Although it can seem simple, the job of a business counsellor is far more intricate and all-encompassing. A business counsellor uses successful business methods and solutions to guide organizations toward success. Business advisors provide you an advantage over the competition with their thorough market research and organizational abilities.
One such executive is Khaled M. Ismail, CEO and Partner of TOUGHLOVE Advisors, who aids businesses in realizing their full potential.
Tell us about the company.
TOUGHLOVE Advisors is a straightforward advice firm with a twist that was founded by a group of nine C-suite executives with more than 250 years of combined hands-on experience in more than 120 markets.
TOUGHLOVE Advisors, which specialise in enhancing business performance for neglected businesses in the area, give access to an underutilised collective of practitioners with multi-national training who are professionals in business, operations, marketing, and technology to discover and deliver solutions.
The team’s expertise comes from more than 80 of the world’s top multinational corporations, including well-known brands like Emirates, Etihad, FAB, P&G, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Landmark Group, L’Oréal, Visa, Leo Burnett, Publicis Communications, and Coca-Cola. The group also includes major names like Landmark Group, L’Oréal, Visa, Leo Burnett, and Coca-Cola.
What were the initial challenges you faced?
There isn’t another consultancy business in the market with this much practical experience working together. In order to properly assist our clients and their businesses, we at TOUGH LOVE tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. We have seen firsthand how critical it is to work with real-world practitioners who are interested in creating customised, practical solutions based on their own experiences rather than exchanging theoretical best practises. We want businesses to be aware of another option for assistance—the TOUGH LOVE approach.
Which was that point that triggered the growth of the company?
When giving our clients advise, we emphasised expertise above theory, but the key factor is our strategy.
A straightforward, uncomplicated, and sincere approach.
We give you the information you require, not the information you desire.
You will really comprehend what we advise.
As a result, we act differently.
- sophisticated, NOT patronizing
- dependable, NOT fluffy
- Motivating, NOT dogmatic
- Progressive bingo, is not a buzzword
- Ambitious and Motivated, NOT Opposing
- provocation, NOT encroachment
- Confident but not haughty
- NOT transactional, but supportive
- Blunt IS NOT direct
TOUGHLOVE Advisors help you identify blind spots, support you in co-creating solutions, & help you develop internal skills & capabilities to overcome your challenges in 5 areas:
- Strategy and Management
- Brand Experience & Marketing Communications
- Digital Transformation and Business Innovation
- People and Culture
- Business Operations and Performance
Using a rich mix of data, insights, and know-how, TOUGHLOVE advisors have a clear, uncomplicated methodology based on the principles of direct engagement, co-creation, and fully delivered results.
Can you please brief us about your professional experience?
Khaled Ismail, CEO/Partner
Khaled is a pragmatic business leader who is fascinated by business and its inner workings. A former global executive leading Marketing, Branding, Public Affairs and Communications operations for Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East & Africa Region.
He has more than 30 years of experience, which started in advertising and then continued in international sales, marketing, and branding in FMCG (B2C) and Food Packaging Industries (B2B), including Tetra Pak and The Coca-Cola Company.
Khaled has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Concordia University – Canada and has completed several executive programs in leadership and management at Ashridge – UK, IMD – Switzerland, and Harvard Business School – USA.
He is an active investor in technology, beverages, sports marketing, and finance. Born in Beirut, he is a Canadian citizen, has lived and worked in 15 countries, and now calls Dubai home.
Khaled is also the Chairman of the Marketing Society – UAE and is a very well-respected business leader, public speaker, marketer and mentor to young entrepreneurs.
Khaled is also a published author of a book titled “This Is What Tickles Me”.
What market need is TOUGHLOVE Advisors addressing?
TOUGHLOVE Advisors makes business advice available to those who lack the resources—people, knowledge, skills, and even time and money—to experiment with ideas and best practices. In a peer-to-peer setting that is motivated by jointly developing solutions that are ready for the market, we promise to tell these firms what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. We are willing to continue cooperating with businesses during that phase because we are aware that these assignments frequently leave them susceptible during implementation.
The majority of the knowledge that TOUGHLOVE partners possess comes from their years of practical experience working with and on some of the more well-known and successful companies and organizations in the region. As individuals, we have frequently had to complete difficult and demanding tasks in a region that has been identified as having growth potential during the previous few decades. The enormous expansion of domestic businesses and brands serves as evidence of such. These days, SME and family-owned enterprises must contend with the size, financial might, and depth of knowledge of multinational corporations.
It’s possible that not everyone will like this formula, but that’s okay. TOUGHLOVE, which is ingrained in our DNA, is frequently necessary for growth and success. The journey with us and the outcomes it will enable them to reach will therefore be valued by those who really seek support and guidance.
What advice would you give corporate leaders who are considering starting their own business?
Don’t wait and overthink your ideas and opportunities. The entrepreneurial and start-up world is on steroids right now and the name of the game is who has the first mover advantage. So, we say think MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and go.