And the last but not the least…

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Scroll down to see the last 10, though not in hierarchy, who made to the 40-under-40 marketers list 2017.

MUST READ: How we did it

CLICK HERE: to see 1 to 10 of the 40-Under-40 marketers 2017


Jessy Abdulnoor, Marketing Manager – Maggi, Nestlé Middle East, 34

Jessy started her studies in Columbia University and continued at the American University of Beirut, graduating with a degree in business and economics. She worked in sales for a short time before moving to Nestlé, where she built most of her career over the past 11 years.

Major achievements so far She is overseeing the marketing of Maggi’s transformation journey to only include 100 per cent natural ingredients that people know and love, through an initiative simply dubbed “Kitchen Cupboard.”

The key marketing mantra she believes in “Be bold, be persistent, be patient and no big idea is impossible to achieve”.

Years in career so far 11.

Largest team size handled Jessy is part of the leadership team of the Maggi brand for the Middle East region, which includes close to 20 people including the marketing and trade marketing teams and brand activations.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be?

A key learning throughout Jessy’s career is to always put the consumer preference and insight at the core of all marketing campaigns and product expansions.


Tarek Abdalla, Head of Marketing, Middle East & North Africa, Google, 38

Tarek is responsible for all Google and YouTube products across 19 Arabic-speaking countries, leading B2C, B2B and brand/reputation marketing teams. He is also responsible for building usage and, where relevant, commercialization for consumers, business and partners across the Arab world. He has been with Google since 2012 and was previously at Mars Incorporated for 13 years in Dubai, Jeddah and New York.

Major achievements so far Launched YouTube in MENA in 2012; today the platform enjoys some of the highest per capita usage rates globally, growing at 60 per cent per year with unique content such as YouTube Aflam, a collection of 3,400 Arabic movies and YouTube Musalsalat, a collection of 500 Arabic TV shows. He also brought Google Street View to the region, starting with Burj Khalifa and the Pyramids of Giza. He amplifed the voices of women creators on YouTube showcasing their diversity, from fashion and beauty experts to movie and tech reviewers. “A few years ago you could count the number of female YouTube creators on one hand; today we have a vibrant community of thousands of women creators in various diverse topics, most of them showcased on YouTube Batala hub,” he says. He also ran ecosystem partnerships such as Mobile App Launcher, with Udacity and the Egyptian government, which trained over 1,000 developers to create apps for Android.

The key marketing philosophy he believes in ”No minute gone comes ever back again; take heed and see you nothing do in vain” I saw this inscribed on the Liberty Clock on Great Marlborough Street in London and I love this mantra because I believe in the value of time and efficiency.

Years in career so far 18.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be?

I think patience is a virtue I learnt a bit too late.


Hussein M. Dajani, General Manager – Digital Marketing, Africa, Middle East, and India, Nissan Motor Co, 38

As a finance and economics graduate, Hussein started his career, while studying in University, working in Banque Audi in Lebanon (started in a branch then moved to HQ working in the credit department). After that, he moved to Merrill Lynch in Lebanon until the call for duty came (military service). Rejecting to spend a year in the army, he opted to leave the country for a period of five years and move to the Gulf. “I still remember my first interview in the advertising industry. I was with the managing director of JWT in Dubai, Nagib Badreddine, who gave me an opportunity to join the agency in Saudi Arabia. I messed up badly in the interview as I knew nothing about the advertising industry,” he recalls. “I spent the next 11 years working for long, yet rewarding hours (the most rewarding was the young high potential leaders award from WPP) in agencies like JWT, Leo Burnett, and TBWA\ in the MENA region (six years in KSA, four years in UAE, and one year in Bahrain),” he adds.

Major achievements so far The most interesting achievement for him was what he was able to achieve when he was at hug digital (which just got acquired by WPP). He joined the agency and there were about 50 team members in Dubai, Cairo, and Trivandrum offices. When he left the agency there were 127 team members. Moreover, when he joined, they had about 25 clients. When he I left the agency they had about 60+ clients.

The key marketing mantra he believes in The most important thing that my father taught me is, whether you’re an office boy or a CEO, whether you are rich or poor, there is one thing in life money can never buy, your name and reputation. No matter what you do, if your name and / or reputation is corrupted, nothing will change that, so treat it as your most sacred and precious asset.

Years in career so far 17.

Largest team size handled At hug digital, being the COO of the company, he was in charge of about 127 people. At JWT, when he was handling the STC business, he was in charge of a team of 35 people.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be? Even though I love the communication industry, I had a passion for the consultancy industry and wanted to try it as a personal challenge to see if I can make it there or not. I was always told that I am an emotional person and a free soul, and hence consultancy wouldn’t be a right fit at all for me.


CLICK HERE: to see 11 to 20 of the 40-under-40 marketers 2017


Joumana Haddad, Brand Manager – Lipton, Unilever Gulf, 30

Joumana started her career in sales in a media company selling advertising space. “In my last six years with Unilever, I have gained experience in a variety of functions such as field sales, shopper marketing and brand building, which has enabled me to strengthen my overall marketing skills,” she says.

Major achievements so far

One of her biggest achievements in marketing is the Lipton Fit Cart campaign. This campaign was innovative because it was not traditional marketing that focused solely on the product communication. Rather, as she says, it was more focused on the lifestyle of our consumers in the community acting as an eye opener for them on how to integrate a healthy lifestyle into their busy day to day life.

The key marketing mantra she believes in I live by two mantras: “‘Make the consumer the hero of your story” by Ann Handley and “Buyers care about their own lives not our products; content should reflect this dynamic” by Tobey Murdock.

Years in career so far 10.

Largest team size handled 3.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be? Early in my marketing career, when I was first starting out, I had a very innovative idea. I was still new and shy so I didn’t voice my idea out. A few months later another company ended up launching the same idea and that’s how I missed out on the opportunity. Since then I have become more vocal and participative and take every opportunity to bring a new idea for discussion – which is very much in line with the company’s approach towards the empowerment of employees. I also encourage any new talent which joins the workforce to do the same.


Heba Sayed, Portfolio Marketing Leader, IBM Watson Customer Engagement, Middle East and Africa, 33

Heba has been branding, marketing and developing strategies for leading companies in the information and communications industry across the Middle East and Africa for over 12 years, out of which she spent nine at IBM based in Egypt and UAE. Heba started her IBM career as a channel marketing leader for IBM Egypt in 2009. Her responsibilities then expanded to include the rest of MEA, where she deployed a new agency model and managed agency activities with hundreds of business partners. Heba then went on to lead marketing for IBM server solutions where she led three widely-successful product launches during her tenure and gained market share for IBM.

Major achievements so far

During Heba’s tenure at IBM, she has demonstrated strong contribution to the units/products she managed and also won awards for IBM’s participation in key marketing venues in the Middle East and Africa:

– In 2015 Heba led IBM z13 launch with ROI of 20,000 per cent, making this the best performing campaign in IBM across MEA for that year

– In 2016 Heba led IBM’s participation in a key technology trade show where she achieved an impressive marketing ROI of 25,000 per cent. IBM’s presence was awarded as the best presence among 300+ exhibitors by independent ratings

The key marketing mantra she believes in Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.

Years in career so far 12.

Largest team size handled 10.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be? Trying to be a perfectionist. I remember spending nights perfecting a business case for more marketing investments before sending it for approval, re-drafting messaging for a digital campaign prior to launch or re-arranging the slides in 10 different ways for my monthly business review. I have learnt over time that this is not only impractical, but it makes the process more about my view of how things should be as opposed to what my clients or colleagues think.

Selda Payat, Consumer Marketing Manager, MEA, Lenovo Middle East, 33

Selda started her career at the age of 22. After eight years with Hewlett Packard across Turkey and the Middle East sales operations and marketing she moved to Lenovo in 2015 as Middle East and Africa Consumer Marketing Manager.

Major achievements so far

– Increased unaided brand awareness by seven per cent within the first six months at Lenovo among target audience in Middle East with the integrated marketing communications approach under the global Goodweird umbrella campaign for Yoga brand.

– Doubled the sellout year over year for gaming notebooks in the UAE and KSA with targeted awareness campaigns on social and digital media, as well as strong coordination with sales teams on the ground.

– Achieved #2 position within Lenovo WW with the phablet sellout as part of the MEA region with the successful launch of this niche product category.

Key marketing mantra she believes in “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic,” By Seth Godin.

Years in career so far 10.

Largest team size handled 8.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be?

The most challenging part has been working with influencers so far, as it is very tricky to make it right and not making the end user think this is paid advertising.


CLICK HERE: to see the 21 to 30 of the 40-under-40 marketers 2017


Adel Al Rais, Senior Director, Marketing Communication – Enterprise for EITC, du, 36

Adel is responsible for all Enterprise marketing functions, including du’s brand image, vertical marketing, advertising and enterprise channel enablement via Enterprise communication strategies of different verticals of enterprise business unit (large enterprise, SME, manage services). In prior roles, Adel developed vast experience in commercial communications. Adel started his telecom career in 2004, he has consistently grown in the organization within the communications segments for both consumer and enterprise.

Major achievements so far Adel has won several awards, such as:

Advertiser of the year in MENA crystal 2017

October, 2008 | Shukran Award “best employee of the month at Brand & Communication”.

December, 2008 | Shukran Award “best employee of the month at Brand & Communication”.

February, 2009 | Champion Award “best employee of the year at Brand & Communication”.

The key marketing mantra he believes in Most innovation is key. Think like a customer.

Years in career so far 13.

Largest team size handled 10.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be? I believe mistakes are meant to be corrected. No matter how many you make it’s all about passion and dedication.

Nada Enan, Senior Manager for Marketing & PR, LinkedIn MENA, 31

Nada says she has been incredibly lucky to be doing exactly what she loves – managing communications and marketing in different markets and companies.

“I have worked in dynamic markets such as Stockholm, Rome, Cairo, Dubai, handled local as well as global roles, handled communications in tough times such as the The Arabic Spring in 2011 and exciting times – launching new products and expanding businesses, all which have given me an edge, a unique experience and deeply rooted my love for communications, for all the power it beholds,” she says.

After moving to LinkedIn, she added Brand & Member Marketing to her responsibilities – an area that she believes is really exciting after undergoing a massive shift in the past few years.

Major achievements so far

– Earlier in 2017, her team launched the first ever “LinkedIn Power Profiles” list – a list of the most viewed profiles on LinkedIn in UAE

– The campaign was very successful on all fronts and, most importantly, she says, it managed to raise awareness on the concept of professional branding, and the fact that you don’t need to be an active job seeker to have an active presence on LinkedIn

The key marketing mantra she believes in “Data Tells, Story Sells” – One of my all-time favorite quotes as I really believe that while we can depend on data to show us trends, you can only reach people and impact their hearts through crafted stories.

 Largest team size handled 6.

 If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be?

As clichéd as this may sound, I do believe there are no mistakes in a career; there are only lessons and those who know how to learn and move forward are the ones who succeed.


Mustapha Elkhansa, Marketing Manager, Le Meridien, Al Khobar, KSA, 32

Mustapha graduated in 2006 from the American University in Dubai and did his BBA (marketing major) In the year 2007. He had to choose between a junior position at a leading branding agency in Dubai or a sales advisor position at an automotive organization. He says, “Considering my father’s advice I took the sales position in order for me to understand promotion methods, sales processes, developing negotiation skills etc.” Ford Motors in Dubai was the first step in his professional career, while (known as OLX in rest of the MENA) was the next step. Mobile marketing manager at Boost Communications was the third step in his career and the second in the digital marketing world. In 2014 he moved back to KSA and joined Le Meridien Al Khobar to lead the marketing department and utilize the marketing experience he had gained and developed to implement and plan the marketing strategies for the property.

 Major achievements so far

– He managed cost-effective marketing management and vendor negotiations to end each year on an average of 15% under-budget

– He initiated sponsorships for particular events that played a big role in increasing revenues for the company

– He used google ad-words campaign that helped a client increase sales by 60 per cent within a period of six months

– He increased the number of covers sold for the restaurant by 30 per cent by launching a snapchat account and taking reservations through that channel

Key marketing mantra he believes in: The best marketing does not feel like marketing. Don’t find customers for your product, find products for your customers.

Years in career: 11.

Largest team size handled: 9.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be? The marketing we have learned in school was about promoting on newspapers and radios. Throughout the past 10 years many new marketing channels have changed. I was lucky enough to work with the right organizations and the right people to always be up to date and avoid making mistakes.

Christine Harb, Head of Marketing, Facebook MENAP, 36

Christine oversees Facebook Inc.’s marketing strategy in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan. She has 15 years of strategy, innovation and marketing experience across retail and consumer product industries. She has worked with top-class marketing brands such as Nike and Red Bull across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Christine holds an MBA from IE Business School and a masters in marketing from Panthéon-Sorbonne Paris. A strong believer in education, she is part of a career advisory board and regularly supports students with their professional and business decisions. She is a regular speaker and jury member at major regional marketing events.

Major achievements so far Christine has worked on many regional and global projects, elevating the brands she has worked on across Europe, Middle East and Africa. To list a few:

– She launched the first Nike Women store in the Middle East, generating +17 per cent overall sales vs. previous year

– She organized a Nike Human Race in Beirut that has gathered more than 1,200 runners

– She launched the Red Bull Editions in MENA reaching 65 per cent awareness in six months and has recently developed a Ramadan 360 campaign that generated more than 18 per cent revenue vs. 2016

The key marketing mantra she believes in ”Done is Better than perfect”, one of Facebook’s mottos, is the mantra I believe in and live by both personally and professionally. This quote reminds us that perfection can be an enemy of progress and can often slow us down. Being perfect is not important, but getting the job done, while always striving for the highest quality we can, matters.

Years in career so far 15.

Largest team size handled 12.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be? Faster shift towards mobile and digital transformation. Despite being a strong digital advocate since the early days and working closely with my agency to ensure a balanced media plan, investing heavily in digital and getting involved in technicalities that allow me to have a better understanding of this medium is what I would have changed.