Rania Masri El Khatib Is On A Mission To Empower Aspiring Entrepreneurs

3 min read

Photography by Ausra Osipaviciute

In the ever-evolving world of fashion and luxury retail, few names shine as brightly as Rania Masri El Khatib’s. She is a leading figure in global retail, boasting more than two decades of industry expertise spanning retail, luxury, and e-commerce. As the founder of RMK Collective and the host of the Reshape by Rania podcast, Rania brings her wealth of expertise and passion to the forefront. Hailing from Palestinian  and Lebanese  heritage, she wears her heart on her sleeve quite literally, with a meaningful map of Palestine tattooed on her arm.

Masri El Khatib rose to prominence as the creative force behind Dubai’s iconic Level Shoes and the transformation of the Chalhoub Group, a Dubai-based luxury retail giant renowned for its keen foresight. Rania’s bold decision to take a step back from her illustrious global retail career in 2021 resulted in the birth of The RMK Collective.

The entrepreneur claims her forte lies in storytelling, a skill her teams can attest to. In 2022, she said to MOJEH, “The RMK Collective is my vehicle to take brands and businesses through this methodology. Strategy, branding, and digital are the tools and the means to achieve it, and The Collective are the people that drive that vehicle. My projects always succeed when I can create powerful synergies with the right people. When the right minds come together, we create brand experiences like no other, and stories come to life.”

During her transformative journey, Rania undertook certification as an ICF Executive Coach to offer a multifaceted consultancy venture encompassing coaching, personal branding and guiding business mentorship. “I love coaching and mentoring executives and entrepreneurs; it gives me a sense of purpose,” says Masri El Khatib. She quotes Pablo Picasso, saying that the meaning of life is to find your gift.

Indeed, Masri El Khatib’s podcast ReShape is one of the things that adds meaning to her work. “I love exposing my listeners to my intimate conversations with people looking to redefine the metrics of success.”  One of her proudest career moments was being awarded Retailer of the Year award for Level Shoes in 2014 by the Footwear News Achievement Awards. She recalls, “we worked on with a lot of passion.” Another one of her biggest challenges was taking on the transformation mission of Chalhoub Group. “I knew I was getting out of my comfort zone, but growth is on the menu when discomfort happens. And that is something I’ve learned to embrace always.”

In December, Rania was present at Cop28 (the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties) to discuss the state of the fashion industry, which she considers crucial. On one of her Instagram posts, she stated that not much has changed in Cop28 meetings but highlighted the work of two individuals. Eva Kruse, Chief Engagement Officer of Pangaia, focuses on addressing fashion’s environmental impact and driving innovation. Meanwhile, Nikhil Hirdaramani, a fourth-generation garment manufacturer, is actively reshaping operations and championing sustainability. Rania underscored the social dimension, emphasizing the importance of preserving job opportunities.

The discussion also revolved around the economic downturn’s impact on funding for sustainable initiatives, underscoring the critical need for financial support and research to advance a circular economy and promote recycled garments

Back in September, Rania spoke to CGTN about the potential of influencer marketing in the Middle East. As an influencer herself, with 19.6k followers on Instagram and collaborations with prestigious brands such as Cadillac, Rania’s influence goes beyond just numbers.

Rania champions the pro-aging movement and isn’t afraid to address taboo topics, such as infertility, which can be uncomfortable for some. She believes it’s important to share personal experiences to break down barriers, even if older generations may question it. “If my openness helps another woman navigate a similar journey without shame or hesitation, that’s a victory,” she said to the journal.

Rania’s mission goes beyond influencing; it’s about portraying Arab women in a positive light and fostering conversations that matter. Her unique blend of authenticity and empowerment sets her apart in the entrepreneurial landscape.

Read Next: How RMK Collective Founder Rania Masri El Khatib Is Bringing The Region’s Creatives Together