Facebook hires head of e-commerce for MENA and Pakistan

Shant Oknayan is Facebook's newly appointed head of e-commerce, retail and online services

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Facebook hires head of e-commerce for MENA and Pakistan Shant Oknayan will lead the efforts to enable e-commerce, retail and online services businesses in the region to scale growth and engage with consumers on Facebook (Facebook)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  May 15, 2016

Facebook has appointed Shant Oknayan as head of e-commerce, retail and online services at Facebook in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan.

In his new role, Oknayan will lead the efforts to enable e-commerce, retail and online services businesses in the region to scale growth and engage with consumers on Facebook. 

Jonathan Labin, head of Facebook for Middle East, Africa and Pakistan said: "The internet industry in the MENA 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."

Oknayan brings with him over 15 years of experience in leading business development, with skills in digital and investment strategies for governments and corporations. He formerly led Google's market development for small and medium-sized businesses in the Middle East and North Africa.

His understanding of the start-up space saw him co-found GlamBox, a beauty e-commerce company in the MENA region.

Commenting on his appointment, Oknayan said: "This is a very exciting time to be in the online industry in MENA. Facebook's 120 million users in the region are not only active on mobile, but they are looking at innovative products while evaluating services and transacting online.

"This creates opportunities for established businesses, particularly in the e-Commerce and retail space, as well as for the vibrant start-up community here. At Facebook we want to partner in their growth, leveraging the power of technology, to help build the region's economy." 

Oknayan is also a regular speaker at entrepreneurship and digital business events across the region, and was nominated a ‘Top 50 SME Executive' in 2013 by Arabian Business Start-up. He also holds a MBA from MIT and a MEng with Hons from Imperial College London.

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