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40 under 40: No. 7 – Luca Allam

40 under 40 2019

40 under 40: No. 7 – Luca Allam

Luca Allam, managing director, PHD UAE

With more than 14 years of global media experience and his expertise, leadership and push for technological developments and practices within the agency, Luca Allam has been integral to the success of PHD UAE, which has grown six-fold in just 10 years.

He’s an active member of the industry through his participation as a speaker and juror at several leading events, including the Dubai Lynx, Global Cristal Festival, STEP, Young Arab Youth Awards, and MENA Effie Awards. He also championed the network’s annual thought leadership material on how future technologies will impact media and the implications for brands, presenting at PHD’s regional BrainScape conference since its launch in 2008.

Allam’s career started at Walker Media, a division of Publicis Groupe, in the UK back in 2007. He joined Omnicom Group in 2009 where he was the account director for Sony Pictures and Hilton Hotels, before moving to PHD UAE in 2010 as head of digital. Now, nearly a decade later, he is responsible for leading the agency’s day-to-day operations, overseeing client accounts, and growing a team of more than 100 media professionals.

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

If you’re not having fun in this job, then it’s not for you. To do everything with passion or it’s not worth doing at all. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by passionate people who effortlessly remind me of this piece of advice daily.

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

Change is necessary and, in this context, whoever adapts best will out-perform all others. Adaptability is very important in today’s current business climate of digitization and automation. This advice has never resonated more as we ourselves transform alongside our clients and embrace new and innovative ways of working.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?

There are two things. One is seeing our client’s embracing transformation and allowing us to play an integral and active role in re-shaping their business. The second is watching my team develop and mature into leaders in their own right, well-equipped, knowledgeable and brave, ready to face all future challenges.

What’s the most frustrating thing about your job?

Elevating the game with organizations that don’t see themselves as ready or willing to embrace the necessary changes.

If not this, what would you be doing?

Writing and film-making, I’ve always had a soft-spot for the theatrics and the creative world.

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

I would donate to a couple of projects that are close to my heart, buy a house I am proud of, treat my family to a holiday packed with new experiences in places they haven’t previously explored, and I would invest in a couple of tech startups.

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

Because we remain at the cutting edge of change in an industry that is incredibly exciting, one that is equally packed with challenges and rewards. This transformation era is showing us that it is going to very memorable. Businesses are sharing complex challenges amid their need to innovate, so assisting them in building new roadmaps and structures is generating a lot of work satisfaction.

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