Khaled M. Ismail- Aiding Companies to Realise Their Potential 

Although it can seem simple, the job of a business counsellor is far more intricate and all-encompassing. A business advisor uses successful business methods and solutions to guide organisations towards success. Business advisors provide you an advantage over the competition with their thorough market research and organisational abilities.  

One such executive is Khaled M. Ismail, CEO and Partner of ToughLove Advisors, who aids businesses in realising their full potential. 

Inform us about the business.  

TOUGHLOVE Advisors is a straightforward advice firm with a twist that was founded by a group of nine C-suite executives with more than 250 years of combined hands-on experience in more than 120 markets.  

TOUGHLOVE Advisors, which specialise in enhancing business performance for underserved businesses in the area, give access to an underutilised collective of practitioners with multi-national training who are professionals in business, operations, marketing, and technology to discover and deliver solutions. 

The team includes well-known brands like Emirates, Etihad, FAB, P&G, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Landmark Group, L’Oréal, Visa, Leo Burnet, Publicis Communications, bp, Tetra Pak, Meta, Nokia, and HSBC. The group has a wealth of unmatched experience from more than 80 leading multinational corporations. Their expertise comes from a wide range of business sectors, including telecoms, banking, aviation, and manufacturing.  

What difficulties did you initially encounter? 

There isn’t another consultancy business in the market with this much practical experience working together. In order to properly assist our clients and their businesses, we at TOUGH LOVE tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. We have seen firsthand how critical it is to work with real-world practitioners who are interested in creating customised, practical solutions based on their own experiences rather than exchanging academic best practises. We want businesses to be aware of another option for assistance—the TOUGH LOVE approach. 

What was the turning point that led to the company’s expansion? 

When giving our clients advise, we emphasised experience above theory, but the key factor is our strategy.  

A straightforward, uncomplicated, and sincere approach. 

We give you the information you require, not the information you desire. 

You will really comprehend what we advise.  

As a result, we act differently. 

  • Sophisticated, NOT patronising 
  • Dependable, NOT fluffy 
  • Motivating, NOT dogmatic 
  • Progressive NOT just using buzzwords 
  • Ambitious and Motivated, NOT Opposing 
  • Provocative NOT oppressive 
  • Confident but not haughty 
  • Supportive NOT transient 
  • Blunt IS NOT direct 

The products and services provided by TOUGHLOVE Advisors assist you in 5 areas by assisting you in identifying blind spots, assisting you in co-creating solutions, and assisting you in building internal skills and capabilities. 

Management and Strategy 

Experience with a brand and marketing communications 

Business innovation and digital transformation 

Culture and People 

Business Performance and Operations 

TOUGHLOVE is a simple, straightforward process built on the tenets of direct engagement, co-creation, and completely delivered results. It uses a rich combination of data, insights, and know-how. 

What obligations do you believe an entrepreneur has? 

Entrepreneurship is as challenging as ascending Everest. Being an entrepreneur while working a regular job is like attempting to conquer Mount Everest in sandals. 

Please provide us a brief overview of your professional background. 

Ismail Khaled 

CEO/Partner 

Khaled is a practical businessman who is fascinated by how businesses operate. a former worldwide executive in charge of the region’s marketing, branding, public affairs, and communications efforts. 

He has more than 30 years of expertise, which he began in advertising and has since continued in FMCG (B2C) and Food Packaging Industries (B2B), including Tetra Pak and The Coca-Cola Company, international sales, marketing, and branding.  

Khaled holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University in Canada. He has also completed executive leadership and management programmes at Ashridge in the United Kingdom, IMD in Switzerland, and Harvard Business School in the United States.  

He actively invests in technology, beverages, marketing for sports, and finance. He is a Canadian citizen who was born in Beirut and has lived and worked in 15 different nations. He currently makes Dubai his home. 

Khaled is a highly regarded business executive, public speaker, marketer, and mentor to budding entrepreneurs. He is also the Chairman of the Marketing Society of the United Arab Emirates. 

Khaled has also had a book called “This Is What Tickles Me” published. 

TOUGHLOVE Advisors is solving what market need?  

TOUGHLOVE Advisors makes business advice available to those who lack the resources—people, knowledge, skills, and even time and money—to experiment with ideas and best practises. In a peer-to-peer setting that is motivated by jointly developing solutions that are ready for the market, we promise to tell these firms what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. We are willing to continue cooperating with businesses during that phase because we are aware that these assignments frequently leave them susceptible during implementation. 

The majority of the knowledge that TOUGHLOVE partners possess comes from their years of practical experience working with and on some of the more well-known and successful brands and organisations in the region. As individuals, we have frequently had to complete difficult and demanding tasks in a region that has been identified as having growth potential during the previous few decades. The enormous expansion of domestic businesses and brands serves as evidence of such. These days, SME and family-owned enterprises must contend with the size, financial might, and depth of knowledge of multinational corporations. 

It’s possible that not everyone will like this formula, but that’s okay. TOUGHLOVE, which is ingrained in our DNA, is frequently necessary for growth and success. The journey with us and the outcomes it will enable them to reach will therefore be valued by those who really seek support and guidance.  

What’s the significance of the name? 

Although the name is not a conventional business name that was not our intention when we founded the company. We aim to change the way things are done and provide straightforward guidance from professionals who genuinely care and want to assist based on their experience, not just theory. According to our belief that business emulates life and that firms need harsh love to flourish, 

What business model do you employ? 

Nine of our partners collectively have more than 250 years of market expertise. Depending on the project and the areas of expertise required, each project will have a lead partner who will be assisted by a second or third partner. During the phases of co-creation and execution, we may additionally send senior or junior advisors, depending on the situation. To ensure that each advisor embodies TOUGHLOVE’s ideals, a rigorous selection procedure is used to choose them. 

What suggestions would you provide business executives who are thinking about launching their own company? 

Don’t hesitate and overthink your prospects and ideas. The world of startups and entrepreneurship is currently on steroids, and the first mover advantage is the name of the game. Therefore we say “think” 

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