Get to know: Waleed Rassuli, Head, Tezos Gulf

Get to know: Waleed Rassuli, Head, Tezos Gulf

What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?

I don’t think I have one that is most memorable, but I do have a few entrepreneurial achievements that I am proud of. I launched a few ventures over my career, but I am proud of the first entrepreneurial venture I launched that was a meat delivery company. It failed but, as a very young entrepreneur, I learnt so much about the food and meat industry, and entrepreneurship. It was memorable because of the steep learning curve because I never made those same mistakes again. The second entrepreneurship venture was with a friend where we launched a restaurant chain that he has successfully launched in France. I am proud to be a partner and a supporter of this venture. So, my biggest achievement has been to be an enabler of entrepreneurs and dreams. And that to me is quite exciting.

Waleed Rassuli, Head, Tezos Gulf.

What first made you think of a career in technology?

Technology for me has always been an enabler. I always saw a problem and built most of my businesses and enterprises around technology. I felt that it’s an important part of our lives and enjoy leveraging technology to make systems and processes easier.

What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?

My style is based on trust. I let my team and colleagues decide on what is the best course for tackling and finding the right solutions based on the overall business direction and vision. I do not like micromanaging my team and never have. So, it’s important to have the right team members that can make independent decisions that are in the best interests of the business.

What do you think is the current hot technology talking point?

Everyone is now aware of the importance of Blockchain because Blockchain might be the new SaaS. Because it can address all of the Digital Transformation needs and we hope to see that it will become a service someday.

How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?

There is only one way and that is to spend time with family.

If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?

I would not change anything because every step I took and decision I made led me to where I am today – setting up and expanding Tezos Gulf, looking at new opportunities to help enterprises and projects leverage the power of technology.

What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?

I think that NFT and gaming is probably the most exciting area of investment. This is because gaming is the most obvious application for NFTs – where it can enable players to own and exchange and share their assets, make progress in games and this is an area that I think will see a lot more investment and interest.

What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in the Middle East?

One of the challenges is not quite region specific. The Middle East is led by the vision of leaders who are super positive and drivers of technology. The challenge is to find the developers and product management community to change these visions into products and services. For example, the tech community in Israel is strong but the government and large public enterprises are averse to change. In the rest of the Middle East like the GCC countries for instance, it’s the other way around. The governments have the vision – businesses need to catch up to make these a reality. When changes come from the top, it makes it that much easier to adopt new technologies like Blockchain. It helps us to create the right talent pool. And that is one of the goals we have this year – help to educate and build the talent pool that will create the resources we need to take these visions to products.

What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?

When we first launched Tezos Gulf in the region a year ago – the awareness of Blockchain and applications, and players were a bit limited. But we are seeing more players and we will see more adoption and competition will be fiercer. It will bring more awareness and allow for more developers to create applications and tools that will make a real difference to businesses.

What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain c-level position in your industry?

I think if you want to own your region (like I do), you need to be aware of the landscape of the region, be familiar with the challenges and opportunities and leverage it for any of the technologies you are bringing into the market. Building a business around technology, gives founders and heads a lot more experience about setting up a business, making the right connections to ensure the growth of your business. And you need to hustle.

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