October 01-15-2023


Imad did his MBA in International Business from University of Greenwich, UK and is an Executive Diploma holder in Digital Strategies for Business from Columbia Business School, USA. Imad is an experienced
E-commerce and Digital professional with a strong track record of driving sustainable growth for 15 years in the UK and Pakistan. Skilled in building robust digital commerce foundations, rapidly scaling business and operations, leading team transformations, and achieving aggressive yet profitable growth.

Imad, tell us a bit about your educational background and how you end up becoming an experienced Ecommerce and Digital professional?

Having grown up in the digital age, I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of technology and business. This led me to pursue a BA Hons Marketing Management, MBA International Business, and an Executive Diploma in Digital Strategies for Business. After graduating, I began my career as a Digital Media Strategist at Groupon, where I gained valuable experience from one of fastest growing ecommerce companies back in 2010.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with leading global companies like Tesco and Unilever, where I’ve led and executed successful digital commerce and marketing strategies. My educational background, professional experience, ability to adapt to emerging technologies, and passion for staying ahead of industry trends have been key factors in my career progression.

Ecommerce and the digital industry are the two most in demand careers nowadays, are there any specific skills required to excel in these fields?

Absolutely. The ecommerce and digital industry is constantly evolving, so it’s important to have a strong foundation in the fundamentals, such as:

Digital marketing: This includes understanding the different digital channels, tools and platforms, as well as the best practices for reaching and engaging target audiences.

Data analytics: The ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data is essential for making informed decisions about digital marketing campaigns and ecommerce strategies.

Technical skills: A basic understanding of coding and web development is helpful, but not required.

Project management: The ability to manage complex projects under tight deadlines is essential for success in the fast-paced ecommerce and digital industry.

In addition to these core skills, it’s also important to learn more about customer acquisition, conversion optimization through the right value propositions and content creation. The ecommerce and digital industry is fast-paced and constantly changing, so it’s important to be able to think outside the box and be creative, innovative, and adaptable.

What is the meaning of digital transformation, and how is it different from digital marketing?

Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to improve business processes and create new value propositions for customers. It’s about more than just adopting new digital tools and technologies. It’s about rethinking the way you do business and using technology to enable new and innovative ways of working – by reshaping processes, culture, and customer experiences.

Digital marketing is a subset of digital transformation that focuses on using digital channels and platforms to reach, engage and convert customers. It includes a wide range of activities, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

What are some of the most important elements of an effective ecommerce website?

An effective ecommerce website should be:

User-friendly: The website should be easy to navigate and use, with a clear and concise checkout process. Fast loading times and intuitive design are crucial too.

Mobile-friendly: More and more people are shopping online using their smartphones, so it’s important to have a website that is mobile first.

Secure: Customers need to feel confident that their personal and financial information is safe when shopping online. Make sure your website uses HTTPS encryption and has a valid SSL certificate. This is essential for customer trust.

Visually appealing: Your website should be visually appealing and reflect your brand identity. Use high-quality images and videos to showcase your products and services.

Well-written: The content on your website should be compelling and informative. Make sure to include clear and concise product descriptions, as well as helpful blog posts and articles.

Lastly, effective SEO, personalized recommendations, and conversion optimization techniques can significantly boost conversions. Regularly analyzing data to make improvements is an ongoing process for success.

What is your experience with using marketing automation tools?

I have extensive experience with using marketing automation tools, such as HubSpot, Marketo, Mailchimp and Eloqua. I’ve used these tools to create and execute automated marketing campaigns across a variety of channels, including email, social media, and paid advertising.

Marketing automation tools can be incredibly effective for saving time and improving the efficiency of your marketing campaigns. I utilized them to improve customer engagement and drive sales – the results included a significant increase in traffic, conversion rates and our overall ROI. They can also help you to build the right customer segments, personalize your messaging and target campaigns more effectively.

We want to start using video content on our website to provide customers with more information about our products. What type of video content would you suggest we start with?

Here are a few types of video content that you could start with:

Product demo videos: These videos showcase your products in action and highlight their key features and benefits.

Customer testimonial videos: These videos feature your customers talking about their positive experiences with your products or services.

Educational videos: These videos provide helpful information and tips on how to use your products or services.

Behind-the-scenes videos: These videos give your customers a glimpse into your company culture and how your products or services are made.

Remember to keep videos concise and visually appealing. High-quality production values are essential to make a positive impression. You can also use video content to promote your brand and tell your story. For example, you could create a brand video that highlights your company’s mission and values. Or, you could create a series of videos that tell the stories of your employees and customers.

What are the key fundamentals when creating content for various digital platforms?

Creating digital content involves understanding the audience and platform. I’ve created content for websites, social media, email campaigns, and more. Usually following these key steps:

Audience Analysis: Identify the target audience’s interests, pain points, and preferences.

Content Strategy: Develop a content plan aligned with business goals, including topics, formats, and distribution channels.

Creation: Produce high-quality content, whether it’s blog articles, videos, infographics, or social media posts.

Optimization: Ensure content is optimized for SEO, readability, and engagement.

Distribution: Share content across relevant platforms and channels, including social media, email newsletters, and content syndication.

Measurement: Analyze content performance using analytics tools to refine future content strategies.

I helped several brands to create content that connects, engages and sells to the relevant target audience.

How do you see technology evolving over the next decade?

Over the next decade, technology will continue to transform industries. We can expect:

AI and Automation: Widespread adoption of AI for innovative and personalized products and services, task automation, and data analysis for decision making.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): Enhanced AR and VR experiences for marketing and customer engagement.

Blockchain: Increased use of blockchain for secure transactions and supply chain transparency.

5G: Wider implementation of 5G, enabling faster internet speeds and new opportunities for mobile experiences.

Data Privacy: Stricter regulations and heightened focus on data privacy and security.

Wearable Devices: Smartwatches and fitness trackers collect data about our health, fitness, and activity levels. This can be used to improve our health and well-being, as well as to create new and innovative products and services.

Sustainability: Technology-driven solutions for sustainability and environmental impact.

Adapting to these changes will be crucial for businesses to remain competitive.

What are the key steps to start a digital transformation project?

Define your goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve with your digital transformation project? What are your specific business challenges and opportunities?

Assess your current state. What are your current digital capabilities? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Develop a digital transformation strategy. This should include a roadmap for how you will achieve your goals and objectives. You should also identify the key technologies and resources that you will need.

Build a team. You will need a team of people with the skills and experience to execute your digital transformation strategy. This team may include people from different departments within your organization, as well as external consultants.

Communicate with stakeholders. It is important to communicate with your stakeholders throughout the digital transformation process. This will help to ensure that everyone is on board with the plan and that you are able to get the buy-in and support that you need.

Execute your strategy. Once you have developed your strategy and built your team, it is time to start executing your plan. This may involve implementing new technologies, changing business processes, and training employees.

Monitor and measure your progress. It is important to monitor and measure your progress throughout the digital transformation process. This will help you to identify any areas where you need to make adjustments.

Here are some additional tips for starting a digital transformation project:

Start small and scale up. Don’t try to do too much too soon. It is better to start with a few small projects and learn from your mistakes.

Focus on the customer. Digital transformation should be about improving the customer experience. Make sure that your projects are aligned with your customer needs and goals.

Be flexible and adaptable. The digital landscape is constantly changing, so it is important to be flexible and adaptable in your approach.

Be patient. Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. It takes time and effort to achieve meaningful change.

Can you mention any examples of ecommerce companies that inspire you? And why?

Certainly! Several ecommerce companies serve as inspiring examples due to their innovative approaches and remarkable success. Here are a few:

Amazon: Amazon is a pioneer in the ecommerce industry. They are constantly innovating and expanding their offerings to meet the needs of their customers. For example, they were one of the first companies to offer free two-day shipping, and they have also developed a wide range of private label products. Amazon is also a leader in cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Alibaba: Alibaba is the largest ecommerce company in China. They have built a massive ecosystem of businesses that includes online marketplaces, cloud computing services, and payment processing. Alibaba is also a leader in big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Shopify: Shopify is a leading ecommerce platform that makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to sell online. Shopify provides merchants with everything they need to start and grow their online businesses, including a website, payment processing, and shipping tools. Shopify also has a large and active community of merchants and developers who share tips and advice.

Zappos: Zappos sets the standard for exceptional customer service. Their dedication to customer satisfaction, including free returns and a unique company culture, sets them apart.

Shein: Shein is a fast-growing ecommerce company that is known for its wide selection of affordable clothing and accessories. Shein uses technology to quickly identify and respond to trends, and to streamline its supply chain. For example, Shein uses artificial intelligence to analyze social media and sales data to identify trends. Shein also uses robots to automate tasks in its warehouses.

I am inspired by these companies because they are using technology to innovate and improve the customer experience. They are also using technology to make ecommerce more accessible to businesses of all sizes.

Any advice you would like to give to our readers in the digital and ecommerce space?

Certainly. Here are some key insights based on my latest project with Tehniyat Salman, a digital native fashion startup:

Focus on your niche. By focusing on a specific niche, you will be able to attract a targeted audience and build a loyal customer base.

Leverage Direct-to-Consumer and Marketplace: Consider launching your business with a website and/or seller page. This approach allows you to have more control over your brand, customer experience, and data, which can lead to rapid growth.

Invest in digital marketing. Digital and influencer marketing can be a very effective way to reach, engage and convert target customers. Understand your audience, craft compelling ad creatives, build brand awareness and continually optimize your campaigns for better results.

Provide excellent customer service. Providing excellent customer service is essential for building long-term relationships with customers.

Use data to drive your decisions. Implement robust analytics to track your ecommerce performance. Continuously analyze data to identify what’s working and what isn’t.

Stay Agile and Adapt: The digital landscape evolves rapidly. Be prepared to adapt to new technologies and trends.

Be patient and persistent. It takes time and effort to build a successful digital business. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Just keep working hard and learning from your mistakes.

Starting a digital-first business requires dedication, creativity, and a strategic approach. Hope the above lessons from Tehniyat Salman’s journey will help you take the right steps forward.

Step into a world where tradition meets modernity, where sage advice intertwines with breathtaking design. Say Shaadi Mubarak and discover “aath baatein”, where age-old wisdom meets contemporary style for the modern man. From opulent sherwanis that exude regal elegance to kurta pajama ensembles that breathe comfort and charisma, As grooms embrace these words of insight, they adorn themselves in more than just clothing; they drape themselves in the richness of experience, merging culture, and celebration seamlessly.

Designer’s Note

Me mohsin and my brother Abu Bakar designed this collection keeping our rich wedding traditions in mind. We constantly see in the media at large talking about the ideal wife and advice geared towards them. We instead thought of reversing it all. Embracing our “8 Baatein” grooms nikkah wear collection isn’t just about style, it’s about honouring traditions that hold wisdom for life’s journey. In a world moving at lightning speed, this campaign carries the essence of advice that resonates today-respect, understanding, and patience. And each piece of clothing too is a testament to the harmony of tradition and modernity, reminding us that embracing timeless values can illuminate our paths in any era. Here’s to stepping into the future with hearts rooted in traditional wisdom.

Designer/Brand: @hauteformstudio
Photography: @stopstyleofficial
Muse: @sadafkanwal
Stylist: @yasserdarrr @yash645
Makeup: @syedhussain_mua
Jewellery: @kundan.co

Pleasetell us about your journey into acting and what inspired you to pursue a career in the entertainment industry?

Unexpected! I was discovered in a casual meeting with Sultana Siddiqui. I was looking at the possibility of being a host or anchor and her keen eye saw an actor in me. A week later I got a call from HUMTV that I had been cast in a drama.

Now, I had been in the entertainment industry since I was a teen, with Radio and TV anchoring creating an appreciated recognition. I had never thought of acting as I had only grown my public speaking and effective communication skills through both media. So I tumbled into acting and realized that this is what I was born to do!

What types of acting roles do you find most challenging and enjoyable, and why?

The most challenging roles are where there are ‘not so committed to the project’ team members. You have to become a stanchion to stabilize the outcome. It saps a lot of energy out of you and that is challenging. And no, I can’t just turn a blind eye to unprofessionalism just to run the kitchen, that is not who I am.

It is so fulfilling to get the chance to act along side the magnificent true actors. The passionate maestros, young or seasoned, when they are my co-actors, you can literally feel the goosebumps in the interaction! This is lovingly called chemistry these days.

Can you share a memorable experience from a recent acting project that had a significant impact on you as an actress?

In my 9 years as a TV actor, the experiences that have made me smile, with a pat on my back have been

a).  Acting opposite Nauman Ejaz in Dumpukht (I consider him my mentor, a guru and co-acting as his peer I would either raise my bar much higher to match his brilliance, or fail hopelessly)

b.) Acting opposite Yumna Zaidi as her mother (a sexually exploited woman), misunderstood and hated by her daughter, desperately trying to protect the young woman from being tormented the same way. The range of emotions I got to present and react to were phenomenal!

c.) Currently on air, Fairy Tale season 2 presented a satire of my character taking inspiration from over-the-top saas bahu soaps. Ensuring, that the fine line between inspiration and roasting was not crossed, respecting the culture being represented, and then trying to keep a straight face while emoting overly dramatic facial expressions and vocal modulation was so so hard but delightfully memorable! (Hamza, Sehar, Amna and I were in stiches, breathless and had tears of laughter cascading down our faces after each take!) Hats off to Ali Hassan for making it look so effortless in the drama.

How do you prepare for a new acting role?

I say goodbye to Saman Ansari and become that character. And if it is unlike something familiar to me, I research it, observe it and then implement it. This is also why I never do more that one project at a time, I don’t have an on off button, so once I delve into the character I am playing for a drama, I am only able to wean it off at camera close.

Acting often involves working with diverse teams. How do you collaborate and build chemistry with your co-stars and crew members?

A professional team knows that the success of a project depends on everyone doing their job passionately. And yes, in the real world there are often times where you need to adjust to some one or the other not doing the team justice. If it is an actor not focusing on their dialogues or respecting the etiquettes of being on set, the Director makes a call on that. If its some one from the production team, you can bring that to the notice of the head of production. My mannerism on set has always been immense respect for every team member from spot boy to a super star and complete dedication to my work. If that means I don’t partake in green room gossip or hanging out between scenes to conserve my performance energy, I am very comfortable with that.

Can you describe a particularly challenging scene or role you’ve had to portray and how you overcame the challenges it presented?

Sitara Mir in Khaani was a highly challenging role. I started from a coy, bureaucratic, arrogant, ruthless trophy wife of a Politician who was much older and the doting, liberal, mother of a thoroughly spoilt young man who looked more like a sibling than son to a grieving humbled widow and repenting, humiliated mother. It wasn’t just the 180 degree shift in look and emoted personality, it was ensuring that every moment of it became believable for the viewers, and that was the real challenge.

In the evolving landscape of the entertainment industry, how do you stay relevant and adapt to changing trends and technologies?

I read, I watch and I learn – every day. I implement selectively, so yes, I am active on social media as it has this unspoken bond with our drama industry casting and ratings, but I do not follow trends unless I can relate to them. Yesterday my drama was being viewed by Gen X and Z, today I have a new audience especially with Fairy Tale 2, its Gen Alpha! So yes, when I am out and about, it’s the preteens and younger who recognize me before their mothers or grandmothers do.

What do you believe are the most important qualities or skills that an actress should possess to excel in this profession?

To be able to adapt to the character by letting go of their own personality. Yes, you have beautiful bouncy layered hair, but if you are playing a young woman from a lower middle class economic income group, you will not do cleaning the veranda with a perfectly blow dried head of hair! Observe and implement. And, please focus on the clarity of your speech. Accents are not dialects. Please take speech classes, please learn how to modulate so you can whisper with clarity and throw your voice without screaming.

Diversity and representation are important in the entertainment world. How do you see your role in promoting diversity and inclusion in your work?

I am always open to any project, or character that is as far from Saman Ansari as possible. I am equally thrilled to work with new talent or veterans. In Badshah Begum I was a cold blooded 70-year-old lady of the throne in a rural land, in Sammi, I was a raw villager in her early 30s who had 5 living daughters out of 8 pregnancies all in the hope of a son to be born. That to me, is diversity, it includes lives, of people we may have never heard of, met or known, and yet we represent them thus for me, this is inclusion of diversity.

Finally, what are your future career aspirations and are there any upcoming projects?

I would love to do more theatre, that for me is the apex of fulfillment in acting as it is a live exchange of energy between the performer and the audience.

I am reviewing a couple of drama story lines right now and will choose one to pursue once my commitment with the current Fairy tale 2 is over.

Wouldn’t mind trying my acting talent in a film. It’s called the directors medium, I think that would be a larger than life opportunity to enhance my potential in acting, to perform and most importantly to learn from what dreams are made of!

Ayesha Salman of Ash Beauty Boutique hosted an open house party for her friends at her salon in phase 6, dha Lahore.



Masarrat Misbah cosmetics reveals fragrance collection for all hence celebrating it’s debut launch event nationwide here in Karachi at Alliance Francaise. Masarrat Misbah expressed her sentiments towards the new venture with a wide range of lasting fragrances. Representing women’s collection was the beautiful, Amar Khan while the men fragrance collection was revealed by the talented, Usama Khan.



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