Equilibria Digital Solutions
Tell me about yourself and how this journey started
I had gone to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to study Finance and Accounting however my passion was Human Capital Development. I started my journey in training and got several certifications to become a licensed professional coach, psychometric consultant, certified entrepreneur. I am an entrepreneur with nearly 11 years of experience in Learning & Development, eLearning, Coaching, being in love with Human Capital Development. I also got some added talents in Product Development, Business Development, and Client Relationship Management.
In 2014 is where things kicked off. It’s a beautiful story actually. I was at a wedding that my partner Mohamed Bastaki. We realized that we shared the same passion, and he happened to work on a learning platform. We saw the same gaps that needed to be filled and that was my cue to join Bastaki’s vision and his vision was to solve one problem by providing something to the society that can enables them and this where I started this path by having the training and business development expertise and Bastaki with his technology and leadership expertise.
Tell me about Equilibria Digital Solutions and what do you guys do?
We at Equilibria Digital Solutions are specialized in transforming and digitizing the entire Learning and Development cycle by bringing sustainable End-to-End Online Training Solutions & Performance Measurement Tools to companies of all sizes and requirements. World, meet LUMOFY.
“We saw the same gaps that needed to be filled and that was my cue to join and start this path”
Your first project was with BMMI, how was your first experience applying your platform?
They had requested an online learning management system and my partner had asked me to try this with him since this was a big client and there was a present solution. We worked with BMMI until 2016 and then I took the big leap to leave my job and join Equilibria full - time. My experience with BMMI plus seeing that the direction was changing in the region. It felt like the right time to grab the opportunity and maximize it.
Interesting note is when it comes to female leaders. Privacy and being able to do this on a platform that is personal and private is key to female leaders.
How did the direction change?
The government started realizing the gap as well. It was also triggered by the fact that the companies now had to do training. In a way, let’s say that support from the government started to stop “Leavy” for this area.
It was a good time to present something cost effective and efficient to accommodate the changes happening for company trainings.
You didn’t just sell a product. You were selling a long term vision that will give back.
How did you get your message across, and gained approval or trust for your product in the region?
We took about a year dedicated just for education. We wanted to educate the market first before we asked to incorporate our product. The mindset and awareness needed to be tapped into first so they can understand what we are offering, and most importantly why. The closing cycle for our clients was about a year. Especially big organizations. It took a lot of back and forth because it was purely a change management solution.
Lumofy is a popular product under Equilibria. Tell me about that.
Lumofy is a product of Equilibria, and our main solution. It’s a learning hub and aggregator between different learning development tools. It includes assessment tool metric, online courses, video library, and e-book library, moreover, we digitize content or we transform any material to an interactive online courses and customize psychometric assessment based on organizational needs or competency framework. The platform helps the organization for the entire employee lifecycle. It applies for recruitment, onboarding, training analysis, career progression, leadership potential and etc.
“We took about a year dedicated just for education. We wanted to educate the market first before we asked to incorporate our product. The mindset and awareness needed to be tapped into first so they can understand what we are offering, and most importantly why”
Briefly explain the process when onboarding the solution.
Of course we start by identifying the gaps, and that starts with the psychometric testing.
The second step is to analyse the results and take the information to create a customised training plan for the organization based on our findings.
The third step is to create different programs for the employees where they can go through the entire learning cycle.
For organizations that have their own content and processes for different types of training, how do you go about that?
Good question. We are actually very specialized in digitizing content. Each organization operates differently for different processes. We take their process let’s say, and turn it into an interactive online courses. More specifically, we digitize their material and create modules out of them on the web.
What did you find to be the most challenging task?
Honestly it took a lot of patience and time to get a client on board since we would have a pilot program which is usually 2 weeks. We had to be strategic with time but also make sure the program delivered the message to the corporations. We wanted them to see how the product works initially but you can only know its benefits when it is implemented, and is part of their learning process.
This cognitive activity that happens is pretty interesting. This has been proven over a whole suite of different activities whether its negotiating or something so simple as being more social. It’s similar to visualization techniques used in sporting environments where the concept of visualizing the future has been used for years.
I’m sure this was a challenging process for certain departments within an organization when a new training solution is applied. Tell me more about that.
For the HR department - this was definitely a big challenge. You are used to a certain way and now the entire process is shifted plus the technological aspect needed time to get accustomed to for those that aren’t really technologically advanced.
However, we developed a “Roll out strategy” for clients to make the transition easier. It applied not to only one department but to the management side, the employee side, the HR side, and also the environmental side. What has made this strategy successful goes back to us gathering our best practices, and behavioral patterns of learners which is usually 4 types of learners style.
For employees, this is a major change as well. Is there training for them to use the system, or tutorials to make the transition easier?
Yes of course. We have tutorials that is part of the learning hub in the homepage to teach them to use the program.
You have a customer success team. What is their role?
Their main objective is to retain the client and increase adoption. The most important element behind someone who works in the customer success team is “Emotional intelligence”. We actually have a standard operation procedure that they would have to follow. As a company, we have guidelines that are highly important so we can operate and achieve our goal efficiently.
Has the product changed through during the course of time when dealing with different clients?
Yes! Of course. The product was very simple at the time and has changed a lot, and has become much more comprehensive. We learned from the different companies within different industries, patterns and gaps we had to fill as a product, and as a team as well. Your product should change, and especially ours. We worked with people, and we needed to personalise and understand their thought process when it comes to absorbing information and online engagement - we added building blocks, more modules, and etc.
“Gamification and employee engagement is key now - Gamification is a growing trend now that uses a digital environment to help employees reach certain goals and objectives”
Tell me about the evolving technological environment, and how you’re leveraging that for learning systems targeted towards governments and corporations?
It’s not just us as companies that should leverage that but we want organizations to understand how technology enhances their efficiency, reduce unnecessary operational functions and automate their business. When employees are given mobile tools, they tend to be more productive, happier, and better trained. There will be a complete switch from paper-based training to online/mobile-based training in the future which is happening now at a rapid pace with the fast paced digital world.
“We worked with people, and we needed to personalise and understand their thought process when it comes to absorbing information and online engagement”
Are there any new elements you will be adding to the product, or a different approach you’d like to implement?
We are now focusing on Gamification strategies and building a reward system to build on the interactive aspect of the product. Gamification and employee engagement is key now - Gamification is a growing trend now that uses a digital environment to help employees reach certain goals and objectives. It can make them more engaged and productive in a fun, easy, and accessible way. The most important element behind someone who works in the customer success team is “Emotional intelligence”
What are your next 3 mini goals?
Implement the gamification strategies into the program for current and new clients
Start outreach efforts to expand in the MENA region
Create white papers, market insights and digital learning trends reports for Bahrain and the MENA region
Thank you Ahmed for having coffee with us and we will make sure to follow your journey. We are sure it will be epic - KEEP GOING