IN­TER­VIEW: Watch Closely Hind Ab­dul Hamied Sed­diqi, Chief Mar­ket­ing & Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Of­fi­cer, Sed­diqi Hold­ings

Bespoke - - THE CREATIVE SPACE -

What led you to start Dubai Watch Week? When I started in the com­pany in 2006, the first thing they did was take me on a three week trip to Geneva where I vis­ited fac­tory af­ter fac­tory. It re­ally en­riched my knowl­edge. Even though I grew up around watches, with my fa­ther in the busi­ness, it re­ally fas­ci­nated me and I thought if it worked for me, it would work for ev­ery­one. So we started tak­ing clients there and or­gan­is­ing ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties for them. But even­tu­ally we felt the need to go big­ger, for the city and for the in­dus­try, and al­though we have a rich port­fo­lio of brands, we wanted to in­clude ev­ery­one. So, last year we got per­mis­sion to use Dubai’s name with Watch Week and it’s been a huge suc­cess – ev­ery­one in the in­dus­try wants to come to Dubai.

Why are CEO’S and watchmakers in­ter­ested in tak­ing part? The feel­ing they have when they come, be­cause it’s a non-com­mer­cial ex­hi­bi­tion, is that it’s a very friendly en­vi­ron­ment. They get to talk on pan­els and lis­ten to each other. They don’t get those op­por­tu­ni­ties when they are at SIHH or Basel­world try­ing to sell. We hear them dis­cussing is­sues they all face in the in­dus­try, like the trans­mis­sion of knowl­edge and the fake watch in­dus­try.

Be­fore you came on board in 2006, Sed­diqi & Sons didn’t have a ded­i­cated mar­ket­ing per­son. How have things changed? I started as an in­tern want­ing to prove to them that they needed mar­ket­ing and PR. Now we have a large team and do ev­ery­thing in-house – all the printed ma­te­rial, the col­lat­er­als you see, and the ad­ver­tis­ing. We also have a call cen­tre, be­cause as a re­tailer, af­ter-sales is im­por­tant.

How does it feel to work with fam­ily? I have a great sup­port sys­tem. When I first joined, my cousins would sit with me in ev­ery meet­ing just to make me feel com­fort­able. They helped me a lot and I’m very blessed. But now some­times they call me for ad­vice. What are your thoughts on smart­watches? When they first started, a lot of watchmakers were an­gry and afraid they might re­place tra­di­tional watches. But the per­son who wants a smart­watch is not the same per­son who wants a me­chan­i­cal one. Now, you see that a lot of tra­di­tional watchmakers have in­tro­duced smart­watches into their prod­uct lines. But in my opin­ion, the tech­nol­ogy will never take the place of real crafts­man­ship. Have you ever faced chal­lenges as a wo­man in a male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try? No, not at all. There’s noth­ing that a man can do than a wo­man can’t. If you un­der­stand your job very well, you’ll gain ev­ery­one’s trust.

What watch are you cur­rently wear­ing? A Richard Mille RM 07. I tend to go for men’s watches be­cause of the move­ments, but thank­fully brands are start­ing to do im­por­tant move­ments for women as well.

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