The Transformation of Retail Culture

“You don’t need to be working 8 or 9 hours a day to be productive. I believe that if we change the way we operate, we can really get the best out of people in shorter days.” 

– Rania Masri El Khatib, Ex CTO Chalhoub Group

rania masri al khatib

Considered one of the most powerful players in the Middle Eastern retail industry, Rania Masri El Khatib spearheaded the transformation of one of the region’s biggest luxury retail businesses Chalhoub Group. Rohma Theunissen caught up with the former CTO to talk about the evolution of the industry, it’s work culture and the leadership required to empower employees to drive organizational success now and in the future.

About Rania Masri El Khatib

Rania is a senior retail executive with over 20 years of experience in the sector, starting from the shop sales floor. Passionate about the future of fashion and the evolving retail landscape, Rania served as the Chief Transformation Officer for Chalhoub Group, where she was responsible for spearheading the company’s growth in a more multichannel environment while honoring the group’s heritage as the leading luxury retailer in the Middle East. Rania’s team, called SHIFT, supported the Group in reaching its vision to become a hybrid retailer bringing luxury to the fingertips of customers everywhere. Prior to leading the group’s transformation team, Rania was responsible for developing and launching Level Shoes, a pioneering retail concept dedicated to the world of footwear. She spent five years as the General Manager of the 96,000 square foot concept store which was recognized globally as revolutionary, garnering accolades like “Retailer of the Year” just two years after launching. Her deep love of luxury is not only a result of developing new concepts, but also stems from growing global names in new markets. As the head of Ralph Lauren’s Middle East operations for five years, Rania worked on elevating the brand’s strategy within the region and lead its expansion across 10 countries. Rania first moved to Dubai in 2002 to work with Azadea Group, managing regional development for Bershka, an Inditex Brand in the Middle East.

Born in Lebanon and raised between Saudi Arabia and Canada, she loves to travel and enjoys learning new languages. She started her career in Montreal after completing her luxury fashion marketing studies there. A mother of two young girls, Rania is a firm believer in mentoring and empowering women to be leaders across the industry and beyond.