Laying out plans and strategies that ensure a running business maintains its success can be a tricky process. Company executives often find themselves stuck in a dilemma where they need to make major or swift changes to protect their businesses from losses or bad surprises, and at the same time stay on the lookout for potential opportunities that help their businesses grow and thrive. Aware of the difficulty of the decision-making process at an administrative level, whether in startups or corporates, the AUC’s Executive MBA (EMBA) is a program that allows executives to be part of an inspiring setting that sets in motion an innovative thought process. In this program, students work within a team to mastermind potentially useful scenarios and develop the roadmap for them, enabling the company or entity in question to utilize opportunities and properly tackle challenges.
Fawry has been a selected case study for the students of this program to apply an organized decision-making process that takes all aspects into consideration. The Egyptian fintech icon was the focus of one of the capstone consulting projects of the EMBA Cohort 2020, graduating this year. The consultancy project was presented by a group of EMBA students under the title “Fawry Global Expansion”. The group included senior executives representing several top-tier institutions who were part of the EMBA cohort, including El Alamein Pack Co., the Commercial International Bank (CIB), 2B Egypt and Life Group. Their project was presented to Moustafa El Nahhas, the chief technology officer at Fawry.
Fawry has been a leading provider of e-payment solutions in Egypt since its launch in 2010. It was the first Egyptian fintech company to list its shares on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX), beginning its initial public offering (IPO) in August 2019. Fawry’s current market capital is estimated at $750 million. Now, it offers its services in 300 cities through over 250,000 Points of Service (POS). This breakthrough was the result of hard work by the founders of the company. Fawry has generated approximately $700 million in non-cash transactions over 2021 through its “Fawry Accept” package of payment solutions, according to ITP.net.
The project was focused on presenting opportunities for Fawry to expand across the African continent and globally. The consulting project concluded that Fawry has untapped room for global expansion relative to their African rivals in the fintech industry. They presented potential growth opportunities that Fawry can seize to successfully expand and grow in other non-Egyptian markets. The project posed the questions of ‘where’ and ‘how’ Fawry should expand and provided answers for them.
According to the project’s recommendations, the countries that Fawry should consider expanding into are: in Sub-Suharan Africa: Ghana and Uganda, where markets demonstrate lower competition hence a chance for Fawry to easily grow; in the MENA region: specifically Morocco and KSA as they have a high value per customer; and finally in South Asia: Pakistan, as it offers a large market size, lower competition, and fintech regulations that greatly reinforce the growth of the market and give room to innovation and creativity.
The consultancy group at the EMBA cohort recommended for Fawry to start with Pakistan as a promising market. “Pakistan reflects a fertile market for fintech thanks to its large young population (about 230 million people, with 60 percent being young people). This market is highly connected yet financially underserved, with 54 percent medium internet penetration, 80 percent mobile penetration, 77 percent highly unbanked population, and 65percent high cash penetration,” said Amr Abo Rida, vice chairman at El Alamein Pack Co., and one of the presenters of the capstone project on Fawry for the EMBA program.
The consultancy group came up with a roadmap for Fawry’s expansion in Pakistan that takes place over the course of two years. It is divided into three aspects/phases. The first is the entry phase that it set to last for one year, where Fawry enters the Pakistani market and establishes a base of customers with a special focus on its payment products. The second phase involves more growth through lending and supply chain finance. This phase is set to begin in the next year as Fawry launches “Super Fawry” in Pakistan to expand the services it provides. The third phase involves innovation through digital insurance and invest-tech.
The group also presented three scenarios of Fawry entering the Pakistani market: through acquisition, a start-up or a joint venture. They demonstrated the pros and cons of each mode and made a final recommendation. For instance, while the acquisition mode ensures a broad customer base is reached and guarantees generating revenue, they explained that it would provide little control over the company. Additionally, while Fawry entering into Pakistan as a start-up generally comes with a lower investment cost, the implementation of this whole scenario would take up to 18 months due to slow regulatory environment of obtaining licenses in the country. The consultancy group concluded by recommending the joint venture scenario as the most suitable one for Fawry. They pointed out that a joint venture with a telecommunications company in Pakistan can provide it with a much faster access to the market at a low cost, becoming a practical solution for the company to make the best out of this new market.
“We saw what we deem a very intensive coverage and study of an extremely complex industry. The cohort did a great job in analyzing all details and covering lots of aspects,” said Moustafa El Nahhas, the chief technology officer at Fawry, commenting on the project.
Presenting Fawry as a case study within the framework of the program could not have been more relevant as Egypt is ranked one of the top four countries in Africa with the most dynamic fintech sectors. Bigger growth opportunities outside of the continent certainly await Fawry and its likes in this data-driven digital era, where potential is limitless.
The globally oriented EMBA program at AUC is designed for experienced executives. It focuses on integrating innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership in management education. It is a demanding and intensive, but highly rewarding program that prepares participants to become leaders while providing them with a broader vision to respond to complex business issues in a comprehensive manner. For more information click here.