Changing Our World With a Digital Transformation: A Conversation with Khaled Ismail

With rapid digitalization in this new era, businesses have been adapting faster than anyone could have anticipated. This widespread use of technology presents opportunities for businesses across the world as people become more accustomed to using digital platforms in their everyday lives. Recently, Francesco Rulli, Global CEO of Querlo, spoke with Khaled Ismail, Vice President of Communications for Europe, Central Asia, Middle East, and Africa, at Tetra Pak about the challenges and opportunities of the covid and post covid era, as well as the role of Artificial Intelligence in the future.

Tetra Pak is a multinational food processing and packaging solutions company that works closely with customers and suppliers to provide safe and environmentally sound products. Tetra Pak is one of the three companies in the Tetra Laval group, a privately held corporation formed in Sweden. The company is currently the largest food packaging company in the world, operating in over 160 countries. In addition to working at Tetra Pak for almost 18 years, Khaled is also the Chairman of The Marketing Society in the Middle East. In 2019 he published a book, This Is What Tickles Me, in which he reflects on how we think as individuals and learn from those experiences. 

Khaled began by discussing the challenges of the pandemic, noting that we have learned many lessons as individuals while being quarantined in our homes. These lessons include our personal patience while in lockdown, the importance of social interaction both in our professional and personal lives, and specifically for businesses, a new level of understanding of what a crisis looks like and how to adjust the company’s crisis management policies. However, covid presented many opportunities in the business world as companies began doing all of their business remotely. E-commerce was something that many companies didn’t need prior to covid, and as Khaled mentioned, the growth of e-commerce in the past 3 months is equivalent to what was anticipated to take 10 years. E-learning is also a new tool that provides many opportunities for students who want to enroll in classes at school or universities that they physically are unable to attend. In addition, digitizing health care is something that many professionals are working to accomplish so people can regulate certain symptoms at home rather than constantly having to go to a doctor. 

Looking to the future, Artificial Intelligence is a tool that will become very useful to companies. Khaled described how it had previously been thought of as a black box because nobody really knew what it was or how it worked. However, with the pandemic and the digital transformation that followed, it is now becoming more widespread. The benefits of AI include deep learning to find solutions to problems faster, no personality conflicts, which will allow a job to get done faster, and cost efficiency due to predictive maintenance. The only fear that Khaled has is that if AI becomes too intelligent, it could begin making decisions on it’s own that go against what it was programmed to do.

AI and the Future of Learning: A Conversation with Molly Sargent

In continuation of Querlo’s interview series, Francesco Rulli, Global CEO of Querlo, spoke with Molly Sargent, CEO and Founder of ProImpress, about the challenges and opportunities in the post covid era and the role of Artificial Intelligence in the future.

ProImpress is a full-service training design and delivery consultancy that works to help its clients become more effective in client-facing and colleague-facing conversations. The company has worked with tens of thousands of professions, although generally the sales and service field, to support them in mastering the skills they need to engage with their clients and colleagues in an effective and meaningful way. 

The challenges of the pandemic started early as people were trying to figure out how to rapidly shift to working from home. Employees didn’t know how to engage with each other, they felt isolated, and those who were accustomed to routines that required physically being at work had to make a very quick pivot. However, what is so remarkable is to see how quickly the country was able to make this shift. As Molly described, people were ready to dive in and adapt to these extraordinary conditions which really demonstrates their willingness to try new skills and learn a whole new way of working. Molly also noted that she has really enjoyed getting a better sense of people’s personal lives through meeting with people on Zoom or WebEx. It really allows us to appreciate one another and add a sense of authenticity in communications.

Thinking about the role of AI in the post covid era, Molly believes that it will have a crucial role in making learning more engaging. She currently owns a patent on a high involvement learning platform and by incorporating AI it will be able to help people learn in a more fun and personalized way. By combining randomization and repetition, clients will be able to practice and contextualize their skills to develop their good habits and grow their ability. She is also about to release a new learning platform with the goal of connecting the information that people need to know with the playfulness of AI infused gamification. 

To learn more about ProImpress and their services, you can visit their website or contact Molly though LinkedIN.

Creating a Digital Health Strategy in this New Era: A Conversation with Matthew Park

As covid rapidly spread across the country, companies struggled as they had to shift completely to working remotely. With the pandemic came a digital transformation that many had not been prepared for and had to work tirelessly to figure out how to continue business in these extraordinary conditions. Recently, Francesco Rulli, Global CEO of Querlo, spoke with Matthew Park, General Manager of North America at Dacadoo, about the challenges and opportunities during the pandemic and in the post-covid era, as well as the role of Artificial Intelligence in the future. 

Dacadoo is a Zurich-based technology company that is working to drive digital transformation in healthcare. The company works mostly with the insurance sector, such as life insurers and health insurers, to provide digital engagement strategies and risk quantification. It combines mobile technologies, social networking, gamification, AI, and big data analytics to help their users improve their health and wellbeing.

One of the biggest challenges that Dacadoo faced  as covid struck was the change in the sales process and how they were going to adapt. Their main marketing method had been attending conferences, where they would have speaking roles and meet people, but that was not possible during the pandemic. Therefore, they had to shift that budget to digital media, which they didn’t have at the time. Matt described how they had to create new digital platforms and schedule webinars, which became difficult as they had to compete with hundreds of other companies trying to hold webinars at the same time. Their sales cycle also started to slow down as big companies like the life and health insurers that Dacadoo does business with don’t want to spend too much while they aren’t sure yet how the pandemic is going to affect them. 

Despite all the difficulties that covid has created, it has also created an awareness of why companies need to have a digital health strategy. Matt spoke about how the pandemic will actually kick-start many companies into a faster platform acquisition process. He believes there are going to be many opportunities in the future in this new digital era.

When asked about the role of AI, Matt discussed how it is a very important part of their platform as it ingests real-time data from users. They collect up to 100 data points about people’s health through wearables and through their app. The digital coach is what pulls all the information together in a database and then uses AI to understand a person’s health and how it’s evolving. One very important aspect of their app is that with the use of AI, they are able to make the app more personalized as they are able to have conversations with users about their health so they can make improvements.

To learn more about Dacadoo and its services, you can visit their website or email Matt at matt.park@dacadoo.com.  

Searching for the Silver Linings in the New Era: A Conversation with Shawn O’Neal

What are the challenges and opportunities of the post-COVID era? What is the role of Artificial Intelligence in the future? Shawn O’Neal, CEO of Gain Theory North America, shared his responses to these questions in an interview with Francesco Rulli, Global CEO of Querlo.

Gain Theory is a global marketing effectiveness consultancy that brings together data, analytics, tech solutions, and insights to maximize marketing value for its clients. Present in six different continents, the company’s goal is to empower informed marketing decisions. 

Currently, this country is in an economic and social downturn. Shawn discussed how people have described the environment we are living through as similar to the Great Depression, the 1918 flu pandemic, and a social revolution all at one time. However, it is still important to look for silver linings through all these changes. Opportunities include new business models, new tools, and new ways of looking at the world post-COVID, which include people’s habits, their shopping, how much information is available to them on the internet and more. 

When asked about the role of AI, Shawn talked about how the country has already been on a journey with AI for many years, but the pandemic has accelerated this digital era. Data is growing and is providing Shawn and his company with more fuel to use AI that historically wouldn’t have been possible. People are now spending much more time online which simutalenly creates new habits that AI could learn. 

In the future, AI could become a very useful tool to speed up the way business models and tools measure a company’s data. This includes using AI to get diagnostics and prioritizing data so that employees can get those insights faster. 

To learn more about Gain Theory, you can visit their website at www.gaintheory.com or reach Shawn at shawnoneal@gaintheory.com or through LinkedIN.

Guiding Companies in a Digital Era: A Conversation with Kyle Robichaud

In continuation of Querlo’s interview series, Francesco Rulli, Global CEO of Querlo, spoke with Kyle Robichaud, Sr. Director of Digital Strategy Consulting at Cognizant, about the post-COVID era and the role of Artificial Intelligence in the future.

Cognizant Consulting is a multinational corporation that provides IT, consulting, and business process outsourcing services to its clients. Their main areas of expertise include digital engineering, data analysis, AI, and cloud. Cognizant’s goal is to guide its clients through a digital transformation by helping them to envision, build, and run more innovative and efficient businesses.

Kyle believes that the more significant challenges of these past few months and as we approach the post-COVID era are for the companies who have  not yet put their digital strategies to the forefront. By this, he means, they haven’t begun their digital transformation and are now struggling to enable their remote workforce in today’s climate. However, the way that Cognization delivers digital strategy allows companies to make this shift quickly. A digital transformation allows them to rethink the whole experience for their customers and employees, as well as figure out what’s truly needed to be successful in today’s market.

Looking ahead to the post-COVID era, Kyle envisions three different scenarios that AI can help enhance and streamline many businesses. The first is to use AI to ensure that companies are managing their cloud as best as possible to keep costs under control and limit any possible interruptions for their customers. The second scenario focuses on the large amounts of data coming in through IoT and how AI could look at the data and both identify and trigger reactions to certain problems. The third scenario is for businesses to utilize AI to test out potential ways that end-users might use applications before the applications go live. 

To learn more about Cognizant Consulting and their services, you can reach Kyle Robichaud through LinkedIN.

Focusing on Employee Well-Being in the Post-COVID Era: A Conversation with Gail Thakarar

How can companies support their employees during these unprecedented changes in our world? Will we ever be able to achieve any sort of normal in the future? Gail Thakarar, CHRO, discussed these questions in an interview with Francesco Rulli, Global CEO of Querlo, about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the post-COVID era and the role of Artificial Intelligence in the future. 

Gail started her career in human resources by working with multinational companies to figure out how employees impact the business. She has worked for GE, GlaxoSmithKline, and Countrywide Financial among others. She currently works with startups to see how they can grow their businesses through employee initiatives. Over the last few years, her work has been with midsize and early stage companies that are going through hyper growth.

Millions of people were furloughed or laid off as companies struggled to figure out how to maintain business during the pandemic. Not only does this affect the individuals who can’t work, but more importantly their families who most likely depend on their income to pay for everyday expenses. Even for the people who began working remotely, an endless number of challenges arose as much of the communication between companies and employees was lost. Some of the consequences that Gail noted were finding employment for those who were out of work, learning how to work remotely, figuring out how companies can still engage with their employees, and making sure that companies are aware of the toll that the pandemic has taken on the mental health of their employees. 

Gail made it abundantly clear that companies need to realize that COVID-19 has  impacted their employees tremendously. Moving into the post-COVID era, it is important that find a way to better support their employees because, as Gail mentioned, the majority of companies are not handling this situation well. Additionally, we all must understand that we may never achieve any sort of new normal. The pandemic has already devastated so many families and has cost millions of dollars for businesses, most of which will never recover.

Looking to the future, Gail believes there will be many different ways to use Artificial Intelligence when working remotely. While she hasn’t seen it used as much in the HR department, it could be useful as a way to engage employees or analyze data.  

To learn more about Gail’s work, you can reach her through LinkedIN.

COVID as a Means to Accelerate Industry 4.0: A Conversation with Enrico D’angelo

In continuation of Querlo’s interview series, Francesco Rulli, Global CEO of Querlo, recently spoke with Enrico D’angelo, Business Transformation Senior Advisor at SAP Oil and Gas, about the challenges that COVID has created, the opportunities that may arise in the post-COVID era, and the role of Artificial Intelligence in the future.

SAP is a multinational corporation that creates enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. They work with companies of all different sizes with the goal of both helping the world run better and improving people’s lives. Enrico’s responsibility is to help modernize oil and gas production and distribution processes. 

Enrico began by answering Francesco’s questions about the challenges and opportunities that emerged from COVID-19. While many difficulties arose in the transition to working remotely, especially for blue collar workers, this new era has led to an accelerated digital transformation. Smart working used to be thought of as a partial vacation from work where employees would be at home with their families while still doing their job. However, companies are now starting to understand the benefits of having fewer people in offices and instead having people work from home. Not only will this save everyone money, but also a majority of people have said that they prefer working remotely because it allows them to spend more time with their family and they don’t have to spend time commuting. Enrico also noted that in Italy, there are many new job positions being created because people can now work from anywhere. 

Enrico believes Artificial Intelligence will become even more important in the future. Within SAP, it can be used in the human resources department, for smart working, the call center, and to accelerate Industry 4.0. With COVID-19 preventing people from traveling to different companies, this new digital era allows technicians and other workers to stay connected to industries and still continue their jobs remotely. Additionally, this pandemic has demonstrated the need for companies to be prepared for another situation like this and increasing the use of technology and AI is the only way to do that. Enrico ended by noting that he sees a lot of opportunities in the near future to help advance the industrial revolution. 

To learn more about SAP and the work they do, you can contact Enrico through LinkedIN.

Wealth Management in the Post-COVID Era: A Conversation with Mauro Massironi

What challenges and opportunities lay ahead of us in the post-COVID era? What role is Artificial Intelligence going to play in the future? These questions were discussed in an interview between Francesco Rulli, Global CEO of Querlo, and Mauro Massironi, Head of Sales at Azimut Wealth Management. 

Azimut Wealth Management is the largest independent asset management company in Italy. Based in Milan, the company has branches in over 17 different countries across the world, including Brazil, Mexico, the U.S., and Turkey. The company is committed to the development, management, marketing, and distribution of asset management products and financial services aimed at private and institutional clients.  

Mauro began by discussing the consequences of COVID-19 in relation to his company. The two main challenges he brought up were dealing with the zero interest rate world and the large amount of liquidity that had been put into the market. However, he is hopeful that these problems can be addressed by relying on active management and by having a skilled financial advisor to help plan and provide insight into the future of buyer behaviour aspect of investments.

Over the past 10 years, Artificial Intelligence has had a huge impact on the asset management industry. Mauro’s colleagues are now able to share large amounts of data in real time, which is something that would have been unthinkable 10 to 20 years ago. However, he still believes that financial advisors will always have a central role in the industry. By this, he means no computer or any type of digital program can replicate the personal and individual work that they do with clients. Nevertheless, AI can still be a great tool to help financial advisors better manage their relationships with their clients.

To learn more about Azimut Wealth Management, you can contact Mauro through LinkedIN or visit the company’s LinkedIN page.

His Future with Circumnavigation and the Role of Artificial Intelligence: A Conversation with Abhilash Tomy

In continuation of Querlo’s interview series, Francesco Rulli, Global CEO of Querlo, spoke with Abhilash Tomy, Indian Navy Pilot, Sailor, and Circumnavigator, about his sailing ventures, both present and past, and how he might use Artificial Intelligence in the future.

In 2013, Abhilash became the first Indian to complete a solo, non-stop circumnavigation around the world. He also participated in the 2018 Golden Globe Race, in which participants must sail solo around the world without stopping. In his discussion with Francesco, Abhilash shared the story of how he got stuck in the middle of the Indian Ocean during this race. A bad storm had hit and he ended up fracturing his spine and was left completely immobile on his boat. He was rescued three and a half days later and brought to an island where it took him fifteen days to finally reach a hospital. However, the Golden Globe Race is happening again in 2022 and he hopes that this time he can complete the trip.

To prepare for this next venture, Abhilash’s most important task is to secure a sponsorship. He hopes that this will be achieved by the end of 2021. Additionally, he needs to complete trials on the boat in the beginning of 2022 so he will be ready for the race, which starts on September 4th, 2022.

When asked about the role of Artificial Intelligence in his sailing, Abhilash discussed the chatbot that he has developed with the Querlo team. The chatbot allows people to learn about his career, awards and recognition, personal life, and more. Abhilash described it as being a “very comprehensive online replica” of him that allows people to ask him questions whenever they want without him physically being present. He is also continuously developing it as people ask questions that might not already have answers.  To hear more from Abhilash or discuss possible sponsorships, you can reach him at abhilash.tomy@gmail.com or contact Francesco through LinkedIN. Additionally,you can find the chatbot at querlo.com/chat/abhilash.

Moving the Masses Online: A Conversation with Rustam Mavlanov

In continuation of Querlo’s interview series, Francesco Rulli, Global CEO of Querlo, spoke with Rustam Mavlanov, CEO of Synergy Group New York, about the challenges and opportunities that COVID has created for his company, as well as the role of Artificial Intelligence in the future. 

Synergy Global Forum is one of the world’s premier business events, allowing professionals and entrepreneurs in North America, Europe, and Asia to learn, network, and share. Rustam and his colleagues specifically organize the forums in the U.S. He also has a company called Synergy Global 3 that helps manufacturers from different countries sell products in online American marketplaces. 

Rustam was directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak as his company organizes offline business forums that have had up to 26,000 people in attendance. With this new exclusively digital era, the company has had to completely change its strategy. While they postponed some of the forums, they began holding many online through a new platform called Synergy Online. Rustam described it as being more than a forum where you have to buy tickets to attend, but rather a platform where a person can subscribe and every week they can watch one of the keynote speakers. Some speakers they have already hosted include Nassim Taleb, Jordan Belfort, and Luc Besson. Subscribers also have access to videos of all speeches and can watch all future speeches. They are able to communicate with speakers and other people on the platform so they can still network without having to be physically present. 

Thinking about the role of AI in the future, Rustam believes it could assist him and his colleagues, as well as the keynote speakers and participants, communicate within the platform. Chats tend to become very messy as many people are trying to send messages at the same time to different people. However, chatbots might be the solution to this problem because they are able to group people based on their interests. Additionally, AI could be used to provide participants with more information about the platform and the different forums being hosted.

To learn more about Synergy Global Forum, you can visit their website at www.synergyglobal.com or contact Rustam at info@synergyblobal.com.