Sunday, 25 August 2019 02:53 GMT

UAE- Paving the path for growth

(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE startup ecosystem is evolving and growing exponentially attracting more and more talents from the region as well as outside, said Nadine Mezher, co-founder and chief marketing officer, Sarwa.
"There are many programmes, accelerators, incubators, whether by the government or the private sector that startups can tap into. It's a great time to venture into entrepreneurship and to witness the organic growth of the companies," she said.
Sarwa is the first and fastest growing hybrid automated investment platform for young professionals in the Middle-East. Sarwa's platform makes investing simple and affordable for everyone by combining proven investment strategies with technology to drive down costs.

"We help our client build their wealth with a personalised, low-cost, diversified portfolio and provide access to on-demand investment experts at The company's mission is to change the common belief that investing is a luxury and making it available to everyone," said Nadine.

Nadine recalls that Sarwa was born out of a need in the market, when her partners, Mark and Jad - who were then residing in Canada - came for a visit to the UAE, they soon realised that there was a gap in the financial industry for affordable services.

Sarwa simplifies the tools that traditional investors usually use allowing anyone to open an account and start investing and growing their wealth.

"We encourage our clients to follow a few simple rules - start early, avoid high fees, diversify and stay disciplined," she said.

Sarwa is the first fintech to receive and graduate from the Dubai Financial Services Authority's Fintech Innovation Testing License. The firm was founded in 2017 after being accepted in the DIFC Fintech Hive's first accelerator programme.

Nadine started working at a young age of 16 in her father's real estate development firm. "I use to help my father - along with my siblings - in the day to day operations, accounting and finance, after school and during weekends. Even when I was studying at university, I always held a job on the side, whether it was on campus in American University of Beirut after class hours or in Italy and France. I worked in different managerial and marketing roles as well as different industries - from banks and non-profit organisations to fashion houses - and even launched my own company in Beirut in 2005. However, living in Dubai and having the kids made it difficult to commute between two countries. The last part of my career journey was focused on retail and brand strategy, working for the Dubai government in the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and as a consultant for different corporates as well as government entities before launching Sarwa."

Sarwa is currently focused on the UAE it being the core market and will soon explore other GCC markets, informs Nadine who holds degree in business administration and marketing from the American university in Beirut and one in Design from Esmod Paris.

So how does she balance work and home?

"When you are a full time working mom of three, you learn to find what I call 'hidden time treasures'. You become an expert in time management and all of a sudden you somehow realise you can fit more and more in one day. You just have to make a conscious decision that you need to find a balance but at the same time to accept that imbalance is sometimes inevitable, and from time to time, you just have to let go of the little things that don't matter: it's OK if the house is a bit messy today, it's OK if you missed a networking event. the focus is on what matters: being productive at work, and enjoy time with your family," says Nadine who has been living in the UAE for 12 years.

There will be times where you have to say to yourself: hey, you are only human. Sit down. It also is extremely helpful to have a supportive partner that splits the daily tasks with you," Nadine concluded.


Sandhya D'Mello
Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.


UAE- Paving the path for growth

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