Versatility and determination make Banan Yaquby, former CEO of Yaquby Stores and founder of Quby Creative Consultants, a strong force in Bahrain’s business scenario. OHLALA spoke to her about how she successfully embraces two different work mindsets.
“ I think the best way to balance creativity and business is to consistently dedicate time to step back and explore new things, read, use your hands (when you have the time) – it all helps in balancing it out.”
– Banan Yaquby
OHLALA – You have a BA in Visual Communication/ Graphic Design, but your entire career has led you to the business area, first becoming the CEO of Yaquby Stores and then founding Quby Creative Consultants. Do you believe that having a background in creativity has helped you succeed as a leader?
Banan Yaquby – I definitely believe that you act as a problem solver as a designer. You always observe what’s around you, which makes you very analytical at times. It’s true, I’ve worked in our family business, but I have always found ways to incorporate creativity in anything I did – it’s actually what keeps me going. Also, within Quby, I’m the founder, but I’m also the Creative Director, so I am very much involved with creativity every day.
OHLALA – You must think outside the box. How important is it to explore your creativity while developing successful businesses? How do you balance both skills, the designer and the businesswoman in you?
Banan – Operations in any business can sometimes be very draining, as the day-to-day activities are often very time consuming and far away from anything creative. I think the best way to balance creativity and business is to consistently dedicate time to step back and explore new things, read, use your hands (when you have the time) – it all helps in balancing it out.
OHLALA – At Quby Creative Consultants, besides being the company’s founder, you are also the Creative Director, where you can put your designer side into action. How would you describe the process of creating a powerful visual communication? How hands-on are you in this process?
Banan – To create anything powerful, whether in design or any other field, you really need to understand the subject matter. Sometimes many people tend to skip this stage, but researching the topic and truly understanding what you are working with is an essential step to creating any successful plan. Quby has now been running for 11 years, and we have amazing team members that have grown with the company into great leaders. So, depending on the project, sometimes I am very hands-on and at other times our team lead many of the projects without me having to interfere every step of the way. We believe in nurturing local talent and having team members who can be tomorrow’s leaders within Quby is our true measure of success.
OHLALA – What do you like the most about your job?
Banan – The most rewarding thing over the years, and my favourite, has been seeing brands we worked with from scratch grow to become franchises not just regionally, also internationally. It makes us very proud!
OHLALA – What do you do to disconnect from work? Any hobbies or interests that make you turn off from thinking of work?
Banan – When I turn off from work, I usually read about design or explore an online design workshop. Maybe it’s the time off that lets me reconnect more with my designer side rather than during my business hours.
OHLALA – What makes Bahrain such a special place for you?
Banan – The multicultural aspect of our country and openness to welcome anyone.