In conversation with: Howard Kosky, CEO, markettiers
4th May 2016
Justin McGuire, CEO of MCG Group interviewed Howard Kosky, CEO of markettiers, a multi-award winning global broadcast agency. Howard is also Non Exec Director of MCG Group and working with us closely as we build out the business globally.
The interview was based around what makes a successful businessman and why now is the right time to set up in Dubai.
What made you set up markettiers?
I had been a director of another company in a similar space for around four years where we had pioneered a lot of the broadcast PR techniques that have become standard today. After a great few years, the main equity shareholder and MD, and myself starting to have some fundamental differences of opinion and styles of management and services that we should be developing and offering to clients. As Head of Client Services my focus was on listening to the market and ensuring we were not only fit for purpose and best in class, but also future proofed, and it became clear to me that the only way to do this was to start afresh. This along with the motivation of building something that I could influence with my own DNA was an appealing combination.
What attribute has made you succeed in business?
My DNA. Drive, passion, enthusiasm and a love for what I do. You then need to apply a business acumen to ensure that DNA is maximised commercially. ……and always remember you have two ears and one mouth…listen a lot.
How much has the industry changed since setting up?
The industry has changed dramatically in some regards, and in others remained constant. Technology has played a pivotal role in the world of broadcast, both in terms of serving content and how we consume it, let alone the number of channels and platforms. The constant is the power to influence. Broadcast in all forms still has the power to influence and mobilise both behaviour and sentiment.
Proudest moment as a business owner?
There is no one single moment, as over the course of 22 years many things have been achieved which make me proud. There has been the sale/floatation of the company, the MBO five years later, the numerous industry awards won, and some of the great clients and campaigns we have managed, but ultimately walking in to a business each day with a smile and seeing others around me enjoy what we do and how we do it still after 22 years is what makes me proud.
Who has inspired you in the industry and why?
Within the wider PR/Comms industry there are a number of leaders and heads of who I have looked to with complete respect as business professionals. To be a good operative in an industry is one skill set, but to be a successful business person takes another skill set. So whilst no one single individual, a number of agency owner/managers have had a positive influence on me.
What made you set-up markettiers in Dubai?
There were a number of factors that came together at the same time.
A) Over the past five to seven years we had a growing number of client briefs asking us if we could manage the broadcast outreach for the Middle East and APAC region.
B) Holidaying in Dubai each year for roughly 10 years I have seen a lot of change, and growth and development, but most noticeably what stood out was the bid for Expo 2020, and how Dubai approached this in the way most cities approach a major global sporting event bid. Understanding how important Expo was going to be to establishing Dubai as a global business hub if they won the bid, only furthered my thoughts that Dubai was a city of growth and positivity to building something for the long term.
C) Since our first live stream some 16 years ago, we have developed our technical capabilities for streaming and mobile to the point we believe we are world leaders, and provide a valued service to our clients in this area alongside the traditional. Noting the smart city of Dubai and mobile penetration of the wider GCC region, the time was right to provide a lasting footprint via an office in Dubai for both traditional broadcast and mobile needs for our clients.
What career advice would you offer people looking to get into the industry?
Work hard, don’t take anything for granted, and invest in your career. I am a huge advocate of challenging people to invest in themselves. Unlike some other vocations, this industry does not require formal qualification and as such people can often compromise on their investment in themselves and their industry knowledge.