Souphien Akhrif: Digital Proust Questionnaire

Author: Alex Papanastassiou

Emakina Group has rapidly grown in recent years, as a trusted digital partner of major organisations. This is in part thanks to exceptional directors leading the way, like Souphien Akhrif, Founder and MD of Cloudworks, the agile and innovative cloud consulting operating in the GCC region.

Souphien sees IT as an accelerator. Rather than selling, he chooses to help, boosting his clients’ ROI. But who is the man behind the bright personality, ambition, leadership skills and humility we see on a daily basis? Let’s sneak a peek inside his head with Emakina’s Digital Proust Questionnaire, our version of the parlor game popularised by French author Marcel Proust.

1. Which living person do you most admire?

No one really. I have not seen anyone that I would really admire to an extent that he/she will be above others. I admire traits of personalities, careers, knowledge, talent within people but not the person. It is difficult to admire someone without knowing him/her but his/her work, way of living, actions though would be admirable, and the list would hence be too long.

2. Who is your favourite writer?

My reading has evolved throughout the years and I can’t think of a favorite author. I remember books that I loved like Les dix petits nègres (And then there were none – Agatha Christie), Arsène Lupin adventures (Maurice Leblanc), Stephen King’s books, comics (lots of comics), Le Loup Bleu (Yasushi Inoue), Harry Potter, theatre books (Moliere for example). Being quite eclectic on the genre and not limited in my choices but opportunist and curious enough to read and discover different types of literature.

But growing up I started focusing on more educative topics like religious books, personal development, business, finance/investment using the literature as an educational vector rather than recreational. I think that I have replaced the recreational reading by series/movies which I feel is a loss, as books used to bring my mind to more places than a movie.

3. Who is your favourite fictional character?

So many, argh… tough to choose. Let’s say Spiderman.

Photo: Jean-Philippe Delberghe

4. What part of the digital media industry makes you happy?

The innovation aspect, when I see things that are really making people’s lives easier or are completely disrupting an industry. I like to see established, condescending and bad reputation businesses/industries being challenged. And as a user there is nothing better than an innovation that actually simplifies your life or fixes a problem.

5. What part of the digital media industry makes you unhappy?

The loss of jobs and difficulty for some people to change and adapt to all the new waves of technology and are not taking advantage but suffering from them.

6. Who/what inspired you most in your career?

Frustration, ambition and a great desire of freedom.

Photo: Kristina V

7. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Making my parents proud. I think that I often worried them with my choices in life. It is not always easy to understand the path of someone who is taking an entrepreneur journey. Add to this the digital/tech aspect which brings an additional complexity for them to understand the business vs a traditional business and the situation might become difficult. Most particularly when you imagine/work for a certain vision. It is a lonely place.

So, being misunderstood by anyone else does not bother me, I simply don’t care. But worrying my parents was not easy. Now that I had some small successes here and there and that I see them proud and supporting, it makes me happy. I was not expecting it at all but that’s what I consider my greatest achievement.

8. What tech company do you wish you had started?

Google. Their mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Photo: Greg Bulla

9. What is your favourite digital app/ tool?

I would say my smartphone with an internet connection. I think that we got used to it and most people considered it as a banal thing, but it is not. As harmful as it can be, it is as well the door to unlimited knowledge and has changed our world in the recent years. Just need to use it wisely.

10. What digital app/tool that does not exist would you would like to create?

A proper online university/knowledge app accessible for everyone that would give access to education truly equally to everyone. There are a lot of fixes to make our world a better world. A lot of them require a huge amount of money. Educating people from the less privileged part can generate for me this huge amount of resources and help the future generations. Knowledge to me is the most efficient weapon and resource to get there.

11. What digital project would you have most loved to be a part of?

Digital projects not sure, but a space project if we speak about tech on a wider scope maybe a SpaceX project.

November 24 2020, SpaceX launched its sixteenth Starlink mission – Image: SpaceX

12. What is the trait you are most proud of in yourself?

I like justice. I am not proud of any of my personality traits but it’s something that I have thought and meditate over quite often. How to always be fair in any situation. Not an easy one though.

13. What is the trait you most admire in others?

True altruism

14. What is the trait you most dislike in others?

Selfishness to an extent where it affects other people and brings evil. I don’t mind someone trying to succeed and putting himself first, but I hate when it is unfair to others. There you go a little bit of all the previous points 

15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Can I create my own character? With every superpower that I want (strength, speed, reading people’s mind etc.) and then play the game of life as you play a video game with unlimited lives.

16. What is your most treasured possession, and why?

I don’t have one. There’s no “material thing” I can think of that would make me sad if I did not have it anymore. Everything that I really cherish is not a possession.

Cloudworks, a five-star CRM and customer service partner

Cloudworks is one of the largest Platinum Salesforce partners in the UAE and its work frequently collects five-star reviews. Digital expert Souphien Akhrif founded the company in 2015, after his studies in Information and Knowledge Systems – Engineering and Management at the Miage Sorbonne university. With his fast-growing team, Souphien successfully completed over 140 CRM and customer service projects in the GCC region.

Get in touch with Cloudworks and boost your digital business!
You can also mail Souphien

gallery image