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

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
Beirut, Beirut Governorate, Lebanon
Toptal Member Since
February 19, 2021

Richard is an experienced project and 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.

Project Highlights

DOCISS EMR Solution
Founded and spearheaded an EMR solution for doctors, including ideation, analysis, design, dev team management, marketing, and sales.
Monica PRM
Founded a new tech startup called Monica PRM, specializing in event networking and exchanging contact details.
Kanoony Platform
Led the project from ideation to launch in the UAE.

Expertise

Work Experience

Managing Partner

2019 - PRESENT
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 the client relationships with the company.
  • Implemented the Agile and Scrum methodologies 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 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.

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.
  • 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 two 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
Toptal
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

We launched phase one of the system after a period of six months, implemented it for validation, and moved forward with phase two that took us three months. Along with managing the training and handling the full deployment of this system, 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.

Kanoony Platform

http://www.kanoony.com/

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.
2004 - 2009

Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Information System

American University of Science and Technology - Beirut, Lebanon

JUNE 2019 - PRESENT

Certified Conversational Designer

Conversational Academy

MARCH 2018 - PRESENT

Entrepreneurship Specialization

Stanford University | via Coursera

AUGUST 2016 - PRESENT

Certified Divemaster

Naui

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