Reflections of Bain & Co Extern in Egypt: Yatin Nihalani

In May 2018 Yatin Nihalani, a Senior Associate Consultant at Bain & Co, flew to Cairo having secured a six-month externship opportunity to work with IST Networks, the Egypt-based Customer Experience (CX) technology expert led by Endeavor Entrepreneur Mohamed Fahmy. Yatin’s experience proved to be a turning point on many levels. 

Nihalani’s externship came at the back of a long standing partnership between Bain & Company and Endeavor that includes an externship program allowing high-performing Bain Consultants to get to work in six month cycles with Endeavor offices and with Endeavor Entrepreneurs around the world on a variety of critical strategic, business development, and operational projects. Faced by the challenging and demanding needs of their scaling-up, high-growth businesses, Endeavor Entrepreneurs in turn leverage Bain’s top business talent that are trained in strategic, operational, and financial frameworks for the duration of the program to the benefit of their businesses. 

Externs find in such cross-border opportunities a unique chance to professionally and personally develop, experience new industries and sectors, and immerse themselves in new cultures - all the while giving back their learnings and expertise to high-impact entrepreneurs around the world.  

Yatin’s externship at IST Networks, a market leader offering integrated enterprise solutions to a wide range of businesses and organizations worldwide, while a completely new and unfamiliar venture at first, became an eye-opening experience for him both personally and professionally. 

"When I first entered Egypt over a year ago, I had absolutely no idea what to expect, and was bracing myself for anything good or bad,” shared Yatin. “Looking back, however, those six months were the most transformative of my professional career, and on a personal level too. I take away experiences and memories that are unforgettable.” 

While working alongside Mohamed Fahmy, Yatin not only learn the ins and outs of the business while managing projects across departments and functions within the company, but he also formed long-lasting relationships with his colleagues at IST and cohorts across Cairo.  

“Over the course of my time here not only was I able to work with Mohamed Fahmy on everything from strategy and investments to product development and marketing, but I also built a very solid professional network both inside and outside the company,” reflected Yatin. 

“In Mohamed Fahmy, I found a boss, mentor and friend like no other. The rest of the IST team was also incredibly warm and supportive and we continue to talk and stay in touch.” 

Beyond his time at IST, Yatin got the opportunity to also immerse himself in Egyptian culture and explore Egypt’s must-see destinations, from its Red Sea waters to Cairo’s vibrant and eclectic atmosphere.

“I got a chance to travel the coastside extensively and got my certifications in Open Water Scuba Diving and Kitesurfing - which were some of the hardest and most fun activities I've ever done,” recalled Yatin. “Add to it the Cairo cultural and nightlife, and the fantastic weather in the country, and you'll see that my experience was close to perfect.” 

Through not only first-hand witnessing IST Networks’ dynamic operations and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the company, but also building a substantial network of people and places and discovering Egypt’s many touristic gems, Yatin’s time in Egypt was a learning curve for him in many ways. 

Endeavor offers the Bain & Company externship program as part of its broader Access to Talent program and offerings, designed to help Endeavor Entrepreneurs gain access to dedicated talent through short-term placements with corporate and university partners. By allowing professionals like Yatin and other Bain peers (read about the experience of former Bain Extern Matias Leguizamon here) and top MBA candidates to work directly on strategic challenges faced by Endeavor Entrepreneurs, this program supports Entrepreneurs in maximizing their potential and inching closer to achieving high-impact growth and entrepreneurship. 

“The Endeavor externship experience was beyond everything I expected and I'm so so glad that I decided to do it. I would recommend it to every single person I know wholeheartedly,” shared Yatin, who today is completing an MBA at Wharton, as his final thoughts to Endeavor on his externship experience in Egypt.  

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