“In the grand scheme of things when you are 60 or 70, what was that one year you took off, in your 20s to something completely different and break out of the norm… if there is a different career path, experiment with it early on.”

~Philip Bahoshy

Philip Bahoshy is the Founder of MAGNiTT, an online platform that connects MENA entrepreneurs, startups and investors and offers access to extensive research, analytics and insights from across the region.

He was raised in the UK with Iraqi origins, Philip obtained an MBA from INSEAD in 2013 and a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.

During his time in Dubai, Philip worked at Oliver Wyman in the Financial Services practice for three years, followed by nearly three years at Barclays Wealth working as Chief of Staff to the CEO advising on strategic initiatives. Philip has lived in the UAE for more than nine years and is passionate about developing the MENA startup ecosystem.

Listen to learn more about his experiences and how MAGNiTT has evolved over the years to become the gateway for the MENA Startup Ecosystem.

Posted on March 28, 2018

Show Notes:

  • 1:30 – Growing up in the UK
  • 02:00 – His time at Oliver Wyman in 2007
  • 02:30 – His first exposure to the Middle East
  • 03:00 – Transitioning to Barclay’s Wealth
  • 03:30 – His travels during his MBA experience
  • 04:00 – His experience as a “Chief of Staff”
  • 06:15 – Learning how to actually implement strategies and honing his skillset
  • 07:30 – The importance of learning to present the message
  • 08:30 – How his MBA helped him refine the hustle
  • 09:00 – How a startup bootcamp acted as a catalyst for him to pursue his startup ventures
  • 10:15 – The surprising number of responses he received from Alumni for his idea validation
  • 11:30 – The first version of MAGNiTT
  • 12:00 – Pivoting MAGNiTT’s value proposition to becoming a data-driven platform
  • 13:15 – MAGNiTT’s business model
  • 14:15 – Building relationships with startups and institutions
  • 14:45 – The variables that make up MAGNiTT’s analytics offering
  • 15:30 – MAGNiTT’s application offering for reduce the barriers of entry for startups to apply to institutions
  • 17:00 – The larger vision for what MAGNiTT is trying to create
  • 18:00 – Trends that have occurred over the last couple years in the MENA startup ecosystem
  • 20:15 – The potential next wave of startup solutions
  • 22:00 – The FinTech space and solving pain points
  • 24:15 – Challenges that MENA startups face
  • 25:45 – How the challenges can act as opportunities for first movers in markets
  • 26:45 – Middle East for the World vs. Middle East for the Middle East
  • 30:00 – Views on Regional M&A’s & IPOs
  • 33:00 – The most important characteristic in startup founders
  • 36:15 – Being able to internalize and listen to feedback is crucial
  • 37:15 – An undervalued tool for startups to be successful
  • 39:30 – His Dubai-based mentors and advisory board
  • 40:45 – The importance of patience
  • 43:00 – The art of freebies and importance of appreciation
  • 44:45 – How daily routines change when transitioning to the startup world vs. the corporate
  • 46:15 – Computer detox day
  • 46:45 – What Philip’s typical day looks like
  • 47:45 – His fascination with biographies and the learnings from them
  • 49:45 – Understanding the hearts and minds through marketing and brand
  • 50:45 – His dream vision for the Middle East
  • 52:45 – “Experiment and drive for things outside the norm”
  • 55:15 – How his introduction to entrepreneurship at INSEAD changed his life trajectory
  • 56:15 – The maturing MENA startup ecosystem


INSEAD – The Business School of the World

Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East by Christopher Schroeder

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