If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Peace Cake. The content creation company brought us Romanseya Manseya, Emsek Nafsak, and Shaf ma Shaf with Netflix! Such comedic delights were certainly brought to life by a power team! That team includes Randa Habib, partner and operations manager at Peace Cake.
Before Randa became a partner and operations manager, she worked as an account manager, an art director, and a set designer. She has 8 years of experience in the media industry and is a rockstar mother. Needless to say, she’s earned the title of a powerhouse! We sat down with her to know all about her life and career.
You majored in theatre costume and set design. How did you go from there to becoming the operations manager at Peace Cake?
In college, I was working with a lot of production houses. When I caught the bug of advertising, I pursued it from there. I worked at digital agencies as an account manager but found myself taking on a lot more than that, bouncing between agencies for a good few years before I joined Peace Cake.
I have so many great memories from that first stage. We ventured into the unknown and watched it pay off.
In the beginning, the whole company was literally operated from my living room. There were only 5 of us back then.
Our first year was the same year I had a baby. So, you can only imagine what that was like! There are some memories I’d like to forget, like trying to put a baby to sleep while trying to send an email.
Can you tell us what your role is as an operations manager?
My role as operations manager is all about finding the best way for people to deliver the best output. It was particularly challenging when we made the shift from Advertising to Content at Peace Cake, because then I had to let go of structures I’d known throughout my whole career, and dive headfirst into researching what would actually suit us best.
It was scary because what we were doing was brand new, and that means you won’t get instant feedback or someone telling you what’s wrong or right.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
In 2018, after our first few years as a company, I was offered a job in Dubai. I had to decide between moving there and being a part of a more conventional growth plan or staying put and seeing this journey through. That was when I actually became a partner at Peace Cake and assumed my title as operations manager.
My career has taught me the absolute importance of reading people. Not just with clients, but even more so with my team. You come to know how much time someone needs and really get to judge someone’s potential. Most importantly, you know how to get them to follow through with the process you put in. That has to be one of my favorite things.
Another is getting to test out our theories. We build strategies and processes and then wait to see the results so we can optimize and improve.
Finally, as a working Mom, I appreciate having an understanding work environment.
Although it didn’t come easy, I’m a firm believer that if you show your strengths and gain trust, you get to work on a flexible schedule.
You’ve been in the media industry for a while now. How do you think it can improve?
I think the Media industry needs to give us working moms a great deal more trust and space. People would be surprised at what we can do. We’ve had to learn to juggle very early on.
Also, I think that content is the future of media, clients need to start realizing that consumers are smarter now and need to be communicated to in a more creative way.
Would you say there are enough women in your field of work?
I think there are a lot of women in our field honestly. I just don’t think they get the credit they deserve. Especially when you take a peek behind the curtains.
People are always drawn to the creative side. But there are so many examples of women doing amazing work to make those things actually happen.
From account directors to producers and Strategists. this industry is built off of their backs.
What challenges have you faced on your career journey? And how did you overcome them?
Moving from account management to operations was definitely a challenge. As an account manager, I was always zoomed into projects and client servicing. In my move to operations, I had to bring all these learnings but zoom out at the same time.
Being a working mom is like opening Pandora’s box. You have no idea what the day is gonna throw at you. One day you have a sick child, another you have a moody child. Every day you work with the circumstances you got, and you have to make it work.
You have to be as organized as you can. Also, having a support system makes a big difference.
What advice would you give to yourself when you first started working in this field?
I would tell myself: Don’t be your own judge, jury, and executioner…maybe just the judge. I never celebrated the wins, big or small, I would always just bury myself in the next task.
It’s a never-ending cycle, work never ends. So, celebrate everything and take the damn credit or someone else will.
The last thing would probably be that children remember the quality of time spent with them not the quantity. So, don’t beat yourself up if you miss one or two bedtimes.
What are your future aspirations?
I try to take things day by day. But, I want to continue to grow and watch my team venture into the vast world of content. Also to see our content grow regionally and garner fans from all over. Last but not least, I want to continue working with clients like Netflix. You’re given a lot of freedom to create and strategize.
It’s been a really wild and wonderful ride so far!