Last year, when FleishmanHillard announced Majlis, a specialty service created to assist corporations looking to build and protect their reputation with the Muslim community, Yusuf Hatia, the visionary behind the concept, said, “Nearly 20 percent of the world's population is Muslim and organizations are already looking at how they can engage with this fast-growing market.” Hatia understands this well; he and Dr. Paul Temporal, author of Islamic Branding and Marketing: Creating a Global Islamic Business, released a white paper entitled “The Next Billion, The Market Opportunity of the Muslim World.”
There’s little question that the vast and globally dispersed Muslim world, now comprised of 1.8 billion consumers, is growing in both size and influence. In addition to giving rise to an emerging middle class, nearly half of the global Muslim population is under the age of 25. Businesses are recognizing the immediate and long-term benefits of nurturing relationships with this audience. However the challenge for brands is not only to engage knowledgeably and sensitively with the culture, but to develop authentic interactions with the many audiences that self-identify with Muslim values, while not disengaging others.
FleishmanHillard’s Majlis consultancy was named for an Arabic term describing a forum around social and cultural issues, an apt name for a service not only created to listen, but to build bridges between a community's values and a brand's values.
In addition to heading the Majlis offering, Yusuf Hatia now has a larger role at FleishmanHillard as of this summer. He is the Managing Director of India after serving as a founding team member of the firm’s first office in Mumbai when he joined FH in 2007. Over the years, he tripled the number of offices to add New Delhi and Bangalore, while helping to grow an impressive portfolio of clients and develop a team of top-level communications professionals. Today he is responsible for overseeing all of the firm’s India offices and will set the strategic direction for the agency while continuing in his well-known role of strategic communications counsel to clients.
Not only is Yusuf Hatia a confirmed internationalist, having worked previously in the United Kingdom and the Middle East, but he is an accomplished linguist with the ability to fluently speak English, Gujerati, Hindi, and Urdu, as well as some Arabic and Farsi.