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A Journey From Ground Zero to Peak: The CEO’s Path to Achieving Greatness – Exclusive Interview With Mazen Farah

Starting from scratch, and going through the toughest challenges, Mazen Farah is today the Founder and Managing Partner of one of the top Business Management Consulting firms in the Middle East, HEED Consulting. He is committed to making a dent in the business world by bringing together Science, People, and Technology in every solution executed.

As the Founder of the organization, Mazen has been blending his expertise that spans over a decade with his passion for bringing a change in the industry. In this insightful interview, Mazen shares his perspective on encouraging collaboration, challenges, continuous learning, and the future of this field.

Mazen Farah

Beginnings First

We started the interview by asking, “Can you tell us about your professional journey and what led you to your current role?”

Mazen Farah responds, “Like many business people, I traversed diverse roles in my early career – from networking to IT and business solutions sales, business development for consulting services, and then as a sales trainer and consultant.

This diversity has shed light on some rare aspects and needs in the market, a skill that combines the thinkers and the doers. It involved an understanding of the details of sales efforts, management requirements, and the need to integrate science into sales. This is what inspired the creation of HEED.”

Setting HEED Apart

We were curious to learn how Mazen Farah ensures that his organization is unique amidst the competition. So, we asked, “What sets your business apart from competitors in the industry?”

He shared, “I believe three main things set HEED apart:

  • At HEED, our focus is on niche specialization, setting us apart from general management consulting.
  • Our designed approach and solutions at HEED are not just pragmatic; they are grounded in scientific precision, ensuring effectiveness and innovation.
  • As a boutique consultancy, our strength lies in close collaboration with clients, allowing us to design tailored solutions.”

Glimpse Of Major Achievements

To have a detailed look into HEED Consulting’s achievements over these years, we asked, “What has been your business’s biggest achievement to date?”

Mazen Farah replied, “Beyond our consulting successful projects and the transformative impact on clients, our paramount internal achievement at HEED lies in overcoming adversity. We weathered two consecutive, with one being the most challenging, crises. First, the 2019 revolution hit us at our Headquarters.

Subsequently, as we expanded into the GCC market, especially KSA, we confronted the dual challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and travel barriers to connect with clients.”

A Blend Of Guidance And Collaboration

We further asked, “How would you describe your leadership style?”

Mazen Farah continued, “My leadership style is a blend of strategic guidance and hands-on collaboration. I believe in fostering an environment of trust and open communication, empowering our team to excel. I prioritize a servant-leadership approach, ensuring I am actively involved, understanding team dynamics, and providing support where needed. Adaptability and a commitment to continuous improvement are at the core of my leadership philosophy, allowing us to navigate dynamic market landscapes and drive sustainable growth for our clients and our firm.

Additionally, I actively encourage innovative ideas from all levels within the organization, especially from the bottom of the pyramid, recognizing the valuable perspectives that emerge from diverse roles and fostering a culture of inclusivity and creativity.”

Encouraging Continuous Learning

Continuous learning is the key when it comes to staying updated with the latest market dynamics. So, we asked, “What strategies do you use to motivate and develop talent in your organization?”

Mazen Farah asserts, “I am dedicated to fostering a culture where the team sees our organization as a daily learning hub. Recognizing that the day they cease learning is the day their self-motivation dies, I prioritize an environment that thrives on continuous growth and discovery.”

Reshaping The Landscape

With an ever-increasing digital landscape and the advent of AI, businesses are never the same as before. So, we asked, “What role do you see artificial intelligence or technology playing in this industry?”

Mazen Farah shared, “I am firm in my belief that AI is reshaping every facet of our current landscape, and our response must be one of adaptation, embracing, and harnessing its full potential. This perspective unfolds in two ways, firstly, AI has opened new horizons, empowering us to craft innovative solutions for our clients by placing AI at the solution’s core—a feat previously challenging.

Also, internally leveraging AI streamlines time-consuming tasks, allowing us to refocus on what truly matters in our client interactions: the human touch, communication, and the delivery of robust, pragmatic solutions that define our consultancy.”

Adopting A Collaborative Approach

“How do you envision the future of your industry?”

Mazen Farah

Mazen Farah responds, “The way I see it is that the traditional paradigm of management consulting is on the verge of being obsolete. With clients equipped with easy access to information and the ability to structure insights into viable frameworks, consulting firms must reassess their foundational value proposition.

It’s no longer just about delivering neatly packaged solutions; it is about placing people, technology, and execution at the heart of everything. This shift demands a collaborative approach, working with clients rather than for them, and assuming accountability for and facilitating the execution of the designed solutions.”

Adaptability Amidst Challenges

While challenges are an inevitable part of any business, the approaches adopted to tackle them are what matters the most. We asked, “What have been some of the most significant hurdles you’ve encountered in your business, and how did you address them?”

Mazen Farah shared, “I believe it was the imminent necessity to pivot to a new market, with no luxury of time, to ensure the survival of the business after the 2019 Beirut revolution.

We decided to aggressively penetrate the KSA market, starting from scratch with no client base, and reaching out directly to potential clients. In a very short period, we were able to land two major projects, beating out big consulting firms.”

“I would like to give significant credit and special appreciation to the HEED team, who transitioned from being supported to being top performers, dedicated to driving the company forward and doing everything necessary to reach potential clients. And, I would also like to mark my gratitude towards our clients, Arabian Building Chemical and Al Essa, who entrusted HEED based on its true potential and capabilities, rather than relying solely on a prestigious name or an existing KSA portfolio.” Mazen added.

A Piece Of Advice Worth Sharing

We were curious to learn about business advice received by Mazen Farah at any point of his career that he feels is worth sharing with others. So, we asked, “What is an excellent piece of business advice you have ever received?”

Mazen Farah shared, “Do not worry too much; just do your best, not what you think your best is. Growing big starts outside your comfort zone.”

Ensuring The Perfect Balance, we asked Mazen Farah

We ended the interview by asking, “How do you balance investing in up-to-date ideas with ensuring ongoing operations remain successful?”

Mazen Farah concluded, “Excellent question! It touches on one of our most challenging aspects, particularly given our size where a dedicated R&D and innovation team is absent. Instead, the same people have to think from both perspectives.

Honestly, I cannot put my finger on how we are always able to manage that effectively. Perhaps it’s the utmost trust our clients have in us in getting things done, regardless of the challenges, that affords us the space to explore and innovate. Undoubtedly, the room for growth in that area is substantial.”

Connect with Mazen Farah on LinkedIn.

Find HEED Consulting on LinkedIn or visit their website to learn more.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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