There are many business management agencies variant in services they offer, segments they focus on, and other factors. The business management and consulting market is such a vital space because it offers other businesses the support and services they need and consulting agencies act in this regard as an engine for the success of other businesses as well.
Since the market in the UAE is such an ever-growing ecosystem for startups, SMEs, and enterprises, the market gap for professional and effective and diversified management and consulting services is always there. In our quest to gather more information on the business world in the MENA region, we had an interactive Q&A session with the Founder and CEO of Volonté.
Q. How did Volonté come into fruition? Tell us about your beginnings.
Volonté was inspired by all the professional developments in the UAE, visionary leaders, passionate entrepreneurs, hardworking achievers, and young dreamers. It was a dream for a long time, I just had to wait for the right moment. To me, the right moment was when I was ready to go out there and make a difference. By education, I was an engineer, far from business management. However, my career took a turn when I started working with the Big4 consultants in the UAE. I was a junior project manager. Their work fascinated me, so I decided to follow a similar path. I continued my education and received my Doctorate degree in Business Administration from Minnesota, USA. I worked as a freelancer in Europe for a while. By 2020, I was ready, but luck didn’t have it for me. Covid hit in March 2020, so I postponed my company formation to September 2020. That’s when it finally happened. I got a Dubai mainland license from DED and started operations. In my journey around the world, I learned a lot of valuable lessons, both professionally and personally. Every day, I feel like these experiences add a lot of value to my work and business relationships.
Q. What are some challenges you have faced as a female business owner in the UAE? What are some tips for women entrepreneurs who are starting their businesses in the MENA market?
Luckily, I have a supportive family, so I did not face any social expectation challenges that many women face. However, the list of the challenges was long. First, I had a limited budget. I was determined to make it happen without a bank loan. So, I had to rely on my personal savings and plan all my expenditures ahead of time. Second, I did not have a business network in Dubai. My contacts were limited to a few people I worked with previously and a LinkedIn account that was not very active. Being an introvert, I had to run the extra mile to build my network. Next, I started using the LinkedIn navigator feature to build a community of like-minded people around me. Through LinkedIn, I met a lot of great people, including my current entrepreneurship coach. Eight months after the company formation, my network grew into 2,200 business owners and like-minded individuals across the globe. Some other challenges included balancing my personal and professional responsibilities, building market access, and creating brand visibility. Today, I am trying to utilize my strong network to overcome these challenges.
Q. Many entrepreneurs are moving to the UAE to start their own businesses. Would you consider the UAE startup ecosystem beginner-friendly for first-time entrepreneurs?
The UAE startup ecosystem is, by far, one of the most supportive systems of entrepreneurs in the region. This is especially noticeable around women entrepreneurs. The government of UAE has launched several support programs for businesswomen and entrepreneurs. Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Astrolabs, Sheraa, in5, Dtec, and many other accelerators were developed to help entrepreneurs in their journey. In addition to the government support, the strong infrastructure and business-friendly economy of UAE present countless opportunities to entrepreneurs who are determined to succeed.
Q. What is the change that Volonté is planning to make in the market?
Volonté aims to become a brand ambassador for businesswomen to women entrepreneurs out there who are sceptical about starting their entrepreneurial journey. In an attempt to encourage women, we provide special offers in our business management solutions to women entrepreneurs in UAE. We aim to attract entrepreneurs to UAE and help them succeed. Additionally, we are working hard to deliver quality, innovative solutions to our clients through our purposeful and milestone-oriented business model, aiming to become in-house consultants for our clients; the first and last stop to their business challenges.
Q. What are some of your plans regarding growth and scaling?
We aim to expand our team, our services, and our branches within the next 5 years. We are working closely with our accelerator, FasterCapital, to raise the first round of funding for our growth in the region. We aim to have a team of professional consultants and create various branches across the Middle East, including KSA, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.
Q. What are the main areas and operations you are focusing on right now?
We understand that management consultancy is a client-driven industry, focused on strategy, development, process change and client relationship management. Based on our experience in the market, uberization phenomenon, where companies are becoming accustomed to ordering precisely what they need and for a short period of time, is rapidly increasing. Based on our purpose-driven consultancy model, our solutions are based on a clear purpose defined by the client. We defined 3 main types of purposes based on this model:
|Feasibility Studies||Business Process Management||Organizational Structure Analysis|
Schedule and timeline
|Strategy and strategic management
Enterprise risk management
Strategic project management
|Organization design and restructuring
Customer / supplier relationship management
Development of policies and procedures
Development of SOPs
Q. What is your message to your future clients?
The business environment is becoming increasingly digitized, with information and transactions moving faster and manual tasks becoming automated, rapidly transforming the nature of work that impact both, process, and mindset. At Volonté, we believe that good advisors are practitioners, not preachers. Our objective is not just to recommend solutions to you, but also to help institutionalize more effective management processes for you. We offer desirable outcomes through consensus, commitment, learning and future effectiveness. The company’s name alludes to our “Force de Volonté”, or strength of will, and professional expertise combined to provide unique, high calibre services that can aid business venturers in persevering and successfully achieving their business objectives.
Founder and the Chief Executive Officer at Volonté Business Management.
Achieved the highest degrees of education in business management; a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration, specialised in Project Management.
A Harvard business school certified in Disruptive Strategy, Negotiation Mastery, and Business Management; a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, and a member of the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business.
Thank you for joining us!
(WIFIN Q&A Sessions 2021)