Fawry: Egypt's first unicorn
A singularity amongst founders, Ashraf Sabry has arguably built one of Egypt’s most useful companies.
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Make something people want
Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say. In an age where young founders are over-celebrated, the virtues of temperance, patience, and thoughtful calculations are forgotten. The race to a Forbes 30 under 30 spot sometimes seems to supersede the meticulous development of a useful product.
After over 20 years of corporate work at IBM and Raya, an Egyptian investment conglomerate, Ashraf Sabry took the entrepreneurial leap. He decided to solve a potent, local problem.
The initial thesis, debated and refined with colleagues at Raya, was simple: the way Egyptians paid utility bills was a nightmare. Whether it be water, electricity, or telecom, the process was decidedly antiquated. Utility companies would dispatch bill collectors across the country, tasked with recuperating money at people’s homes. That, of course, only worked if the person was home. Alternatively, people would queue up for hours to pay their bills, in person. The country’s overwhelming cash usage veiled any alternative.