Mohamed El Kalla, CEO of Cairo for Investment and Real Estate (CIRA).
As the head of one of the largest private sector education operators, El Kalla is someone who understands the business of education. He has seen the seismic shifts in the industry over the past few decades: from family-owned businesses to corporations, from Cairo and Alex to the other governorates, from the super wealthy to the middle class, from individual shareholders to IPOs and private equity, and from the classroom to your home. CIRA has even led the way on a number of these trends.
His tenure saw him lead the company through a successful relisting on the EGX in 2018, which fueled a massive expansion. The company has 19 K-12 schools, one university, and over 30k students under their belt. Their lineup of brands now includes Futures, Maverick schools, British Columbia schools, and Badr University, among others.
His active investment in education tech startups has kept him abreast of all the exciting new developments in e-learning and education platforms.
And this was all before covid-19, where the millenia-old tradition of the classroom was rendered archaic in a span of a few months. The impact this transformation has had on our lives cannot be understated. School children now have to act like online grad school students and parents have had to become teaching assistants. Yet despite this transformation, the transition has appeared almost seamless. Having been on the frontline of that transformation, El Kalla gave us a first hand account of how hard it was to get us here.
This is also the first podcast interview we’ve done entirely from home, making it the most appropriate episode to kick off what we hope is an exciting new season.
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