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  • How I got to the top

Ayham Gorani, co-founder and CEO, Pemo

Face, Person, Human
Ayham Gorani, CEO of spend management platform Pemo, is looking to recruit more staff with entrepreneurial spirit
  1. What does your company do?
    Pemo empowers businesses across the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan by offering them a fast, transparent, and simplified way to manage their company spend. We’ve built a platform that addresses the day-to-day spend management challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region. Our offering includes smart corporate cards, invoice payment systems and expense tracking functions – features that allow business owners to save time, save money, automate administration and expenses, so they can get on with what they do best, building great businesses.
  2. What do you look for when hiring talent? 
    Potential, ambition, and entrepreneurial spirit – we’re looking for people who are passionate about our mission and the work we do, and who are eager to learn. We also think about how they would fit into our team. Diversity is key to building a strong team; one in which everyone’s skills complement each other and collectively help grow the business. We’re hiring for a number of roles right now and would love to hear from anyone who fits the bill. 
  3. What counts for more – luck or hard work?
    Hard to say. I’d say it’s a mix of both. To build a great company and create solid foundations, we need to work hard – there’s no way around it. To build a great product, that is consistent and our users can rely on, we need to put in the hours and dedication until we get it right. But a lucky moment can make it or break it.
  4. What was your biggest “lucky” moment?
    The moment I met the other co-founders of Pemo. Stars aligned. We were all introduced around the same time, and the more we learned about each other, the more we realised we had been on parallel paths, working towards a similar vision. We all bring different skills to the table, which complement each other well – that’s what makes us such a great team. Everything came into place at the right moment, and at the right time. 
  5. What one thing do you wish you had done differently?
    Instead of focusing on goals, focus on the process. This goes for anything in life from sports, family and work.
  6. If you could rule the world for a day, what three things would you change?
    I would never want to rule the world. It is complex and perhaps impossible to do the right thing when people have opposing interests. If I could, I would work on our humbleness as humans, awareness of nature and increase our willingness to share. 
  7. What three factors do entrepreneurs misjudge about the Gulf market?
    They underestimate the willingness of the region to become digital, the differences in language and behaviour between countries, and the legal and regulatory complexities across the GCC.
  8. Dream mentor?
    I believe that I can learn something from every encounter. Sometimes talking to an Uber driver gives me a perspective that I would have never thought of. When it comes to business I would love to be mentored by Marc Andreessen [US entrepreneur, investor, and software engineer]. Marc has a forward-thinking mind and looks at today’s problems with tomorrow’s perspective. Marc, if you read this please reach out.