You must leverage risk in retail yet be willing to experiment

Rupkatha Bhowmick

RetailME spoke to Marka CEO Nick Peel, who brings with him over 20 years of multi-channel experience with some of the biggest names in sports marketing as well as leading retail brands in fashion and other categories, about his retail journey in this part of the world…

“It’s been a whirlwind of a journey,” says Peel about the two years he has spent so far with Marka, which is the UAE’s first publicly traded joint stock company focused on the country’s fast-growing retail sector.

Appointed CEO in August 2014, a little over a month after Marka launched its operations, Peel has been in the thick of action, guiding the company’s ambitious growth strategy to become, as he put it at the time of his appointment, “the premier retail operator in the UAE and across the region.”

How easy or difficult has it been for you to work with the Marka board?

We interact with each other at least quarterly but there are a couple of board members that I interact with more frequently, almost fortnightly or monthly. They are all pragmatic, positive, entrepreneurial individuals and are true to the vision of economic diversification propagated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, and ruler of Dubai. They are approachable individuals who have been helpful and supportive during my journey.

Three biggest learnings at Marka:

  • I strongly believe in investing in people, listening to them and taking decisions only after talking to and learning from them. I have learnt to value human capital even more over the last 24 months.
  • Building relationships and collaborating is extremely important in this part of the world.
  • We have to invest in processes, procedures and financial diligence. You need strong analytical skills to complete that journey.


The full interview has been featured in RetailME October 2016 edition.