Sinan Taifour, Co-Founder And CEO, Maqsam


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This text is part of the 2022 version of Entrepreneur Center East’s annual Comply with The Chief collection, by which enterprise head honchos from the area discuss technique, industry-specific ways, {and professional} challenges as they lead their respective companies to success.



Maqsam

Sinan Taifour, co-founder and CEO, Maqsam

One enterprise concept can result in one other, and one other, and one other once more, and that appears to be the story of how Sinan Taifour and his workforce developed Maqsam, a cloud communication suite for MENA-based SMEs that offers them a substitute for conventional, costlier hardware-based options.

Now, should you learn that Maqsam just lately gained the primary place on the Leap tech expo in Saudi Arabia, or that Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan just lately visited Maqsam’s workplace in Amman to be taught extra about this promising MENA startup, you’ll suppose that the co-founders Sinan Taifour and Fouad Jeryes hit the jackpot with this enterprise concept from the get-go. Nonetheless, the reality is that it was a technique of the 2 entrepreneurs discovering and fixing a collection of issues within the area’s advanced market that introduced them to conceptualize Maqsam. “We based our first product collectively known as Payhyper, a money assortment community that solves the issues firms confronted with money on supply by introducing money earlier than supply,” Taifour explains.

“The service provider works with Payhyper as whether it is some other fee methodology, so via API (Software Programming Interfaces), and we acquire money on behalf of the service provider from the client, and inform the service provider when the fee is made. Nonetheless, numerous retailers have been however not quick sufficient to behave, so we ended up consuming our personal pet food and constructing a service provider on prime of our service.” That have led to Taifour and Jeryes’ second startup CashBasha, an e-commerce web site permitting MENA consumers to purchase from worldwide retailers, even when the objects can’t be shipped on to the area. “They might pay us with money, and so, they didn’t have to fret about all of the logistics and issues of laws and customs,” explains Taifour. On the time, whereas Jeryes was constructing the enterprise on the bottom, Taifour was dedicated to CashBasha and was planning his exit from his Senior Software program Engineering put up at Google in Munich to affix the rising workforce.

“Whereas engaged on CashBasha, we ourselves suffered from the hole in infrastructure within the MENA area, akin to in communication, funds, and logistics,” he explains. “We crammed these gaps by creating quite a few inner merchandise. The communications resolution we created caught the eyes of startup founders that have been going through the identical actual challenges we have been going through, and that turned Maqsam, dubbed the friendliest cloud communication suite in MENA.” In 2019, Taifour left his function at Google and got here again to steer Maqsam as its CEO which he describes as “turning our firm right into a well-oiled machine.” He provides, “The half I like essentially the most about my job is instilling a tradition that empowers the person to develop and contribute in their very own method. We regularly discover this is part of our firm the workforce actually appreciates.”

The Maqsam workforce is at present 70-person sturdy and unfold out between Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Jordan. “We began Maqsam from a necessity we had inside CashBasha to join with our prospects in a area that’s wider than the place we have been bodily positioned, and we discovered conventional legacy methods have been very expensive and never versatile, and so, we constructed this for ourselves,” Taifour explains. “We perceive our purchasers wants, so we’re repeatedly enhancing our software program with our purchasers’ enter.”

Sinan Taifour and Fouad Jeryes, co-founders, Maqsam

Going ahead, he goals to deal with pure language processing applied sciences with the intention to assist Maqsam purchasers to raised work together with their prospects. “Significantly, we’re engaged on making management and administration groups in a shopper’s firm higher knowledgeable by permitting them to be taught what their prospects are explicitly saying in current conversations; it’s achieved by transcribing the calls (which is difficult in Arabic), and exporting related info to the administration and management groups,” Taifour says. “Our second objective is to show our purchasers’ brokers into tremendous brokers by shortening coaching time, easing analysis, and offering real-time suggestions to the agent whereas on a name.”

As soon as our dialog turned to assessing the present alternatives out there to MENA-based entrepreneurs in their very own area, Taifour offers an attention-grabbing perception into this space. “Whereas there are various startups whose merchandise purely exists within the digital world, most startups have a leg in actuality or require sturdy native cultural relevance, like a automotive hailing app or an e-commerce web site that builds software program, but additionally have numerous operations on the bottom,” he says. “Such firms usually can not launch everywhere in the world without delay, which leaves an enormous alternative for regional startups within the MENA, and examples of successes that coated such circumstances can be Maktoob, Souq, Careem, Anghami, and Jawaker.”

One other of Taifour’s ideas for MENA-based entrepreneurs is to discover a approach to function in a number of markets with the intention to enlarge their enterprise alternatives. “It is essential to have a large market if you begin your enterprise, so you’ll be able to develop quick and keep away from a plateau, however in our area, we lack such enormous single markets, just like the European Union or the US, and the closest we have now are the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (with numerous shopping for energy) and Egypt (with an enormous inhabitants),” Taifour explains. “A part of what Maqsam is doing is to assist obtain the advantages of such single markets by way of communication. Your organization will be in anywhere within the area, and you may serve your purchasers suddenly, with out having to fret about creating completely different setups for various nations. This lets you unlock financial alternative inside a fancy area, speed up development and attain new frontiers extra successfully.”

Supply: Maqsam

Earlier than I ask him to share extra of his ideas for MENA entrepreneurs, I am keen to listen to Taifour’s opinion on the area’s tech expertise. “Learning electrical engineering [Taifour holds a bachelor’s degree in the subject from Jordan University, and a master’s degree from the Technical University of Munich] was helpful in constructing sound considering, however I discovered software program outdoors of my formal schooling via self-learning, and by surrounding myself with individuals I might be taught from,” he says.

“The web lets you get midway, however you must be a part of a workforce to unlock the subsequent degree. We attempt, at Maqsam, to offer such internships, but additionally, we see ourselves as hiring nice expertise, and serving to them turn out to be world-class. As not often because it occurs, when somebody leaves us to a extra prestigious or formidable function, we think about this a win, not like many firms that really feel hurt- we see it as a win since we have been capable of act as a springboard for that individual. Some individuals go away the area for alternatives, however find yourself mentoring others or coming again later, which is a win for the ecosystem.”

Taifour provides that in his opinion, the MENA area’s downside will not be in having sufficient tech expertise, however in retaining it. “For that cause, regional tech firms ought to create extra attention-grabbing alternatives for individuals to come back again,” Taifour says. “Actually good technical expertise usually consider alternatives on two parameters: whether or not it supplies attention-grabbing technical issues, and whether or not their technical abilities will develop with time. To draw and retain technical expertise, an organization has to attempt to hit each these factors.”

Along with preserving native expertise at house, Taifour and the Maqsam workforce are additionally engaged on constructing bridges with MENA tech specialists who stay overseas. “We work so much with our advisors who left the area and have gained information elsewhere, and now act as advisors to us in Maqsam,” he explains. “That is a technique we will make the most of skills that left the area, and we must also design straightforward methods for individuals to contribute again; usually, these expats wish to contribute, however do not know the way.” MENA governments, Taifour provides, ought to work collectively on mitigating the chance of coming again to the area, or not leaving it. “They need to decrease the chance of beginning an organization by creating extra secure laws and ideas which might be nearer to single markets,” he concludes.

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‘TREP TALK: Maqsam CEO Sinan Taifour shares his ideas for entrepreneurs, aspiring and in any other case

1. Do not delay, do it now. Do not settle for mediocrity “When you discover that your job or employer is lower than par, there are numerous firms on the market which might be, and if you’re good in your discipline, they are going to be completely satisfied to have you ever, so by no means keep in a spot that is not serving to you develop. The tradition of an organization is as essential as what they do, and pay consideration to their tradition.

2. You need not begin an organization to have the expertise of a founder. “When you be a part of an organization early sufficient, your expertise can be comparable, and you’ll put on many hats, and get to contribute to the way forward for that firm and develop with it. Many firms as of late provide shares for workers, so you’ll probably do very effectively. This will even enable you to should you plan to begin a enterprise sooner or later.”

3. Develop into a T-shaped individual. “Have depth in a number of issues, but additionally have some breadth. When you’ve got numerous breadth and also you should not have any depth, you’re simply replaceable. When you’ve got numerous depth in one thing and never sufficient breadth, you aren’t seeing the massive image. You need to attempt to mix each. When you’ve got a little bit of breadth throughout non technical matters and depth in one thing technical, you will be a desired a part of any group.”

4. Be part of communities to be taught and get motivated. “Work out which communities you wish to be a part of, whether or not on-line or offline, as being a part of them will open your eyes, and can enable you to notice the out there alternatives you may be a part of. It’s also possible to create your individual group of comparable individuals. Search for mentors, individuals prepared to assist, and should you discover a good mentor, it makes an enormous distinction in your life.”

5. As The Legend of Zelda put it, “it is harmful to go alone!” Take a co-founder with you “If you’re beginning a tech firm, think about having a co-founder. It is filled with ups and downs; you will want somebody that can assist you, and by doing it alone, you’re much less prone to succeed. Beginning an organization requires a skillset that’s unlikely to be in a single individual, so search for somebody who has a complimentary skillset or a willingness to be taught.”

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