Bringing Innovation in Brands – Ishraq Dhaly

I got an opportunity to meet Ishraq Dhaly, Director, Accounts & Servicing at Magnito Digital, a man with a strong personality and a broad knowledge of the corporate world. Since he has been in the advertising industry for the last 17 years, he is a well-known veteran. From a copywriter to an advertising maestro, Ishraq Dhaly is a man full of inspiration. Hear from him about his journey!


Tell us about Magnito Digital and why you decided to work here?

Magnito Digital is one of the first digital agencies to emerge in Bangladesh. Though advertising has been here for more than 40 years and we have seen many agencies transforming the industry but like the rest of the world, Bangladesh has witnessed the digital revolution very recently. I’ll say that it happened worldwide around the late 1990s. In Bangladesh, as other digital agencies were emerging, in 2013 Magnito started as one of the pioneer agencies. So far, it’s been more than 6 years that Magnito has been in existence and by now, it’s a very well-reputed agency.


You’ll notice that the environment that Magnito creates – it is not just physical but it includes the people as well. It’s a very young, dynamic, friendly atmosphere that we’ve created. So, within this arena, good work does come and through those magnificent works, Magnito has been one of the most awarded digital agencies. We are very privileged to work with a “blue-chip portfolio” which includes brands such as Grameenphone, Huawei, Wowbox, Meghna Group of Industries, Uber, Puma, Delta Life Insurance, etc.


If you ask me why I came to Magnito, I have to start off by saying that I come from the traditional advertising arena. I used to work as a copywriter in 2002 at Mediacom. From there I moved into other agencies and other roles as well. For my evolution, I was given the option to work with Magnito and since the world is going digital also the ultimate destination of the advertising is to become more and more digital, I thought this was the right transition for me as a career person. So that’s why I joined Magnito as the Director of the account management team representing the agency to the clients.


What makes Magnito Digital different from other agencies?

Magnito can handle scale very efficiently. We handle small projects and clients very well but we handle big projects and clients even better way. I think our approach is beyond the regular approach. From my point of view, the regular approach is not even content or digital marketing it’s just social media management. Some people think digital marketing means advertising on social media but we do not think like that at all. We look at the brand from a data perspective, we apply those data to find insights, we try to find the big ideas through those insights that connect or interact with the digital consumer pathway. Within this framework, we find creative solutions that connect with our brands and their audiences.


What is the recruitment system of Magnito?


We operate through regular channels. We give out regular job advertisements through LinkedIn and job sites, as well as we get a lot of recommendations from networking and interests through our website and social media channels so we select our talent from there, too.


Do you recommend job switching? Tell us about the difficulties you’ve faced while switching jobs.

Switching jobs too often is not well taken in our cultural context. But from a global research, there is an interesting insight that worldwide, the average duration of employment is only 16 months. This may be because more opportunities come only when one switches. I had my reasons to switch jobs quite a few times but yes, there were always opportunities and the companies I have worked with did hire me because I added certain value through my work.


Yes, I have progressed a long way but I always kept 3 things in mind wherever I worked. Firstly, I keep an excellent relationship with all of my employers. Secondly, I liked to face and solve brand challenges wherever I have worked and that has won me many awards down the line. Thirdly, I didn’t change my track from branding ever. This is how I built myself and come this far, even though I couldn’t have come this far if I just stayed in one place.


How do you identify and pursue your goals?

My goals are very simple – to work and live my life keeping my passions intact, keep on trying without losing hope no matter how many times I fail and to try to do new things every day. I don’t set a long-term plan of 5 to 10 years. For me, every day is a new day.


Where do you see yourself in 8 years?

I hope to still be in the advertising scenario and do something innovative within the Bangladesh context. I hope to see myself being an inspiration for others so that more people with potential join the advertising industry. All in all, I would like to see myself as a thought leader in advertising.


How do you keep your job life and personal life balanced?

This is where time management comes. At work time one has to work smartly, on the other hand, one has to optimize time for family and personal life, with equal importance. This is how you need to keep the balance by keeping track of time.


Do you have any message or advice for the youth?

There was a trend in the past where out of every 4 graduates, 1 would become an entrepreneur. But nowadays, the scenario has reversed – now out of every 4 graduates, 3 become entrepreneurs and 1 is a job seeker. I would encourage more fresh graduates to come into the workforce to add experience and maturity before going into other entrepreneurial interests. I think, in general, this generation is very impatient. I know very few people who would stay at one place or profession for years. So, my message would be “start and have the patient to stick to one profession.”


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