Meet the third set of the 40-under-40 list of marketers

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This is the third list of 10 of the 40-Under-40 marketers 2017, though not in hierarchy.

MUST READ: How we did it


Hassan Alredha, Director – Head of Marketing, KPMG, Saudi Arabia, 37

Hassan started his career back in 2004 with the National Commercial Bank in Saudi. In 2015 he started a new position with KPMG as a director and head of marketing at KPMG Al Fozan and Partners. Hassan has a B.S. Degree in marketing from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, Global MBA from Manchester Business School – The University of Manchester, and a number of training and programs in business and leadership from highly recognized education institutions, such as Harvard Business School, IHM Business School, Duke Corporate Education and others.

Major achievements so far “I am a professional who is driven by delivering impactful results, and I believe that a successful marketing function is the backbone for the company’s growth,” Hassan says, adding, “Over the last three years we have seen high double-digit growth rates and our presence in the market has increased significantly.

Hassan says he has developed marketing plans and strategies that have contributed handsomely to the gross turnover of all his employers.
“I managed to deliver successful campaigns, which resulted in doubling and trebling the sales of the products I managed,” he adds.

The key marketing mantra he believes in Bet on your strengths. Your business exists and will continue to exist because of the strengths that you, your team, your product/service are having.

Years in career so far 14.

Largest team size handled Above 20 to 30.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be? It is not a mistake, but more like a wish that I started utilizing the power of social media in an early stage. It took us a while to adopt social media as part of our strategy.


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


Sarah Aziz, Head of Marketing and Communications, Space Imaging Middle East, 37

Sarah currently oversees marketing and communications for the region, helping the business to achieve its financial objectives through the delivery and execution of an end-to-end marketing and communications strategy. One of the 50 Best Marketers in the GCC as awarded by the CMO Asia & World Brand Congress, she was selected as lead spokesperson and was panelist for many conferences, including Arab Luxury Forum, Gitex Conference, etc

Major achievements so far Managed and planned tradeshows and client events. An example was one event that involved high-networth clients, which generated over $400 million in new assets. Handled the media and the rebranding of the Middle East side of one of the largest acquisitions in Wall Street when Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch in 2008.

Years in career so far 15.

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? I will not change any mistake because I look at mistakes from a different perspective. I focus on what I have learned from my mistakes and the important thing is never to make the mistake again.

Vineeth Vipin, Marketing Manager, Bahrain operations, Lulu Hypermarket, 34

Vineeth joined LuLu Hypermarkets in Bahrain in 2009 and handles everything related to marketing for the Bahrain operations. Before he joined the LuLu Group, he began his career in marketing in India as the assistant manager of business development in HDFC Limited, one of the leading home loan providers in India. A Master of Business Administration [MBA] from the School of Communication and Management Studies, Cochin, he made the shift from finance marketing to retail marketing of a famous brand.

Major achievements so far ”When working in a huge organisation like LuLu with so much retail space, I have also learnt space marketing and brand positioning through partnerships,” he says. Specifically, he has been instrumental in: Developing and launching integrated, multi-channel print, catalogue, web and direct marketing campaigns that propelled sales by more than 20 per cent by 2016 year-end. Identified the revenue generation opportunities through space selling, partnerships and associations with other brands which resulted in 50 per cent increase in other income by 2016. Through cost-effective marketing management and proper vendor negotiations, the team achieved an average of 15 per cent savings in their marketing budget expenses, without compromising business growth goals.

The key marketing mantra he believes in ”Change The Game”. Be ahead of the curve by analysing where the market is going and leading the sector there.

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? Going forward, I would probably pay more attention in the future to the short courses on my specialist area and on leadership. These are great additions to one’s professional skills, but in the rush of the working life, I tend to skip such opportunities when they are presented to me.

Bassam Zawadi, Brand Reputation Specialist – Global Brand Management and Marketing Communications, SABIC, 31

Bassam’s marketing experience is unique, in that it comprises a balanced combination of experience in marketing research, communication and branding. “I have a strong passion for all things marketing and don’t simply define and equate marketing with communications,” he says. He began his full-time industry experience with the The Nielsen Company (formerly known as ACNielsen). After spending six years at Nielsen he joined ARASCO (Arabian Agricultural Services Company) in their food division. The main brand was “Entaj”, a poultry product. He worked in the branding and communication department. After ARASCO, he moved on to work at SABIC, the world’s 4th largest petrochemical company.

Major achievements so far At Nielsen, one success story, he said, worth mentioning was how Coca-Cola credited his team for their 2.5 per cent volume share hike in a single month’s period. At ARASCO, his team and he totally transformed the “Entaj” brand and established its platform, guidelines and identity. “We successfully supported several product launches via ATL and BLT communications and attained continuous increased levels of brand awareness as verified by TNS’s Brand Tracker Study,” he adds. The team’s communication initiatives also played a direct role in increasing sales by 30 per cent vs. the previous quarter.

The key marketing mantra he believes in No brand, no marketing.

Years in career so far 11.

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

As I reflect on the past, I have most definitely come to realize that I’ve committed mistakes and I strive to continuously improve. If there’s one marketing mistake that I’ve learned to avoid, it is failure to develop a strong brand platform before communicating to one’s stakeholders.

Ali Shaikh, Commercial Director, General Mills MENAT, 39

Ali began his career at Unilever where he developed the popular tea brand Lipton in Pakistan. In 2007 he moved to Mondelez, where he was responsible for rapidly developing Oreo and Tang in MEA, and positioning both brands as category leaders.

Major achievements Ali is behind the launch of the region’s favorite kid’s snack brands Prince and Barni, both of which are key players in the kids snacking market.

The key marketing mantra he believes in A quote by John Augustus Shedd, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are made for”.

Years in career so far 17.

Largest team size handled “Currently he has the largest team he has managed so far at General Mills, which comprises 20 people and an extended responsibility of the Dubai, Saudi Arabia and South Africa offices which is around 47 people.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be? Overall if there is one thing that I have learnt it is synchronizing the efforts of marketing, sales, and distribution. This is perhaps more important than anything else. Timing is also an important factor – only when you have the right promotional and visibility mix can advertising be effective. Picking that right moment is important and perhaps in the past I have missed that timing. Often the pieces of the puzzle are ready during the presentation stage, but not in the consumer space. But that is the joy of marketing; we dream big and aim tall always, and in the end hope that our consumers respond to us and help us win.


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


Jehan Abdulkarim, Director – Marketing and Communications, Accenture, 36

Jehan’s career started 17 years back as a software engineer at a government entity in her home country, Bahrain. She was the first female editor-in-chief for a specialized publication in Saudi Arabia. Jehan soon built a strong network in the region and Cisco Systems invited her to head the PR and executive communications for Saudi. Following Cisco, Jehan transitioned to a regional marketing role in Oracle Corporation, where she headed up the marketing function for the Middle East and North Africa.

Major achievements so far

She launched the first “virtual” press conference in the region back in 2007.

– She created the largest qualified leads pipeline for Oracle in MENA for three years running.

– She was awarded 75 performance points by the CEO of Accenture with a personal message for role in strengthening client relationships in Saudi Arabia.

The key marketing mantra she believes in Acta Non Verba (translated from Latin: Actions, not words).

Years in career so far 17.

Largest team size handled 13.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be? Expecting more from my leadership, and fighting harder for it.

Daria Shevchenko, Marketing campaigns lead for Communications, Media & Technology practice at A.T. Kearney Middle East, 32

Daria is passionate about marketing of professional services and thrives on the challenges associated with optimizing the unique marketing mix available when positioning firms’ expertise, knowledge and relationships versus a physical product. To further develop her marketing skills, she obtained her second master’s degree in marketing from the London Business School. “I spent most of my marketing career in the legal sector by working for renowned international law firms. Recently, I made a career move to develop my experience in the consulting sector, and was thrilled to accept an offer to join the marketing department at A.T. Kearney,” she adds.

Major achievements so far Daria is particularly proud of a recent launch of a thought leadership white paper produced by their experts in the telecom industry. “It was a great example of collaboration with a region’s premier industry association of telecom operators which allowed this campaign to be a great success and reach key policy makers, regulators, hundreds of relevant contacts in public and private sectors, as well as received major media coverage,” she adds. A significant part of her role in business development was producing responses to RFPs, which can become an intensive exercise, but, at the same time, it is an exhilarating process.

The key marketing mantra she believes in The more informed you are the better decisions you can make on how to adapt your marketing campaign to attract new business and better service current clients.

Years in career so far 5.

Largest team size handled On average 5 to 10.

If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be? Fewer well-timed and planned campaigns, done better, will always produce superior results. It is essential to get as many stakeholders on board initially ensuring alignment and that our message is consistent and clear.

Ahmed Kabil, Senior Category Brand Manager – Oral Care (Arabian Peninsula & Pakistan), P&G, 30

Ahmed has been heading the current role since January 2016. Prior to that he was associate brand manager – oral care (Arabian Peninsula, Jan’12 – Dec’15), and before that associate brand manager – Hugo Boss & Baldessarini Fragrances (MEIS followed by MEAT Region in Oct’09 – Dec’11.

Major achievements so far During his time at Oral Care, his key achievements are:

– Regained share leadership on Toothbrush business (2012)

– Extended share leadership by achieving reached record share on Whitening Toothpaste business (2017)

– Led Oral Care to be the fastest growing category in the Arabian Peninsula across all P&G brands (2017)

– Led Oral Care to be the fastest growing Oral Care Business across Europe/IMEA region (2017)

– Awarded P&G CEO Award (2015)

– Awarded IMEA President Award (2017)

– Awarded Oral Care E/IMEA Champion Award (2013)

During his time on the fragrance business:

– Led Hugo Boss to be the fastest growing share gainer for P&G (2011)

– Led Hugo Boss MEAT to be the fastest growing Hugo Boss Business globally (2011).

The key marketing mantra he believes in The future of marketing relies on the ability of brands and brand builders to be consistently simple.

Years in career so far 8.

Largest team size handled 3 direct reportees; 8 direct/indirect reportees

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

Believing that my thoughts or ideas reflect the consumers’ we serve. I had taken a call to air a TVC that really stood out of the clutter; that me and my colleagues felt was really fun and different. We didn’t pay attention to some simple consumer-related barriers. We spent LOTS of money to air this new copy for several months only to get back results post the TVC airing that showed it had 1 per cent brand attribution – the lowest I have seen across any category in my career.

Aradhita Basu, Marketing Consultant, 32

Aradhita is a digital-focused marketing manager with a passion for the ever-evolving social media landscape. A former software developer, she has built brand marketing strategies for SMEs and corporates in the human resources, financial services and events services sectors. She matches communications with business objectives, while making the best use of available platforms and technologies. Aradhita holds a BE in Information Technology from Manipal Institute of Technology and an MBA in Contemporary Marketing Management from SP Jain School of Global Management.

 Major achievements so far

– She launched four sub-brands and five departments to diversify service portfolios

– She revived dormant client relationships to broaden sales pipeline by 32 per cent

– She implemented training and development programmes that boosted project success ratio by 54 per cent

– She set up and sustained healthy engagement on 16 social media accounts

 The key marketing mantra she believes in Listen to the numbers.

 Years in career so far 9.

 Largest team size handled 15.

 If you were to change one marketing mistake you might have made in your career so far, what would that be? I would establish a strong brand management policy before implementing adhoc programmes.

Roba Al-Assi, Regional Communications & Brand Director,, 32

Roba has over 13 years of experience in marketing. Her marketing career background is very diverse: she has worked as a designer, UX Architect, Product Manager, journalist, community manager, and even blogger. She also owns one of the oldest blogs in the Middle East,, started in 2004. 

Major achievements ”There are always achievements when working for, one of the biggest brands in the Middle East, with over 28 million members,” she says, such as:

– Reaching millions of people on social media with millions of fans and followers, and the number constantly increases;

– She ran successful ad campaigns which generated millions of views. Besides. “We produce over 20 papers each year that are used by the media, NGOs, professionals and companies,” she says.

The key marketing mantra she believes in Experiment, measure, then iterate. Also, fail fast.

Years in career so far 13.

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?

Not advertising more aggressively on Facebook when their self-serve ads were new and their reach and CPC was so cheap.


CLICK HERE: to see the 31 to 40 of the 40-under-40 marketers 2017