Dr. Karim Badawi, Product Manager in Zürich, Switzerland
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Dr. Karim Badawi

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Zürich, Switzerland
Toptal Member Since
May 28, 2020

Karim is a passionate product and strategy professional with 15 years of experience in many markets with multi-nationals and startups in B2B and B2C. He enjoys excellent qualifications including an Executive MBA from a top business school and a Ph.D. in engineering and technology from a global top-5 university. He considers himself a life-long learner. Karim is an empathic people leader who has managed high-worth products from ideation to phase-out.

Work Experience

Group CPO/CSO, Head of Strategy and Product Portfolio Management

2015 - 2020
Trapeze Group
  • Designed and implemented the corporate strategy and business strategy bringing back the focus to disruptive strategies with the executive board.
  • Oversaw strategic portfolio management and restructured the group's portfolio for the different business areas with a focus on adding new portfolio areas, value proposition, and differentiation strategies.
  • Oversaw product management and led the product management team. Modernized product management in a highly-competitive disruptive and market-driven world. I also assumed the role of the product lead for the most important products.
  • Managed the innovation management. Installed a revised innovation management process to balance ROI with a “fail-early” mindset.
  • Bridged innovation with strategy, orchestrated the four innovation acquisition approaches, and established several successful strategic partnerships in the industry and academia.
  • Led cross-business unit strategic initiatives and projects.
  • Introduced modern pricing and licensing strategies.
  • Revolutionized strategic marketing and established a new online strategic marketing and customer engagement tool for joint marketing and road mapping.
  • Took responsibility for new business development and launched more than 10 new products in existing and new business areas.
  • Introduced and sponsored business model innovation (confidential details).

Project Manager - Consultant

2014 - 2015
Siemens Consulting
  • Consulted on product strategy cases in B2B and B2C during different phases of the product lifecycle (from ideation to phase-out).
  • Provided professional project management expertise for high-value strategic projects and initiatives.
  • Worked on future roadmaps for disruptive digitalization technology products.

Product Architect and Project Leader

2010 - 2014
ETH Zurich & Advanced Circuit Pursuit (ACP)
  • Led projects in the area of high-speed high-performance modem technologies (software and hardware).
  • Assumed the product owner role for the high-speed high-performance modem product portfolio.
  • Led the design and development of the industry’s first 4G scalable-performance modem product.
  • Represented and promoted our innovations in international flagship conferences.
  • Supervised and mentored juniors and postgraduate students.

R&D Engineer

2008 - 2010
  • Privileged to have worked at Bell Labs, the globally renowned innovation engine for some of the most popular disruptive technologies.
  • Worked on advanced signal processing techniques for LTE Advanced and Multiuser MIMO OFDMA (the underlying technology for WiFi 6).
  • Devised several innovations in over-the-air training of the transmission channel using machine learning techniques.

R&D Engineer

2006 - 2007
  • Worked on the inception of the third generation mobile telecom networks.
  • Assisted in the 3GPP feature standardization efforts.
  • Co-developed a high-speed simulation platform to enable rapid prototyping.

AI-based Transport Network Planner

Led this strategic product (product management and development) from ideation to completion.

This product has been established as the most advanced transport network planner in the world, thanks to its unique artificial intelligence technology. The product outperformed all of its competitors in all relevant KPIs. The product platform is featured in several flagship publications, and it continues to grow and generate traction. It is the only network planner platform which is based on on-the-fly deep reinforcement learning algorithms.

Intelligent Transport System for Operators

Owned and led the product portfolio management of the #1 award-winning ITS system in Europe for the future generation of the portfolio elements.

This product portfolio is one of the leading ITS system portfolios in the world with a very high market share. In this project, we strategically repositioned the portfolio elements, re-platformed several products to the state-of-the-art technology, and introduced a highly innovative and disruptive business model in order to achieve both diversification and expansion market strategies. The system is based on IoT and edge-computing devices, in addition to a cloud-ready software suite for planning, operations, and business intelligence solutions

High-Availability Network Router for Industrial and Enterprise Applications

Led the strategy, product management, and UX design for the product.

This highly-available ultra-reliable network router is the most advanced industrial router in the world to date. It presents a great and unique value proposition for a highly-differentiated product with patented technology. The market adoption rate of this new product makes it a star product.

A Management System for Electric Mobility

Led the strategic and product management of an innovative product suite for the management of electro-mobility.

Electro-mobility is a current global megatrend. Mass transit applications of fully-electric mobility are still lagging behind due to the unfilled gaps in software tooling and infrastructure required to manage large-scale electric vehicle fleets. While not all elements of this product portfolio are yet completed, its offerings are creating market traction and attracting customers.

A 4G Device Modem for Scaleable Resource-Availability-Based Performance

Led the product management and product development of this industry's only solution.

Typically, device modems are designed to accommodate battery-powered applications such as smartphones. However, fixed-access and grid-connected 4G network applications are on the rise. In this project, we designed and developed the world's most advanced 4G terminal modem which is able to scale performance given a resource (such as power source availability for example).

Parking Sharing Platform

Led the product strategy and management of the first parking sharing platform in the DACH region. Played a fundamental role in raising investor funding.

(For confidentiality reasons, the name of the company is omitted)
The project included the design and development of a unique IoT on-street sensor, a highly-scalable cloud platform, and user mobile apps. The startup aspired to solve the limited parking availability problem in European metropolitans by introducing the sharing-economy strategies and business models to parking spots. The project was launched successfully and had very high user-adoption rates.

The Largest eCommerce Platform in the Middle East

Led the strategy, product management, ownership, and UX design for the platform from its ideation phase, throughout its implementation and roll-out to the growth hacking stage

(The name of the company is omitted due to confidentiality)
The promising startup aimed at building and operating an eCommerce platform for light-weight consumer products in several countries in the Middle East region. The startup has exited after tremendous growth through an acquisition by a global giant.
2019 - 2019

Executive Diploma in International Management and Doing Business in China

Antai College of Economics & Management, Jiao Tong University - Shanghai, China

2019 - 2019

Executive Diploma in Strategic Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Management

University of California, Irvine - California, USA

2018 - 2019

Executive MBA in General and Strategic Management

University of St. Gallen - St. Gallen, Switzerland

2010 - 2014

Ph.D. in Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

ETH Zurich - Zurich, Switzerland


RPM, Jira, Trello, ELK (Elastic Stack), Logstash, Kibana, Facebook Ads SDK, GitHub, SourceTree, Board Reporting, Financial Data, Eclipse IDE, Apache, R, ProdPad, Microsoft Project, Slack, Skype, Microsoft Dynamics CRM


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Windows Server, OpenStack, OpenShift, Red Hat OpenShift, Embedded Linux, Blockchain


B2B2C, Agile Product Management, Design Thinking, Azure DevOps, Marketplace Platforms, Human-centered Design (HCD), Human-computer Interaction (HCI), Application Architecture, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), Cross-platform, Microservices, Web Architecture, Real-time Systems, Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C), Human Interface Design, Database Design

Industry Expertise

Electronics, Public Transportation, Intermodal Transport, Asset Management, Open Innovation, Marketplaces, Venture Capital, New Business Ventures, Event Ticketing, US Venture Funds, Capital Markets


Strategy, Leadership, Empathy, Business Strategy, Portfolio Management, Business Development, Strategic Planning, Pricing Strategy, Forecasting, Product Management, Product Strategy, Product Development, Project Management, Budgeting, Software, Hardware, Internet of Things (IoT), Digitization, eCommerce, Innovation Management, Strategic Partnerships, Business Cases, Product Licensing, Business Models, B2B, Business to Consumer (B2C), Software as a Service (SaaS), Enterprise Architecture, Agile Product Delivery, Creative Thinking, Market Research, Market Research & Analysis, Embedded Software, Embedded Hardware, Technology Consulting, Creative Strategy, Creative Tech, Launch Strategy, Go-to-market Plans, Product Vision, Technology Trends, Technical Analysis, Architecture, Enterprise SaaS, Platform as a Service (PaaS), Business Model Canvas, Salesforce, Microsoft Azure, CTO, Chief Product Officer (CPO), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Product Planning, Roadmaps, Product Roadmaps, Feature Roadmaps, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Mobility, Cloud Platforms, Cloud Computing, Mobile Apps, UX Branding, Dynamic Pricing, Price Analysis, Growth Strategy, Growth, Startup Growth Strategy Development, Growth Marketing, Growth Hacking, UserVoice, Value Proposition, Value Creation, Business Unit Strategy, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Innovation, Competitive Intelligence, Competitive Strategy, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Bid Management, Management Consulting, Business Consulting, User Onboarding, Software Ecosystems, Strategic Planning & Execution, Brand Marketing, Design Leadership, OpenStreetMap, MEAN Stack, MERN Stack, .NET, Java, JavaScript, Node.js, SQL, Project Lifecycle, Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), Web Applications, Servers, Serverless, Serverless Architecture, IP Networks, Payment APIs, Mobile Payments, Digital Payments, Digital Strategy, Digital Marketing, Digital Design, Digital Economy, Digital Goods, Networks, Payment Networks, Neural Networks, Deep Learning, Deep Neural Networks, Network Security, Network Engineering, Statistics, Statistical Data Analysis, Statistical Modeling, Data Mining, Mobile POS, Mobile, Mobile Ads, Time Management, Time Complexity Analysis, Project Timelines, Cross-platform App Development, Cross-selling, Cross-cultural Management, Cross-functional Collaboration, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Microsoft Office, MicroStrategy, Elasticsearch, Amazon Web Services (AWS), SEO Tools, Google SEO, YouTube SEO, Facebook Ads API, Facebook Ads, Facebook Marketing, Google Ads, Google APIs, Google Maps API, Open Source, Version Control, Code Review, Cloud Architecture, Data Architecture, Software Architecture, System Architecture, Versioning, Software Versioning, LAMP, Linux, PHP, MySQL, Architectural Patterns, Data Visualization, Consumer Technology, Emerging Markets, Emerging Technologies, Africa, Middle East, Europe, EMEA, Yocto, Embedded Systems, Real-time Embedded Systems, Finance, Performance Evaluation, Technology Strategy & Architecture, Technical Recruiting, Web Technologies, Market Assessment, Technical Hiring, Senior Executive Management, Financial Reporting, Financial Engineering, Financial Modeling, Fintech, Program Management, Stakeholder Management, Presentations, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Valuation, Corporate Finance, Due Diligence, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, UX Research, Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Vendor Management, UX Design, Brand Identity, TensorFlow, Python, React Native, Microsoft SQL Server, Linux Servers, .NET Core, GraphQL, Databases, Relational Databases, NoSQL, Startup Funding, Angel Investing, Initial Public Offerings, Flutter, Southeast Asia, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Aha!, SAP, Teams

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