“2Y3X® Programme to launch in the MENA region”

  • Author :
  • November 9, 2020

2Y3X® Programme to launch in the Middle East and North Africa

2Y3X®, the growth acceleration programme with a five-year track record of doubling participating companies’ revenue, is launching in the Middle East and North Africa.

United Kingdom-based 2Y3X has signed a master licensing agreement with LINK Advisory, the Dubai-based management consultancy, to deliver the 2Y3X® Programme throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region). The programme launches with two tiers, one for rapid rebound planning and execution over ninety days, and the other is a two-year programme designed to scale participating companies rapidly.

2Y3X co-founder Felix Velarde said, “The team headed by Georges Chakar and Jihad Al Houwayek is highly regarded in the region and shares both our values and our vision. 2Y3X’s mission is to give business leaders the tools and processes to break through the business plateau and rapidly scale their companies. With the programme now available in the MENA region, we can now help more business owners achieve their ambitions.”

Founder and CEO of LINK Advisory, Georges Chakar, said, “It is an honour to partner with Felix Velarde and Frank Kelcz on this exciting venture. As the master licensee for the 2Y3X programme in the MENA region; our mandate is to work with leaders and organisations, to not only assist them in rebounding from the current economic turmoil caused by the pandemic but also to help them create agile and resilient teams with a positive outlook to make sustainable progress. “

“We are delighted to be able to provide the programme to companies in the region at these critical times, to give them the tools to drive growth and acceleration so they can benefit from emerging opportunities.” Added Chakar.

The 2Y3X® Programme is a two-year programme for companies that have reached a plateau but who lack the processes and frameworks to be able to expand. The entry-level 2Y3X QuickMap® programme is a 90-day version for companies that need strategic planning for a fast rebound. The company also operates a pro bono service for companies that are in need, with a particular focus on minority and women-owned businesses.

LINK Advisory is a consulting firm implementing business transformation strategies in growth markets. It covers various industry sectors, including hospitality, tourism, retail, telecoms, and government entities, and has worked with some of the region’s biggest brands.

2Y3X was started by Felix Velarde, who founded one of the world’s first web design companies in 1994 and went on to lead six pioneering agencies and a marketing services group, and Frank Kelcz, who spearheaded Ziff-Davis’s international expansion before joining the venture capital world.

For more information, visit 2Y3X.com or Linkadvisory.com


About 2Y3X

2Y3X was founded by Felix Velarde and Frank Kelcz.

Felix Velarde founded one of the world’s first web agencies, Hyperinteractive, in 1994, then Head New Media, which became the digital arm of Lowe, and Underwired which was sold in 2015. He was also CEO of The Conversation Group until 2015.

Frank Kelcz headed up the international expansion of Ziff-Davis and later became a VC with SEB Capital, Pitango and the UK-based accelerator Collider.

2Y3X has more than a dozen industry-leading consultants in the UK. They include:

  • Former BBC and Amnesty head of digital Eva Appelbaum
  • Former ITN, Sky and ActionAid head of digital Owen Valentine Pringle
  • Former SKF EMEA director Ali Karademir
  • Former Saatchi & Saatchi head of digital and creator of Adidas’s mi-tech business, Mo Lishomwa

More information: 2Y3X.com or contact felix@2y3x.com

2Y3X and QuickMap are registered trademarks


About LINK Advisory

People Driven Transformation

LINK Advisory is a Dubai based people-centric consulting firm established in 2015 by founder Georges Chakar and Co-founder Jihad Al Houwayek.

LINK commands an integrated consultative approach that brings relevance and commercial sustainability, by harnessing the power of people and customer, through applying its unique proprietary model, the TRANSFORMATION INTERSECT®, to help organizations create sustainable growth.

LINK is the Master Licensee of 2Y3X® in the MENA region, a leading growth acceleration programme founded by Felix Velarde and Frank Kelcz and designed for business owners determined to break through a plateau and scale powerfully.

In 2019, LINK launched its Start-Up Aid programme, a coaching platform designed specially to empower young entrepreneurs through a collaborative approach and to develop and train young leaders in their journey to create a business model that can be monetized.

More information: Linkadvisory.com or contact georges.chakar@localhost

“How to identify superstars?”

  • Author :
  • September 29, 2020

By Georges R. Chakar


The Intimate Interest.

In her third question Mia McTigue-Rodriguez from The 2Y3X Programme she asked me: How do you encourage and support leaders to identify their #Aplayers or #Superstars? What makes a team member a superstar? My answer below, what is yours?

My #Belief: As human beings, we are all born equal. We are all naturally creative, resourceful, and whole, then life happens and people build different perspectives, mindsets, skills, approaches, etc. Some will have the ability to respond, and some to react.

The #Context: Therefore, we all can be A-players if we find interest in what we are doing if our passion is there, hence sometimes an A-player could differ dependent on the context, whereby she/he can be an A-player in one context and at the same time a C-player in another.

The #Aplayers: Therefore, I encourage leaders to identify people with purpose, passion, who love competition and performance, and most importantly who finds an #INTIMATE #INTEREST in what they are recruited for.

Looking to create an A-players team that will take your organization forward to sustainable growth? get in touch on email: georges.chakar@localhost


  • Author :
  • September 23, 2020

By Georges R. Chakar


In the same interview with Mia McTigue-Rodriguez of The 2Y3X Programme her second question was: Why is #delegation so important? Any words of wisdom for people out there who are stuck trying to do it all? My answer is below, what is yours?

It is all about #leadership… Fostering the culture of #empowerment#responsibility, and #accountability is key to the success of any organization. Therefore much more can be achieved through delegation, such as the speed of concluding a certain initiative, the creative space that expands, the motivation that becomes the synonym to performance, and more. Once the above is achieved, commercial gain and sustainability come organically. This is one of the many aspects that we bring to teams through The 2Y3X Programme.

My advice to stuck leaders who are trying to do it all, I tell them “Control” is a big myth, what Covid-19 created is a big testimony to that. It brought uncertainty, loss of control, and placed the whole of humanity in the most vulnerable situation. I tell them to let go of control, delegate, and enjoy the art of observation and the ability to step in whenever you see you are needed or you can help. I tell them that a delegation is a form of asking for help, therefore ask for help yourselves.

Looking to create a culture that fosters empowerment, responsibility, and accountability? get in touch on email: georges.chakar@localhost

“What does success mean, look, or feel like to you?”

  • Author :
  • September 18, 2020

By Georges R. Chakar


In a recent interview with Mia McTigue-Rodriguez from the 2Y3X organisation, she asked me “What does #success mean, look, or feel like to you? Below was my answer, what is yours?”

First, I stated the obvious: Achieving a certain pre-set goal, such as health, relationships, financial, career…

Second, was a reflection: It is #Celebration. I often forget to celebrate small achievements, as I take things for granted. For example, success could simply be being consistent in a morning ritual, looking good, feeling good, having a great family, building a great corporate culture, and the list goes on. If I have been consistent in waking up in the morning around 5 am to do some exercise followed by #meditation and journaling, this is a success. The fact that I am #consistent is a success. Therefore, I should not forget to celebrate small successes because this will lead to big ones.

Third, what it means to me: It is enjoying the journey, learning from failure, trusting to the process, and not just focusing on the outcome. It is when being on #purpose and honoring my #values with everything I am doing. It is Knowing that I Impacted people, communities, corporates positively, and when I receive feedback that I triggered a #transformation in a way or another.

Looking to write your own success? get in touch on email: georges.chakar@localhost

“How body Chemisty helps leaders to be at the top of their game…”

  • Author :
  • August 22, 2020

By Georges R. Chakar


How body Chemisty helps leaders to be at the top of their game…

Lack of CREATIVITY is a CHEMISTRY problem…
How does that sound? have you ever thought about it this way? a new way to look at it… it goes along the lines of… How to change the chemistry in our body in order to create a state of mind and body that supports our creativity?

We all heard words like “adrenaline” or “endorphines” or … I am not a doctor, but what I know is that these are natural body drugs or hormons that our body produces through our nervous system, especially when doing sports… they reduce pain and increase pleasure and well-being through alleviating depression, reducing stress and anxiety, boosting self-esteem, reducing weight, promote peace and many more… all the later helps us to be more creative and intuitive…
The deficiencies in those hormones could cause depression, anxiety, moodiness, aches and pains, addiction, trouble sleeping, impulsive behavior, etc.

So what are you waiting for?

“A letter to the Hospitality Industry and beyond”

  • Author :
  • May 31, 2020

By Georges R. Chakar

Open and Authentic conversations…

So we have this group on WhatsApp, we are all senior hospitality professionals, from hoteliers to consultants to tourism advisors to travel agents, etc. It was a great initiative to create a group of 160+ people, thanks to Sayed Tayoun from IHG, and to stay connected with colleagues, peers, and like-minded people and create regular conversations in these tough times, conversations that add tremendous value to navigate and bounce back.

As I was reading, listening, and observing more and more on the group, I came to realize that a lot of people are on survival mode (including me), we are and our industry very vulnerable, and it is ok to feel this way. Trying to reimagine customer journey, looking at making our properties or workplace corona friendly, Looking at the different tourism segments and behaviors, when is the airline starting, how to create corona safety zones (CSZ), looking at the sales projections, MICE segment, when we could come back to normal occupancy rates, etc… all the mentioned are very much needed and a lot of the think-tanks like ours (this is how I like to call it) are very much immersed in similar exercise each in their own industries.

but I think we are missing something here.

The ugly truth for whom a lot are still denying is that “if the normal was working we would not have reached where we are today”. This is not just to say that a new normal is coming our way or to say how digitization is going to lead or how AI will be adopted, etc…because all of that is true and is becoming some sort of cliche… but what I want to say is how we as humans, communities, organizations are taking full responsibility for our actions and for our impacts from here onward.

I am curious to know what are large organizations, such as IHG, Marriott, tourism boards, individual influencers, etc., doing beyond the above, beyond adapting to new business norms, to new consumer behavior… how will they be living their values and their purposes beyond being a beautiful paragraph on the website or on the wall? how are they being responsible towards the environment, the community, etc? beyond earth hour, and PR stunts. What after we, our companies, and organizations start making money again and we start making our shareholders happy again. Will we have learned the lesson? or we go back to the greedy nature? Increase sales at any cost, increase profit at any cost, going into the same cycle again and again…it is rare that we get 2nd chances in life and here we are presented with one, therefore, I see it from a human perspective without discounting the business side, values and purpose, going back to the core and start from there…

We all heard about transformation, evolution, reinvention, etc. I Believe as we have been given a 2nd chance, by God or the universe or how you would like to call the divine power. This 2nd chance is for us, to look back inside as individuals, communities, governments, or organizations and rethink, what were we doing right and do more of, and what were we doing wrong and do less of. What about salary unfairness, employee exploitations, commissions under the table, conflict of interests, sexiest, gender bias, environmental exploitation, abuse, etc. we all have a bit of these if not all in our organizations… now that I come to name it, I realized that it is not strange that the hospitality industry was impacted the most and will take more time to recover…

The question is: what are we doing on that front?

Hospitality is one of the oldest industries in the world, where humans interact on one to one level, small/large groups, and mass, it reaches everybody and everywhere, it is about creating connections that are meaningful and powerful, connections that matter. If there is a movement that can drive this transformation, realization, and the evolution of human values is hospitality.

Finally, I would like to assume that every one of us is a leader in his own right and is responsible (if she/he wishes) to start a conversation with self first, with peers second and with his organization third, these conversations are just a start and I am setting the intention that this will create a movement and a ripple effect…

Questions to think of:

  1. What we should get rid of? (the baggage)
  2. What should we say no to? what should we say yes to?
  3. How can we contribute to creating a better version of the old or a totally new version?
  4. What actions should we take now?

I would like to urge all people participating, leading, and/or organizing webinars to add such a perspective to the conversations.


  • Author :
  • April 28, 2020


Our team at LINK Advisory will be running #virtual #workshops, #probono, on-demand to companies who need #emergency #strategic #planning, that not only helps them #navigating these #desperate times but also prepare the company for #recovery.

What are we offering you?
We are offering this pro-bono workshop for all GCC and #MENA businesses, and it will be led by our #volunteered #consultants via Zoom. Whether you are an #entrepreneur, a #startup, and an #SME, we will help you, to #recognize #leadership avenues in times of crisis and prepare solid #actionplans that can be #measurable and #effective.

What do we need from you?
We are #committed to #supporting you! As we #embark on this #journey together, we demand that you and your team be equally committed and work #diligently with us to create a #victorious #outcome. Therefore, you will be required to sign a pro-bono agreement towards showcasing that commitment.

To apply, email us on, georges.chakar@localhost or jihad.houwayek@localhost and we will be in touch soon.

Customer experience transformation during covid-19 pandemic. Series of: “your compass to recovery”

  • Author :
  • April 15, 2020

By Jihad M. Al Houwayek

It is devastating how things have changed in the last few weeks. The whole world around us seems to be in some sort of a strange pause. Life as we’ve always knew it, has been put on hold.

This reality, which has been completely unexpected, raises a huge threat for governments and corporates alike, yet it does in parallel also present a great opportunity once handled properly.

In this article, we list a four steps approach to guide companies’ leadership about the importance of customers relationship management as they navigate through the crisis.

For most companies, Finance department took the lead in this period of uncertainty, with tight cash flow management and projections as budget revisions became top priority.

As those financial decisions take centre stage, leaders should be mindful not to overreact to the situation caused by yesterday’s problem and focus on looking ahead towards creating a robust action plan for recovery.

One of the most crucial components of the equation is your customer, who is the most needed asset for the rebound once this whole situation is over and the company enters the recovery stage.

This reality brings the value of CRM to the forefront. Today, Customer Experience (CX) leaders have the most important role in managing the long-distance relationship with their customer. Don’t discount your customer from your plans even during crisis. Your customers are also living the same challenges and are expecting the brands they’ve always been loyal to, to comfort them and show empathy. CX leaders are requested to re-examine their complete customer journey and satisfaction metrics to become more aware of their customer’s current desires, wants and needs during these times and anticipate what could emerge in the future. Keeping a real-time pulse on changing customer preferences and rapidly innovate and redesign journeys that matter, will be key.

Particularly, during the times of crisis, customers’ interactions with a company or brand can trigger immediate effect on their sense of trust and loyalty. Therefore, we recommend the below four sets of immediate actions, that help building resilience and preparing customer-centric companies for full recovery in the post-pandemic days:

We know how important it is for companies and brands to show empathy towards their customers, but when was the last time this was put to action? Now more than ever connect with your customer and show that you care. Remember, that your customers and their families are also going through the crisis and have their own doubts, worries, problems and challenges. It is your role to act responsibly and create comfort. They want a resource they can trust, that can make them feel safe when everything seems uncertain, and that offers support when so much seems to be overwhelming. As you reach out to your customers, remember to remain true to your company values and purpose – do not try to sell them. Your approach should not look as a marketing attempt, it should look genuine without showing any intent for any commercial gain.

your customers are trapped at their homes. Normal life activities have come to a halt. Demand patterns have shifted overnight. Customers have only access to digital channels, therefore, brands that will offer them the best digital experience will gain the most. It is also expected that digital-led experiences will continue to grow in popularity once the coronavirus is quelled, and companies that act quickly and innovate in their delivery model to help consumers navigate the pandemic safely and effectively will establish a strong advantage. In a nutshell, bring your business to your customers’ homes, do so in a touch-free model.

Similar to any other crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic will end at some point. Yet expectations are that the changes in consumer preferences and business models will outlast the crisis period. Economic impact of the current pandemic will take longer to recover than the public-health situation. CX leaders should start thinking of what would be their customer’s next journey once the “next normal” emerges. Cost cutting is expected to continue yet CX leaders should find a way not to sacrifice on the experience. Often, the best ways to improve experience and efficiency at the same time are to increase digital and smart service channels, grounded in what matters most to customers. More and more customers will have grown comfortable with digital, remote, and low-touch options, even in rural and older populations. We expect to see the shuttering of underperforming brick-and mortar-stores. This will force retailer to find new channels to capture the lost business. It is through the use of omnichannel strategy driven by technology, data, AI, IoT and mobile that they may be able to re-imagine the role of their physical locations and the type of experience they will be offering in the future.

with the insanely rapid pace of this fast-changing environment, and in order to take real time decisions, CX leaders should adapt their skillset of research and analysis to become more agile, built on real-time pulse and capable of coping with the changes in customer preferences and behaviour dynamics. CX leaders who master that approach will create value for customers in high priority areas and in an environment of increased competition. This will also highlight the importance of capturing the feedback of the front-line employees which will prove useful in gauging how customers are feeling and how daily interactions are changing. Sadly, this source of insights often goes largely overlooked.

Finally, it is obvious that this overwhelming challenge of COVID-19 has taken customer experience to a new definition and dimension. CX leaders who practice empathy, innovate and show agility during this crisis to anticipate how customers will change their habits will build stronger relationships that will endure well in the future.

The above is a series of “your compass to recovery” by LINK Advisory:



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