Exclusive Interview with Seif El Hakim of Momentum. Edited by Powered Magazine
Seif El Hakim is a Global CEO of Momentum. We reached out for an interview. Read more to find out how you can succeed as a leader.
Tell us about yourself and your business.
Seif El Hakim is a highly decorated global CEO with more than 15 years of experience working abroad in the UAE, Egypt, Turkey, the CIS Region, the UK, and South Korea in both corporate headquarters and local roles, in addition to managing his own businesses. Seif El Hakim is a highly acclaimed businessman, entrepreneur, investor, business strategist, and advisor. His expertise spans a variety of industries, including coaching, marketing, e-commerce, retail management, consumer electronics, real estate, sports and fitness, tourism, and food services. Seif is a businessman at heart; he creates organizations and leaders. a leading expert in entrepreneurship, marketing, leadership, and exponential success. He is a highly sought-after strategic advisor for leaders and enterprises all over the world. He is a former corporate executive turned remarkable entrepreneur who develops businesses and leaders. Providing a unique advantage through actual Fortune 500 experience
Along with managing several companies, Seif also blogs about being a CEO on his social media platforms, where he has more than 1.3 million followers. Former Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of the CIS region for the electronics behemoth Samsung Electronics, having experience in all major categories. For more than nine years, Seif oversaw the CIS organization and business, turning around outcomes and winning several local, national, and worldwide accolades. Previous to that, I managed regional marketing initiatives and new product launches in foreign markets while employed at the Samsung Electronics headquarters in South Korea as a global product strategist. Seif has received honors and awards from several worldwide organizations as a top marketing professional, business thinker, and entrepreneur.
Inspirational and business-minded speaker, as well as a frequent contributor to several business and marketing websites His goal over the years has been to inspire, motivate, and grow leaders and organizations seeking change, fulfillment, and success, in addition to developing his career and enterprises.
Seif has been honored and awarded internationally on several occasions as a top marketing executive, business strategist, and entrepreneur, in addition to being awarded as the “man of influence” in 2023.
What were your biggest challenges when starting your business?
I do believe that the majority of businesses face the following challenges while starting up, and we all must navigate through them to succeed:
Securing adequate funding: Obtaining sufficient funding to launch and sustain my businesses was a challenge.
Building a skilled team: Assembling a skilled and committed team that shares my vision and fits the culture was challenging, especially in the early stages.
Building brand awareness and acquiring or attracting customers in a competitive market is a daunting task.
Managing cash flow and having financial stability is a constant challenge for start-ups.
Developing a “sustainable” business model
Navigating legal and regulatory requirements can be complex and time-consuming.
How have you handled success and failure over the course of your career?
Both success and failure are not an end point for me.
Handling success can involve acknowledging and celebrating achievements while also remaining humble and grateful. It's important to recognise the contributions of others, maintain a growth mindset, and avoid complacency. Success can be an opportunity for learning and growth, and it's crucial to set new goals and continue pushing oneself forward.
On the other hand, handling my failure required resilience, persistence, and a positive mindset. I always viewed my failure as a learning experience rather than a definitive setback. analysed what went wrong, identified areas for improvement, and made adjustments that, in the end, contributed to the success that followed the failure.
In both success and failure, maintaining a balanced perspective is key. Successes should be appreciated but not exaggerated, and failures should be seen as temporary setbacks rather than permanent obstacles.
What strategies do you use to stay competitive in a changing market?
There are a couple of strategies I do use, and all my leadership team,
Innovation and adaptation: embracing innovation and being open to change Continuously improving my products, services, or processes to meet evolving customer needs and stay ahead of the competition.
Customer focus: I do prioritise understanding and meeting customer needs. Developing a deep understanding of my customers, their pain points, and preferences to build loyalty and maintain a competitive edge
Talent management: attracting and retaining the right talent Investing in development and creating a culture of innovation and collaboration Fostering diversity to leverage diverse perspectives and drive creativity and innovation
Strategic partnerships: collaborating with other businesses to leverage complementary strengths and expand market reach
Branding and marketing: building strong brand identities and differentiating ourselves from competitors
And finally, using customer feedback to pivot when needed
What motivations drive you to keep pushing forward in the face of adversity?
I don’t believe in motivation; I believe in having goals backed with a solid “why” and having the discipline and persistence to achieve them. Motivation fades!
Some tactics I use to keep me on track to achieve my goals
Having my clear goals backed with a solid “why”
Set routines and discipline
Personal growth and development rituals
well-cultivated support network
Having a positive mindset and optimism
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their chosen field?
Everyone's journey is unique, and there will be ups and downs along the way. What I would recommend is to stay true to yourself, be patient, and embrace the learning opportunities that come your way.
If someone is just starting out, here are some key pieces of advice to consider:
Set clear goals—your goals, not someone else’s goal or a trend.
Be open to learning and acquiring new knowledge. We are all equal as souls, but not equal in the marketplace.
Network and build relationships; your network is your network, and as I like to say, the more hands you shake, the more money you make.
Be proactive and take initiative. Don't wait for opportunities to come to you.
Embrace resilience and persistence.
Expect that setbacks and challenges will occur along your journey.
Finally, take immediate and massive actions; don’t overthink and wait for the right time; there is never a right time.
How have technological advances affected the way you conduct business or operate your venture?
Technology has transformed various aspects of my business operations across different verticals, improving efficiency, expanding my market reach, and enabling more personalised interactions with customers.
Starting with the simple advancement of communication and collaboration, allowing my businesses to connect and work together regardless of geographical locations.
Automation, including AI, has enabled my businesses to automate repetitive tasks, optimise workflows, and improve overall operational efficiency.
The use of data management for a data-driven approach helped in making informed decisions, identifying patterns and trends, and improving business strategies overall.
E-commerce and online presence allowed my businesses to significantly expand their customer base and, of course, elevate their brand presence.
Finally, one of the most important parts goes to customer engagement and personalization using CRM, chatbots, and AI powered marketing tools.
In what ways has customer feedback or response influenced how you prioritise goals or objectives for your business or venture?
Customer feedback and response play a crucial role in shaping the goals and objectives of my businesses and ventures.
Identifying customer needs provides valuable insights into the needs, preferences, and pain points of my target audience. My businesses benefited tremendously from understanding what features, improvements, or solutions my customers are looking for and helping myself and my team prioritise our goals accordingly.
Improving products and services: it highlights areas where my products or services can be enhanced. By listening to our customers' suggestions, complaints, and reviews, my business identified opportunities for improvement and prioritised goals related to product development, quality enhancements, or even service upgrades.
Addressing customer pain points: Customers often share their frustrations and challenges they face with a product or service. By addressing these pain points, my business improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. Prioritising goals that aim to resolve customer issues and enhance their overall experience led to much better business outcomes.
Identifying market trends: Customer feedback can reveal emerging market trends, evolving customer preferences, and competitive insights. By actively listening to my customers' feedback, I was able to be responsive to the market and stay ahead of the competition.
Enhancing customer engagement: Positive customer feedback indicates areas where a business is succeeding in meeting customer expectations. By leveraging customer testimonials, reviews, and positive feedback, businesses can prioritise goals that focus on strengthening customer engagement, building brand advocacy, and leveraging positive word-of-mouth.
Customer feedback and responses provide valuable insights that can shape a business's goals and objectives. By listening to customers, my businesses can prioritise initiatives that align with customer needs, improve products and services, address pain points, and stay competitive in the market.
What have been the most rewarding and difficult aspects of your chosen career or business path?
Most rewarding overall was, as a foreigner, reaching the chief marketing officer level of the tech giant Samsung Electronics for the CIS region.
Most difficult, switching from corporate to own business required a totally different mindset and skillset. I am extremely grateful that I passed both in my career (corporate and own businesses).
Are there any skills or areas of expertise that you think are essential for success in your field?
I do believe the skill sets that I will mention will help anyone reach the success they want.
Sales and marketing skills
Negotiation and persuasion skills
How has working remotely or online impacted your business or venture over the past year?
Over the past year, my businesses have experienced both positive and negative impacts from working remotely or online. On the positive side, remote work has allowed us to continue our operations during the pandemic and maintain productivity. It has also provided flexibility for employees and reduced the need for physical office space, resulting in potential cost savings.
Furthermore, working online has opened up new opportunities for my businesses to reach a global customer base, expand their market reach, and collaborate with partners from different geographical locations. It has also enabled my companies to tap into a larger talent pool by hiring remote team members.
However, there have been challenges as well. Remote work blurred the boundaries between personal and professional life. In addition to some challenges in adapting my business models to an online or remote work approach,
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers that we haven’t already discussed?
Seif El Hakim is the founder of the “Alpha Movement” He founded the Alpha Movement to combat a culture of laziness, lack of control, lack of courage, and mediocrity. He saw a world where people were not living up to their potential and created a movement to push boundaries and achieve massive success and wealth. With his unmatched blend of business, personal, and athletic achievement, Seif provides the principles to help individuals make quantum leaps in their lives, health, business, or careers.
The Alpha Movement allows individuals to learn, gain the needed skillsets, and connect with a community of like-minded individuals who are all working towards a common goal: becoming Alphas in their own lives, achieving massive success and wealth, and becoming prominent leaders in their communities.