Fouad El-Qassem, Product Manager in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Fouad El-Qassem

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Location
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Toptal Member Since
July 18, 2019

Along with launching a variety of successful consumer and business products over the past 20 years, Fouad is a subject matter expert in marketing technologies and customer loyalty programs. With experience in working with local and remote teams, Fouad's leveraged his expertise to lead cross-functional teams of over 30 people delivering products for clients in banking, retail, telecom, travel, and other industries.

Project Highlights

Online Booking Engine
Increased the number of customers by 40%.
City Points Mobile App
Developed and owned the customer loyalty product for the City Points program.
CRM Strategy and Implementation (Salesforce)
Made a global alignment of business development efforts and a unified customer value proposition across all teams.

Expertise

Work Experience

Founder and CEO

2021 - PRESENT
Appresh
  • Developed an MVP for a unique gifting platform to allow people to express appreciation in a simple and meaningful way from their preferred messaging apps.
  • Engaged with several suppliers and brands to integrate with their systems to source different products.
  • Built the financial model for the whole business with complete details for a period of five years showing ROI and financial impact on different growth scenarios.

COO

2020 - 2021
Munero Global Loyalty
  • Led the product roadmap for the core eGift card distribution platform.
  • Led the operations team to fulfill orders for multiple eCommerce fulfillment centers.
  • Developed a three-year business strategy to drive business growth and customer-centricity for various products.
  • Structured, hired, and led a fully remote product development team.

Founder | Chief Executive Officer

2017 - 2020
City Points
  • Developed the full business plan and feasibility study for the product.
  • Developed and owned the customer loyalty product for the City Points program.
  • Managed the underlying blockchain platform to enable the real-time customer experience.

Global Program Development Manager

2015 - 2017
Etihad Airways
  • Built the strategy and operational infrastructure; completed the planning and tendering structure for the product development of global online earn and burn propositions for loyalty programs.
  • Designed a centralized partner operations hub, rolled out a Salesforce CRM platform, and led the implementation of an accrual-and-redemptions travel shop.
  • Constructed a global product management strategy and tendering process for loyalty and airline ancillary services, including online purchases, gifting, and transference of loyalty currency.
  • Built strong cross-functional relationships, including a collaboration with finance, marketing, and IT, to develop and present business cases to key GLC and Etihad Airlines Partners group stakeholders.
  • Developed a partnership strategy and created the structure for implementing a global coalition loyalty product portfolio across four frequent flyer programs, including Etihad Guest, Topbonus, MilleMiglia, and JetPrivilege.
  • Generated the business development pipeline and processes; devised a unified global partner value proposition.

Loyalty Services Director

2010 - 2014
Aimia, Inc.
  • Generated more than 500% growth in profit for the business in the Middle East region.
  • Spearheaded the transformation of the business culture by establishing and promoting performance-driven and transparent culture, employee empowerment, trust, accountability, team building, and engagement.
  • Designed, developed, and managed innovative, high-quality B2B and B2C products and services; introduced new real-time earn and burn consequences resulting in more than 40% customer spend penetration for the largest electronics retailer in the region.
  • Brought operational precision and efficiency to the Middle East region's campaign management, loyalty platform, operations, digital marketing, program office, technical marketing, data services, and contact center departments.
  • Employed unique problem-solving skills and techniques to come up with breakthrough solutions.
  • Coached, trained, and mentored high-performing cross-functional remote and local teams.
  • Led the region's end-to-end product development, management, strategy, and roadmaps from ideation to going live.
  • Enhanced the digital innovation strategy by completing the planning phase for the regional loyalty identification and tracking mechanism strategy to enable innovative product development, including a mobile cardless loyalty scheme.

Director of IT and Operations

2008 - 2010
Aimia, Inc.
  • Built a new digital department from scratch, brought function in-house, and recruited high-performing staff. Increased visitor traffic and customer engagement through targeted and personalized communication channels.
  • Offered enhanced insights into clients, markets, and competition.
  • Set up the business intelligence department from scratch.
  • Provided analysis, reports, and insights for corporate and retail partners.
  • Achieved a 25% reduction in the contact center cost by designing and implementing a self-service interactive voice response (IVR) system for the loyalty program across the MENA region for the complete product portfolio.
  • Exceeded targets by beating SLAs and operational KPIs by more than 5% across members' and partners' agreements.
  • Negotiated cost reduction through selection, relationship management, and performance management of key business vendors.

Operations Manager

2005 - 2008
Aimia, Inc.
  • Delivered a proprietary loyalty program for HSBC in four countries in less than four weeks; aligned members, participants, suppliers, integration, statementing, and quality control for the regional bank program.
  • Started a business process management practice and managed and automated various business process engineering delivering cross-channel earn and redemption fulfillment processes and bringing high efficiency to the business.
  • Achieved a 300% increase in traffic by revamping a member website product, Airmilesme.com, in three countries and Myrewardspoints.com in four countries for the HSBC program.

IT Manager

2002 - 2005
Aimia, Inc.
  • Devised and implemented a bespoke CRM product for clients.
  • Oversaw the day-to-day IT and operations for the Air Miles loyalty program in the region.
  • Transformed the speed and clarity of communications between offices in UAE and Qatar by creating a new platform that connected the two regions.

MIS Manager and ERP (Scala)

2000 - 2002
Nestlé Waters
  • Implemented an ERP system (Scala) across all business functions delivering high efficiency in manufacturing, sales, and procurement processes.
  • Managed the IT in-house portfolio of software and hardware.
  • Designed and implemented the overall ERP workflow across all divisions.

Management Information System Officer

1998 - 2000
Atlas Investment Group
  • Delivered a portfolio management system product for an internal customer to manage their customer accounts and funds.
  • Captured the stock market prices for a period of five years.
  • Managed the overall IT infrastructure for the business.

Online Booking Engine

Increased the number of customers by 40%.

I developed an online flight and hotel booking platform for customers to be able to redeem their loyalty points for flight tickets or hotel nights.

Frame

Saved resource costs of 27% and achieved a 95% on-time reward delivery.

Frame is a web-based platform for internal users to manage the product fulfillment process across all clients for all redeemed rewards for the loyalty program.

City Points Mobile App

Developed and owned the customer loyalty product for the City Points program.

The project centered around an Android mobile app allowing tourists and residents of Dubai to collect and redeem points by performing certain tasks related to market merchants. The app serves customers worldwide and enables registrations to drive increased tourism and retail spending.

City Points Website

Developed the full business plan and feasibility study for the product.

A consumer web app allowing tourists and residents of Dubai to collect and redeem points by performing certain tasks related to market merchants. The program serves customers worldwide and enables registrations to drive increased tourism and retail spending.

Air Miles ME Website

https://www.airmilesme.com/

Increased website traffic by 1,000% and increased customer engagement by 35%.

A consumer web app enabling users to view loyalty program participating companies, view offers and campaigns, and redeem their points for different rewards. The program serves customers in the Middle East region (primarily in UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain).

My Rewards Points Website

http://www.myrewardspoints.com

Provided an online presence for our client's HSBC Middle East Bank's new program.

An online product for premium customers of HSBC Middle East bank where customers can log in to check their points balance and redeem them for bank and other retail products.

Rotana Bookers Website

Provided an online presence for a new program for our client Rotana Hotels.

A consumer web app for Rotana Hotels’ premium customers enabling them to log in and check their points balance and redeem them for bank and other retail products.

Redemption Automation

Reduced the processing time down from 3 hours to 2 minutes.

A desktop app that automated the end-to-end points redemption process for the loyalty program, engaged third-party suppliers, and ensured delivery within the agreed-upon SLAs.

Air Miles 2.0 Website

http://www.airmilesme.com

Increased member website traffic and customer engagement by 250%; also introduced a personalized web experience.

A completely revamped web app for coalition-loyalty-program members enabling them to view loyalty program participating companies and their value propositions, offers, and campaigns; also the ability to redeem their loyalty points in real-time for different rewards. The program serves customers in the Middle East region (primarily in UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain).

Real-time In-store Redemption

Increased customer spending at our partner merchant by 60% and customer engagement by 40%.

A web app for a coalition loyalty program enabling the customers to redeem their points at participating merchants in real-time and use the points as a payment method.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

Saved 30% in customer service department costs.

A client-server app enabling a 24x7 self-service for the customer to perform major functions like checking their points balance, update their profile, and redeem points.

Saudi Holandi Bank Program

Increased the amount of credit card spending and the number of new customers.

A bank-wide loyalty program is offered to all customers and designed to increase customer acquisition and customer engagement for the bank, including credit card usage, ATM transactions, loans, and other interactions.

CRM Strategy and Implementation (Salesforce)

Made a global alignment of business development efforts and a unified customer value proposition across all teams.

I worked for an employer in the airline industry where they had management control over three other airlines and wanted to develop a global strategy for the business development and partnerships team to unify the offering, value proposition, pricing, communications, and streamline the overall process while maintaining a local culture of managing clients.

I also led the implementation of Salesforce CRM at an airline organization as well as the partnership strategy for the airlines. This project resulted in aligning the entire lifecycle of global clients across four partially owned airlines, unifying the pricing strategy and value propositions, bringing sales teams, partnership teams, finance, and operations under one umbrella.

The project was extended to include the day-to-day processes of existing clients, so we had all proposals, contracts, transactions, billing, performance, and other related aspects logged and managed on the CRM.
2011 - 2011

Graduate in Negotiation Skills

Kantar Institute - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

2010 - 2010

Graduate in Leading High-performing Teams

Kantar Institute - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

2010 - 2010

Graduate in Strategic Development and Problem Solving

Kantar Institute - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

2010 - 2010

Graduate in Key Account Management

Kantar Institute - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

2008 - 2008

Graduate in Enterprise Architecture

Private Institute - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

1993 - 1998

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

Yarmouk University - Irbid, Jordan

SEPTEMBER 2023 - PRESENT

Product Manager Certification™

Product School

Tools

Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Project, InVision, Slack, Jira, Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Platforms

Windows UI

Paradigms

User Testing, Testing, Agile Workflow, Kanban, Waterfall Development, Agile Product Management, Agile Project Management, Scrum, Agile, B2C, B2B2C, Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C)

Industry Expertise

Telecommunications, Banking & Finance

Other

Leadership, Loyalty Management, Product Management, Waterfall Delivery, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, Product Strategy, Loyalty Programs, Detail-oriented, Structure & Organizational Design, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Mobile App Testing, Windows, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Lucidchart, Flowcharts, Process Flows, Business Cases, Business Process Optimization, Business Process Automation, Business Processes, Coalition Loyalty Programs, Microsoft PowerPoint, ROI, IT, Project Management, Web, Business Analysis, Requirements, Product Roadmaps, Go-to-market Plans, User Research, Business Models, Product Design, Product Marketing, Product Frameworks, Innovation, Product Ownership, Product Discovery, Product Delivery, BRD, Software Requirements Specifications (SRS), Business Strategy, Travel Product Manager, Technical Product Management, Waterfall Methodology, Workflow, Roadmaps, Feature Planning, System Integration, Project Timelines, Scope Management, Pitch Decks, Product Conceptualization, Digital Product Management, Digital Product Development, Conceptualization, Ideation, Wireframing, Product Owner, Reporting, User Requirements, Critical Thinking, Feature Backlog Prioritization, Sprint Planning, Tracking, User Journeys, Technical Project Management, Excel 365, Excel Expert, New Product Development, MVP Design, Product Planning, Product Requirements Documentation (PRD), Project Scoping, Customer Support, Team Leadership, Product Development, Salesforce, Retail & Wholesale, Tourism, Travel, Company Strategy, Frequent Flyer Programs, Business Development, Journey Mapping, Accounting, Financial Modeling, Business Planning, Startups, Startup Consulting, Shell Scripting, Operations Management, Contract Review, Supplier Development, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Feasibility Studies, eCommerce, Mockups, Software as a Service (SaaS), Business to Business (B2B), Web & Mobile Applications, Research, Product Growth, Feature Roadmaps, Accounting Software, Software Development, Operations, Customer Experience, Digital Marketing, Android, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Data Analytics, User Experience (UX), New Business Development, Data Analysis, iOS, APIs, Remote Work, B2B, Business Process Flow Diagrams, Chatbots, API Integration, Vendors & Suppliers, Strategy, Partnerships, Booking Systems, ERP Implementation, App Development, Negotiation, Team Management, Creative Problem Solving, Key Account Management, Enterprise Architecture, Computer Science, Finance, Regulations, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Deployment, User Personas, Feature Prioritization

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