60 Second Interview - Hazem El Mahi from NRS International
Aid International Development Forum has conducted a 60 second interview with Hazem El Mahi, Senior Business Development & Sales Manager at NRS International.
Hazem El Mahi has 13 years of proven success in market penetration, product development and diversification growth strategies across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Mr. El Mahi also plays a key role in broadening NRS International’s collaboration with various types of partners and clients, including international aid agencies, non-government organizations, key business associations, foundations, venture capitalists, and private philanthropists.
Tell us about NRS International.
NRS International is a family-run company that develops and manufactures products to the humanitarian aid, public health and development sectors. We have three subsidiaries;
NRS Relief focuses on disaster response and developing and distributing core relief items;
TANA Netting makes WHOPES-recommended long lasting insecticidal nets to combat malaria and other vector-borne diseases and;
FLEXIWAY provides fit-for-purpose solar products for both the humanitarian and development sectors.
What is the latest product/service you are currently working on? What makes it stand out?
NRS Relief recently launched a new product division –the Aid and Support Structures- which offers durable shelter solutions for aid and development operations including healthcare, medical operations, warehousing and schooling. We are also working a range of solar products that provide communities options. For example, our Solar Muscle Flex can be used as a torch, desk light, or hung from the ceiling to provide downlight.
How big is NRS International’s involvement in humanitarian aid and disaster response today? What kind of aid can/do you provide?
We have worked in the humanitarian aid and disaster response industry for over 40 years. We consider ourselves, a one-stop shop for our clients. Our products include, core relief items (family tents, large aid support structures, blankets, sleeping mats, winterization kits, jerry cans, hygiene kits, jerry cans, tarpaulins, kitchen sets), public health products (mosquito nets) and fit-for-purpose solar lights. Over the years we have prioritized innovation and product development to meet the evolving demands of the sector. For example, we acquired Flexiway Solar Solutions over a year ago because we saw a need for reliable solar systems for displaced people.
What trends do you see for humanitarian aid and how does NRS International prepare for the future?
Our headquarters in Dubai offers us a unique logistics edge because we can quickly dispatch our items in most parts of the world and have an in house logistics team. We also recognize that humanitarian response can no longer be a onetime delivery of products; instead, response needs to look at the larger picture and our supplies need to last longer and provide comfort for those that need it the most.
Tell us about the latest public-private partnership NRS International has engaged in.
We truly value all of our partners. For example, we are currently working with a wide range of international NGOS on various short-term impact trails of our solar products. In recognition of the 4th anniversary of the Syria conflict, we partnered with CARE by providing them with our solar lights and our core relief items that were used as venues for advocacy events in the US. In collaboration with our factory and our family foundation, we launched a local #HeForShe campaign, a United Nations solidary movement for gender equality. As a reflection of our dedication to corporate social responsibility, we were selected to sit on the local UN Global Compact United Arab Emirates Steering Committee.
How have public-private partnerships benefitted you or how do you imagine they would?
We value being a part of the larger humanitarian aid and international development conversation and believe that as a designer, manufacturer and supplier of items we can learn from all echelons of stakeholders; policy makers, field workers and first responder, and beneficiaries. By having strong dialogue amongst all participants we are better suited to make new tools that have a larger impact.