In our series of interviews with “Women in Tech”, today in focus: Nourah Shuaibi, Ambassador and General Manager of Get Wonky, Eltizam Group
TECHx: Let’s start with talking about your story. How have you gotten to where you are today in your leadership position?
Nourah: I have a Ph.D. in International Political Economy and Conflict Resolution. As a philanthropist, I have chaired a US-based non-profit organization that has three divisions; workforce development helping people re-enter the workforce, global health aiding in emergency relief efforts and community advancement partnering with NASA for coding to give children a competitive advantage as leaders of the future. However, meeting with a visionary like our CEO Chris Roberts, who valued the importance of corporate culture, opened the door to becoming Get Wonky’s Ambassador. As the GM of Corporate Culture at Eltizam, I strive to utilize all my previous experiences with different cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs to add value to this leadership position.
TECHx: As an Ambassador and General Manager of Get Wonky, could you please tell us what ‘Get Wonky’ is and what is the concept behind it?
Nourah: As a multi-faceted organization, Eltizam Asset Management Group needed a new path to enhance its corporate culture and set itself apart from its competitors; hence, the Get Wonky culture was born. It is an organizational and business enhancement framework designed to take Eltizam to new heights by enhancing customer experience, inspiring excellence within its workforce, highlighting its treasured values, and sustaining revenue growth and robust performance. Since its launch and following intense awareness campaigns targeting stakeholders, it has already begun to take root.
To sustain this momentum, we have implemented a ‘Wonkification’ plan to ensure that by October 2021, every single person who is part of the Eltizam family knows exactly what Get Wonky is and what it stands for within the company. One of the initiatives under Wonkification is the launch of ‘Wonky Wednesdays,’ where we send out regular emails to highlight all things under Get Wonky. Wonky Wednesdays will allow us to explain what the new corporate culture is, including its six pillars.
TECHx: Technology is one of the main pillars of ‘Get Wonky’. How do you wish to implement the latest technologies to ensure smooth operations within the company?
Nourah: It became even more evident during the current pandemic that future-proofing your operations is a crucial component of a sustainable business. Culture is usually seen as an intangible tool for tangible outcomes that solidifies the workplace and increases productivity; however, we will soon see the company lagging behind competition without integrating technology into its operations.
Get Wonky’s technology pillar works closely with our strategy and planning team to ensure that all of our companies’ roadmaps are implemented to ensure seamless operations and increase productivity through innovative tech tools aligned with Eltizam Group’s strategic vision.
We continuously monitor the market for technology advancements and provide thorough assessments to our tech team, which then aligns the recommendations to each brand’s vision. We have already implemented numerous initiatives to stay ahead of the curve. Tafawuq GO was implemented in 2019 as a company-wide commitment to go paperless and eliminate its use of printer cartridges. The solution forms part of Eltizam’s efforts to introduce innovative technology and achieve environmental sustainability.
The deployment of the intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) system SAP S/4HANA and SAP Ariba is another such initiative. SAP S/4HANA and SAP Ariba have been integrated into our processes to automate, digitize, and improve our core operations’ efficiency, such as finance, human resources, and procurement.
Another initiative is QuickPay, launched to facilitate contactless online payments for our customers. QuickPay formed part of our response to the UAE Government’s stay-at-home order to contain the coronavirus disease spread (COVID-19). Furthermore, NESTROM, an online management system for quality, health, safety, and environment (QHSE) inspections, is an advanced tool that we introduced in the first quarter of 2020 to fast-track our goal of paperless and contactless work.
TECHx: As a woman in a leadership role, how do you mentor young women who want to be leaders?
Nourah: If you look at the Get Wonky team members, you will see young women inspiring to become leaders. Through morning recaps and weekly catch-ups, it opens up the floor to allow both myself and the team to discuss shortcomings, give feedback and reflect on ‘lessons learned’ to encourage the culture of constant improvement and to empower the young ladies to always have a voice. Get Wonky is made up of 6 pillars with an ambassador for each; we do not limit the team members to a particular set of responsibilities. Instead, we encourage rotations so that each member can expand her horizons on potential skillsets for future career growth. Moreover, Get Wonky’s young women are pushed to be as creative as possible through open brainstorming sessions that allow all ideas to be heard.
Along with this, we invest heavily in their career paths by offering training courses from prestigious institutes such as INSEAD and Harvard Business School. Being in a heavily male-dominated industry, Eltizam is exceptional. It has a healthy, supportive male cohort, starting right from the CEO’s open-door policy, flowing down the ranks to all senior management, encouraging all women to take on opportunities to rise the ranks.