Rami Zaki (EMBA16)

Nationality: British/Egyptian
Job title: Co-Founder of Lbeitak.com
Previous degree and university: Computer Science & Engineering, German University in Cairo, Cairo - Egypt

Can you explain the concept of your startup venture?

"The startup company is called Lbeitak which means “for your home” in the Arabic language. The concept behind Lbeitak is to ease the journey of home remodeling and design making it fulfilling for both the home owner and home professional; by home professional it could be: a home ware supplier, a home architect, a home builder, a home interior designer etc. Lbeitak offers an online platform that connects home owners with home professionals in a visual community, so as a home owner you can browse through the local home improvement market (get a holistic view of the market), buy home materials (floorings, walls, bathroom fittings etc.) online, pick from a list of home interior designers, and as a home professional, we offer you a wider consumer base. We are simply a gateway to connect the two parties. Lbeitak believes that getting towards your dream home should be a fun, joyous and fulfilling journey. And as they say, home is where your heart belongs. I officially started with this venture in May 2016 as part of my In-company Project (ICP) at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). I wanted to figure out the supply chain of my startup. Triggered by that, I went to the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) to turn the idea into a reality. I used my Executive MBA and the MBA assignments as a means to figure out the business model of Lbeitak."

How has the EMBA helped you in your startup endeavour?

"I see the EMBA as a tool which is very useful to have in your back pocket. The programme exposes you to all the different business areas. The MBA gives me a sense of direction. It gives me a great understanding of finance, strategy, marketing and branding, it gives me the tools to run a company from every necessary aspect. Once you have an understanding of all these concepts, you can have a strategic vision and good sense of direction; the MBA makes you equipped to see the bigger picture in the long run. All the pieces just come together! The MBA has given me the confidence to start my own business. I’ve always had the motive and idea but I was scared of the risk involved. Now, because of the MBA, you see you are able to do it; it gives you the self-assurance that you can indeed do it."

What was the reason for you to pursue an MBA at RSM?

"I’ve always wanted to do an MBA. I come from a technical background, from a technical university, but I’ve always had a passion for business. I noticed that my business acumen needed to be strengthened. I already had a good work experience within the corporate environment but I needed to expand my territory."