Film and theater actor Boman Irani was introduced to cinema at a very young age. But he took a meandering path to becoming an actor. His first job was working as a waiter. He then sold burritos at the family store, and later became a photographer. Getting into acting was almost an accident. Today, with more than 60 films under his belt including hits such as Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. and 3 Idiots, Irani has also forayed into television. The problem with Indian cinema, he notes in this interview with Wharton professor Kartik Hosanagar, is that there is a lack of good scripts.
Published: May 14, 2013 Hanan Abdel Meguid: Choosing Personal Happiness and Career Success
When Hanan Abdel Meguid started her latest tech venture, she chose to create an environment that would attract talented employees, despite competition from international companies. Another choice was to forgo comfort, hold the line on spending and focus on building the company. But her biggest choice, Meguid tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, was deciding what aspects of her personal life she would protect as she pursued her career. "We need to have balance and appreciation both at home and at work, and for that you need to live a good life," she says.
Published: April 30, 2013 Through Perseverance and Frugality, a Path to Leadership in Egypt's High-Tech Industry
She started out as a computer science major fascinated with technology. Today, Hanan Abdel Meguid oversees one of Cairo's better-known online and mobile technology companies. Noting that the company now has offices around the world, Meguid tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton how she bounced back from failure, how she approaches management, and what advice she would offer to would-be entrepreneurs. "Focus on what you really need to build," she says.
Published: April 16, 2013 Molded by Civil War, a Leading Lebanese Surgeon's Advice: Never Stop Trying, Never Be Afraid
Becoming a transplant surgeon is enough of an accomplishment in its own right. But Nadey Hakim's dedication to surgery has made him a pioneering global leader in the field. The Lebanese-born Hakim has countless other accomplishments to his name, including a number of breakthrough medical procedures performed across the Middle East. He tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton about the work ethic and drive that has helped him reach his level of success.
Published: April 02, 2013 Latin American Countries Contemplate Oil in a Post-Chavez Era
Ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is beloved in neighboring Latin American countries, thanks in part to his generosity with Venezuela's most valuable natural resource: petroleum. The country has the world's largest proven reserves. Each year, Chavez sends billions of dollars worth of oil to neighboring countries. Now, as Venezuelans wonder how much longer their president will live, neighboring Latin Americans wonder when the oil might dry up.
Published: March 05, 2013 Peak Interest: A Young Egyptian Entrepreneur's Ambition to Conquer Mountains
Reaching the top of Mount Everest was a lifelong goal for Omar Samra. Becoming the first Egyptian to reach the summit in 2007 only spurred him to embark on other expeditions. Having founded the region's first carbon-neutral travel company, Wild Guanabana, Samra tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton he now wants to inspire other young Arabs to realize their dreams. "Climbing Mount Everest changed my life in terms of what I felt was my purpose and what I needed to do, though I didn't know it at the time," he says.
Published: January 22, 2013 Finding Room for Positive Change and Growth in Yemen
Despite Yemen's international reputation, there are a number of local entrepreneurs who see opportunities in the country, now that it has largely cast aside its political troubles. Munir Ali Daair, chairman of a family business operating in the oil and gas industry, is among those Yemenis touting enterprise and innovation as a new way forward for the country. Speaking to Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, Munir Ali Daair sees prospects in Yemen's economy for growth, particularly if it better manages its natural resources. "The future of Yemen will not be built on donations. The future of Yemen will be built on partnerships," he says.
Published: January 08, 2013 In Ethiopia, Trading Poverty for Prosperity Provides Global Success for soleRebels
The way to tackle poverty in Africa is simple, soleRebels' founder Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton: Give people good-paying jobs that they can take pride in. That guiding principle has turned the Ethiopian entrepreneur's footwear company into a global success. Billing itself as "Africa's Nike," the company sells its environmentally friendly, fair trade products around the world in stores and through major retailers. Alemu herself has garnered numerous accolades. "It's just great business to treat people as I would want to be treated. Once you apply that ethos, it's pretty easy to always find yourself doing the right thing."
Published: December 11, 2012 It's Time for Africa: Kweku Mandela Amuah on the Continent's Growth and Emerging Culture
With a wealth of natural resources and emerging markets, Africa is poised for an incredible economic shift. Opportunities for all Africans will improve, but there is much work needed to build up the skills and confidence of this generation, says Kweku Mandela Amuah, the grandson of Nelson Mandela. Taking up the cause of his family name, Mandela Amuah has started initiatives to empower and educate young Africans. "If we can achieve a sense of pride and belonging and positivity in young Africans, it'll be something infectious and widespread," he tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton.
Published: November 13, 2012 Adventures in Archaeology: Kathleen Martinez Berry's Quest to Find Cleopatra
If Cleopatra's final resting place were to be found by Kathleen Martinez Berry, it would be a true meeting of kindred spirits. A lawyer by training and an overachiever by nature, Berry was so fascinated by Cleopatra's life that she traveled to Egypt without support nor government permission in hopes of finding the Egyptian queen's tomb. Aiding Berry was an unstoppable attitude, and a theory that would help her make discoveries that even trained archaeologists missed. Undeterred in her search for the famous queen, Berry tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, "When I think to do something, I go all the way until I get it."
Published: October 02, 2012