Creating a copy that speaks requires immense observation, creativity, and empathy. The person has to speak the language of people to reach the hearts of people. Bernard Nassif, another most influential CMO to follow in 2022 that we decided to feature, has spent nearly three decades of his professional journey working in different countries, industries, and cultures understanding and communicating to a vast variety of consumer needs.
Bernard brings this experience and ease with emotional communication to Glava Holdings, a music and entertainment company that envisions to “Transform the ‘Artisanat’ into an actual industry.” By combining the vast knowledge of Bernard and its expertise and passion, the company hopes to prepare future generations and improve culture, economy, and hence life in the Mena region.
Bernard has a successful record of 18 years in general business management (former MD L´Oréal’s Canada and Spain MD & GM in the U.K.) He has built up startups to become key players, and managed large, established divisions (500+ employees) that always significantly outperformed the market growth.
He is well-rounded with not only people management, marketing, sales, and product development experiences but also finance expertise with management of separate divisional P&L and supply chain.
Insights Success interviewed Bernard Nassif on his journey in the marketing world, his arrival on the music scene, and his plans for the future of Glava Holdings.
Briefly describe your professional journey up until now.
My professional journey so far has taken me through a number of industries, countries, and cultures– all of them together have mixed and made me grow to become who I am today. I am passionate about life, consumers, and the incredible diversity and opportunities their needs offer.
Having started in Australia in the cosmetics industry with L´Oreal, I grew with them and, across 21 years found myself moving from Australia to France, then zone north America, then general management positions across the United Kingdom, Canada, and Spain.
From there, I had to experience other industries, as although I enjoyed and loved the cosmetics and hairdressing sector, it was time to broaden my scope. So, I entered the consultancy world with Tinderbox consulting, Strat Management, IBC (International Blockchain Consultancy) and, at the same entered the electronics and Kitchen appliances industry and joined an amazing start-up Froothie helping them expand in 40 countries while being the main owner of Froothie UK and Ireland Ltd.
And finally, a few months ago, while on a trip to Dubai, I fell in love with the Arabic music industry, its incredible expansion opportunities, and, more specifically, a key player, the Glava Holding group. I decided to join them as the CMO for Glava and MD for both Stardom Hype and Deepiu while also remaining in consultancy and MD of Froothie UK.
What challenges did you face along the way?
As with anything in life, there are always challenges that occur, and the best way to approach them is to always keep a positive attitude and approach them with what does not kill you will definitely make you stronger. Depicting market trends, understanding your target consumer behaviour, your competition moves, how to create your product launches & animate them especially in such industries where consumers are savvy, and the competition is fierce becomes key challenges that need to be turned into opportunities; you have to constantly be updated and moving as fast as you can to create or follow a trend. The marketing approach had to be perfectly tailored to several markets and behaviours.
What significant impact have you brought to the marketing industry?
I would say the most significant impact I have left the marketing industry with is the great marketers and teams that have worked with me throughout the years, and today the majority of these people have high management positions which gives me a great pleasure and personal satisfaction.
Tell us about Glava holding and its foundation pillar.
Glava with its 19.3 billion views on its YouTube channels and via its core 4 brands, Music is my life, Watary, Deepiu and Stardom Hype is proudly the only 360 group in MENA when it comes to music and entertainment offering complete support to musicians. We are the only ones who unite arts and science under one formula. It is the only GloCal (global while remaining extremely local) Group in MENA with several repetitive success stories.
How does Glava holding promote workforce flexibility, and what is your role in it?
In Music and Entertainment, you have to be flexible, and the environment has to be fun and healthy. Our employees can work from any place; we are keen that they have their days off and are always compensated.
What is your take on technology’s importance, and how are you leveraging it?
Back in the days when I started my career, we used to suffer from the lack of data, we used to get limited info that we had to use, but now it is the opposite; we have an excess of data. So, AI and software are a must in any company as the world is changing by the second. Trends go viral in no time, so you should constantly be updated. As mentioned above, at Glava, we unite arts and science under one formula, so we have a lot of tools, an AI, and several software that all employees have access to.
What are your goals in the upcoming future?
With Glava, we have set ourselves extremely ambitious objectives; as a CMO, I am in the process of creating a massive structure for the Business Development Department across all MENA, where I have set a target to meet, which exceeded last year’s by far (Quadruple) and as MD for both Deepiu and Stardom Hype, we are looking to expand the e-commerce in all its shape and opportunities, be it digital with amazing NFT concepts in the WEB 3 or physical and adding a true ROI for brand celebrity endorsements.
What advice would you like to give the next generation of aspiring business leaders?
I’d like to quote Darwin “It is not the strongest of the species that survives nor the most intelligent that survives; it is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
With all the technological advancements and the fast pace that our world is going, the next generation should be open to the idea of change, be more flexible, and accept that fact. They have unlimited access to data; they should do more research and realize that really sky is no longer the limit.