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Motif Interiors announces key management-level promotions


The UAE-based fit-out contractor, Motif Interiors,  and workplace expert has announced a number of management-level promotions to support its growing business. 

Ahead of its 11th anniversary and the most successful year to date, Motif Interiors, the UAE-based fit-out contractor and workplace expert, has announced a number of management-level promotions. Akeel Perera, Charlie Speechley, and Rita Estephan will assume new roles on January 1, 2023.

“Since its establishment in 2012, Motif’s in-house capabilities, team expertise and client portfolio have grown significantly, allowing us to offer more efficient services to our existing and future clients,” said Rayas Ali, Group Director. “We have doubled our revenue in 2022 and everyone on our team contributed to that success, from our leadership and management teams to our design and operations teams.”
Motif’s team increased by 34% this year, and their latest leadership promotions demonstrate the company’s ability to develop diverse in-house talent.

Taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer, Akeel Perera, currently Head of Sales will be responsible for the strategic direction and business growth of Motif, in addition to overseeing ongoing operations and projects.

“Perera is moving away from sales duties as part of our long-term succession strategy,” Rayas explained. “His promotion to CEO acknowledges the important role he has played – and will continue to play – in strengthening our relationships with design communities and our overall position in the fit-out industry.

Perera commented on the promotion: “As part of our 2023 strategy, we will open our design hub doors and work with both established and emerging interior designers, offering them our in-house resources, technical support and services. In recent years, Motif has been able to work on more design-driven and complex projects as its own capabilities have grown.”

Image caption: Riyas Mohammad, Rayas Ali, Charlie Speechley, Rita Estephan, Akeel Perera (from left to right)

With 300+ employees across mmultiple business verticals, its founders, Rayas Ali and Riyas Mohammed have grown Motif steadily over the years thanks to their strong management team willing to be a part of their inspiring journey. Being in their mid-30s, they’ve managed to create a unique, young and flexible company culture, attracting some of the best talents in the industry.

The company has also promoted Charlie Speechley to Vice President after working as Senior Business Development Manager for the past seven years.

“Charlie has always been the face of our company since he joined us in 2015. With no prior business development experience, he has evolved into one of our company’s strongest assets,” explained Riyas Mohammed, Motif’s founder. “ He was also given more responsibilities, which allowed him to grow himself and Motif into what we are today. Being involved in every decision, his professional approach and great team skills have led him to always overachieve. Our decision to give Charlie this position was to encourage him to bring the same positive attitude to other parts of our business.”

Rita Estephan has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer, building on her existing role as a Head of Design. As well as overseeing design operations, Rita will also be responsible for revenue generation, cost management, and profitability of these business units.
“Rita has played a key role in growing and strengthening Motif’s in-house design capabilities during her four-year career and in building our project portfolio. She has a strong design background, strong leadership skills, a keen eye for long-term planning and extensive client relationships, which makes her the ideal Chief Operating Officer for Motif Interiors,” Rayas said.

According to Rayas, since joining Motif, Rita was continually performing and delivered beyond her expected role and responsibilities.

“We recognised her unique professional qualities and management capabilities, which are far beyond interior design skills. Over the years, Rita has been independently winning projects for Motif and managing both internal teams and our clients successfully, always going beyond what was expected from her,” he added.

This year, Motif Interiors has moved into brand new 15,000 sqft offices in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT). Major projects in 2022 include the Pupil of Fate showroom on SZR, four floors for a global marketing company in Dubai Media City and a 50,000 sqft confidential government project in One Central, Dubai World Trade Center.
Currently, the team is working on 12 large-scale projects for multinational clients in the new DMCC Uptown Tower in JLT. This iconic and much-anticipated commercial building will also house Motif’s new office in 2023, showcasing the latest trends in office design and featuring some of the best global design brands.

In 2022, Motif has also undergone a full rebranding and marketing strategy to celebrate its 10th anniversary, resulting in a new visual identity that reflects the company’s growth and quality of work.

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