Ramy Fam, vice president, CRH Ventures, is one of our emerging leaders in corporate venturing in 2023.
Ramy Fam, vice president of CRH Ventures, started in the construction business, first in Canada and then in Egypt, before making the switch over to corporate investment. He was doing an MBA in Spain when he became fascinated with the way Cemex was pioneering corporate investing in the construction sector.
“I thought it was a great space where I could leverage most of my learnings as well as the construction experience that I’ve had,” Fam says.
A short stint on Cemex’s M&A team was followed by experience working with Amazon Marketplace. Amazon taught him how to scale things fast and think big says Fam.
“It was completely different form my experience in construction. It was all focused on scaling. Everything we were looking at was: how do we make this bigger?”
Now he is a founding member of the new CRH Ventures unit, which was launched last summer. Despite operating under the radar for months, the unit has closed two investments already — including one in AICrete, a startup that aims to reduce the CO2 emissions of concrete mixtures.
CRH Ventures seeks startups that have “strong connective tissue” to the construction industry and can quickly enter joint projects with the parent company. They don’t need to be Horizon 1 investments but do need a business unit sponsor that will champion the investment.
Finding the right champions in CRH’s complex organisation, which includes 250 operating companies, is still something the new team is working on.
His construction industry experience is proving helpful, Fam says. “If you are working for a CVC with a strategic focus, I would highly recommend getting first-hand experience in that industry. You need to be able to show that you really understand the projects and how a technology can impact the business. It helps you earn the trust of the business units.”
See the full list of Emerging Leaders 2023 here.