October 3, 2017
Member In The Spotlight: Fram Akiki
Fram Akiki, veteran high tech entrepreneur and LebNet expansion ambassador took the time to chat with us about his path to success and why LebNet matters.
Tell us about yourself.
My family comes from the Kesouran region of Lebanon, with my dad from Kfardebian and my mom from Baaktouta. My wife, Jeanine Farah Akiki, is also an electrical engineer. We have 2 kids: Samer (22) who is in graduate school getting his MBA after receiving his B.S.E.E. and Maya (17) who is a senior in high school and is hoping to study Math Secondary Education.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
When I first joined IBM, I had a strong desire to make an impact early on in my career. In large companies, it can sometimes be difficult to make a difference if you are involved in their large, core business groups. So I quickly decided I wanted to get involved in smaller, emerging projects and for most of my career, that is where I have stayed and thrived…….entrepreneurial projects within a large company.
What has been the highlight of your career?
In my 32 years of experience in the high tech industry, I have been fortunate enough to have worked on some amazing projects all over the world. If I had to pick one highlight, it would be my first executive appointment at IBM where I had responsibility for processor solutions that were going into the Sony Playstation, Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox. It was a big job, but also a lot of fun!
You have been very active in expanding LebNet and its initiatives. Why is this valuable for you?
My parents have instilled in me a great pride for the capabilities and accomplishments of the Lebanese, balanced with the humility of helping others by the “paying it forward” concept. LebNet and its initiatives have put me in touch with some of Lebanon’s best and brightest individuals in a way that has been tremendously rewarding for me (and hopefully them!), both professionally and personally.
What advice would you give aspiring Lebanese entrepreneurs?
I cannot overemphasize the power of networking, particularly with individuals who have been through both failures and successes. It is an incredible resource for everything from advice to potential partners and clients. At the same time, don’t expect to use networking to provide any short cuts to hard work or make up for an idea or product that doesn’t make sense.