Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Don’t forget to sleep well this Ramadan

  • WHISPER founder emphasises the need to prioritize sleep to stay healthy throughout a full month’s fast
  • WHISPER offers 100-night risk free trial of their premium mattress for customers to experience quality sleep first-hand

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Ramadan is an important time for families and friends to come together. With the season packed with get-togethers, iftar celebrations and other festivities, people tend to stay awake well into the night, which then results in disrupted sleep patterns.

Sleep is essential to maintaining health and wellbeing, and there are documented implications when we don’t get enough of it.  For UAE, where Ramadan fasting is expected to last on average of 14 hours, it is imperative that people keep a regular and healthy sleep cycle as it can strongly impact one’s ability to actively perform every day activities throughout the month, without falling weak or ill.

Disrupted sleep can bring about day-time sleepiness, headaches, behavioural problems and reduced cognitive functioning, this according to Sleep Expert Dominik Zunkovic, who is also the Founder of WHISPER.  Dominik also explained that sleep deprivation makes a person crave for sugary and fatty foods, which is not healthy.

“Just as much as a healthy diet, prioritizing good sleeping habits during Ramadan is very important in order to maintain a proper balance of overall wellness, while keeping hunger and fatigue at bay during this season, will becomes that much easier.  Additionally, maintaining regular sleeping patterns during the Holy Month is a key step to re-adjusting post the season,” Dominik added.

To maintain sleep quality and quantity, Dominik recommends keeping one’s sleep environment quiet and dark for minimum distraction.  While adding that the use of earplugs or eye masks can perform wonders for falling and staying asleep, he emphasized that a good mattress is one of the most important aspects of achieving a healthy dose of sleep.

“Mattresses are the foundation of good sleep and choosing the right one can make all the difference.  A mattress that provides proper support for your back, neck and joints, promoting good alignment, and cushion for pressure points and relief for pain, is what you need to ensure sleep quality,” Dominik said.

Taking all these into account, Dominik points out that the WHISPER Mattress is the ideal solution for ensuring quality shut-eye during Ramadan.  

WHISPER, which disrupted the UAE mattress industry with its online bed-in-a-box business model, uses high-quality dynamic foams that are adjustable in comfort and medically certified. Their mattress is made of Quantum foam, which is breathable and – unlike memory foam – keeps you cool at night and protects you from bacteria and dust mites.  Specially designed to ensure optimum
hygiene, WHISPER uses real silver yarn in their products, which naturally ionizes and prevents bacteria, dust mites and bad smells.  Also integrated into the foundation fabric of the WHISPER mattress is the Silver Shield, a grounding cable developed by the company to prevent any electromagnetic (EMF) waves from entering one’s sleeping area. Based on numerous studies, electronics such as TVs, phones, and computers emit harmful EMF waves that interfere with an individual’s brain waves, preventing him from getting deep restful sleep.

“We use open cell foams for our mattress because they allow heat and sweat to escape. The same material goes to into our pillows.  Our fabric is also thermo-regulating, which means that it cools you down when it’s hot and retains heat when it’s cold. The WHISPER mattress fabric and foams are engineered to be completely breathable, ensuring enough ventilation and optimum comfort throughout the night. This perfectly suits the hot and humid weather of the region, especially during Ramadan which normally falls during the summer season,” commented Dominik.

Confident of the high-quality craftsmanship of the WHISPER mattress and pillow, Dominik revealed that the company offers a 100-night, risk-free sleep trial in order for customers to experience the products’ features first-hand.   “All that you need to do is purchase the mattress and/or pillow and sleep on it for a minimum of 30 nights. If at the end of 100-night trial period, you don’t enjoy the experience, the WHISPER team will pick it up for free and give you a full refund on the mattress,” he concluded.

SODIC releases its 1Q19 results showing revenue growth of 84%, sales driven by limited new launches with Allegria Residence fully booked

Cairo, Egypt, May 19th 2019, Sixth of October Development & Investment Company “SODIC” has released its consolidated financial results for the quarter ending 31st of March 2019.
  • Revenues: EGP 941 million, up 84% YoY
  • Gross profit: EGP 270 million
  • Gross profit margin: 29%
  • Operating profit: EGP 149 million
  • Operating profit margin: 16%
  • Net Profit: EGP 161 million
  • Net profit margin: 17%

Consolidated Balance Sheet Figures as at 31st of March 2019:
  • Accounts Receivable: EGP 11.4 billion
  • Cash and cash equivalents balance: EGP 4.3 billion

Financial Review: Leap in Revenues, Robust Balance Sheet

SODIC recorded revenues of EGP 941 million during the quarter growing by 84% compared to EGP 512 million recorded for the same period last year. The strong growth in revenues was driven mainly by Villette which contributed to circa 50% of the delivered value.

Gross profit was recorded at EGP 270 million, with a gross profit margin of 29%, this compares to EGP 266 million recorded during the same period last year reflecting a margin of 52%. The exceptionally high profitability recorded in the comparative period in 1Q18 was on the back of a one off sale of land for sub-development in SODIC West, this in addition to the early phases of Villette dominating the delivered value in 1Q19 impacting gross profit margins.

Operating profits came in at EGP 149 million versus EGP 193 million during the same period last year and reflecting an operating profit margin of 16%.

Net profit amounted to EGP 161 million during the quarter recording a net profit margin of 17%. This compares to EGP 211 million recorded in 1Q18 reflecting a net profit margin of 41%

Total cash and cash equivalents amounted to EGP 4.3 billion, reflecting the strength of the company’s balance sheet and supporting land bank expansion plans and projects execution.

Bank leverage remains low with bank debt to equity at 0.35x. As of 31st of March 2019 SODIC’s bank debts outstanding were EGP 1.8 billion reflecting a 56% utilization rate for available bank facilities of EGP 3.2 billion.

Receivables of EGP 11.4 billion provide strong cash flow visibility, with delinquency rates at 7%.

Client deposits represents the backlog of unrecognized revenues from contracted sales of units that are to be delivered over the coming three to four years. Client deposits as of the end of the quarter were EGP 16.5 billion providing strong revenue visibility for the company.

Operational Review: Limited Launches, Allegria Residence Fully Sold

SODIC recorded EGP 881 million of net contracted sales on the back of limited new launches. During the quarter SODIC launched the first phase of Allegria Residence, a fully finished apartments complex in SODIC West which was fully sold year to date. The quarter also witnessed the launch of the second phase of SODIC’s office complex on road 90 in East Cairo Eastown District New Cairo “EDNC”. The total value of both launches was EGP 1 billion.

Net cash collections came in at EGP 1.1 billion during the first quarter 2019, while delinquencies were recorded at 7%.

The company continues its strong commitment to timely deliveries, with 201 units delivered on schedule during the quarter. This compares to 167 units that were delivered during the same period last year.

Land Bank Developments

On the 21st March 2019 SODIC signed the partnership agreement for the 500 acre plot in the Sheikh Zayed Extension area with the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA).

The plot is located a mere 10 minutes away from SODIC West, the company’s flagship mixed use community in West Cairo. The project intended to be developed on the plot is expected to comprise over 5,000 units generating an estimated total sales of circa EGP 43 billion. NUCA is entitled to a maximum total payment of EGP 15.3 billion over 11 years of which EGP 8.8 billion are fixed payments including a down payment of EGP 300 million, in addition to 15% of the annual collections. The projected payments imply a land cost per sqm capped at EGP 2,470 on a net present value basis discounted at 16%.

The addition of this plot brings SODIC’s total undeveloped land to circa seven million square meters from which SODIC is looking to generate over EGP 150 billion of potential future sales over the coming 10 years. The project is slated for launch in the fourth quarter of 2019 and is set to be SODIC’s second largest development in West Cairo.


SODIC is targeting EGP 7.2 billion of contracted sales, expanding by circa 40%. The company expects West Cairo to contribute heavily to its growth this year leveraging on the positive developments of Al Yosr coming into the pipeline for monetization and the addition of the 500 acre plot to the company’s project portfolio in 2019.

In addition the company plans to deliver some 1,151 units across ten projects with an estimated value of EGP 5.1 billion reflecting a forecasted growth of circa 38% in revenues driven by deliveries in Villette.


SODIC is one of the region’s leading real estate development companies, currently developing a number of diversified projects in Egypt. SODIC’s developments in East and West Cairo and Egypt’s North Coast range from residential, retail and commercial projects to large scale mixed-use developments. SODIC is listed on the Egypt’s Stock Exchange (Ticker OCDI). For more information please visit www.sodic.com.

التعليم" توقع بروتوكول مع "مصر الخير" لدعم وتطوير العملية التعليمية

وقعت وزارة التربية والتعليم والتعليم الفني، اليوم، بروتوكول تعاون مع مؤسسة "مصر الخير" لتنفيذ عدد من المشروعات التعليمية التى تمثل أولوية قصوى لدى الدولة لتحقيق التنمية المستدامة.

وشهد توقيع البروتوكول الدكتور طارق شوقي، وزير التربية والتعليم والتعليم الفني، والدكتور علي جمعة رئيس مجلس أمناء مؤسسة مصر الخير، بحضور الدكتور محمد عمر نائب وزير التربية والتعليم لشئون المعلمين والدكتور رضا حجازي رئيس قطاع التعليم العام، وهشام السنجري رئيس قطاع الخدمات والأنشطة والاستاذة حنان الريحاني وئيس قطاع التعليم بمؤسسة مصر الخير.

ويأتي بروتوكول التعاون في إطار الاتفاق على توفير معلمات التعليم المجتمعي بالمدارس المجتمعية، وتنفيذ استراتيجيات الدمج التكنولوجي وإنتاج الكتب التفاعلية بمدارس المجتمع، ودعم عمليات التقييم الذاتى وتحسين الأداء المدرسى، وتنفيذ برامج التأهيل السلوكى للطلاب بالمدارس، وتوفير فرص التدريب الخارجى والداخلي لطلاب التعليم الفنى على البرامج التى تؤهله لسوق العمل، توفير المنح الدراسية المقدمة للطلاب في مجال التعليم الفني والتقني.

ورحب الدكتور طارق شوقى بالحضور، مؤكداً على سعادته بالتعاون المستمر مع مؤسسة مصر الخير، مشيراً إلى أن بروتوكول التعاون يتضمن مجموعة من المجالات منها التعاون فى مجال التعليم المجتمعي، والإتاحة التعليمية وتطوير المدارس، وتطوير التعليم الفني، والمنح الدراسية.

وأضاف شوقي، أن الوزارة تتطلع للتعاون المستمر وتجديد البروتوكول كل خمس سنوات ليحقق الأهداف المرجوة منه، موضحاً أن البروتوكول يتضمن تنفيذ برامج اكتشاف ورعاية الموهوبين بالمدارس، ودعم ورعاية الطلاب ذوى الاحتياجات الخاصة، ودعم عمليات الدمج التعليمى وتأهيل الطلاب والمعلمين فى المدارس المستهدفة، وتأهيل وتدريب العاملين والمعلمين والموجهين على النظم التربوية المستخدمة داخل المدارس بما يحقق الاستدامة، تنمية المهارات الحياتية للطلاب من خلال الأنشطة التعليمية بالمدارس.

وقال فضيلة الدكتور علي جمعة، رئيس مجلس أمناء مؤسسة مصر الخير، إنه "بعد نجاح أول بروتوكول مع وزارة التربية والتعليم والتعليم الفني، نستكمل مسيرة تنمية وتطوير التعليم في مصر من خلال توقيع مدة ثانية للبروتوكول تستمر لمدة 5 سنوات أخرى، من خلالها نستأنف العمل علی تشييد المزيد من المدارس المجتمعية التي وصل عددها حتى الآن لـ1007 مدرسة، كما سيقدم البروتوكول منح دراسية للطلبة المتفوقين بالإضافة إلى تطوير التعليم الفني".

واختتم الدكتور علي جمعة، كلماته بأن مؤسسة مصر الخير تؤمن بأن المعرفة هي القوة الحقيقية في هذا العالم.

Schneider Electric’s Smart Factory in Batam Takes Organizations in Asia on Their First Step towards Industrial Internet of Things

Smart factory in Batam has become a kick starter for companies in Asia to implement Industry Internet of Things (IIoT), with more than 150 customers and partners from Indonesia, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar and Middle East have visited the factory.

Schneider Electric’s smart factory in Batam has comprehensively deployed a wide range of IIoT technologies and introduced digital tools such as virtual and augmented reality.

The EcoStruxure™ for Industry solutions provide real-time tracking of the performance of factory’s operations with 46% wasted material reduction and 17% maintenance operational time reduction in less than six months.

20 May 2019 – Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, is at the forefront in taking organizations in Asia on their first step towards Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Utilizing cutting-edge technology, Schneider Electric’s Batam smart factory is both a working factory and a showcase for customers and partners to witness how digital transformation can help them make informed, data-driven decisions that bring about improved profitability, asset management performance, operational efficiency and a smarter productive workforce while keeping the operations secure, agile and environmentally sustainable.

Smart factory in Batam has become a IIoT showcase for companies in Asia, proving to customers and partners that it is easy to get started on their digitization journey. For those that have started this journey, the Batam showcase aims to help them accelerate their digitization plans. More than 150 customers and partners from Indonesia, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar and Middle East have visited the factoryThe smart factory in Batam is just one of Schneider Electric’s smart factory showcases around the world which includes China, France, Philippines, North America and India.

Xavier Denoly, Country President Schneider Electric Indonesia said, ”We strongly believe in the value of smart factories and ensure our own factories are equipped with the latest IIoT technologies to spearhead the new Industry 4.0 era. Our smart factory in Batam is a test bed for machine learning, AI, predictive and digital maintenance, connected machines and processes. The integration of big data, cloud and IIoT technology will pave the way for organizations in Asia to work towards their smart factory vision, becoming more energy efficient and sustainable in the long term.”

The smart factory in Batam deploys EcoStruxure™ Machine - one of EcoStruxure™ solutions, Schneider Electric’s IoT-enabled, plug-and-play, open, interoperable architecture and platform - that provides real-time tracking of the performance of its operations and better visibility of machine performance and preventive maintenance needs. Using the Manufacturing Control Tower dashboards, plant managers can make better decisions and shorten reaction times to issue to the manufacturing shop floor. The Batam plant has, thus far, seen a reduction in 17% man-hours spent on maintenance and 46% waste material.

“Empowering local competencies and nurturing talents are also key success factors in Batam factory’s digital transformation. Schneider Electric team in Batam has successfully designed, developed, tested and deployed several digital solutions across the company’s global manufacturing network. Moreover Since 2017, Schneider Electric has provided vocational students and Batam Polytechnic students opportunities to participate in developing Batam’s Smart Factory applications through its Digital Internship Program.” said Xavier.

In Batam, Schneider Electric employs 2,900 people across its network of plants where they manufacture a wide range of products which are distributed globally. The three sites have also been certified with international standards ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001.

Sirichai Chongchintaraksa, VP Supply Chain Performance East Asia Japan – Global Supply Chain Schneider Electric said, “We understand that it is not easy for organizations to take the first step towards IIoT. However, our Batam smart factory can serve as best practice and example of the benefits of digitizing energy management and automation in manufacturing industry and help organizations to get started on their digitization journey”.

According to Sirichai:

Digital transformation empowers real-time tracking of operations performance from shop floor to top floor -- gaining visibility on machine performance, preventive maintenance needs, process quality control compliance, process drifts, energy management and most activities you can find in a manufacturing shop floor.

All employees in our factories benefit from this digitalization as they have more time to focus towards the strategic tasks that support the company’s growth, increase productivity and better decision making based on real-time data analysts and improve working conditions.

The return on investment of such technologies vary from less than 6 months up to 2 years; to give one specific example the Return On Investment of the deployment of EcoStruxure™ for one of our electromechanical production line was less than 6 months thanks to 46% wasted material reduction and maintenance manhours decreased up to 17% and it took us less than a month to implement it.

Schneider Electric has been a working partner of the Ministry of Industry of the Republic of Indonesia for the development and implementation of industry 4.0 since last November 2018 and Batam smart factory has just received an award from Ministry of Industry of Republic Indonesia as “A National Lighthouse for Indonesia”.

‏‏جارتنر: ‏‏5 أخطاء ينبغي على ‏‏الرؤساء التنفيذي‏‏ي‏‏ن لتقنية المعلومات ‏‏تجنّبها‏

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‏‏دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة، 21 مايو 2019‏‏: سلّطت مؤسسة جارتنر للأبحاث اليوم الضوء على ‏‏5 أخطاء ينبغي على الرؤساء التنفيذيين لتقنية المعلومات تجنّبها ‏‏لتحقيق النجاح في المناصب الجديدة التي يشغلونها.‏

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‏‏و‏‏يصعب التوقع بدقة كيف سيمضي الرئيس التنفيذي لتقنية المعلومات يومه الأول في أداء دوره الجديد، سواء كان حديث العهد في هذا المجال أم يتمتع بتاريخ مهني حافل. إذ لا بد أن يحمل اليوم الأول بعض المفاجآت وبضع تحديات فضلاً عن قراءة كمية كبيرة من الأوراق. ‏

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‏‏إذا‏‏ كان النجاح هو الهدف، فينبغي أولاً على الرئيس التنفيذي لتقنية المعلومات أن يتجنب أكثر المطبات شيوعًا في هذا المنصب. ‏

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‏‏وفي هذا السياق، قالت ‏‏كيلي كالهون وليامز‏‏ نائب الرئيس المحلل لدى مؤسسة جارتنر‏‏: "‏‏سيواجه الرئيس التنفيذي لتقنية المعلومات في يومه الأول بعض المواقف التي يحتمل أن تكون ضارة. لكن النبأ السار هو أن تلك المواقف قد توالت على كثيرين سبق وأن عملوا في المنصب ذاته. لذلك يمكن للمرء أن يستعد لها مسبقًا"‏‏.‏

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‏‏وتتلخص الأخطاء الخمسة التي يجب تجنبها في:‏

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‏‏أولاً: إعادة توجيه الأنا نحو الكفاءة‏

‏‏لدى فوزه بالمنصب‏‏،‏‏ يكون الرئيس التنفيذي لتقنية المعلومات قد أثبت جدارته أمام الذين اختاروه، ‏‏لكنه ‏‏يبقى الرقم المجهول عند طاقم عمله ونظرائه وأصحاب الشأن والموردين. لذلك يجب عليه مقاومة أي رغبة جامحة في ترسيخ مصداقيته عن طريق التباهي بقصص النجاح التي حققها في مناصبه السابقة. ‏

‏‏البداية تتطلب منه السير بخطوات هادئة وواثقة في عملية التآلف، لكن مع احتواء ‏‏الأنا ‏‏وبأقل قدر من التباهي. وحتى إن كان يتمتع بسجل حافل في حينه، يجب عليه توطيد علامته الفارقة والقيمة المتصورة في عمله بأسلوب حساس بداية من الصفر حتى يصبح ‏‏القائد الموثوق‏‏ به. ‏

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‏‏ثانيًا: كسب الخاسرين كأصدقاء‏

‏‏يمكن لواحد أو أكثر من أفراد طاقم العمل أو المرؤ‏‏و‏‏سين أو النظراء أو أصحاب الشأن أن كان تقدم للحصول على منصب الرئيس التنفيذي لتقنية المعلومات - أو حتى قد عمل بالمنصب ذاته مؤقتًا - لكن فشل في الحصول على التعيين في النهاية. ‏‏قد يكون ‏‏أمثال هؤلاء مصابين بخيبة أمل أو يشعرون بألم وامتعاض، وبالتالي قد يعتقدون أن الفائز بالمنصب لا يستحقه عن جدارة. وهذه الحالة شائعة جدًا. ‏

‏‏لذلك ينبغي على الرئيس التنفيذي الجديد لتقنية المعلومات أن يولي المزيد من الاهتمام نحو المتقدمين الذين لم ينالوا المنصب بغية كسبهم إلى جانبه أو حتى مساعدتهم على إيجاد منصب بموقع آخر. وبالنتيجة سنرى أن هؤلاء سيتجاوزون الأمر برمته في أغلب الأحوال. ‏

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‏‏ثالثًا: التبصر عند اتخاذ القرارات‏

‏‏سواء كان الأمر يتعلق بإلغاء أو إطلاق مبادرات ضخمة وبارزة أو استبدال شخصيات رئيسية خلال ‏‏المرحلة الانتقالية‏‏، يعد اتخاذ قرارات هزيلة في وقت مبكر إحدى الطرق الشائعة التي تؤدي إلى فشل الرئيس التنفيذي لتقنية المعلومات. لذلك ينبغي تدارك أنه مالم يوجد أزمة مستفحلة فإن بضعة أسابيع قليلة إضافية لن تفضي إلى إحداث فرق ملموس، لكن اتخاذ قرارات مبكرة جدًا قد يؤدي إلى أضرار مستديمة تستدعي تكرار العمل أو معاودة التصميم أو الترميم. ‏

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‏‏رابعًا: لجم الانتقاد إلا في محله‏

‏‏ينزلق الرؤساء التنفيذيون الجدد لتقنية المعلومات غالبًا في مصيدة انتقادهم المبكر للرئيس السابق، وهذا قد يؤدي بطاقم تقنية المعلومات وآخرين إلى الشعور أنهم مستهدفين بذلك الانتقاد أيضًا. يجب أن يتيقن الرؤساء التنفيذيون الجدد لتقنية المعلومات أن عقلياتهم وانتقاداتهم هي موضع تقدير كبير كونهم مبتدئين، لكن يجب عليهم كبح الانتقاد إلا حيثما يكون في موضع دقيق جدًا، وعندها يمكنهم الوثوق بأنهم ‏‏سيكونون‏‏ قادرين على إدخال التحسينات. ‏

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‏‏خامسًا: البحث عن المشورة الحكيمة‏

‏‏قبل البداية في ‏‏تولي ‏‏دور الرئيس التنفيذي لتقنية المعلومات، ينبغي تكوين مجموعة صغيرة وموثوقة من مستشارين يكون اختيارهم عن معرفة ‏‏جيدة بهم‏‏، مثل خبراء في الصناعة أو متنفذين يستثمرون في نجاح الرئيس التنفيذي لتقنية المعلومات ضمن المنظمة. خلاف ذلك، يبرز خطر الوثوق في الأشخاص غير المناسبين لأجل الحصول على النصيحة. وهذا قد يؤدي إلى ارتكاب أخطاء تتفاقم ضد ‏‏ثقافة‏‏ وأعراف وسياسات المنظمة الجديدة. ‏