Aziz Al Zeqri
At the age of 19, Aziz had to develop a strong sense of subsistence as an individual as well as a new foreign student in the USA. Part of the deal was to support his undergraduate studies through part-time employment in order to exert no burden on the family budget. During his college years he moved through many jobs , one of which was the floor manager of a clothing store at the age of 22. His primary work was in the Food and Beverage industry; namely Pizza restaurants. His first ticket to entrepreneurship came at the age of 25 when he partnered with a friend to own a pizza shop in San Leandro, California in 1995.
Graduating with a Diploma in Mathematics and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from California State University Hayward (now known as East Bay), Alzeqri left the business and headed back home to pursue a different life path. After joining Jadaf (Dubai Ship Docking yard) in 1999, as a System Administrator, he became a Certified Microsoft Professional in the year 2001. In 2004 Aziz was elected as the Technical-Employee nominee for the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) representing Jadaf. Employee of the year, Performance Awards and other appreciation accolades had followed the nomination to the program in 2004-2005 respectively.
After many years in the IT field, his opportunity to move into a management role came in 2006 right after obtaining his MBA from the University of Wollongong in Dubai. His first role was the head of Strategy and Development Office. In 2007 Jadaf merged with Dubai Ports, Customs and Free zone and hence he was promoted to head the Strategy Department in Jadaf. In 2008 Jadaf merged with Dubai Drydocks and Aziz became the Business Research Manager under Business Development Sector with major contributions to the strategic orientation of Dubai Drydocks; this resulted in him heading a team that established a performance management system, strategy framework and numerous business researches and improvement projects.
In 2007 Mr. Aziz was once again elected to join the Dubai Leaders Program, sponsored by Dubai World. The program was implemented in association with the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania; a top-rank university in the United States. The program had a total of 55 days of training in USA, UAE and Singapore. As a result of the program Aziz lead a team restructuring one of the key departments in Dubai Drydocks (General Engineering Department).
In 2010, Aziz applied to the University of Wollongong as part of its 2011 PhD cohort. After 3 years of intense work, the need to launch Xplorex, a Management and Training Consultancy, lead to putting off his PhD program to concentrate on a new venture. Driven by passion and a vision to contribute to the development of entrepreneurship efforts in UAE, Aziz designed and started teaching a training course on the subject within his professional capacity as a management consultant at Dubai Health Authority (DHA). His current short-term goals are to take Xplorex into the next level and go back to academia in quest of his PhD degree.