“The Man Who Can” — Akram Miknas

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An Interactive session with Akram Miknas, Chairman, MCN Group.

Akram Miknas
Photo courtesy-Promoseven Holdings

Recently I had the chance to attend a talk by Akram Miknas, Chairman of MCN Group. The founder of Promoseven Holdings Group runs some of the world’s most sought-after media brands. The invite-only event was organised by SPI group for the Emirates NBD Global Business Series – which ropes in established Businessmen for an interactive session to awaken our entrepreneurial senses.

The talk was moderated by Tariq Qureishy, Founder & CEO of Vantage Holdings. Tariq’s introduction of Akram Miknas was a beautiful narration with graphics right from Miknas as a toddler up to his 70th birthday- under the theme “The Man Who Can”.

Miknas is ranked third in the Middle East’s most powerful people in the media, marketing and advertising. Undoubtedly, he is recognised as one of the pillars of the new-age marketing communications. The Promoseven Holdings group, which he founded in late 1960s (Lebanon), owns some of the most sought-after brands like Universal Media 7, Seven Below, Weber Shandwick, Initiative, Lowe Mena.

With strong interests extending to fields such as real estate and hospitality, Miknas has diversified his strategic investments.

What started with a humble beginning of selling encyclopaedias and insurance to cover educational expenses to be a part of a PR event for BMW in Morroco, Miknas has climbed the ladder with sheer grit. In 1975,when the civil war began in Beirut, Akram fled to Jordan & later moved to Dubai and established an advertising agency.

One instance of his innovative creativity and entrepreneurial mindset was reminded when back in the 1980s he collaborated with Reuters news agency to insert advertisements into wire news published in print in the region. Needless to say, it proved to be a big hit at that time.

Key Takeaway points:

  • Hunger is the base for everything (especially for Entrepreneurship). To quote Steve Jobs: “stay hungry, stay foolish.”
  • 3 keys to success: People. Passion. Persistence.
  • Find the time to day dream. Sometimes you got to take time off to ponder on what you want to do, how you want to do and when you want to do – on your ideas
  • Ignite your mind to do the right things
  • The key thing to maintain relationships is to be genuine
  • It’s not the job, it’s the attitude towards the job that breaks it or makes it
  • Never become a slave to your money. But, make money your slave- make it work harder/smarter
  • Avoid bad clients. If at first client meeting you don’t get positive vibes, it’s better not to work with them. Work with companies and people with whom you can connect with and build a mutual trust and confidence


Whether you are an Entrepreneur or an employee, listening to people like Miknas not only awaken your entrepreneurial spirits, but also motivate you to do what you love. As Tariq (the event moderator) mentioned earlier, it is during these kind of events we get to know and learn from Entrepreneurs who made it big, which we can’t find on Google. Thanks to Emirates NBD Group and SPI Group for organzing an inspiring event.

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