"Leadership is very important in the success of any organization or profitable business. This is a key factor in the equation of 1 plus 1 equals 3," says chief executive Mamdouh El Sherbiny, who has been ranked among the Top 10 CEOs in the Financial Services and Investment category of the TOP CEO Conference and Awards to be held in Bahrain on April 11.
El Sherbiny, the Chief Executive Officer and Director at Kuwait-based National International Holding Co., has made it to the Top 10 from a group of 600+ companies listed on the GCC stock exchanges. The list, compiled by INSEAD Business School and Dubai-based Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, was recently released by Mediaquest Corp after being audited by global accounting firm KPMG.
"Leadership is changing. About 20 to 30 years ago, leadership was based on talent. Leadership, as we know can either come through natural talent or through experience and education. In the past, leadership was completely based on talent. In the West, now they have established education schools and academies in order to grow leaders through education and experience. This is an important factor in the equation of success. We have a lot to do in Kuwait and the region to guarantee a new generation of leaders," Mahmoud El Sherbiny said.
Digitalization and Globalization
Mamdouh El Sherbiny's success is a reflection of not only his strong leadership that has taken National International to new heights but also his outspoken knowledge and ability to bring about critical growth by investing smartly in key portfolios.
"Almost everything is dependent on digital transformation. Most of the transactions are being done digitally. This is important to be aligned with companies and trends worldwide and in the region," El Sherbiny said.
"As a holding company, our main business is to buy and sell stakes in other companies. Globalization has enabled us to have a diversity in the investment portfolio at the business level in the country. It has created more opportunities to invest in other sectors that are not available in our countries or in our regions. So, we can benefit from this as well," El Sherbiny added.
However, with years of well-recognized experience in the financial and investment sector, El Sherbiny also advises caution.
"Globalization is a big change that's affecting people's lives. All changes have their risks and opportunities. The risks lie in the economies at the macro-level, wherein we no longer have a competitive advantage compared to other countries. Eastern countries have become dependent on Western countries because of globalization. In the olden days, countries used to have tariffs and regulations to protect its economy and the young generation of companies and businesses. But this does not work now – and this represents a risk for businesses.
As a message to young Arabs aspiring to become successful business leaders, Mamdouh El Sherbiny summarizes, "Education, experience and hard work. Experience comes from continuous learning from peers and leaders in organizations. These are the main stairs to climb the organizational structure."