Willing to go the extra mile

Channel Post speaks with Prihan Farrag, Campaign & Go-to-market Lead, HMD Global about her journey through the IT industry.

Prihan Farrag, Campaign & Go-to-market Lead, HMD Global

Tell us about your leadership style and philosophy.

I believe in an agile style of leadership. The technology industry is evolving so rapidly that it is impossible to be rigid. We must be dynamic and adaptable – and this applies to our core management style and philosophy at HMD Global. Customer-centricity remains at the heart of what we do – and I believe that the management style should be based on this. At the end of the day, we are in a people-driven business, so being a good listener is key. We should be attentive, passionate and flexible in our approach to be truly successful at what we do.

What made you choose IT as a career opportunity?  

Technology cuts through every industry today – and is transforming the way we live. Innovation and dynamism is at the heart of this industry – and as an individual you have to ensure that you are constantly evolving to keep up with the disruption or you risk being left behind. It is this dynamism that encouraged me to join the industry. It comes with a lot of opportunity and uncertainty – which challenges you to always remain on top of your game.

How has your unique background prepared you for success in the industry?

I come from a mixed background – and have dabbled in different industries that have all collectively contributed to my skills set. I come with over 20 years of experience in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector – and this has helped me hone my customer-centric skills. In the tech industry, it is very important to have a thorough understanding of consumer needs and wants and I believe working across different industries give you the perspective and experience to predict the consumer journey.

What was your most interesting job?

I think the most interesting thing I did and still do is content creation across digital platforms. Good content is the hallmark of an outstanding brand and can have a powerful impact on consumers – and in my capacity at HMD Global, I have had the chance to work on a number of creative campaigns that reflect the vision and mission of the brand. I believe that cleverly crafted digital campaigns can help build brand awareness, drive organic reach and increase conversions.

What advice would you give to women looking to break into the field of computer technology?

Computer technology is a rapidly evolving field – so it is imperative to stay on top of industry trends and monitor the direction in which the industry is moving. We must also remember that customer-centricity is at the heart of what we do, so cultivating relationships and fostering a better understanding of your customer’s needs is key. We must also be genuine and credible in what we sell our customers – and be willing to go the extra mile to make sure that we are able to respond to their ever-evolving needs.

What is the greatest transformation in technology that you have witnessed in your career?

I think Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and automation has emerged as the single-most transformative technology in the last two decades or so. It is shaping the way we live and work. Here in the UAE itself, we are seeing disruptive AI technologies being applied across numerous sectors – from healthcare to transportation, financial services and real estate. Looking ahead, I believe that AI will play a pivotal role in shaping the economy of the UAE and especially help start-ups in the technology sector thrive.

What are your thoughts on the next transformation in the tech industry?

AI and VR will have a tremendous impact on the tech industry over the next few years – and it will be especially beneficial for tech start-ups who are already exploring the best way to leverage AI to come up with the next big idea.

Are you involved in any sort of volunteer work? Can you give us some details?

I believe that poverty and hunger are some of the biggest problems facing us today – and many parts of Africa are struggling to find access to the most basic amenities. My volunteer work revolves around helping address some of these issues at a more grassroots level.

What’s next for you in terms of your career in the tech industry?

I want to be part of the change that is shaping our industry, including AI, VR and automation. These disruptors will truly transform the tech space in the next few years – and we are already seeing some of this being implemented in real world scenarios in the tech industry. I also think that is important to remain young at heart no matter what stage of your career you are at – so that you can always relate to the latest trends in the industry. My goal is to continue to re-invent myself by pushing the boundaries in the way I think and act and challenging the traditional methods of doing business