Nabil Jabraouti: A Visionary Blazing New Trails In Business Finances And Corporate Strategies

Nabil Jabraouti: A Visionary Blazing New Trails In Business Finances And Corporate Strategies

Nabil Jabraouti, Chief Financial Officer

Nabil Jabraouti

Chief Financial Officer

Finance is vital for business success in today's competitive corporate environment. Effective utilization of finance is crucial for sustained organizational success. An experienced and innovative Chief Financial Officer (CFO) plays a paramount role in achieving this. Nabil Jabraoutiis the trailblazing CFO of IQ, an Iraqi high-speed internet services company aiming to digitize society by providing cutting-edge internet services. The introduction of the Silk Route Transit project last year further strengthens IQ's strategic position, offering a reliable and cost-effective alternative for connecting Europe, the Middle East, and the rest of the world while bypassing the Red Sea bottleneck.

Since joining, Nabil has played a pivotal role in IQ’stransformation. The series of crises that had hit Iraq for many years has left manychallenges for CFO’s, such as a crippled banking system, unstable exchange rates, and atroubledprivate sector. Nabil navigated those challenges and reshaped the financial functions of IQGroup, achieving digital transformation, a robust control environment, and a budgeting and planning process that prepared IQ for the international change. In an exclusive interview with CEO INSIGHTS Asia, Nabil shares more insights into his professional journey and his rise to success in the industry.

Give a brief overview of your professional journey?

With a degree in business, I started my career 14 years ago in accounting for an international telecom operatorand then a Big-4 company. Ifocused on developing myself in the fields of telecom, SaaS, and Fintech, expanding beyond accounting and finance to cover the business aspects of these industries. Since I came to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, I contributed to the foundation of two successful fintech startups and helped in streamlining processes, ERP implementation, and designing business models for many companies.I joined IQ in 2021, where I’ve been working with a team of professionals that have the vision, and capacity to takeIQ to the next level.

What has been your success mantra in your journey so far?

To achieve success, prioritize genuine and persistent efforts to improve your chances, regardless of immediate rewards. In my career, particularly during the first half, I consistently strived to progress, whether through securing promotions or closing deals with customers. I continuously tried to improve myself through learning and building connections. Over time, the knowledge and connections I acquired played a crucial role in my rapid career advancement. Success relies on various factors, some beyond our control. Our responsibility is do our best with the aspects that are within our control.

As the Chief Financial Officer, what are the factors you check to determine the profitability of an investment?

Financial and non-financial metrics vary across industries, investment types, and stages. Among the non-financial metrics, we assess factors such as whether we are entering a blue ocean or red ocean, investing in a start-up or a mature business, regulation, besides addressable market size. Financially, ratio analysis, particularly for ratios addressing risk mitigation, is employed. NPV and ROI are probably the ones we use in most cases, but then there are other indicators and analyses whose usage varies by industry and circumstances. For example, in low-margin high-volume industries like fintech, we consider contribution margin and breakeven analysis, while in capital-intensive industries, the focus shifts to Return on Assets and payback period.

When it comes to personal success, focus on genuinely and persistently doing your best to improve your chances regardless of the reward

How do you guide your team to draw valuable insights from the market to ensure the maintenance of the company's financial health?

We do this in three ways: a) Recruitment: We hire specialists with relevant backgrounds. This includestalented graduates from universities aligning with our standards, or experienced professionals who can facilitate adaptation to new changes. b) Training: We provide on-the-job and off-the-job training on best practices and international standards.c) Expert consulting: We sought guidance from a Big-4 firm to rebuild our supply chain functions.

Change is a constant. How do you evolve with changes in the industry?

Working in Iraq is always challenging. There are so many things to factor in constantly, and with any developing country, changes happen a lot and very quickly. The past year I’ve had to adapt quickly to rising inflation and currency issues and lay out a clear strategy to navigate IQ to the other side safely. With this in mind, I see change as a triangle of people, process, and technology. It's essential to address these aspects together for successful change.Firstly, I prioritize people. Even advanced systems are ineffective if individuals are unwilling to embrace change. It's important to have the right individuals, provide training, maintain motivation, and tackle change resistance. Secondly, formulating a process that strikes a balance between best practices, risk management, and factors like work flexibility, environment, and culture. Lastly, technology. Implementing a robust system, e.g.,ERP or CRM, that streamlines processes and supports the change process.

What is your future roadmap?

I am excited to see our progress towards becoming a market leader in digitization and internet services in the Middle East. I also aspire to the growth of my team, adding value to IQ and the local community. Personally, I aim to specialize further in fintech and SaaS, especially in designing and implementing successful business models. However, at the core of things, I must always consider my environment and understand that in a country with as many hurdles as Iraq, I will not always have the luxury of sticking to my plan of action and roadmap. Nonetheless, I am optimistic about the situation and believe IQ will achieve enormous feats and milestones over the next few years.

Nabil Jabraouti, Chief Financial Officer, IQ

Nabil Focuses On His Career And Personal Development. He Has Always Loved Technology & Keeps Abreast With The Latest Technologies


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