Z2C Limited promotes Fatima Hyder to group chief strategy officer

The largest independently owned communications holding company has added it’s first female C-suite member to drive vertically integrated projects across eCommerce, sports, and data

KARACHI: Z2C Limited, the parent company of Starcom Pakistan, MediaVest, Brainchild Communications Pakistan, Blitz Advertising, and Starcrest Communications, has promoted Fatima Hyder to the role of group chief strategy officer (CSO). 

The full-service advertising agency made the internal hire in order to steer vertical integration projects at Z2C Limited which include bSecure, bSports, and an upcoming data and measurement project from conception to execution. She will be stress-testing new group projects for viability with a team of project leads and financial analysts. 

This includes the sports monetisation division at Z2C Limited, which initiated the Pakistan Super League in 2015, which works with internal & external teams to create & manage sports leagues for a range of popular games such as volleyball and kabaddi, with sources telling Profit the group is exploring soccer and eSports as well.

“Her ability to think linearly makes her best suited to the role,” said Raihan Merchant, chairman of Z2C Limited, in a statement to Profit. “She has a proven track record of exceeding expectations [and an] unparalleled ability to think logically and apply critical thinking to all agency briefs along with a superior ability to weave a story [or] narrative [which has] been an essential component in our new business wins and will be a critical component in helping her excel in her new role.”

Speaking to Profit, Merchant said that Hyder has won over 50 per cent of new business pitches, has managed the dual role of head of Lahore and planning director for a year and a half and has successfully increased Lahore’s digital billings by over 100pc. 

“She has successfully led and won our first piece of PR business – Samsung – which opened the door for incremental PR clients,” he said. “She reestablished our superior planning offering on long-standing clients such as Coca-Cola and transitioned several local clients towards a more strategic approach to media planning with the support of a solid team.”

Merchant told Profit that Hyder developed a proprietary agency integrated marketing communications process for clients that don’t have one to avail, adding that she revamped the management trainee programme to include planning fundamentals thereby ensuring the programme continues to be superior to any other in the market.

“The company is headed on an exciting new journey, doubling down on new sources of audience data that will allow us to offer our clients exclusive access to the same,” said Merchant. “Fatima is a critical member of that journey bridging her 17+ years of media experience with the new age technologies and platforms we are exploring to develop a truly unique offering for our clients.”

A graduate of York University in 2003, Hyder joined Mindshare in Canada as a media assistant. She went on to join Omnicom in Dubai, starting with OMD and then with PHD for nearly five years. She then returned to Mindshare in Canada as a planning manager for two years before making her first switch to the Publicis Groupe in 2012 with a strategic role at MediaVest. In 2016, she joined Brainchild Communications Pakistan as a planning director, a role which she has held for four years to date.

The appointment of Hyder at Z2C Limited is part of a group wide initiative to accelerate diversity and inclusion, with nearly a dozen promotions and appointments across the holding company and its subsidiaries. 

These include appointing Benish Irshad as chief operating officer (CEO) at Starcom Pakistan and three key promotions: Urooj Hussain was named head of MediaVest after nearly eight consecutive years, Fizzah Shahid was promoted to associate director, and Eisha Salim was functionally promoted to business lead for MediaVest.

Babar Khan Javed
Babar Khan Javed is a staff reporter covering advertising and marketing beat. He can be reached on [email protected] with details about media, creative, and digital briefs, future projects, management changes, client wins or losses, and everything in between.

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