“There is nobody that cares more for a building than the people living in it”

The Grid: You presented on technology and property management at SMARTInvest Real Estate last month. What would you like to see happen in the industry most?

Fadi Nwilati: The RE industry and PM industry are far behind on technology platforms. We still do the same things we did ten years ago including processes. Yes we as an industry are using new platforms and software but they are related to document management (e.g. financial management like invoices, receipts, budgets).

This helps back office but there has been very little or virtually nothing done to improve tenant/landlord, resident property manager and resident security communication in a building. (more…)

October 13, 2017

The Art of Opportunity

“New growth opportunities come from non-customers: those who do not buy your product or services”

The Grid: Marc, in your workshops across the globe, you introduce a new approach to strategy based on your own methodology and framework carefully set out in your book “The Art of Opportunity”. Why do you think we need a new approach?

Dr. Marc Sniukas: Every business is interested in growing its revenues and finding new sources of growth. Many, however, find it increasingly difficult to do so by applying traditional approaches to growth which follow that you just try to sell more to your existing customers, increase profits, or maybe buy new growth through mergers and acquisitions.

The Grid: What do you suggest for businesses that may be stuck between traditional attitudes towards growth and a desire to disrupt the existing mindset that holds them back?

Dr. Marc Sniukas: The framework that we outline offers a new approach to finding and seizing opportunities for growth by answering the classic questions of strategy: “How” and “where” to play and win in a new way? (more…)

“If an organization is not ready for the change, or sold technology that is an overkill, they run into trouble”

The Grid: We know that new technological innovation can be extremely well-received by consumers or just as equally rejected. As a Mobile App Publisher and Digital solutions provider, how do you educate SME clients, who want to implement technological change so they can remain competitive and ultimately delight their customer base?

NgageU: Firstly, we try to make them aware of the difference between ‘automation’, where business processes are optimised by reducing human intervention versus ‘digitization’, where the same processes are optimised by reducing the amount of paper used.

From there, we talk to them about ‘digital automation’, which is a combination of both. Technological change doesn’t always mean reinventing the wheel and starting from scratch.

Whatever the solution, simplifying business processes to enhance the customer experience is the priority. We keep that at the core of all discussions and make sure the client is not blindsided or bedazzled by the technology.

The Grid: And how do you make sure of that? (more…)

“The future is governed by large corporates that are looking to innovate with digital experiences”

The Grid: How can fintech businesses, particularly in the payment space, engage better with large corporates in a way that is mutually beneficial?

Moussa Beidas: Bank led initiatives haven’t worked so well. We believe the future is governed by large corporates that are looking to innovate with digital experiences. Take Starbucks, for example. It has a mobile wallet solution that allows customers to pre order beverages, avoid queues and earn rewards in the US. Starbucks can do this because they own the entire customer experience and can leverage how to utilize it.

And because they see the value, customers are doing what is counter intuitive in many ways, i.e. pre loading money rather than paying afterwards like they may have done for decades before.

We believe in our region that a lot of large corporates and even system integrators or middlemen are poised to have a similarly profound impact in the next five years in defining how the related landscape emerges. As they say, “Data is the new oil” and we are heavily invested in making sure that the white-labeled product we provide is targeted to large corporates so that they get data and can use it to optimize their offering.


“Insurance company processes are all geared towards the top of the pyramid“

The Grid: As the name suggests, the mission of your startup, Democrance, is to democratize insurance. Mobile Micro Insurance (MMI) is ushering in a new age of insurance that serves the middle and lower income brackets through smart phones. Tell us more about the gap it is aiming to fill.

Michele Grosso: The reality for this demographic, particularly across the MENA region, is that they have no risk protection. To date, insurance companies have overlooked these segments as outreach and attaining critical mass for profitability has been too difficult to achieve without a paradigm shift. Our model revolutionizes the whole insurance value chain, by making it accessible for everyone through their mobile phones and also affordable. By using our technology, insurance companies can save money versus resorting to their traditional selling and servicing channels.