A prominent local businessman has penned the secrets to his success in a new book to be released soon.
Titled I’m Not Done: The Story of the Man Behind the Most Successful Ad Agency in the Middle East, it details the $125 million empire built by Lebanon-born Akram Miknas which spans 14 countries and was founded in 1968.
Driven by a vision of the industry that was ahead of the time, Mr Miknas founded FP7 with six friends and just $7,000.
“(The book) is about my advertising life and begins when my mother died in 1961,” said Mr Miknas.
“So the book includes my high school and university education, my advertising life and stops in the year 2000 – after that I go into real estate and other businesses.
“The book chronicles stories that have happened in my life and events that shaped my business and my life.”
Readers are taken on Mr Miknas’ incredible life journey through the pages that also incorporate a number of pictures showcasing his many achievements and major milestones.
“The book also includes my first visit to Dubai when there was no media and we created it for the advertising businesses,” he explained.
“There were only two agents at the time, me and another agency.”
He also shared his experiences and thoughts regarding the “evolution of advertising to almost modern days”.
“I stopped when I felt that digital was a bit beyond me and I needed to get support,” he added.
“I appointed a president who is not my son or anyone related to me, and I think it was a wise decision for the business as we are now probably the largest in the Arab world.”
Today, FP7 is part of the Middle East Communication Network (MCN) which is 51 per cent owned by Interpublic Group.
Now headquartered in Dubai, MCN has close to a $1 billion turnover and last year spent over half a billion dollars with Google in the Arab world.
“Anybody who is in marketing and advertising will benefit from this book,” said Mr Miknas.
“First of all, it gives you the history of how we got here, it shows the evolution we have gone through and how things have shaped up over the years.
“So anyone in the field or even general business who wants to understand the marketing atmosphere (over time) will benefit from this book.”
According to Amazon, the book will feature endorsements from George and Amal Clooney and at least one former Lebanese prime minister.
Mr Miknas first took steps into publishing around 15 years ago with The History of Moving Images and released a second book at the end of 2018 called We Can Be Better Never Be Silenced that compiled a selection of his articles that had been published in Bahrain’s news outlets.
“(The articles) contain my opinion on pertinent subjects or thoughts on the political issues in Syria and Lebanon and how it affects us and what is happening in the Gulf,” said Mr Miknas.
“I hope this book gives an insight into things from a businessman’s perspective, so I hope it will give people living in this part of the world an idea of the issues and problems we are facing.”
Ideas for future books are in the pipeline, but no concrete plans are yet in place, he added.