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Women on Top in Tech – Heba Elkalyoubi, Founder of HK-Architecture

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(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Here is our interview with Heba Elkalyoubi, an Egyptian Entrepreneur based in Cairo. Heba is the Founder of HK-Architecture, an online studio providing design services for busy homeowners and professionals on tight budgets.

What makes you do what you do? 
I absolutely enjoy creating unique experiences for the customer. I love making design services more accessible and budget-friendly. I believe design can change the way people live and occupy their space.

How did you rise in the industry you are in? 
Since my graduation, I tried to take on a variety of roles to have a varied experience and get a feel of the industry from different perspectives. I tried not to stay too long in one position, and had a constant check of the skills that needed to be developed. I had a precise career plan and was actively shaping my professional experience to reach my goal.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?
I always wanted to challenge the idea that you needed to have a poor family life in order to succeed in our field. I wanted to prove that work could be done remotely without compromising its quality, and that you do not need to fit into a rigid 9 to 5 schedule to make a beautiful design. I see being an architect as one of the best careers for a woman who wants to have a good income without compromising the quality of her lifestyle. Everywhere I worked I had this inflexibility of time, office presence, and I thought it was about time to change that. Till now I have only cooperated with architects and designers who have been working remotely and we have delivered amazing results together. So it does really work!

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?
In my final year of study, I did an internship in an architectural consultancy firm, and my mentor became my future boss for many years. I noticed that his lifestyle did not change after becoming the CEO of his own company. On the contrary, his work rhythm, dedication and commitment has remained the same. That was a live example of success of someone who only relied on his talent and hard work to rise in our industry.

How did you make a match and how did you end up being mentored by him? 
I was hired by my internship mentor and acquired many skills while working under his supervision.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent? 
I look for signs of passion in the talent that I like to groom and develop. I believe people give their best when they are in their best condition, either physically, financially or intellectually. I try to make sure they are always making the kind of work they love to do, besides developing their skills and advancing their career.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why? 
I am vocal about diversity because this is the only way we can draw a complete picture. I have always been in diverse environments, whether in school or at work and I believe being in such environments opens up your mind to new horizons.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?
To be a great leader in the construction industry one needs to be a great team player because the most important assets of our job are communication and interdisciplinary.

Advice for others?
Before you listen to anyone, be sure to listen to yourself first. You will find many  people around you trying to shape you into their image of you – for good reasons. Your intuition knows what is best for you, your heart, mind, body soul.


If you’d like to get in touch with Heba Elkalyoubi, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/hebakalyoubi/

This article was co-written with Mariem Khemir.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariem-khemir-36b52a85/

Mariem Khemir is a woman advocate, with an excellent educational background in Technology. She has working experience in Munich, Tokyo, Bangkok, and Tunis in various sectors including engineering, consulting, and tech start-ups.
Always eager to explore and push boundaries in tech, she has worked in different areas of technology, including the web, energy supply systems and electric drives.

Entrepreneurship

Will Financial Liberalisation Trigger a Crisis in China?

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The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been liberalizing its financial system for nearly 4 decades. While it now has a comprehensive financial system with a large number of financial institutions and large financial assets, its financial policies are still highly repressive. These repressive financial policies are now a major hindrance to the PRC’s economic growth.

The PRC is at the beginning of a new wave of financial liberalization that is necessary for supporting the country’s strong economic growth. The country’s leaders have already unveiled a comprehensive program of financial reform, which includes 11 specific reform measures in three broad areas: creating a level-playing field (such as allowing private banks and developing inclusive finance), freeing the market mechanism (such as reforming interest rate and exchange rate regimes and achieving capital account convertibility), and improving regulation.

But could financial liberalization lead to a major financial crisis in the PRC? What would be the consequences for financial stability as the PRC moves to further liberalize its financial system? If the PRC repeats the painful experiences of Mexico, Indonesia, and Thailand, then it might not be able to achieve its original goal of overcoming the middle-income trap.

International experiences of financial liberalization, especially those of middle-income economies, should offer important lessons for the PRC. In our new research, based on cross-country data analysis, we find that financial liberalization, in general, reduces, not increases, financial instability. This powerful conclusion is valid whether financial instability is measured by crisis occurrence or by fragility indicators, such as impaired loans and net charge-offs. The only exception is that financial liberalization does not appear to significantly lower the probability of systemic banking crises, although it does lower the risk indicators for banks. These results have higher statistical significance and are greater in magnitude for the middle-income group than for the entire sample.

The insignificant impact on banking crises, however, should be interpreted with caution. One of the possible explanations is that under the repressed financial regime, the government supports banks with an implicit or explicit blanket guarantee. This reduces the probability of an explicit banking crisis, although the banking risks may be even greater because of the moral hazard problem. In fact, government protection of banks could also increase the probability of a sovereign debt crisis or even a currency crisis before financial liberalization.

If financial liberalization significantly reduces the likelihood of financial crises, especially in middle-income economies, then why did some middle-income economies experience financial crises following liberalization? We further investigate whether the pace of liberalization, the supervisory structure, and the institutional environment matter for outcomes of financial liberalization.

We obtain three main findings. First, an excessively rapid pace of financial liberalization may increase financial risks. The net impact on financial instability depends on the relative importance of the “liberalization effect” and the “pace effect.” In essence, what the “pace effect” captures could simply be the prerequisite conditions and reform sequencing that are well discussed in the literature. Second, the quality of institutions, such as investor protection and law and order, also matter. International experiences indicate that investor protection can significantly reduce the probability of financial crises. Third, the central bank’s participation in financial regulation is helpful for reducing financial risks during financial liberalization. This is probably because central banks always play central roles in financial liberalization, especially in the liberalization of interest rates, exchange rates, and the capital account. If a central bank is responsible for financial regulation, its liberalization policies might be more cautious and prudent.

Our research findings offer important policy implications for the PRC. (1) Further financial liberalization is necessary not only for sustaining strong economic growth but also for containing or reducing financial risks. (2) Gradual reform may still work better than the “big bang” approach, and sequencing is very important for avoiding the painful financial volatilities that many other middle-income countries have seen. (3) The government should also focus more on improving the quality of other institutions, especially market discipline, to contain financial risks. (4) It is better for the central bank to participate in financial regulation. The new regulatory system should focus exclusively on financial stability and shift from regulating institutions toward regulating functions. It should also become relatively independent to increase accountability.

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About the Author 

This submitted article was written by  and  of Asia Pathways, the blog of The Asian Development Bank Institute was established in 1997 in Tokyo, Japan, to help build capacity, skills, and knowledge related to poverty reduction and other areas that support long-term growth and competitiveness in developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Entrepreneurship

Women on Top in Tech – Chrissa McFarlane, Founder and CEO of Patientory

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(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Chrissa McFarlane is the Founder and CEO of Patientory, a patient-centered enterprise solution on the blockchain to store, secure and access healthcare information in real-time. She is a leader and an entrepreneur with a passion for creating cutting-edge healthcare products that transform the face of healthcare delivery in the United States of America and abroad.

What makes you do what you do?
I am passionate about helping people, especially when it comes to their healthcare. This is my daily motivation for pushing forward in one of the most challenging industries to innovate.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?
Through my networks and maintaining a strong advisory board, I am able to make an impact.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?
I took on the role and decided to start this startup primary to follow my passion and be an inspiration for other women who are seeking to start their own business.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?
I have multiple mentors. I met them through my networks.

How did you make a match if you did, and how did you end up being mentored by him/her?
Through introductions and after speaking with them I saw a character alignment that prompted me to ask them to by my mentor.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?
Through one on one meetings, and team building.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?
I consciously support diversity because a diversity of thought breeds success in the workplace. It is important to have different lenses of thought to be represented. Our company is a representation of the people we serve.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?
A great leader in healthcare is equipped to serve the people. Unlike many other industries, healthcare is centered around sustaining the health of the human being. You certainly need to encompass a passion for seeing individuals live and lead healthy lifestyles.

Advice for others?
In building emerging technology, education is always key to success.

Our first Inaugural Blockchain Healthcare Summit will take place on May 31st in Atlanta, GA where we will discuss the current state of blockchain projects and opportunities for the future.


If you’d like to get in touch with Chrissa McFarlane, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrissamcfarlane/

To learn more about Patientory, please click here.

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