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Randa Ayoubi. The Innovative Arab Pixar Woman

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There are many Amer­i­can women lead­ers who fit in The Inno­va­tor Lead­er­ship and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Style. Just like the Per­suader and the Pio­neer styles, it makes per­fect sense with the North-American cul­tural values. Because I wanted to find women lead­ers from as many dif­fer­ent cul­tures around the world as pos­si­ble, and offer a very large palette of role-models, I picked up a woman from the Mid­dle East.

Have you heard from Randa Ayoubi? She’s a woman entre­pre­neur from Jor­dan, the CEO and founder of Rubi­con.

She cre­ated Rubi­con, a global 3D ani­ma­tion and com­puter graph­ics com­pany head­quar­tered in Aman, Jor­dan. Rubi­con started as a small ven­ture cap­i­tal project. Randa Ayoubi trans­formed the com­pany into a  global pow­er­house with 5 inter­na­tional branches and more than 300  employ­ees. She was named as num­ber 11 on the list of Most Influ­en­tial Women  in the Mid­dle East, pub­lished by the Econ­o­mist in 2007. And most  recently Ms. Ayoubi has been awarded “Busi­ness­woman of the Year” at the  CEO Mid­dle East Awards 2010. When asked how she wants her com­pany to be known, she says:

“I want it to be men­tioned in books when they talk about the Arab renaissance.”

How did it all started? “With an idea, out of there” , she says.

She had a vision of cre­at­ing a busi­ness whose pur­pose would be to teach chil­dren from her coun­try, while play­ing and build­ing a bet­ter world in the Mid­dle East. She cre­ated and pro­duced  Ben & Izzy, a children’s car­toon series pro­mot­ing cross-cultural under­stand­ing between the Mid­dle East and the West.        

                                                                         “Kids learn best when they play”. Randa Ayoubi

Here is how she com­mu­ni­cates visu­ally: with this Avatar of her­self. Not the usual For­tune Com­pa­nies CEO’s clas­si­cal way…

I have always believed that tech­nol­ogy has the  poten­tial to rev­o­lu­tionise the edu­ca­tion sys­tem. This is what prompted  me to start Rubi­con. I wanted it to become a means to amal­ga­mate  tech­nol­ogy and edu­ca­tion. Ini­tially we made CD-Roms for school­child­ren  and preschool­ers and grad­u­ally branched out and began pro­duc­ing  edu­tain­ment con­tent and movies for television.”

“Free-minded, vision­ary, strate­gic thinker, uncon­ven­tional, inde­pen­dent, orig­i­nal.” Randa Ayoubi seems to embody these skills.When asked about how she sees Rubi­con in the next 10 years, here is her instant reply:

You know Pixar? We’re going to be Pixar

As Randa Ayoubi is a very suc­cess­ful busi­ness woman, and has an Exec­u­tive MBA  from Har­vard Busi­ness School, I guess she must have devel­oped a lot of  other dimen­sions in her lead­er­ship style. Espe­cially the Ana­lyt­i­cal dimen­sion, with a focus on qual­ity, details, method­i­cal mind­set and well-defined strat­egy. But how she com­mu­ni­cates, and how she has expressed her vision is very inno­v­a­tive.  She has also devel­oped an edu­ca­tional appli­ca­tion for young chil­dren that is based on a pop­u­lar Ara­bic car­toon — Tareq wa Shireen.  This has been made into a series of appli­ca­tions for the iPad and  Android to aid in the edu­ca­tion and devel­op­ment of three to eight year olds. She believes in “Edutainment”.

“Edu­tain­ment has tremen­dous poten­tial, not only in terms of busi­ness, but  also as a tool for reach­ing out to young minds. It is cru­cial to use it  to mould young minds and guide them in the right direc­tion.”    –Randa Ayoubi

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