An interview with Obelis' CEO, Gideon Elkayam

What do you expect for Obelis in the next 5 to 10 years?

To maintain our position in the market, to develop more and more opportunities for our employees and more services for our existing and future clients. I expect the company to double its size by 2025 and again by 2030.

What do you like the most about being the CEO of Obelis and coming to the office every day?

The accomplishments of the last 30 years give me pride and satisfaction and having the opportunity to do every day what I like feeds me with energy and fuel to continue this adventure. I enjoy going to the office, I enjoy meeting with my team, I enjoy sharing the managerial tasks with my two children, I enjoy our office headquarters, I enjoy my daily responsibilities… what more could I ask for?

Who are 3 CEOs or leaders of today you are looking up to?

  • Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa – in my opinion, he had an impact on humanity. I admire him for his courage, his empathy, tolerance and love of mankind.
  • Jack Ma, Former CEO of Alibaba – he is a unique and sophisticated CEO, a visionary taking ideas beyond imagination.
  • Barack Obama, former USA president – in my view, a president who changed the rules of the game in global and domestic politics and leadership.

What was the most difficult decision you took as Obelis CEO?

I enjoy making decisions, “big” or “small”, “difficult” or “easy”, as such I cannot think of any specific decision to nominate it as “the most difficult”.  I think every decision in its way is important and has an impact so it should not be undermined.

What is more important for you in life and business?

For me, the most important thing is unity and family. Personally, I feel I succeeded to build around me very strong family relations, a family I am proud and honored to be part of. Today, Obelis is also my family and I share the same desire – to build strong relations with each member of my team, which I hope to last for many years, even if our professional roads were to separate.

What you think will be the success factors for the future in the industry?

I believe that being able to demonstrate knowledge beyond your professional requirements is a big factor. Diversity of the services a company provides is a second one.

But most and above all, I think is the company’s human capital. A healthy, happy team is almost a guarantee for success. And this is something I am committed to work on every day.

How would you define Obelis’ culture?

In the early days of Obelis we had only a few people influencing the culture of the company. Today the challenge is for our board and middle management to cherish but also transfer, adapt and improve this culture towards new beginnings, new internal and external challenges, while maintaining the same pillars – Safe working Environment, respect between everyone and with everyone, employee satisfaction before client satisfaction, personal growth and opportunities, diversity and quality of service.

How do you see the company changing given the external challenges?

I think we should always try to adapt to new technologies, new generations, new methods… and sometimes, why not even be avant-gardiste?

In the near future the company will need to transform. We need to be able to function from different locations, the management, me included, will have to grow and assume higher level of responsibilities. Our managers will need to have the space, knowledge and desire to take over new challenges and develop new ideas and each employee will be “pushed” towards constantly looking into improvement of our operations and our overall provision of service.

What is important for you when think about the future of Obelis?

The most important for me and what I believe to be key for achieving our objectives in the next 10 years and further is boosting our culture, the feeling of safety and security for our people to grow professionally and achieve their professional and personal objective. We are a young, dynamic team, and for me it is an honor and pleasure seeing them grow and start their own families.

Equally important is maintaining a dynamic service culture, a company which makes each day different for each one of us and sometimes putting us outside our comfort zone.

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