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40 under 40: No. 2 – Fadi Maktabi

40 under 40 2019

40 under 40: No. 2 – Fadi Maktabi

Fadi Maktabi, general manager, Hearts & Science MENA

With over 14 years of experience, Fadi Maktabi began his Omnicom journey in 2007 at OMD managing the PepsiCo account in Dubai, eventually leading the regional account, overseeing 14 markets and 19 brands. Before joining Omnicom, he did stints at MediaCom and Virgin Retail in Lebanon.

His career has spanned planning, strategy and business development, leveraging his expertise to help clients develop brand strategies that bridge the gap between offline and online media.

His role as general manager of Hearts & Science MENA has linked Maktabi’s passion of strengthening that bridge between digital and offline media through data-driven marketing for its clients.

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

Back in 2012, a good friend and colleague told me: “Look to the grain of wheat for inspiration. When the wheat is empty it stands tall, while the full wheat will always bow down humbly. Aim to be the full wheat.” It changed my perception about ego in the workplace.

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

Working in the marketing world, I tend to always ask those around me to remember that they should always take care of the one brand that matters most to them: their name.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?

There are several things: the depth of learning that it offers me, the challenges it has put me through, watching inspired new talent grow and building great relationships.

What’s the most frustrating thing about your job?

Corporate politics. Enough said.

If not this, what would you be doing?

I would be doing something with psychology. I have a boundless curiosity for the human mind and its capabilities.

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

I would invest that money into the education system and try and find a way to disrupt the antiquated curricula that do not prepare children for the technological revolution in which we are. There is nothing more rewarding that giving other people an opportunity to succeed.

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

I’ve recently given five reasons for this in my latest LinkedIn post. Basically, the challenges and the rapid transformation of the advertising sector, at the intersection of both its clients’ industries and a growing range of disciplines and technologies, make it a fantastic learning ground. It’s exhilarating.

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