Richard Abi Chahla, Product Manager in Beirut, Beirut Governorate, Lebanon
Richard Abi Chahla

Product Manager in Beirut, Beirut Governorate, Lebanon

Member since May 1, 2019
Richard is an experienced product manager and entrepreneur. Since 2009, he's successfully bootstrapped multiple enterprises and SaaS web and Windows solutions as well as mobile applications. He's also led and consulted more than eight tech startups from idea to launch. Richard’s strengths are design thinking, customer experiments, product strategy, managing teams (designers, developers, and marketers), and crisis management.
Richard is now available for hire

Project Highlights

  • Founded and spearheaded an EMR solution for doctors, including ideation, analysis, design, dev team management, marketing, and sales.
  • Founded a new tech startup called Monica PRM, specializing in event networking and exchanging contact details.
  • Led the idea generation and market study and managed the product from day one until launching the product MVP.

Expertise

Education

Select Certifications

Employment

  • Founder | Managing Director

    2011 - PRESENT
    Purple Brains
    • Contacted international software sellers and negotiated reseller agreements on behalf of the company for Lebanon and the GCC market.
    • Managed clients' IT infrastructure and enterprise systems.
    • Advised and managed companies' IT projects. Consulted startups from ideation to launch and growth hacking.
    • Built custom SaaS products for the local market.
    • Built and consulted healthcare solutions and EMRs for small polyclinics to university hospitals.
    • Established and executed company marketing and sales plans for own products and supplier's products.
    • Came up with IT startup ideas and researched the market for validation. Raised investment for the company and client startups.
    • Oversaw outsourced development and creative team to execute company and client projects.
    • Prepared quotations and legal contracts for customers and negotiated with them for signature.
    • Coached and mentored startups in the early stages. Implemented three startups for the company from ideation to launch. One is still in the market until today and another exited after 11 months.
  • Business Analyst

    2020 - 2020
    Fortune 500 Company (Toptal Client)
    • Created a questionnaire with more than 250 questions filled by users in 14 different markets in Asia, Africa, and South America.
    • Analyzed the questionnaire findings and created a report for all the findings related to the business requirements of each market, the common needs across markets, the exceptions and specific needs of each market, and a subjective assessment.
    • Created the list of processes needed with a heat map of which markets are using those processes with a scoring system to allow IT to prioritize.
    • Created user stories for each process, adding the story, description, and acceptance criteria.
    • Built process flows for optimized user experience covering all the exceptions that the market presented.
    • Suggested the MVP needed features based on the common features across markets as well as the order of roll out for markets.
    • Presented my findings to the business and IT teams and defended them using the proofs I gathered from the markets.
  • Managing Partner

    2019 - 2020
    Undisclosed Company
    • Helped the company overcome its current financial crisis and set a fundraising plan.
    • Supervised a team of 22 employees including developers, scrum masters, product owners, and maintenance managers.
    • Managed client relationships with the company.
    • Implemented the Agile/Scrum methodology in the company, coached the employees on its application, and restructured the employees and the projects based on Scrum.
    • Managed the proposals and deals of the company from client negotiations, business, and technical requirements until project deliveries.
    • Conducted weekly manager meetings and monthly partner meetings.
    • Set a business development plan with the holding subsidiary companies on processes and procedures when dealing with the company.
    • Played the role of product owner for critical projects with clients that used to have a bad experience with the company.
    • Directed the development and maintenance queue of the company to make sure that scrum best practices were implemented.
    • Helped entrepreneurs in their ideation process, market study, and execution of their startups until launching an MVP or a full product.
  • MENA Sales Manager and Partner

    2011 - 2016
    Contracom International
    • Managed communication with the US supplier for SCADA products.
    • Recruited and appointed resellers in all the MENA region.
    • Launched the products in the market and traveled for demonstrations all over the MENA region.
    • Helped the resellers to study their markets and set a sales and marketing plan.
    • Managed the relationship between the resellers and Contracom.
    • Assisted resellers in large sales deals and helped them survey the clients' locations.
    • Supervised maintenance and spare parts availability for resellers all over the MENA region.
    • Assisted the US company in product development and enhancements.
    • Assigned KPIs to the resellers and made sure they kept them.
  • MIS Manager

    2009 - 2011
    Benta SAL
    • Managed and maintained the existing ERP and sales systems and was in charge of the supplier's communications.
    • Supervised the purchase and implementation of a GPS surveillance system for the sales team.
    • Designed and implemented a new pharma CRM with an Indian-based company.
    • Managed the RFPs for hardware purchases, including and not limited to PCs, servers, networking components, and mobile phones.
    • Researched and tested HRM systems in the market in order to choose the proper one for Benta SAL.
    • Researched all the business and technical requirements for custom enterprise and healthcare solutions and outsourced the development to remote teams in India.
  • Project Manager

    2008 - 2009
    Contracom International
    • Built a reporting system for the Lebanese water establishment telemetry system.
    • Managed the communication between Contracom, the water establishment officials, and the other independent contractors.
    • Oversaw the maintenance requests of the telemetry system errors and breakdowns and assigned them to various contractors.
    • Set day-to-day procedures and a contingency plan in case of breakdowns.
    • Performed a system analysis of the current telemetry system and enhancement suggestions.
  • Operations Manager | Shift Leader

    2004 - 2008
    Park Tower Suites Hotel
    • Managed the front desk during the PM and night shifts.
    • Assisted guests in their day-to-day requests.
    • Directed restaurant and housekeeping operations.
    • Supervised the billing, check-in, and check-out of guests.
    • Oversaw the team's IT requests and served as the contact person with the IT servicing company to speed up the process.
  • Sales Agent

    2003 - 2004
    American Life Insurance Company
    • Conducted sales meetings with potential customers.
    • Prepared sales presentations for ALICO products.
    • Assisted other sales agents during their large sales deals.

Project History

  • Lebanese Water Establishment Telemetry Reporting System
    Led the integration and implementation of a new reporting system for the existing telemetry system.

    The Lebanese water telemetry reporting system used to be based on exporting to Microsoft Excel to analyze their data.

    I designed, integrated, and implemented a SaaS product reporting system and trained the establishment team on the reports configuration and generation.

  • Pharma Sales CRM
    Led the analysis, design, custom development and Implementation of the Pharma Sales CRM with a team of outsourced developers.

    I managed the implementation of the Pharma CRM from scratch.

    I started the analysis phase, designed the needed requirements, and prepared the technical proposal for the CRM. I also chose the proper system structure and technology, recruited a remote developer team, and led them during the implementation phase.

    After six months, we launched phase one of the system and implemented it for validation, and moved forward with phase two that took three months. Along with managing the training and handling this system's full deployment, I prepared the system's full documentation and assigned a maintenance team to keep the system going.

  • DOCISS EMR Solution
    Founded and spearheaded an EMR solution for doctors, including ideation, analysis, design, dev team management, marketing, and sales.

    Started my own company called Purple Brains, and the first product was an electronic medical record and clinic management solution.

    I began by performing a full project analysis with three specialties of doctors—ENT, plastic surgery, and orthopedic surgery. I then designed the user journey based on their demands and hired a UX/UI developer to finalize the design. I also recruited a team of developers in Romania and managed them to release the product.

    Then I built the business model, market entry plan, and sales plan and launched the product in the Lebanese market on my own with minimal resources.

    After one year, the system was used for more than 100 doctors with more than 20,000 records.

  • Monica PRM
    Founded a new tech startup called Monica PRM, specializing in event networking and exchanging contact details.

    In 2016, I started working on a better idea to network inside large conferences and networking events.

    The idea started as an event app with an enhanced AI that will arrange your agenda and match you with the right talks to attend and people to meet. Then I recruited a full-stack developer, and I was accepted into multiple acceleration programs and startup competitions.

    After the initial MVP release in October 2016, we noticed that the solution was not in an event application. We pinpointed that this problem was not only happening at networking events but also in day-to-day networking (where people lost track of the people they've met and who they should follow up with). That initiated our pivot, and we began doing iterations to our MVP and trying new models.

    Currently, Monica is a chatbot assistant that lives inside its own app and on Facebook Messenger with the primary purpose of collecting the details of the people you network with, mark your follow-ups, and remind you when they are due.

    It was expected to launch in the fall of 2020, but the launch was delayed indefinitely due to coronavirus pandemics.

  • Fetch My Ride
    Led the idea generation and market study and managed the product from day one until launching the product MVP.

    Fetch my ride is a valet parking platform, serving both the valet parking companies as well as the car owners.

    In 2017, I generated the idea and started working on the market validation and competitive landscape as a personal project. Later, when the concept was validated as a proper need, I formed a team and started executing the idea. The go-live version was deployed in June 2018.

    The user growth was so fast the multinational valet parking company acquired it only 11 months after its launch.

  • ERP Implementation
    Led the analysis, customization, and implementation of a maintenance ERP for a medium-sized facility management company.

    Switch group is a medium-sized facility management company operating in the GCC.

    They hired me to select a proper ERP system and study the needed analysis and design to integrate a tailor-made maintenance and facility management module.

    The customization and implementation went side by side, and the project took around 14 months to be fully implemented and launched.

  • Kanoony Platform
    Led the project from ideation to launch in the UAE.

    Kanoony is a legal platform based in the UAE. It allows users to browse through a library of legal documents, specify which language they want those documents in, purchase the ones they want, edit them online, submit them to your signees to get their comments and sign them electronically using DocuSign.

Education

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Information System
    2004 - 2009
    American University of Science and Technology - Beirut, Lebanon

Certifications

  • Certified Conversational Designer
    JUNE 2019 - PRESENT
    Conversational Academy
  • Entrepreneurship Specialization
    MARCH 2018 - PRESENT
    Stanford University | via Coursera
  • Certified Divemaster
    AUGUST 2016 - PRESENT
    Naui

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