Final Friday morning, I acquired a number of messages about my former boss. And I nonetheless am struggling to consider them. I maintain anticipating Firdaus Shariff to publish one thing insightful on social media, or share a message about what the advertising workforce was as much as. Firdaus was my former boss and the Vice President Center East and Africa for Advertising and marketing, Communications and Digital Buyer Expertise at Schneider Electrical. I’d recognized her from her days at Cisco , when she’d labored with my spouse. My spouse is a girl who is difficult to impress, and but she all the time had sort phrases to say about Firdaus and her capabilities.
Firdaus had labored within the business for 20 years, first at Cisco, then at SAP and eventually at Schneider Electrical. She was pushed to excel, and he or she all the time pushed the workforce to do extra. On the identical time, she believed that advertising needs to be each artistic and enjoyable; she needed us to take pleasure in what we had been doing and let free our creativeness. Firdaus didn’t accept the common or mundane, and lots of the campaigns she led weren’t simply impactful but in addition a number of the most participating work I’d seen (and all of this in a B2B setting).
She additionally had a watch on the longer term, and invested closely in expertise to enhance each how advertising operated and the way she might measure the operate. At all times one to assist and encourage, Firdaus was in some ways a dream to work with. She’d work with you to set the targets, offer you what you wanted (properly, I’ll admit a few of what I’d ask for), after which allow you to free. Firdaus had an uncanny and uncommon means to grasp the totally different features inside her remit, together with communications. Whereas she had labored in a pure communications function, she had a way of what might be performed, together with with paid media. And she or he additionally had a way for the place the business was headed, becoming a member of SAP when the software program sector was taking off after which taking the leap to Schneider Electrical, a agency that’s devoted to sustainability.
It’s simple to understate how distinctive Firdaus was. She was a advertising skilled in her prime, who might have performed something she needed and would succeed with something she turned her hand to. She was in a position to mix creativity with expertise, and handle her workforce in a manner that will fairly actually make the inconceivable attainable. And she or he was dedicated to her household – we’d usually share tales about our women who had been each the identical age.
Firdaus is an exemplar of what the business in our area so desperately wants. For me, that’s her legacy, an instance of what we needs to be trying to change into as each people and as an business. Right here’s to you Firdaus, to all the things that you’ve achieved and all that you just stood for.