Endeavor Entrepreneur Khaled Ismail, the Egyptian founder of SySDSoft, a wireless communications company that has expanded from just two people to more than 100 staff since its founding in 2002, gave an interview to UAE newspaper The National. In the interview he discusses the challenges he has faced over the past decade since starting his business, and his more recent efforts to give back by helping newer entrepreneurs achieve their goals.
On becoming the first entrepreneur in Egypt to be awarded free advisory services from Endeavor Global, and how this helped his business:
“We were subjected to interviews by executives at Cisco, IBM and several other reputable companies. These individuals had a lot of experience and raised a lot of good questions. Sometimes a good question is more valuable than a solution or answer. Then we were subjected to even more severe scrutiny, and every panel asks you very fundamental questions about your business model. All of that helped us put everything correctly in context to grow the company with the right view of our strengths and weaknesses.”
“[Endeavor] assigned a mentor. We had an offer at one point to be [taken over], and my mentor gave me guidelines on what is a good price, and whether to sell or not. We did not sell at the time, which was a wise decision.”
On being elected board chairman of Endeavor Egypt, and how his role will help other entrepreneurs:
“With early-stage entrepreneurs, fresh out of university, a nice idea may just need help from angel investment. Then you start growing it and you can potentially become a high-impact entrepreneur, and that’s where we pick up. But you need someone to work with the different entities and create that pipeline. Here, we have to make sure the pool of entrepreneurs exist and are helped. You have to bring the VCs [venture capitalists], investors and convince them this is a good investment.”
The full interview can be found here