Taking the Lead

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Bahrain’s marketing and communications industry has empowered many women to become leading professionals in the region and beyond. Ingy Mekkawy was recently appointed as Marketing Manager for First Motors in the Kingdom, and spoke to Woman This Month about her career and first major role outside of Egypt.

After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Information Systems from the French University in Egypt, Ms. Mekkawy obtained two Master’s degrees from the University of Nantes, France, the first in Marketing and Consumer Behaviour and the second in Project Management.

She initially climbed the ladder in the retail industry before discovering her passion for the automotive industry, joining Nissan’s regional office in North Africa as a digital and communications executive, working her way up to become an assistant marketing manager for a number of other brands before spending the last five years as the marketing and customer relationship manager for Škoda in Egypt.

“I found a passion in understanding customers’ needs and trying to tailor suitable offers for them,” she says about her decision to pursue a career in the field.

“I remember during my first job, the team was discussing an idea for a book signing session and I suggested doing a special display section for the newly-released book. I was thrilled to see all the books being sold on release day. It clicked for me right then that this was the right path to follow,” she says of the rewarding experience.

Having recently arrived in the Kingdom, Ms. Mekkawy is excited to get started in a new market. “Bahrain is a very beautiful country and easy to settle in, especially for expats,” she explains. “Bahraini people are well known for being generous and the hospitality here is amazing, helping me to settle in without any issues.

“I am lucky to be able to join such a successful company as First Motors, which represents two of the best international brands worldwide, Hyundai and Genesis. I understand that I have a lot to learn about the market and customers’ behaviour in Bahrain, but I hope I can be of added value for the organisation by utilising my previous experience in different companies.

“I believe that in a small market like Bahrain, at least compared to Egypt, the competition is tougher, and therefore a good professional should always plan ahead, react fast and understand customers’ requirements in a faster way,” she says.

A number of outstanding marketing professionals in Bahrain have helped to break down barriers and reduce gender disparity within the industry. Ms. Mekkawy believes that the challenges in the field are the same for both men and women and that the only way to overcome any hardship that may arise is to work as hard as possible and to show your dedication to your profession.

When asked to share her advice for your women wishing to pursue a career in Marketing, she says: “What I would say to other female marketers and other young women interested in pursuing a career in the industry is simply to believe in yourselves and that you can do the perfect job if you dedicate yourselves appropriately.”