EP 81 – Creating and leading scaleups in the Middle East with Muhammad Chbib

EP 81 – Creating and leading scaleups in the Middle East with Muhammad Chbib


Episode Stream



The 81st edition of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast with Dries & Gerrit is just around the corner! We delve into the fascinating world of startups and cross-cultural business dynamics with our guest, experienced founder, business angel and WHU alum, Muhammad Chbib.

Muhammad shares his valuable insights and experiences in the startup world and describes his journey from Germany to Dubai and back again and, how it has shaped his approach to entrepreneurship and the lessons he has learned along the way. 🚀

Muhammad’s expertise and perspective shed light on the significance of building connections, navigating cultural nuances, and seizing opportunities in Arabic markets. 🌟

He also emphasizes the need to adapt and respect the ways of the culture in order to succeed. His critical perspective on some aspects of how he feels a colonist mentality by Westerners sparks a lively discussion that is now more relevant than ever.

Take advantage of this thought-provoking conversation!




(0:09) Intro to the episode

(1:11) Muhammad’s background story

(4:58) From a startup to a consulting mindset

(10:40) What was the motivation for venturing into the Middle East

(17:22) How did the startup landscape in the Middle East look like back then?

(21:45) Navigating through region-specific relationships, dynamics and networks

(28:53) What is Muhammad’s view on the Berlin startup scene?

(33:00) What are control freak investors, and how do they relate to the lack of diversity in the German mindset? 

(36:40) Underrepresentation of people with an immigration background in the German startup scene

(40:25) German VC getting active in the Middle East

(47:20) Different norms & values and how to deal with it

(56:45) Working in other cultures as a Westerner

(58:10) What is a „First 1000 days guy“?

(01:03:40) Muhammad’s media recommendations


Muhammad‘s podcast recommendation:

Gysi gegen Guttenberg – Der Deutschland Podcast