Taha Bawa is a Swiss entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of Goodwall, the professional development community for the next generation.
Goodwall's community – which has already grown to over 1 million members – enables young students to share their achievements with peers and mentors while connecting them to universities and internships.
‘Firstly, I wanted to improve my leadership skills,’ explained Taha. ‘With the expansion of Goodwall, the team is now in three continents while serving users in 150 countries, so the Oxford EMBA’s focus on director level management was perfect for me. It has given me the chance to review both the business and my managerial skills.'
Taha is the youngest member of his cohort, and he describes the experience of learning amongst seasoned managers and directors as one of the essential benefits of the course. ‘One of the surprises for me has been the extent to which learning takes place outside the classroom. There are people from a fantastic variety of businesses, from multinational tech companies to private equity groups as well as NGOs. Each one of them has their own unique take on leadership and management, and hearing about their experiences allows you to reflect on your own challenges. It’s a very enriching experience.’
Goodwall was co-founded with Taha’s brother, Omar Bawa who approached him with a transformative idea on how to help people maximise their potential and impact society positively. The platform is now active in over 80,000 schools around the world, as well as being connected to universities on four continents.
It only takes a brief scan of the Goodwall website to get a sense of the tremendous hive of activity that makes the platform special: budding female aerospace engineers mix with maths prodigies and sports stars in a network that brims with global talent and optimism.
An often overlooked challenge for entrepreneurs is what happens when success and expansion transforms their role from innovator to manager, as Taha explained: ‘we all have a lot of room to improve so the chance to learn from experienced managers and take the time to think about how I can be better has been very useful for me.’
Goodwall’s users may now number in their millions, but Taha affirmed that further expansion is in the company’s sights. ‘We want to drive as much value as we can for our users and we are continuously adding new features and partners. As Goodwall grows, it will continue to ask more of me as a leader. The Oxford EMBA is preparing me for these future challenges.’