Business Therapy

Post by Loaay


Back in 1999 (stop singing that Prince song) an automotive dealer came to me for help with their ongoing promotional campaign. They were two weeks into it and their sales figures were poor and time was ticking because every promotion permit has a deadline in Kuwait. After redirecting the campaign’s proposition and visual layout through their agency, the promo was reintroduced into the market. Results jumped up by 40%. To say the dealer was ecstatic is an understatement. Their General Manager asked me to execute the marketing and advertising plans and tactics of their three-brand automotive collection. At the time, I only offered strategic marketing planning and advisory services. I thought it was an interesting path to explore so I started to hire designers and turn the business into a small marketing agency. That’s when Mark and I shared a journey.

In a way, both Mark and I were new to this experience. His first job out of university and my first time managing a team. When two strong personalities work together you’ll either produce some great work or unleash tornadoes everywhere. And we did both. Regardless of the ups and downs of the creative execution journey, I didn’t find the interactions with the clients or the profit from that line of business as rewarding as I thought they would be. A few years after Mark moved on to his next learning work experience I decided to go back to the basics and focus on providing one-hour advice sessions, one-page plans, training workshops and jam sessions (facilitated discovery and brainstorming meetings); the kind of work that fulfils me as a strategic business therapist.

Last year (in 2014), Mark and I talked about the idea of offering some sort of business related content on the blog. I’m no stranger to writing about business issues. Some of you may have read my Two Cents articles at bazaar magazine where I answered questions from managers and entrepreneurs since 2009. We had a couple of ideas on what to write about and we left it at that. Mainly because I was planning two things for 2015: expanding the business to the UK market and starting my masters in Service Design Innovation. In Q4 of 2015 I am now in the UK running the new business and going through my masters programme. Since the dust has settled, I thought the time is right to pick up the conversation.

Having said that, one of the worst things to do in business is to assume on behalf of your target audience when you could just ask them. Would you be interested in having a business therapy post every week or so? We could talk about any challenges or opportunities that revolve around business, branding, marketing, management, customer experience, entrepreneurship, service design or anything else related to my experience. From time to time I might talk about the Kuwaiti and British markets similarities and differences, if this is of any interest. So, what do you think, lovely people?

Post by Loaay Ahmed, a strategic business therapist since 1995. He currently lives and works in London, UK, while earning his master’s in Service Design Innovation, and managing knightscapital in Kuwait. For Loaay’s advice on business or work matters, send a short email to Regrettably, only the questions chosen for publishing will be answered.

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14 comments, add your own...

  1. KS says:

    Sounds very interesting Loaay, constructive discussions that don’t turn into a Kuwait bashing session would be helpful.


    • loaay says:

      Thanks! Complaining and bashing doesn’t do much good in my book, KS. Our intention, Mark and I, is to share the knowledge, to help broaden the mindset of management, employees and consumers, and to eventually elevate the performance of market.

  2. 69 says:

    “Their General Manager asked asked me to execute” :)

  3. Clarence says:

    Well you already know what I think 😀👍, lovely..

  4. Ali says:

    Awesome, would be looking forward to your weekly post.
    Do cover Kuwait retail in next 5 years.

    • loaay says:

      Thanks, Ali. Retail plays an important part of the Kuwaiti market. We can’t not talk about it. Painting a retail picture of the next 5 years involves many variables. We’ll need a number of posts just to address them. Good subject though. Thanks for the interaction.

  5. thek5 says:

    I just think it would be an interesting g read till I get the courage and idea to start my own thing. But how about starting with the basics?

  6. Adam says:

    Awesome addition to this website. And very excited to see what you write about. I think a weekly write-up could be interesting as long as it doesn’t turn into a how-to guide or cover things that a quick Google search will tell you. Don’t be afraid to drill deep into proper hearty issues. I hope your posts will ruffle hairs, brush a few nerves, and develop into a place where people can also discuss and (maybe even) brainstorm. Best of luck dude,

  7. DeViL says:

    Welcome aboard!

  8. Looay, I am so looking forward to reading your posts. I have mostly learned the ins and outs of running a business in kuwait from my dad. And i love practical solutions / suggestions (give me the meat!). Could you write about the best and not so good use of social media marketing?

  9. 3obad says:

    That Would be awesome!

  10. Asmaa says:

    I am interested in reading your posts on business ONLY if you don’t call us lovely people again :P

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