Women of the channel- The realist

Magda Zouein, director of operations at Emitac Distribution

Zouein moved to Dubai as part of an intership with Motorola nine years ago. As luck would have it, she stayed on, working with the company on various projects and eventually moved into operations where she was put in charge of managing functions across the Middle East and Africa.

Following a successful tenure at Motorola, Zouein then joined Emitac Distribution as director of operations, a role she describes as being challenging yet rather enjoyable.

She adds that she enjoys the speed at which technology changes and how quickly business is done. “You have to be very flexible and really quick to react if you want to stay in business. Most importantly, I enjoy the freedom from the typical bureaucratic constraints of a large multinational. At Emitac Distribution, I can come up with an idea in the morning and have it executed by noon and therefore I can see the actual results very quickly,” she says.

Zouein adds that the IT industry remains largely male dominated with women unfortunately being employed primarily for entry-level sales coordination and the likes. She believes that in order to survive this industry, women need to display strong leadership skills and must be careful not to make mistakes as they are rarely easily forgiven.

She adds that her vision and passion for results have together helped accelerate her career climb. “I am passionate about results whatever the subject is. If it is about customer service, let us find a new way to delight the customer, if it is about cost reduction, I will find every penny out there. I always work as if it was my own business, believing any good or bad decision to have a direct impact on my profits. I have a critical mind, I challenge the facts and the way things are done, always looking for improvement. In addition, I have a long haul vision focused on long term goals rather than short term objectives. I work towards execution of these goals, amending necessary decisions along the way,” she explains.

Being mother to a ten month baby girl may have changed Zouein’s priorities to a degree but she believes working mothers should be aware and up for the challenge. “If – as women – we expect the company to lower our targets due to our personal commitments – we have to be prepared to also accept the other part of the equation: fewer opportunities to grow, lower salary. That’s only fair,” she concludes.

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