Tunisian-American businessman wants to "give back something" to his home country.TUNIS (TAP) - Dr. Hatem Sellami, an Atlanta businessman originally from Tunisia, had some reservations about setting up an offshore site for his company Predictix back in his home country, primarily because of his concerns about his firm's dependence on English in a country where Arabic is the official language and most people also speak French.
Twenty-six years ago, Dr. Sellami went to Atlanta, Georgia Georgia, country, Asia
Georgia (jôr`jə), Georgian Sakartvelo, Rus. Gruziya, officially Republic of Georgia, republic (2005 est. pop. 4,677,000), c.26,900 sq mi (69,700 sq km), in W Transcaucasia. , U.S.A., to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta, Ga.; coeducational; state supported; chartered 1885, opened 1888. It is a member school in the university system of Georgia. Significant among its facilities and programs are the Frank H. where he earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering, and another's master's degree in business administration.
In 2005, Hatem Sellami co-founded Predictix, a software company specialising in retailing solutions.
By 2007, Predictix was taking off and looking for an offshore location, and Tunisia was still under control of the Ben Ali The term Ben Ali can refer to:
"Being Tunisian myself, I had some hesitation early on, primarily due to concerns about the English language English language, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations. ," Dr. Sellami told American Global Atlanta website. He worried that his American and Tunisian teams might find a potential language barrier difficult.
But Hatem Sellami liked the idea of Tunisia's proximity to Europe, and thought that since most other software companies were choosing to locate offshore in Asian countries, his company would be able to maintain its spirit of being unique.
"I also wanted to give something back to my country of origin, which gave me a good education and paid for most of my education in the U.S.," Dr. Sellami said. Predictix decided to give Tunisia a try and started with four people, and "it worked really well," Dr. Sellami said.
He remains unruffled by the Arab Spring that was launched in Tunisia in late 2010 and has resulted in massive demonstrations and protests throughout the region, as well as the overthrow of rulers of four countries.
And he goes so far as to extol ex·tol also ex·toll
tr.v. ex·tolled also ex·tolled, ex·tol·ling also ex·toll·ing, ex·tols also ex·tolls
To praise highly; exalt. See Synonyms at praise. the virtues of the new Tunisian government, saying that since Tunisia's independence an even greater emphasis has been placed on education.
In addition, he is pleased that the U.S. has been offering loans at good rates to attract American investors.
Dr. Sellami is proud to note that Predictix, which offers retailers software that forecasts demand and manages inventory among other solutions, started with five Atlanta employees and has since grown worldwide.
Before going offshore in Tunisia and just two years after the company's launch, Predictix opened a sales office in London. But even with its international growth, Dr. Sellami said that the company makes it a priority to maintain its culture through all of its sites.
"We wanted to create an American-style company in Tunisia by insisting on adopting the American corporate culture," Dr. Sellami said, adding that the best way to achieve this was employing Tunisian graduates straight out of college.
With its presence in Tunisia, Predictix is in the position to capitalise Verb 1. capitalise - supply with capital, as of a business by using a combination of capital used by investors and debt capital provided by lenders
capitalize on the growing pool of Tunisian talent, he added.
More than 65,000 Tunisians graduate from college and enter the workforce each year in fields like IT, communication and engineering, and this is just one reason Elizabeth Littlefield, CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of the Overseas Private Investment Corp., says that the country is "ripe with opportunities for investors."
Mrs. Littlefield was promoting a national tour of the U.S. by Tunisia's ambassador to the U.S. Mohamed Salah Tekaya, last February, when she explained that Tunisia is actively looking for foreign direct investment by offering governmental incentives, and boasts 1,300 foreign investors.
But U.S. companies only account for 75 of these, and the country continues working to improve its image and attract more American investors, she said.
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