Although his background is in the chemical industry, Rafik Zahy believes he has the skills to help grow any business
What’s your story?
I am a pharmacist with more than 15 years of experience in the chemical industry. Currently, I hold the position of Director of Business Development at a prominent distributor of specialty chemicals and ingredients.
My utmost dedication lies in providing value-added solutions to both my customers and partners. I possess an unwavering eagerness to continuously learn and expand my knowledge within my area of expertise.
Furthermore, I am consistently driven to seek enhanced opportunities and advancements in my professional journey. This unwavering enthusiasm fuels my anticipation for the next step in my career.
What excites you most about your industry?
The chemicals industry is characterized by of diversification and dynamism. The former pertains to the fact that the ingredients and chemicals produced by this industry serve as the foundation for a wide range of products that are integral to our daily lives, including pharmaceuticals, food and nutrition, home and personal care items, plastics, and paints. The latter refers to the constant changes and challenges that the industry must contend with, including competition, environmental and safety concerns, and many other dynamics.
I am highly motivated to contribute to this industry with the aim of enhancing the quality of people’s lives.
What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?
It is often more convenient to express ideas verbally rather than putting them into action; however, it is an undeniable reality that I possess the ability to conduct business effectively. I possess the capability to identify issues and diligently devise appropriate solutions. Additionally, I firmly believe in the potential of individuals and the collective strength of a team. Placing trust in people is crucial for achieving success. Moreover, empowering the team can yield significant advantages. Lastly, it is imperative to never abandon oneself or the aspirations one holds for their personal or professional life.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
My advice to individuals to achieve success in their career or life is to never surrender. Regardless of the lack of belief from others, it is crucial to maintain self-belief and foster personal growth. Furthermore, it is important to refrain from comparing oneself to others, but rather evaluate personal progress by reflecting on the accomplishments made over the past five years. Lastly, effective communication serves as the cornerstone for establishing and maintaining positive and harmonious relationships. It is imperative to consistently engage in open and honest communication with others, regardless of whether the news being conveyed is positive or negative.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The most valuable pieces of advice that I have received throughout my professional journey amount to three key principles. Firstly, it is crucial to relinquish control over situations that are beyond your influence. By doing so, you prevent these circumstances from dictating your actions or reactions. Secondly, it is imperative to avoid excessive emotional involvement, as emotions can cloud judgment and result in erroneous decisions. While emotions should not be entirely disregarded, maintaining control over them is essential. Lastly, it is essential to maintain humility during discussions. Speak only when you possess knowledge or expertise on the matter at hand.
Who inspires you?
My family members have been the primary catalysts for my accomplishments thus far, particularly my children who consistently enlighten me with their boundless love and care on a daily basis. They even teach me valuable lessons on how to navigate certain situations. It is crucial to always lend an ear to your children and family, as they are the ones who genuinely care for you the most. Additionally, my parents have consistently provided encouragement for the steps I have taken in my career and life, serving as a steadfast support system throughout my entire existence.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
I was recently astounded by the phenomenon of digitalization in the chemical industry. This concept entails the incorporation of digital technologies and data-driven solutions to revolutionize multiple facets of the industry’s operations. It encompasses the utilization of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things (IoT), and data analytics to optimize processes, enhance efficiency, and foster innovation. This trend presents prospects for heightened efficiency, refined decision-making, and bolstered sustainability. Moreover, it empowers the industry to adapt to shifting market demands, stimulate innovation, and maintain competitiveness within an ever-evolving digital realm.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
In considering what I would do differently, I would actively participate in a greater number of social activities, contribute more to my community, allocate more time to my family, and truly appreciate every moment spent with them. Additionally, I would prioritize taking ample rest and vacation time to enjoy quality moments with my friends and children. In essence, I would strive to embrace and relish life to the fullest extent.
How do you unwind?
To unwind first and foremost, engaging in physical exercise at the gym is of utmost importance to me. A fit and healthy body not only promotes physical well-being but also enhances mental clarity. Secondly, I prioritize spending quality time with my family at the beach or sea shore. This allows us to bond, relax, and enjoy each other’s company. Lastly, I find great pleasure in sharing laughter and quality moments with friends while indulging in the pleasure of reading a captivating book.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?
The Ah Ha moment occurred when I came to believe for good that nothing happens by mere chance; rather, everything is predetermined. This notion became particularly apparent when I recognized that I alone possess the capability to effectively handle the given situation. I found myself in circumstances that were occasionally overwhelming during my career progression, but upon reflection, I realized that these experiences were intended to bring out the best version of myself both professionally and personally.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Culture Map by Erin Meyer
Shameless plug for your business or career:
If you desire a genuine transformation in the performance and vision of your company, I am here to bring it to fruition. Leveraging my extensive international experience and expertise in business evolution, my skills and goal-oriented mindset will actualize this for you. I possess the ability to strategize and implement an optimal plan to facilitate the growth of the company. I have the essential qualities to serve as the catalyst for your business, thereby facilitating the realization of your company’s objectives within a span of one year.
How can people connect with you?
Through my linkedin profile and my email : email@example.com
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.