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Five Tips For Building Businesses Equipped For The Future Today's success means nothing if you're not already building for tomorrow (and the day after).

By Gene Jiao

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You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


It may feel like it when you're first starting out, but turning an idea into a business isn't just about building and selling. At the core, it's about building a value system that serves your customers, your partners, your team, and even your industry, in the best, most sincere way possible.

Looking back at our journey, we believe Huawei's success and growth from strength to strength as a company isn't only about our products, but also because of our values. In the spirit of sharing with the ecosystem, here are a few tips for entrepreneurs on how we believe they can build for the future:

1. Think about the human connection

When developing your idea, first be human. Really think about who will use your product or service, and how it will benefit them and form meaningful connections. This thinking has been a core vision at Huawei for everything we do and is reflected in our motto of "building a better-connected world." It is a vision we share with all of humanity, because the only way to bring about real digital transformation is through openness and flexibility that fosters true collaboration between users of your technology, and creates extraordinary experiences.

2. Don't just think smart, think intelligent

The future of technology isn't just smart- it's intelligent. Like it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way both businesses and individuals function. To thrive in the era of artificial intelligence, enterprises across all industries need to look beyond smart and innovate to better process, as well as leverage and learn from big data to adapt to a user's behavior and needs. Whether in the form of intelligent chatbots, digital assistants, targeted ads or recommendations, businesses need to embrace the shift from the smart to the intelligence revolution. Huawei's Kirin 970 chipset and AI-powered phones such as our Mate 10 series are just the start for us.

3. Customers first

While it may seem like the most obvious thing to do, you'd be surprised at how many businesses work on ideas keeping in mind return on investment, rather than the customer. The former is, of course, the desirable outcome. But the latter is a necessary purpose, because an idea that does not focus on creating long-term value for customers by being responsive to their needs is unlikely to deliver sustainable business success. At Huawei, for example, we believe customer demands are the driving forces behind our development, and therefore, we measure our work against how much value we bring to customers.

4. Integrity is our most valuable asset

Whether you're a startup or a 100-year-old business, integrity is what drives us all to behave honestly and keep our promises, ultimately winning and keeping our trust and respect from both customers and employees. And for entrepreneurs and new entrants looking to establish their name in the market, integrity is their only advertisement when attracting new customers and repeat clients, as well as when seeking referrals. Building a reputation of integrity is also crucial when talking to investors, seeking funding or forming partnerships.

5. Work with the ecosystem

Businesses traditionally view competition as threats, but we think it's healthier to make the pie bigger for everyone involved. To be a forward-thinking business, focus on growing the industry and making the market bigger, rather than increasing the size of your own share. Contribute to ecosystem development by joining or forming industry organizations and alliances that focus on the greater good and success for all. There is strength in numbers- more players mean more innovation and prosperity for the ecosystem, ultimately benefitting users.

6. You're only as good as your next innovation

The exponentially increasing pace of technological advances puts even the newest innovations en route to becoming obsolete, which makes continuous improvement critical for any business to keep its heart beating. But innovation isn't just about research and developing new technology. It's honing the ability to actively listen to customers and making every facet of an organization customer-centric. It's the ability to take feedback seriously and be willing to constantly make changes or pivot off course in new directions. Today's success means nothing if you're not already building for tomorrow and the day after. At Huawei, we are doing just that.

Related: Building The Future: How The UAE Is Empowering Tomorrow's Leaders

Gene Jiao

President at Huawei Consumer Business Group, Middle East & Africa

Gene Jiao is President, Huawei Consumer Business Group, Middle East & Africa.

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