GCC 100 Inspiring Leaders 2019
Sun 31 Mar 2019 05:00 AM
Riham Al Ayyar

Company: Philosophy

Designation: CEO and founder

Country: Kuwait

Citizenship: Kuwaiti

Resident Kuwait City

Over the past two decades, Riham Al Ayyar’s outstanding contribution to branding and identity in Kuwait has galvanised her position as one of the most respected voices in the field. Her expertise is the driving force behind the fortunes of brands of all size big and small, local and global. When all these factors come together, it’s easy to see why Al Ayyar was named one of the most influential female executives in the Middle East and North Africa in telecom and branding.

The seeds of success were sown early into the late 1990’s. Shortly after achieving a Bachelor in Mass Communications at Kuwait University at the turn of the millennia, Al Ayyar channelled her energies and ambitious flare into a commercial career, championing the development of the Wataniya Telecom Kuwait brand identity, later guiding it through a rebrand to its new look and positioning, Ooredoo. To add to her early career highs, she also held positions in government, including communication consultant to the Kuwait National Assembly.

The creative landscape in Kuwait at this time was loosely peppered with creative brand agencies specialising in a limited number of services. But no agency catered for the full remit of strategy, communication and visual direction. As a young professional and forward thinking Kuwaiti, Al Ayyar didn’t wait to be asked or told to take ownership of this apparent gap in the market.

With true entrepreneurial spirit, she embraced the opportunity and set up a brand and marketing consultancy in 2015, which later partnered with Bellwether Brands in Dubai. This would challenge the norm and introduce a uniquely integrated mind-set to serving a brand.

Today, Philosophy is Kuwait’s first one-stop creative agency offering the full 360-degree spectrum of strategic, branding, marketing and image management services.

In less than five years, Riham and Philosophy have elevated the commercial journey of leading Kuwaiti brands with customised identity, imagery, content and strategic brilliance. The essence is in their mission; to address every level of a brand’s visual and communication identity, and boldly take the brand forward by building from the foundation up.

In 2017, Philosophy & Bellwether Brands developed the KIPIC brand, the latest subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, and subsequently scooped four Transform MENA awards. This fruitful partnership continues to shine with brand strategy development of KFH Capital, the investment arm for Kuwait Finance House. An ever-growing portfolio now includes brand development projects for Bayt Al Kuwait, Abraj Water, Educational Excellence for Learning Differences (EELD), Al Rayan Holding and many more established businesses.

As they approach a new decade in the Kuwait with fresh impetus and expectation, Al Ayyar and Philosophy continue to seize the possibilities in industry by making waves across all areas of branding, identity and marketing, in Kuwait and beyond.