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40 under 40: No. 17 – Elie Bachaalani

40 under 40 2019

40 under 40: No. 17 – Elie Bachaalani

Elie Bachaalani, executive director – investments, OMD GCC

In his current role, Elie Bachaalani is instrumental in managing negotiations with suppliers and securing the best conditions for the agency’s clients, such as first right of refusal, top-level placements and first access to the latest innovations and technologies.

His career started with OMD Dubai back in 2006 as a junior buying executive. He quickly grew within the organization to become trading supervisor by 2009.

What’s the best advice you have received in your career?

Life is tough, and work is not an easy ride either. Be ready to face hurdles everyday but remember nothing is impossible. Everything can be sorted out, as long as there is determination.

What’s the best advice you have given in your career?

I’ve passed on advice I have received at OMD. You have to strive to succeed, whether at home or office, with family or colleagues. Nothing comes on a silver plate. Work hard, be patient and surround yourself with the right people.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?

Every day I walk into the office with a smile, even though I know it won’t always be easy. What brings that smile on is the people I work with and the energy that binds us together. We feel ready to take on and overcome any challenge. Confidence is half the battle.

What’s the most frustrating thing about your job?

When you plan, uncertainty is frustrating. But you learn to plan for it, you remain agile and ready for any eventuality.

If not this, what would you be doing?

I would have loved to have my own fitness academy. A place that helps people live healthily and achieve their goals. It would provide personalized exercise, diet and styling.

If you had ten million dollars, what would you do?

If it were my money, I would first and foremost put 15 percent aside for philanthropy. Giving back to the society that shaped you is a very important aspect in my opinion.

I would also give 15 percent of the proceeds to my parents to ensure that they can have a well-deserved retirement.

The remaining 70 percent would be invested across a global diversified portfolio of assets. The portfolio would be split into two different strategies – one more aggressive targeting capital growth (the likes of private equity funds, alternative investments, structured products, direct investments into innovative startups, and real estate) and the other one more conservative looking at value preservation over time (the likes of bonds, life insurance policy, and ETFs).

Finally, why are you (still) in this industry?

For a simple reason: I am lucky to be passionate about the first job in my career. Some take years to find the job they are passionate towards and some never do.

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