Laila El Gammal was inspired to pursue a career in the textile industry by her father, the late Mohamed Hussein El Gammal, a former leading figure in the spinning and weaving industry in Egypt. He was the managing director of the four largest companies in the field, the chairman of the Damietta Spinning and Weaving Company, and was the first to introduce polyester and viscose to the Egyptian market. After getting her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1963, Mrs. El Gammal earned a Master of Science in chemical engineering and dyeing from Alexandria University in Egypt in 1968.
Mrs. El Gammal then began her career at the National Spinning and Weaving Company, where she spent a year working on the production line in the dyeing and bleaching mill. Not entirely satisfied with this work, she joined the Misr Rayon Company where her expertise was regularly sought by the company’s president, Mr. Hassan Nagi, when it came to meeting and accompanying foreign delegations when they visited the mill. Subsequently, she spent a year in postgraduate training in Russia, before returning to Misr Rayon.
During that time, Mrs. El Gammal was also teaching chemistry and physics at the Notre Dame de Sion school and the College de la Mere De Dieu in Alexandria, Egypt, and, in the mid-1970s, she was considering making teaching into a full-time career. However, at the same time, her father, who was then 77, was thinking about retirement and he wanted her to take over his company, GIES. She joined her father’s office in 1976 and faced some initial struggles due to taking over during a time when the company had not been doing well, but she has managed to bring GIES to a number of new successes.
In 1991, Mrs. El Gammal founded Nobeltex; a company that is, today, known as a premier supplier of textile machines and accessories throughout the Egyptian market and worldwide. In her day-to-day work as president, Mrs. El Gammal is responsible for overseeing the delivery of the textile machinery, working as an agent for European and American companies, acquiring inquiries, performing quality assurance inspections, and reading and responding to emails. Looking towards the future, Mrs. El Gammal decided to pass the company on to her daughter, Nayla El Tawil, who has already joined her at Nobeltex.
Mrs. El Gammal stands out in her field for the great lengths she would go to ensure customer satisfaction and to avoid mistakes in the products and services they provide. She has also invested considerably in her staff of 84 employees and workers (for air conditioning and fire protection systems), exerting her utmost efforts to take care of them and to offer them good salaries and bonuses. As a result of her diligence and care, Nobeltex has an incredibly low staff turnover rate. In order to keep abreast of the developments in the field, Mrs. El Gammal maintains a professional affiliation with the Association of Engineers in Egypt.
For her excellence in her career, Mrs. El Gammal has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. She was notably invited to the World Bank as one of the Ladies’ Entrepreneurs of the Mena Region, and, in 2007, she was presented with an Award of Excellence in Business. Most recently, in January 2021, she was interviewed in MENA Carpet News about her outstanding career in the carpet industry. The article can be read online here. In light of her decades of accomplishments, she has been awarded the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and named a Marquis Who’s Who Top Professional. Above everything, she hopes to leave a legacy as a woman who had a successful career in a very male-dominated field.
Attributing much of her success to honesty, hard work and the connections she has made, Mrs. El Gammal notes that the most important thing she has learned over the years is to respect the people around you. She is also grateful to have achieved success in the business passed on to her by her father and that she was able to pass that same business on to her daughter, Eng. Nayla El Tawil. Mrs. El Gammal is the proud mother of three children, Amir, Omar and Nayla, through whom she has four grandchildren. In her free time, Mrs. El Gammal enjoys walking, reading and watching talk shows.