CAREER PROFILER: Ghada Tussun

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How did you start your career?

I have a Business Degree from Helwan University, English section. Before my graduation in 1990 I started working in the music business. Back then, in my third year of college me and my husband established a company, he had already graduated at that time. We were very much into music and he was working as a DJ. I started with little part time assignments such as translations for the syndicate and establishing contacts with stores’ sales. After that I majored in Business Administration instead of Accounting, as my father wanted me to follow his path to assure better career options. Through my part time job I discovered that I like marketing, I like dealing with people, I like talking about the thing I’m selling. I like organizing things and put them in a nice setting to attract people to buy it.

After I graduated from university I didn’t work in my company, I worked in other places to gain more experience about professional working systems in big companies. I worked four years in tourism, it was a thrilling job because I worked with a very amazing boss, he taught me all about marketing, he was marketing manger and I was his assistant. Mr. Karim El Helbawy, I owe him a lot in a lot of things learned, he made me love marketing even more. I used to work in this company and after work I would continue working in my company. After four years our company grew and we started to contact foreign companies and started distributing their products in Egypt. We created new additions such as song lyrics with the tapes, so people would be able to learn the song and even the language. We were unique at this point, that’s why people were attracted to buy our tapes. After I did my MBA in marketing I started to apply what I learned at our company and by 1994 we were able to attract giants like Sony Music, EMI, BMG and Universal Records to even consider the Middle East in their expansion plans. Finally we managed to sign with Universal, which was a huge step and an accreditation for us as we by then had a proper working system in terms of distribution, marketing and sales. We are the agents for Universal ever since in all foreign music.

Based on this success we started with distributing and producing Arabic music. Khaled Selim’s first album was a great success for all of us followed by Loay as well as the King Mohamed Mounir with his last album. Currently we introduced four new young singers and are promoting them to become tomorrow’s stars.

 

What kind of situation did you face through your career that had an impact on your personality?

I used to be very impulsive and I always criticize any wrong I see. I always say what I don’t like in a sharp and uneasy way. I had a situation once with one of our artists, he had a problem in his styling which he did not want to realize so I bluntly told him. Later on this directness caused much unease and hardship, although the advice was in place. This situation later made me realize that I can’t just go and tell someone you have a problem without presenting a solution in a diplomatic manner. Never underestimate anyone. I learned that and I won a lot of people over and made many contacts resulting in a good network, which is essential in my career.

 

How do you manage work and family?

I have 2 children, my son is 13 and my daughter is 9 both go to a French school that is why I took French classes to be able to help them study. Children are time consuming as much as working is; all you need is good time management. I usually work from 8 to 10 hours a day, I take two days off, and sometimes I finish some work at home, when my kids need me at home. I have a well-organized schedule, until now it is going well. On school days I wake up with them for breakfast and send them to school, which allows me to prepare and finish all the household chores and lunch. Actually, I do my own house keeping, the maid only comes once a week. At first I used study with my kids but now I am around while they study so there will be some discipline. My kids are involved in many activities, and that kills time so they won’t have time doing nothing. They study music of course because we work in the music business. My son plays the piano and drums and my daughter the piano, too.

Our weekends are sacred for me, which means no work at all because this is my kid’s time and I respect it. Like I respect my work I respect my kids, and I enjoy the time with them even more because I need that time.

 I can talk and understand my kids, do some activities with them or go out or even watch TV or read books together. Whenever after work I do any shopping I take them with me, as I want them always to be involved. We always go on short vacations. Every time we go to a different place in Egypt, I don’t have a certain place and I don’t own a house in a certain place, that’s why I like to visit many places so I can show my kids the beauty of their country.

 

How is working with your husband?

We have ups and downs, in general we are totally different personalities; I’m impulsive and he is a very calm person, that’s why we make a very good couple and by time we both learned our limits in work. Meaning that there are some tasks that I control that he can’t interfere and other tasks he has the last word on and I respect that. Marketing is my domain while the technical issues are his. We charge each other because he is in the first place my boss and the financial provider of the company, and I always present my reports so we can have a system in our work. We both agreed that whenever we are home we never talk about our work, so at home we are totally different people. We discovered that when we used to talk about work during lunch time our kids weren’t included at all, so we decided to only talk about issues that includes the whole family. Of course it was hard for my husband at the beginning as he is a workaholic, but we managed to keep that up. Children should have two parents present, some issues the mother handles and others the father.

 

 

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