Personal Life of Amir Elkabir
The Worlds Times: Explain your background and your company’s in detail.
Amir Elkabir: From a young age, I was immersed in the bustling tech culture of Israel. My journey began in the disciplined ranks of the Israeli military, where I learned the core values of leadership and teamwork.
Following my military service, I dived deep into the technology industry. I led the development of an avant-garde investment platform, leveraging AI to redefine investment strategies within Start-Up Nation’s prominent Venture Capital landscape. I assumed key roles in the Fintech and Semiconductors industries, making my mark at companies like Finastra and Applied Materials. My time at AT&T was marked by the launch of flagship streaming products, bringing world-class entertainment to millions of screens worldwide.
I frequently take the stage to share insights on software delivery and scaled agile practices, and as a consulting member at Gerson Lehrman Group, I contribute my expertise on applied AI and machine learning.
I hold an MBA from MIT with cross-registration at Harvard Business School, a master’s in management of technology-based firms from the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), and a B.Sc. in Electrical and Computers Engineering.
My business, is a boutique-owned firm specializing in assisting clients in the tech world with applied AI, large-scale Agile transformations, and multi-site product development. I provide a comprehensive suite of consulting services to help our tech-world clients navigate the complexities of the modern business environment and achieve success in their digital transformation journeys.
The Worlds Times: Give us one word that describes you the best.
Amir Elkabir: Eclectic is the word that describes me best, as my career trajectory has wound through various industries and business settings. My passion for technology is matched only by my love for people. I have dedicated my life to pushing digital innovation forward while focusing on humanizing tech wherever possible. This blend of experiences and interests, from the disciplined ranks of the military to the innovative spaces of fintech and semiconductors, has cultivated a unique perspective that I bring to every challenge. My commitment to not only staying abreast of the latest tech trends but also understanding the human side of the equation ensures that I approach every problem with a balanced and thoughtful perspective. This eclectic mix of experiences, interests, and skills shapes everything I do at AMIRELKABIR.
Goals & Strength of Amir Elkabir
The Worlds Times: What are your goals?
Amir Elkabir: My primary goal is to empower businesses, particularly in the financial sector, to unlock their full potential in this digital age. The financial sector and fintech capabilities are particularly interesting to me as this industry has a massive lead in using AI. I am keen on getting involved where machine learning (ML) and AI applications are well ahead with considerable potential. Applied AI, Agile practices, and effective multi-site product development are key enablers of digital transformation. By assisting companies in these areas, I aim to optimize their operations and create innovative products and services that provide real value to their customers.
Moreover, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experiences with others. As a global speaker, I am committed to raising awareness about the importance of AI and Agile practices in modern businesses and contributing to the broader tech community.
Lastly, on a personal level, my goal is to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It’s crucial to make time for family, hobbies, and self-care to stay productive and fulfilled in the long run.
The Worlds Times: What do you feel is the biggest strength of “AMIRELKABIR” right now?
Amir Elkabir: The biggest strength of AMIRELKABIR right now lies in my unique approach to making AI accessible to everyone, regardless of their technical background. In a rapidly evolving world where AI has transitioned from just a buzzword to an essential tool for forward-thinking business leaders, I recognize the importance of understanding and effectively leveraging AI across all business sectors. My upcoming book, “Lead With AI,” which will be published by the end of this year, discusses precisely that.My approach is not just about building efficient AI systems but creating an environment where AI can thrive and provide maximum value. Leaders, managers, marketers, and professionals from all industries are not just spectators in this AI revolution but key players who can shape its direction and impact.
The Worlds Times: What resources and support systems are in place to help students navigate their academics at MIT?
Amir Elkabir: MIT is nothing short of magical, nestled in the heart of Kendall Square, a hub of global innovation for several decades. A significant resource is undoubtedly the exceptional faculty, who bring a unique mix of academic research and real-world experience to the classroom. This aligns perfectly with MIT’s motto, ‘Mens et Manus’ or ‘Mind and Hand.’ Additionally, the myriad clubs and practice centers, such as the Martin Trust Center where entrepreneurship flourishes, are invaluable resources. I had the privilege of leading clubs like the Venture Capital Club, but there is a community of interest for everyone to connect with. It truly feels like being a child in a candy store.
Path & Challenges Faced by Amir Elkabir
The Worlds Times: What was the path you took to get to where you are today?
Amir Elkabir: My path has been a blend of discipline, innovation, and continuous learning. It started with a solid foundation in leadership and teamwork from my time in the Israeli military. This experience was instrumental in shaping my approach to challenges in the tech world. Post-military, I immersed myself in various technology sectors, from fintech to semiconductors, and took on roles that allowed me to leverage AI and data analytics for product innovation and business strategy.
Along the way, I pursued academic excellence with degrees from premier institutions, melding my deep knowledge in both technology and business.
The Worlds Times: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome during the journey of your leadership?
Amir Elkabir: One significant and recent leadership challenge I encountered was during the COVID-19 pandemic when I was a senior manager at AT&T. The uncertainty during that time was unlike anything we had experienced before, and hundreds of eyes were on me, watching my every move and thought. It was a period where I had to navigate the continuous operation of our site and product delivery while simultaneously keeping the engagement levels as high as possible.
During these times, I learned the power of leading by example. I understood that people needed more family time, they couldn’t attend virtual meetings as much as before, and we should introduce new ‘watercooler’ interactions. I realized that I had to lead this change.
It was a delicate balancing act of maintaining productivity while being empathetic to the team’s needs. It required rethinking our work processes, being flexible with schedules, and finding new ways to foster connection and camaraderie in a virtual environment.
The Worlds Times: What are the key values which helped you to overcome the challenges in your path? Tell us something about your memorable incident in your leadership?
Amir Elkabir: Key values that have helped me overcome challenges include self-awareness, authenticity, and courage. Understanding myself deeply has enabled me to lead authentically, make decisions with peace of mind, communicate naturally, motivate others, and build respect.
A memorable incident that underscores the importance of these values occurred when I was serving a top-tier client in the banking district of London. I was managing a team supporting a crucial installation at a renowned bank. As often happens with first-time attempts, we ran into issues, and I found myself managing a crisis with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line. I tried to communicate ‘business as usual’ for too long and was not my authentic self. My real self rolls up his sleeves quickly and is not afraid to raise a big red flag to the highest management level when needed. However, at that point, I wanted to please too many stakeholders and walk and talk like the businessmen of the financial district.
This experience taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of being authentic, always with yourself and, most importantly, with everyone around you. That is leadership at its very core.
Vision & Strength of Amir Elkabir
The Worlds Times: What do you value the most about “AMIRELKABIR” vision?
Amir Elkabir: What I value most about AMIRELKABIR’s vision is its inclusivity and democratization of AI knowledge. It is a vision that believes everyone, not just technologists or those well-versed in machine learning and complex algorithms, can contribute to a company’s growth in this new age of AI. It recognizes that everyone can learn the frameworks to identify opportunities with AI in their respective fields and be cognizant about scaling growth utilizing our digital era with the right basic training. This vision encompasses artistic creators, leaders, product managers, both low and high tech, HR, and finance. All of these functions need to adapt their skill sets slightly to stay relevant and, more importantly, lead growth in their fields. The vision of AMIRELKABIR is to facilitate this necessary adaptation and help make it a reality for everyone, and that is incredibly valuable to me.
The Worlds Times: What are the strategies of “AMIRELKABIR” and how do you stand unique from others?
Amir Elkabir: What sets AMIRELKABIR apart is the eclectic background I bring to the table. Having served in various leading positions across multiple business contexts, I have gained a wealth of experience and a unique perspective that informs everything I do at AMIRELKABIR.
My involvement in different sectors, from fintech and semiconductors to entertainment and consulting, has equipped me with a deep understanding of the diverse ways in which AI and data analytics can be leveraged to craft cutting-edge business strategies.
Future & Competition of Amir Elkabir
The Worlds Times: How do you see the AI changing in two years?
Amir Elkabir: Seeing how fast AI is changing, I expect several big changes in the next two years. Thinking about what I shared for AMIRELKABIR, I’m hopeful that more people will be able to understand and use AI. As tools get better, they’ll be easier to use, allowing people, even if they’re not tech experts, to benefit from AI in many ways. Along with this growth, there’s a big need to make sure AI is used in the right way. As we use AI more in our daily lives, it’s super important to make sure it’s fair and doesn’t have hidden biases. Another big topic is ‘Explainable AI’. As our AI systems get more advanced, it’s key for them to make clear to us why they make certain decisions. Also, AI will start working more with another new tech like blockchain, IoT, and 5G. This combo will let us do cool things we couldn’t do before. Finally, we should watch out for improvements in how computers understand language, known as Natural Language Processing (NLP). This means in the future; machines will get even better at talking to us in a natural way.
The Worlds Times: What benefits are clients getting from “AMIRELKABIR” in this competitive world?
Amir Elkabir: Clients partnering with AMIRELKABIR gain a significant competitive edge in several ways. First and foremost, they receive tailored guidance on how to harness the power of AI and Agile practices in their specific business context. This is not a one-size-fits-all approach; it is a customized strategy designed to address their unique challenges and opportunities.
Second, AMIRELKABIR helps clients democratize AI knowledge within their organization. I strongly believe that everyone, not just the technologists, can contribute to a company’s growth in this new age of AI.
Lastly, my expertise, combined with a commitment to continuous innovation, ensures that my clients are always at the forefront of the latest trends and technologies.
Advice for Amir Elkabir
The Worlds Times: Would you like to say anything else to our viewers?
Amir Elkabir: Certainly, I always remind myself to stay humble and thankful, at every single station of my life. This past year, as I found myself at both MIT and Harvard Business School, it was a constant reminder of the fortunate series of events throughout my life that led me there. It wasn’t just one lucky break, but a culmination of work, educational accomplishments, and support from my family, lifelong friends, and community that got me to where I am today. This journey, especially during the challenging times of Covid, emphasized the importance of having a solid foundation before embarking on big dreams. Moreover, being surrounded by incredibly accomplished classmates at both MIT and Harvard Business School, who have made significant sacrifices to be there, is a humbling experience that reinforces my gratitude and the importance of staying grounded, no matter how high you aim.
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