Complex Made Simple

Exclusive: Anas Bukhash on authenticity, SMEs and more!

Anas Bukhash, Managing Director, Bukhash Brothers, shares his thoughts on authentic influencers, culturally sensitive campaigns, entrepreneurship and more!

"If somebody is doing a campaign that is paid and they say it is paid, I would respect them rather than act like its all natural" "If you do decide to go cultural, put in that effort to understand that culture ... because if you don't, it backfires; easily backfires" "I think we are gaining confidence as people to 'create' brands rather than 'franchise' brands, which is really nice"

"Currently, we are going through this phase that this word 'influencer' has a very negative stigma or connotation to it because some people have misused that title. But I think, coming from this you're going to see the ones that are actually the good ones. The ones that actually put an effort, the ones that actually have a legit audience – whether it's 5000 followers or 500,000," said Anas Bukhash, Founder and Managing Director, Bukhash Brothers, speaking exclusively to AMEinfo on the sidelines of the Arab Luxury World conference 2019 in Dubai.

Sharing a bit of advise and a word of caution to brands attempting culturally sensitive campaigns, Anas Bukhash said, "My point is that campaigns can be very generic or human. If we're going to use human, it's universal. All human beings have similar needs, similar interests, specially in developed cities and cultures. But if you're going to go the traditional route or the cultural route, you need to put that effort. What you see is that a lot of brands are lazy in that aspect, or naive, or not educated enough on how to approach … put in that effort to understand that culture – what's nice, what's not nice. Because if you don't, it backfires; easily backfires"

An Emirati businessman who has etched an indelible mark on the lives of many young entrepreneurs, Anas Bukhash shares a few secrets behind starting and sustaining a successful SME. "I think entrepreneurship and even the title entrepreneurship is trendy at the moment. People don't realize what happens behind the scenes. It's very nice to say, you know, I sold two cupcakes on Instagram and I'm an entrepreneur. No, you're not. I think it's about really building a company and hiring people and people relying on you, and then you have an organization. You have a small SME – to a medium to a large company that actually has processes, has accounting, has auditing – and I think that's where people don't realize how much work goes behind even opening a grocery store. You think it's simple, but it's not. Getting the approvals, getting the staff, getting the products, it's all complicated and complex. So where people need to open their eyes is that it's not a fairy tale. That's why I always say do something you really love, because if you don't love it, you don't stay," he said.