‘Meet the Boss’ is a How we made it in Africa interview series where we pose 10 questions to business leaders across the continent.
Dr Mohammed Nuri, founder and CEO, Medtech Ethiopia
1. What was your first job?
Working as a medical doctor in a clinic.
2. What parts of your job keep you awake at night?
The finance part is always a concern because it is the backbone of any business. But when I am out of the office I forget about stuff. I have another life.
3. Who has had the biggest impact on your career and why?
My elder brother Ahmed Nuri because he is my role model. He encouraged me to study medicine and to also join the business world.
4. What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
To never lose hope.
5. The top reasons why you have been successful in business?
Persistence. I have an eager appetite, and if I start something I have to finish it.
6. Where’s the best place to prepare for leadership? Business school or on the job?
On the job, without a doubt.
7. How do you relax?
I go to the gym and I spend time with friends outside Addis Ababa. I also enjoy reading in a calm area.
8. By what time in the morning do you like to be at your desk?
I am in the office by 9am.
9. Your favourite job interview question?
What special value do you think you can add to my company? I am not asking for normal things, but something they’ll bring that others do not have. You know in most job interviews so many people show up. So I ask this to find out a candidate’s special personality and strengths.
10. What is your message to Africa’s aspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs?
In the past Africans left to go to other parts of the world. Now is a good time to come back and for those who are in Africa to stay, because everything is possible here. There is big potential here.
Dr Mohammed Nuri is founder and CEO of Ethiopian pharmaceutical company Medtech Ethiopia.