Mehdi Cherif

Please share a small profile on your field of business and how you came into your current role.

I am currently the founder of Pulse Music, a revolutionary social music discovery platform that unites and engages artists and users with brands. We are building Pulse on the blockchain, and one of our core pillars is to be part of the metaverse revolution too.

The music industry is a competitive one and I have had amazing opportunities to work with some of its top brands.

My first foray into the music industry was as an international buyer for Virgin Megastore MENA. Then after that my entrepreneurial skills were further tested when I launched GrooveMasterME in 2012. GrooveMaster is a streaming technology that the MENA didn’t have at the time. Having worked alongside such brands as Nike, Air Jordan and Under Armour, it has given me a solid foundation on how to help brands grow by integrating music services.

Then last year I took all the knowledge from my 30 years in the music industry, and put it into starting Pulse Music. I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes us.

As a next-generation CEO or team lead, what are the lessons that you wish to carry forward from your mentors?

I think this is a great question. My family, who are my biggest supporters and also my harshest critics, instilled in me from a very early age that work ethic is a must. I have also tried to make sure that there is a positive culture of inclusivity, alongwith positive behaviours and values that take place within the business on a day-to-day basis.

I believe it’s important to have a clear vision of where the business is heading and that communicating this to the team is paramount — so that we are all on the same hymn sheet. Lastly, knowing what I am good at and what I also need help with is very important. That’s why I am really grateful for the team I have.

What are the challenges you perceive in your field of business and how are you planning to meet them?

As creative industries continue to evolve, it’s imperative that data ownership and control are decentralised. By implementing self-sovereign identity at Pulse we’ll allow all actors within our platform — from artists themselves up through managers or publishing houses — to manage their own information without fear of manipulation by others who may want access for ulterior motives.

Data privacy has become a hot topic in today’s world. Social networks are an especially rich source for acquiring private information because users often don’t know who else might access their posts or what those insights could lead to with regards to identity theft. Pulse has implemented a four-layer SSI stack that is essential in meeting user data requirements.

The governance layer ensures that all privacy, security and portability concerns have been taken into account while still providing identity owners with control over their own information.

Globally, musicians are more often than not paid months after their music is downloaded or streamed. Pulse’s new micropayment system for musicians is going to change the game. With this innovative update in place we can now offer our artists more flexibility and ensure they get paid faster than ever before — all without sacrificing quality of service or product delivered.

State three things that you could offer to help incentivise your team in their quest for excellence.

I’ve found that the best way for me to improve my team’s performance is by challenging them and letting everyone learn from their mistakes. There really isn’t any such thing as failure when you’re just trying something new, so it doesn’t hurt if we try things out together!

By empowering my team, I have been able to achieve an increase in productivity and give each member of the group more responsibilities. The end result? The company thrives.

I’m a team player who loves helping others succeed. That’s why I work hard at giving more of my time for people on the staff to ask questions and get input from me when they need it. I have an open door policy so they can approach me any time to ask a question or just have a chat.

In your view as a new-age CEO, how primed is the UAE as a hub for business and entrepreneurship?

The UAE is a stable, financially sound country with an ever-growing infrastructure. It’s placed 25th on the global list of Global Competitiveness and offers great opportunities for businesses looking to start or grow their operation there. The UAE has made great strides in recent years when it comes to business and entrepreneurship opportunities. The new Golden, Green Visa and Freelance programme makes accessing these visas easier than ever before.

Lastly, it is no surprise that Dubai has consolidated its status as the world’s Web3 capital. The city was founded on innovation and progressive regulations, making it an ideal place for cutting-edge technologies like blockchain to thrive. The emirate’s commitment towards digital governance makes them more than capable of nurturing this new industry

How do you see your organisation/business contributing towards the growth of the UAE under your leadership?

The Dubai government has stated that it aims to create 40,000 jobs in the metaverse over the next five years, as well as add $4 billion into the economy through metaverse and Web 3.0 development. We at Pulse want to help that vision become a reality.

Also, the UAE is a country with an impressive level of economic development and we at Pulse want to add value by bringing the best minds into the ecosystem by investing in this talent pool.

What is the growth trajectory you have charted for your organisation over the next five years?

The business growth trajectory we have charted for our organisation over the next five years is aggressive but achievable. We are planning to double our revenue and triple our profits during this period, while also expanding into new markets and launching new products. This will require a significant investment in research and development, as well as a comprehensive marketing campaign.

However, we believe that these investments will pay off handsomely in the long term. Our goal is to establish ourselves as a top player in our industry, and we are confident that we can achieve this through a disciplined execution of our growth plan.