CEO & Founder of Brand Ripplr & BuzzBee
Brief career overview: I graduated with a BSc in Accounting and Finance from the University of Warwick, and started my career as a chartered accountant in investment management at PwC in London. I then joined Omnicom Media Group as the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and led philanthropic and artistic projects for the Elephant Parade and START. Afterward, I dove into the entrepreneurial world and founded:
• Insydo – a popular digital lifestyle publisher and video content producer;
• Brand Ripplr – the Middle East’s leading influencer marketing platform and agency;
• BuzzBee – the region’s leading barter/gifting influencer platform.
How would you define your job today?
As the founder of an influencer marketing agency and a tech platform, I find that my role today spans multiple pillars, including developing holistic influencer marketing strategies for brands; acquiring and cultivating positive relationships with clients; managing investors; leading a team of 30+ young talents; and most importantly, staying up-to-date with the many complexities of the influencer marketing landscape to rapidly evolve, adapt, and provide the latest tech innovations to our clients and content creators.
What challenges do you face in your current role as a woman, if any?
There are many challenges that all entrepreneurs face today, I wouldn’t say that these are limited to women only. The biggest challenge I face is finding the optimal work/life balance that allows me to stay on top of my game at work, but also to be able to attend to my personal life. It is also difficult to find a qualified and trusted team to join the company and understand the complexities and the high demands of this industry. Finally, the ability to grow our business quickly and scale rapidly is a challenge I face, keeping in mind the competitive landscape and the rapidly evolving nature of the influencer marketing industry.
How do you address these challenges?
I try to address the challenges one step at a time. To find the right work/ life balance, I try to dedicate at least one day a week to completely switch off from work. I also try to minimize working late at night as much as possible. I would say this is still a work-in-progress.
As for finding a qualified team, we have implemented a strong and thorough recruitment process, including assessment tests and exercises to understand not only the skills of the potential talent but also their overall personality to ensure it fits with our work culture and pace of growth.
And finally, to address the challenge of rapidly scaling our business, I strive to apply an agile strategy enabling us to quickly respond to the latest updates in the influencer marketing landscape and adapt by implementing the latest innovations in our platforms.
What do you think that, as a woman, you personally bring to this role?
I try to mentor other women, including team members of my company, and offer support and encouragement to any entrepreneur looking to become a leader in this industry.
Do you advocate for more women’s representation in the industry and if so, why and how?
Sure, I would advocate for more representation for anyone who is working on advancing their careers and who has a fresh set of ideas to bring to the table and the industry overall. I believe that all entrepreneurs should offer support and mentorship to each other in the industry, regardless of gender and background.
How do you feel the regional ecosystem embraces (or not) women entrepreneurs such as yourself?
I think the regional ecosystem in this region is very progressive, especially in the UAE. Many leaders and entrepreneurs across different sectors are women, and they manage to build a strong sense of trust and respect in their domain.
What do you think women uniquely bring to the communications, advertising, and marketing industry?
I believe some of the unique skills that are key to leaders in the communication, advertising, and marketing industry include having strong emotional intelligence, building and maintaining positive relationships with clients, keeping a fresh perspective on new ideas, and not being scared to push boundaries.
What’s your perspective on the evolution of women in the workplace today in the region and in this industry in particular?
I believe we are seeing a shift towards women getting more senior roles across different industries in the region. This is an inspiration to all women who are either looking to advance their career within their organization or start their own entrepreneurial journey.
What do you think about women voices in the region in general?
Women tend to have strong and respected voices in this region. With the movement we are seeing in the corporate world, there are stronger diversity policies in place to ensure a fair representation of women in organizations, along with providing more opportunities for senior positions and career advancements.
This profile has been featured in Communicate's Q2 2022 "Women to Watch" issue.