I interviewed Osama Katanani this week on our DIDX podcast channel. (Listen to or download the MP3.) Why? The wealth and variety of telecom experience in his background but also his present professional career which includes:
Executive Manager, Marketing Branded Resellers at Mobily
CEO of http://www.telecomyou.com
Technical Marketing Asst. Manager at Mobily
System Architect at Zain
Systems Developer at Solutec
Suzanne Bowen: Welcome to DIDX podcast media channel where we bring you the expertise of IP communications leaders from around the world. I'm your host Suzanne Bowen. Today we have with us the CEO of TelecomYou.com, one of the most exciting and successful social/business networking sites on the net.
Osama Katanani: Hi Suzanne, how are you and how is your business?
Suzanne Bowen: Oh, I am very excited about today's interview. I am always interested in these kind of interviews. Here I am in Florida in US and talking to people all over the world. A few of the ones I interviewed lately are from South Africa, Malaysia, and Indonesia and today we are talking to you in Saudi Arabia. I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about your background and where are you originally from. Tell us about you!
Osama Katanani: OK I am Osama Katanani and I am from Jordan. I am living and working in Saudi Arabia. I have a degree in marketing from the University of Phoenix and another degree from Jordan. I am working in Saudi Arabia for telecoms companies as a marketing manager which is Mobily, the second fastest growing telecoms operator. I am fully dedicated to TelecomYou.com.
Suzanne Bowen: Let me ask you what led to your interest in starting TelecomYou.com?
Osama Katanani: Because I was looking for a website to meet telephony-related people in a friendly way. The traditional telecoms professional website used to be very sticky, but this is not having much effect today. The people were were focused on a central contract, not to meet new people and have better relation with them, but my website Telecomyou.com has introduced people in a new direction. It has engagement from different backgrounds and jobs. You can meet them and have discussions, answers and ask a question and comment. This type of open interaction is the reason behind people to have stronger relations not only on business and professional level. For example, a lady added 300 people as friends just to interact with them. This kind of network attracts people and she is taking advantage of that well. We like that in our members, and we recognize them as active members. The more you go active, the more the system will recognize you, and the more you will have interaction, so this is the what we started and the culture we are trying to create and grow.
Suzanne Bowen: That is what I think is really exciting. I heard about about your TelecomYou a few years ago probably when you were starting it, so tell me what are the tools and features available to the people on your website and what is the most popular one?
Osama Katanani: Okay. The most important tool that is available is a list basically that you are working to expand. First is the ability to work with the telecoms people around the world through having the list of friends. Make comments among your list of friends and advance section and second is the view also there is also the product section experience problems and interesting events that are necessary for the community. Take advantage of the video sections where companies are posting videos about their products and technologies like IP services and payments. One section still young is the job section. Today very small job section but free. Anyone can come and join and members are not charged a fee. There are forums for discussion. These are the sections available.
Suzanne Bowen: So it is multimedia. Wow, so I love these websites where people can look for jobs. Companies can post their jobs to be filled. This is what makes your website really stand out you know, and there are really big companies involved, like Zain. In fact, will you describe your typical members and share something about them.
Osama Katanani: Sure, look at a typical member on my website. He is a telecoms professional and connected to telecoms companies. He would like to discuss telecoms related subjects and may be just browse and maybe give advice to telecoms companies. He may be promoting his product or services or someone who is looking for jobs or perhaps a recruiter who is looking for people to fill vacancies. Our members are sharing ideas and spreading their experiences that they have even beyond the work. During your typical workday, you are meeting 5 to 20. But with TelecomYou, you have a larger potentail network. You meet people from different countries. This is getting you out of your organization (your office) and have experience with companies outside.
Suzanne Bowen: I think it is very interesting and wonderful to get out with the people. Yeah, it is amazing to be very connected. You describe your typical member, and I see this helps them to become more open minded about who to do business with and the services that you offer.
Osama Katanani: It's open communication and feel free to decide and share and advice that I know this and this and very exciting to meet with you people and to talk to you people.
Suzanne Bowen: As you know, we have a telecoms magazine on techistan dot net. Our goal is exactly that, to interact with people and drop boundaries and barriers and to have opportunities that they can't have normally. You have told us about your business background, your Work and your typical members. What are your plans for future?
Osama Katanani: We have a long term plan and a short term plan. For short term, we are planning to enrich the website with more telecoms related articles which include research and job trackers, so the different industries can achieve efficiency in job sector. Another feature I am trying to do is a company directory which have all the telecoms companies around the world. The members will share it. Another is a company product directory with ability to ask questions to do business. The longer vision we are looking to become a real telecoms job provider. We would provide research related to the companies, but this is second step to link all the companies in telecoms.
Suzanne Bowen: I am really looking forward to this. This kind of growth means you are flying.
Osama Katanani: The thing about social networking is that members are really producers because they do everything and they share everything and do the real work. ** (Exactly right! What wisdom in those few words.)
Suzanne Bowen: How can the listeners of this podcast connect with you if they want to do business with you?
Osama Katanani: Just go to my website http://www.telecomyou.com. It is really easy to search for my name Osama Katanani on TelecomYou and feel free to comment and add me as a friend.
Suzanne Bowen: Osama, this has been really good chatting with you, its awesome and looking forward to interact with you, to stay in touch with you and do business with you.
Osama Katanani: Hey, Suzanne do you want me to repeat the last comment, because my Son was making noises?
Suzanne Bowen: No problem! He was a nice addition to this. We are all the same kind: business people and family. **
** My two favorite parts of this podcast. Wisdom of Mr. Katanani on social networking and the reality that we are businesspeople but also human beings with families.