How I made it: Radwa Hassan - Regional Marketing Director - Hitachi Vantara
For our latest inspiring stories series, 'How I made it', we're interviewing the cream of the crop across all facets of communications and marketing. This is where you'll learn about how the best in the industry got to where they are today and hopefully pick up some tips along the way to help your own career progress.
Radwa Hassan is Regional Marketing Director for Emerging EMEA Markets at Hitachi Vantara. In this role, she leads integrated marketing and communications, working closely with the local sales and marketing teams to deliver strategy and execution for a region spanning Middle East, Sub Saharan Africa,Turkey and RCIS.
An expert in generating return on investment growth on marketing initiatives, Radwa believes in the power of digital transformation to enable next-generation businesses and youth job creation in the Internet of Things era. She also has extensive experience in managing multi-cultural sales teams, growing cloud service providers and SMEs, and launching educational partnerships.
How do you start your day?
I’m definitely a morning person; I really appreciate that time of day. And believe in Robin Sharma’s quote ”The way you start your day determines how you live your day”. I start by getting my kids ready for school and then take some time to catch up on the news. Between 6.45am and 8.15am I’ll be reading or perhaps listening to an audio book. Other times I will go for a walk.
I have a menu of things I like to do give me a good start to my day, and I tend to mix and match it depending on what else I have on. It definitely helps me to reset my energy.
What personal attributes do you think have helped you to succeed in the course of your career?
I think I’ve succeeded because I have pushed myself beyond my limits – or my perception of my limits. I believe in grabbing the opportunity and figuring out what to do later. In different career moves I have made, I haven’t known much about the specialism I am moving into. For example, when I moved into CSR, it was a new job within the company and nobody was quite sure what it was all about. But I jumped on it anyway. It involved a great deal of heavy lifting as I was learning about new things, such as meeting with government officials. However, I kept in improving myself and learning. It presented great opportunities to get face-to-face time with senior management at IBM and that meant that when the time came to look for new opportunities I could make the transition much more easily.
I think I like to jump in and then figure things out by learning on the job.
What keeps you sane on those crazy days?
I like to push the reset button. If it is a tough situation or challenge, I think to myself: ‘what is the worst thing that can happen?’ and then I think – ‘how can I manage this worst case scenario?’. Knowing that I have a way of handling even the worst outcome tends to put me at my ease.
I also use music to calm me down and, if I need a second opinion on something, will speak to a few people who I know will give me sound feedback.
What career advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Reinvent yourself all the time. Just like the character Dory in the Disney film Finding Nemo, you need to just keep on swimming. I am always learning and consider myself a work-in-progress human being. I am not a finished product; if you consider yourself a finished product, you are done for. In this era of continuous transformation and change, you need to learn and be open. Vincent Van Gogh wisely says” Great things are done by a series of small things brought together”
What three words best describe you?
Nurturing. Inclusive. Holistic.
Who or what inspires you?
The Obamas. I’m inspired by people who change things and defy the odds. And there’s a major ‘human’ element there, in the way they can inspire people and lift them.
What major challenges have you overcome in the course of your career?
I think one of the most challenging things is dealing with difficult people – the sort who will prevent you from carrying out innovative new ideas, simply because they want to block people. These people hold back energy and innovation. I’ve worked with many such people over the years and it is always challenging, it messes up work flows and leads to missed opportunities. People like this bring so much negative energy to everything.