This year will be shaped not only by trends, innovations, and technologies but also by people. Here are the agency figures expected to play a key role leading the industry through these uncertain times.
Data & Analytics Manager at Reprise
Aswin joined Reprise in September 2019 to deliver upon some demanding initiatives in the Data & Analytics workstream. He brings eight years of experience in analytics solutions, optimization, and personalization using data and marketing cloud platforms. With martech & analytics solutions’ unprece- dented growth, Aswin can help choose the right tech partners to meet the digital transformation requirements. He has been pivotal in nurturing analytics maturity frameworks and use-cases for growing client values.
Aswin is fortunate enough to have a wide variety of client-facing experiences across emerging regional brands and global Fortune 500 brands. He has strong industry-focused, analytics consulting foundations for retail, travel & hospitality, and lead gen (banking, automotive, hitech & SaaS).
Aswin likes to jump on to hands-on experimentation mode to understand its relevant business value with any new CX and data technology. He can create thought-leadership and devise commercial service models using the technologies.
General Manager of Hall and Partners MENA
Omnicom Media Group MENA has promoted Chady Debs to General Manager of Hall and Partners MENA this February.
Chady joined OMG MENA over 15 years ago as a Consumer Insight Executive. Since then, he has played an integral role in launching and building Hall and Partners, a fast-growing research consultancy in the region. Under his leadership, H&P has retained major clients over the past six year.
Chady has an ambitious trajectory with a clear set goal to evolve H&P into a tech- oriented research agency. He will lead an accomplished team of creative analysts and marketing science experts to create further success as he takes on the role of GM.
General Manager of Hearts & Science UAE
Dana has been part of OMG MENA for over 14 years and offers experience spanning various disciplines in the media consultancy field, in the UAE and the UK. She’s been with Hearts & Science since its inception and has contributed to not only the building of the product in the region but the setting up of processes, talent sourcing, and forming the company’s culture.
Her resilience and adaptability coupled with her passion for data science and technology have helped shape the agency product and culture, deploying this to make better strategic decisions to drive business results for clients. Dana has an innovative plan for the future of the agency and she will be leading a new transformation initiative that will launch this year.
Dana’s ability to propel her clients further through data-led customer-centricity paves the way for an exciting new era for Hearts & Science under her leadership.
CEO Middle East & North Africa at Memac Ogilvy
David joined Batey Ads in Sydney where he started his advertising agency career. David spent the next four years developing advertising campaigns for brands such as Singapore Airlines, Singapore Tourism Board, Audi, Deutsche Bank, CityRail, and Sydney Olympic Organizing Committee.
In 1999, David joined Ogilvy Australia, managing brands such as Nestle, Lion Nathan, Hyundai, and Unilever. In 2003, he was promoted to the role of Executive Director of the Sydney agency. This role included managing new business and responsibility over a suite of the clients within the agency.
In 2005, David was transferred to London to head up Ogilvy’s Global Trade Marketing operation in Ogilvy’s global shopper marketing agency, OgilvyAction. After two years, he was promoted to Global Client Services Director and in 2009, he took over as Worldwide Managing Director across all global clients. David also sat on the global board for OgilvyAction.
In 2013, OgilvyAction merged with G2 to form Geometry Global. David took over running all global clients and sat on the global Geometry Board. After a year, he returned to Australia to take up the role of Chief Executive Officer for the Ogilvy Group in Australia.
David is Australian and has a diploma in Advertising and Communications as well as a being a graduate of Australia’s Award School.
Performance Operations Director at UM Beirut
With her ten years of experience in quality management and workflow automation combined with her experience in biddable media, Denise joined the digital hub of UM Beirut in January 2021 as Operations Director, where she leads operations in the digital performance team currently catering for the GCC region.
Her role is key in ensuring efficiency through streamlined processes, as she builds on three main pillars for a successful operational plan: resources, processes, and inclusion. As a short-term goal, Denise will bring in her knowledge in process mapping and optimization to guarantee a smooth and efficient workflow ensured by the means of automation, project management tools, responsibility matrices, and macro-management of day- to-day tasks in alignment with client needs and objectives.
Another important goal would be growing the digital performance team while organizing training programs, dispersing updates from multiple ad-tech partners, ensuring continuous cross-channel knowledge, tech proficiency, and soft skills improvement.
As the hub team members sitting in Beirut are technically part of their respective teams across UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain, maintaining a consistent workflow and quality of services is key; this is where the Operations Director’s role strives by the means of effective communication with business leads, performance directors, digital directors, and media directors.
Data & CRM Director at MRM Dubai
Head of Data and CRM at MRM Dubai, Gabriel brings an international perspective into how companies and brands develop data strategies to the MENA region. His team leverages data to help businesses understand their digital ecosystem, develop algorithms that increase Life Time Value, reduce churn of current customers, and strategically automate multiple time-consuming CRM processes. With over 17 years of experience on some of the world’s biggest brands, Gabriel covered Spain, USA, and LATAM markets before making Dubai home. He has also served a wide variety of industries including automotive, banking, retail, and hospitality.
Head of Strategic Planning at DDB Dubai
After studying Strategy and Marketing at La Sorbonne (Celsa), Inès started her career at Publicis Conseil in 2014 as an Account Executive. She joined the Strategic Planning in 2015 and worked as a Global Brand Strategist for clients such as Renault, Orange, Nestlé, Carrefour, Heineken, L’Oréal, Puma, Engie, Seb, Ma French bank, the French government, etc. In 2018, she embraced the challenge of humanitarian communications for the international NGOs Doctors Without Borders and ICRC. Her strong belief is that empathy, sensitivity, and creativity can drive insightful communications that have the power to make a real impact and contribute to a better world. Inès is also a lecturer at La Sorbonne for the Master 2 Magistere where she gives classes in Strategic Planning.
Group General Manager at The Network Communication Group
After completing a Bachelor in Business Administration at the American University of Beirut and for the past 13 years, Joy worked his way up within the family business from Communication Executive to Client Servicing Director. Through constant hardwork and dedication, Joy and his teams were able to grow and develop key accounts as well as win new businesses as clients. Some of their most prominent clients include Toshiba, Dunlop, Hershey’s, Hasbro, Meraas Leisure & Entertainment, Dubai Chamber, Novartis, Procter & Gamble, and so on.
Joy sets himself apart with a unique leadership mentality; his take-charge attitude constantly brings order and energy to the team by focusing on opportunities to implement structure and take decisive actions. Always solution-driven, Joy is in constant communication with his team members to brainstorm and find the best ways of putting plans into action.
Aside from business growth and team management, Joy has led on the introduction of retail transformation and data-driven solutions as part of the group’s offering in order to ensure that the agencies and the team remain fully equipped with the latest trends and in their ability to drive end to end marketing communication solutions.
Fluent in English, French, and Arabic, Joy is also conversational in Spanish and Japanese, a language he acquired after one of TNCG’s entities, AGA, became associated with ADK, Japan’s third largest advertising network.
Regional Managing Director of MRM MENAT
Karim is known for his success in new business development, for being highly valued by his clients, and for his drive for innovation and creativity. In January of this year, Karim was shortlisted for the Campaign UK’s ‘Account Person of the Year’ award.
Karim has substantial experience working with large clients from the MENAT region like SABIC, Aramco, B20 Saudi Arabia, Cleveland Clinic, The National, and many others in addition to some of the most reputable global brands including Microsoft, Mitsubishi Electric, Honeywell, and EasyJet. He possesses outstanding business acumen, is strategic and highly skilled and experienced in his field. His success lies as well in his ability to build a strong culture within his agency and lead a high-performing team.
General Manager of PHD UAE
Karen has been with PHD for 11 years and, in that time, has contributed immensely to PHD’s growth and product development. She has played an instrumental role in winning new business and has been the driving force behind PHD’s proud client retention record over the last few years.
Karen offers a great wealth of strategic media and communications experience. Her analytical approach has been complemented with her strategic business thinking and strong client relationship skills – all of which have helped her gain respect and trust from her peers and clients alike. Above and beyond her successful tenure at PHD, Karen holds a passion for behavioral economics, which has played an interesting role and a competitive advantage when unearthing hidden opportunities for her client’s brands.
CEO of PHD MENA
Most recently, Allam held the role of Managing Director for PHD UAE and was responsible for business growth and further developing the strategic product.
Luca joined PHD over ten years ago when he moved from OMD International, London to Dubai as Head of Digital; since then, he has been an essential part of PHD’s success. He has led an aggressive new business streak and contributed to multiple significant award wins including The Most Effective Media Agency award at the MENA Effies in 2019. His unwavering commitment to position PHD as the foremost strategic-thinking agency, his drive to developing talent, and his devotion to shaping and protecting the agency’s tight-knit culture have helped him build PHD to become a powerful brand and formidable player in the region. Under his leadership, there is no doubt that the PHD network will continue to grow whilst retaining a commitment to accelerating PHD’s unique strategic product development across markets.
Digital Performance Lead at Magna Global
Nitin joined Magna Global in February 2021, bringing with him a wealth of experience in the digital marketing field. He has over 12 years of experience having worked across the agency side, client-side, and publisher side in India, Singapore, and the UAE.
His primary role will involve developing the agency’s performance marketing offering further and sustain the growth this agency has experienced over the past few years. His role will include work streams not limited to process automation, further enhancing performance best practices to enhancing new solutions for Magna Global’s clients; ultimately to deliver even better ROAS for the agency’s clients.
CCXP, Customer Experience Director at MRM MENAT
Coming out of MRM London where he led the Experience Design practice, Oliver has joined MRM Dubai to help instill a culture of human-center design throughout the office, amongst his colleagues and across all of their client work. An award-winning and industry respected Experience Design lead, certified CCXP, speaker and mentor with over 20 years of hands-on experience for some of the world’s biggest brands, Oliver always strives to understand the needs and behaviors of the human at the other end of the relationship through data and primary research combined with the predictability of the fallible human brain. His team can then deliver on those needs alongside the business objectives, to create beautiful and rewarding experiences through any and all channels.
General Manager of PHD Egypt
Peter started his career with the OMG agency, OMD, as a Media Manager, where he spent ten successful years working from the group’s Cairo office before moving to PHD Egypt as a Business Unit Director in 2018. Prior to his career at OMG, Peter was with Mindshare, in Kuwait and Cairo.
Peter offers unparalleled levels of client trust through his regional expertise and keen focus on devising powerful strategies that deliver results which, in turn, builds disproportionate growth for his clients. Peter will be supercharging PHD Egypt based out of the PHD office in Cairo.
Strategy Director at Initiative
Ranwa started her career in media at a time when local brands were developing into regional and global behemoths; to be a part and catalyst of this transformation has been like having a supercharged growth curve. Her older clients (Mubadala, Meraas, Al Futtaim) were either development companies or conglomerates and the portfolio of industries she worked on was vast, ranging from real estate to shipping to aerospace.
In her last stint, she led the regional planning for the largest glocal aviation firm, which brought her to realize that no matter the industry, there are scientific solutions to the challenges faced by businesses. Rawan loves how the role of agencies is now changing, from traditional planners and buyers to full-fledged marcom, martech, and data consultants. This elevates the caliber of work and expectations, so that people in the industry are better equipped for the future while benefitting clients.
Ranwa believes that science is at the base of any strategy, whether gleaned from consumer behavior, database upon database, or an environment that has never seen such dynamic times. Because of this, her role is key to lending science to creativity and changing the way it is marketed.
Strategy Manager at FP7 McCann Dubai
Tina brings with her a unique mix of both agency and client-side experience. She discovered her passion for advertising at Leo Burnett Beirut, where she spent five years in both the digital and strategy departments. In that time, she worked on some of the agency’s most disruptive and effective campaigns, and was ranked by The Directory as a top 10 Strategist worldwide for three years running. Having ventured out of the advertising world to join a booming Lebanese-born new-delivery startup, Toters Delivery, she also brings an agile startup mindset and a unique perspective on innovation and digital strategy.
She is thrilled to have joined the strategy team at FP7 McCann, where she hopes to contribute to the agency’s proven expertise in creating impactful communication that results in real business value for its partners. She is also particularly enthusiastic to come back to the advertising world in 2021, a year which represents an unprecedented turning point for the entire world and that promises to be filled with opportunities for brands to earn a meaningful role in people’s lives.
This article was published in Communicate’s Q1 edition. You can access the full magazine here.