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Warren Bobrow=WB: Where are you from? Where do you live now? How did you discover the business you are in now? What is your professional background?
Tarek Moharram=TM: I’ve been fortunate to have already experienced living in three different countries and two separate continents. I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, but my family moved to nearby London a few years after I was born. When I was in early elementary school (and after a year of being home-schooled), our family sold almost everything and moved to Egypt (where my father was born). We spent the first few months living in Cairo and then transitioned to a little resort town on the shore of the Red Sea called Hurghada. Living there showed me a whole different side to life. Many of the people we knew didn’t have very much in the way of material possessions, and it made me appreciate all of the things for which I quickly became thankful. I don’t speak Arabic though, and so it was a difficult adjustment to make, at times. After about a year, it became pretty clear that our future wasn’t in Egypt, and so we moved back to London, Canada. That was a tough decision for my father, who had far better career prospects in his home country than in the West – but, he did it anyways because it was the best thing for our family.
I spent more than a decade growing up in London. Once I earned my Bachelor’s (with honours and specialization in political science), it was time for another move – this time, to New York City for law school. I lived for three years in a pre-war walk-up in Sunset Park, Brooklyn – now my second time living in a neighbourhood where English was not the predominant language. I learned a lot about life, myself, and a little bit about law, too. Well before I graduated or made Dean’s List, I knew that I wanted to do something more broadly focused than practicing law. I started planning my career in business and I also came up with my first invention – a performance recognition system for e-reading which I successfully patented in the United States.
During the first few years out of law school, I was in healthcare leadership – specifically in Long-Term Care (LTC). I managed two LTC homes during this period, each with a couple of hundred employees and annual operating budgets around of $10-$12M. I had success in these roles, but I wasn’t fulfilling my purpose. I was mostly focused onpreventingthings from happening rather thanmakingthings happen. Much to the shock of those around me, I quit before I had turned 30 and started a construction company with a business partner that was focused on seniors’ living environments. We spent three years scaling it into a million-dollar business, at which point I sold my half to my partner and used the proceeds to establish my current company, Moharram Ventures.
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