Rami Beracha: A Breed Apart

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    Life challenges us all at one time or another, how we respond is what matters. Rami Beracha has proven that resilience, personal, and business success is possible despite those challenges.

    Some of us face life challenges and let them define or destroy us. Rami Beracha is just the opposite. His life challenges have catapulted him to a personal and professional life which is successful and fascinating. Rami’s courage and firebrand business sense are remarkable.

    Rami Beracha is an eminent Israeli venture capitalist who is reported to be launching a new investment fund in Dubai. Beracha was a partner at one of Israel’s largest venture capital investment firms, the Pitango Fund, which recorded more than eighty exits valued at about $2 billion during his tenure at the firm. He is one of the founders and chairman of Sosa, a growing company creating business links between cities, global players, and Israeli startups.

    The moment everything changed for Rami Beracha

    Rami Beracha experienced a life-altering event in March of 1983. Beracha was a soldier in the Israel Defense Force’s 890th battalion located in Lebanon, surrounded by hostile forces. That morning, they had received intelligence regarding a guerrilla team that was moving toward the battalion, and they were placed on alert. A few hours later Beracha’s life would be changed forever.

    A request for help came at noon that day. Three of his team members had entered an unmarked minefield. Wounded, they lay helplessly in a terrain that was treacherous and filled with booby traps. Beracha and another soldier prepared for the rescue mission.

    Short of the proper equipment and support needed for such a rescue, Beracha and his fellow soldier went in anyways. They used basic equipment such as a probe to stab the ground while they carefully entered the minefield. They used white highlighter tape trailing behind the lead soldier’s foot to guide the way. Beracha followed with pegs to pin the highlighter tape to the ground, which left a return trail, and a stretcher for the rescue.

    Trouble lay waiting at the bottom of the terrace they had been traversing. There was a large mass of shoe mines below, especially difficult to see due to the muddy surface. Beracha had to find a way. A wide and thin rock was pointed out to him as a steppingstone. Yet as he stepped forward, he realized too late that beneath this stone there was a mine.

    The beginning of a new chapter in life

    Beracha’s misstep and the explosion that followed landed him in the hospital with no leg and two shattered hands. His rescue was long and difficult. Helicopters were loaded, and all the injured returned to Israel for treatment. In the end, Beracha lost a hand and a foot on that fateful day.

    The first 3 weeks of recovery found Beracha damaged both physically and mentally. The injuries were horrible, and he was left without the energy to adapt to the changes ahead. His new reality was overwhelming. Life without 2 limbs. He hardly ate and grieved his physical loss.

    Then there came “the dream”. In this dream, Beracha saw himself as a whole person, but with his right hand and left foot painted in black. He awoke with a different perspective. He felt he could now conquer his new reality. He was still upright and “whole”. After the dream, he was ready to eat, restore his health and begin rehabilitation.

    During his rehabilitation, Beracha went to a ski resort. His father had instructed him to rest, but his mother told him to learn how to ski with his prosthesis or not come back home. So, he learned to ski. Challenge accepted, challenge confronted, and challenge victorious!

    In the decades that have passed and to this day Beracha continues to seek new challenges. He has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, rides off-road bikes, and kitesurfs. For him, giving up is not an option.

    Despite his injury, Rami Beracha enjoys extreme sports, including cycling, snowboarding and especially kite-surfing. Beracha has also climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

    Rami Beracha: Reading the terrain in life and business

    The booby trap had become a metaphor for his new life. Although the cues were there to tell him that there was a mine below that stone, he didn’t use that input to save his limbs. Now as a CEO he has had to identify the cues around him in the business world to flex and move in order to be successful.

    According to his own account, he reads the cues and garners information from those cues. “A CEO needs to look to the horizon, read what’s coming, and be there first to say, Houston we have a problem,” says Beracha.

    There will always be unexpected tests, but that becomes a test of leadership. Leaders must use their ability to reset the course and rebuild strength. Leaders must shift focus to be able to thrive if need be.

    He tells others, “You can do anything, you will gain insight from any experience.” Use those experiences to be a stronger individual. Beracha has not let himself fail and holds himself up as an example.

    Rami Beracha calls himself a dreamer. He has proven that he can grow stronger from hardship. He gains energy from his dreams, and actively pursues those dreams. He says he has a “very weak memory of failures”. Beracha learns his lessons, he won’t let them define him.

    Beracha has fueled his success with the fire of his tribulations. He is not one to let difficulty ruin him again, physically, mentally, or in the business world. He is a successful venture capitalist inspired by his adversity not defined by his struggle. Today, Beracha aspires to be one of the first Israeli investors to successfully enter the Dubai market.