce products and services that sell

“Entrepreneurs need to have a deep understanding of the local market and its dynamics to make sure that their products and services sell,” says Jallad. “It can’t just be about what you like personally.”

“Many entrepreneurs and startups fail because they create something that they think is wonderful, but they hit a wall when they realize that nobody wants to buy it or use it,” he adds.

Product creation, he tells us, is 80% homework and 20% delivery.

“Create something that people need, and add your passion and flair in differentiating it.”

2.Find the right location

“Before the internet, if you were opening a shop, people would advise you to find the best location, and that is still true today,” says Jallad. “You need to find a strategic location that is supported by a strong regulatory environment.”

While many businesses are online or work remotely today, being in the right place at the right time is key to the success of any business, he tells us. This also affects hiring, product development, and sales, he stresses.

“You want to make sure that you are in the right place for your product and business to thrive.”

3.Read the writing on the wall

Entrepreneurs, says Jallad, need to constantly look ahead and anticipate change at every turn. They must lead their organizations as searchlights, on the lookout for future trends.

“I think the most important skill for leaders is intuition and being able to, as finely and as skillfully as possible, see what's coming next,” says Jallad. “Who would have known a year ago that something like ChatGPT was going to change entire industries? Who would have known 10 years ago that social media and influencers would determine the future of some businesses? But I can read the writing on the wall right now, and those industries are changing too.”

“You can't forecast the future, but you can read the writing on the wall. That means making your best assumptions and creating the best strategy and roadmap to achieve it.”

4.Be flexible and agile

To lead with a clear vision, according to Jallad, entrepreneurs need to have the agility and flexibility to change and adapt. “You need to be prepared for change because you never know where it's going to come from.”

Anticipating change and adapting to it is key to not just leading, but staying relevant.

“You need to be flexible, adaptable, and agile, and you need to build support systems wherever you can.”

5.Hire the best people you can afford

“In this day and age, you've got to be able to constantly reinvent yourself and your company to innovate and differentiate yourself. So, hire the best people because you can’t do everything on your own,” says Jallad.

“You have to be secure enough to hire people who know more than you do so that you can achieve your collective goals,” he adds.

For startups on a small budget, that means finding the best people that they can afford to build a team that can grow and benefit from the growth of the company.

Good people, he says, “can take you places,” and having a solid team can help a company continuously evolve.


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Last Updated on 12/29/2019 9:23:05 PM

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