PHD UAE’s managing director Luca Allam and PHD MENA’s head of investments Hassan Shoker made Communicate’s 40 under 40 list, the annual ranking of the 40 most successful, driven and ambitious individuals under the age of 40.

Entries were based on the following criteria: past work experience, total number of campaigns worked on, total number of awards won throughout career, new business development, industry participation, and launching any new initiatives for the company or industry.

Each of the 40 under 40 took part in a Q&A with Communicate.

Luca Allam, managing director, PHD UAE

Luca Allam has been integral to the success of PHD UAE, which has grown six-fold in just 10 years. He’s an active member of the industry through his participation as a speaker and juror at several leading events, including the Dubai Lynx, Global Cristal Festival, STEP, Young Arab Youth Awards, and MENA Effie Awards. He is responsible for leading the agency’s day-to-day operations, overseeing client accounts, and growing a team of more than 100 media professionals.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?

There are two things. One is seeing our clients embracing transformation and allowing us to play an integral and active role in re-shaping their business. The second is watching my team develop and mature into leaders in their own right, well-equipped, knowledgeable and brave, ready to face all future challenges.

Why are you (still) in this industry?

Because we remain at the cutting edge of change in an industry that is incredibly exciting, one that is equally packed with challenges and rewards. This transformation era is showing us that it is going to be very memorable. Businesses are sharing complex challenges amid their need to innovate, so assisting them in building new roadmaps and structures is generating a lot of work satisfaction.

Read Allam’s full Q&A here.

Hassan Shoker, head of investments, PHD MENA

Hassan Shoker joined PHD UAE in 2015 as head of investments, in charge of trading activities for both regional and international accounts. Hassan has been a key contributor to PHD’s success by setting smart investment strategies and tactics for online and offline media, which have been instrumental in converting new business. In 2016, Hassan was promoted to regional head of investment for PHD MENA, tasked with further building PHD’s network across the region, including Egypt and Lebanon among other markets.

What’s the best advice you have received in your career?

“Spend every day trying to improve the day you had yesterday.” The only way to stand out in the media industry is to do better. To look and do things differently and to always improve your skills and expertise.

If not this, what would you be doing?

I haven’t thought about this question before. Quite frankly, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Every career path comes with its own challenges and what I love the most about our industry is its challenges.

Finally, why are you (still) in this industry?

Media is one industry that never stops evolving. It provides endless learning opportunities and offers boundless work satisfaction and fulfilment. I am very aware of how fortunate I am to wake up looking forward to going to work.

Read Shoker’s full Q&A here.