Chief Creative Officer, Ali Shabaz at Grey Group Middle East has been with the brand for nearly ten years. Ali Shabaz was overseeing offices in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. His extensive career spans over twenty years across three markets, India, Middle East and Singapore. He has worked on various big brands that include Visa, HSBC, Sunsilk, KFC, FedEx, ICI Paints, Qatar Airways, Pizza Hut, SilkAir and Glaxo Smith Kline.
What you wanted to be when you were young?
Predictably, a doctor. In my more imaginative moments I wanted to be a Marine biologist.
Why do you do what you do? (Be Honest. Is this what you really wanted to do since young?)
I stumbled upon advertising by accident. Did not succeed in getting a medical seat because of my grades.
Why did you choose to take up this career path (Entrepreneurship/Work)?
I used to be a part of a lot of extra-curricular activities during my school and college days. Elocution, theatre, creative writing etc. This was very useful in advertising and I felt I could do well here.
What led you here? How did you discover your passion?
It was an accident. I had a friend who worked in advertising and he encouraged me to give a try. After trying for a year I started work in a big Agency. I loved the spirit of free thinking and coming up with new ideas every day. I also had very good mentors along the way who guided me.
How did you realise this work you do is something you are good at and that the masses will benefit from you?
After my initial year I was given bigger projects to handle. When I saw that people I knew were liking the ads I created, I felt this could be a career for me. Much later I realised that I can use my skills to also do work for public service organisations.
Would you say this current career is something you pursue as a part of your passion?
Yes, for sure.
What do you love most about your work?
Coming with solutions for difficult business problems. And the acknowledgement from people when you create something that becomes popular.
What is your motivation in life, have you identified your 'life purpose’?
I like to train and teach younger people how they can utilise their full creative potential in every line of work.
What is the next big milestone for you in your life?
Starting my own ‘Creative Training Academy’.
What are your advices for those who were inspired to be like you?
Dream big. And never be afraid to fail.
Don’t take praise seriously and don’t take criticism too seriously.