Waseem Kawaf

Author's details

Name: Waseem Kawaf
Date registered: August 2, 2011


Is a Syrian American who has lived, studied and worked across the US, Middle East and Western and Eastern Europe. These experiences have created a passion for global innovation and business. One Day Global was created by Waseem as a forum and resource to expand the way entrepreneurs and established businesses think of doing businesses around the globe.

Latest posts

  1. The Decline Of Twitter: Why 2016 Is A Must-Win Year for Twitter — February 17, 2016
  2. Data Driven Versus Data Informed Marketing: Top 3 Reasons Why You Can’t Get Rid of Thinking Human — February 2, 2016
  3. Business & Leadership Lessons Learned from Nelson Mandela — December 28, 2013
  4. Search Engine Optimization Yourself: The Unconscious SEO Of Our Lives — September 24, 2013
  5. ScholarLocker: The Inside Look of How One Student Project is Redefining the Student Experience — February 5, 2013

Most commented posts

  1. Understanding SaaS Evolution Through the Eyes of A Marketing Guru — 10 comments
  2. Entrepreneurial Success as seen by a Serial Successful Entrepreneur — 7 comments
  3. Perception vs Reality: Why smaller markets may indeed be a better fit! — 5 comments
  4. India’s counter to conventional Globalization: The Re-Birth of the Geo Khādī Revolution — 4 comments
  5. Sometimes life is indeed a board game: Engineerius a startup’s journey around the world — 4 comments

Author's posts listings

Feb 17

The Decline Of Twitter: Why 2016 Is A Must-Win Year for Twitter

Five years ago Biz Stone and Evan Williams were media darlings and Twitter was still a rising social network whose prominence was equal to Facebook’s and whose future domination seemed certain. Fast forward five years and now we see Twitter fighting for its market share and for its future spot among the competitive social landscape. …

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Feb 02

Data Driven Versus Data Informed Marketing: Top 3 Reasons Why You Can’t Get Rid of Thinking Human

With a propensity of personal data gathered across a variety of social and ad networks there is a deep belief among many that algorithms can accurately profile and target user preferences. Global companies like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn have been customizing feeds and selling targeted ad solutions, but is there a limit to ad technology …

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Dec 28

Business & Leadership Lessons Learned from Nelson Mandela

The world lost one of its most noble and illustrious men when Nelson Mandela  passed away recently. Mr. Mandela’s life was full of travails and hardships that would make most men crumble, through it all he was able to impart some valuable life and business lessons to us all. Lesson 1: Build and Stick to …

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Sep 24

Search Engine Optimization Yourself: The Unconscious SEO Of Our Lives

  With the political and social landscape of the world changing at a frightening pace it can be tough to find the perfect way to represent yourself and what you stand for. The same can be said of many brands and their websites. Companies spend millions of dollars on their search engine optimization efforts ensuring …

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Feb 05

ScholarLocker: The Inside Look of How One Student Project is Redefining the Student Experience

In a local pub in Coolidge Corner this past week, I had the pleasure to sit down with Kiran Agarwal-Harding. A fourth year medical student, Kiran is one of the founders of ScholarLocker, an educational resource that has transformed the way many medical students interact and utilize information. The Big Idea: The Aha Moment that Set …

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Jan 27

Developing Markets: The Fortune to Be Found in Africa

  Last week, Morgan Stanley’s New York Environment and Social Forum hosted an event focused on analyzing the investment opportunities found in Africa. The open panel discussion was led by two prominent figures in this field: Margot Brandenburg of the Rockefeller foundation and Jeffrey Leonard of the Global Environment Fund. Their discussion covered a wide …

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Dec 30

What Defines A Good Entrepreneur: How the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab is Revolutionizing Global Entrepreneurship

Last month I was speaking with an old friend, Esther, about global entrepreneurship in developing countries. Having worked previously in microfinance, I thought I knew a great deal about how entrepreneurship was being fostered by banks abroad.  It was at this point in the conversation that she asked me if I was familiar with the …

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Nov 30

The Case for Keeping Social Media Human: Rethinking Sentiment Algorithms and Automation

This week I had the pleasure of attending a talk led by Ariel Dos Santos, MIT Sloan alum and current social marketing manager at Microsoft. When one thinks of Microsoft, the last thing that comes to mind is innovation in social media marketing.  However, Ariel shed a light on just how Microsoft is changing its …

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Nov 17

The Middle East Minute: The Forces At Work Behind the Turmoil

  The past month in the Middle East has seen a flurry of conflicts that is unprecedented even for that region. In Syria, dozens of civilians are being extinguished daily by a tyrannical regime. Israel has re-engaged its tactical killing of Palestinians and thus another Gaza conflict seems under way. In Egypt, the Musri administration …

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The 2400 Square Foot Dilemma: Why Most Companies Miss the Global Bull’s-Eye


Last night at MIT I had the pleasure of attending the lecture of Vijay Mahajan, an accomplished marketing professor at the University of Texas Austin and the former dean of the Indian School of Business. Mr Mahajan has spent much of the last decade researching Africa and the Middle East. The result of his research provides a fascinating window into the current reality of global business and commerce.


How Many “Developed” Countries Exist? The GDP Per Capita Dilemma


Mr. Mahajan has stated that a common definition used for developed countries is a minimum GDP per capita of $10,000 dollars. This list includes the US, the UK, Japan, Germany and other global economic giants.  The more surprising element lies in the vast majority of countries that fail to qualify under this definition. Mr. Mahajan states that 86% of the world’s countries have a GDP per capita of under $10,000 dollars.  The list that includes the 86% of overall countries is actually projected to grow over the upcoming years.


The 14% Marketing To The World of the 86%


What has happened in the world of Global commerce is a stark inability of many mega corporations to successfully integrate and enter emerging and developed markets. Companies are unable to understand what and how to market their products abroad. Many look at Africa, India and the Middle East as potentially lucrative markets but with no standard formula of success.


Professor Mahajan’s argument is that this stems from the inability of developed nations like the US to look past their 2,400 square foot syndrome.  The 2,400 square foot syndrome refers to the size of the average house in America. What the professor is referring to is the American mentality to perceive market issues and problems from a global perspective. Products marketed and sold abroad are not addressing the general needs and wants of the greater local populations. Many Indians and Africans live in tight quarters and cannot afford the space, let alone the price of many foreign products.


Another problem compounding the issue of global business is the inability of companies to distribute and sell their products across a foreign country. Unlike the US that has 82% of their residents found in urban centers, India has 70% of their population located in rural areas.  No product can reach the masses in Africa and India simply by entering the main city.


The Argument For Inclusive Growth


According to his studies, Professor Mahajan feels that there are two primary indicators that lead to investing in a country: the informal economy (what percentage of the economy operates in a shadow economy), and what percentage of the economy consumer spending controls. In the US, consumer spending accounts for seventy percent of the total economy. Highly chronicled BRIC countries like India are closer to fifty percent, with China at thirty seven percent. What we do not anticipate is the large percentage of consumer spending dictating the economics in Africa. If we were to aggregate the economies of all the African nations we would find that African consumer spending accounts for over fifty percent of the total economy. With a middle class of nearly sixty million there is a real opportunity to market and create inclusive growth economies in Africa.  If investors understood and entrepreneurs focused on this, the world as a whole would profit.


These companies that target the middle class in Africa and the Middle East with relevant need- based products can create opportunities for many. These companies can help elevate the communities and overall economies of these nations. This is a great formula for both individual and overall economic and entrepreneurship success.


What It Takes To Succeed Abroad


According to Professor Mahajan, requirements for success include  “a deeper focus on taking the market to the people and a real understanding of what lies beneath the economic numbers.”  We must rid ourselves of our standard learned business preconceptions. A wealth of opportunities exists, but in order to capture these opportunities our global mindset must change to create relevant, meaningful and value adding products to the greater world.

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