Posted on December 3, 2021
Charbel Rahal is the founder and CEO of Process Share, a disruptive B2B supply chain collaboration platform that seamlessly connects processes across systems used by different trade partners. Charbel attended the ‘Helping SMEs Build Resilience’ training sessions launched by Berytech following COVID19 and the consecutive crisis that hit Lebanon, heavily impacting businesses including Process Share.
We caught up with Charbel to talk about the market that Process Share targets, how that market has changed following the multiple crises and what are the strategies that Charbel has developed to overcome the different challenges.
Q: What is the solution that Process Share offers?
A: Process Share is a comprehensive, flexible, and easy-to-adopt supply chain integration and collaboration solution. Our exclusive digital platform can connect companies of every size enabling them to plan, preempt, and optimize every aspect of their B2B trading operations.
What makes us different is that we are an all-in-one solution to connect with every trading partner that offers seamless integration without data standardization through a powerful, flexible, and easy-to-adopt platform.
Our purpose is to develop resilient supply chains, continuously improve the consumer experience, and promote planet sustainability through democratizing and promoting digital integration and collaboration across trade ecosystems.
Q: How it all started and when you launched Process Share?
A: It all started with a question back in 2015: “Why in this digitally connected and fast world, many aspects of business-to-business processes are still manual, slow, costly, and full of frictions? There should be a better way! A way where companies can seamlessly connect their processes and collaborate the same way people connect on Facebook and Linked-In.”
The benefits of electronic data interchange between business partners have been proven 40 years ago. However, the majority of transactions across many industries worldwide are still manual due to many difficult barriers that businesses face when it comes to B2B integration. Companies deal with thousands of business partners who do not use the same data standards, formats, and applications, which means they do not speak the same digital language.
So, we went on a mission to design and build a disruptive B2B integration technology that can democratize digital collaboration across value chain partners. In essence, this technology must transcend various application integration and data quality barriers to seamlessly connect businesses of any size and technical readiness. Moreover, it should be adaptable enough to digitize every aspect of their current and future integration and collaboration needs and scale across many industry lines and territories. A challenge that took thousands of hours of innovative design, building, and testing.
Process Share was established in 2017, and after 2 years of development and validation, a prototype was built and ready to be deployed in a production environment.
Q: How did the economic crisis, COVID-19 and Beirut blast impact your work? What were the main strategic decisions that you took?
A: We landed our first customer Food & Drug Corporation in June 2019, and we managed to successfully deliver a fully integrated order receiving conversion, and validation process between FDC and Spinneys in a few days without the need for any data adaptation or ERP level customization from both sides.
However, following the events that took place in October 2019, the local market transitioned to life-support mode and halted any strategic projects, which dramatically affected our growth plan. Accordingly, we started shifting our focus to the regional and global markets. However, our plans also took a major hit following the pandemic outbreak. And with the Beirut blast and increasingly difficult economic crisis, we were left with a single option: decrease our operational expenses, wait for the lockdown to end and use this dead-time to build the foundation for a solid brand that can ride the next digital transformation wave that will follow the pandemic. So we reached out to Berytech for assistance. This is when they got us enrolled in their LED technical assistance program which resulted in a full uplift of our brand identity, communication strategy, and online presence.
Q: Why did you attend the YBI training sessions? What were you hoping to get out of them?
A: When the regional economy started getting back on its feet since March 2021, we started getting some traction from international cloud vendors who were interested in bundling our offerings as well as some major FMCG players in the regional market. As an enterprise B2B solution that impacts the core operations of such players, we had to up our game and uplift the brand to make it worthy of membership in the same club of prestigious software vendors that are usually selected by such enterprises. So, we needed to work on developing a lot of different business areas key to this upgrade.
Being enrolled in the Berytech LED program, we were copied in any email that includes a training topic for startups including the YBI training sessions. The sessions were delivered by top-notch trainers and covered many crucial aspects that a startup needs in order to scale. Among these trainings, we can list: branding, marketing and communication, professional sales, operational excellence, organization culture, business resiliency, financial management, and dealing with investors… and the list goes on and on, which left a huge impact on Process Share team capabilities and helped to shape the needed mindset and culture to take the business to the next growth level.
Q: What are the opportunities that you are looking at for your business and what do you need to get to them?
A: At this stage, we are working to land a few big clients outside Lebanon in order to prepare for the regional scaling phase. We are always on the look for strategic partners who can help us access major retailers, distributors or manufacturers in the region or even in Europe and the US. Once some major players are on-boarded, we believe that due to the value proposition and nature of Process Share as a B2B process integration and collaboration solution, those customers will transform into influencing promoters and growth channels for Process Share, each within its networks of trade partners.
Q: How do you see the future of your business?
A: The pandemic accelerated digital transformation. So as soon as we can penetrate the regional or international markets, we should be able to grow at a faster pace especially with the right partners by our side. The future of Process Share looks very bright mainly because we have global potential in terms of territories, industries, and businesses of every size and also because many additional capabilities can be added on top of the existing solution to continuously grow the revenue even from the existing customer base. Moreover, we are in the business of digital transformation and data exploitation, 2 growing verticals in this post-pandemic economy.
The ‘Helping SMEs Build Resilience Program’ was launched by Berytech under The Rapid Response and Recovery Programme, led by Youth Business International (YBI) and funded by Google.org, to support underserved micro, small and medium businesses to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more about the program here.