How to Build Your Professional Brand | SAP Champion Spotlight Abdullah Galal
|The SAP Champion Spotlight Interview Series highlights key strategic topics, such as emerging technologies, learning, and other topics, and provides insights from SAP Champions and SAP leaders on turning ideas into innovative approaches that impact people, processes, and technology.|
Whether we know it or not, each of us has a professional brand and reputation.
In an era where people’s attention spans are getting shorter by the minute, creating a professional brand is a worthwhile consideration.
The benefits of professional branding are unlimited. Proactively building a professional brand can help define the path you want to be on and how to get there. Each of us has the power to define his or her brand by aligning intentions with actions.
A professional brand helps define the distinct value that an individual brings to their career, the community, and to their networks. It has the potential to strengthen connections and engage more deeply with colleagues.
Professional branding is an ongoing process centered around evolving goals, experiences, and accomplishments.
For Abdullah Galal, SAP Champion, YouTuber (43+K subscribers, 2+ million views), and SAP Finance Senior Solution Architect at Nokia, he has a strong professional brand by way of his online presence and activities to help the community. He enjoys helping others learn through his knowledge and expertise.
Given his successful YouTube channel and many other accomplishments, it was great to catch-up with Abdullah from his home office in Paris, Île-de-France, France.
Stephanie De Camara Marley (SM): Hi Abdullah! After your time studying accounting at Ain Shams University, you went on to work for and consult with a variety of market leaders including Mars, Raya, and SAP. What triggered your interest to develop subject matter expertise in accounting and technology that has led to your current role as the SAP Finance Senior Solution Architect at Nokia?
Abdullah Galal (AG): Thanks Stephanie! After my graduation, I received a scholarship in the amazing Information Technology Institute in Egypt. They recommended I join the SAP track because becoming an SAP consultant is a great career choice – and they were right!
During the scholarship opportunity, I decided to proceed with Financial Accounting and Controlling modules, given my accounting background and my love for finance. After the scholarship, I started my journey as an SAP consultant working with different companies on SAP projects. I developed a passion to helping others improve their lives through SAP.
SM: You have an amazing YouTube following with 43+K subscribers and ~2-million total views centered around SAP S/4HANA, business process management, finance, and related topics. Wow! What sparked your interest to develop this channel around your passion to solve technical issues and understand complicated SAP and Finance topics? What upcoming topics are you planning to cover?
AG: The moments that I appreciate most in my projects are when I teach someone how to use SAP well and see how it impacts his or her work and life! It’s amazing how SAP can help users save a lot of time, and even find better job opportunities in great companies that use SAP. One day I imagined how great it would be if instead of helping one or two people, I could help everyone, so that’s why I decided to start my YouTube channel. Now I help strengthen the SAP community by sharing more knowledge and encouraging others to share.
SM: How did you become an SAP Champion? In this role, how do you engage with Community members?
AG: I’ve been consistent in sharing videos and blogs related to SAP for the last 4 years, and that paid off! I have a strong online community that I appreciate a lot, and I was able to build good online relations with many of the SAP Mentors and Champions. I was nominated to become an SAP Champion, and the Influencer Team found my contributions to the Community valuable and accepted the nomination.
I continue engaging with the SAP Community members through my weekly videos and LinkedIn posts, and now I have an official role in improving the SAP Community as an SAP Champion through motivating the Community members to engage more and share more. #share knowledge
SM: You have created a full playlist and co-authored an SAP PRESS book on the topic of Credit Management in SAP S/4HANA. From your experience, how do efficient receivables and credit management reduce the risk of financial loss and help preserve relationships?
AG: Credit management is a very sensitive topic. Imagine if we block the sales to a loyal customer because we gave him a low credit score by mistake! This can lead to losing loyal trustworthy customers.
Now imagine the opposite case. We allowed high value credit sales to a customer who has a bad financial standing, and he is not able to pay his credit. To be able to successfully evaluate the credit standing of each customer, we have to analyze a lot of details and then control credit sales based on the evaluation. Credit management in SAP S/4HANA makes this complicated analysis and control possible and user friendly.
SM: Enjoyed your “SAP MM (Materials Management) Account Determination” Playlist, and I can see you’re very interested in the different account determination topics. Why do you find this topic interesting?
AG: A great feature in SAP is the Process Integration. All the system components are integrated, and the accounting numbers are updated automatically in real time which allows the users to generate complete up to date financial reports at any time!
To do this, we have to successfully configure the automatic accounting entries posted in different processes. The person responsible for this configuration must fully understand the business processes in the different business areas, and the accounting entries behind them which can be challenging.
I really enjoy exploring the business processes and explaining them to others.
SM: You have a passion for sharing your knowledge on accounting and SAP with everyone. What suggestions do you share with students and recent alumni who are looking to score high-level jobs post-graduation that relate to SAP technology and financial management?
AG: I’ve shared a lot of advice on my YouTube channel – it would be hard to summarize in a short answer. However, my top advice would be to work on communication skills as well as their personal and professional online brand. SAP consulting is an amazing career, and the sky is the limit!
We can find amazing opportunities worldwide when we have a strong online presence and actively help the community, share our knowledge, and help others.
My next piece of advice would be to not worry about the amount of pay you make in your first opportunity. Numbers improve quickly and largely when you build the correct experience and an excellent reputation.
What is next?