Swiss School of Management

MBA Alumni Profile of the Month: Zazan Farah, UAE

MBA Alumni Profile of the Month: Zazan Farah, UAE

Name: Zazan Farah
Place of work:   Dubai United Arab Emirates, Lugano Switzerland, Milano Italy
Graduation year: 
Current Job:

  • Marketing Director at Lutein GTLLC
  • Freelance Writer for Gulf News
  • Senior Consultant for Vision Expo SA
  • Trade Consultant for Ticino Group
  • Pizzeria Owner
  • Entrepreneur

Favorite Quote:
Tough times don’t last, tough people do.

So, you finished classes in 2012.  Tell us, about your new writing assignment and what you have been up to since then?

Since my move to Dubai, I have opened my life up to all kinds of possibilities, the word no has been completely eradicated from my vocabulary. I was at a trade function called INTERSEC at the Dubai World Trade Centre to represent our company; a journalist approached me, and other people whom have completed their MBA degrees to interview us about how the degree had changed our careers. My writing style caught her eye and she offered me the opportunity to write semi monthly pieces about business, education, self improvement, inspirational stories and several issues that come into play in today’s business environment.

I have also been doing some consulting in the field of trade, marketing, costing, financial structuring and am in the process of opening an authentic Italian pizzeria in Dubai and possibly Abu Dhabi.

What skillset do you need to do your job?

Since I am taking on several projects at the same time, the most vital cog in my daily routine has to be time management, every minute counts. From the moment I wake up in the morning, I have to know exactly what and when things need to be done. Also, because of the importance of dealing with several people about several things daily, patience and understanding are keys to sustained success.

I sincerely believe that business is about being able to deliver what you’ve promised. It is about being able to recall chapters in books that you’ve read in school and applying the knowledge to resolve certain problematic situations. It is about understanding the background of each individual you are dealing with, the language, the customs, the cultural diversities, remembering people’s names also goes a long way.

In my job it is basically imperative to conduct methodical consumer analysis, disciplined market analysis, understand your competition and anticipate their next move, their pricing strategies and what they hope to achieve with guerrilla marketing. Build a solid distribution channel, evaluating the finances of each endeavour and most importantly, developing the watertight marketing mix that will elevate your efforts to new heights, and also accepting that in today’s world, everything is changeable, consumers are as volatile as politics.

How has your MBA helped you in your current position?

My MBA helped me tightly knit most business theories known to man, and look for the ones that I didn’t come across, helped me understand the complexities of today’s environment, look at things through a broader vision and helped me achieve satisfaction and self actualisation.

What are your future plans?

I have an open heart, I believe my destiny lies somewhere between these projects that I am undertaking. The PhD is my main target as a personal goal; I want to get it done as soon as I can. I also want to continue filling small pockets of niches with small to medium sized businesses, continue trading and writing as I am today.  I hope to build a medium sized to large conglomerate that engulfs all these ventures under one umbrella.

If you could describe your experience in Rome during your MBA how would you sum it up?

What can I say that hasn’t already been said about the eternal city, I am completely, madly and deeply in love with Rome. I made friends for life, Daniela the sunshine of our class, Alissa the realest person I have ever met and Funke the genuine Wonder Woman. I have learned from the best in the business, ate the best food this world has to offer, became a part of a heritage that goes back hundreds of years, Lived a stone throw away from the Vatican. Yea, the Pope was my neighbour haha.

Can you share an experience that is most memorable with relation to the MBA program?

Professor Massimiliano Bracale, I owe the man a lot. No better motivator. After each class with him you just want to get out there and do the impossible.

The few months we have spent at INSEEC Paris have been a revelation. We studied hard, had a blast, and made SSM proud by coming back straight A winners.

The school trip to Florence was very memorable. Our graduation was an extremely joyous occasion; I fondly remember all these memories.

What was your favourite class in the program and why?

All of my classes have been close to my heart. Particularly my Finance classes with Prof. Marshall Langer, the man is a certified genius. He conveys such generosity with his time, patience and effort. His confidence in his students is inspiring. I know what I know now in Finance, because of him. Forever earns my gratitude and respect. I cannot thank him enough.

What advice would you give newcomers to the MBA program or for those interested?

Simply, enjoy the ride. You will be amazed at how happy you can truly be. I hung around the school a few months after I was done, attending all sorts of classes, that’s how much I’ve loved it. SSM is a dream school, the staff members are truly remarkable, the professors are at the top of their game, the city is extraordinary and the food can’t get any better. Do it, I swear you won’t regret a thing.

What do you think differentiates this MBA from other MBA programs?

From the moment I walked into the school, I felt at home. You get a sense that this is a family, a closely tied group of people that are striving for success and self perfection. You learn things that are actually happening in today’s world. Not just theories that you dust off an old book.

In my situation, I have done a tailor made, triple MBA programme, in International Marketing, Finance at SSM, Luxury Brand Management at INSEEC Paris. It perfectly accentuates my needs at work. I am very flexible now because of it. I look at things from different angles all the time. Made a world of difference in my analytical skills and generally made me a better human being. Where else can you achieve that other than SSM?

Swiss School of Management, the modern school for the modern business man/woman. I miss you dearly.

Thank you Zazan and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

-Becky Thomas, Dean, Swiss School of Management, Rome