Introducing Alia Haskouri, an adept professional with over a decade of expertise in the UAE, efficiently navigating market dynamics. As the Director – Head of the UAE at JTC, Alia has played a vital role in uplifting and shaping the organization in its current position. Her career journey highlights her commitment to innovation, adaptability amidst challenges, and towards client-centricity.
In this insightful interview, Alia Haskouri shares her perspective on retaining top talent, encouraging innovation within the organization, and addressing challenges in this ever-evolving space to stay ahead of the curve. We explore the turning points that changed Alia’s career route and essential qualities that beginners need to hone for starting in this field. Alia Haskouri offers a glimpse of JTC’s position in the market, prioritizing client service excellence, innovative approaches, and allowing employees to transfer internationally across its offices. Join us as we delve deeper into Alia’s journey and visions, leading towards excellence.
Can you share critical milestones and turning points as an industry leader or entrepreneur?
I joined JTC as an Associate Director in March 2020 and was promoted to Director – Head of the UAE in June 2022. Having worked nearly a decade in the region, this new opportunity is a crucial career milestone for me and one I build on daily.
What inspired you to start your own company or venture in this industry?
While completing my law degree at Edinburgh University, I was an assistant to a Legal Director and Co-Owner of an Investment Company. I was introduced to the importance of Corporate Governance and Company Secretarial work during my time there. I enjoyed the challenges and variety the role brought, which resulted in me pursuing a career within the global professional services business.
How do you foster innovation within your company? Can you provide an example of a successful innovation initiative?
As Chief Executive Officer, Nigel Le Quesne has been the key figure in the development of the JTC Group over the last 30 years and successfully led the business to a main market listing on the London Stock Exchange in March 2018.
As a result, innovation is embedded within the culture of JTC Group. In 2021, we opened up the ADGM Branch of JTC UAE, demonstrating the continued expansion and commitment to the region.
How do you attract and retain top talent in your organization?
By allowing employees to continue to grow within their roles. This year, we promoted two members of the team in the UAE.
JTC also has an excellent Gateway Programme, allowing international transfers across our global offices. We have colleagues from both Guernsey and Mauritius who have transferred to the UAE under this initiative.
How important has mentorship and networking been in your professional journey?
Both mentorship and networking have been instrumental in my career. I have worked with excellent business leaders who have allowed me to take on new challenges and supported my growth. I take pride in working with clients and business partners for over a decade, including people I met through networking events during my first few years in the region.
How do you assess and mitigate risks in your business?
By knowing your client and their business. It is also essential to understand not only your local regulatory requirements but also always to consider global matters, including sanctions. I keep up to speed with all regulatory changes, often attending training sessions focused on assessing and mitigating risks across the business.
How do you adapt your business strategy to capitalize on emerging opportunities and industry shifts?
By not being scared to switch gears and move the business in a different direction, but also ensure you bring your team along on the journey, ensuring they have all the proper training and resources to succeed in an ever-changing landscape.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs in this industry? What key lessons have you learned along the way? we asked Alia Haskouri
Always take a long-term view. My key lesson is that you are your most significant investment; take time for your wellness, and business success will naturally flow when you bring the best version of yourself to the table.
What are your long-term goals for your company? How do you plan to remain competitive in the evolving business landscape?
To build a business that will stand the test of time by expanding our local service offering, we will support this goal. I also see the UAE as a cross-sell hub for the wider group and enjoy connecting clients to the JTC global network.
As quoted by Charles-Henry Courtois, Group Director – Regional Head Of AMEA – Private Client Services, “Alia is a recognized professional in the Gulf region with a proven track record of delivering for clients, due to her extensive knowledge of structuring solutions in the UAE and beyond. She heads the JTC office in the UAE and is acknowledged by her peers and her teams for her collaborative management style and client-centric drive.”
Connect with Alia Haskouri on LinkedIn.