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The Lighthouse Conversations
Nov 9, 2019
Introducing: The Lighthouse Conversations
Play • 40 sec
Launching 20 November 2019.
More episodes from The Lighthouse Conversations
Nov 17, 2022
“We feel a trend before it becomes mainstream.” The Bokja founders on why storytelling is central to their brand image
Founded in 2000, Bokja had its first big break in New York City’s ABC Carpet & Home with an acquisition of four pieces by Hollywood star Kate Hudson. What followed was a cascade of recognition and accolades by the likes of the FT’s How To Spend It and stars like Madonna, Julia Roberts and designer Christian Louboutin. The Bokja duo offers us an insider look into the intricacies of their designs, but also the passion and sacrifices made that sit beneath the glamor of this popular Lebanese brand. We also delve into the psychology of what makes a design duo tick; what sets them apart; what keeps them ahead of trends and how they stay relevant. We also hear about the abandoned palace that became Bokja’s HQ for 15 years– rabbit family and squatters notwithstanding! Links: Financial Times: How to Spent It - “Our future is in Beirut” Nada Debs on The Lighthouse Conversations
Oct 27, 2022
“You should prepare for the right type of luck to find you.” Silicon Valley Bank’s Ashraf Hebela on the value of a long-term mindset in startup investing.
We caught up with Ashraf Hebela in a multi-faceted episode discussing cultural hybridity, market declines, serial founders and more. Ashraf heads Startup Banking, plus Analytics & Sales Ops at one of the largest banks of the United States, Silicon Valley Bank. He shares his views on the importance of building long-term relationships with founders and not just the companies they represent. Hashem and Ashraf reminisce about their time as Harvard undergraduates in the 90s and how their college experience delivered a solid backbone for building a supportive network. They also discuss Ashraf’s career journey, the so-called “founder mentality'', the value of innovation and invention plus Silicon Valley’s ever evolving startup landscape.
Oct 13, 2022
Part II: “In fact, my brain was not black or white, it was supremely colourful.” Aramex founder Fadi Ghandour on the limitations, risks and rewards of building a heritage company.
Part two of our two-episode series. Fadi Ghandour co-founded Aramex in 1982 fresh out of studying Political Science in college, an education to which he attributes much of his dialectic thinking. It took tenacity and hard work, but Fadi says that plunging into the complexities of starting a logistics company in the Middle East from the bottom up also required a degree of experimentation and, yes, of naïveté. Aramex took the industry by storm from the get-go and, in 1997, became the first Arab company to be listed on the NASDAQ before going private again and then re-listing on the Dubai Financial Market. Fadi sets the stage for the beginnings of his prolific career; growing up in a predominantly female household in politicized 1960s Amman, the cues he took from his father, what he learned from taking a company public and the importance of attracting local talent to foster a culture of loyalty and growth.