Conversations with Loulou

75 subscribers

Loulou Khazen Baz, an entrepreneur, investor and mother based in Dubai draws on her professional and personal experiences over her two-decade career to discuss business, leadership, startups and technology from a Middle Eastern lens. To learn more, visit the show's website: www.conversationswithloulou.com and you can follow Loulou on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram @louloukhazen

Episodes
15 / 04 / 2024

E72: An insider’s guide to private equity in MENA with Huda Al-Lawati


Huda Al-Lawati-is a veteran private equity professional across emerging markets having had executive roles at companies like Gateway Partners, Savola and Abraaj. Huda has recently launched-Aliph Capital, a private equity fund that focuses on the mid market segment.-

I sat down with Huda to get an insider-s view on the private equity industry in the MENA region, what are the opportunites, where to fundraise, how to source deals, how to create value to companies they acquire by building the right teams and much more. Also if you-re interested to work in private equity, Huda shares her tips on what she looks for and what it takes to succeed in this competitive industry.

If you-re looking to gain an understanding of how the industry works then this is a great place to start!

Support for the show comes from-Capital.com, a global investment platform. Visit their webiste to start trading today!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:56:50
31 / 03 / 2024

E71:AI for everyone, Hassan Sawaf’s journey to a no-code AI


When-Hassan Sawaf-started working on machine learning in the 90s in Germany, no one thought advancements in AI would bring us to where we are today. Not even Hassan himself! In fact, people thought the AI field was too -theoretical-. In this conversation, Hassan talks to us about AI-s evolution and his vision for-aiXplain, a company he is building out of California that aims to make AI accessible to builders and innovators and provide them with tools to prototype their ideas with low or no-code. Hassan has been in the driving seat of the AI evolution and has led AI efforts in some of the world-s leading companies; eBay, Amazon AWS and Meta, he is a serial entrepreneur, sits on several boards, has a Ph.D. in machine learning algorithms for speech translation applications and has 60+ patents and publications in the field.

Support for the show comes from-Capital.com, a global investment platform. Visit their webiste to start trading today!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:51:00
17 / 03 / 2024

What is a hybrid kitchen and how to build one, with Jihad El Eit


-I have my termination letter framed in my office- that is the first thing that Jihad said to me when I first met him.-Jihad El Eit, is the Founder - Group CEO at-Kaykroo, the region-s creator of home grown brands like Manoushe Street, the Good Bowl, Fern el Balad, the Pasta Cup and many more. Jihad has a fascinating entrepreneurial journey that started after the company he worked at i2 shut down in 2007. Immediately after, Jihad saw an opportunity to become the distributor of Nokia in Pakistan, so he packed his bags and moved from Dubai to Pakistan to pursue it! A few years later, another opportunity arose to open a Lebanse Street Food concept with friends and Manoushe Street was born. After exiting his business in Pakistan, Jihad went all in on food and beverage and expanded Manoushe Street which becase Kaykroo in 2020, a series of hybrid kitchens serving over 40 brands in the UAE - Saudi Arabia. With $50m in investments to date, Kaykroo is scaling fast.-Jihad shares his story, his insights on the food and beverage industry and plenty of advice for entrepreneurs looking to enter the space.

Support for the show comes from-Capital.com, a global investment platform. Visit their webiste to start trading today!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

01:02:59
03 / 03 / 2024

Steven Bartlett on Fame, Authenticity and Leadership


In this special episode shot live from the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival on February 4th 2024, Steven and I discuss the power of personal branding and authenticity. Steven is a celebrity in the world of podcasts, his podcast the Diary of a CEO gets 50million monthly downloads and is the #1 podcast in Europe! Steven is a successful entrepreneur, investor and author. Steven is remarkably humble, his passion is grounded in pragmatism and his story truly inspiring, a self-made, self-taught immigrant from Botswana to the UK who made the best out of his privileges and continues to build and be at the helm of successful ventures.
Please spend 7min to fill-this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:50:19
19 / 02 / 2024

E68: Investing in 300+ Emerging Market Companies - Allen Taylor, Endeavor Catalyst


I sat down with Allen Taylor, the Managing Partner at Endeavor Catalyst to learn more about their unique approach to investing across the world. Endeavor Catalyst fund is part of the non-profit Endeavor network, the home of 2500+ entrepreneurs across 42 markets. Over the past 11 years, Endeavor Catalyst, chaired by LinkedIn Co-founder and Greylock Partner Reid Hoffman, has raised $500m and deployed $2m cheques in 300+ companies. We discuss the importance and return potential of investing in emerging markets, why investors need to stick through the current macro environment, advice for founders on raising down rounds and dealing with the stigma of it and what Allen looks for in entrepreneurs. An inspiring discussion and an open invitation for both governments and the private sector to invest in the growth of the startup ecosystem.

To read Endeavor catalyst-s latest report-click here-and to connect with Allen-click here.--

Please spend 7min to fill-this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

01:11:29
05 / 02 / 2024

E67: Listing on the NASDAQ ahead of an economic downturn and new beginnings - Elie Habib, Co-founder Anghami


I sat down with Elie Habib, the Co-founder of-Anghami, the region-s most loved home grown brand! Anghami is a leading music streaming platform catering for the Arab world. We discuss Anghami-s much hyped listing on the NASDAQ New York on February 4th 2022 and the period that follows including the tumbling of their market cap well below their yearly revenues. We discuss Anghami-s new merger with OSN+ and Elie-s new role as CEO post merger. Elie gave me a carte blanche to ask him anything and I deeply respect that. Always leading by example!-

Please spend 7min to fill-this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

01:22:29
22 / 01 / 2024

E66: A deep dive into MENA venture capital trends with Philip Bahoshy


I chat with Philip Bahoshy, the CEO of-Magnitt, about the dynamic tech startup scene in the MENA region after a turbulent 2023. We delve into how recent economic shifts affect venture capital and discuss the current trends and 2024 predictions for venture capital in MENA, including the impact of new funding from Saudi Arabia, the resulting high demand for startups and the rise of startups like Tabby and Tamara to unicorn status. We also speculate on potential 2024 IPOs and ponder if MENA startups will pivot from the first layer of digital transformation into more -deep tech-, similar to trends in markets like Singapore. We discuss the context behind the numbers and share a cautious optimism for 2024.

Please spend 7min to fill-this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!

This episode is supported by-Capital.com, an award winning global investment platform. To start trading today, visit:-https://capital.com-
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

01:18:15
07 / 01 / 2024

E65: 2023’s most practical advice


In this second part of 2023-s wrap up, we take a look at some of the year-s most practical advice. We hear from top entrepreneurs and venture capitalists about company culture, shutting down a startup, selling a startup, re-purchasing a startup after a sale and the importance of founders at various stages of the startup building. We also remember a great episode on communicating with confidence.--

I wish you a great start for 2024 and looking forward to bring to you insights from the world-s most brilliant humans!

Please spend 7min to fill-this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!

This episode is supported by-Capital.com, an award winning global investment platform. To start trading today, visit:-https://capital.com
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:41:22
25 / 12 / 2023

E64: 2023’s biggest AHA moments


We-re looking back at 2023-s biggest AHA moments and what a tough year it has been. The common theme across the 19 episodes recorded in 2023 was -resilience- and that is representative of the mood for the year. We saw soaring inflation, increased interest rates which led to a venture capital slow down, we also saw the collapse of several global banks including Silicon Valley Bank. We saw climate get a lot of attention especially as the UAE hosted COP28 and we ended the year with a brutal war on Gaza which continues to rage on. Entrepreneurs and business leaders have been pushed to the limit and our humanity is currently being tested.
I would like to thank all of our guests who showed up and shared openly. I also extend my deepest gratitude to you, our community.-

I wish you all a fulfilling 2024!

Please spend 7min to fill this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!

This episode is supported by-Capital.com, an award winning global investment platform. To start trading today, visit:-https://capital.com-
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:39:25
10 / 12 / 2023

E63: Ali Halabi on startup failure, pivot and re-birth. An incredible story of resilience


I sat down with Ali Halabi, Founder - CEO of-Volt Lines, a Turkish based B2B mobility platform solving for the daily work commute in Istanbul, a city of 15million people that is notorious for its traffic woes.
Ali has had a fascinating journey from Lebanon to Turkey and has rubbed shoulders with failure many times. In fact Volt Lines was the re-birth of a previous startup called Volt which he had to shut down. He saw himself celebrate Volt Line-s exit to Swvl, a $1.5B regional startup, only to get his company back 6 months later.
Ali-s business ingenuity has been documented in a 3 part Harvard Business Review case study. This episode is raw, genuine and a masterclass in entrepreneurship.
Please spend 7min to fill this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!
This episode is supported by-Capital.com, an award winning global investment platform. To start trading today, visit:-https://capital.com
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

01:17:17
Conversations with Loulou
75 subscribers

Loulou Khazen Baz, an entrepreneur, investor and mother based in Dubai draws on her professional and personal experiences over her two-decade career to discuss business, leadership, startups and technology from a Middle Eastern lens. To learn more, visit the show's website: www.conversationswithloulou.com and you can follow Loulou on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram @louloukhazen

Episodes
15 / 04 / 2024

E72: An insider’s guide to private equity in MENA with Huda Al-Lawati

Huda Al-Lawati-is a veteran private equity professional across emerging markets having had executive roles at companies like Gateway Partners, Savola and Abraaj. Huda has recently launched-Aliph Capital, a private equity fund that focuses on the mid market segment.-

I sat down with Huda to get an insider-s view on the private equity industry in the MENA region, what are the opportunites, where to fundraise, how to source deals, how to create value to companies they acquire by building the right teams and much more. Also if you-re interested to work in private equity, Huda shares her tips on what she looks for and what it takes to succeed in this competitive industry.

If you-re looking to gain an understanding of how the industry works then this is a great place to start!

Support for the show comes from-Capital.com, a global investment platform. Visit their webiste to start trading today!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:56:50
31 / 03 / 2024

E71:AI for everyone, Hassan Sawaf’s journey to a no-code AI

When-Hassan Sawaf-started working on machine learning in the 90s in Germany, no one thought advancements in AI would bring us to where we are today. Not even Hassan himself! In fact, people thought the AI field was too -theoretical-. In this conversation, Hassan talks to us about AI-s evolution and his vision for-aiXplain, a company he is building out of California that aims to make AI accessible to builders and innovators and provide them with tools to prototype their ideas with low or no-code. Hassan has been in the driving seat of the AI evolution and has led AI efforts in some of the world-s leading companies; eBay, Amazon AWS and Meta, he is a serial entrepreneur, sits on several boards, has a Ph.D. in machine learning algorithms for speech translation applications and has 60+ patents and publications in the field.

Support for the show comes from-Capital.com, a global investment platform. Visit their webiste to start trading today!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:51:00
17 / 03 / 2024

What is a hybrid kitchen and how to build one, with Jihad El Eit

-I have my termination letter framed in my office- that is the first thing that Jihad said to me when I first met him.-Jihad El Eit, is the Founder - Group CEO at-Kaykroo, the region-s creator of home grown brands like Manoushe Street, the Good Bowl, Fern el Balad, the Pasta Cup and many more. Jihad has a fascinating entrepreneurial journey that started after the company he worked at i2 shut down in 2007. Immediately after, Jihad saw an opportunity to become the distributor of Nokia in Pakistan, so he packed his bags and moved from Dubai to Pakistan to pursue it! A few years later, another opportunity arose to open a Lebanse Street Food concept with friends and Manoushe Street was born. After exiting his business in Pakistan, Jihad went all in on food and beverage and expanded Manoushe Street which becase Kaykroo in 2020, a series of hybrid kitchens serving over 40 brands in the UAE - Saudi Arabia. With $50m in investments to date, Kaykroo is scaling fast.-Jihad shares his story, his insights on the food and beverage industry and plenty of advice for entrepreneurs looking to enter the space.

Support for the show comes from-Capital.com, a global investment platform. Visit their webiste to start trading today!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

01:02:59
03 / 03 / 2024

Steven Bartlett on Fame, Authenticity and Leadership

In this special episode shot live from the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival on February 4th 2024, Steven and I discuss the power of personal branding and authenticity. Steven is a celebrity in the world of podcasts, his podcast the Diary of a CEO gets 50million monthly downloads and is the #1 podcast in Europe! Steven is a successful entrepreneur, investor and author. Steven is remarkably humble, his passion is grounded in pragmatism and his story truly inspiring, a self-made, self-taught immigrant from Botswana to the UK who made the best out of his privileges and continues to build and be at the helm of successful ventures.
Please spend 7min to fill-this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:50:19
19 / 02 / 2024

E68: Investing in 300+ Emerging Market Companies - Allen Taylor, Endeavor Catalyst

I sat down with Allen Taylor, the Managing Partner at Endeavor Catalyst to learn more about their unique approach to investing across the world. Endeavor Catalyst fund is part of the non-profit Endeavor network, the home of 2500+ entrepreneurs across 42 markets. Over the past 11 years, Endeavor Catalyst, chaired by LinkedIn Co-founder and Greylock Partner Reid Hoffman, has raised $500m and deployed $2m cheques in 300+ companies. We discuss the importance and return potential of investing in emerging markets, why investors need to stick through the current macro environment, advice for founders on raising down rounds and dealing with the stigma of it and what Allen looks for in entrepreneurs. An inspiring discussion and an open invitation for both governments and the private sector to invest in the growth of the startup ecosystem.

To read Endeavor catalyst-s latest report-click here-and to connect with Allen-click here.--

Please spend 7min to fill-this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

01:11:29
05 / 02 / 2024

E67: Listing on the NASDAQ ahead of an economic downturn and new beginnings - Elie Habib, Co-founder Anghami

I sat down with Elie Habib, the Co-founder of-Anghami, the region-s most loved home grown brand! Anghami is a leading music streaming platform catering for the Arab world. We discuss Anghami-s much hyped listing on the NASDAQ New York on February 4th 2022 and the period that follows including the tumbling of their market cap well below their yearly revenues. We discuss Anghami-s new merger with OSN+ and Elie-s new role as CEO post merger. Elie gave me a carte blanche to ask him anything and I deeply respect that. Always leading by example!-

Please spend 7min to fill-this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

01:22:29
22 / 01 / 2024

E66: A deep dive into MENA venture capital trends with Philip Bahoshy

I chat with Philip Bahoshy, the CEO of-Magnitt, about the dynamic tech startup scene in the MENA region after a turbulent 2023. We delve into how recent economic shifts affect venture capital and discuss the current trends and 2024 predictions for venture capital in MENA, including the impact of new funding from Saudi Arabia, the resulting high demand for startups and the rise of startups like Tabby and Tamara to unicorn status. We also speculate on potential 2024 IPOs and ponder if MENA startups will pivot from the first layer of digital transformation into more -deep tech-, similar to trends in markets like Singapore. We discuss the context behind the numbers and share a cautious optimism for 2024.

Please spend 7min to fill-this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!

This episode is supported by-Capital.com, an award winning global investment platform. To start trading today, visit:-https://capital.com-
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

01:18:15
07 / 01 / 2024

E65: 2023’s most practical advice

In this second part of 2023-s wrap up, we take a look at some of the year-s most practical advice. We hear from top entrepreneurs and venture capitalists about company culture, shutting down a startup, selling a startup, re-purchasing a startup after a sale and the importance of founders at various stages of the startup building. We also remember a great episode on communicating with confidence.--

I wish you a great start for 2024 and looking forward to bring to you insights from the world-s most brilliant humans!

Please spend 7min to fill-this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!

This episode is supported by-Capital.com, an award winning global investment platform. To start trading today, visit:-https://capital.com
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:41:22
25 / 12 / 2023

E64: 2023’s biggest AHA moments

We-re looking back at 2023-s biggest AHA moments and what a tough year it has been. The common theme across the 19 episodes recorded in 2023 was -resilience- and that is representative of the mood for the year. We saw soaring inflation, increased interest rates which led to a venture capital slow down, we also saw the collapse of several global banks including Silicon Valley Bank. We saw climate get a lot of attention especially as the UAE hosted COP28 and we ended the year with a brutal war on Gaza which continues to rage on. Entrepreneurs and business leaders have been pushed to the limit and our humanity is currently being tested.
I would like to thank all of our guests who showed up and shared openly. I also extend my deepest gratitude to you, our community.-

I wish you all a fulfilling 2024!

Please spend 7min to fill this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!

This episode is supported by-Capital.com, an award winning global investment platform. To start trading today, visit:-https://capital.com-
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:39:25
10 / 12 / 2023

E63: Ali Halabi on startup failure, pivot and re-birth. An incredible story of resilience

I sat down with Ali Halabi, Founder - CEO of-Volt Lines, a Turkish based B2B mobility platform solving for the daily work commute in Istanbul, a city of 15million people that is notorious for its traffic woes.
Ali has had a fascinating journey from Lebanon to Turkey and has rubbed shoulders with failure many times. In fact Volt Lines was the re-birth of a previous startup called Volt which he had to shut down. He saw himself celebrate Volt Line-s exit to Swvl, a $1.5B regional startup, only to get his company back 6 months later.
Ali-s business ingenuity has been documented in a 3 part Harvard Business Review case study. This episode is raw, genuine and a masterclass in entrepreneurship.
Please spend 7min to fill this anonymous podcast survey. It would really help me in growing the show!
This episode is supported by-Capital.com, an award winning global investment platform. To start trading today, visit:-https://capital.com
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

01:17:17

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