Lessons for CEOs from IMC CEO Dr. Walid Fitaihi in times of COVID-19

November 30, 2021

Muhammad Siddiqui

Crisis, chaos, and unpredictability - that’s what I would call 2021 & 2020.

As we progress from 2021 to a brand-new year with a lot of renewed hope, I want to share wisdom from our CEO on how we dealt with a crisis successfully with compassion.

The pandemic was something entirely new for the healthcare providers, and it meant that we needed to work longer shifts, dedicate more care time and minimize our time off. It was all a lot of effortless dedication that tested our limits.

But, a message from the CEO of IMC made us more motivated on our goals and job responsibilities, drifting away from the usual construct of doing business. Rather than looking at the financial side of the entire effort, he prioritized the effort of sustaining lives over everything else.

“Decisions resulting from a fear/scarcity mindset often lead to long-term damage. That’s why it’s so important not to react from a place of fear but a place of purpose.”

I go back to our initial purpose; why did we create this company?

What values do we pursue?

It is from these values and culture we led and gathered strength.”

Dr. Walid emphasized that how this can be done practically and rationally. During the peak of the crises, IMC paid its employees in full with the finance it had saved for its strategic expansion plan.

“What’s the point of growing physically if a company cannot first value its human asset?”

While he did clarify that this money wasn’t enough, his approach was markedly different from other CEOs.

In the post covid phase, IMC is doing much better than before Covid. What’s the secret?

“COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone, especially in the business sector. It has hit the global economy, with millions of layoffs worldwide. However, we need more compassion and understanding during this time rather than objective, cold-blooded action that only translates into profits.

The essential workers who prepare our food, clean our homes, and provide us protection are indispensable. They need to be treated with their deserved respect, not greeted with pay cuts or terminations.”

“Not only are they keeping us alive and healthy at a time of deep crises, but they keep our world running. They make sure that the wheels of the economy do not collapse.”

“The healthcare workers especially need our support because they risk their lives taking care of us. If there was ever a time not to dock their pay and give them the financial and moral support they need, it was during Covid.”

Dr.Walid Fitaihi employs the five basic principles that IMC embodies to serve our patients and caregivers. These include Teamwork, Responsibility, Kindness, Measured, and Timeliness.

His message came when most of the world needed to adopt a purpose-driven attitude rather than one driven by incentive. This is because there is no greater incentive than to defeat COVID-19.


All executives/top management of the world should take a more holistic, long-term view in times of crisis. Value what matters and sustain what matters.

There are so many out there that can afford to not only trim but slash their compensations entirely to pay the worker's salaries. Many can go without earning another penny and still be left with billions. Leaders worldwide need to sacrifice their short-term gain so that the essential workers don’t have to sacrifice theirs, which ultimately benefits everyone.

November 30, 2021
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