Home Interview Future Corporate Leader: Mekail Sarwar

Future Corporate Leader: Mekail Sarwar

Mekail Sarwar
Manager, Strategy and Planning

In the competitive landscape of global commerce, exceptional leadership is imperative for sustained success. Meet Mekail Sarwar, Manager of Strategy and Planning at Daraz, as he shares exclusive insights on shaping the future of corporate governance. Discover his strategic vision and actionable advice in this compelling interview.

Let’s learn about his journey.

Mr Mekail Sarwar, please share your professional and academic peregrination for our readers!

Although my professional journey started as a Merchant Naval Officer, serving on one of the biggest crude oil carrier companies in the world, in 10 years, I transitioned into a full-time marketer due to a string of life episodes that can be deemed situational, but mostly fate.

Initiating my professional marketing odyssey as a Key Account Executive at INKFISH Digital, South Africa, I meticulously honed my craft in maintaining client communication, crafting bespoke digital marketing strategies, and orchestrating the strategic oversight of content planning.

Driven by an unwavering commitment to excellence, I embarked upon a new chapter at Safara IT, assuming the mantle of Digital Marketing Strategist. Here, I immersed myself in the intricacies of strategy formulation, adeptly navigated the landscape of media buying, and executed meticulous client management, thus laying a robust foundation in digital marketing paradigms.

Motivated by an insatiable thirst for growth, I transitioned to Safara Foods as a Senior Brand Strategist. In this capacity, I assumed responsibility for the seamless orchestration of day-to-day e-commerce operations, meticulously analyzed CRM activities, and spearheaded data-driven marketing endeavors, thereby effectuating substantial contributions to sales augmentation through the implementation of integrated marketing campaigns.

Seeking to embrace fresh challenges and further expand my repertoire, I embarked upon a tenure at Creative Circus as a Digital Marketing and Planning Coordinator. Here, I assumed leadership of digital initiatives, meticulously formulated astute business and marketing strategies, and conducted incisive market analyses, thereby underscoring my versatility and strategic prowess.

Continuing my voyage at bti- building technology and ideas ltd., I assumed the role of Senior Officer in Digital Marketing. Here, I focused my efforts on precision-driven media buying, conducted exhaustive market research, and engaged in insightful customer mindset analysis, thereby catalyzing pivotal enhancements in the company’s brokerage services through the implementation of efficacious digital strategies.

A defining juncture in my professional journey ensued with my transition to Asiatic Marketing Communications Limited, where I assumed the esteemed position of Senior Account Manager in Digital Advertising. Charged with the management of prestigious client portfolios encompassing esteemed brands such as BATB, Nestle, Brac Bank, Whirlpool, TVS Motors, and SMC Enterprise Limited, I assumed responsibility for fostering seamless client communication, orchestrating meticulously curated campaign plans, and ensuring the seamless execution of multifaceted advertising initiatives across diverse channels.

Presently, I occupy the pivotal role of Manager, Sales Strategy and Planning at Daraz Bangladesh, where I am bestowed with the instrumental responsibility of spearheading the development of comprehensive marketing strategies, the astute implementation of segmentation tactics, the cultivation of invaluable advertising agency partnerships, and the execution of incisive market research endeavors aimed at propelling exponential growth within the e-commerce advertising domain.

My professional journey epitomizes a steadfast commitment to excellence, marked by a relentless pursuit of growth, strategic acumen, and a profound impact on the digital marketing landscape.

My academic trajectory stands as a testament to scholarly dedication, culminating in the attainment of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Marketing from the esteemed University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh.

Beyond the confines of traditional academia, I have assumed the esteemed role of Adjunct Faculty at the same institution. In this capacity, I have the privilege of imparting my erudition and expertise in the realm of digital marketing to a cohort of aspiring business professionals, thereby imbuing their academic pursuits with a nuanced understanding of contemporary marketing paradigms.

The symbiosis between my educational achievements and professional endeavors underscores a steadfast commitment to perpetual learning and evolution within the dynamic sphere of marketing and advertising.

My academic journey epitomizes a harmonious blend of scholastic attainment and pedagogical prowess, emblematic of an unwavering commitment to intellectual enrichment and professional excellence.

Can you describe your role as Manager of Strategy and Planning at Daraz, and how it contributes to the company’s overall business objectives?

In my capacity as the Strategy and Planning Manager at Daraz, I undertake a multifaceted role as both an actuator and a pivotal liaison between esteemed brands and our esteemed organization. Operating at the nexus of revenue generation within the Daraz ecosystem, my responsibilities are manifold and pivotal in driving the overarching revenue objectives of the company.

Central to my mandate is the orchestration of bespoke strategies meticulously crafted to propel revenue growth. Through a symbiotic fusion of strategic acumen and industry insight, I curate customized plans tailored to the unique aspirations and objectives of our esteemed brand partners. This entails a rigorous commercialization of in-app assets, encompassing a diverse array of revenue-driving avenues such as Display Banners, Performance Campaigns, and innovative Engagement solutions.

At the heart of our endeavors lies an unwavering commitment to the attainment of business targets and the attainment of periodical Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). In this pursuit of excellence, my team and I embark on a relentless quest to transcend conventional benchmarks, ceaselessly endeavoring to surpass expectations and deliver exceptional results.

Our modus operandi is defined by a relentless dedication to professional excellence, underpinned by an ethos of unwavering commitment and steadfast determination. Each endeavor is imbued with meticulous attention to detail, as we strive to harness the full spectrum of our capabilities in the service of driving revenue growth and fostering enduring partnerships with our esteemed brand collaborators.

In the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce, adaptability and agility are paramount. As such, we remain resolute in our commitment to continuous improvement, perpetually refining our strategies and approaches to remain at the vanguard of industry innovation and thought leadership.

In essence, my tenure as the Strategy and Planning Manager at Daraz is characterized by a relentless pursuit of excellence, underpinned by a steadfast dedication to driving revenue growth, fostering enduring partnerships, and perpetuating a culture of innovation and excellence within our esteemed organization.

My role as the Strategy and Planning Manager at Daraz epitomizes a fusion of strategic vision, operational acumen, and unwavering dedication to driving revenue growth and professional excellence within the dynamic realm of e-commerce.

How do you approach market analysis and strategic planning to identify new opportunities and guide business decisions at Daraz?

In my capacity as Daraz’s Strategy and Planning Manager, my approach to market analysis and strategic planning is characterized by a meticulous methodology, driven by an unyielding quest for excellence and innovation.

To begin, I delve into a comprehensive examination of market trends and competitive landscapes, harnessing advanced analytics tools and methodologies to unearth emerging opportunities and potential areas for growth within the e-commerce advertising domain. This entails keeping a pulse on industry dynamics, consumer behavior nuances, and technological advancements, ensuring that my strategic initiatives are finely attuned to the evolving market landscape.

At the heart of my strategic planning lies a profound understanding of Daraz’s overarching objectives and the distinct aspirations of our esteemed brand partners. Employing a blend of strategic foresight and industry expertise, I craft tailored strategies that resonate with each brand’s unique identity and ambitions, meticulously aligning our efforts with their specific business imperatives.

A cornerstone of my approach is the meticulous optimization of in-app assets, encompassing a diverse array of revenue-generating channels such as Display Banners, Performance Campaigns, and innovative Engagement solutions. These initiatives are meticulously designed to catalyze revenue growth and cultivate enduring partnerships with our esteemed brand collaborators, fostering a symbiotic relationship built on mutual success.

Moreover, my modus operandi is characterized by an unwavering commitment to professional excellence, underscored by a relentless pursuit of tangible outcomes and strategic impact. Each endeavor is executed with precision and rigor, leveraging my full repertoire of skills and expertise to steer Daraz’s strategic trajectory with foresight and agility.

In the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce, adaptability and ingenuity are paramount. Thus, I remain steadfast in my dedication to continuous improvement, perpetually refining our strategies and approaches to maintain our competitive edge and uphold Daraz’s position as a trailblazer in the e-commerce arena.

Collaboration is vital in strategic planning. How do you foster cross-functional teamwork and alignment across departments to execute strategic initiatives effectively?

In facilitating strategic planning, I underscore the indispensable role of collaboration, recognizing it as a cornerstone for success. At Daraz, fostering cross-functional teamwork and alignment across departments is integral to executing strategic initiatives effectively.

Drawing from a deep-seated belief in the power of synergy, I employ various strategies to cultivate a collaborative culture within the organization. Firstly, I facilitate open communication channels, encouraging dialogue and idea exchange among team members from different departments. This inclusivity fosters a sense of ownership and collective responsibility towards shared goals.

Furthermore, I prioritize cross-functional collaboration by championing inter-departmental initiatives and projects. By bringing together diverse skill sets and perspectives, we harness the collective intelligence of the organization, driving innovation and problem-solving.

In addition, I emphasize the importance of clarity and transparency in goal-setting and resource allocation. By ensuring alignment with overarching strategic objectives, I create a unified sense of purpose that transcends departmental boundaries, fostering cohesion and collaboration.

Moreover, I leverage technology and digital platforms to facilitate seamless collaboration and information sharing across departments. Through tools such as project management software and virtual collaboration platforms, we streamline workflows and enhance productivity, ensuring that strategic initiatives are executed with precision and efficiency.

Overall, my approach to fostering cross-functional teamwork and alignment across departments is rooted in inclusivity, transparency, and technological enablement. By nurturing a culture of collaboration, we empower teams to work synergistically towards common objectives, driving organizational success and achieving strategic goals effectively.

What skills or competencies do you believe are essential for a successful corporate strategist in the e-commerce industry, and how do you continue to develop these skills?

In the dynamic landscape of the e-commerce industry, I firmly believe that successful corporate strategists must possess a diverse set of skills and competencies to navigate complexities and drive sustainable growth. Drawing from my experiences and insights, I identify several key attributes essential for success in this role:

  1. Strategic Vision: A successful corporate strategist in the e-commerce industry must possess a forward-thinking mindset and the ability to envision long-term objectives and opportunities. This includes the capacity to anticipate market trends, identify emerging technologies, and formulate innovative strategies to capitalize on evolving consumer behaviors.
  2. Analytical Acumen: Analytical skills are paramount for interpreting complex data sets, extracting actionable insights, and making informed strategic decisions. A proficient strategist must possess a keen eye for detail, proficiency in data analysis tools, and the ability to derive meaningful conclusions from quantitative and qualitative data sources.
  3. Market Understanding: In-depth knowledge of the e-commerce landscape, including market dynamics, competitive landscapes, and consumer preferences, is crucial for developing effective strategies. This involves staying abreast of industry trends, conducting thorough market research, and continuously monitoring competitor activities to identify opportunities and threats.
  4. Collaboration and Communication: Effective communication and collaboration skills are essential for aligning cross-functional teams, fostering synergy, and driving consensus around strategic initiatives. This includes the ability to articulate complex concepts clearly, build strong interpersonal relationships, and facilitate productive discussions among stakeholders from diverse backgrounds.
  5. Adaptability and Resilience: Given the rapid pace of change in the e-commerce industry, adaptability and resilience are indispensable qualities for corporate strategists. This involves the ability to pivot quickly in response to shifting market conditions, embrace innovation, and learn from both successes and setbacks to continuously refine strategies.

To continue developing these skills, I adopt a proactive approach to professional growth and lifelong learning. This includes:

  1. Continuous Education: I actively seek opportunities to expand my knowledge and expertise through formal education, professional development programs, and industry certifications relevant to e-commerce and strategic management.
  2. Networking and Mentorship: I engage with industry peers, thought leaders, and mentors to exchange ideas, gain insights, and broaden my perspectives on strategic challenges and opportunities in the e-commerce domain.
  3. Hands-On Experience: I leverage hands-on experience and real-world challenges to hone my skills and apply theoretical knowledge in practical contexts. This includes leading strategic initiatives, collaborating on cross-functional projects, and seeking stretch assignments to broaden my skill set.
  4. Feedback and Reflection: I actively seek feedback from colleagues, supervisors, and stakeholders to identify areas for improvement and refine my approach to strategic planning. Additionally, I regularly reflect on past experiences and outcomes to extract valuable lessons and insights for future endeavors.

By continuously investing in my professional development and cultivating these essential skills and competencies, I strive to remain agile, adaptable, and effective in driving strategic success in the dynamic and competitive e-commerce landscape.

Beyond your professional role, what personal interests or hobbies do you pursue that contribute to your personal growth and well-being?

Beyond my professional role, I actively pursue personal interests and hobbies that contribute to my personal growth and well-being. Two key areas of focus include reading and engaging with diverse cultures and perspectives.

Firstly, I am an avid reader with a deep appreciation for a wide range of literary genres, including fiction, non-fiction, mythology, and anthropology. This voracious reading habit not only provides me with endless opportunities for intellectual stimulation and enrichment but also enhances my observation skills and fosters creative thinking. Through literature, I explore diverse narratives, perspectives, and ideas, which ultimately broadens my understanding of the world and fuels my imagination.

Secondly, I enjoy immersing myself in various forms of content available on OTT platforms, as well as actively engaging with people from different customs and geographic locations. These activities serve as gateways to exploring and appreciating different cultures, traditions, and heritages. By watching content from diverse backgrounds and interacting with individuals from various nationalities, I gain invaluable insights into the complexities and richness of human diversity. This exposure not only broadens my knowledge but also fosters empathy, tolerance, and a deeper appreciation for cultural nuances.

Overall, my personal interests and hobbies serve as catalysts for personal growth, intellectual enrichment, and holistic well-being. They provide me with opportunities to expand my horizons, challenge my perspectives, and cultivate a greater sense of empathy and understanding for the world around me.

How did a Merchant Naval Officer become a full time Marketer?

After serving 3 year as a junior merchan t naval engineer, suddenly an inner voice spoke to me that this might not be the optimal career path for me. Although merchant navy had all the perks of being a dream job, such as traveling every corner of the world, a high compensation package and living life to the fullest, I always had a creative knack which eventually guided me into pursing a career in marketing.

I was always fascinated by the remarkable advertisng campaigns, done by the renowned advertisng agencies in the country, I always wondered

“What would it feel like to see my name as a part of the team that goes on to create such wonderful creative stories that dazzles millions of audience for generations”

Eventually this thirst and curiousity and also a huge fascination towards creative work helped me to persuade a career in marketing and advertising, and I ended up landing an opportinty to work in the biggest advertising agency in the country, Asiatic MCL.

Mr Mekail Sarwar, please say something to the readers!

As fellow young industry leaders and professionals, we find ourselves at the forefront of innovation, navigating the ever-evolving landscape of global business with determination and vision.

In our respective roles in our organizations, we are tasked with charting the course for our organizations’ success, driving forward-thinking initiatives, and shaping the future of our respective industries. Each day presents new challenges and opportunities, demanding a blend of strategic acumen, creativity, and adaptability.

As we journey together through the pages of this magazine, I invite you to embark on a voyage of discovery and inspiration. Within these pages, you will find a wealth of knowledge, insights, and perspectives from thought leaders and trailblazers across diverse sectors and disciplines.

Let us seize this opportunity to learn from one another, to share our experiences, and to foster meaningful connections that transcend geographical boundaries and industry sectors. Together, we can inspire one another to reach new heights of achievement and impact.

In the spirit of collaboration and camaraderie, let us forge ahead with confidence and determination, knowing that the future belongs to those who dare to dream, innovate, and lead.

Wishing you all continued success and fulfillment in your professional endeavors.

Quick Chat with Mekail Sarwar

The most outstanding achievement of your life as of now:
Winning 4 Awards, including 2 Grand Prix for outstanding advertising campaign for BRAC Bank’s “Tally Loan Druti” project, along with 7 Global Accolades in Mad Stars for the same campaign in the same year.

The greatest philosopher in your view:

Your Icon:
Elon Musk

Name the most influential books you have read:
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins

Your greatest fear:
Falling short of achieving everything I dreamt of

Best piece of advice you’ve received:
“With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibilites” – Uncle Ben, Spider Man
“Every bad day must come to an end”
“Whatever doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger”

You in only three words:
Passionate, Ambitious, Dreamer

Skill Set:

● Hard Skills – Data Analysis, Customer Behaviour Analysis and Segmentation, Digital Media Planning and Buying, Strategic Planning

● Soft Skills – Critical Thinking, Adaptability, Collaborative, Time Management

Prayer For The Human Civilization
As a Muslim, I can’t ignore the genocide that has been happening in Gaza. I know our contribution towards the cause might not be enough, but together, if we stand with Palestine, any small initiative will have a bigger impact in ways even we can’t even understand at this stage. Not only as a part of Muslim brotherhood but also as an act of humanity, let’s stand against the genocides in Ghaza, caused by the oppressors of Israel.

The InCAP: Thank you, Mr. Mekail Sarwar! It’s a glittering conversation with you!

Mekail Sarwar: My pleasure! Wish you all the best! Thank you.

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