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Get To Know: Moussalam Dalati, General Manager, Liferay Middle East

Get To Know: Moussalam Dalati, General Manager, Liferay Middle East

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What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?

As a general summation of life so far, I have been blessed with several achievements through my journey, some small and some quite significant – family contentment being the most important. Professionally, one of my greatest and most memorable achievement has been witnessing the growth of a successful team at Liferay and bootstrapping a solid business from scratch in the region. Taking the plunge at that time felt like the biggest challenge of my life, today, it is the most memorable achievement with several satisfying milestones achieved through the ride.

What first made you to think of a career in technology?

I have been passionate about technology for as long as I can remember as it was the most exciting sector while growing up and so it was an obvious choice for me to take on post engineering, a background most C-levels in technology share today. Smaller experiences in life such as my fascination towards the Atari games drove me to bigger experiences such as creating my own first game at the age of 11. Several such experiences in life only increased my drive for technology. As years moved by, the tech space just kept expanding its horizons for me, each time landing a role with varied tech, making me a seasoned tech professional.

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

My collaborative management style involves working closely with my team members to develop strategies and make decisions together. Communication is a large part of this process and I strongly believe that facilitating open communication brings forth the best in every team member and encourages transparency. This is in line with an effort to build a strong learning team instilling a commitment to organisational goals, rallying the team around it, taking them through learning and growth opportunities that fuels empowerment, which to me is one of the biggest areas of increased job satisfaction and organisational growth.

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

The present/ current world is all about digital experiences. I foresee significant investments in single platforms that are able to combine experience enablement, automation and low code capabilities all based on open APIs standard to allow consolidation across legacy systems.

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

I have a strong regime of yoga, running and music that generally allows me to unwind, relax and recharge my batteries from time to time.

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

Honestly, while I doubted my decisions through every step in my career like most of us, eventually they turned out just fine. I can today confidently say that the idea of right and wrong choice in your career pathway is a fallacy. Every choice comes with an opportunity and every single career decision has only advanced my career. However, I would have done my INSEAD MBA two years earlier if I really could.

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

Experiences! Entities are looking to increase the value of their digital investments when it comes to improving digital customer experiences. Digital platforms are proving fundamental in meeting customer needs and maintaining business competitiveness. This is a constantly evolving area given that entities are endlessly seeking to deliver personalized approaches tailored to customers’ specific needs through advances in data collection and analysis, for an overall cohesive experience for site visitors. Given that organisations are witnessing daily change with their clients, significant investment focus lies around how the customer journey can be optimised.

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

The region is a hub of new and emerging technology adoption. Having said, the battle for the right talent sometimes tends to slow down the pace, thereby creating a major roadblock. Moreover, there is also a level of reluctance witnessed in the adoption of new technologies invariably because of a misunderstanding of the impact that the technology will make. Another major challenge witnessed is that smaller firms face daunting pressures against larger blue-chip firms when it comes to new business opportunities in the market.

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?

Given that the pandemic has changed the way we conduct business and the fact that this change is here to stay, a hybrid working model will be the way forward and organisations need to have the right tools to ensure business growth and profitability. Hybrid according to me is indeed the best of both worlds: a powerful structure, independence and flexibility.

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

Walk the Talk – And this means behave as if you are already in a C-level position, keep your high-level technical knowledge in check and keep your ego in check while progressing through your career. In addition, push your comfort zone boundaries on frequent basis and be passionate about what you do.

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