Mastering Marketing: Syed Abdul Haye's Path to Success
Syed Abdul Haye is a seasoned marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in brand management and marketing. He has worked for top FMCG companies such as Unilever; L'Oreal, Colgate-Palmolive, and Nestle, and currently serves as the Head of Marketing & Operations at HERbeauty. Additionally, he was a marketing instructor/visiting faculty at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), IoBM & SZABIST.
Syed Abdul Haye, it's great to have you here today. We are curious to know, how does a person who started his career as a banker switch to marketing?
It's an interesting story, actually. When I began my career in banking, I never envisioned a transition to the dynamic world of marketing. However, life has a way of surprising us with unexpected opportunities.
It all started with a conversation with an industry leader I went to for career advice. Impressed by my analytical skills, he encouraged me to interview for his marketing team. Intrigued by the opportunity, I took the leap. Since then, I've had a fulfilling journey, working with renowned companies like Nestle, L'Oreal, Colgate-Palmolive, and Unilever.
Switching from banking to marketing has not only expanded my horizons but also reinforced my belief in the power of embracing new opportunities. It has shown me that diverse experiences can enrich one's professional journey and lead to unexpected successes.
So, that's how I went from a banker seeking career advice to becoming an integral part of the marketing world. It's a story that reminds me of the importance of being open to new possibilities and embracing the unknown.
Can you tell us more about what it means to be a marketer?
Sure, I think most people get into marketing believing it’s advertising, and honestly speaking, great marketing people are just exceptional project managers who know how to make money. We need to be able to understand our target audience, create a product or service that fulfills their needs, and then promote it in a way that resonates with them.
That's interesting. How do you go about understanding your target audience?
Research is the heart of marketing, and as marketers, we never assume or use the word ‘I’. We need to use data and insights to truly understand our target audience. That means conducting surveys, focus groups, and analyzing market trends and consumer behavior. It’s all about gathering information to create a strategy that speaks to our target audience in a meaningful way.
That's great advice. On a more personal note, what qualities do you think make for a good marketer?
Hmm, let's see. I think a good marketer should definitely have a sense of humour - you have to be able to laugh at yourself sometimes! And it's important to be able to have fun at work, too. Marketing can be a high-pressure field, so it's important to be able to lighten the mood and keep things in perspective.
You mentioned earlier that you were the first employee hired to set up the HERbeauty with the co-founders. How does it feel to be part of team zero in a start-up?
Being a part of team zero in a start-up is an exciting and challenging experience. It's an opportunity to build something from scratch, which means there are no established processes or guidelines to follow. Everything we did had to be created from the ground up, from the financial business case to the brand bible.
The best part about being in a start-up is the level of autonomy you get. You have the opportunity to make big decisions and see the impact of your work immediately. However, it also means you need to be able to handle a lot of responsibility and be comfortable with uncertainty. It's not for everyone, but for those who thrive in this environment, it can be a very rewarding experience.