By Ihab Fikry
Industry: New ways to learn in a growing region
We looked at the Arab world and saw a gap in skills, where the majority of Arab youth could not access great mentoring in their language.
We understood the need to provide companies with the tools to help them thrive. We decided to produce mentor courses, mainly offered in a video-based format.
These are high quality, well-structured Arabic and English courses through our premises in Dubai and Cairo. Training is in both English and Arabic, with subtitling, video transcripts and closed captioning. The courses are designed for everyone from entry level to C-level executives. The goal is to learn how the organisation works and to solve any challenges they have in a video.
We handpicked some of the region’s best mentors, expert professional instructors, training organisers and subject-matter experts, curated top-rated training programmes and courses from the world’s leading publishers, while customising it to the needs of our region. We give them the freedom to create their own syllabus. Our role is to turn it into an easy-to-use, cutting-edge platform. Our mission is to infuse creativity in our practices and become high-tech and innovative.
Q4 was a very happy time, as we launched the product on November 1 and it exceeded all our expectations. We had 15,000 signups in the closed and then open beta phase, when we expected a few hundred. It was very successful and we look forward to 2018.
We think that the overall business environment will be better, and the region will be generally more stable. A great many technological barriers are being overcome every day in the Arab world. For example, 4G was introduced in Egypt last year, for the population of 100 million. That’s a huge market, and this will make a big difference to companies there.
We see lots of opportunities in other areas. For example, we are offering a course on safe driving for women in Saudi Arabia. Each and every positive change in the Middle East will require learning, by default, and we are ready to offer it.
Stability is a significant factor for any business to grow and prosper. Start-ups have to be supported by governments financially, technically and in marketing. They must incubate new ideas. We see this in Dubai more so than anywhere else in the Arab world.
Anything related to technology or education will grow in 2018. To be specific, big data analysis and artificial intelligence will be the most important areas for growth. Clean energy is also very important. We have an eye on this, so that we can produce specific courses.
Finally, we have plans to digitise more high-quality teaching work that can go around the Arab World. We see great potential in this region and are ready to help.