MEA Q3 2021

Q3 2021 Best TV Streaming Hardware Device 2021: Maverick Markets mea TheMaverick is a smart solution for Smart TVs. Created byMediabox and recognised by MEAMarkets at the African Excellence Awards 2021, theMaverick TV box is a streaming platformdesigned to last. James Muir, Founder and CEO of Mediabox, tells us more about what sets theMaverick and the team that created it apart from the crowd.

2 MEA MARKETS / Q3 2021 MEAMARKETS / Q3 2021 3 Contents , Editor’s Note , Welcome to the Q3 edition of MEA Markets magazine. Each issue we are devoted to providing you with all of the latest news and features from across the world of business in the Middle East and Africa. As the third quarter of 2021 comes to a close, there is no better time to reflect on all that we have achieved this year and consider what goals we are still pursuing for the final part of the year. It has been an undeniably challenging year for all, but for many, it has been one that has presented great opportunities for innovation and evolution, as proven by the companies and individuals featured in this issue of MEA Markets. Mediabox, our cover company, for example, has seen a tremendous uptick in business over the last quarter thanks to the rise in demand for streaming services brought about by government restrictions and lockdowns. Similarly, Xperiment Media, another award-winning company featured in this quarter’s edition, has seen a surge in online media consumption and has adapted to seize the full advantages of this actuality. Thus, we invite you to discover the success stories of these and other businesses from across the MEA who have seen tremendous growth and development in a year shaped by adversity. As ever, we wish you all the best for the months ahead and look forward to welcoming you back for the Q4 issue of MEA Markets magazine. Alexandra Abraham, Editor Website: AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility. 4. News 6. Best UAE Film & Video Production Company 2021 Xperiment Media 8. Home Furnishings Retailer of the Year 2021 – UAE Best Home Improvement Brand – UAE Danube Home 9. Best HR Tech Start-Up 2021 – South Africa Mygrow 10. Best Film Fixing Solutions Provider - Zambia A to Z Solutions Ltd. 11. Best Public Speaking Coach (UAE): Flo Akinbiyi Flo Akinbiyi 12. Leading Innovators in Insulated Delivery Solutions 2021 - Middle East ThermaBags 13. Hiring for Technological Success Talents Arena 14. Best TV Streaming Hardware Device 2021: Maverick Mediabox 15. Most Reliable ISP - Nigeria MegaMore Wireless Broadband 16. Wonderful Wallart Secures Success Wallart Designs LLC 17. Best Events and Activations Agency 2021 Inspire Events and Activations FZ LLC 18. CVWriting and Job Search Experts of the Year 2021 Art2write 19. Architectural and Engineering Service Providers of the Year 2021 - UAE The Third Group Consultancy Engineering, LLC 20. Hospitality for a Flying Visit The Congress Hotel 21. A Sound Idea! Mindloop 22. Most Trusted Animal Health Company – Nigeria Turner Wright Ltd

4 MEA MARKETS / Q2 2021 NEWS MEAMARKETS / Q2 2021 5 NEWS “We’re now working on what would be our third transaction in the space”, Daniel Tromans, group treasurer at Etihad said. Etihad Airways is working on what would be its third financing transaction linked to sustainable investment considerations, the Abu Dhabi government-owned airline’s treasurer said on Wednesday. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns are gaining ground in the oil-rich Gulf region, with borrowers setting up ESG frameworks to transition to greener economies and capitalise on a global surge in awareness of sustainability risks following the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re now working on what would be our third transaction in the space”, Daniel Tromans, group treasurer at Etihad said on Wednesday, without disclosing details other than to say announcements could be made in the next few weeks. He was addressing a panel on sustainability at the ACT Middle East Treasury Summit, an online event. Etihad established a Sustainable Development Financing Framework in 2019, under which it raised 100 million euros ($117.14 million) to help fund the expansion of the “Etihad Eco-Residence”, a sustainable apartment complex for cabin crew. It also has a Transition Finance Framework through which it can raise cash via transition bonds, sukuk or loans, either through public transactions or private placements. Proceeds from debt sales under that framework are eligible to finance investments in next generation aircraft to replace old fleet and for research and development into sustainable aviation fuels. The airline has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Etihad last year raised $600 million via “transition” sukuk, or Islamic bonds - meant to help companies gradually switch to more environmentally sustainable operations. By Davide Barbuscia, Reuters News Price of villas in Dubai surges by 16%, in Abu Dhabi by 3.1% Real estate consultancy says residential property values in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have grown at their fastest rate since 2015 The price of villas in Dubai rose by 16.5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021, and a record breaking 54 homes worth $10 million or more have been sold in the emirate so far this year. The emirate’s villa prices also rose 5 percent from the second to the third quarter, according to provisional Q3 2021 data from Knight Frank, with property prices in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi rising at their fastest rates since 2015. Abu Dhabi’s residential property prices have increased by two percent year-on-year, with villa prices up by 3.1 percent and apartment prices up 1.8 percent year-on-year, according to Knight Frank. Faisal Durrani, partner and head of Middle East research, said: “The market is roaring back to life. The emerging euphoria around the fact that the UAE has the pandemic so well and truly under control, coupled with the excitement around the muchanticipated World Expo are adding to the confidence that is taking hold in the residential market.” Knight Frank said the UAE’s response to the pandemic had attracted wealthy buyers to locations such as the Palm Jumeirah and Jumeirah Bay, which had driven up villa values. “Unsurprisingly, the Palm Jumeirah and Emirates Hills account for almost 75 percent of super prime home sales in the city, but we are witnessing new Dubai submarkets such as Business Bay join the exclusive list of $10 million plus locations,” said Durrani. “It was only a matter of time before the ‘halo-effect’ from Downtown Dubai spilled over to surrounding markets, highlighting that not only is Dubai’s super prime market expanding, but it is also maturing.” The previous record for the highest number of $10 million plus homes sold in Dubai was set in 2015, when 31 homes of that value sold in the entire year. Of the 54 homes worth more than $10 million sold so far in 2021, 25 were in the Palm Jumeirah, 15 in Emirates Hills, seven in Dubai Hills Estate, two in Downtown Dubai, two in District one and one each in Jumeirah Bay Island and Business Bay, Knight Frank said in its report. By Zawya News Abu Dhabi’s Etihad working on third sustainable financing

6 MEA MARKETS / Q3 2021 MEAMARKETS / Q3 2021 7 , Best UAE Film & Video Production Company 2021 XperimentMedia is an innovation lab and boutique filmagency based inDubai, UAE. It specialises in story-drivenfilms and commercials for brands, with a special focus on teaching creativity and human-centred innovation to individuals. People love a good story. In fact, science tells us we love storytelling so much that when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night telling itself stories. But great stories require sophisticated storytellers. Xperiment Media understands this. Founded by Addy Khan, a Hollywood-trained filmmaker with over 10 years of US and Middle East experience, their mission is the convergence of creativity, business and technology. Xperiment Media’s team of ‘artisttechnicians’ are available as both local crew or remote teams. This has widened their capacity to serve customers anywhere in the world. While its core customer-base is the Gulf region, Xperiment Media regularly services international brands, agencies and professionals from the US, Europe and APAC. With Dubai Expo 2020 and the participation of 192 countries, more synergies are expected to be created. Best UAE Film&Video ProductionCompany 2021 Trust Matters A no-nonsense approach has won clients’ trust. Financially disciplined, Xperiment Media knows how to transform ideas into tangible results. Since its inception in 2014, the company has successfully handled big-budget film and video productions for government, businesses and agencies. Concise communication, flexibility, and reliable execution are its strongest assets. Compared to other ‘bloated’ service providers, Xperiment Media’s small footprint makes them nimble—which means more value for its clients. The lean approach is now finding resonance with a new crop of customers: SMEs and start-ups looking to tell their stories during their scale-up phase. COVID-proof When the world changed in March 2020, Xperiment Media was fast to adapt to the pandemic. Its “COVID-proof” production protocols meant filming continued safely in Dubai, whilst post-production became 100% remote via its globally distributed teams in California, South Asia and the UAE. Stateof-the-art pipelines for VFX and CGI ensured a seamless blend of photographed reality and the virtual. There was never ever a compromise on Quality, Service and Reliability. As a result, its clients were able to communicate with their own customers, without disruption. The increased online consumption led Xperiment Media-produced films, animation and commercials to clock over 30 million+ views on YouTube and Twitter (Q2 2020 to Q2 2021 period). Commercials like ‘Movies’ If everything looks great in movies, why can’t commercials look like movies? Xperiment Media applies the high-end ‘Hollywood look’ to TVCs, brand films and 2D/3D animated series. Every conversation starts with director Addy Khan, who has shot over 100 films and commercials. His work has been shown at Oscarqualified international festivals; and he has been invited for residencies by the renowned Reykjavík Film Festival and Art Dubai. Addy personally shepherds each project to the finish line. Leveraging his unique background in film, marketing and entrepreneurship; he can conduct highly effective discussions with marketing departments, agencies or entrepreneurs. Everyone is able to get on the same page—from the first phone call or Zoom meeting. This saves the client’s time, and increases efficiency. Movies for Movie Lovers Besides commercials, Xperiment Media also produces narrative shorts and feature films. Its next release is RETROGRADE, a mind-boggling sci-fi drama filmed in Los Angeles. Produced in partnership with Inner Circle Entertainment headed by Pat Hartonian and Edwin Karapetian, RETROGRADE is currently in consideration at several international film festivals. It will be released to the public in late 2021. Unlocking Creativity & Innovation: 2021 and Beyond Human creativity does not improve from working harder or longer. Given the recent spike in sensory overload and deterioration of mental health, the company recently surveyed people across four continents. One unsettling pain-point from an interviewee struck a chord: “It is hard to be creative. It is harder to even get started these days.” The extended pandemic has resulted in many having lost the ability and bandwidth to pause and prioritise what’s important. It can feel impossible to put time aside to plan and be creative. Xperiment Media director, Addy says: “We listen to our customers. I am excited to announce that Xperiment Media has set up an Innovation Lab. We are developing practical tools that will help individuals and teams discover, track and boost their personal creativity. Another focus area is training. We want young professionals to become better filmmakers and also creative entrepreneurs. It took me years to figure out how to run a sustainable business that is also aligned with a deep purpose. This was achieved not with ‘hacks’, but rigorous systems and mental models. Now I want to help others learn these secrets tricks...much faster. And without the blood, sweat or tears!” Company: Xperiment Media Contact: Addy Khan, Director Email: [email protected] Websites:, Apr21041

MEAMARKETS / Q3 2021 9 , 8 MEA MARKETS / Q3 2021 , Aug21057 Danube Home is a leading home improvement and furnishing retail brand with a strong, vibrant, ever-growing presence in theMiddle East, Gulf region, and the Indian sub-continent. It is known for its unwavering commitment to the highest standard of customer service, unmatched quality, strikingly beautiful designs, and innovative retail services. Home Furnishings Retailer of the Year 2021 – UAE Best Home Improvement Brand – UAE What started off as a single showroom in Ras Al-Khaimah in 2008, grew into the region’s favourite destination for home interior solutions, having successfully captured and blended the quintessential spirit of craftmanship and design into its bewildering range of products, which include ceramic wall and floor tiles, parquet flooring, elegant curtains, home décor, chandeliers, garden and outdoor furniture, and much more. Danube Home now offers more than 50,000 products across 16 product-specific categories, along with a free interior design service, and it has 18 showrooms and more than 5 million square feet of logistics and warehousing space. It is ranked among the top retailers in the Gulf region, which has been growing at an average of 25-45% since 2011, and is a recipient of many prestigious awards, remaining a motivating workplace for the best talent in the region. The beauty of Danube Home’s one-stop retail solution for home improvement and furnishing needs stands exquisitely manifested in its demonstrated ability to take care of all the facets of home improvement requirements. Its concept of affordable luxury has been redefining boundaries in the home improvement and furnishing industry as it is intensely focused on achieving quality tailored to the taste of consumers, at a price that most can afford. Its showrooms are purposebuilt buildings with delightful architectural features, welcoming its vibrant clientele with a sophisticated fusion of modern sensibilities to create a happy space. Each product section in Danube Home showrooms has a story to tell which is expressed in a lucid, colourful lexicon and creates a unique and immersive shopping experience for customers. Danube Home showrooms are strategically present on major thoroughfares and in shopping centres across the Gulf region. The company has expanded its presence beyond the sandy dunes of the Gulf by establishing its first showroom right in the heart of India. In the UAE, Danube Home has showrooms in Al Barsha, Diera, Sheikh Zayed, Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Fujairah, Al Ain, and Abu Dhabi. It also has seven showrooms in Oman and one in Bahrain. Danube Home added another feather to its cap with the launch of its website and app, which are fast and easy to navigate and fully loaded with features that help provide a seamless online shopping experience to customers. The company also offers the ‘Ahlan’ loyalty programme which allows customers to gain points when shopping with Danube Home to be redeemed on future purchases. Customers can download the Ahlan app to be the first to know about exclusive discounts and promotions. Ultimately, Danube Home wants to be the leading name and most preferred choice of customers when it comes to home furnishing and improvement requirements in the Middle East and beyond. Keeping in line with the challenges of our time, the company is focusing on building a robust online presence with its full-fledged Danube Home app, website, and separate app for loyal customers. There are a number of unconventional approaches that Danube home has tapped into in order to target previously untouched segments of the market. This forwardlooking approach allows it to maintain a competitive edge over its competitors. Company: Danube Home Contact: Umar Hussain Email: umar.hussain@ Web: Jun21624 Mygrow is a technology-based tool that takes users on a journey to develop, measure and track their emotional intelligence (EQ). Think of it as a gymmembership for EQ development, helping users to build a better life, one droplet (daily session) at a time. Its clients range frommultinational companies to local governments, SMEs to internationally recognisable brands, including Apple, Massmart, Shoprite, Old Mutual, Standard Bank, and Coca-Cola. Best HR Tech Start-Up 2021 – South Africa Mygrow’s core goal is to equip everyone to flourish – to live healthy, functional and empowering lives, to become more authentically human, and improve relationships in the world. The Mygrow subscription service for individuals and businesses delivers growth through videobased microlearning, neuroscience techniques, personalised coaching and rich data including live dashboards, user support and a reporting system that helps track team progress. Developing emotional intelligence makes people better. And Mygrow helps people across multiple industries, sizes and sectors to develop emotional intelligence. It has the ability to develop EQ aligned to the neuroscience of what is required to facilitate meaningful and lasting change, practising the correct exercises and techniques over long periods of time – doing things this way leads to impact and return. Furthermore, Mygrow is able to develop, measure and track EQ in one platform, disrupting the incumbent industry norms of affordability, accessibility, scalability, and effectiveness. Traditional approaches require a significant sacrifice in productive time, through hours of out-ofoffice, and one-off soft skills training workshops. Research indicates that these types of interventions carry a maximum of 20% knowledge retention and typically a regression to pre-workshop behaviour levels is observed. Whereas now, in just 10 minutes per day, on your mobile phone or laptop, Mygrow offers sustainable EQ growth that can be measured and tracked. Speaking about how the product comes about, Alain Joffe (Chief Growth Officer) at Mygrow said, “At Mygrow, we believe flourishing starts at home. Who we are must be aligned with this vision for flourishing and it must be the DNA of how we operate internally. And it all starts with culture. “Our team’s philosophy hinges on the view that we believe we are not professionals, we are humans who aim to flourish at work and in our personal lives. At Mygrow, we are not primarily our functional roles in the business; we see ourselves as people first. We are all on a journey to live whole, healthy and integrated lives – juggling personal and work commitments in appropriate and healthy ways that result in comprehensive lives of flourishing – for ourselves, our families, our colleagues, friends, clients, and broader beneficiaries of the Mygrow vision.” He continued, “We do this by taking a “human” approach to work. We share lunch together daily, we want to know about each other’s lives and support each other in and out of working hours.” On a practical level, Mygrow was able to survive 2020 financially by offering its staff the ability to voluntarily invest a portion of the salary into the company. It did this rather than mandating salary cuts or resorting to retrenchments. The response to this was overwhelming, with some staff members forgoing their salary for many months as the company rallied and worked tirelessly to pull through. The team has now nearly doubled in staff and this is a testament to the sacrifices made by individual team members in 2020. Also during the last year, Mygrow did all that it could to support employees and clients with their mental health. Organisational problems with regards to employee mental health and wellbeing were already evident before COVID-19. Employee engagement levels were between 9% and 15%. In fact, over the last seven years, diagnosable mental health issues relating to anxiety and depression were high, and stress levels were radically impacting people. Now, as the global pandemic continues, research shows things like social isolation, solitary confinement, and the winter-over syndrome have a negative effect on people’s mental health. This has raised awareness of the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace and has resulted in very fruitful conversations with prospective clients. During South Africa’s first hard lockdown, Mygrow created a Reignition Support Package to help leaders and employees navigate the clash between the needs of employers to get fast productivity and the needs of employees to really be able to recoup and cope with the challenges of the pandemic. Overall, COVID has accelerated and crystalised the need for organisations to equip and support their employees to cope with the various challenges of a persistently changing and uncertain world. Mygrow has now made significant investments into product development, with enhanced reporting capabilities, improved accessibility via iOS and Android applications, and an overall improved user experience. Going forward, it will make further improvements to its reporting capability, building integrations with systems like MS Teams, SAP and Oracle, and further developing its change management support. Company: Mygrow Contact: Alain Joffe Email: [email protected] Website:

10 MEA MARKETS / Q3 2021 MEAMARKETS / Q3 2021 11 , , Jun21207 May21621 A filmfixing and facilitation company operating out of Zambia, A to Z Solutions has truly earned its place as a leading facilitatory in wildlife and reality filmmaking for international and national film crews in Zamiba. Allowing access to some of Zambia’s most unique wildlife estates, ecosystems and its colourful people, whilst always ensuring the safety of its staff and clients with rigorous and diligent Covid-19 measures and testing in place, it has ensured that the filming industry could continue to thrive throughout a time of tumult. Flo Akinbiyi is a Communication Expert and Coach whose infectious energy and positivity has been instrumental in establishing him as a leader of his field. Following his success at the UAE Business Awards 2021, we find out more about Flo as he tells us about the trials and tribulations he has overcome in an immensely challenging year, both professionally and personally. Best Film Fixing Provider - Zambia Best Public Speaking Coach (UAE): Flo Akinbiyi A to Z Solutions is the first company in Zambia to offer a dedicated exemplary film fixing, service and from its start in 2013, has grown significantly as a result. Working hard to deliver first-class film fixing and facilitation solutions to a wide variety of clientele from wildlife documentaries to reality shows, and from feature movie film makers to meet – and far exceed their production needs and requirements. Additionally, over the past year or so, it has been using its penchant for adaptability and flexibility to adapt to the new norms of a post pandemic paradigm, assuring its clients that they will be stepping into a safe environment in which to film, including the use of private bush strips on the outskirts of Lusaka for charter flights. A Virtual Presenter, Event Moderator, Speaker and Communication Coach; Flo Akinbiyi is a Communication Expert with many feathers in his cap. Originally from Germany and Nigeria and based in Dubai for the past decade, Flo is a joyful and inspiring individual who truly comes to life in front of an audience. Whether he is fulfilling the role of Public Speaker, MC or Trainer, Flo is unmatched in his ability to capture the attention of a crowd and drive the momentum of any event. Verified as a Results Certified Coach by the NeuroLeadership Institute, Flo seeks to support individuals that have big goals in life, that want to go to places, and how they can get there, often by maximising their own existing potential. This support manifests in a range of delivery methods and covers a range of topics. Whether it be on stage, in webinars, at conferences, hosting events, panel discussions, fireside chats, interviewing industry experts, giving keynotes or working behind the scenes, Flo goes above and beyond to help leaders and teams take their communication skills to the next level. After all, Flo’s whole world centres around communication, whether that be oral, visual or experiential. Since launching the Flo Akinbiyi brand, he has worked more than 1,500 professionals and lead countless coaching This avoids the additional exposure of the International airports when not necessary for those needing internal flights to reach their often remote locations. Furthermore, it has teamed up with registered private Covid testing facilities, where technicians go to the hotels to do the PRC tests for clients before they depart from Zambia. All of A to Z Solutions staff are fully vaccinated, and tested on a regular basis, where all Covid -19 protocols and precautions are followed at all times. Its clients have appreciated this dedication to safety in a time of tumult, allowing business to go on relatively as usual and its services to be offered with the recognisable level of quality that its clients are used to; thus, whilst traditional tourism and safari trips may have been sessions on communication, public speaking and presentation skills. As an Event Moderator and Virtual Presenter he has delivered hundreds of events and over the years worked with more than150 successful international brands from luxury brands like Ferrari and Bloomingdales to digital brands like TikTok and Huawei, to a whole host of other major brands besides, Flo’s expertise and energy has been relied on to make significant impacts in the communication capabilities of an impressive portfolio of global platforms. And the positive reception of Flo’s impact is clear to see, thanks to the satisfied testimonials that his many clients are keen to feedback. Aaron Logan, CCO at Excir Corp, tells us, “Flo took ideas that make a big impact, and truly rationalised them – allowing a simple tool kit to work from and grow into. His mentorship will help me grow as a leader and communicator.” Pulkit Goyal CFO, Member of the Executive Board | thyssenkrupp Industries corroborates Aaron’s sentiments, stating that, “He’s among the most planned, well organised, honest (and also stylish) professionals I ever encountered - most importantly he spends enough time in understanding you first.” Yet the greatest testament to Flo’s positivity and resilience is his response to what has been a challenging year for all, including himself. The pandemic severely impacted, the filming industry has seen no such pauses. Essentially, once companies and filming crews have undergone the hassle and minutia of being able to make it from their home country, they find that the journey was totally worth it for the location. Zambia is stunning, and filming and staying in the midst of the Zambian bush gives crews the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in that environment, coming out with incredible, representative, and top-quality work, all made possible by A to Z Solutions. What’s more is that until international tourism numbers recover, the crew is likely to have an area almost to themselves, with plenty of fresh air, outdoor space, and all at the added advantage of massively cost-effective rates. Due to all of these factors, recent projects have included David Attenborough’s BBC series Life in Colour, as well as BBC America’s Luangwa Valley show as part of the Eden Untamed Planet series narrated by Helena Bonham Carter. Additionally, A to Z Solutions has hosted the multi award winning Leopard Legacy, Dogs with Extraordinary Jobs, BBC Earth, and A Perfect Planet. 2020, for A to Z Solutions, was also a time of reflection as well as adaptation – it followed a new motto of ‘out with the old, in with the new’, and underwent not only saw professional repercussions for Flo, who lost all of his business owing to the former mostly face-to-face nature of his operations and him speaking to large audiences, but several personal blows as well. Flo and his wife were dealt a second tragedy when his father contracted and passed away from Covid-19 in March. “That was a moment in my life where I could have given up, feeling sorry for myself, dwelling in misery,” says Flo. “But I refused! My dad was someone that even at the age of 80 was looking for the big deal he wanted to make, and he never gave up. And neither did I. Our name Akinbiyi means son of a hero, and I wanted to become the hero for my son.” So Flo took matters into his own hands, deciding that quitting was not an option. He sought out new clients, new ways of generating income and new collaborative opportunities, working hard to challenge himself and to reach out to connect with as many people as he could. A year later, “after a of hard work, long nights and very early mornings” transformation is still underway but the business is already seeing an influx in its work with individuals and companies. Flo has focused on his two primary service areas: Communication and Presentation Coaching, and Event Moderation and Virtual Presenter. an exciting rebrand in order to instate a brand new logo and new website that it is very excited to unveil! In addition, it was appointed to the Zambia Tourism Agency Marketing Committee, has hosted a number of Blue Chip Productions, and has been aiding with Zambia’s first Netflix feature film, Black Dollar – written and produced by Kazadi Films. All of this has been made possible through a time of the World has had to adapt to a new norm due to the Pandemic, due to the Zambian government’s quick and effective crackdowns and enforcement of social distancing, testing, and screening, especially at airports; the result of which has seen Zambia become one of the safest places in the world to visit right now regarding the virus. A to Z Solutions is also aware that despite this positivity, the tourism industry was hit hard, meaning that much of 2021 and even into 2022 will be spent rebuilding this sector. For A to Z Solutions, there is no better time to be operating as a business, and with Zambia slowly opening itself up to the world again and sporting some of the world’s best wildlife estates, there is no better time for a prospective client to get in touch. Company: A to Z Solutions Ltd. Contact: Anita Balletto Website: https://www. “We all have our stories, our challenges, and our struggles, but it doesn’t matter how big the challenge is; what matters is how we deal with it,” states Flo. “The words of Winston Churchill may be cliché and overused, but they are true: ‘Never waste a good crisis’.” Flo certainly isn’t wasting any opportunities. About to launch his online course – Speak, Engage, Present – as well as several online coaching formats, and currently in the process of redesigning his brand and website, Flo has big plans for the future. We look forward to seeing them come to fruition. Contact: Flo Akinbiyi Company: Flo Akinbiyi (Official Company Name: Akinbiyi Group FZE) Web Address: Email: [email protected]

12 MEA MARKETS / Q3 2021 MEAMARKETS / Q3 2021 13 , , Apr21405 Jun21318 For fast-food chains and pharmaceutical companies alike, the need to transport products like food and medicine at consistent temperatures is vital to success. We take a look at ThermaBags, an innovative UAE-based company, to see how they have managed to design bags and boxes that fit the bill every time, leading to such success in the UAE Business Awards. The world of technology is in a new period of expansion, with specialists in the field needed in a variety of different industries. When it comes to connecting the right person with the right firm, there are few better than the team a Talents Arena. Named Best Technology Recruitment Company – MEA inMEAMarkets’ African Excellence Awards 2021, we thought it high time we take a look at how they have achieved such success. Leading Innovators in Insulated Delivery Solutions 2021 - Middle East Hiring for Technological Success The need to transport items has often encompassed the need to transport them at varying temperatures. For many industries, this is a vital part of securing their overall success. Finding a provider of these items can be difficult, as they have such specific requirements. That’s why it takes an expert like ThermaBags to bring them to market. The team at ThermaBags have built their name on not just providing transport solutions to fast food and pharma alike, but by ensuring that what they offer is of the highest possible quality. The team has made a commitment to using industry A growing tech community has allowed for the emergence of an entire ecosystem around the sector, as businesses search for the ultimate in talent and talent searches for organizations that can allow them the opportunity to grow and develop. Talents Arena offers a unique solution, one which helps engineers find the most fitting job for their profile as well as providing hiring companies with a hassle-free hiring process. Proudly female-led by the CEO and founder Aya Elgebeely and the Co-founder HanaWahby, the team at Talents Arena have made it their mission to help their clients become recognized as superstars. By focusing on the tech community, Talents Arena has been able to make real steps towards this goal over the last few years. With an incredible network, the team are ideally placed to build an environment where engineers can thrive and grow alongside each other. Talents Arena hosts opportunities for these leading lights of the industry to exchange knowledge, get technical assessments and feedback about their profiles, coaching and training in new areas and an unprecedented amount of support. The team goes the extra mile at all times, and the key to this best standards when it comes to the creation and development of insulating materials and technology. The result is a range of products that stands out from the crowd for its durability, light weight and easy ability to maintain temperatures. Buying a ThermaBag means buying something that is synonymous with quality. The team’s products excel in a variety of different ways, including odor prevention, breathability, and moisture control. Through the use of superior abrasion & UV resistant outer fabric, the crisp look that so many desire remains consistent for years of hard work. It’s little wonder, with such care put into every piece of fabric cut, has been the development of a match making platform between vacancies and potential tech candidates. This offering is unique to Talents Arena and is based on the firm’s novel matching algorithm combined with a high touch strategy. This high touch strategy involves ensuring that Talents Arena is deeply embedded in the way in which tech companies operate, with the qualified team working closely with both software engineers and companies to capture their needs, requirements, and interests. As part of the tech community support, Talents Arena has organized three times in a row the biggest virtual Tech job fair in the MENA region, JobStack. The third edition of the JobStack event that was held in August 2021 was attended by 10 thousand of the brightest tech talents in the region, along with more than 40 speakers and more than 25 companies. Obviously, the tech industry is one which has seen enormous change over the last fifteen years alone. One of the challenges of working in this sector is the way in which technologies and programming frameworks can rise and fall quickly. There is enormous demand for tech talents, and not enough people who are able to fill the hiring void. The team at Talents Arena, that the team have been ISOcertified, and work tirelessly to exceed the expectations brought about by this qualification. As with any product for industry, it’s not just aesthetics that draw people in. Many have been impressed by the sheer level of durability that a ThermaBag can offer to them. Most of the firm’s bags are machine washable and incorporate replaceable internal lining and frames so that these can be changed as and when they wear out instead of all in one go. Every single one of the bags and motorbike boxes on sale can be fully customised to meet any demands a client might however, know that skills can be taught, but mindset and beliefs are incredibly consistent. Their rule of thumb has always been to hire people based on their personalities as opposed to their specific capabilities. The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected every company, but Talents Arena has been lucky to remain incredibly stable. Many sectors have been forced to adapt, such as ecommerce and fintech, and this has increased the demand of tech talents like never before. The considerable amount of investment put into regional tech start ups prove that the product offered by Talents Arena and the community support that they have. This include cutting the pattern to any shape or size, as well as branding bags with screen printing, heat transfer, embroidery, or replaceable print panels, with a very small minimum order quantity. Needless to say, this impressive flexibility is a key reason behind much of the success of the firm. While based in the UAE, the team take advantage of the international nature of the country to pull in some of the world’s best materials into their products. That is why a ThermaBag uses Japanese YKK zippers, 3M & Velcro fasteners, alongside US-manufactured electric heaters with two years warranty. Maintaining this range of products is key to producing items that are of the utmost quality every single time. When it comes to creating the ideal insulated delivery solutions, this is the team who everybody turns to. While they are based within the heart of the UAE, this has only ensured that the team have access to the best resources from around the world to put into their leading products. With quality that goes above and beyond every single time, it’s little wonder that the firm has been such a strong purveyor of success. Company: ThermaBags Name: Sulaiman Fazli Email: [email protected] provide is needed like it has never been needed before. The work that Talents Arena does is exceptional and has been a major boon to technology businesses across the MEA region. The team’s unique ability has been incredibly useful in the growth of this sector and has ensured that the recent boon in this technology worldwide can be reflected in the way that the MEA region operates too. Company: Talents Arena Name: Aya Elgebeely Email: [email protected] Web Address:

14 MEA MARKETS / Q3 2021 MEAMARKETS / Q3 2021 15 , , Jun21021 Jul21548 The Maverick is a smart solution for Smart TVs. Created by Mediabox and recognised by MEAMarkets at the African Excellence Awards 2021, the Maverick TV box is a streaming platform designed to last. James Muir, Founder and CEO of Mediabox, tells us more about what sets the Maverick and the team that created it apart from the crowd. MegaMore Wireless Broadband, a company planning to expand to three states and working with quality, professionalism, sustainability, and responsibility to do so, has made a name for itself with selfless and reliable internet services. Aiding the Nigerian business ecosystem by making sure its professionals can communicate amongst each other and with the wider world, it has been supporting each of its clients during the tumult of the pandemic, becoming a cornerstone to the survival of many organisations. Best TV Streaming Hardware Device 2021: Maverick Most Reliable ISP - Nigeria Mediabox was established in 2014 with a singular vision: to create the world’s best TV box. Recognising that televisions had a greater lifespan than those of phones and tablets, and assuming that this rule also applied to Smart TVs, Founder and CEO James Muir and his team sought to create a sustainable solution. Their theory was that the hardware of a television continued to work long after the ‘smart’ component became obsolete as it became outdated and incompatible with the latest apps and streaming services. Their solution was a component that matched the TV in longevity and relevance. Today, Mediabox’s Maverick TV box remains a firm favourite of individuals and families thanks to the power of choice it provides. Users can stream their favourite An internet service provider with a difference, MegaMore Wireless Broadband is an internet service provider – or ISP – and system integrator, as well as a cloud services provider, disaster remote recovery specialist, SD-WAN, and SMART solution provider. Fundamentally, through its own self-owned and fully redundant secured Network, MegaMore can deliver the best quality of internet and wireless services to the region of Nigeria, offering an uncontested network that is highly reliable at every turn. When the name MegaMore is brought up in Nigeria, it evokes ideas of wide open and uncongested networks where a client can get the most out of their subscription with more than just bandwidth and zero contention services. Essentially, it aims to be the first big name that comes to mind when small and medium businesses are looking for internet providers. Its operations and methodologies fit themselves perfectly to this market segment, after all, with each and every one of its staff members working hard to provide friendly and informative customer service to customers new and old, able to talk a client through how it may best help them. This all feeds into its values. Critically, it is determined to consistently provide the most advanced, secured, and scalable network solutions that empower its customers and help communities to build a better tomorrow. shows from Netflix and Prime Video in 4K quality on a safe and accessible platform complete with Plug & Play and Cast Ready technology that means even the biggest technophobe can enjoy the benefits. What’s more, Mediabox’s offering has only been enhanced since it became a Google Android TV™ partner. Serving both retail and B2B clients, predominantly hotel groups and TV, mobile and internet operators under the Mediabox brand, the company takes pride in its innovative solution, Viso from Radix. With Viso, products can effectively be deployed into hotel rooms or through operators remotely by the Mediabox support team or its B2B clients for themselves. Mediabox is currently the only company that is able to offer this service, consequently giving clients unparalleled satisfaction and support with their devices. With this dedication to helping communities build a successful today and an improved tomorrow, it has endeared itself to clients across its region and shown how it believes in every business’s right to access 21st century internet and technology. MegaMore, in addition, has a prevailing goal of helping each business build the social connections to cultivate a more connected Nigeria, with education, research, healthcare, and public services being able to communicate easier and more effectively. This will enable MegaMore to help them in opening a window to the rest of the world. Moreover, it knows that in order to thrive in a globalised economy, one must be prepared to link one’s community to those around the world, remaining competitive by keeping a finger on the pulse of the global marketplace. MegaMore can help its clients do this by granting them unencumbered access to the internet, ensuring they can work remotely with peers, partners, and clients all over the world in order to continually grow and develop. By increasing broadband access and striving for better connectivity and higher speeds across the board, it fulfils a critical role in the path taking Nigeria towards the future. Additionally, its experience and simplicity endear it to clients as it sees no need to bog down interactions with needless jargon, able to go into as much or as little detail as a client Yet the team at Mediabox are rarely satisfied and are constantly striving to innovate further. “We look for people who strive to expand their capabilities and try and encourage their development within our environment,” says James. “Our internal culture is one of independence and accountability with regular team building and social networking. We try to provide an easy going environment that is fun, as all of us operate at quite high levels.” Indeed, in between the development and innovation of the Maverick and its other flagship products, Mediabox is also working on a range of ultra-high-end devices designed specifically for stadia and their expansion, in addition to making plans for the future to develop gaming devices that could one day rival platforms like PlayStation and Xbox. In the nearer future, the firm is also in the process of developing an HD TV stick at a price point that will enable most families in the developing world to afford access to streaming content, be it for educational or entertainment purposes on their existing TV. It is clear that progression is at the centre of attention for Mediabox and not even a global is interested in by way of its knowledgeable and empathic staff such as its customer support team. MegaMore, internally, holds to the values of inspiration, motivation, and satisfaction in this way, and has cultivated a team who love what they do and are helping create a more sustainable and reliable infrastructure in Lagos and its home base in Kano. It aided this during the pandemic by tripling or doubling speeds for pandemic can derail that – in fact, it could even be viewed as a catalyst for the firm’s evolution. “We deal with a lot of external partners in various countries and, especially with Covid-19 arriving, have embraced the natural progression into remote meetings and using social media channels to keep lines of communication open in a way that lets everyone visualise other team members’ efforts and responses,” explains James. “The biggest benefit for our industry was the uptick in people wanting streaming media solutions at home as a result of the pandemic.” As Mediabox enjoys this surge of business activity, it is clear the firm has a lot to celebrate at the moment. Not least, its recent award at the African Excellence Awards 2021, in which the Maverick was crowned Best TV Streaming Hardware Device 2021. What with Mediabox’s unerring drive towards even greater innovation and development of its marketleading products, we can be sure that this certainly won’t be the last of Mediabox’s many successes. Contact: James Muir Company: Mediabox Web: schools for free, implementing free developments for health centres, and granting its clients the security they needed to pull through the difficult times of the past year and a half, earning it yet more trust and notoriety as its good work sets it in good stead for reaching all of its future goals. Company: MegaMore Wireless Broadband Contact: Amin Dayekh Website:

16 MEA MARKETS / Q3 2021 MEAMARKETS / Q3 2021 17 , , Jun21356 May21700 When people think of print, they want a solution that is not only of the highest quality, but bears the vital considerations of the environment in mind. That’s precisely what the team at Wallart Designs do. In the UAE Business Awards, the teamwere named Leading Experts in Large Format Printing 2021. We take a closer look at just how they did it. Inspire is a brand activations and events agency based in Dubai, KSA, Kuwait, and Qatar. It creates, manages and produces large scale events, activations and festivals across the Middle East for clients from all verticals of the industry, such as luxury, tech, FMCG, government, oil and gas, aerospace, and more. Its services are not limited to industries – they are customised to each client and the event or product that is being promoted. Wonderful Wallart Secures Success Best Events and Activations Agency 2021 Wallart Designs was established in 2019, under the careful eye of the team at Printpac ME. Having been a successful printing business since 1975, the large organization wished to give its Large Format Division a brand-new identity. This new identity – Wallart – would focus in on what customers wanted, namely a complete sustainable print solution that guaranteed the Inspire values its people and puts them first – it understands that by being serviceoriented, people always come first, and how it treats its people is an extension of how it treats its clients. Its core values include empathy, integrity, honesty and loyalty. How it serves its customers is a reflection of how its people would like to be served themselves. That’s when the age-old question comes into play – “If I was a client, would these be the kind of people I would want to be associated with or do business with?”, whether it be professionally or socially – This is what builds the character of the company; Inspire is who it hires. Inspire’s people understand the importance of the role they play – not just to give the client a service they’ve asked for, but what it means to give the clients the “Inspire Experience”, which starts from the moment the company is connected with them until the handover of the project. Inspire looks for people who have empathy, who are self-aware, culturally-sensitive and smart – Skills can be learned at any point in life but these are some things that you either have in you or you don’t. Inspire is a company that always strives to push boundaries in being the best at event innovation and scale and it does that by allowing people to try new things, same quality to which they had become accustomed. The team are able to offer printed designs that can make a house into a home, an office into more than just a place of work. With the ability to define yourself through graphics, there’s no end to the potential offered by the Wallart team. Their use of ecofriendly substrates powered by HP’s Latex printing technology allows them to offer something make mistakes and celebrate successes together. Its people build each other up and this ultimately builds the company. 2019 was a great year for the majority of events agencies in the region, with a promising start to 2020. However, after COVID-19 struck, everything came to an abrupt halt; confirmed events were cancelled and indefinitely delayed, staff from across the Middle East were locked in, and Inspire’s production houses were filled with fabricated materials that could no more be used. This was the case for all of 2020 and the start of 2021. That being said, as all the on-ground events were abruptly on hold, Inspire’s virtual events and technology-driven marketing solutions took off. In a world where physical contact was suddenly barred, people saw a glimmer of hope by connecting through virtual events. This has marked a significant shift in consumer behaviour and has forever changed the way we perceive events and interact with a product or service. Inspire CEO Shenin Hamid said, “I strongly believe the worst of what COVID could do to our industry is behind us. This has unfortunately caused many companies to go under, but has also brought in a surge of small business from various industries and sectors marking a birth of a new wave. The end of something is always the birth of something new.” truly exceptional in the industry, pushing forward into a bold new future. The team has printed and installed wall graphics for homes and various industries and offices as well as customized interior décors with printed wall coverings, canvases, floor graphics, and blinds. Those who have a specific image in mind for their project find willing partners in the team from Wallart. Few in the industry are able to match them when it comes to creating an environment of creativity and comfort. The benefits of a Wallart Design can be seen across a variety of different circumstances because the team can easily adapt to serve any client at all. In retail spaces, the team’s work can allow clients to highlight their product offerings, marketing campaigns, or enhance consumer experiences while in stores. In the home, their designs can transform a property into somewhere someone can really fall in love with. Their passion is the key to their success and ensures that their product is truly second to none in the region. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team saw major demand for their work. This was because as people were at home, they were able to evaluate projects that needed undertaking. While in normal times, wallpaper might be considered a luxury, the Back in 2019, Inspire’s goal was to expand its territories, extend its line of services, and solve its customers’ problems in the most innovative ways possible. Looking ahead, the company plans to continue doing what it does with a sheer focus on technology that has without a Wallart team found themselves incredibly busy making sure that people could fulfil their desires. These projects often revolved around the use of wallpapers and canvases, custom designed by the team, to fit into specific spaces. The team’s incredible work ethic and high-quality products have ensured not only that clients continue to return to them, but that others wish to work with them too. Wallart has a strong partnership with leading designers, including Bishop Design in the United Arab Emirates, Robin Sprong Wallpaper in South Africa and Amy Diener in the USA and Thailand. These partnerships have inspired the team to push even harder when it comes to delivering a topquality product. Already, the team are exploring the possibilities of purchasing new printing machines, having implemented MIS software to streamline the production process. The future of the company will see the team continuing to aim ever higher in what they achieve so that more people will come to them for assistance in the specialist world of wallpaper. It’s the secret behind the team’s incredible continuing success. Company: Wallart Designs LLC Name: Naveed Ahmad Email: [email protected] Web Address: doubt carried it through such a difficult time and is now at the centre of what it does. Company: Inspire Events and Activations FZ LLC Contact: Shenin Hamid Email: [email protected] Web: