We sit down with Patrons and Orion360 who walk us through their journey to managing their growth and how they’ll help other startups at RiseUp this year.
It is the era of growth and digitisation. If you’re nurturing your startup, it’s high time you start asking yourself these questions: How will you mitigate the risks of growth? How will you shift your offline business to an online model?
We’re about a week away from the seventh edition of RiseUp Summit and, on this occasion, we’re letting you in on what to expect as an exhibiting startup at the Managing Scalability Clinic organised by Patrons and Orion360.
Patrons is a consultancy firm that helps small family businesses embark on their journey to growth, specialising in providing family businesses and entrepreneurs a mix of wholesome services to help make long-lasting changes in their performance through corporate solutions, strategies and consultations. Similarly, Orion360 is a regional consulting, business technology and outsourcing company. They help their clients lead transformational change, create new organisational models, capture value from their customer and channel strategies and increase the effectiveness of their supply chains and assets.
Bahaaeldin Abdellatif, founder and managing director of Patrons, grew up with his family’s business, Ghalioungui, which has been a market leader in the medical field since its establishment in 1979. “Coming from a family business background and being part of the journey to transform our business, from a typical family business setup into a well governed corporate, has opened my eyes to a great gap in the market which is the lack of advisory for entrepreneurs, privately and family owned businesses,” Abdellatif tells Startup Scene.
Some would assume that consulting and advising family business is a tricky task, as there is an emotional attachment between the legacy team and the business, which in turn would create a barrier and resistance to change. “What family businesses need from advisors is proper quantification, solid understanding to their business nature, putting in consideration internal culture, and providing tailored solutions that would transform the business without putting at risk the sustainability of the business,” he explains, adding that this was the trigger that sparked the idea of Patrons.
In their own journey to growth, Abdellatif and his team started developing a methodology with mitigation of pitfalls, before hiring an experienced team with the required agility to adapt to their main solution, which is leading change management. “The successful collaboration with our clients has been our key factor in our growth, as 100% of our clients are based on referrals,” says Abdellatif.
But how do they help other family-run startups grow? The main factor shaping a startup’s journey to growth is the change in business dynamics. “Our services are tailored to diagnose, analyse, quantify and then bridge the gap with a proper, agile and reliable action plan to achieve the vision of growth and advise on how to maintain and institutionalise the adoption to change,” he explains.
Yasmine Abou Stait, the marketing director, also stressed how Patrons compartmentalises through its departments. “We bring forward key strengths and expertise in four main business departments; strategic management, financial advisory, business development and digital transformation,” she lists down. “With that, startups can guarantee strategies and solutions that are both achievable and quantitative.”
While the services at Patrons vary, the methodology they use with each service guarantees that the gaps are tackled and that the opportunities quantify the decisions, consequently maintaining the result. “Our methodology is based on three main phases; the first is the ‘Guide’ phase which is to diagnose, test and present a gap analysis report showing the current situation of the business in comparison with the potential state of the business, the mission and objectives of shareholders, and the industry norms,” Abou Stait explains.
The second phase is the ‘Grow’ phase, where the action plan implemented. This phase follows the guidelines of change management, starting with identifying the urgency and the causes of change, while leading said change through the resources of the company and developing the capabilities of the client.
Then comes the ‘Guard’ phase which, as the last step of change management processes, aims to institutionalise the dynamics of growth and change.
“We know that our clients’ success depends on differentiating their capabilities – and we have the experience and depth in these areas to ensure that our clients gain the advantage they need,” Orion360’s director of project management, Ahmed Ghaly, tells Startup Scene.
In 2010, Orion360 started as general consultancy firm focusing on bringing the experience the team gained in their combined multinational careers to local and regional companies in need of structure and transformation. “As we evolved, we aimed at driving value through focusing on helping companies define their enterprise systems roadmaps and helping with the planning and execution of these systems to establish the foundational capabilities needed for transformations,” says Ghaly. “With a large base of our clients successfully establishing their enterprise system capabilities, we decided over the past four years to venture into the more advanced areas of automation, analytics and artificial intelligence.”
Orion360 helps their bouquet of clients to strategise, plan and execute digital programmes that truly enable their transformation strategies and not hinder them. Ghaly finds it quite common for businesses to venture into large scale projects and digital transformation investments that are not entirely in line with their overall transformation objectives. “Knowing what you need may seem intuitive, but it is often harder than it sounds,” he says.
“We help companies clearly define their business needs and priorities, phase out their transformation initiatives in a way that matches their organisational growth and operational maturity, in addition to supporting them to ensure they execute with excellence and maximum return on investment and adoption,” he says.
Just as the name of the clinic suggests, startup exhibitors will be exposed to insights and techniques to manage scalability as they evolve from ‘startup mode’ to ‘established enterprise structures’.
“We will share experiences and learning from various local enterprises and SMEs who have gone through very similar journeys and discuss the various obstacles and potential solutions that can be relevant to the audience and their own experiences,” Ghaly says.
Regardless the size of a business, the scalability and the opportunity cost of growing a business is always the main focus of an entrepreneur. “This clinic is focusing on providing entrepreneurs with top level understanding of how to analyse their market environment and accurately identify the points they need to overcome. Afterwards, they can they assign, allocate and quantify the proper resources to achieve their growth strategy,” Abdellatif explains.
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