Technology exerts more climatic shifts on the world than ever before. It is only an eventuality, then, that businesses need to graft themselves in the perpetually altering expanses. Adaptability is not only a buoyant force but is a thriving essential.
Entrepreneurship and investing are two ostensibly tricky stretches. The two are critical to not only the success of any business but its entire existence. Abdulaziz Hayat, an expert in both, is relentlessly working as a guiding light for organisations.
Hailing from Kuwait, Abdulaziz Hayat earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree from the University of San Diego and a luminous Master of Liberal Arts in Finance degree from Harvard University.
Tracing Hayat’s Stellar Business Trajectory
For a period of over two years, Abdulaziz, who headed investment operations at Faith Capital, Kuwait, overseeing analysis, memorandum preparation, due diligence, and investment in consumer and enterprise startups.
Equipped with extensive knowledge of markets, he negotiated and drafted equity and convertible debt investment terms in multiple jurisdictions, including SHA, SPA, and side agreements. Hayat even served as an investment committee member on behalf of the organisation and an informal advisory figure to numerous portfolio founders in crafting strategies, designing products, fundraising, and value addition.
Hayat was previously with NBK Capital, Kuwait, in the capacity of a Senior Analyst, Investment Banking. During this tenure of one year, he gained expertise in the equity and debt capital markets across multiple engagements, including, M&A – Taiba Hospital, a leading private healthcare practice, IPO – Integrated Holding Company., a notable heavy asset leasing firm, and the inaugural international Sovereign Bond Issuance of the State of Kuwait in the amount of $8B in 2017.
Prior to that, he served as an intern in investment banking at G2 Capital Advisors in Boston, performing market research to support logistics, industrial, and aerospace and defence deal teams.
Furnished with impeccable knowledge and leadership experiences, he has presided as a judge in multiple startup panels and pitch events.
The Global Entrepreneurship Realm Empowers Change
The international space of entrepreneurship is the extreme of dynamism. Changes occur with every elapsing minute, stripping and presenting fortunes. And so, in a setup that projects such dramatic shifts, the ability to change is venerated.
For Hayat, entrepreneurship is the willingness to take on immense risks to bring measurable change to something about which one cares. “Entrepreneurship is acting on the belief that you know something the market has yet to discover, and willing to look foolish until your efforts finally make your value proposition undeniably clear”, explains Hayat.
Over the years, operating across continents has granted Abdulaziz the space to work and engage with diverse entities. Interestingly, he holds some remarkable observations about businessmen and entrepreneurs and the peculiarities which set them apart.
He clears that businessmen are accustomed to and work within strict structures of fixed roles. They require clear pipelines, reliably forecasted cash flows, and large internal support systems. They seek stability and permanence. On the other hand, as Abdulaziz explicitly mentions, entrepreneurs must act as everything: the chef, the line cook, the bottle washer.
Uncertainty becomes the realms they occupy; product pipelines shift rapidly, financial performances are not guaranteed, and titles dissolve into nothingness. Hence, the risks encountered by established businesses and startups are not even tangential.
Drawing a strand of investment wisdom from his several prior experiences, he reveals how a successful investor invests, diversifies, and advises early-stage entrepreneurs in their most testing times – when the startup has not yet attained market product fit. Such a value-adding investor earns an early spot on the cap table by being a great founder’s trusted confidant, securing early access and greater returns in the long run.
“The best entrepreneurs know a little about everything and a lot about one thing. They can do any job and do it well”, he concludes.
The Future Recourse of Entrepreneurship
The current tumultuous waves of the COVID-19 pandemic have rocked the world. Each day, we are witnessing the toll on humanity’s collective health and wellness..
However, as lamentable as it is, the unforeseen crisis also split open a multitude of opportunities in highly diverse fields that were not visible before.
As Hayat argues, firstly, the calamity bestowed the entrepreneurs the playground to explore new business models. Numerous lost their jobs – their safety cushions – finally receiving the kick out of the comfort zone that brought their startups to life. “Comfort kills, and the pandemic kills comfort”, he puts forward.
Moreover, he also discerns that different sectors have cultivated shocking advancements due to increased permanency in various pandemic-forced behaviours. For instance, E-commerce reliance and work-from-home activities have turned more convenient and essential than ever before. The gig economy is massively expanding, too, which indicates lasting changes in labor practices on online marketplaces.
The pandemic is also striking off traditional sectors at unprecedented rates. With a raging pandemic in the backdrop, anything demanding physical presence is growing more and more obsolete. Hayat elaborates how something else substitutes them by swiftly occupying the vacuum. “It is how fintech, like challenger banks and payment processing startups, is slowly killing physical banks and financial services”, he says.
Hayat’s eye for detail and unflinching analysis are products of a decade of experience in the business world. They emerge as true testaments of his entrepreneurial mindset.