Raed Abusaif: Leaving Footprints From Aeronautical Aspirations To Healthcare Leadership


Renowned for his leadership traits as the CEO of Saba Medical, a prominent medical company group based in the United Arab Emirates, Raed Abusaif’s journey to leadership in the healthcare industry is marked by a diverse and challenging career path. Raed Abusaif brings a wealth of diverse experience and a resilient, tenacious spirit to his leadership role in the healthcare industry. Over the span of 15 years, he worked with several renowned US Fortune 100 companies, including Sprint, United Airlines, MCI WORLDCOM, F reddie M ac, a nd AOL. His journey from aeronautical engineering to software engineering and, finally, to healthcare leadership reflects a commitment to personal and professional growth that has been a hallmark of his career. Let’s hear more from him in this one-on-one interaction.

Please shed some light on your professional history and journey.

From being an Aeronautical Engineer to transitioning into the field of Information Technology and later venturing into entrepreneurship, hotel management, and the restaurant industry, and ultimately taking on the role of a Medical Executive, I have had a diverse and extensive career spanning three decades and encompassing three continents. This journey has allowed me to accumulate a wealth of knowledge and expertise across various sectors and cultures. I have had the privilege of working with and leading numerous professionals, including programmers, engineers, medical practitioners, managers, culinary experts, service staff, graphic artists, and many others.

What motivated you to establish a career in the healthcare sector?

Opting for a career in healthcare was a straightforward decision for me. The healthcare industry offers numerous rewards and a sense of

fulfillment, not only from a business perspective but also from a humanitarian standpoint. Being involved in healthcare, I find immense joy and gratitude in the many opportunities to give back, it could be as simple as guiding my team to provide care for an underprivileged patients without access to resources or health insurance.

Similarly, choosing Abu Dhabi as my new home was an uncomplicated decision. With its robust infrastructure, safety measures, fair regulations, strong leadership, and a commitment to embracing and implementing cutting-edge technologies, Abu Dhabi stood out as the obvious choice to establish as my 'Home' and serve as a cornerstone for the rest of my journey.

Could you describe your leadership style and the principles or strategies you employ when guiding your team? Which aspects do you take into account when formulating successful corporate expansion strategies?

My leadership approach is predominantly participa­tive. I place a strong emphasis on encouraging active participation and the sharing of perspectives from all team members in every facet of our processes and decision-making. This approach promotes synergy among the team, cultivates trust, and unlocks the full potential of each individual. Additionally, I firmly be­lieve in leading by example, a tried-and-true method that consistently nurtures trust, respect, and, in the end, fosters a positive work environment.

My approach is always geared toward the long-term perspective, with a focus on establishing a robust groundwork for future advancements. This means that I may sometimes make decisions that appear less effective in the short term, and such choices might encounter resistance or criticism from those who do not have a comprehensive view of the overall strategy. I tend to prioritize actions that promise enduring, positive consequences over decisions that may yield short-term gains and frequent turnovers.

How do you foster a culture of continuous learning within your team, and how do you ensure they remain well-informed about the latest trends and practices in the medical field?

I prioritize equipping my team with the necessary resources for ongoing learning and skill development. Recognizing and appreciating individuals' efforts to learn is another essential aspect of my approach.

I am immensely thankful for the opportunities that were given to me by my early employers, in terms of technical training, certifications, self-development courses, workshops, seminars, and project and people management. This experience instilled in me the belief that nurturing your team's growth ultimately enhances your business, and I strive to uphold this philosophy.

Furthermore, I understand the importance of Continuing Medical Education (CME) for healthcare professionals. Therefore, I ensure that my team fulfills their required CME units each year, which not only hones their skills but also keeps them well-informed about emerging technologies, regulations, and advancements in the medical field.

Could you provide your insights on the current challenges that impede individuals in making positive lifestyle choices, and do you have any recommendations?

Numerous factors can act as barriers to personal growth and success. In my view, 'fear' stands out as a significant obstacle that prevents individuals from making the right lifestyle choices. This fear can encompass a fear of change, a fear of judgment and failure, a fear of pursuing dreams and exploring new opportunities, and a fear of expressing one's thoughts and ideas. Many people opt to remain within their comfort zones or their 'safe shells' despite possessing untapped potential.

To address this inclination, taking small steps can be highly effective. Setting manageable, simple goals while acknowledging that personal growth often involves discomfort and setbacks is crucial. It's important to be willing to embrace that discomfort as part of the journey.

What are your intentions for dedicating your time to your career trajectory moving ahead?

My aim is to consistently engage in learning and foster meaningful connections, while also striving for a more balanced work-life dynamic. Additionally, I look forward to spending more quality time with my four children, who are adults and excelling in their own fields.

Given your extensive professional background, what guidance would you offer emerging leaders in this field?

It comes down to fundamental principles. Just as planting garlic will never yield basil, the key is to sow the seeds of your objectives and care for them without hesitation.

In the healthcare industry, emphasize a 'Patient- Centered Approach.' When you cultivate a culture centered on the well-being and contentment of patients, all other aspects will naturally align, creating a strong foundation for enduring growth. Patients can always discern whether your focus is on their welfare or solely on your business interests.

Raed Abusaif, CEO, Saba Medical

Raed Abusaif, CEO of Saba Medical in the United Arab Emirates, embarked to be an Aeronautical Engineer. He pursued a Master's in Computer Science, later transitioned to software engineering, excelling in Fortune 100 companies such as Sprint, United Airlines, Freddie Mac, and AOL. Eventually, he ventured into investments and entrepreneurship before finding his niche in the medical field in Abu Dhabi.

Current Issue