About Rawan Darwish, Associate Partner and MEA Lead, Prophet

Rawan leads the MEA region for Prophet, a global growth and transformation consultancy. with over two decades of experience, Rawan advises governments and organizations on brand & experience development programs, growth strategies and market positioning.

Rawan holds an impressive breadth of industry experience, spanning several industries including real estate and placemaking, hospitality, aviation, financial services, technology, healthcare and public sector.

Her industry experience embraces a strong geographical focus on the Middle East, underpinned by her international outlook. This unique combination enables Rawan to leverage transformative international trends and approaches which are expertly flexed for the region’s dynamic business landscape.

Throughout her career, Rawan has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and is a strong advocate of the power of diverse thinking. She brings unique insights across multiple industries to create value, opportunity, and growth for her clients. Rawan’s approach to problem-solving is highly collaborative, and she works closely with her team and clients to develop customized solutions that address their specific needs and challenges.

Rawan believes that the sector has a far-reaching impact on the world, beyond just the businesses and organizations it serves. It can change the way people think and feel about a company, a product, or even an entire industry. It can create a positive perception, drive innovation and growth, and even inspire social and cultural change.

About her thoughts for the industry

The Middle East has truly reached a tipping point in its growth trajectory. It is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, elevating the prominence of the region on the global stage, which means there are a variety of ripe growth opportunities for businesses to capture as well as tactical areas to invest. 2023 is an exciting year, from COP28 being hosted in the UAE to pledges to reduce carbon footprints and leapfrogging into the digital economy – and businesses need to prepare themselves in various ways.

  • Fuelled by the focus on sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the breath-taking ambition of the visions being set, businesses – and our industry – need to live the change that needs to be delivered and that requires turning commitments into action. Identifying which goals are most relevant to your business, rethinking strategies, and business behaviours to align with these goals by embedding relevant aspects within offerings and solutions. We also have a responsibility to assess and evidence impact against them. Leaders are no longer only speaking about revenue but making sure to cement ambitious KPIs for sustainable growth into their firms. This is exactly the kind of catalyst needed to shift mindsets.
  • Young demographics and high digital adoption and savviness mean digital thinking needs to be the lifeblood of business. But – as is true in C-Suites around the world – leaders in the Middle East recognise that data is only valuable when used strategically. Now that brands have access to more customer data, it’s imperative to use this to unlock the opportunities it presents – delivering very tailored, specific products and personalised messages and communications. The industry should move past broad mass-marketing strategies and activations. Consumers expect a seamless brand experience. They want holistic omnichannel experiences with personalised communication at every stage of the purchasing funnel.

The Middle East has distinct competitive advantages and businesses here can – and should – be optimistic.