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Facebook appoints new regional Head of Retail & Ecommerce

Social networking site Facebook has appointed Shant Oknayan as its Head of Retail and Ecommerce in Pakistan, the Middle East and North Africa.

Oknayan will be responsible for driving growth and engaging with Facebook users in the region.

Oknayan has over fifteen years’ worth of experience in business development. He previously worked for Google’s business marketing services for small and medium-sized businesses and is a popular speaker at business conferences in the region. He is also the co-founder, along with Christos Mastoras and Fares Akkad, of GlamBox, a regional cosmetics ecommerce site. Launched in 2012, GlamBox is run on a subscription model and lets subscribers try out beauty products before committing to buy. In return, the manufacturers hope for good reviews of new products.

The Head of Facebook Africa, Middle East and Pakistan, Jonathan Labin, said in a press release: “The internet industry in the Middle East and North Africa region is witnessing impressive growth and this has resulted in the emergence of e-commerce, retail and other online services which the region’s mobile-first consumers access every day. Oknayan’s appointment to lead this rapidly growing sector, together with his depth of experience and knowledge, means we are strongly placed to help brands and consumers communicate with one another.”

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Oknayan commented that Facebook’s 120 million users in the region represent a great opportunity for ecommerce growth, both for established businesses and for startups, as they are active users of mobile devices and very receptive to innovative brands. “At Facebook we want to partner in their growth, leveraging the power of technology, to help build the region’s economy”, he said.

Oknayan holds degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and from Imperial College, London. He was nominated for a Top 50 SME Executive award by Arabian Business Startup.

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