To be number one you must act like number one!
I met the management from TEPQ when I was still a Qatari diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In those years, my fascination for the French culture started, I was learning the language and had good relationship with the French community in Doha. My idea was to diversify my portfolio and have different point of views to extend my global knowledge. I was aiming to study in a well known French business school, and EDHEC in Nice got my interest. I knew that Total was offering scholarships for higher education. I really prepared myself for this interview and made the cut.
I started the MBA in Nice, it was very intense and I learned a lot. When I went back to Doha, I didn’t feel fulfilled with my career and needed a new challenge. While I was representing the Ministry in a job fair, I approached TEPQ stand and I met with Philippe Guys who was the MD. I sent him my resume the next day and shortly I was called for an interview. I simply told them that I wanted to work for an Oil and Gas company like Total. One of my motivation was that Total was number 4, a success largely due to its operations worldwide. I also gave him some strong arguments “I can easily manage juggling with communication tools but what I need is a real mission, a real challenge.” If TEPQ wanted to take the lead in the oil and gas business in Doha, we needed to start acting like the leading international energy company in the country.
At the beginning, I was working under Dominique Gueudet, he was the communications and CSR vice president. He taught me so much and helped me to push myself in this direction. I started as a CSR officer and after six months, I became Head of Institutional relations. Six months later I was the acting Head of Communication. We achieved so much in such a short time! We wanted to align our business strategy with the 2030 National vision of the country. It was a massive collective work. In 2010, we re-launched the Tennis open tournament, we managed to bring HEC Paris here in Doha and we initiated big projects like the Golden Age of Sciences’ exhibition. We increased the amount of publications and sent press releases twice a week. We also doubled the scholarships for Qatari students. The main goal was to be more visible. At that time, social media were just starting. The idea behind all those communication actions was to shape our image in Qatar. Our credibility was coming from this activity and within one year, we had the leading brand and image awareness amongst our peers in the industry. If it wasn’t for the entire team effort, TEPQ wouldn’t have the same solid reputation it has today.