Name: Mohamed Salah
Title: CEO and Founder of Banky Egypt
Organisation: Banky Egypt
I am an experienced Egyptian journalist specializing in the economic media. I established different projects and startup businesses in the financial sector Moreover, I participated in establishing economic departments within a number of newspapers and founded companies like First Rank, Media Pioneers, Scoop for Digital Solutions, and Banky the Best Banking Services Comparison Site in Egypt.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Salah's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
I faced the common difficulties that start-up founders face when launching their projects, such as competitiveness, spread, and achieving a quick return for the institution, as well as the financing component, as emerging projects in some countries still face financing problems.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
After years of working as an employee at various institutions and with over 10 years of experience in many sectors and divisions, as well as 5 years of private employment. So, the ambition to establish a private business was born.
The story began in 2013 with the establishment of the first private activity and company specialized in advertising, followed by the establishment and launch of a number of news websites specialized in economic and banking affairs, The success of these platforms encouraged me to launch the Banky, the largest banking services platform in Egypt.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
In fact, I faced many difficulties in the beginning in this regard, and this was due to the number of long working hours, especially in the periods of project foundation, promotion, and branding, as well as when developing.
This is The nature of work in the digital field. Working hours have recently been reduced as a result of the project's expansion, the appointment of more work teams that expand year after year, the establishment of new departments for follow-up and quality, and a structural shift of departments that support the workflow in an institutional manner.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
There are many lessons that I learned during my experiences such as the separation of personal connections with friends and business colleagues, and a written institutional work system must be followed that separates tasks, powers, and relationships, regardless of the limits of trust between you.
The second lesson is not to be disappointed by the first obstacles that you face, particularly in the field of start-up projects, because it requires patience, and when the time passes, you find yourself achieving successes, that you could not have achieved if you were frustrated at the beginning. Some new ideas require time, knowledge, awareness, and good promotion to be accepted and practiced by many on a daily basis. Finally, I'd like to emphasize that the work team is the most essential asset of the organization, that must be continually invested in and improved.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
"Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future" by Peter Thiel This book helped me understand in depth how to achieve success for an emerging project, overcome obstacles, and follow a good management approach.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Your belief in your idea determines the strength of your commitment to its success. Try to make your ideas achievable and reach the aspirations of your audience quickly. The simpler the service idea, the faster it will reach its audience.
Try to save time, effort, and money in your ideas for the audience.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
To establish an entity that embraces young people's good ideas in a practical and fast manner, free of bureaucracy in procedures, implementation, licensing and financing. Many business incubators around the world are still governed by more of these matters.