Posted on January 18, 2016
Maan Hamdan is a serial entrepreneur with a wealth of hands-on experience providing focused leadership, building effective management teams and creating and then developing, profitable infrastructure.
He is the founder of TechGenies LLC, a global software development company based in Lebanon delivering cutting edge, custom software solutions to a wide range of industries.
During a roundtable discussion, organized in partnership with Shouf Entrepreneurs, that took place on Thursday January 7, at Berytech Technology Pole, Maan discussed with a group of captivated entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs the possibility of scaling up their businesses through international strategies and access to markets.
One of Maan’s essential advice to entrepreneurs is to carefully analyze the markets they are planning to penetrate and plan their development accordingly. However, Maan warns of over analysis that would slow down and paralyze the growth, a phenomenon he calls “analysis paralysis”.
From his experience, the best and fastest way to expand in foreign markets is to get strategic partners. This was HRsmart’s growth strategy in several countries. Yet Maan cautions that this strategy comes with a lot of risks. He gave a learning example from his own experience, where he had to pay 10 million dollars to exit the company he started in Brazil. “Trusting your partner is a pre-requisite for a longtime partnership, but spending 1000 dollars in getting upfront legal advice could save you millions,” says Maan.
On how to go global, Maan’s recommendation to entrepreneurs is to start with a clearly defined strategy and an honest assessment of their organization’s capabilities. For startups, expansion could mean higher sales and lowering costs. This same goal prompted Maan to think globally, and open HRsmart in Argentina, where he had access to a bigger pool of programmers with a higher cutback on costs compared to the USA. The same strategy drove HRsmart to create a programming factory to Phillipines where costs where even lower.
Maan’s experience in opening HRsmart in Lebanon in 2006 was extremely positive. He found the Lebanese workforce to be a highly dedicated one, a rarity in other cultures. “Lebanese executives, impressively, take ownership of the organization and drive it far beyond any executive in other countries. The resilience, resourcefulness and ambition of the Lebanese taskforce drives them and their organization to worldwide success,” decaleres Maan, who’s ultimate advice to Lebanese startups and entrepreneurs is to: “Take advantage of the resources that are presented to them through organizations such as Berytech: mentors, incubation programs, access to funds, support, etc… I wish I had that when I first started. It would have saved me a lot. I learned from my own pocket.”
About Maan Hamdan:
Maan founded HRsmart in 1999 in the USA, formulating the original vision and strategic direction for HRsmart and leading the company to become a multi-national cloud provider of talent management technology. HRsmart had a thousand enterprise clients in over 30 countries when Deltek acquired it in February 2015.
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