After Hours: Ali Hyder

Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to find out what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick

Tags: Focus Softnet LimitedUnited Arab Emirates
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After Hours: Ali Hyder Ali Hyder, Group CEO, Focus softnet.
By  Staff Writer Published  April 4, 2017

How did you come to be in your current role?

I joined Focus Softnet in 1993, while it was in the initial stage of establishment. Having a few years of experience in the same industry helped me to get a role of leading a sales team and shortly thereafter moving into operations of the company. The company grew from a three man-operation to tens of employees and then hundreds of employees, and from one branch to multi-branch operations. It was in 2002, when the global headquarters of operations was moved to Dubai Internet City, that I was formally appointed CEO of the company.

What is your management philosophy?

During my college days at a management school I had read about Management by Walking Around, and this has been uppermost on my mind across the years. I used it practically while managing team, branch and later global operations. I love to be involved with the people in the office and often travel to be with teams at different branches. I interact regularly with team members who bring feedback from the market. Taking ideas and suggestions from them has been a major part of my management style.

What was your first computer?

Being a science student with electronics as specialisation, I used an 8086 micro-processor chip before using a personal computer.

What is your greatest achievement?

I would say this is yet to come. With the mercy of Almighty and blessings of elders, I did get a series of awards in my school and college days including top ranked scholarship in high school, and first rank both in undergraduate and post-graduate programs. Growing Focus Softnet from a three-man and one-branch operation to 800+ strong team and 20+ branch operations, is also part of the achievement. But none of these give me the level of satisfaction to claim as my greatest achievement.

What was the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?

Just like I do not claim any of my achievements as the greatest, similarly I do not claim any challenge to be the biggest. I am a very positive person by nature and firmly believe if you make a commitment to get something done, however difficult the task may look like, it can be achieved. I have lived both my personal and professional life with this principle, and have been developing and encouraging the same approach with my team members.

What is your fondest memory of working in the Middle East industry?

When I arrived in Dubai in 1996, I was pleased to experience the hospitality extended by customers when I would visit them. Most customers would offer black coffee and dates, which is a normal practice here. People at all levels meet with warm welcome, making you feel at ease when you enter their office.

What technology do you think will have the biggest impact on the market in 2017?

Cloud computing has been growing and now appears to be making inroads into all market segments across 2017.  While it has taken this long for cloud computing to get accepted in the region, it appears to be set for significant adoption in these markets.

How do you deal with stress?

If there is stress, I take a step back and reassess the entire situation on hand, breaking it down into smaller tasks and setting achievable plans for each.


Nationality: Indian
Number of years in the industry: 25 years
Favourite food: Arabian Grill, Indian Mughlai
Holiday destination: Venice, London, and any country with lots of greenery and cool climate
Music: Classical music
Dream car: Rolls Royce
Gadget: Any Apple device
Movie/book: The Holy Quran, Fictions by John Grisham

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