Firas Tayeb, CEO and founder of Enterprise Systems Analysis Technology (ESAT) talks about how persistence led to his success and why having a strong work ethic is the most important leadership trait
What inspires you?
My strong will of turning my passion into a purpose is what inspires me. Ever since I was young, I have always been very tidy and I want things to be perfect.
This, combined with the fact I am a software engineer by profession, I feel the need to use these personality traits and skills to connect with others and society by developing software solutions that will deliver innovative changes for our clients and contribute to their development and success.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Being a very transparent person, most people around me already know everything about me. If I had to name one thing people may not know about me; that would be my huge respect and admiration for mothers.
I strongly believe that they play the most important role in society. Their job is not limited to only taking care of their family, but it extends much further, and I believe we need to appreciate them more. Additionally, I value impact over income, and the reason why I dream so big is because I want to have a big, positive impact on society.
What quote do you live your life by?
What you give is what you receive.
Finish this sentence: “The world would be a better place if only….
We could exterminate racism. We are all descended from Adam, which means we are all brothers and sisters, regardless of nationality, race, colour, age or religion. I wish that each and every one of us could stand up against racial prejudice and give way to equality.
What is the story behind your business?
The only thing that often stands between a man and what he wants in life is the will to try and the faith to believe that it is possible.
Knowledgeable in many different kinds of technology, I set out to help others by providing them with software solutions that will help make their business tasks easy, simple and efﬁcient. I tried to bring up the idea of standard ERP [enterprise resource planning] packages a few years back, but many of those around me were not interested. But I didn’t let this lack of support stop me. Like every other successful person who was once a dreamer, I never gave up and decided to do it myself and take the risk.
Fortunately, it was also the perfect timing for us to recognise the need in the UAE for quality systems and organisational efﬁciencies. Together with my partner, we devised ways to address the range of business challenges companies face and established effective systems to boost productivity and enhance revenues.
Our vision helped us navigate through the economic transformation taking place in the UAE and establish us as a leader in our industry. Our commitment to the region is also reflected in our corporate social responsibility policy.
In 2011, ESAT started operations. From humble beginnings ESAT was built on the principles of a strong work ethic and a passion to create innovative solutions for society. The aim of our business is to contribute towards our clients’ success by providing the best ERP solutions to help them reach their business goals.
We pledge our continued assurance to deliver world-class solutions and service excellence. On behalf of our management and staff, I thank the UAE’s leadership for the vision and dedication they have provided to the country’s IT sector, establishing the UAE as a global benchmark for development and advanced technology.
ESAT is proud to have played a small part in the UAE’s success through its work in the IT industry.
How did your business start the year?
We started off the year with a clear plan and a clear strategy.
Our main focus is on our clients, to create added value for their organisations and serve them better. Of course, as we try to enhance our services, for practical reasons, we consider our budget execution.
If all goes well, where do you see business going in the next five years?
The next decade? We’d like to be seen as a company which has successfully executed its vision to become recognised as a world-class leader in ERP and IT solutions that surpass customers’ expectations of performance and quality in the Middle East. Through hard work, we hope to expand this reputation globally. As I mentioned before, the bigger the dream, the bigger the impact.
What do you enjoy the most about working at your company?
Actually, we enjoy everything and every moment in ESAT. We enjoy working together as one team, and conquering all the challenges simultaneously. To be very honest, our happiest and most fulfilled moments are those when we see our clients’ satisfaction and success through the value that we have added to them.
People say that the fastest way to achieve success is to first help others succeed. I strongly agree with this because, seeing our valuable clients being satisfied, after each implementation that we’ve provided them, that is what makes everything worthwhile.
What advice would you give to someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Leadership is a great responsibility and I advise every leader to be very clear about their vision and make sure it has value and is ethical. This vision is what will inspire your entire team and what will keep them going. I believe it is very important that, throughout the process, your team is reminded and invested in what they and the company want to achieve.
Furthermore, at ESAT we strongly believe that the strength of the team is each individual member and the strength of each individual member is the team.
As a CEO, I can say that it is also very important that each and every person in the room is well-appreciated and knows that they are valued, because this is what fuels them to execute their work excellently. As a leader, you should know that your responsibility extends far beyond providing your employees with the tools that they need to carry out their tasks. Most of the time, what they will require from you is your support, for you to believe in their potential and to lift them up when they need it.
Being a team leader, you should also consider that everyone has a different mind-set and you should listen to other points of view as part of your decision-making. I also believe that it is essential to be a hands-on leader at every step of the way, not only at the beginning but during the entire process.
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