Empowering AI, Executive conversations, Interviews

AI Becoming an Enabler for Net-New Growth Opportunities: A Conversation with David Nour

Lorenzo Meriggi / June 3, 2020

As a part of Querlo’s HR executive interview series, Francesco Rulli, Global CEO of Querlo, interviewed David Nour, CEO of The Nour Group, on his perspective on the post-COVID era, and the role Artificial Intelligence can play in the coming years. The Nour Group works with global enterprises looking for business growth opportunities for the present and the future. 

David’s opinion about the ways that companies have been dealing with the sudden change in the market world was incredibly interesting. From what he has seen, many companies began by taking a “defensive approach” to protect themselves when the COVID-19 pandemic escalated around the world. They cut back on non-essential travel, labor, consultants, contractors, and started to think about their liquidity—how they were going to access capital. While this approach was safe to begin with, David stated that what he gets excited about are the conversations that are happening with what he calls “forward-thinking leaders”. They are beginning to say, “ok, we have done the defense, in order to come out fo this economic crater, we need to also have an offensive approach.” David continues to explain that within offense, one’s ability to maneuver and “fall back” from the “economic crater” creates the ability to do three crucial tasks. The first is determine which industries are succeeding, and which are struggling. The second is what David calls “labor-flex”—reallocating labor based on new and changing market opportunities and industry variances. The third he calls “micro-acquisitions”—looking for opportunities to work with other industries within a certain sector to co-create, invest, and conduct joint-ventures, and bring the innovation and interesting ideas back to one’s own company. 

Another interesting point David discussed was that more and more executives are beginning to realize that the situation created due to the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t one that has a beginning, middle, and end. He stated that “COVID is here to stay with us”, and that we need to think about “how we continue to lie in the AC (After COVID) when there is no going back to BC (Before COVID)”. We need to think about how to adapt to the situation—how to change out business models, change specific parts of businesses, and look at net-new innovation opportunities to really uncover new growth potential. 

David also believes that AI will play a significant role in helping companies adapt. He stated that “one of the key attributes of AI and machine learning is that they can do a lot of the ‘heavy-lifting’”. The three tasks that companies will do from an offensive approach would require a lot of analysis, and David noted that right now, real-time actionable data is difficult to come by. AI could help companies gather intelligent data quickly, feed it back on a near-real-time basis, and help analyze it. For example, AI could analyze which industries are doing well and which are struggling using real data. It could also help companies select a labor pool—they would know what skills are most needed to serve the market’s needs. AI could also help with “micro acquisitions”, as it could help identify small or medium-sized businesses that companies could collaborate with. David said that he is “very optimistic that AI will really become an enabler of net-new growth opportunities for people in this post-COVID time.” 

To learn more about The Nour Group or contact David Nour directly, visit their website: NourGroup.com.