Moe Minkara: ‘Challenge is our creative adrenalin’
Posted on 2022 Feb,15

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Lebanon has been in a state of emergency since late-2019, pummeled by a crisis after another. On top of everything came the devastating explosion that rocked Beirut on 4 August 2020 followed by an economic crisis that keeps worsening. ArabAd talks to Moe Minkara, founder/creative director, Mink to know how they thrived throughout such a tumultuous 2021 year.

How would you describe in one word the year that past?

GRIT.  You needed to have some serious Grit to get through this year.


Were you able to find certainty despite all hardships and adversity crippling businesses in the country?

Empathy is what drove us forward. The ability to acknowledge and accept that we are all in the same whirlwind and that only by supporting each other can we collectively get out of this mess has been the only certainty this year.  It has been the year of “you scratch my back, and Ill scratch yours”. Without any hope for true resolutions, we depended on our clients, as they did on us to get through the hardships. 


Did you feel at risk at some point of getting pulled out of the game? And what helped you reinforce your team’s belief in Lebanon and strong commitment and dedication to sustaining the business?

After the explosion, we were quick to open a second branch of Mink in the UAE.  It was a survival instinct back then. The team in Lebanon worked tirelessly in terrible conditions and under undeserved stress to deliver on time; and in parallel, their colleagues in Dubai worked with even more determination knowing that their hardship is helping and directly impacting their colleagues in Lebanon. It all goes back to a year of empathy. This is how we mitigated the risks, by staying together and working towards one goal. 


How have you managed to channel your energy into keeping up? 

Having a team working for you is no different to having a family. There is responsibility, respect and love involved. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do to keep them safe and to keep them going. The game never ended but the rules have changed. My energy was focused on maintaining the quality of our work, motivating my team and strategizing with them based on the new rules of the game. 


“Change doesn’t just happen. You can’t passively wait for change. You need to create the change you want. “


What has been the most important thing you’ve learned over the last 12 months?

Change doesn’t just happen. You can’t passively wait for change. You need to create the change you want. 


Has your passion and energy remained intact in such a gloomy climate?

Only made it stronger. Our jobs are based on solving problems, if we can’t find ways out of the gloom, then we have simply failed.  I just wish we could channel more of our energy into creative work rather than on solving mediocre hurdles such as electricity, internet connections and gasoline shortages. 


The Lebanese crisis —and the global sanitary crisis —have challenged managers and marketers to rethink the way they do business and plan the future of their organizations. Where does “new business” typically come from today? 

90% of new business comes from outside of Lebanon unfortunately.  Lebanon is quickly becoming and outsourced country. The shift that happened in the world has opened up possibilities of working with clients from all over the world and also with talents form all over the world. Today our staff are scattered between, Lebanon, Dubai, Armenia, Turkey and Canada. One positive thing is that when we have to leave our country in order to seek security and stability, we no longer have to leave our jobs. Relocating while maintaining your job has become a possibility and a thing and the birth of the creative nomad. 


What are the shifts that you foresee taking place in the year ahead? And what do you think will be your biggest challenge in 2022?

More instability and more insecurity in Lebanon. It is hard to invest or plan forward in a place that doesn’t give you the minimum visibility needed to plan ahead. At the moment, 2022 is a blur. In terms of the industry, I believe brands that have been shy on communicating due to the situation in Lebanon will gently make a comeback and test the market. Yet this is just a speculation. Whatever shift it is, it will surely be another challenge. But challenge is what gives us our creative adrenalin, so bring it on!