Thu | Jun 17, 2021

Q&A with Nasha-Monique Douglas

Published:Friday | April 2, 2021 | 10:58 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer -
Digicel Jamaica Chief Marketing Officer Nasha-Monique Douglas's philosophy in life is to 'ride life 'til the wheels fall off'.

An opinionated five-footer with a passion for all things Jamaican, Nasha-Monique Douglas has managed to make an impact more than twice her height as Digicel's chief marketing officer (CMO). It's a position she has held for exactly one year, two months and two weeks.

Her philosophy in life is to "ride life 'til the wheels fall off", and the St Andrew High School alumna is not about to switch to cruise control any time soon. She holds a bachelor's degree in marketing communications and advertising from Emerson College in Boston, and a master's degree in political management, specialising in corporate and trade association public affairs from George Washington University in Washington DC.

With more than a decade's worth of experience supporting local brands, Douglas is making her mark as a woman that means business, but knows how to have fun and share the energy with the people around her. Her current role at Digicel involves developing and delivering strategy "that sets the brands up for success". "Also, managing a team of bright and talented marketers who execute the strategy for our 12 beautiful brands, and ensuring that our marketing operations are agile, structured and purpose-driven," Douglas told The Gleaner.

For Douglas, inspiration is drawn from reading, scrolling through social media, keeping up with the latest marketing trends and what's happening in the world. She describes herself as "a dreamer with a very intense imagination", which she is using to realistically change the world around her. The curious CMO took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to answer questions about marketing trends and give us a peek into her mind.

How do you balance your professional and personal life?

I don't. I would be lying if I told you otherwise. My focus is ensuring that I prioritise my health and well-being.

How do you occupy your time, especially during lockdowns ?

I am a pop culture junkie and seriously addicted to anything content, so I live on my smartphone and TV. But I also chose very early in the COVID-19 journey to learn and try new things, so I have been teaching myself how to bake. I also spend time connecting with my family and friends across the world.

Speaking of smartphones and televisions, what is Digicel offering consumers, in terms of entertainment solutions, during the long weekend lockdown ?

We have spent the past two years developing our suite of apps that offer convenience and entertainment for everyone. You can binge-watch your favourite series or movies with PlayGo, or stream all your favourite songs or watch our Digicel Unplugged Gospel Edition live on the D'Music app on Good Friday. If you love podcasts or want your favourite radio stations at your fingertips, check out the Go Loud app. We just launched a cool new series hosted by ZJ Sparks called Keeping it Real. The first episode is with the incomparable Bounty Killer. Now, sports fans cannot be left out; watch your favourite sports live from anywhere with the SportsMax app.

What is your most memorable at Digicel?

Easily, my favourite moment to date was May 23 when Bounty Killer declared to the world that "Digicel A Fi Mi Cell," at the end of his and Beenie Man's epic Verzuz challenge. I love my Digicel Foundation, so those moments when we are able to transform lives in Jamaica are always impactful and emotional. Lastly, it took us five days to launch our new brand proposition in Jamaica. While stressful, it was also beautiful, as our team came together to ensure we delivered for Jamaica.

What is the best advice someone in the corporate world has given to you?

The best advice I've ever received was to ensure I show up as my authentic self. I was just starting my corporate journey and always thought that my unbridled passion was a crutch. This nugget was delivered by then corporate partner, and now friend, Solomon Sharpe, CEO of Main Event.

As a woman in the corporate world, what are some of the challenges you have faced, and how did you overcome them?

My biggest issue being in corporate is the unfair advantage and gender biases that exist. I have to work 10 times as hard and be overqualified to advance. My greatest lessons, or should I say my 'Aha!' moment, was after reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg … I chose to overcome my obstacles by ensuring my voice is heard at all times, no matter how hard the conversations are.

What skills can women focus on and develop to become successful at what they do?

Whilst it is important to be functionally bright and experienced, for me, success lies in your attitude, aptitude and leadership. Be authentic, futuristic, opinionated, thoughtful, inquisitive and solutions-oriented. Know and love your craft inside and out and, most importantly, put people first, that includes, your employees, consumers and partners.

What has been your most humbling experience career-wise?

Being fired from a previous job.

Alright, let's have some fun. Which of Digicel's mobile apps do you use the most, and why?

This is easy. It is D'Music for me. I cease to exist without music.

What are the top 10, most-listened-to tracks on your playlist ?

This is hard! But I would have to say:

1. Gentleman - Intoxication

2. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

3. Jesse Royal - Lion Order

4. Bounty Killer - War

5. Fun - We are Young

6. Bob Marley - Johnny Be Good

7. No Doubt - Don't Speak

8. Smashing Pumpkins - 1979

9. Beres Hammond - No Disturb Sign

10. Lady Saw - Chat to mi back

11. Aretha Franklin - Say a little prayer

12. Beyoncé - Ego

What was the type, make or model of the first phone you ever owned?

I don't remember my first, but I remember my favourite, which is Blackberry. I miss BBMs.

What is your go-to outfit for work, a date and a girl's night out?

The same thing for all three. A pair of jeans, button-down shirt or blouse, with converse sneakers, Clarks or heels.

Is there a movie character would you compare yourself to and why?

Amanda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. I love her standards.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com