As seen in the GCC's Signature Magazine
Glamorous, well spoken, a natural thinker with a knack for her market – she has it all! Jack Taylor sat down with PR guru, socialite and super personality, Rozan Ahmed.
Where are you from? And what does your family do?
Originally I'm from Sudan. A Nubian, with pharaohs for ancestors - which explains my regal tendencies. British born, and London bred - which explains my tenacity. My father's a doctor, very scientific, while my mother represents the diplomatic side of my family. She's a thinker, as am I...for hours and hours, and hours, at times!
DSTV's Making Of A Mogul series: pink link
When did you first notice a passion for public relations, and everything else encompassing bougi?
Probably at the age of 21. I was a journalist at the time and always found myself doing much more than writing. I was building ideas, and connecting dots, people with brands and brands with events. Art with cause. Business with social responsibility. It was more like a movement, I guess. I found my vision much bigger than my role, and discovered public relations as a medium to exercise all of my skills - it's a wonderful (and rather stressful) career for putting in everything.
Rozan Ahmed in Gulf Life magazine
What’s the trickiest situation you have ever been in and what is the pinnacle of your career?
There's always 'situations', and they're all tricky... you just have soldier through, with grace and patience. There's also been many peaks. My pinnacle however hasn't happened - yet. It will, when I meet Oprah.
The Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix opening party, as hosted by Rozan Ahmed
Name three things that you feel are essential in launching a new product/individual?
Familiarity. Unique appeal. Honesty.
To be successful in whatever you do you must…
Persevere with grace. Always with grace.
If I weren't talking to you right now, I'd be...
On my blackberry.
"Creatively conscious, a social charge" >>> pink link
I wish people would take more notice of...
A common misperception of me is....
that I'm intimidating. I really don't know how that one came about?
You know me as a PR guru but in truer life I'd have been a...
A mother, with 2.5 children. Weekly barbecues and other such domestic gatherings to host.
In a nutshell, my philosophy and work ethic is this...
Don't wait for others to inspire you. Inspire yourself.
Rozan Ahmed & Louis Vuitton: pink link
You've worked with a lot of celebrities and high-profile institutions. Who are some of the biggest? And what’s the most memorable event you have organised?
The United Nations, I loved every initiative whilst working with the organisation, from media facilitation and VIP liaison, to advocacy and campaign work. Many of my friends say I'll end up going back to a world of humanitarian diplomacy, and they're probably right. Justin Timberlake, for obvious namesake, and he's really a gentleman. Jay Z, for his unabashed brilliance. Estelle, she's a force, and family, always an inspiring pleasure. Akala, for his brotherly wisdom, and immense talent. Emmanuel Jal - another brother, he's a special human being in my life, and in many others across the planet. As for events, I'd have to say all my personalised bougi affairs have been the most memorable, simply because it's my territory, which is the best.
The bougi way...
From when you first started your business, how long did it take to make profit?
Approximately 7 months.
In every profession people are always advised to ensure they're equipped with the tools of the trade; what tools does a start-up PR professional need?
To be honest, I believe PR is a gift. I also think the term 'PR' (like 'luxury') has been severly tampered with. Downgraded, even. A great PR professional will have a natural knack for creative thinking and educate themselves in perfecting it. They will think and act on the spot, and have the impeccable drive to multi-task, all the time. They'll have the wit and skill to crisis manage, generally manage, councel, create, strategise, connect, build, visualise, write, host, socialise and advise. All at once. These are the ultimate tools. Everything else is easily obtainable from a stationary shop.
What suggestions do you have for young PR practitioners who want to rise to a position of top-level management?
PR requires continuous study. You need to always be aware of your environment and who's winning the information battle. Just know that in PR, there is no patterned way to the top. There is no single one route. Especially now, considering today's state of communication. There's so much more to the concept and maintainence of "appeal in awareness". Stay observant, spot the trends, seek opportunities and push only what you believe in. Passion for all that you stand for is imperative.
"Art, and cultural mergeance" >>> pink link
I can imagine you’ve had the opportunity to travel all over the world, tell us about your favourite city and/or country. Any young backpacking stories you’d like to share?
I really can't choose one particular city. I adore so many for different reasons. New York has an inexplicable energy that I crave sometimes. London's my love, as its home. I've developed a special relationship with Kenya. I'm so taken by its landscape, people, lifestyle. The food's great too. Bahrain's cosiness is addictive, and the Italian coast is a dream - just one long perfect dream.
If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
Absolutely. Then I'd have time to write my book, and have some babies.
Front row at Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief show, Cannes 2011.
Why should we work with you?
Because I care.
What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
Uninspiring, ego-centric, dull, boring, a lack of focus. They'd have to be on my level of motivation, morale and achievement for us to even have a conversation, leave alone work together.
What motivates you to do your best on the job?
I motivate me.
Rozan Ahmed & Fashion We Like >>> pink link
What are the three things you dislike about your day to day working life?
Long, really very long hours, inflated egos (they pop up now and again), and having to deal with so many issues on a last-minute basis. This life. It knows pressure, well.