- Attitude Research Conference - American Marketing Association, Florida, U.S.A
- Marketing Services Conference- American Marketing Association, Illinois, U.S.A
- Marketing & Advertising in the Arabian Gulf - Gulf Media International. Dubai, U.A.E.
- New Media Techniques for Domestic and International Media - Crane Communication, U.S.A.
- Guest Lecturer - Marketing Communications, Kuwait University
Gulf States and Middle East adviser and facilitator to:
- Libra Communications, Northwich, Cheshire, UK – Specialist Public Relations and Marketing Communication Consultancy
- A dedicated, hard-working & seasoned Marketing Communications Professional with over 25 years' experience in the GCC & MENA markets as a Senior Executive, managing companies, building & maintaining brands and launching multi-million dollars campaigns throughout the aforementioned markets and commands a profound understanding & knowledge of their innate make-up & operation.
- Educated in the USA and holder of a BSc in Microbiology and an MBA with special focus on Marketing and Marketing Communications.
- Possesses effective & pragmatic leadership & communication skills as an inspiring team builder with proven consistent abilities in strategic work, generating, enhancing & maintaining profitability in utilising his innovative marketing and advertising skills.
- Versability in working with English and Arabic (mother tongue) languages.
Social Status: Married with two sons
Nationality: Syrian National (with UK residency and work permit)
Telephone: + 974 559 66 486 (Currently in Doha, Qatar)
- Winning is essential: Winning clients’ trust year-on-year is a major achievement which I had emphasized as a basic principle with all my agency colleagues.
- Moving up- the experience ladder: Focusing on real market dynamics in each market has provided me with rich market experience and knowledge of the various consumers segments in various markets. Adding to above is the managment of challenging tasks in major marketing communication projects, market research, launching of new brands, PR and events including the world known SAFARI RALLY in Kenya, in 1981 and ending in 2010 with a major retail initiative for a financial supermarket in Doha, Qatar.
- Focusing on Research: Acquired actual learning experiences in the field of Market Research which created a positive impact with every client; as it did succeed in opening client's eyes and minds to market reality, particularly in the area of consumer oriented research.
- Protection of company's interest through vision: It is not about negotiating a better deal for our client or the agency. But, the real issue in protecting the company's interest is learning how to use existing capabilities in our orgnization in order to drive future growht.
- A sense of belonging: Managed to embed a sense of belonging in the minds of my colleagues through the use of my own capability in igniting both (the minds of our clients & colleagues) with challenging discussions and tasks. This capability did succeed in producing positive payback in the form of staff's self respect, self confidence and a sense of belonging.
Client: Laboratories Le Roy – Mexico 2000 - Present
(Laboratories Le Roy is a manufacturer of Bandages and Soft Orthopaedic Aids)
- Provided on-going guidance and support to Le Roy by establishing a marketing plan for building the basis for solid foundation for Le Roy’s export drive to designated countries in the GCC region.
- Identified, evaluated and planned for regional and local health care exhibitions. Regularly attended Arab Health Exhibition in the U.A.E since 2000.
- Provided support to Le Roy by establishing a yearly working agenda with distributors in the region while continuously identifying opportunities for market base expansion.
Client: Textils Mora S.A.L of Spain 1995 - Present
(Textils Mora S.A.L is a manufacturer of blankets, bedspreads and Special Pillows)
- Led the development of a marketing communications campaign aimed at protecting Mora’s brand name, the reputation it has built over the years; and finally ensuring that the company maintains its efforts to continue building its brand awareness among the growing youth segment in the Arab world.
- Made certain that Market Research (done through independent research units and aimed at retail and consumer levels) constituted a major part of Mora's on-going marketing work with the local distributors in the GCC and M.E Regions.
- Concepts for new products were researched directly through focus groups with Arab females to gauge their response to various issues (product's quality and feel, look, packaging and pricing).
- Initiated a Pan-Arab public relations campaign with the participation of local Mora distributors, Autism Centres in each country and the Mora Company from Spain. A percentage of the Gulf and M.E sales were allocated to provide free printing and presentation of the bi-monthly Autism magazine to families with autistic children.
2005 - 2011
COMPASS MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
Major clients: Doha Bank, Doha Islamic Bank, Doha Bank Assurance Company, Doha Bank Financial Services, City Centre Shopping Mall and Textils Mora of Spain
- Client Retention:Succeeded in retaining the business of Doha Bank for six successive years by anticipating the future sources of our client’s businesses, and by meeting client’s increased demands in new business areasExpanded and strengthened the Agency’s operational base by streamlining its business processes in key service teams such as account planning and management, creative, production, media and accounting.
- Profitable Growth:Increased the Agency’s annual billing from US$ 2.5 million in 2004 to US$ 8.5 million in 2010.
- Expansion:Expanded the Agency’s business portfolio by acquiring new clients such as Textils Mora of Spain and City Centre with a yearly budget of US$750,000.
- Market Research:Introduced the use of market research (in cooperation with Focus Marketing Company- a well established research company in Kuwait) to create market tracking studies and other tailor-made market research techniques for new products and services) to serve as tools for new planning perspectives in the areas of retail banking, SME and others.
2004 - 2004
McCONNELLS HENEGHAN ADVERTISING & PR AGENCY
Starting a long and fruitful career in Qatar with an assignment of the opening an office for above mentioned Irish advertising and public relations agency.
- Assessed Market Relevance:Succeeded in convincing the main office in Dublin that planned operation in Doha must be increased in terms of personnel in order to meet various needs of the different departments at Doha Bank.
- Provided logistical and ground support: On the ground support with local knowledge of the country was vital for the shooting of a brand new 45 second TV commercial for Doha Bank.
- Expanded Local Operation: Established an independent creative and production unit to support the day-to-day requirements of the tactical communications’ assignments for various departments at Doha Bank.
- Established New Communication Process: Introduced and coordinated the lines of communications and operational processes between the public relation function, the marketing communication activities at agency and client’s level.
- Increased Agency Billing:Succeeded in making an impact with team’s quick response to client’s demands.In this process we managed to increase planned budgeted spending by our client by US$ 1,750,000.By end of year one, the agency closed its financial year with a net profit of US $ 68,000.
1997 - 1999
PARTNER & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Major clients: Jashanmal & Partners Department Store, Reemtsma - Germany (Davidoff Cigarettes) Kuwait, GCC and Pan Arab regions, Landmark Group - department stores, Kuwait Finance House – Credit Cards Division, Safir International Hotel, Business Machines Company – Office furniture and equipments and Britvic U.K. Juices
1980 - 1997
ARAB ADVERTISING AGENCY
Major clients: Toyota, Lexus, Land Rover, Philip Morris (Marlboro, Merit,L&M and Lark) Mars Confectionery (Mars, Snickers M&M, Bounty and Uncle Ben's Rice) Sony, Tabasco, RC Cola, Perrier, S.T. Dupont, Casio, Ericsson Mobile Phones, Textils Mora of Spain, the Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East and Kuwait and Middle East Financial Investment Company.
- Joined AAA in 1980 as Account Executive. Promoted to Assistant Managing Director in 1985 and became the Agency's Managing Director in 1989.
- Responsible for the day-to day operation, management, strategic planning, client negotiation, budget control and profitability.
- Managed and motivated a 45-strong team of multi-national staff.
- Extensive market experience with multi-national clients in the FMCG such as Philip Morris (Marlboro, Merit, L&M and LARK) whose account I had managed for the entire GCC region and Yemen for over six years, with total responsibility for media spending with an annual budget of US $ 8 Million.
- Handled the account of Mars Confectionery with direct responsibility to EFFMEX's main Advertising Agency in London (DMB&B) introducing internationally-known brand such as Mars, Snickers, Bounty, M&M and Uncle Bens Rice.
- Defined and provided a series of marketing communications solutions for diverse industries including automobiles (Toyota, Lexus, Land Rover), electronics (Sony), FMCG (Tabasco Sauce, RC Cola soft drink, Perrier), mobile phones (Ericsson), textiles & blankets (MORA), calculators and watches (Casio), banking & finance (The Bank of Kuwait and Middle East and Kuwait and Middle East Financial Investment Company) personal luxury items (S.T. DuPont, Christian Dior) and other well-known quality brand names in the field of cosmetics and perfumery.
- Expanded agency's business income to include services in the area of marketing consultancy (Marlboro Leisure wear project, TABASCO DM in the GCC) promotions, point of sale material and public relations services (forming the TOYOTA / Marlboro Desert Challenge Rally Team)
- Successfully organised high-profile events to introduce Lexus cars to the Kuwaiti market in 1989, (including the 1995 New Range Rover Model at the British Embassy in Kuwait) and the Sony Handycam Video with underwater photography at the Kuwait Diving Club.