Riham Al Ayyar is the Founder and CEO of Philosophy Brand & Marketing Consultancy

She speaks to us about the impact of Covid-19 on Media & Advertising. She also speaks about how customers are going digital in order to maximize the advertisement reach. 

What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the media industry in Kuwait?

I believe that due to COVID-19, the media industry has experienced varied effects. While there is a drop in demand for production and events, there definitely has been a surge in demand for online content. With more people staying home, the need for high turnaround news and content is apparent. More and more businesses want to be seen online.

Do you see companies investing in advertising the way they did earlier or is there a shift in the consumer requirements?  

It has become more important than ever that businesses invest in their online presence, be it on social media, search, own their website or sell their services and products via their app. While anything categorized under travel and tourism has stopped or slowed, retail and F&B, with Kuwait being a consumer’s market, are showing recovery and the demand for these services persists. These businesses are turning their attention for increasing visibility through digital means. The demand for these digital solutions has meant that the media industry evolves and keeps delivering.

Do you think the recovery from COVID-19 will happen in the next 1-2 years or will it take longer?

I truly think and hope and pray that it all ends this year. Sometimes life hits us with unexpected things and in order to keep our pace, we need to shift our perspective and re-arrange our priorities. But that doesn’t mean we stop aiming big. No, we aim even bigger because in life no matter what hits, you only get to leave your mark once.

Do you think the pandemic has affected career opportunities for females? If yes, how?

I personally never thought anything or anyone restricted my opportunities. I focused on doing what I had to, irrespective of the situation I faced. I think that women are built stronger and hardships inspire us to do better.

Talking about the pandemic affecting opportunities for females, I don’t think that is true because the pandemic affected both males and females equally. However, with the uplift in the market, new opportunities are arising for everyone to take advantage of.  

How do you promote gender diversity and equality in your organization?

I never truly thought about that because to me it comes as second nature, I guess. I don’t look at it as promoting, but I like encouraging young females to work as interns or part-timers, and I make sure to tailor their working hours according to their schedule. I believe this will inspire them to feel and build that career and live the life they aspire for. I want them to become independent – I guess that is how I am promoting it.