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From passion to poultry: An entrepreneur's journey

Islam Khalil is a seasoned data analytics and business intelligence professional with over two decades of experience. As the co-founder of AbuErdan, a disruptive poultry technology startup, he has been recognized internationally for his innovative solutions. Alongside his entrepreneurial pursuits, Khalil teaches at the American University in Cairo, works on his Ph.D. in data forensics, and actively contributes to the growth of the Egyptian furniture industry through his leadership roles in various organizations.

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From passion to poultry: An entrepreneur's journey

Islam Khalil is a seasoned data analytics and business intelligence professional with over two decades of experience. As the co-founder of AbuErdan, a disruptive poultry technology startup, he has been recognized internationally for his innovative solutions. Alongside his entrepreneurial pursuits, Khalil teaches at the American University in Cairo, works on his Ph.D. in data forensics, and actively contributes to the growth of the Egyptian furniture industry through his leadership roles in various organizations.

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In this engaging Q&A, we sit down with the founder of Poultry Islam Khalil, a successful technology solutions provider for the poultry sector. The founder shares his journey from a young computer enthusiast to a driven entrepreneur, discussing the challenges of starting a product-based business and the importance of passion and perseverance.

Discover the key insights and advice he offers to aspiring founders, including the realities of entrepreneurship and the significance of investing in sales skills and networking. Join us as we delve into the inspiring story behind Poultry Islam.

Why did you choose to start a business?

I started learning computers and programming as a young kid. Ever since, I was always fascinated by the idea of creating something that is useful to people and that can immediately make their lives easier and facilitate their work. As a high-school student, I developed a small accounting system that was actually used by my dad to manage his accounts. Then I grew to major in computer science and then saw that creating my own business is a great way to liberate my mind into being creative in coming up with solutions that help people

How did you start your business?

If the question is specifically about AbuErdan, then the story was that after years in the business of providing software development, data analytics, and business intelligence to various customers (like IFC/World Bank, Telcos and Utilities companies), we decided to get out of the linear and non-scalable software engineering service model into a product business where we can develop a product and sell it to many similar customers. Then we surveyed different industries for the purpose of coming up with the idea for a solution that a) capitalizes on our core experience, and b) targets a relatively technology underserved market where we can make an impact. This resulted in choosing the poultry sector. 

What do you wish you’d known before you started your business?

More on the difficulty and challenges in the commercial and sales part of the business.

Did you have any support in your journey?

Yes… lots of support from many people. Starting with my parents as a kid, all the way until today by friends and various experts and stakeholders in the industry.

What is your greatest challenge as a business owner?

Sales and hiring are the biggest challenges we are facing 

What advice would you give to your past self before opening your own business?

Work in sales, invest in sales skills and invest in networking 

Reflecting on your path to entrepreneurship, what key piece of advice would you offer to aspiring founders ?

Don’t get fooled by the misconceptions some people have that they want to leave their job, start their own business, be their own boss, and be free. Nothing could be further from the truth than this. In fact, when you start your own business you will transform into a slave. The slave of everyone. The slave of your business, customers, employees, government authorities, investors, and many other stakeholders. So it is exactly the opposite of the common misconception many people have. It is exactly the opposite. Do not do it  unless you are extremely passionate about it and you are willing to endure lots of pain and misery to achieve success.

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© 2024 OCTA, Inc. All rights reserved

© 2024 OCTA, Inc. All rights reserved

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© 2024 OCTA, Inc. All rights reserved