Expanding in Egypt

Amr Sherif, Marketing and Communications Manager, GEMS Egypt, discusses navigating the challenges of GEMS Education’s acquisition of schools in the country.

Tell us a bit about your background

I am a passionate, customer-focused leader with years of marketing, sales and executive management experience in education management. I studied in Canada and have been helping Canadian Universities promote their bachelors degree programmes in the MEA region for my entire career. I have a proven history of building new territories and establishing and cultivating relationships to secure business commitments. My focus area is always helping brands to be heard by their target audiences; it’s the area that constantly drives me to refine my communication skills.

Why did you join GEMS Education?

GEMS Education is a great company with a global status and the expansion to Egypt and Saudi Arabia is something that can provide endless opportunities to both the company and the education industry in both countries, and I wanted to be part of making this happen.

What is your favourite thing about GEMS Education?

I like many things about GEMS Education; the fact that it has schools in many different parts of the world as well as how the company makes quality education accessible across segments. However, my favourite part of GEMS Education must be the people. Every single person I meet, whether at corporate or school level, is a wonderful individual. It’s truly inspiring to see this amount of diversity in culture, background, and expertise working in harmony to deliver on the promise of this company.

How are parents finding the transition of our schools in Egypt to GEMS Education schools?

Any transition brings a little bit of uncertainty and unclarity to those involved in it. However, GEMS’s global reputation is always the source of confidence to all parents that the schools will keep developing and working hard towards bringing the best learning experience to their children, whether they are in national or international schools.

What are your key challenges and how are you overcoming them?

The challenge is shifting the paradigm across all the schools and teams from what was inherited to a new mindset and a unified direction. This is being done through very close collaboration between Marketing and Communications, and the Education leadership at GEMS Education to keep all parents and staff involved and informed about all the new strategies that are being implemented, clearly defining today and keeping everyone excited about the future.

What are the next steps for the Egypt schools?

The next steps include further qualification to those schools to become GEMS schools, which includes several health, safety and environment enhancements, deployment of education development strategies, and consistent enhanced customer service to all parents at every touchpoint, creating an exceptional experience throughout the journey.

What do parents like the most about the GEMS acquisition?

The most important message we have been getting from parents about the GEMS acquisition is that they are optimistic and confident that the future of their kids’ education will be brighter with GEMS Education. Many of our parents have either lived, or have a family member who lived, in the UAE and the notion of the possibility of having schools of that calibre in Egypt gives them every reason to look forward to seeing what those schools will look like in the very near future.