#1on1in140: Interview with Fadi Ghandour founder & CEO of Aramex
This is my first interview with a Top Influential Arab Entrepreneur, actually, it's my first ever. The interview was a success, attracting audiences from all over MENA region "on Twitter". It's one of many to follow I hope... just got to see where it goes from here.
#1on1in140: A series of interviews with some influential Arabs conducted on twitter where all questions are publicly answered in 140 characters or less each. The interview is about learning how to be a great leader, be true to yourself and learn more about how entrepreneur's think. Also to aspire and motivate young Arab entrepreneurs.
I messaged Mr. Ghandour, Founder and CEO of Aramex, asking him for an interview to share with us his experiences, he gracefully accepted.
Fadi Ali Ghandour is a Jordanian entrepreneur mostly known for being the founder and CEO of Aramex, the global logistics provider. Ghandour co-founded Aramex in 1982 in Amman, Jordan and has served as CEO since then. Ghandour also is a founding partner in Maktoob.com, the largest Arab online community (bought by Yahoo in October last year). He is a member of the board of directors of Abraaj Capital. He serves on the advisory board of the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business of the American University of Beirut and as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts. Between 2003 and 2005, he was also the Middle East and North Africa area chairman of the Young Presidents' Organization. Ghandour is a staunch believer in corporate activism, and the role of entrepreneurs and the private sector in socio-economic development. He is the co-founder of Ruwwad for Development, a region-wide corporate social responsibility initiative, is a Member of the Board of the National Microfinance Bank in Jordan, and served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jordan River Foundation for 10 years until March 2009. Ghandour is married with two sons and lives between Amman and Dubai. [source]
Me: What was your career path after that, and how did it lead to your current position?
Fadi Ghandour: Career path from startup to global company... CEO for 28 years! an entrepreneur and a manager 2 skill sets, powerful combo
Me: 28 years Masha'a Allah... Can you discuss some of your most memorable or notable career accomplishments or projects?
Fadi Ghandour: The most obvious is listing aramex on Nasdaq in 97.1st company frm arab world to do so.Defined us for the next decade of our life
Me: big thing back then & still.. Can you describe some experiences or lessons that have taught you the most and explain why?
Fadi Ghandour: biggest lesson: It is always about the team,choosing ur team is your most important job. Why? How else are you going to make it ?
Me: akeed... :) Have you had any mentors or influential colleagues during your career?
Fadi Ghandour: people that defined my world r My father, grandfather, & grandmother.1 an innovator, 2 a self motivator, 3 a freedom fighter
Me: surrounded by gr8 ppl doing wonderful work on multiple fronts Wow can you please explain why they played such great roles?
Fadi Ghandour: The answer is obvious my friend. No one plays alone...without a team each doing what he does best, you never play let alone win
Me: What type of advice can you offer to young professionals in your field who are just starting out in their careers?
Fadi Ghandour: Don’t worry too much about the business plan… just do it… learn as you go, stay focused, and believe
Me: What do you do for fun?
Fadi Ghandour: I swim, I read, I mentor, and I dive ... but work is also a lot of fun
Fadi Ghandour: Gotta go my friend... Another meeting... enjoyed this a lot ... thank you all for doing this!
Me: I'm done.. thanks so much for taking the time to answer all my questions... I look forward to meeting you in real.. some time soon :)
Zeinab Samak: What keeps you going when everything tumbles down and nothing seems to work out as planned?
Fadi Ghandour: When everything tumbles down and nothing seems to work... is when the Adrenaline flows and a solutions suddenly appears
Sana Tawileh: How did @fadig get his first fund for his first startup? How long did it take his first startup to show profit?
Fadi Ghandour: first funding from family and partners, then bank loan ... took a several years to get into profits
Shusmo: Customer Services in #Jo is lacking, what in YOUR opinion (@Aramex method) can business do 2 improve that?
Fadi Ghandour: customer service anywhere is about train, train, train and continue training...
Sana Tawileh: Are you or will you be an angel investor in the region, since you are already doing mentorship?
Fadi Ghandour: I am already doing that my friend. I have invested in many startups or young companies
Shusmo: What Management style do you use? and What does @Aramex do to sustain its human capital?
Fadi Ghandour: The only management style should be one based on trust and, empowerment. Give people space to manage. they will surprise you!
Habib Haddad: do you think ud personally want to venture in smthing new or maybe expand the Aramex into "newish" brand, like Virgin
Fadi Ghandour: enabling e-commerce in the region is where we are focusing now ... old but "newish"
Habib Haddad: a-what keeps you going and how do you manage your time:)
Fadi Ghandour: the entrepreneurial culture of Aramex is what keeps me going. venturing into new areas& social entrepreneurship is so inspiring
Mentioned in Despatches :P