A week in the life of.. Samer M. Renno, CEO, Renno Communications Group - Gulf Business
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A week in the life of.. Samer M. Renno, CEO, Renno Communications Group

A week in the life of.. Samer M. Renno, CEO, Renno Communications Group

Renno details his week mixing PR priorities with those of his education start-up and the Dubai Bake Festival


Unlike a normal working day, I usually start today an hour earlier. As I reach the office, the workday starts with a detailed action plan for the whole week, including itemising each scope of work. Today, my ‘to do’ list seems longer and more branched out than a usual Sunday morning. Possibly this is due to the multiple initiatives I am currently involved in. One of the main tasks to cross out before noon is the review of a PR proposal for a prospective client.


The tasks assigned for today seem packed, especially as we are currently working on the organisation of our second Dubai Bake Festival for early 2018. A lot of meetings are scheduled outside the office, starting with a review of potential venues for the festival. Being a home baker by hobby, I created the concept of the Dubai Bake Festival, which serves as a ground for home and professional bakers, and families to come together and engage in workshops, competitions, or just to spend fun and quality time together. After the venue visits, I have a meeting with one of the largest culinary schools in the region.


Having spent the better part of Monday outside the office, today’s itinerary is set for catching up with on-going assignments and conference calls with the US, India and Egypt. I must admit that the US call is among the most intriguing ones since it is done via a bot. Navigating the bot with my track mouse thousands of miles away seems close to a sci-fi movie. The call goes well, but the time difference with the US means that it ends at 8.30pm. That said I still feel energised, as I am most productive when it gets dark – an old habit I picked up when I was a roving journalist.


The conference calls on Tuesday led to unexpected tasks that need to be worked on before our next weekly session, but today I put on my ‘start-up’ cap. A couple of months ago I embarked on a new idea that involves the creation of an edutech start-up, aimed at disrupting an essential sector in the education industry. We have identified the problems we wish to address, and with the new platform will set out to solve them via technology. I believe education is a human right, and it is a moral duty to provide the necessary support for the Arab youth to excel in their education and obtain the tools for doing so. The designs for the prototype have already been shared, and today and tomorrow we focus on reviewing them with a critical eye.


I am up at 5:00am and tempted by the breezy weather to go for a walk, before heading to an early meeting at 8am. The next meeting is on the other side of town and one I always look forward to as it is with one of the Arab world’s brilliant minds. After a two-hour meeting that seems to pass very quickly, I head to the office to review the designs of my edutech platform. In the late afternoon I drag myself out of the office to attend a graduation ceremony for baking chefs and network with some of the UAE’s best culinary talents.


Friday’s ritual is to have zaatar and cheese manouche – a traditional Levantine breakfast. I catch up with my social media news feeds, before feeling guilty that some work is still pending and needs my attention. Today is usually a working day for non-Muslim countries, and on that thought I spend the day making some comments on the designs submitted for my edutech platform. The deadline I’ve set for its completion is approaching quickly, so both sides are on high gear to action tasks quickly and thoroughly.


Besides the usual errands, today is more relaxed than Friday. That said, I have to repeat to myself numerous times that the day must be purely focused on relaxation. At noon I meet some friends at an outdoors event and in the evening one of my oldest friends in Dubai invites me to his first barbecue of the season. He makes sure to compliment my barbecuing skills, which I take as a hint to roll up my sleeves and get the coal burning.


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