Mahmoud Gao

Performance-driven e-commerce executive and strategy lead with 15+ years of success in high-growth environments.

As a dynamic retail strategist with a focus on omni-channel fashion retail, I bring over 15 years of experience in driving growth and innovation in diverse business environments. I specialize in developing customer-centric strategies that seamlessly blend digital and physical touchpoints, empowering teams to deliver exceptional results in the fast-paced world of fashion. Leveraging data-driven insights, I develop and execute comprehensive strategies that optimize marketing campaigns, drive market share, and foster growth. With a strong emphasis on forging lasting relationships with stakeholders at all levels, I excel at navigating emerging trends to build scalable, high-performing omni-channel retail experiences that captivate and engage customers

Previous Brands
Aleron Partners
Chalhoub Group
Mr. Draper
Work Experience
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Mar ‘15 - Now
Mr. Draper

• Envisioned and launched the first and largest digital curated shopping concept in the Middle East, building it from ground-up into a business generating annual revenues of $4M in 5 years • Assembled a world-class team of 15 people across marketing, styling, technology, buyers and merchandizers and logistics who remained with the company for an average of ~3 years • Conducted extensive industry analysis, market research and customer segmentation to validate product-market fit, market size and demand-supply economics across the UAE and KSA • Guided transactions through all phases of sales lifecycles from prospecting and lead generation through to conversion via automated email/SMS workflows to accelerate customer acquisition • Piloted the company’s go-to-market strategy for products and features in new/existing markets, monitoring competitive intelligence to inform pricing, sales plans and marketing tactics • Originated and executed geographic expansion and/or product development opportunities, verifying merits and risks through feasibility studies/cost-benefit analysis to support rationale • Compiled convincing proposals and presentations, and pitched them to senior decision-makers and/or investors to advise them on market dynamics, operations and financial performance • Promoted a culture of diversity, inclusion and collaboration that focused on learning and continuous improvement to motivate staff and encourage upward mobility

Dec ‘12 - Nov ‘13
Aleron Partners

• Expanded the operations of a UK-based HR consulting firm into the UAE, reporting directly to 2 Partners to research HR/talent management practices and generate new business development opportunities • Designed the Return on Human Capital framework, instituting new metrics to track the performance of personnel and HR initiatives, and assess their impacts on the client companies' financial results/P&L • Staffed on a major nationalization project relating to the employment and retention of UAE nationals in the private sector; recommended ideas for talent attraction, employee engagement and performance management • Provided key technical and strategic inputs into a state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool to predict workforce behavior and guide workforce planning decisions using data across the employee lifecycle

Fashion Business Development Analyst
May ‘11 - Dec ‘12
Chalhoub Group

• Participated in strategic and financial planning, working alongside senior management to crystallize a 3-year roadmap and an annual plan before putting together quarterly updates to measure progress •Reviewed the economic feasibility of potential business opportunities, store roll-out plans, and new projects, forecasting sales, P&L and capital expenditures in detailed financial models to assess profitability and ROI • Synthesized data analytics on top-line performance to analyze ROI/profitability at a geographic, business line and product level, validate profitability margins and payback periods, and surface prevalent trends • Oversaw the portfolio management and tracking of strategic initiatives including product launches, store openings and promotions to benchmark performance versus budget and targets, and retain cost control • Completed monthly analysis by shop for 160 shops around the GCC region for the top luxury brands in the world; reviewed P&L and recommended corrective action plans to improve sales growth and/or profitability • Supported month-end close tasks including the closing of general ledger accounts, creation of the trial balance and preparation of financial statements sent out to lenders, shareholders and other stakeholders • Highlights: Structured 2 joint venture partnerships valued at $150M with brands in the Middle East

Strategy Consultant
Jan ‘10 - Apr ‘11

• Extracted key insights and analytics from USA and Canada sales pipelines including win-loss rates, lost deal sizes, trend analysis and comparisons to historical results and competitive activity • Initiated a template that measured and compared Canadian win rates to those in the USA, and streamlined processes to measure and benchmark opportunity pipelines over time to assess the impact of lost deals • Presented quarterly and annual pipeline analysis models and presentations to senior management to re-configure the business development strategy and re-assess client relationships if needed

Contract Financial Management Analyst
Mar ‘08 - Jan ‘10

• Designated as the financial lead on a $50M client engagement that provided advice to project executives on GAAP compliance, budgeting and forecasting, pricing and cash management • Highlights: Recommended a renegotiation of the invoicing process to save $200k and ensured that the contract was fully GAAP-compliant; developed a standardized monthly forecasting procedure for the team

English - Fluent
Arabic - Fluent
Education & Training
West Virginia University
Bachelor of Science
Dubai - United Arab Emirates