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Written By: Farah Ahmed

If you became addicted to I-Gamify summit’s inspiration, be ready for the latest overwhelming streams! This time it is all about getting personal and being creative…

Day 13: “How to Build your Branding and Communication” with Nadeen Hossam a community manager in Cairo Angels and Dalia Kamal Ahmed a PR strategist.

Nadeen set the confusion between the marketing and branding. She explained the difference between them; Branding being the essence of the company or the startup and the core of marketing strategy. While Marketing refers to the tools used while delivering the message and differs as technologies and trends change. She gave some advises on the things needed to build an effective brand, including:

  1. You have to include brand identity, brand persona, brand experience, brand story, and brand positioning
  2. Consistency is very important in communication, especially in the growth stage
  3. Develop a ‘Though Leadership Strategy’.

Dalia demonstrated the meaning of PR as it constantly works on building and convincing the publics of the organization they work in and its promotions. It also builds customer reality, set recognition of their brand influence, and follows content management, blogging and growth hacking. She then talked about the PR activities that any startup should focus on, including:

  1. The Five Ws; why, where, when, who, and what
  2. The ROI (Return On Investment)
  3. Start the PR in the soft launch, and not in the execution process; as it is vital for the process of credibility and recognition.

Day 14: “Between Staying Home and Relations during COVID19” with Noha A. Zahra, Haidy Taher, and Asmaa Hanafi. This exclusive panel revolved around positive parenting during the quarantine and giving some tips and tricks for dealing with your children.

Noha an expert in education and humanities, and certified in positive psychology and career coaching. She stressed the necessity of mutual realization that all the family members are stressed during this time, the importance of balancing our time together as a family, and she gave some tips on how to be creative at home. Noha then advises that to deal with the exposed ‘psychological pain’, the person should be ‘present in the moment’ by meditation and not overthink the future. 

Haidy a public policy and children’s rights researcher, and expert in early childhood studies. She discussed the ways to deal with kids at home and homeschooling. She also talked about the required cooperation between the parents to plan alternative activities to schools; as the kids need cognitive, social, personal, and psychical skills development. Likewise, this collaboration between the two partners is needed to raise the children based on codified freedom.

Asmaa a nuclear engineering researcher and expert in business entrepreneurship. She laid down some recommendations to be followed during the lockdown for the aim of positive thinking and psychology of peace. It starts by time management, controlling your reactions and anger, and putting a deadline for the sake of enjoyment and time investment; as it’s an opportunity to do all postponed stuff.  

Day 15: “Our Lives after COVID19” with Rabab Yousry Fattouh, Amr Moustafa, and Sherif Elsemary. That day’s stream was more social-oriented on, where experts from daily fields came to discuss their future in a very enthusiastic discourse.

Amr is the owner of Amr Moustafa Hospitality Management Solution and food and beverage manager in Saudi German Hospital. He argued that the restaurant industry is very stressful and when the quarantine arrived, it brought many opportunities for re-branding and innovation. He believes that the industry of tourism and restaurants will be affected after COVID19, where there will be a boost in E-commerce, online services, and the role of food safety.

Sherif a certified personal trainer, and fitness manager for the Pyramid Gym. He explained the negative impact of the quarantine on the psychical transformation of our bodies, and the financial strife of the families that depended on this industry’s revenues. He assures that all this will lead to high demand for the gym industry post-COVID 19, and the direction of online training as well. 

Rabab an expert in micro-finance and women empowerment, and social and business etiquette trainers. She considers this epidemic to be an eye-opening experience due to the growth of hygienic behavior and sanitization. Yet, there are some negative conducts by people, such as throwing used masks and gloves, bullying the medical staff and patients which will lead to a drop in the applicants in the medical field in the future, along with spreading rumors. 

Then a debate was conducted regarding specific issues and whether or not there can be alternatives during this period. Starting with the Tourism Establishments Chamber new codes and rules, food safety management, doubling the disinfection and cleansing of gyms, the importance of fitness in strengthening your immunity system, till the lack of people’s awareness.

Day 16: “Ideation Workshop” with Jailan Yousri from Cleopatra Hospitals Group, powered by Start Egypt.

Jailan, who works in the health care sector and responsible for the digital transformation in Cleopatra Hospitals Group, led the panel this time. The purpose of the session was to conduct a workshop to brainstorm applicable ideas and solutions for ‘healtech’ services.  Before they start the workshop, Jailan illustrated the digital transformation in health care before and after COVID 19 in several points. Before COVID 19, people were not familiar to using an application to book an appointment with a doctor, and the concept of integrated patient profile was somehow new.  With the appearance of COVID 19, there was a revolution in health care and it took a complete new progressive direction. Let’s see what the ‘new normal’ became:

  1. Home care services
  2. Video call application with a doctor
  3. Huge investments in ‘healthtech’
  4. Personalization between doctors and patients
  5. Cut off extra expenses
  6. Development of the concept of ‘consumerization’ led to the startups to innovate and develop in ‘healthtech’ services.

Day 17: “Transformation & Innovation during COVID19” with Ahmed ElMowalad responsible for the sales digital programs and transformation at Oracle and Mahmoud El Mantawy a freelancing digital transformation consultant and analyst.

Mahmoud opens by illustrating how the new business landscape evolves heading to a trans-formative position. He describes the business as an ecosystem having different correlations, when new technologies (disruptive technologies) emerge, they shake the business in a specific industry. Companies that can adapt to the new factors and the transformation in the landscapes, like new trends and new information, can survive. But the companies and the business partners who can’t cope and don’t pay attention to the new technologies and change in the ecosystem, are threatened to end. Then Ahmed tackled the point of the essential steps towards digital transformation after COVID 19. He clarifies that it is not about technology as they are the tools and vehicles to reach the main objectives/motives, which are the demands and decisions of stakeholders and leaders. Leadership is what drives the change the most, like when they see a pandemic a decision for transformation occurs. He considers that some companies interpret new situations, as not a loss, but a challenge to fulfill the promise for customers. So, it is a personal drive (mindset) and a decision for digital transformation (digitalization) with the motive/view to be more effective.

Subsequently, Mahmoud clarified the overlap between the 3 terms of ‘digital’ and ‘business’ and ‘agile’ transformation. Besides, he emphasized the role and the qualities of the analyst during the process of the transformation. Thereafter, Ahmed highlighted the importance of culture as being the challenge or barrier of digital transformation, financing, and business. Still, it is addressable but takes time and transparency. During COVID 19, the culture needed for digital transformation is the flexibility of workers and businesses.

Here you go the latest update of the summit! Don’t forget to check the entire panel and see their amusing responses to various questions from the audience!

Day 13:

Day 14:

Day 15:

Day 16:

Day 17:

If you want to book your seat for upcoming panel discussions visit us now:


Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021 – where balance, resilience and authenticity break the Mental Health Stigma



Written by: Cinzia Nitti

Globally, 2020 has been a year like no other. Coronavirus pandemic caused a massive business disruption; transformation has been key in supporting employees and catalyzing workplace changes. There was a rush to adapt and reinvent Business Models. Organizations had to rethink and reconsider how they deliver services and strengthen their Organizations through a forward-thinking Digital strategy. To be more agile and responsive in such uncertain times, we need to respond to challenges and adapt quickly to new scenarios by moving from rigid hierarchies to leaner and more flexible structures.

But what about Mental Health at Work, and why is it essential?

What’s the Office of the Future?

Within the Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021, HR Leaders tried to normalize the conversation about Mental Health by putting the topic first, enabling self-care and professional support, raising awareness, and building knowledge around its related issues. Nowadays, personal and work life are more intertwined than ever, so it becomes vital to create balance: the more employees feel free to talk about Mental Health, the more they can prevent struggle and breakout at the Workplace. HR leaders play a crucial role in making an IMPACT by pushing new solutions, promoting work-life balance, redesign workloads, and supporting their Teams.

In this general frame, Irada Aghamaliyeva (MENA Diversity, Inclusiveness & Wellbeing Leader at EY) affirmed: “Workplaces that are inclusive foster enhanced employee wellbeing; employees with high levels of wellbeing are more inclusive”. How can Organizations increase employees’ resilience and embed sustainable Leadership behaviors in the post-covid reality?

Dr. Irada Aghamaliyeva introduced the Mindfulness practice in the Workplace and highlighted its benefits on a large scale: improved wellbeing and resilience on a physical level; positive emotions, self-regulation, empathy and awareness of social dynamics; learning and innovation thanks to the implementation of flexible thinking, intuition and problem-solving processes. So breaking the stigma is possible, starting from personal wellbeing to sustain positive energy and fuel resilience.

About the Power of Empathetic and Authentic Leadership, Dr. Rima Ghose Chowdhury (EVP & Chief Human Resources Officers at Datamatics Global Services) stresses the importance of Leadership roles today. The virtual environment employees are working in, makes them more vulnerable due to a lack of balance between emotional and authenticity traits. Authenticity is the primary factor in effective leadership, regardless of the leadership style. Putting employees first as a strategic priority and hearing their voices to guide strategy; embracing agility to work more effectively in tumultuous time; including a multigenerational work-force: these are the key concepts within Dr. Rima’s motto “Empowering is to enable”. Through motivation and filling emotional support needs, the Empowering Teams Process leads to employees’ safety, esteem, and self-actualization. 

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. To know more about the FOW Future of Work Insights platform around the world, click here:

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The Wellbeing @ Work virtual Summit Middle East returns for its 5th annual event on 22-24 February 2021



The summit provides an innovative and experiential virtual learning opportunity for our audience of CEOs, benefit and reward business leaders and senior HR professionals. The information and knowledge gained from attending this event allow the opportunity to make strategic wellbeing and mental health decisions within an organization, supporting our mission to create more flourishing and thriving workplaces. Never before has the mental health and wellbeing of your employees been so important. The Wellbeing @ Work Summit includes keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and fireside chats alongside unrivaled networking with leaders across the Middle East using our AI-enabled matchmaking platform. This is far more than a webinar! An engaging 3-day event providing you invaluable insight and tools to create thriving workplaces.

Key Reasons to Attend:

  • An engaging AI-enabled matchmaking platform to make invaluable connections & host virtual meetings up to 2 weeks before the three-day festival
  • Learn how multinational organizations are creating workplaces where employees thrive in the new world
  • Campfire panel discussions informing workplace change & mental health solutions
  • Middle East-based employer case studies providing the secrets to employee wellbeing success
  • International experts bringing best-practice from across the globe
  • Invaluable networking with business leaders from across the Middle East

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. The design and implementation of a holistic wellbeing and mental health programme that delivers healthy outcomes and a more productive organization is paramount right now. 

In addition, the results of the extensive Middle East region-wide survey on wellbeing and mental fitness in organizations across the region made in partnership with Cognomie will be presented during the event.

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Interview with Keith F Watson -Online Tutor ICS Learn



“We feature our student success stories in our monthly Student Newsletter, as we know this inspires learners to keep going with their studies, as well as showing them how other students overcame the challenges they faced” Keith F Watson – ICS Learn


The Interviewee: Keith F Watson, LL.M, Chartered FCIPD, FCMI, FLPI, FITOL

Job Title: Owner 360 HR Solutions and Online Tutor ICS Learn

Keith’s qualifications include LL.M (Employment Law and Practice) and CIPD. A tutor since 2007, Keith worked in the financial services sector from 2006 in a variety of senior HR roles before setting up his consultancy in 2016. He’s actively involved with the CIPD in various capacities, including being a past branch chair, member of Council and a voluntary membership assessor. He is currently a member of the Professional Standards Panel (Chair) and a member of the Qualifications Advisory Group, as well as a member of the Employment Tribunal. Keith is also an Equality Act Assessor in the Sheriff Courts.

1-HR Revolution Middle East: The CIPD has become one of the most important certifications in the HR and the L&D field. Would you please explain to our readers the scientific value of the CIPD Certification, as well as its impact on the professional career progression in those fields?

ICS Learn: HR is an art underpinned by science, and the CIPD qualification benefits individuals and organisations by going beyond the technical aspects of people management and development. 

Whilst the qualification requires a robust technical knowledge across a range of topics, the real strength lies in the requirement to adapt that knowledge to the business environment and become a critical thinker who can devise best-fit solutions.

There is no doubt that the increasing requirement by organisations for their HR teams to have CIPD qualifications is due to those already with these qualifications having demonstrated the effective application of their technical knowledge in the workplace, rather than taking answers from a book and trying to make them fit situations where they simply don’t work

2- HR Revolution Middle East: From your experience, what are the most recurring challenges do learners have in completing their CIPD studies? What recommendations would you give them to help facilitate their time management for study?

ICS Learn: One of the most reoccurring challenges is time management. New learners – especially those studying part-time – do sometimes underestimate the time commitment in undertaking a professional qualification. Whilst we generally recognise the time necessary for classroom attendance, be it in-person or virtually, we often forget about the additional time required for self-study, research, and assignments – all of which are critical to our success.

There are only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and even in lockdown, there are very few people claiming to have a lot of free time. Therefore, we must decide (ideally in advance) what activities we are going to put aside for the duration of our studies.

We all have different approaches to learning, so it’s important to free up the time when we’re going to be most effective, be that early in the morning, lunchtime, evening or later at night. Some people study better in short bursts, whereas others prefer to set aside a specific day at the weekend. There is no right or wrong way to study, it’s simply a question of when works best for you.  

Another reoccurring challenge for students looking to complete their CIPD qualification is understanding the question set. Whilst it is never the intention of an examiner to confuse a student with a question, it does sometimes happen. For example, it’s often said that businesses working in English are divided by a common language and HR practice is no different. An SME, for instance, can be a “small medium enterprise” or a “subject matter expert”. To avoid confusion, the first step is to read the question not once, not twice but at least three times to understand what has been written. If there is the slightest doubt as to what is being asked, seek clarification from your tutor.

3- HR Revolution Middle East:  To what extent do you believe that the body of knowledge of the CIPD Certifications can be applied to practical work in different countries?

ICS Learn: Whilst the legal aspects of the CIPD qualification are based on UK law, most CIPD qualifications are very general so that they can be applied internationally. Being that culture varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the core elements of HR practice remain the same in that we help support organisations in achieving their objectives through good people management and development practices.

The breadth of learning is a distinct advantage in all jurisdictions, as is knowing about practice and regulations in other jurisdictions. Given that laws and regulations vary over time, being able to identify and apply relevant regulations in an assignment is a valuable skill to have regardless of whether the same regulations apply in the countries we support. I have often joked that if I was ever to become an employee again, I would wish my contract to be based on Indonesian law as in that jurisdiction employees must agree to their dismissal!  

4- HR Revolution Middle East: As an Instructor, how did your journey with ICS start? What makes you most passionate about this role?

ICS Learn: I started my journey with ICS Learn more than 20 years ago as a CIPD student at which time, in addition to assignments, each module was tested by exam. Around 14 years ago, I received an email from one of my former ICS Learn tutors asking if I would be interested in attending an Advanced Employment Law workshop she was running as she was looking to retire from these workshops and she had been asked to look for a potential successor. Having literally that weekend just finished my dissertation for my master’s degree in Employment Law, for the first time in years I had a “free” weekend.

As I always enjoyed such workshops I readily agreed to attend. However, on arrival, I received a message that the tutor was unfortunately unable to attend and I was instead asked to run the workshop! Perhaps it was being thrown in at the deep end with no time to worry about anything, but the workshop was a great success with all the attendees passing their Employment Law exam a few months later and my having fully acquired the tutoring bug.

Over the years much has changed, and I have had the pleasure of running training sessions and workshops on a variety of CIPD and non-CIPD topics both virtually and in numerous countries including Singapore, India, Sudan, Nigeria, and of course in the Middle East both in UAE and KSA.

Whilst HR and the world has evolved, facilitating learning in others whilst learning from students and their personal workplace experiences is as inspiring and exciting today as it was 14 years ago.

5- HR Revolution Middle East: As a learner how did the CIPD qualification change your life?

ICS Learn: Without a doubt, gaining a CIPD qualification has been life-changing and has allowed me to have not only a successful career in HR within financial services but to successfully run my consultancy for the last 5 years. I must admit that being able to work internationally in so many different regions has been a distinct bonus and certainly embeds the learning that no matter what we do in HR there is always more than one way of doing it.

6- HR Revolution Middle East: What special tips would you share with professionals unable to choose the appropriate CIPD Certification Level for them? How does ICS Learn help learners in taking this step?

ICS Learn: Our advice would always be to chat to our CIPD Course Advisors, whether that be through our website, email, or on the phone. Their job is to talk through your experience, ambitions, and previous education to make sure that you choose the right CIPD course for you.

7- HR Revolution Middle East: What are the most common challenges CIPD students face? What pieces of advice do you have for them?

ICS Learn: As detailed in question 2, the most common challenge is time. We must be willing to accept that in taking on a new challenge we must set aside some of our current activities. Short term pain for long term gain!

8- HR Revolution Middle East: What should be the “competencies” of a CIPD student in order to excel and accomplish the degree?

ICS Learn: Self-discipline, commitment, curiosity, an open mindset, and of course an ability to understand and write in business English 

9- HR Revolution Middle East: ICS Learn cares to publish students’ success stories with different certifications and how they got opportunities to progress substantially in their careers. How often do you refer to those stories to encourage reluctant learners to finish their studies?

ICS Learn: We feature our student success stories in our monthly Student Newsletter, as we know this inspires learners to keep going with their studies, as well as showing them how other students overcame the challenges they faced. It’s a great way for students to learn from each other!


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