- What helped you shape the woman you are today?
First & foremost, both of my parents, from a young age, supported my creative expression & independence, at times where Saudi families were more conservative.
They always pushed me to try new things, explore and never be ashamed of what I believe in.
The second thing that influenced shaping my personality, was being surrounded by elder people in the family, which is my grandparents (from both sides). I listened to stories from the past and it always made me appreciate authentic Saudi history and culture. A lot of the values I carry with me today came from those enriching moments with my family.
Finally, exposure, whether from traveling or living abroad. Meeting new people, making new friends, seeing and learning from different cultures. That made me a keen person and always wanting to know more
- How did you choose to step into the field of advertising and communication?
Actually, it was by chance, I was on my way to pursue my career in film & production after I left MBC back in 2008.
I thought this is what I wanted, it made sense in my head. But at that time, women working in the production sector wasn’t the norm and my parents were also hesitant. Even if not for women, it was almost non-existent in Saudi Arabia as an industry. So, if I were to continue, I had to live abroad to start my career. Surprisingly, I received a call from a previous contact in STC for a possible job opportunity while I was working in Dubai as a wardrobe stylist. During that period, Most Saudi brands used to shoot their commercials in Dubai.
I was at a crossroad between continuing my studies & career in film in Dubai or taking a job in one of the leading multinational agencies handling the biggest brand in Saudi Arabia. I decided to take a leap of faith and take the job! Immediately, I got hooked on the industry and the rest is just history…
- Do you think that women should follow their parents’ business path?
I don’t think there’s a rule that needs to be followed. If you look at success stories around the world or even within your community, you’ll find that each story is different from the others. We can learn from our elders, test ourselves, and explore new things until we identify what we are passionate about. In summary, everyone should follow what they’re passionate about. Follow your heart and be passionate about it.
- What were the main challenges and how did you overcome them?
Looking back to when I started, things were completely different, the path was not as clear as it is now. There was a lot of challenges but possibly these were the most prominent: Venturing into an industry that lacked localization, female marketeers or entrepreneurs weren’t the norm in the industry & identifying the right path for Bold to flourish and a successful future.
The Saudi market has witnessed an everlasting expansion in the last 50 years and the focus areas varied throughout history. Marketing or communication at that time wasn’t high on the list of priorities, so when I entered the market major global players were leading in KSA and I believe we needed that to capture that knowledge and expertise to apply it properly within our community. So, my first challenge was to establish Bold and showcase the true value of a local agency and what we could bring to the table. In my head the solution was easy, utilize my roots and my know-how of the Saudi culture in our bold offerings to our partners. Convincing new clients on the new creative approaches was fairly easy, what took time to prove to our clients, is that Bold has the capability to provide full communication solutions that would achieve their KPIs.
Selling creative concepts was a challenge but a female leading a creative boutique was not the norm and that was a challenge for me to succeed in. My family’s support and my colleagues who believed in me were part of the Bold family, in addition to the hard work we’ve put together, I’ve been able to be a small part of changing the norm that females can lead in this field.
Thankfully, throughout the years, we were able to experiment a lot, and try new approaches which allowed me to form an understanding and a belief for what I’d like Bold to be in the future. Today, we have shifted from a 360 creative agency into a specialized group focusing on three main pillars that include brand building, brand communication and brand experience. I believe that local agency specialization is the right way for the foreseeable future.
- What was your contribution in the evolution from Bold Boutique to The Bold Group?
Bold was never the result of one person’s effort but the summation of multitalented & dedicated individuals. Since the start, I believed in no hierarchy, open space policy, and small & focused units even if the boutique expanded exponentially.
As Bold started expanding, I realized a major sense of responsibility to the people joining Bold as they are entrusting their careers with my organization. I aim to always maintain a family-focused culture that is built on individuality, responsibility & creativity. I believe this sets a healthy approach to our internal culture.
In order to keep growing The Bold Group, I always encourage every team member to think bigger & work smarter no matter how far-fetched their dream is. I don’t believe anything is impossible and as long as we put the right effort in.
- What were the main stages of your success story?
The start of every success story starts from the parents, my upbringing with a loving and caring family played a major role in building who I am today and I am thankful for every effort they’ve put. With my family’s support and encouragement to go for what I believe in, establishing bold agency was the first milestone into success as it pushed me out of my comfort zone. This move was only the start and the most challenging one. Project by project, retainer by retainer we were able to grow up until 2015, when we expanded from a boutique into an agency and started dealing with very established brands in Saudi Arabia. The experimentation phase was over, we had a clear idea of what we needed to be and we were racking one successful partnership at a time.
Covid19 hit, a major setback to the world but it was a transformational year for Bold Agency, whether from operation agility to standing up with our partners and our community. As the dust settled and the world kicked back into gear, Bold Agency became The Bold Group, a new office was established in Egypt and the group left its mark on the metaverse with the first national day to ever be celebrated on the Web3.0.
Our story doesn’t end here and The Bold Group has a lot of potential for the future. These moments gave me personally a clear idea of what I need to do outside of Bold and as a member of the Advertising Committee at the Chamber of Commerce we were successful in bringing for the first time the Creative Industry Summit in an effort to grow and expand the industry further.
- Can you cite the most important qualities you think a leader should have?
Empathetic, motivating at all times, leading my example.
- Where do you see the future of The Bold Group, years from now?
A timeless school of thinking in the creative communication industry.