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Call My Agent: Maha Abouelenein

The inner workings of the industry unveiled in Q&A with Maha Abouelenein

In our series Call My Agent, ELLE speaks to Egypt’s top players in the game to get the inside scoop on the inner workings of celebrity management.

We sat down with Maha Abouelenein, CEO of Digital and Savvy, host of the Savvy Talk Podcast, and author of the upcoming book 7 Rules of Self Reliance for the first Q&A in our series.

What are the criteria for evaluating the worth of a celebrity?

When evaluating the worth of someone else, whether a celebrity or a CEO, the first thing to consider is their reputation. The most important asset anyone has is their reputation. What is it worth? What does it add to the market? To have a strong brand or to be worthy, one must have a good reputation.

The second thing is trust. People with a good reputation have gained the trust of those around them, whether it’s consumers, their audience, or those they care most about connecting with.

What have you learned along the way?

Throughout my career, working with companies like Google, Netflix, and Careem, and with various executives, I’ve learned that the most important thing is to ask, “How can I bring value to them?” Understanding what they care about and delivering that effectively is crucial.

Do you search for talents, or do they approach you?

It’s actually a combination of both. If we do good work and our work is recognized, a lot of talent wants to come to work with us because they see what we do, what we’re about, our values, and how we conduct ourselves. Additionally, I’m always looking for talent. I’m constantly interviewing and networking. You never know when you’ll need someone for a new project, so I always maintain a “bench” of ready-to-go talent.

How do you guarantee that the big stars work with only you?

I don’t specifically target big stars or guarantee that they work with me. I focus on projects where I can bring the most value. I aim to attract projects where I can leverage my experience in sports, entertainment, and tech. I choose projects and clients where my unique skills and capabilities can make a difference. There are many talented communications professionals out there, and I learn from them as well. I always consider what unique contributions I can make and then fully commit.

How do you invest in your talents?

We approach it holistically. I recommend podcasts, books, and events for them to attend. I also ask what they want to learn about and what interests them. I ensure they have the time, space, and freedom to invest in themselves. When they invest in themselves, they’re more productive, happier, and continually growing, which is beneficial for my business.

Stay tuned for our next episode of Call My Agent!

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