Legrand Marketing Director says it takes effort for women to build relationship with retailers & salesmen 

March 24, 2023

Maha Assim is Marketing Professional with over 20 years of diverse experience in the IT, Telecommunications, Electrical Infrastructure and Consumer Electronics industries. Currently, she is Marketing Director at LEGRAND. Managing Brand & Marketing Communications, Product Management and Training initiatives.

Prior to working with Legrand, she worked with leading brands across different countries like, AMD, HP Inc., Sony Mobile, Microsoft, Nokia International, Samsung Electronics, Etisalat and Orange Telecom (mobinil).

Assim is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI). She holds an MBA in Marketing. She also obtained a Digital Marketing Certification from University of Toronto (UofT).

She had been recognized and featured in the Top 50 Female Telecoms Executives by CommsMEA in 2012.

Assim is a true believer in paying back to the community and sharing her knowledge through volunteering experiences. To that end, she volunteers at the YMCA and Save The Children Foundation. In addition, she provides mentorship opportunities to youth. 

When she is not working, Assim loves photography and traveling.

WoEgypt: What challenges do you face on the job as a woman and how do you overcome them?

Maha Assim: Being a Female working in a male dominated industries was challenging, especially when you had to deal with different situations where I had to speak-up and make a decision. 

Also, the challenge to go to market visits and meet retailers and salesmen in the field to collect data and insights on the product performance and customer product requirements, it took a lot of effort to build the relationship with them and gain their support.

Yet, I am glad that the situation has totally changed in Egypt nowadays, you could see more females in various positions and sectors, and we are getting more access to senior positions.

Being treated equally especially by being offered a similar pay-scale as males is something that I used to experience as a major topic not only in Egypt but globally.

I see that we can overcome this by trusting our capabilities, encouraging female youth to be confident about their decisions and plan their career without fear of being discriminated due to their gender, and help each other as females and share our successful experiences.

WoEgypt: What is something that people may misunderstand about your job?
MA: People usually see marketing as the outcome, whether it’s a product or service and/or the communication part whether it’s on TV/Radio/Digital, a launch event, or interactive roadshow with the customers that all look fun and enjoyable to experience.

They don’t see that this is a result of a long journey of hard work that involved many teams inside and outside the organization that could even take more than a year preparation.

They also mis-understand that marketing is not as simple as communication, while it involves a more complex processes like the product/service roadmap creation, design, consumer behavior understanding, pricing assessment, and competition analysis, promotions planning, channel selection and many others. The set of all the activities that translates into the organization sales and revenue.

WoEgypt: What did you learn on the job that you couldn’t have learned in the classroom?
MA: In the classroom, we learn about the main principles, while in real life I have learned how to be flexible and to anticipate the risk-factors that could cause a change in plans, while ensuring the proper decisions are taken depending on the overall situation.

WoEgypt: How does an average day look like for you? 
MA: A typical workday, one of my biggest tasks is checking on my staff and assessing progress on various projects, discuss the challenges and on how to overcome them. I am usually engaged with back-to-back meetings with internal departments, conference calls with our group supporting functions, and meeting external partners/agencies to discuss business challenges and potential opportunities.

WoEgypt: What do you wake up looking forward to? 
MA: On the professional level, I always look forward to being a role-model in the workplace and not only in Egypt but also internationally, when I was working abroad and also now while dealing with our company’s global teams, I aim to be a good representative to my country. I always try to join volunteering opportunities where I can leave a positive impact, transfer skills and empower youth.

On the personal level, I look forward to maintaining a work-life balance, and to ensure I dedicate time to enjoy being around family and loved ones.

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