We recently sat down with Thabet Mashlah, our Regional Sales Manager for the MENA region, to discuss his journey in telecom, invaluable experiences, and the unique blend of skills he brings to the industry.
1. How did you get started in the telecommunications field?
My interest in technology and its transformative power led me to pursue a degree in Computer Information Systems. During my studies, I became captivated by the rapid advancements in telecommunications and their impact on connecting people globally. Upon graduation, I sought opportunities to apply my knowledge, and I landed my first role at Motorola Canada as System Test Engineer. This experience allowed me to gain hands-on experience. As my career progressed, I embraced new challenges, from IREQ Advisor at Bell Canada to Global Sales Director at Elisa Polystar. Each step has been a learning experience, and I continue to be fascinated by the ever-evolving landscape of telecommunications.
Overall, my journey has been driven by a combination of curiosity, education, and a genuine passion for the field. I'm excited to continue contributing to the industry's growth and innovation.
2. What brought you to 3-GIS?
I was seeking a company that not only values innovation but also places a high emphasis on pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the telecommunications industry. 3-GIS stood out to me for its commitment to cutting-edge technology and its impressive track record in providing solutions for fiber network planning for big telcos. The opportunity to be part of a dynamic team that plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of telecommunications was something I couldn't pass up.
Moreover, the company's culture of collaboration, continuous learning, and the shared vision of creating more efficient and robust fiber networks resonated with my professional goals. I am excited to contribute my skills and expertise to the ongoing success of 3-GIS and to be part of a company that is at the forefront of driving innovation in the telecommunications sector.
3. What emerging trends do you find most exciting or impactful in telecom today?
One of the most exciting trends is the rapid advancement of 5G technology. The deployment of 5G networks promises not only faster and more reliable connectivity but also opens up new possibilities for innovation across various sectors, from IoT applications to augmented reality.
The rise of edge computing is also a trend worth noting, particularly in conjunction with fiber networks. With the growing demand for low-latency applications and the massive amounts of data generated, the combination of fiber networks and edge computing brings computational power closer to end-users, enabling quicker response times and enhanced user experiences.
Additionally, the ongoing development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications is fascinating, particularly in the context of optimizing fiber network deployment. These technologies are being leveraged for intelligent planning, predictive maintenance, and automated management, leading to more efficient operations and improved service quality in the realm of fiber networks.
4. What achievements or milestones are you particularly proud of in your career?
One notable accomplishment is getting the President Awards at Bell Canada. I had the opportunity to participate with the technology team in managing and delivering advanced telecom projects, resulting in delivering cutting edge solutions with a very tight schedule. This experience not only showcased my leadership skills but also demonstrated the positive impact effective collaboration can have on achieving challenging goals.
Another milestone that stands out is leading the Global Sales operations at Elisa Polystar for 8 years. During this period, I supported our Regional Directors to achieve their sales targets, and through strategic planning and execution, we were able to exceed our sales targets. This experience taught me valuable lessons in problem-solving and management, and it reinforced my commitment to delivering results even in complex situations.
5. The telecommunications industry is known for its rapid changes. How do you stay adaptable in such a dynamic environment?
Staying adaptable is crucial. I approach this challenge through a combination of continuous learning, proactive engagement, and a willingness to embrace change. Firstly, I make a concerted effort to stay informed about industry trends, emerging technologies, and market dynamics. This involves regularly reading industry publications, participating in relevant webinars, and attending conferences to gain insights into the latest developments.
Maintaining a strong professional network is also key. By engaging with colleagues, industry experts, and professionals both within and outside my organization, I can exchange ideas, share experiences, and gain valuable insights. Collaborative networks provide a support system that fosters adaptability through shared knowledge and experiences.
6. What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the telecommunications industry?
For someone embarking on a career in telecom, I would offer the following advice:
Invest in continuous learning. The telecommunications field is dynamic and ever-evolving. Stay curious and commit to continuous learning. Keep yourself updated on the latest technologies, industry trends, and best practices. This will not only enhance your skill set but also position you as a valuable contributor to the industry's growth.
Build a strong foundation. Focus on building a strong foundation of fundamental knowledge. Understand the basics of telecom architecture, protocols, and technologies. A solid foundation will serve as a springboard for more specialized knowledge as you progress in your career.
Seek diverse experiences. Don't be afraid to explore different facets of the industry. Seek out diverse experiences, whether it's in network design, implementation, maintenance, or emerging technologies like 5G. Exposure to various aspects of the field will help you discover your strengths and interests.
Cultivate soft skills. In addition to technical expertise, soft skills are crucial. Develop strong communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. The ability to collaborate effectively and convey technical information clearly is highly valued in the industry.
Build a professional network. Networking is key in any industry, and telecommunications is no exception. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with professionals in your field. Building a network can provide valuable insights, mentorship opportunities, and potential career advancements.
Embrace challenges. Telecom often involves solving complex problems. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. Don't be afraid to tackle new and unfamiliar tasks, as overcoming challenges is a significant part of professional development.
Stay adaptable. Given the rapid pace of change, adaptability is a valuable trait. Be open to new technologies, methodologies, and ways of thinking. A willingness to adapt will help you navigate industry shifts and position yourself for success.
Remember, a successful career in telecommunications is a journey of continuous learning and adaptation. Stay passionate, stay curious, and approach each opportunity as a chance to contribute to the exciting advancements in this dynamic field.