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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Strategy Experts, Leading to Impactful Change – Ibrahim Komati

Ibrahim Komati is the Managing Director and Founder of Strategy Experts, a distinguished consultant with over 14 years of experience in advising both public and private sectors in the MENA region. Specializing in the public sector, financial services, and family offices, Ibrahim is recognized for his expertise in shaping corporate strategies and driving sustainable growth. His international consulting background has allowed him to bring a global perspective to the region, making him a trusted C-suite advisor known for his visionary leadership and transformative impact.

Ibrahim, can you give us a brief about yourself and briefly inform us how you embarked on your career journey?

Well, to briefly summarize, I began my career in consulting. For the past 14 years, I have been pursuing my passion. What continually propels me to push harder is my unwavering commitment to making a significant impact. This commitment has driven me to explore my limits, leading to innovative approaches that provide deeper insights and greater value to clients. The most gratifying aspect is witnessing tangible results rather than merely fulfilling my designated “scope of work.”

I commenced my journey at PwC and its affiliates, later transitioning to PA Consulting Group. Within this role, I assumed leadership of the Public, NGO, and Financial Services sectors in the MENA region as a senior director and integral part of the MENA leadership team. My focus centered on strategy, business transformation, digital transformation, and operational excellence.

The experience garnered during this period enabled me to refine existing methodologies and frameworks. I dedicated efforts to optimizing these approaches, ensuring they were tailored precisely to the diverse needs of our extensive clientele.

Ibrahim Komati

Rida Rikka

                            Ibrahim Komati and Rida Rikka, Co-Founders

It was during this juncture that I made the decision to launch a new venture named “Strategy Experts,” in collaboration with my colleague Rida Rikka. Leveraging my network, connections, and the expertise of world-class subject matter experts, our vision was to revolutionize consulting and advisory services.

Our substantial contribution to the visionary agendas of the MENA region was pivotal to our success. Observing the effective implementation of our work, enriching UAE, KSA, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, and North Africa, further fuels our drive and motivates us to expand our reach.

Given your established career in large global consulting firms, what was the main driver behind setting up “Strategy Experts” and becoming an entrepreneur?

As I said, I had the privilege of spending a rewarding and fulfilling period working in consulting within global corporations. Over the course of those 11 years in the corporate world, I not only gained invaluable experience but also cultivated my personal brand, established credibility, and fostered meaningful connections. Despite these accomplishments, an innate entrepreneurial spirit consistently compelled me to seek out more substantial opportunities and broader platforms. Naturally, this drive provided me with the flexibility required to create a distinctive and more profound impact through our endeavors.

What were the key challenges you have faced? How did you overcome them? And were the critical success factors in your opinion?

Competition against major brands undoubtedly ranked as a primary concern. Whether currently involved or previously engaged with a sizable organization, the brand’s reputation invariably provided a supportive foundation. In our instance, I harnessed my personal and professional connections, capitalizing on my robust track record. At “Strategy Experts,” we meticulously defined our distinctive “added value.” During that juncture, the essence of this concept was unequivocally clear to me, aligning with the actual needs of our clients. It was evident that they sought advisors who could genuinely participate in their journey of growth and transformation, transcending the confines of a mere PowerPoint deck. As I navigated this journey, we continually enhanced our methodologies, customizing them to cater to specific sectors and industries.

We deliver not only on our promise but also on the transformative impact that both we and our clients believe is attainable.

Building our brand centered on the notion of elevating existing methodologies. Disrupting global conventions was pivotal in showcasing our innovative approach, a stance recognized by a majority of our clients. As testament to this, I was personally honored with the “Consultant of the Year Award” by one of the ministries in the GCC.

Our successes span diverse sectors, including public services, NGOs, financial institutions, education, healthcare, and technology.

Fostering trust at a professional level and positioning “Strategy Experts” as a premier advisory firm across various industries and sectors demanded extensive efforts, especially given our status as a startup. Establishing trust necessitated concrete results, an endeavor requiring substantial investment for a nascent company. And that’s precisely what we committed to.

Overcoming initial challenges begins with a comprehensive comprehension of these hurdles and their potential impact. With my long standing presence in the industry, I can confidently assert my deep understanding of client requirements, our capacities as an evolving entity, the strategic application of global trends and experiences, and most significantly, my unwavering belief in our team. Encouraging their sense of ownership and fostering their contribution to the overall success of “Strategy Experts” is equally vital. Cultivating this atmosphere inspires a genuine affinity with the “Strategy Experts” family, enabling, empowering, and motivating innovation, enhanced delivery, and the maintenance, if not enhancement, of service quality as we expand.

Critical factors for success:

  • A pragmatic comprehension of client needs and requirements, guided by impartial viewpoints.
  • Recognizing when and where your support is truly effective. Being a jack-of-all-trades is a strategy proven to be unproductive. Authenticity and playing to your strengths are key.
  • Trusting your team is pivotal; they constitute a critical element in realizing your vision. Without capable and talented individuals, progress may be elusive.
  • Surround yourself with individuals who genuinely augment value, offer opportunities for skill acquisition, and motivate personal growth.
  • Continuous self-education remains paramount.
  • Finally, only consider surrendering when scientists validate the flatness of the Earth—an event unlikely to transpire. Hence, perseverance knows no bounds.

What are the services provided by “Strategy Experts”? Which specific industries are currently held as priorities, and what underscores this focus? Lastly, who constitutes the core of your esteemed client base?

“Strategy Experts” is a paramount advisory firm that places a premium on priority services encompassing strategy, execution, technology, and innovation. With an unparalleled global network, we bring together top-tier subject matter experts, joint ventures, and partnerships to provide unparalleled solutions.

Rooted in our core belief in untapped opportunities, our laser-focused approach is to drive strategic innovation across industries. Our current unwavering priority involves forward-looking R&D, trend analysis, and shaping emerging sectors through visionary insights. Our methodology crafts distinct propositions that consistently yield high-impact results.

Our strategic priority domains are as follows:

  • Public Sector: We set the gold standard in navigating regulatory landscapes, strategically aligning with national visions, orchestrating transformation initiatives, and elevating operational excellence across diverse industries.
  • NGOs: From laying the foundation to international agreements, funding strategies, governance best practices, and executing programs, we empower NGOs to command a position of influence globally.
  • Private Sector: Our priority extends to high-velocity sectors such as technology, financial services, transportation, travel, logistics, education, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. We empower businesses to stay steps ahead in an ever-evolving marketplace.
  • Entrepreneurs and SMEs: Demonstrating our commitment, we foster symbiotic partnerships with these enterprises, transcending standard advisory roles. By securing equity stakes, we obliterate financial barriers, propelling rapid expansion and mutual triumph.
  • Our elite clientele ranges from established powerhouses seeking innovative strategies to ambitious entrepreneurs benefitting from our steadfast support. At “Strategy Experts,” our unwavering priority is to channel future potential into tangible success stories across sectors. As trailblazers of strategic transformation, we’re the paramount choice for those seeking to turn possibilities into realities.

What are the main trends that you foresee in the Middle East region impacting both the public and private sectors?

To begin, I’d like to draw a distinction between sectors and industries.

Sectors are typically influenced by national and, at times, international agendas. In contrast, industries often see initiatives stemming from large corporations or regulatory bodies. While it’s challenging to make sweeping generalizations, there exist significant commonalities between these two aspects. To delve deeper, I’d like to highlight a few crucial points pertaining to technology, regulation, and future-oriented visions.

  • Commencing with technology, the rise of emerging technologies such as Business Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Machine Learning, and the Metaverse has dominated headlines. The question arises: how does one effectively apply these technologies to specific sectors and industries? This is where “Strategy Experts” takes the stage with its global network of seasoned advisors and experts. Our approach to any challenge entails attentive listening, meticulous analysis, anticipation of future impacts and complexities, and ultimately the collaborative “exploration” of pertinent solutions alongside our clients. We refrain from merely “imposing” best practices that might not align seamlessly with their unique situations.
  • Transitioning to the regulatory dimension, shifts in regulations are predominantly driven by economic and societal behaviors. In the past, consultants adopted a top-down approach. In our capacity as “Strategy Experts,” we adopt a dual approach. We indeed examine matters from a top-down perspective, aligning with international or national agendas. However, simultaneously, we question the underlying thought process via a bottom-up approach. We leverage technologies, extensive data sources, and insights into social and cognitive behaviors garnered from prior experiences in related domains. Consequently, we gauge the feasibility of implementing new regulations, assessing their impact on the economy, society, culture, and global ranking metrics. Our goal is to ensure that these initiatives are founded on purposeful intent.
  • Lastly, regarding futuristic visioning, a pragmatic approach involves amalgamating existing infrastructure, ecosystems, and technologies within a framework that also accounts for various other variables. This approach crafts a vision that is attainable within realistic parameters, driven by factual information, data, and well-defined targets.

Additionally, could you share some insights into your upcoming services?

That’s indeed an insightful question. One of the shortcomings within our industry is the tendency to adhere strictly to conventional consulting approaches. At “Strategy Experts,” we hold a core value of immersing ourselves in our clients’ perspectives, firmly believing in our concepts and capabilities, and perpetually refining and expanding our offerings to meet market demands with unparalleled quality. Moreover, we achieve this by incorporating predictive analytics, which aids in foreseeing various factors through scenario-based analyses.

Allow me to provide an example of recent initiatives. In the past few months, we’ve been engaged in a transformative process. We’re reshaping how both the public and private sectors approach their strategic planning endeavors. Introducing a novel service line, we’re introducing an advanced fusion of strategy and technology—an approach we term “Scenario-Driven Strategy Making.” This framework enables us to harness Emerging Technologies, Business Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and several other critical technologies that underpin the success of businesses and government entities alike. In this methodology, we formulate strategies based on potential unforeseen requirements rather than relying solely on historical data. The inclusion of predictive analytics serves as a pivotal pillar in our innovative proposition.

Do you use innovative ideas to be unique?

“Strategy Experts” is an expanding firm that has firmly established itself in the market. To harness the benefits from diverse avenues, we strategically forged partnerships with numerous specialized global firms spanning a multitude of industries and sectors. This collaboration encompasses a broad spectrum of skilled professionals and subject matter experts, capable of imparting invaluable experiences and lessons learned from leading nations. In addition to this, we have nurtured several joint ventures with other specialized companies, effectively broadening the spectrum of our service offerings. This ensures our ability to assist clients in conquering upcoming challenges and exploring untapped potentials, thereby enabling them to not only flourish but also to attain the status of trailblazers and industry leaders within their respective fields of expertise.

If you would describe your ultimate added value as a professional and as “Strategy Experts”, what would be your ultimate goal? And how do you envision it happening?

  • Making a change that is sustainable.
  • Embedding a culture of change rather than providing solutions; this will enable an upcoming innovative generation of thinkers and doers at the same time.
  • Enabling our team and the clients’ teams with the know-how and the right mindset to innovate and ultimately take leading roles in achieving their goals.
  • Always be ahead of the curve and make sure we embed that mentality into the client’s mind as well for them to be leading entities instead of being followers.

What keeps Your Company moving forward, even in the face of challenges?

Passion, commitment, perseverance, and the drive to effect genuine and impactful change. From an organizational perspective, we consistently strive to grow our team, broaden our geographical reach, and establish leadership in our field.

In your opinion, how is technology driving changes across all sectors and industries, and how do you see “Strategy Experts” supporting clients in overcoming challenges and exploring untapped potentials?

As I mentioned earlier, innovation and staying ahead of the curve are crucial to becoming a leader in any industry. Technology has evolved into not just a key to success but an indispensable requirement for sustainability, growth, and exploration.

Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs and professionals with the same mindset as yours?

I’ve had several entrepreneurial ventures, but I believe my response should be divided into two distinct clusters.

  1. For Entrepreneurs: Embrace risk as long as possible, and even if complete risk isn’t feasible, take calculated risks. Over time, risks often yield rewarding outcomes, especially if you’re deeply passionate about your endeavor. Above all, remain humble and commit to continuous learning. For me, comprehending quantum physics is easier than establishing a thriving business that’s solely propelled by knowledge and talent. It’s a tougher challenge to identify the right individuals, support their growth, and provide effective coaching – an endeavor that surpasses reading a book.
  2. For Businesses and Public Entities/Authorities: While driving change through top-down directives has proven successful thus far, future considerations point toward a shift. Everything linked to fostering a robust economy and society must be reinforced by a bottom-up approach, driven by emerging technologies and sophisticated analytics. Additionally, agility and adaptability are pivotal in achieving meaningful progress. Ultimately, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are not static formulas; they are dynamic tools that require continual assessment to realize the desired outcomes.
Connect with Ibrahim Komati on LinkedIn.

Find Strategy Experts on LinkedIn or through the website www.strategyexperts.me

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