The driving force behind Baky Hospitality Group’s success lies in the women behind the scenes. This  past month, and every month, we celebrate women, and for Baky Hospitality this means we give a big thanks to all the ladies who help make the workplace better. The Group’s head office employs an equal ratio of males to females who all work harmonically together to make the business thrive. Some of the leading ladies we talked to are the following:

The talk of the town is Roulla Soussou, who is the Marketing and PR Manager at Baky Hospitality. She manages the Baky Studio which is the team of marketers and designers who do all the work behind Baky Hospitality’s online and offline presence.

Sara Naguib is the Culinary Manager and the leading female in the F&B team. She collaborates with Baky Hospitality’s Culinary Advisor and award-winning chef, Reif Othman, and is responsible of engineering all menus and calling the shots on each dish in all of the Group’s outlets: Sachi, Kazoku, Shinkō, and Lexie’s.

Last but not least, Miriam Magdy, the Human Resources Manager at Baky Group has been with the company since the very beginning. With multiple years of experience, she is the most qualified person to recognize talent the moment she sees it. She is responsible for all ins-and-outs of running Baky Hospitality’s head office. Off-duty, Miriam is a mom of a 2-year-old toddler, and so, she happily juggles all roles in her life.

We sat with the three main ladies at Baky Hospitality Group’s head office to ask them a few questions on how they balance work and life. Here’s what we’ve learned:

 

SARA NAGUIB

 

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Sara Naguib – Culinary Manager at Baky Hospitality Group

What advice would you give to people starting up in your field?

I would say quality is key! Always remember to keep on top of your work, keep improving, and also think outside of the box.

 

What drives you to do what you do? 

I love what I do, who doesn’t love food after all?!

Other than that, at Baky Hospitality, we are a young and dynamic team who support and complete each other, and share the same vision. All of which makes me happy to get up and get to the office every morning.

 

Can you name two essential components a leader must possess?

A strong personality helps. I am very firm with my team, however, I always put everyone’s wellbeing into consideration. I would also say a leader should be emotionally intelligent to be able to deal with all kinds of characters and circumstances.

 

Did you always want to work in Hospitality? How did you get to where you are today?

Food tourism has always been my passion. I love to explore new countries and cultures and with it, new flavors!

At first, I worked in my family’s hospitality business before deciding to join Baky Hospitality. I wanted to get more into the food side of the business and so I started from the bottom and worked my way up to where I am today. It was a long and eventful way which taught me a lot and gave me many opportunities, including working with talented chefs. It is a never-ending learning process and I look forward to new experiences and with it, new lessons.

 

 

MIRIAM MAGDY

 

Baky Hospitality

Miriam Magdy – Human Resources Manager at Baky Hospitality Group

What helped shape the woman you are today? 

They say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I believe that to be totally true. I joined Baky Hospitality in its early days, at the time I was the first HR member and had a huge amount of workload to deal with. No one is born with management skills; you learn as you move forward, and so, I was taught by dealing with a multitude of circumstances and people.

 

What is the best advice that you received, both personally and professionally?

Listen and process before taking any decision. I think listening is very important, not just to others but also to yourself. I was told this by a family member at a very young age; at the time, I didn’t understand it, and then one day I was faced with a big decision and almost like an epiphany, I heard these words in my head. Very often I feel a lot of people get through life by talking but forget to listen, and so this would be my advice to anyone. Just slow down and listen.

Can you name two essential components a leader must possess? 

“Be humble” is our company motto, and mine too. I believe a leader should know their people enough to direct them in the right way, support them when they’re stuck but, above all, the one who leads should lead with humbleness.

 

Did you always want to work in hospitality?

Yes! I am very passionate about the F&B sector. I realized this while being at my previous job. I was very happy, but not completely fulfilled with what I was doing. It was by pure coincidence when one day I found out that the missing part was the hospitality element. I thought to myself, “Why don’t I give that a try?”, and I’ve never looked back ever since! I feel thankful for being here and being part of an ever-evolving industry in Egypt.

 

ROULLA SOUSSOU

 

What helped shape the woman you are today? 

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Roulla Soussou – PR & Marketing Manager at Baky Hospitality Group, Head of Baky Studio

The need for work to provide for myself. I learnt that right after graduating from high-school. My parents always made sure that both my sister and I were raised not only using our potential for our sake, but also for other people’s sake. That’s very important to have as a backbone. Besides that, I would say I was blessed to have been brought up and taught what to do and what not to do based on ethics and integrity rather than gender norms – which is usually the case in Egypt.

 

What is the best advice that you received, both personally and professionally? 

I haven’t received a direct advice but I learnt from my failings. Showing perseverance is the outcome of my experience. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you imagined them to, but then you have to go on and look at the positive side of it, and see what you can learn from it. I truly think the hardest experiences are the best lessons. Another lesson I was taught by my work here at Baky Hospitality is to always pay attention to detail. I am very meticulous and so that comes naturally to me, yet, it is the key to success. 

Can you name two essential components a leader must possess?

Leadership is not just about you –  I always put myself in other peoples’ shoes. I wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything I haven’t done before or wouldn’t do myself. It is the balance between managing a team while showing empathy and understanding towards the team. The second thing is organization; I love making lists and writing everything down, it helps keep everything in check and not miss out on any detail.

Did you always want to work in hospitality? How did you get to where you are today? 

I studied Drama and Theatre. I love everything related to art, music, cinema, and fashion.

It was by fate that I met Ayman Baky during a sports event back in 2011. At the time, I was working as a fashion editor in a magazine and I was running the magazine more than doing what I love, which was the PR side of things. After a while, Ayman came to me offering me a job at his hit venue, Tamarai, as a Marketing & PR executive, and we’ve been a team ever since. We opened Sachi – the first restaurant – in 2014 and were getting ready to open Kazoku – our contemporary Japanese concept. I remember we were having a drink at Le Capitol in Beirut then clinking our glasses to becoming Egypt’s first hospitality group.

 

What advice would you share with women who are at the start of their hospitality careers and aspire to reach a senior position?

There is nothing you can’t do or achieve. You should always strive to learn. I think it’s really important that you are able to adapt to change, adapt to other ways of thinking and other ways of being. Diversity in the form of opinion and openness to that is really important.

 

 

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