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Q&A with Esraa Gamal

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Esraa Gamal, COO @ Telr

How could you describe your career path in a few words?

After my bachelor’s in economics and political science from Cairo university in 2007, I started my career as a junior analyst in Correspondent Banking, Financial Institution Group in CIB Egypt, working on risk analysis for banks and countries of MENAT region, and I had been honoured to work at such an organization that includes many great mentors of the banking industry. In 2014, I moved to UAE with my family, and started my career as the operations manager of Telr, which was a bold shift in my career path entering into a different domain that is the payments and ecommerce world. However, I had been lucky to being one of the first few team members to join Telr at that time and I took upon myself the responsibility of tackling and shaping the operations and onboarding team and have it aligned with Telr’s vision and long-term strategy and goals, while gaining the skills and experience necessary to achieve my career aspirations.

Over the past years I gradually moved within Telr to higher roles, first as the Head of operations then into my current position COO, continuing to assist in implementing Telr’s wide goals, brand values and building connections that remove fragmentation in the ecommerce ecosystem by enabling all customers to go cashless. In addition, we introduced many products for the Local and International markets that helped classify Telr as an e-commerce best-in-class technology solutions provider for small and medium-sized enterprises, focusing on growing markets across the Middle East and North Africa in addition to the Indian market.

Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader/manager?

I strongly believe that gender shouldn’t determine an individual’s leadership abilities. Instead, organizations should assess leadership potential by evaluating individuals’ strengths and personality traits and create an organisational culture that is non-discriminating, which aims to actively minimise bias and promote inclusivity.

From my point of view there are two key factors that measures the success of any leader, the first factor is the leader’s competencies and self-development, and the second factor is the leader’s own team development. Leaders’ have to understand their own competences and keep their development wheel rolling for continuous self-improvement and knowledge. As for the second factor which I consider to be the maker or the breaker for the success of any leader, Leaders must encourage strategic thinking and innovation within their team, and focus on the team building and teamwork, the Leader's success comes from the accomplishment of the team, on top of being the vital foundation of any successful business.

Telr is one of the most recognized and popular payment gateways for e-commerce in the UAE. How have you gotten to this position and what sets you aside from the other solutions on the market?

We at Telr understand that platform businesses are moving rapidly, and business needs are constantly changing, which in turn calls out for customization, personalization, and localization in providing services. Telr is Fully proprietary technology, which means that we build and maintain our system in house and have complete control over our technology. Which gives us the ability to provide a well-developed, up to date and customizable payment gateway, that can provide more flexibility, security, and functionality to support the needs of different online businesses requirements while ensuring a seamless development process, increased efficiency, and an optimized user experience. Furthermore, Telr is more than a Payment Gateway, Telr provides a complete solution for the ecommerce as we provide customers with a range of financial & business services that include social commerce, QR Codes, BNPL, e-Commerce Platform, Business Loans, Payment links, Anti-fraud protection, Shopping Cart Integrations, & more. In addition we connect the merchant to an ever growing range of payment methods such as Visa Mastercard…..etc

How do you envision the future of e-commerce?

The MENA’s e-commerce sector is surging ahead statistically. The number of ecommerce-enabled websites has increased significantly, automation and machine learning will likely reduce cost, while increasing sales of ecommerce business. Consumers mindsets has shifted towards digital after experiencing the convenience and secure methods of eCommerce, while Businesses and their customers have adopted the change and started trusting cashless payment methods. A Behaviour that is quickly becoming the new norm. More recently, the world has finished going through an irreversible phase, responding rapidly to the pandemic impact. Now the world is running into the adaptation phase. The next phase is the phase where inventing and developing new services will take place. This will open the opportunity for financial payment services transformation and create new pro-tech creative platforms through new Fintech and non-Fintech companies to make the payments sector more resilient, agile, user friendly and inclusive, in order to serve the high demand on the sector.

Piece of advice for existing and budding entrepreneurs in the Ecommerce world?

There is a lot to do and develop in the ecommerce world. Digital payments are the future. In the coming years payment methods will be transitioning from physical cash to the digital payment methods. Before the transition concludes, many new trends will appear and disappear. These trends will play a vital role in shaping the future payment methods, and many opportunities are there for everyone.

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