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A rendezvous with Ayeza Sumsam Mohiuddin (Brand Manager,Skin Health Care Category)

My meet-cute with Ayeza was out of any professional and academic settings, we met at a mutual relative's place and instantly clicked. She was a year younger than me and yet her take on life inspired me at that point in time too. We then lost touch of each other only to meet again at IBA, where we used to pass occasional glances and smiles as we both were too occupied to make a decent conversation.

Today, when I searched among my Facebook friends for an inspirational marketer, Ayeza's named popped in my mind and on my screen almost immediately,I reached out to her, not expecting her to message so promptly as I knew she is a busy young lady. But, this bright person made me awe struck once again, by the very manner in whichshe welcomed the idea of "The Placement Office", I could feel her giddy with excitement as she answered all my questions pain painstakingly detailing as much as possible. 

I hope our conversation with Ayeza today, can inspire hundreds and thousands more....

Q1) You have taken up various roles over the course of your career. In your view point, what are some of the key traits that have made you excel in your current role?

Since the start of my career, I have always followed in an advice which was given to me by my mentor a long time back; which was “…Ayeza, whatever you do in your life. Do it with passion or not at all!” This advice has stuck me with since forever now and I believe that two of the key traits that has made me excel in my current role are PASSION and ENTHUSIASM. 
One needs to be fearless, passionate and energetic about the kind of work that they invest their time, emotion and energy in and hence, I would rate Passion as the Number 1 trait that has enabled me to achieve success not only in my current role; but also in all my other previous roles.

Apart from Passion, another key trait that I have found to be extremely significant in my career progress is DISCIPLINE. I cannot emphasize enough the sheer importance of incorporating discipline not only in your professional life but also in the arena of your personal life!
I see many professionals today undermining the value of discipline but if you ask me, discipline draws that fine line between success and failure in any project, any job, any task that one undertakes. You need to train your mind and develop habits that are not only healthy but also sustainable.
You first need to make your habits and then allow your habits to make you! The old saying goes true that discipline is rarely enjoyable but almost always profitable!

Q2) What skills are expected in an individual when hiring them in brand related roles?

When it comes to Brand-Management Roles, it is extremely important for the individual to have a well-balanced and a well-rounded personality. Apart from hard skills which get developed with time and experience, in today’s day and age, an aspiring Marketer or Brand Manager needs to pay special attention to developing and honing their soft skills.
These are skills that are related to personality, behavior as well as to emotional intelligence. Examples of this would include leaderships skills, team-work, conflict resolution etc.
There was a time when only IQ was the key performance indicator when it came to determining an individual’s success at his/ her job; whatever that maybe! Nowadays, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the “IT” thing when it comes to success and prosperity in the corporate world.
It is 100% true when the Marketing Pros say that “IQ may get your foot in the door. EQ will determine how far will you go!”

Q3) Physiogel has been your baby and you have been actively trying to market it in unconventional ways. Can you tell us a bit more about your Digital marketing campaign for this brand?

Before I respond to this question, let me tell you a very interesting insight. In the last two years in Pakistan, the total advertising spent on digital and unconventional marketing has surpassed the advertising spent on conventional marketing mediums such as TV, Radio and Print!

Today, ignoring Digital Marketing is synonymous to opening a business but not telling anyone about it! In a developing market like Pakistan where 44 Million people are on social media, it is not a question of whether we need to engage in digital marketing but rather the question lies “How well do we engage and connect with our consumers via social media?”

For a premium Skincare Brand like Physiogel, we have taken an innovative approach and have leveraged the power of social media rather than resorting to conventional marketing strategies. Recently, Physiogel launched its 1st Ever Digital Campaign by the name of ‘Love Your Skin’; starring Physiogel’s Celebrity Brand Ambassador Aisha Khan who has been an avid user of Physiogel since the last 10 years!

The campaign highlights that Physiogel allows the consumers; especially women to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin by ensuring that after a hard day of work, their skin not only looks refreshed but it also glows from inside out! We are all aware that online & digital marketing is an arena that is not only cluttered and noisy but also bombarded with branded messages every now and then!

Keeping this reality in mind, in our “Love Your Skin” Digital Campaign, we wanted to make Physiogel greater than that, by engaging and communicating to the audience, that having good, flawless skin can not only boost a person’s confidence and self-esteem but can also greatly aid them in achieving their best selves and reaching their maximum potential!

Q4) How is Healthcare Branding more challenging then branding other products?

Marketing of Consumer Healthcare Brands is extremely challenging and demanding as compared to marketing of FMCG Brands. The primary consideration that one must make while marketing of Consumer Healthcare Brands is that of government legislations and keeping the well-being of our consumers at the heart of every decision that we make. With these considerations in mind, Brand Managers need to have a well thought-out and well formulated marketing strategy comprising of Above-the-Line (ATL), Below-the-Line (BTL) and Through-the-Line (TTL) Market Activations.

Q5) Any tips for the new entrants who aspire to start off from entry roles in marketing and then climb up the corporate ladder?

My advice to all the new entrants would be to WORK HARD, HUSTLE HARD & SHINE HARD! In the youth of today, particularly in recent graduates from top Business-Schools, I see that they have this strange and bizarre sense of entitlement on them; as if the world owes them anything and everything! This attitude and approach to work and to life in general has to change and the earlier one changes it, the better it is!

The new entrants and aspirers MUST be willing to put in their blood, sweat and tears into the work that they are doing. They must understand that continuous hard work and extreme dedication and commitment to work are the key, essential ingredients that is required for success at this stage.

Another advice that I would give to the newbies would be to develop a strong and rock-solid blend of work ethics and professionalism. These two components will go a long, long way in not only “climbing up the corporate ladder” but also in terms of building and developing their own personality and character!

In 2013, Ayeza S. Mohiuddin graduated from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Pakistan’s Number One Business School, with a Major in the Marketing discipline. She has had the honor of being a Dean’s Lister multiple times during her four years at IBA. Ayeza is currently working as a Brand Manager for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare- one of the world’s leading Multi-National, Consumer Healthcare Corporations. In GSK, Ayeza has looked after the Corporation’s 2 Global Power Brands in the capacity of a Brand Manager. She has also been the Recipient of multiple ‘Recognition Awards’ for an exemplary demonstration of performance and work ethics. Prior to this, Ayeza has also worked for various distinguished and well-esteemed Companies like Shell Pakistan, Acumen Pakistan and Dawn Group of Newspapers. A Marketer and Brand Manager by day, Ayeza is a Freelance Journalist and a Writer by night as well as over the weekends! Her Cover Stories and Feature Articles have been published in renowned newspapers such as DAWN and Express Tribune; to name a few! She has also co-authored a Marketing Research Paper on “Understanding the Growing Importance of Consumer Brand Engagement in Pakistan.” Ayeza’s paper was one of the very few hand-picked Papers that were accepted for presentation at The International Conference on Marketing & Consumer Behavior 2013 in Porto, Portugal. Ayeza be reached at

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