Amr Salem makes cities smarter. He is CEO and Board Member at Quantela, a tech company that equips urban areas with artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to reduce energy consumption, increase revenue, improve traffic flow, and more.
In just his second year at Quantela, the company has come off a successful funding round in which it raised $40 million. Quantela made two acquisitions in the last three months and continues to work with governments and municipalities to make their cities more efficient and sustainable.
We spoke with Amr recently on the Forge Ahead podcast about the value of playing to your strengths, adapting successful ideas to your business, and putting your customer at the center of everything you do.
1. Capitalize on Your Assets
When you’re not using your assets to their full extent, you’re missing out on all their unfulfilled potential. Amr speaks about the value of acknowledging your strengths, recognizing any that aren’t being used to their capacity, and changing your operations to help them best serve the business.
Amr’s biggest strength was having a partner shareholder that offered financial backing for his vision. His second biggest strength was having a genuinely valuable product that was versatile enough to appeal to a wide audience. “It gave me the flexibility to go and pitch use cases that are beyond what we would have usually done,” Amr says. This resulted in him seeing a staggering 300% year-over-year growth revenue during the pandemic.
The key takeaway? Tap into the full potential of your resources to expand the capabilities of your business, just as Amr did.
2. Adapt Successful Ideas to Your Business
There is nothing new under the sun, as the adage goes—and that concept directly applies to business, Amr says. He advocates adopting ideas that are proven to work, but finding ways to improve on them to meet the unique needs of your customers.
As a case study, Amr cites Apple using BlackBerry as the inspiration for the iPhone. While BlackBerry already had introduced a successful product, Apple saw a way to make it better. Rather than reinventing the wheel, Apple built upon the success of BlackBerry to create an even better version in the form of the iPhone.
This example points to an important lesson: not every product or solution your business offers needs to be a brand new concept. Adopt successful ideas and adjust them to your specific business to create an even better product.
3. Prioritizing Customers Benefits Your Shareholders
Customer persona research is a known necessity when it comes to creating a value proposition. But companies sometimes face pressure from shareholders to make decisions that are not in their customers’ best interest. Amr, however, sees prioritizing the customer as a win-win for all parties.
When companies focus on serving their customers’ needs, they create a better, stronger product or solution. That in turn serves the shareholders, who succeed when the company succeeds. “When I engage in a sales process, my value proposition has to be customer-first,” Amr says. “My product is here to serve the customer, and that approach gives [the] best value to my shareholders.”
As Amr contends, satisfying customers and shareholders doesn’t have to be an either-or scenario. Instead, customer-centric value propositions benefit your shareholders while delivering on the needs of your target audiences.
Visit the Forge Ahead homepage to hear the entire conversation with Amr Salem.