“The biggest challenge entrepreneurs have is balancing strategy and execution.  Doing too much of one without the other, doesn’t work.”

~Tarek Bayaa

Talal Bayaa and Tarek Bayaa, the CEO and CCO of Bayzat.  Bayzat is a technology company that empowers businesses with smart and effective insurance & HR solutions.

As CEO, Talal is responsible for providing the vision, overall leadership and strategic management for the company as well as ensuring the highest quality of the services provided.  Prior to setting up his own company, Talal worked for a private equity & corporate finance firm, followed by two years at an investment bank.

Talal started Bayzat with his school friend and now co-founder Brian Habibi.

As CCO, Tarek Bayaa (Talal’s brother), is responsible for establishing a world-class sales team and in delivering exceptional customer service. He has been involved in the company on an advisory basis since 2013 and joined the company full-time as the Chief Commercial Officer in April 2015.

Listen to learn more about their experiences and how Bayzat has scaled over the years.

Enjoy the show!

Posted on May 15, 2018

Show Notes:

  • 01:30 – The California-Palestine-Saudi-UAE connection
  • 2:00 – From Bioengineering to Investment Banking
  • 2:45 – Investment Banking to Private Equity
  • 3:30 – Dad’s influence in the pursuit of the Engineering degree
  • 4:00 – Tarek pursuing a Software Engineering Degree in Montreal
  • 6:00 – Bayzat’s founding inspiration
  • 7:45 – Straight into GE right out of University (Tarek)
  • 8:30 – The unique learning opportunity that came out of GE
  • 10:15 – Bayzat’s offering: “world-class employee experience accessible to every SME”
  • 11:10 – The benefits of Bayzat and thinking about how to improve the experience for employees
  • 12:00 – The perks of being part of a large company, but enabling such perks for SMEs
  • 12:30 – Tracking life-changing moments and the opportunities that arise from that
  • 13:30 – Bayzat Benefits health for helping employees to maximize transparency about their health insurance
  • 14:15 – Where the name, Bayzat, comes from
  • 15:30 – Bayzat’s pivot from a marketplace of consumer financial services to what it is today
  • 17:00 – Bayzat’s co-founders past long-term friendships
  • 18:00 – The constantly growing size of Bayzat’s team
  • 18:45 – From a handful of employees to a massive team, and how they dealt with the scaling
  • 20:00 – Their hypothesis regarding the insurance trend
  • 21:30 – Raising their first round in 2013 and who was backing them then
  • 23:15 – Bayzat’s funding story from Seed to Series A
  • 26:45 – The importance of having the right investors on board
  • 27:45 – Facing challenges while fundraising and scaling at the same time
  • 30:15 – 3 pieces of advice for raising funds in this ecosystem
  • 32:30 – Acquiring an insurance broker to offer more value
  • 33:15 – The importance of controlling the customer experience
  • 34:15 – How getting an F in Geometry class at a young age, stuck with Tarek to buckle down and work his ass off
  • 36:45 – Routines & Habits, often involving coffee & reading
  • 37:45 – Tarek’s escapes to think of the bigger picture
  • 38:45 – The entrepreneurial challenge of balancing strategy and execution
  • 39:45 – Examining various role models around specific categories
  • 41:15 – Learning from others on a regular basis is very important
  • 41:45 – On being voracious podcast listeners and readers
  • 42:15 – Tarek takes his sleep seriously
  • 43:00 – Talal having dinner with people he cares about and practicing mindful eating
  • 43:45 – Talal’s productive morning routine from waking habits and working out
  • 44:30 – What the Bayzat’s CEO ‘typical’ day looks like
  • 45:15 – “Either you manage your day or your day manages you” – Tarek on how he tries to manage his days
  • 46:15 – Having an on-hand approach to the recruitment process
  • 46:45 – Being intentional on the cultural aspect of a scaling startup
  • 48:45 – Valuing debate over consensus
  • 51:45 – Playing devil’s advocate and challenging people to share their opinions
  • 52:30 – Their interest in books ranging from time management and ‘jobs to be done’ theory
  • 53:30 – “Don’t be wasteful”
  • 54:00 – “Stop & Smell the Roses”, pause for a moment and appreciate what’s around you
  • 55:00 – Practicing mindfulness and being grateful
  • 56:30 – Amateur Photography as a hobby
  • 57:15 – Talal’s dream for Dubai to have the best universities in the world to empower the next generation
  • 57:30 – The need to be attractive rather than competitive
  • 58:30 – Talal telling his younger self to be more self-aware
  • 59:00 – Tarek on having more educated opinions by doing more research and read more
  • 59:30 – Talal’s advice to would-be founders; the importance of differentiating yourself from the competition
  • 60:00 – There is no substitute for working hard as Tarek says

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