The International Customer Service Institute (TICSI)
Philip Forrest is Chairman of the Judges of the European Business Awards and was a member of the inaugural judging panel of the Sheikh Mohammed Business Awards in Dubai, where he is also President and joint founder of The International Customer Service Institute. He also recently assisted The Sharjah Government in the overhaul of the Sharjah Economic Excellence Awards. He is Chairman of The Osprey Partnership, a specialist consultancy dealing with Values Based Leadership & Management, Brand Strategy and Sales and Service Quality Improvement. He was previously Chairman of Aegis Marketing, a multi-million dollar performance improvement agency he established in 1989, sold to The Carlson Marketing Group in 1998, and then became Managing Director of Carlson Loyalty. His work experience as a CEO includes periods in the UK, USA and for and extended period in the Middle East, where he was Managing Director of a major Gulf port.
Specialising in the design and operation of programmes which improve brand performance, people, processes and information, he is a renowned international expert in organisational effectiveness, particularly in the applied fields of sales, service and relationship management. He has designed and operated major strategic employee service quality programmes for national, international blue chip corporations and UK government departments. Author of “Sold On Service” the first European publication on service quality, he has also published a range of models and management tools for Culture Management, Service Quality and Relationship Management, and speaks internationally on these topics. He has also published seven white papers on his findings of the success factors among the finalists in the National Business Awards and European Business Awards. He has co-authored the first international independently audited customer service standard now in operation in a growing number of international markets and is working with a leading UK University Business School on the design and development of an MSc in Service Quality Management based on of his key models. He is also developing a measurement model which embraces all aspects of corporate social responsibility.
Robert Keay is the founder and Managing Director of Ethos Consultancy, the Middle East’s leading customer service measurement, training, consultancy and software solutions firm. Now in its 8th year of operation in the UAE, Robert has taken Ethos from a three-man outfit to a full-service boutique customer service consultancy that competes directly within the GCC with world players. In eight years, Robert has achieved tangible success through the implementation of innovative thinking, effective change management and a self-effacing leadership style. In 2008, Ethos was given the “UAE’s best Small business award” and in 2009 Robert was given the “Middle East’s Recommended Employer of the Year award”. In late 2010 Ethos was awarded the “SME business star of the year” selected from 3,550 SME’s applications. With 50 full-time staff operating out of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Ethos is currently servicing in excess of 65 clients in the UAE, Qatar, KSA, Bahrain, and Oman. Clients cross sectors such as Hospitality, Tourism, Banking, Retail and Government. Robert is also the co-founder of The International Customer Service Institute (TICSI), a UK based organisation that provides services globally including The International Standard for Service Excellence which is a globally unique standard certified by the British Standards Institute. Robert is the author of the newly released book “Value Moments – discover what your customers really value – then deliver it” – The Value Moments concept is a staggering simple concept that has already assisted organisations to focus on customer value with real tangible benefits.
Kara Change Management specialises in bringing practical support to blue-chip organisations in Banking, FMCG, Motor, Retail, Telcos/IT, Travel and others. For the past 12 years, Kara has developed a track record of no-nonsense expertise in managing change - with objectivity, empathy and sensitivity to human issues. The work ranges from…
- Auditing and Troubleshooting for problems and solutions
- Practical Support in managing change
- Training Programmes to develop skills
Kara’s founder and Managing Director Alan O’Neill mba gained his front line management experience initially in retail (as owner / manager). He also holds directorships in distribution companies in the Homewares Industry and in the Hair and Beauty Industry.
Alan brings expertise, real empathy and objectivity to all projects. He has a reputation for being very practical and has a talent for balancing great commercial awareness with real concern for organisational and human challenges. Since 1991, he has been lead consultant for many large culture change projects in Ireland, UK, Germany and Middle East. His expertise ranges from supporting and challenging Exec Teams at board level to develop strategy - to facilitating teams to ensure smooth implementation. Using a mix of well tested business models and practical experience, he is skilful at steering a successful path through the inevitable obstacles and achieving measurable results.
When leading training programmes, Alan tailors content to match business needs. Workshops are highly interactive and care is taken to ensure that newly acquired skills are transferred to real life and daily behaviours. With his personable style, he relates equally well to board members as he does to the front line – ensuring individuals maximize their full potential to the benefit of the business.
Alan is also an accomplished facilitator and speaker at conferences and large workshops. He brings great experience to the planning of events and to preparing internal presenters – so as to ensure the format and style matches the business objectives. His facilitation skills at the event ensure a pacey flow, an engaged audience and a positive outcome.
- Banking… AIB Bank (Irl and UK), Bank of Ireland (Irl and UK), Northridge Finance UK FMCG… Glanbia plc, Britvic, Bulmers, C&C Group
- Motor… Ford (Irl and Europe), Nissan, Renault, Subaru, Texaco Lubricants
- Retail… Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, Dubai Duty Free, Brown Thomas
- Telcos/IT… Symantec, Xerox, Equant Network Services (now Orange), Lucent
- Transport… Aer Lingus, Aer Rianta, Eucon, IEC
Bassam Dourzi has over 17 years experience in establishing and leading CRM and Customer Services Operations across EMEA and North America at some of the largest global organizations such as Emirates Airline, British Council, Dubai Government, Canadian Federal and Provincial Governments, Multinational Telecom and IT Service Providers such as Iridium, and a host of leading Management Consulting firms. He has also launched and managed numerous 24/7 Global Customer Contact Centres.
With a strong leadership track-record in driving change and business transformation towards dynamic, enterprise-wide Customer Service Excellence, Bassam has held Senior CRM Management roles in addition to Project Implementations and Consulting work. His background encompasses a 360-degree holistic approach to CRM with focus on key areas of Strategy, Customer Relationships and Service Delivery, Best Practices, Technology Infrastructure and Applications, Business Processes Re-engineering, and People Development and cross-functional Team Building for success. This includes achieving one of the first ISO-9001:2000 quality certification for CRM and Customer Services for one of Dubai Government’s leading ePortals.
Bassam is a UK Business Management graduate, Accenture-trained, and with extensive SAP and Oracle CRM experience.
Bernadette de Souza
Program Director, Research, Marketing and International Initiatives
Institute for Citizen-Centred Service (ICCS)
Bernadette De Souza has been Program Director of Research, Marketing and International Initiatives at the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service (ICCS) since February 2009. The mandate of the ICCS is to promote high levels of satisfaction with public sector service delivery by collaborating across all levels of government in Canada and around the world to develop and share creative service delivery solutions.
Bernadette leads the national research studies of the ICCS, including the Taking Care of Business and Citizen’s First survey series with government partners across Canada, to identify the public’s and business’ service needs and expectations, track satisfaction over time, and identify areas for improvement at a national and local level. She is responsible for the development of the ICCS long-term strategic plan, marketing of the ICCS
internationally, building and supporting international relationships and facilitating inter-jurisdictional collaboration and shared learning on themes of common interest to the service delivery community. Her expertise in organizational and culture transformation has helped a number of governments in Canada and internationally to transform the way they deliver services to the public.
Bernadette is seconded to the ICCS from ServiceOntario, where she is the Head of the Organizational Dynamics Unit, in the Marketing and Business Support Division. In this role she led all organizational development and culture transformation initiatives for ServiceOntario, including leadership development, employee engagement, talent/succession management, recruitment and retention. During her early years at ServiceOntario, Bernadette was the Executive Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Minister. Bernadette was instrumental in the set up of the organization, the establishment of division branches and the set up of a Project Management Office.
Prior to moving to Canada, Bernadette was a UN diplomat, working in liaison, program management and loan disbursement roles at the United Nations New York, the U.N. (FAO) in Rome, Italy, the World Bank in Washington D.C., and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. While with these international agencies, she oversaw sectoral development for various grant-receiving countries while leading economic and supervision missions.
Bernadette’s educational background is in Biochemistry and her graduate studies focused on International Relations, Business Administration and Organizational Management at George Washington and Georgetown Universities respectively in Washington D.C.
Bernadette has traveled extensively in her personal life and as a UN diplomat. Her other job away from the office is as devoted mother of three boys. She and her family enjoy traveling and outdoor sports. She and her family live just outside Toronto.
Dr. Wafa’ Abu Snaineh
Dubai Model Advisor, Dubai’ the Model Centre – The Executive Council
Government of Dubai
Dr. Wafa Abu Snaineh is a researcher and a management advisor; she has made several pioneering and international contributions in the area of service management/improvement, and has an extensive research experience with many publications in the area of organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
In the last 15 years, Dr. Wafa’ has carried out training and business consultation in the field of quality and performance management, service management and business excellence in different sectors including: contracting and construction, telecommunication, e-commerce, higher education, non-for-profit and government etc.
Dr. Wafa’ is currently an adjunct faculty at the University of Wollongong in Dubai and is the Dubai Model Advisor in Dubai’ the Model Centre, The Executive Council of Dubai Government.
Major General Dr Abdul Quddus Abdul Razak Obaidli
Director of the General Administration of TQM
Took many leadership positions in the Dubai Police, notably the following:
- Director of the General Administration of TQM. (So far)
- Director of the Regulatory Office of the Commander in Chief.
- Deputy Director General for Management.
- Director of the Department of Legal Affairs.
- Director of Bur Dubai Police Station.
Heads and supervises and participates in more than one (48) for the committee and working group and the Assembly of the most important of the following:
- Chairman of the Emirates Association of Intellectual Property.
- Chairman of the Emirates Association for Strategic Planning.
- Team Leader Sheikh Khalifa Program for Government Excellence, Ministry of Interior.
- Member of the Executive Board of the Ministry of Interior.
- Chairman of excellence and quality teams at Dubai Police.
- Coordinator of the year award and the Minister of the Interior for Excellence.
- Chairman of the Executive Group for the preparation of the Dubai Strategic Plan (Plan for Security and Justice).
- Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee of the High Performance Strategy and the Ministry of Interior.
- Vice President Higher Committee to participate in the Dubai Government Excellence.
- Chairman of the Quality Committee and policies for the successor program to enable students.
- Member of the Board of Trustees Award, Interior Minister for Scientific Research.
Ian Ohan is a real estate and hospitality investment veteran. He began his career in hospitality operations working for luxury hotels and restaurants. He spent 10 years advising hospitality and real estate investor clients in North America and the Middle East and Africa working for KPMG and Arthur Andersen. He joined two partners to establish a real estate and hospitality investment advisory firm in Dubai that was acquired by Jones Lang LaSalle in 2006, where he established the firm’s Middle East Investment Transactions practice and led some of the region’s largest regional and cross border investment placements and real estate transactions. In 2010, Ian became the owner and area developer for Naked Pizza in the GCC region (rebranded N_K_D Pizza). He opened the first international Naked Pizza in Dubai in January 2010 with two more open and another two planned for this year. He is also a partner and Chief Executive of Naked Pizza India.
AIMIA Middle East and Africa
As CEO of Air Miles Middle East since 2009 Mark leads the regional operation towards AIMIA’s vision to become the recognized loyalty leader, and partner of choice for local and global companies throughout the Middle East and Africa.
Mark guides his leadership team and wider management team to create and implement ambitious regional 5 year strategic plans that develop business and position AIMIA’s brands and loyalty offers.
Mark inspires a loyalty culture in more than 70 Air Miles staff across functions: commercial, insights, rewards, HR, marketing, the customer service centre, IT and finance departments and is responsible for overseeing the management of an operation that leverages the largest, most active consumer database in the Middle East and Africa.
Part of Mark’s primary responsibility is to grow the loyalty business in the Middle East and Africa to deliver sustained improvements in sales growth, cost control, profitability, market share and market standing.
Mark has lead strategic expansion, restructuring the MENA business, initiating operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and building partnerships across telecommunications, financial services, retail, and telecommunications sectors.
An open, pragmatic and results-driven leader, Mark has guided top companies in the Middle East and Asia through culture and performance change programs to sustained improvements in cost control, sales growth and profitability.
Proudly from Wales, United Kingdom, Mark has passion for rugby union, reading, learning & coaching, and enjoying his family.
Technical Training Services Department (TTSD)
Rami worked as the group leader of Inspection Department Training & Human Resources Group in Saudi Aramco. He is currently working as a Program Development and Evaluation Analyst and a Knowledge Transfer Consultant.
Rami has twelve years of professional experience starting in Information Technology, then moved to work as a planning and programs analyst before moving to work on several HR tasks and projects. Rami has a bachelor degree in Management Information System and a master degree in Information Technology.
During his planning assignment, he worked as part of the Zero Base Manpower Study team to map and optimize work activities and workforce levels using Six Sigma and Lean thinking techniques. He also helped in the implementation and administration of Performance Management Program (PMP), Balanced Scorecard (BSC), and Change Management in big company projects which have big impact on the way the business is running today. Also participated in the coordination and planning of workforce, budget, and materials of the department which has around 1000 employees.
After moving to training group, a study was conducted on the work activities which resulted in the establishment of two groups: Training & HR Development Group and Inspection Training Center. This resulted in a specialized group concentrating on HR Development activities which led to the following:
- Creation of Specialist Development Program C-Maps
- Revision of all Inspectors’ Job Descriptions then job ladders
- Organization of special events and certifications for the department (ISO Certification, Middle East NDT Conference and Exhibition, Safety Behavior Workshops, etc.)
- Development and implementation of Inspection Department Human Resources Development System. This system automates the training and development enrollment and planning activities and will provide a reporting system to management and Training & HR Group personnel
Currently, Rami is working with the Knowledge Transfer Unit within TTSD to help in transferring knowledge from experienced to non-experienced employees to help closing the knowledge gap in some departments.
Head of E-Learning
National Centre for Applied Learning Technologies (NCALT)
Mark Osborne has over 20 years’ learning and development experience in both the public and private new media sectors. As Head of E-Learning at the National Centre for Applied Learning Technologies (NCALT), he is responsible for the design and delivery of digital training solutions and new learning technologies to the Police Service in the United Kingdom. Mark has overseen a significant shift in the adoption of e-learning, with 300,000 police officers and staff now completing over 50,000 courses per month online, delivering huge efficiency savings across policing in the UK.
Head of Service Training
20 years in Dubai, currently with Dubai Airports (18 years with the Emirates Group)
A Customer Service Professional focused on Service Improvement processes based around the Customer Journey and Experience
Highly driven and results focused, dedicated to demonstrating change and impact on staff development through accepted metrics
MsC in Training and Performance Management , Leicester University qualified in 2007
Fourteen years’ experience in the L& D and Operations field with experience in Leadership, Customer Service, Operational, and Commercial functions
Currently I am working on developing the Customer Service Proposition at Dubai Airports. Among other things this entails driving a Corporate Re-Brand program which involves leading organisational change at DA.
Externally this entails articulating the Service Proposition across all the stakeholders at the Airport by engaging them with different Customer Service events as well as delivering shared training programs
Farrakh Azhar is the CEO and Founder of LiveAdmins, a pioneer in the Live Chat and consumer contact services industries. He looks after all offices of the company worldwide. Farrakh has been the main driving force behind LiveAdmins’ growth and the development of its core service WebGreeter® and proprietary technology WG Live Chat Software®, in terms of investment, planning and on-hands management. Farrakh works closely with Business Development personnel and at the same time, keeps himself updated about every department of the company – Operations, Quality Assurance, HR, Accounting, IT, Software Development, Web Design, everything.
Because of the innovative and unique nature of LiveAdmins’ Live Chat service and its impact on the way business is done in certain industries in the United States, Farrakh has been interviewed in the past by Chicago Land TV, Fortune Small Business, and Inc 500.
Before starting LiveAdmins, Farrakh worked ABN AMRO, IBM, with his family business in import / export and retail & manufacturing, and as a Senior Private Consultant for Fortune 500 companies, designing, engineering and implementing large IT infrastructures. Most notable was his work at ABN AMRO. He started as a project manager in the Network Engineering Group and was eventually promoted to the position of Assistant Vice President of the Technology and Network Services Group, reporting directly to the senior management. During his last three years at ABN AMRO, he was primarily responsible for resource management. He served as an integral part of his group as a strategist in process engineering.
Farrakh received his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in 1991.
Director of Strategic Relations
Hamza Nasir is the Director of Strategic Relations at LiveAdmins JLT, tasked with the responsibility of representing the brands of LiveAdmins into the Middle East and beyond. LiveAdmins is a company incorporated in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America in 2002 and with offices and chat centers all around the world. LiveAdmins offers the most unique Live Chat solutions in the form of the WebGreeter® service and WG Live Chat Software®. Hamza has been a core member of LiveAdmins, as well as a key player in growing LiveAdmins in North America. He now heads LiveAdmins JLT’s office in Dubai. Additionally, Hamza also acts as a business consultant for OrbiSoft and MaavraTech since the past 3 years.
Hamza has proved his exceptional skills as a businessman time and time again for LiveAdmins, so much so that he has been the Employee of the Year for the last 2 consecutive years for LiveAdmins. He has been the key player which has helped formed multimillion dollar strategic partnerships with LiveAdmins Clients and affiliates. He has also displayed superior management skills in dealing with all client issues and concerns, with a mind to always ensure quality, professional service. The LiveAdmins team and clients alike respect his efforts and ability to find a working business solution. Moreover, Hamza has always been recognized as the hardest working LiveAdmins employee, by the CEO Farrakh Azhar himself. No one can doubt his work ethic and determination or his contribution to LiveAdmins.
His upbringing and secondary schooling was from one of the most prestigious schools in all of Pakistan, and hold a Bachelors In Finance. Throughout his academic and professional career, Hamza has received awards for his speaking abilities, including The Best English Speaker at National level in Pakistan. He has also coached and mentored young debators, is an actively sought judge at numerous Model United Nationas and debating competitions.
Hamza has a taste for the finest in life and he has always strived to work to attain it. He enjoys playing Soccer, golf, jet skiing, attending social events but most of all, he enjoys spending time with his own family and his professional (LiveAdmins) family.