Our vision is to be & be recognized as the first and best corporate storytellers globally, inspiring impactful value to our people, partners, and communities.
In 1996, Tamer Mustafa -the founder of outofzbox- was still a young Brand Manager in Americana Foods, with dreams of eventually landing a job at a multinational, or getting into the diplomatic field like his father. One day he was approached by two friends to help them start an advertising agency. And despite the fact private business was far from his interests, yet every day after 18:00 he would leave his initial workplace and go to that newly formed company to help out in the thinking, and building of this venture.
Until an old colleague called him for a potential project with Procter & Gamble. This months-old company has the chance to work with one of the most reputable clients in the world. So he met with an Associate Brand Manager for Camay soap (it was still a P&G brand at the time) listening to a brief on an in-store visibility project which was to Tamer like rocket science at the time. Yet, the nonstop thinking and immense work put behind it, made his efforts pay-out, and the project was his; the very first project with a multinational client.
The invoice was of a ridiculous $20, and Tamer had to deliver the material himself on his birthday night as he couldn’t afford to hire someone to do the job in his place. But all this was done with a lot of passion and pride. This small job built the self confidence needed & was the cornerstone in Tamer’s decision to totally retire from the corporate life, and to focus on this private business with obvious potential. He resigned from his job just 48 hours prior to his engagement party to his high school sweetheart.
One thing led to another, and the $20 invoice kept on increasing with more and more zeros being added to the right, and with many falls, and lessons along the way, the business kept growing domestically in Egypt, across the region, and globally with an impeccable success record, and world class equity with bigger and bigger clients.
This was all possible because ozb was not built as a company, but rather a passionate mission; a mission to continuously inspire. Inspire oneself, inspire those around and inspire clients while making -well deserved- earnings in the process.
The spark that ignited the journey to build a business amidst some very challenging times. Three friends starting an advertising agency with very few low profile clients. One day, light emerged at the end of the tunnel, a major multinational client demonstrated interest in working with the agency, and as small as the project’s scope was, as big its success proved to be. This was the real beginning of hope.
In that same year we were invited by P&G to participate at an official contest among five already established agencies including multinational brand agencies to compete on design work, and we were awarded the sole qualified design agency for P&G Egypt ever.
Total mindset shift where Tamer Mustafa asked some key questions: “what value added are we really creating for our clients? What change are we bringing to life? What are we leaving behind? What is it that makes us proud beyond just making more money? What will be our legacy?”
The answers to those questions did not lie in the old structure any longer, and the old mentality, but rather in the founder’s beliefs, values, and most importantly in his passion; that is why he decided to start a new division focused mainly on selling communication ideas. A new company “out of the box” was born with a hope of one day issuing an invoice with the word “inspiration” and a large number beside it. Today, this is a common daily practice. We were awarded the International Advertising Association’s highest honors, the Rameh Golden Award for the best design in Egypt for the year 1999.
The agency grew an impeccable equity domestically that eventually hallowed regionally, and that is when out of the box’s first project beyond Egypt was conceived.
A regional event for a multinational giant was lead in Dubai with the utmost success. 200 people over three days full of learning, fun, and a lot of engagement. This project -which is now over 15 years old- still has a very active online social engagement among the audience as a result of the impact created then. This marked the beginning of the agency’s projects regionally.
First OGSM event successfully organized in Sharm El Sheikh.
The merging of the new Near East organization for Procter & Gamble was a big task that came with a lot of changes and a great need for integrating different cultures and methods, this was a unique chance for the agency to build an even stronger partnership with a strategic client in such time of need. This partnership became even deeper with the new region’s VP on a strategic level where a strong mutual-learning relationship started and is lasting to date.
A company vision was finally crafted to lead the way forward: “To be & be recognized as the best communication idea generators in the region inspiring impactful value to our people, partners and community”. Accordingly a long journey started, a journey of steering the company away from just a small group of young talents sweating for more business, into a more mature company that tracks its path and learns from its mistakes.
This year witnessed the launch of our first online system to track and unify our business, and the organization of the very first TDM or Touch Down Meeting where the whole company would get together for a monthly update over a full day, those were usually conducted in a casual cafe or club.
One of the most important milestones, where the company moved from just tracking the past and learning from it, to applying those learning and putting them to work.
Launching a new internal structure, with a hierarchy for the first time, levels and bands, processes & systems while introducing new organizational functions like Human Resources, Traffic, Internal Control, Logistics, and Purchasing. The way the company operates has totally been revamped internally and externally with the introduction of robust cross-functional disciplines. The TDMs moved from a monthly ritual to a semi-annual event. In February 2008 the plans were officially launched, and in August of the same year, a TDM in Fayoum for all the employees and their families ignited the new era.
The era of expansion in new regions & with new clients. A new challenge for Pampers in the lovely city of Montreux in Switzerland was successfully accomplished. This project demonstrated our ability to work on a global scale and lead important projects away from our Middle East region and with the quality standards of Western Europe.
This same year also witnessed a major expansion in clientele, after thirteen years working virtually with Procter & Gamble alone, in the year 2009 we started acquiring new clients, starting with Vodafone, Pepsico and Juhayna all in one year.
Re-launch of the agency’s brand name under the new identity as outofzbox-the storytellers.
Focusing on corporate storytelling as the core service and key differentiator versus any agency globally. ozb moved to a new office and despite security, economical and political turmoil in the country amidst the Egyptian revolution, the business kept on growing locally and regionally with healthy figures. We were awarded a Guinness World Record for a unique project we lead in 2010.
Regional is now official. The company business in Europe has grown in under four years to be contributing 47% of the total turnover along with new business opportunities in the Arabian Peninsula.
This lead to the necessity of regional ownership and the agency looking at its business from a different vantage point moving forward.
An international company with all the munitions for disproportionate growth.
A refined vision reflecting the new era with more focus and global aspirations; “To be & be recognized as the first and best corporate storytellers globally, inspiring impactful value to our people, partners, and communities”. A solid world-class business model for the future, a refreshed brand identity, total restructuring of the company internally and externally to accommodate for aggressive growth plans globally. The attraction of talents with decades of multinational experience to fill key leadership positions around the world. The creation of Regional Business Units in key cities around the world, and a Central Business Unit in Cairo lead by a General Manager, all committed to a stretched global growth ambition by 2020. First project in the USA, and first project in Latin America.