I serve as the Vice President and Country Manager for Mastercard Egypt, where my 20 years of extensive background in economics, management, and policy consultation plays a pivotal role. At Mastercard I spearhead the company’s strategy and operations in Egypt, focusing on enriching the payment ecosystem and fostering value creation. My journey with Mastercard began in 2020 as a Senior Managing Consultant, where I significantly expanded the consulting delivery hub, growing the team to over 60 professionals. My expertise also extends to leading advisory client services in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Levant, culminating in my appointment as Principal for Advisors Client Services across the Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa (EEMEA) region.

My career spans various roles in policy advisory, investment analysis, and management consulting in Egypt and the MENA region. My experience includes working with prominent entities such as Dun & Bradstreet, Logic Management Consulting, along with co-founding Acumen Consulting, a boutique management consulting firm. My contributions as an Egyptian government veteran are notable, particularly in national initiatives such as the Egypt Vision 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy.

Apart from my corporate roles, I am an active member of the advisory board for several local and regional start-ups and the National Employment Pact initiated by GIZ Egypt. I also served as the Lean Start-up Co. Ambassador to Egypt. My educational background is equally impressive, with an MBA in finance and a graduate business degree in corporate innovation from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

In the dynamic realms of finance and technology, I am committed to driving meaningful change. With my passion, expertise, and resilient spirit, I continue to aim for excellence, making significant contributions towards financial inclusion and improving lives.

Thoughts about the industry:

Payment Technology and Financial Inclusion: A True Pivotal Force

In my perspective, payment technology serves as a pivotal force propelling greater financial inclusion by widening access to finance and payments solutions. The more aligned we are to cultural considerations, the more impactful the evolution of financial technology can be. As the landscape matures, we’ve transitioned from a nascent phase of singular focus on payments in the Egyptian fintech ecosystem to a realm of diversified propositions, showcasing richness and uniqueness in use cases.

Amidst this transformative landscape, the COVID-19 pandemic emerged as a catalyst for technology adoption. It expedited the acceptance of e-commerce, app utilization, and digital payments across diverse segments of society. Notably, previously hard-to-reach demographics swiftly embraced mobile payments, creating a paradigm shift in the Egyptian wallet ecosystem. Banks and fintechs have played a pivotal role in this transformation, innovating with card propositions and payment solutions tailored to specific segments, including youth and women. 

I believe that partnerships and collaborative efforts among entities with shared perspectives are leading the way to better opportunities and more robust and integrated solutions. The evolving trend in the fintech sector involves a shift from multiple players to a consolidation of fewer entities providing more comprehensive end-to-end solutions. There is also an increasing emphasis on partnerships with traditional banking systems that is valuable to shaping the future of fintech solutions.

Empowering Female Entrepreneurs in Tech: Advice for Success

For aspiring female entrepreneurs and tech innovators, my advice is rooted in self-trust. By showcasing success stories and providing inspiration, we can help ambitious young women challenge themselves especially within male-dominated industries. This principle echoed in ‘Lasting Legacy’, Mastercard’s book honoring some of the world’s most inspiring female leaders in arts, sports, politics, hospitality, and financial services. The book aims to motivate readers to actively participate in their personal lives and communities, working towards bridging the gender gap and fostering a future characterized by greater inclusivity.

Having experienced the benefits of mentors firsthand, for whom I’m truly grateful, I believe in the importance of seeking guidance from those who have navigated similar paths. The most valuable qualities for success in this dynamic environment include agility, innate curiosity, team-building skills, and effective personal branding. Embracing change, having the keen desire to learn about technological innovations, building strong teams, and effectively communicating achievements are key components of a successful entrepreneurial journey in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Allow your Ambitions to Evolve

Reflecting on my journey, I started with an altruistic ambition of saving lives as a surgeon, later evolving into an economist dedicated to advancing the economy. Currently employed at Mastercard, I am contributing to the financial inclusion agenda, endeavoring to improve lives one card at a time and one included individual at a time. While my North Star remains constant in improving lives, the manifestation of this goal has shifted from healthcare to economic well-being of individuals.