Comebacks are always more glorious than setbacks
Earlier this year, our CEO posted on social media an article that was equally dark about the past, as it was bright about the very near future. Now is the time to see if this optimism still holds water.
2018 was an exceptionally tough year on ozb with too many accumulated turbulences and challenges all external, internal, business and even personal to many of us.
It was no easy ride navigating through fixing and restoring many diluted fundamentals, reigniting trust internally and externally, and bringing the business back on solid feet fast, and in a sustainable way.
We’ve always had a loving environment in ozb, which added to the difficulty of taking the harder-right decisions, but we did, introducing one disruptive change after the other, yet we did, and most importantly making sure that our people still love us, but for all the right reasons, and that too we did!
In his post early January, Tamer Mustafa made a promise to himself, to make quarter one of 2019, a quarter to remember, a quarter to be proud of. This promise was made in the midst of exceptional turmoil, yet on the very last day of quarter one, specifically March 31st 2019, the entire organization gathered to celebrate what has proven to be ozb’s best quarter to date, one truly worth being proud of, and one we will sure remember.
We went back to our standard 100% Payment On Time to all suppliers globally, went back to a 100% self sufficiency with zero debts, zero loans and zero interests, went back to our productivity initiatives with record saving while growing our entire salary structure by over 50% in such a tough year. We revamped our service quality taking brief-to-submission lead-time from 30 days down to 10, and approval-from-first-submission up to 98%. In quarter one 2019, we grew our volume, we grew our revenue, and we grew our profits by over 80%.
Tamer says; “to disrupt or be disrupted is a choice we make everyday”, and we chose to keep disrupting externally through dramatically disrupting internally more and more, because what got us here will not necessarily take us to the next level.
That is why, on our all-company-gathering, top management introduced a bouquet of new internal disruptions phasing in until early 2020.
A totally new and leaner structure that is much closer to the client eliminating layers and closer to its own Business Units. A structure designed around our Core and not distracted with non-core historically stretching us too thin.
Smart Merit-Based Earnings:
Those whose ambition is a fixed salary at the end of the month have one objective and that is to simply not get fired! We no longer want those. New generations have immense potential and it’s plain stupid to limit them with bureaucracy of hierarchy and years of seniority. That is why, as of January 2020, ozb will stop hiring or retaining employees, but rather entrepreneurs. The pay has been reinvented through a very sophisticated system that rewards people instantly on their contribution to the business and organization on what matters most through a thorough 6 layer approach designed to turn the culture we want to encourage to reality on the ground.
ozb has been on a spree of digitizing and automating not only systems and processes, but actually entire roles and functions making the operation much faster, and cheaper and better, while only reserving roles worth of a human being’s brainpower and value addition. Anything that an app can do, let an app do.
A totally different approach to our relationships with external partners and stakeholders, mainly aimed at putting all our energy and brain-power on our core business, where we add exponential value, while partnering with international parties to do the rest.
Smart Trust in our irrational fundamentals:
Any company that withstands the test of time for 25 years could not have done it by coincidence, but by a set of fundamentals that usually seem irrational to most expert eye. Tamer Mustafa says; “disruption does not happen because of experts, it rather happens despite of them”. Any entrepreneurial endeavor will be challenged by experts who got used to doing thing in a certain way, that’s where there needs to always be this stubborn trust in the irrational fundamentals that work for us.
Thank you 2018 for waking us up and teaching us, and thank you 2019 for rewarding us.