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Yasser Joharji, managing director, Binzagr Unilever

Yasser Joharji, managing director, Binzagr Unilever

Yasser Joharji, Unilever’s first Saudi national managing director, recalls his career highlights. Shams Ahsan reports from Jeddah.

September 14, 2011 3:31 by

…classical way. We think of communication with our consumers at every point when it comes to packaging, when it comes to shelf, when it comes to shopping, when it comes to TV advertising.”

Unilever spent $530 million on paid media (IPSOS figures) across Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. This includes spending on pan-Arab TV channels.

When asked about challenges he simply smiles and says: “We are trained to look at challenges as opportunities.”

“In the Saudi market today I am lucky enough to get this position when the time is at its best. Economy is booming. There is massive involvement of our key consumers who are women and the booming young population. The only thing we can think of is how to capture this massive growth.”

Under Joharji’s able leadership, Binzagr Unilever is growing at a double-digit rate. “On the global radar Unilever pays a lot of attention to the Saudi market,” he says.

Joharji is a family man. He spends his weekends with his wife and three daughters: Lubna, 14; Yumna, 11; and Leen, 9. “I enjoy everyday life with them. We have fun, we swim, go out, play on the internet, we cook together. Lubna is a great cook and likes to watch Fatafet channel.

“I make sure I spend quality time with each of them. We call it the Queen’s Time where we go out together and talk and exchange views. We have a very open two-way relationship,” he says.

This article was originally published in Gulf Marketing Review, September 2011.

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