Ahmed Elsayed: Leveraging Data Analytics Prowess & Experience To Drive Success

Ahmed Elsayed: Leveraging Data Analytics Prowess & Experience To Drive Success

Ahmed Elsayed , CFO

Ahmed Elsayed


Responsible for propelling the financial success of an organization, the role of CFOs has become increasingly complex in recent years, thanks to the evolving standards and technologies in the industry. Ahmed Elsayed, the CFO of Sulalat Coffee, has been able to navigate these changes and leverage his expertise to drive outstanding results for the company. With his exceptional financial acumen, Elsayed has introduced innovative practices to the company's financial operations and has played a crucial role in its growth and success. He has proven to be a skilled communicator and collaborator, working effectively with executives, managers, and interdisciplinary teams to achieve organizational goals. In this exclusive interview with CEO Insights Magazine, Elsayed shares insights into his journey as a prominent finance professional.

As the CFO, how do you determine the profitability of an investment of the company?

Determining the profitability of an investment is a multi-faceted process that requires extensive research and financial modeling. We start by conducting thorough market research, including a competitive analysis and pricing strategy evaluation, to ensure that we have a complete understanding of the investment landscape. From there, we develop financial models that take into account a variety of factors, including projected cash flows, ROI, and discount rates, to forecast the investment's potential performance over the next five to ten years. But it's not just about the numbers. We also evaluate whether the investment aligns with our company's strategic goals, whether it supports our vertical or growth strategies, and whether it meets our investment KPIs. We use a range of financial metrics, including the discounted payback period, the net present value (NPV), and the internal rate of return (IRR), to assess the potential profitability of the investment.

By using this comprehensive approach to evaluating investments, we can make informed decisions that not only deliver strong financial returns but also align with our company's long-term vision and goals.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow to lead your team?

Leading a team requires a comprehensive approach that considers each team member's strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. As a leader, I prioritize onboarding people with good attitudes and skills and creating a positive and healthy work environment that fosters communication and productivity. It all starts with selecting qualified individuals with strong communication skills and a desire to improve.

Once the team is in place, I work with each member individually to identify their strengths and weaknesses and develop plans to improve their performance. This may involve additional training, education, or promotion opportunities. Positive reinforcement and rewards are also essential to maintaining a motivated team.

It's important to recognize that every team member is unique and requires a personalized approach to maximize productivity. By understanding their individual needs and working with them accordingly, I'm able to create a cohesive and effective team. Ultimately, a successful team is one that feels valued, supported, and challenged to achieve their best.

Could you reflect on some of the toughest challenges you have encountered in your journey so far?

Being a CFO comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to balancing work and personal responsibilities. It can be tough to find time to improve oneself, educate oneself, and deal with the pressure of the role while also managing family obligations. However, I believe that the key to success lies in one's ability to focus and stay committed to their goals.

To overcome these challenges, I prioritize setting small, achievable daily goals and focusing on them without fail. This helps me to stay on track and make steady progress towards my objectives. Additionally, I make sure to select team members with the right qualifications and personality traits and work with them to improve their strengths and address their weaknesses through training and incentives.

Ultimately, the most important lesson I've learned is that success requires continuous effort and commitment. By focusing on my goals and staying motivated, I've been able to overcome challenges and achieve great things both personally and professionally.

Determining the profitability of an investment is a multi-faceted process that requires extensive research & financial modeling

What advice would you give to budding industry leaders?

My advice for budding industry leaders who aspire to become successful leaders someday is to embrace every opportunity as a chance to learn and grow. Every challenge or difficult situation can provide valuable experience in managing pressure and developing leadership skills. It's important to stay calm, be a problem-solver, and learn from your mistakes. Don't be ashamed of mistakes, instead use them as learning opportunities and make a conscious effort to improve yourself. Remember, people who never make mistakes never improve. So, be open to learning, stay focused, and strive to achieve the highest professional standards. With dedication and hard work, you can become a successful leader in your industry.

"We use a comprehensive approach to evaluating investments & make data-driven informed decisions that deliver strong financial returns"

Introduce Sulalat Coffee to our readers. How would you define Sulalat Coffee as an organization and its current position in the market?

Sulalat Coffee, the first specialized roastery, has been revolutionizing the coffee industry since 2014. With a mission to convey the message of coffee and quality of life, Sulalat Coffee has become a global leader in coffee auctions, competing as the most famous bidder in the world for the most expensive types of coffee.

Their dedication to quality doesn't stop at the beans. Sulalat Coffee has also obtained global agencies for the best coffee machines and equipment, establishing an infrastructure for a new sector of cafes. As they began to expand their employment in 2016, they added a partner who is now the CEO, Naser Al Whebi. Their branch serves as a model for clients and training, ensuring the highest quality in every cup.

Their marketing strategy, led by co-founder Sarah Al-Mutawa, has been focused on social media networks, participating in global championships, and exhibitions, and offering tasting and judging courses. Despite the challenges in the industry, Sulalat Coffee has remained committed to its quality and tasting department. Each product requires hundreds of samples and tasting sessions, with the majority being rejected, especially during the auction season.

With plans to serve a thousand cafes in the first stage, Sulalat Coffee has established an automated factory with a production capacity of one thousand tons per month. With their commitment to quality and dedication to their clients, it's no wonder that Sulalat Coffee has become a true leader in the coffee industry.

What is the unique proposition that your organization offers to clients?

Sulalat Coffee is a highly specialized organization that has positioned itself as a leader in the coffee market. What sets us apart from our competitors is our unique approach to data analysis and research. Our research department is dedicated to analyzing every aspect of our products, including market conditions and customer needs, which has allowed us to develop a fundamental certificate in data science and visualization.

By collecting and analyzing data, we're able to gain insight into the market conditions and develop effective action plans to improve sales and profit margins. We evaluate every decision we make by looping in internal and external feedback from our employees and customers, ensuring that we remain competitive in the ever-changing market.

What's more, we understand that every product we sell has its own unique features, personality, and market conditions. This is why we take a customized approach to our pricing and marketing strategies to maximize sales and profitability. We're always aligned with our company's values and goals, ensuring that we remain focused on delivering the highest quality coffee products to our customers. Overall, Sulalat Coffee is a highly innovative and strategic organization that is committed to delivering the best coffee products in the market.

Ahmed Elsayed, CFO, Sulalat Coffee

With over 16 years of experience in the industry, Ahmed has worked in various positions across different organizations, including Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Dur Hospitality, and Nayyara Hospitality Company, before joining Sulalat Coffee. As the CFO, Ahmed oversees the financial management of the company, from budgets to financial analysis and strategic decision-making. He is committed to ensuring that the company's financial operations run smoothly and that they continue to achieve their goals and grow in a competitive industry.

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