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Facebook appoints Shant Oknayan to lead e-Commerce, retail and online channels for MENA & Pakistan

Facebook has announced the appointment of 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, Shant will lead efforts to enable e-commerce, retail and online services businesses in the region to scale growth and engage with consumers on Facebook.

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Shant Oknayan, Head of e-commerce – Facebook MENA Pakistan

“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. Shant’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,” said Jonathan Labin, head of Facebook for Middle East, Africa and Pakistan.

Shant Oknayan brings with him over 15 years of experience in leading business development, with subject-matter expertise in digital and investment strategies for governments and corporations. Formerly heading Google’s market development for small & medium businesses in the Middle East & North Africa, he has a successful track record in online services. His understanding of the start-up space saw him co-found GlamBox, the first and leading beauty e-commerce company in the MENA region.

Commenting on his appointment, Shant 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.