We are proud to announce our PHDers Dalia Nasser, Michael Khleif, Melissa Coupar and Saurabh Gandhi were featured in Campaign’s 2020 ‘Faces to Watch’ list.

Have a read of what they had to say about their career highlights, their guiding principles and more from their nominators below.

Dalia Nasser, Social media manager, PHD Lebanon

Age: 29

Career path:

I started my career in media five years ago as a paid social executive, when I learned all about launching campaigns, optimising them and reaching the right target audience across all channels, however, I was hungry for more. I wanted to unleash my creative side, which is why I joined the social team. My experience in both paid and organic helped me understand the full spectrum and deliver quality work across my clients in FMCG, retail, luxury, automotive, banking, real estate and other industries. What I love about my job is 1) coming up with creative ideas; 2) sharing our knowledge and tools to help our clients, and 3) contributing to business success. 

Guiding principles:

Rule number one in an industry like ours is time management. Media is very fast-paced, diverse and multi-faceted so I try to manage my time efficiently and prioritise important tasks over less important ones. Attention to detail is also an important factor and helps eliminate back-and-forth drastically. Finally, keeping the right attitude and loving what I do. I make sure to constantly remind the team of these three golden principles to maintain a positive attitude.

Nawal Nasreddine, Head of creative services at PHD states: Since day one, Dalia has always shown a proactive attitude, looking at improving processes and always suggesting new approaches internally and externally. She has been involved in several client pitches and has helped elevate the work on existing businesses. Dalia has improved team and project management threefold in the last year.

Michael Khleif, Media Manager, PHD UAE

Age: 28

Career path:

I started my career at Universal Media almost five years ago as a media executive and today I am a planning manager at PHD working on a diverse portfolio of clients for the last 2 years. This year, I proudly won the “Advancing Client Creativity” PHD award at the Omnicom Media Group Awards MENA ceremony which celebrates talent across the agencies. I’ve also played a part in two award-winning campaigns at the MENA Effies, 2019.

Guiding principles:

The two keys points I always stay focused on are driving business results and working cohesively with my partners. These two factors play integral roles and are dependent on each other to drive successful results and disproportionate growth for our clients. For someone who is looking to come into the industry, always treat all partners with kindness, think outside the box and at the end of the day if you love what you do, then you will succeed at doing so.

Stephanie Medledge, Planning Director at PHD states: Michael is a great asset to the team; he is highly trusted by his clients and is always ready to go the extra mile for them. Michael’s extensive knowledge gives him the ability to optimize key strategies to the core. He always has a great positive attitude with the team and is already ready to share support when needed. Whether it’s working on new business strategies, pitching in on other accounts outside his portfolio or simply answering technical questions, Michael is always there with an upbeat smile.

Melissa Coupar, Senior Planning Executive, PHD UAE

Age: 28

Career path:

I graduated from AAA School of Advertising at the top of my class in Media. It was my ideal blend of creativity, strategy and mathematics. I started my career with OMD Cape Town in 2013. The next 3 years immersed me into the world of offline media across buying, planning and strategy roles. I moved to Dubai in 2016 and challenged myself to learn digital media. This allowed me to service integrated luxury accounts for OMD Dubai. In 2019, I transitioned to PHD and added media planning for a global tourism client to my list of skills and experience, along with an award for client satisfaction.

Guiding principles:

Adaptability: The industry changes at a frantic pace and you need to be flexible to change with it. Curiosity: I believe that a strong sense of curiosity will lead to you ask the right questions that open the possibility of new solutions. Foresight: Understanding your client well enough to be able to predict what they’ll need and making plans to get it done – this is what makes you indispensable.

Nominated by Cirine Mazloum, Planning Director at PHD states: Melissa joined when we onboarded a new and large-scale client and she quickly and smoothly took control of the operation to launch a global campaign in 53 markets. Using her analytical skills, she worked closely across functions to put together a reporting framework for a complex digital operation, and she played an instrumental role in putting an optimization and benchmarking system in place to deliver a successful campaign. With a high level of persistence, dedication and passion, Melissa is a face to watch in 2020.

Saurabh Gandhi, Senior Executive – Programmatic, PHD UAE

Age: 27

Career path:

I am a passionate digital media professional with almost 6 years of experience in online strategy conception for global clients. I kickstarted my career as a campaign manager at Exponential Interactive. I proudly won back-to-back Employee of the Quarter awards for my performance. Currently, I am working as a Programmatic Expert in the Biddable team at PHD working with a great team and leading a diverse portfolio of clients. At PHD I have acquired various certifications such as Google (DV 360) and Facebook Blueprint.

Guiding principles:

Learn and disperse – I have always believed in not only self-learning and gathering all the knowledge you can get your hands on, but also dispersing it to my colleagues, mentees and friends. This is the best way for teams to grow and in turn, create brand growth for our clients.

Living in the moment – My thinking always has been to be present, seize the moment and grab the most out of it. To focus on work when you are working but to also allow yourself to be able to turn off when you are enjoying time with friends or family. This has helped me to excel and to focus on what is important.

Nominated by Daniel Shepherd, Head of Strategy and Specialized Services at PHD states: Saurabh is an entrepreneurial self-starter with a great understanding of data-led, performance planning. At PHD he has initiated an affiliates program that revolutionized results for Mashreq’s digital bank NEO; demonstrated ROI to unlock programmatic budget across his clients including Toyota and played a key role in training the wider support team. A natural media man and charming with it.

Take a look at the full list in Campaign’s Digital Issue here