Ruba Batayneh – CEO and Chairman of The Hub Company
Armed with strong faith and ambition, Ruba Batayneh led her creative and devoted team—which grew from just two people to over 40—to create an advertising giant.
What does it mean to be a female entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship was once considered a man’s domain, but the tide has shifted, in some places more than others, but with a generally promising outlook.
25 years of work in the MENA region has resulted in many ups and downs, and I think being an entrepreneur, and a female entrepreneur, means being able to maneuver those in the struggle to survive, and come out on top.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned throughout your journey?
I think the most valuable lesson has been realizing that the whole point of setting goals is mainly to get us off our seats and, occasionally to hit some arbitrary benchmark. The value in any endeavor almost always comes from the process of failing and trying, not just in achieving.
When I was 24, I sat and wrote down a list of goals I wanted to accomplish by my 30th birthday. The goals were ambitious but I took this list very seriously, at least for the first few years. Today, I’ve accomplished about one third of those goals, and made significant progress in another third. As I’ve grown, I’ve discovered that some of the life goals I set for myself were not things I actually wanted, and setting those goals taught me what was not important to me.
Why did you choose this business in particular?
This area of business in particular has been my passion since I was a little kid; I used to collect magazines and newspapers and cut the ads in them to make albums that are in my drawers to this day. It was so fascinating to me to watch TV commercials and I used to remember every single ad and even repeat them.
I enrolled in university to study marketing and finished my higher education by obtaining a PhD in Advertising.
Do you think you have managed to leave a mark?
I believe I have, regionally, not just in Jordan.
My main focus is on doing things that would develop, improve and create interest in the business and I have achieved many landmarks that are now a milestone and pointed at by leaders of the advertising industry in Jordan and the region.
Our current position in the market being one of the leading 3 advertising agencies is a remarkable sign of success. It’s been 25+ years since I started my business in advertising and marketing, “Profess Graphics”, in a small two-room office. This humble business, with persistence and clarity of vision, has grown rapidly to become The Hub Advertising & Marketing, which is partner to Dentsu Aegis Network, the biggest advertising network in Japan and third biggest in the world.
What are some of the main challenges you face as a female entrepreneur?
Work-life balance is a goal of many entrepreneurs regardless of their gender, but mothers who start businesses have to simultaneously run their families and their companies. And in this area, traditional gender expectations often still prevail.
Did you work harder to gain respect?
I had to and I didn’t mind working harder to gain the respect of people involved in the advertising industry and the respect of my family members.
The first fold of working harder was a “must do” thing in order to gain respect from colleagues in the industry and hence, gain their support instead of their animosity.
The second fold is even more important to me. This is the respect and acceptance of my family members for which I had to work much harder and give more credence in order to achieve that balance.
Who inspires you?
There are many people from whom I charge myself with power, knowledge, wisdom, persistence and clarity. My mother comes first. She is the one who never ceases to inspire me.
What are your future plans?
There are two major plans that are the driving force that help me continue my march with enthusiasm. First, keeping my son safe and making sure he is growing up well balanced, physically, emotionally and mentally. On the professional front, the industry needs accurate and consistent measures. We need to have those accurate and consistent measures in both, the ad agency and its clients.
This is part nine of a 12-piece story. Other parts include: