Mohamed Amersi is a legendary businessman. He is the CEO and founder of Inclusive Ventures Group, a social impact investing initiative he started after he stepped down as leader of Emergent Telecom Ventures.
While most people have not heard of him, he likely has a hand in some part of the telecommunication tools, companies, platforms, and technologies we all use every day. His negotiation and deal-closing skills are what make him one of today’s premier entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and philanthropists. Amersi has extensive experience working in and with the emerging markets of Eurasia. He has done everything from mergers and acquisitions, legal counsel, venture capital, and corporate consulting. These are his thoughts on best business practices:
Get Off to a Good Start
As with anything, solid business dealings must get started in the right way. As Amersi puts it, “It must be made clear to the responsible authorities, regulatory units, and everyone involved that there will be no bribes.” The collaboration with local partners must be fully established and clarified from the very beginning. “This allows for clearly described roles and responsibilities,” as well as clear payment flows, Amersi says.
“You win business by working smart, and without undue incentives, and by understanding and showing respect for those you have business contacts with. Strong local partners are so rich that incentives through payments are uninteresting and insulting to them.”Mohamed Amersi
Partner with Strong Local Players
No matter what field or industry, Amersi insists that strong local partners are the key for any successful interaction. “It is in collaboration with a weak partner that corruption most often occurs,” Amersi explains. “Strong local partners are already wealthy and powerful. They are more interested in contributing and influencing in areas you cannot arrange yourself.” Amersi goes on to say that a strong local partner is a crucial ally in “all things both big and small, like contributing contacts to create value for the community they work through, creating jobs and giving back parts of the very high operating margins that were there to earn there. For a local partner, a collaboration with an international company is good for its reputation.”
Furthermore, Amersi’s business ethos asserts that local partners must be mandated to have partial ownership of any merged company or entity. By giving them a ”financial stake (and risk) that come with the co-ownership, you also give them value creation in the merged business.” Not through bribes.
See the Bigger Picture
Amersi’s lifelong experience has shown him that giving back to the community is an important part of any corporate culture. “It is about creating local jobs, education and skills development locally, and not trying to minimize taxes, but paying full local tax.” Similarly, Amersi maintains that successful businesses must channel their achievements toward helping others. Amersi himself is the founder and Chairman of the Amersi Foundation, an educational and social initiative; he has made it his life’s mission to making significant and substantial contributions to the world.
Build a Great Team
The success of any business cannot rest on the shoulders of any single person. CEOs and managers need to recruit the right people and create world-class teams that will administer their services, design their products, and advocate for their business. Amersi says he is often called on to give “experience from the world of finance and banking…to develop optimal structures for transactions…,” but he has done this work alongside lawyers, developers, and other players.
Amersi’s wisdom can be applied to practically every industry and sphere of life. His words, nature, and commitment are inspiring. His professional and personal life are an example of how any business person should conduct themselves with power, poise, and position.