AdTech sector needs to be customer-centric, agile, and ready to learn –  Gagan Uppal, Country Head- MENA, Xapads Media

AdTech sector needs to be customer-centric, agile, and ready to learn –  Gagan Uppal, Country Head- MENA, Xapads Media

Dubai: Xapads Media is a leading ad tech platform in the MENA region. The bootstrapped organization has become the world’s leading multinational firm in adtech space.

With the expansion in the MENA region, Xapads’ UAE office will serve as the hub for its business development in the Middle East market and will play a vital role in unlocking new opportunities in the fast-growing MENA region.

Last week we got an opportunity to speak with Gagan Uppal, Country Head- MENA, Xapads Media. In the exclusive interview with Gagan, The Brew found out about the company’s objectives for business growth, localization, brand building, and significant transformational and modernization engagements with clients in the key sectors across the region.

Q1. Please throw some light on your current clients in the Dubai market.

Xapads offerings are not limited to any specific category of business, instead, our portfolio of solutions is robust, compatible, and easily deployable for all brand needs. H&M, Abu Dhabi Tourism, Bath and Body Works, Aldar, DTCM (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing), Samsung, Lenovo, IQ Options, Starbucks & McDonald’s are the few names with successful outcomes and we are rapidly increasing our footprints with the new brands and segments of businesses.

Q2. According to you, what are the potential sectors in MENA and how are you going to approach them?

MENA as a region has closed the digital gaps with western and Asian countries through investments and attractive government policies for the new age technology companies. Hence, digital adoption in the region is catching up fast and it will continue to grow with increasing disposable income levels, a growing population of young expats, rising internet penetration, and changing dynamics. At the same time, our solutions cater to FinTech, EduTech, E-commerce, and Web 3.0 businesses.

Q3. Key accounts/sectors you are looking to secure in this region. 

Xapads have been proving its strength across other global markets among the marque’s clients with its unique programmatic OEM offerings and technology. We have the experience, knowledge, and foresight to unleash new opportunities in this dynamic market. Our go-to-market approach capitalizes on these opportunities by providing a common platform that promotes synergy as well as growth with brands and media agencies. We will be focusing on business categories like FinTech, EduTech, E-commerce, and Web 3.0 businesses.

Our programmatic offering is a result of a combination of our proprietary technology with our proprietary data management platform (DMP). The combination of these two capabilities allows us to deliver unmatched scale and performance to our clients.

Q4. How do you intend to scale up/expand your business in the next 5 years?

We have plans to expand the business in multiple genes in the coming times, we are moving very fast to expand our business in the UK, Europe, and the USA. There are more expansion plans which we will be disclosed with each milestone achieved. The way we intend to expand our business is through strategic moves and the core of our business is inventory supply and the right talent leading from the front. 

Q5. What are your tips for an aspiring adtech professional? 

In a world where marketing is becoming more and more centered around technology, opportunities in advertising technology or Adtech are soaring. Everything from software engineers and developers to data scientists, product managers, and business managers is needed in Adtech. The skills you need to work in the Adtech industry will vary depending on what area you’re working in. However, given that the customer journey is particularly important in advertising, a customer-centric mindset is key across the board. Individuals looking to make a career in AdTech need to be agile and ready to learn something new every day.

  • Customer Centric Mindset
  • Experimental Mindset
  • Creative Mindset
  • Data-Driven Mindset
  • Growth Mindset

Q6. What was your first milestone and how did you get there?

The first milestone for us was when we launched Xapads as a standalone company in 2012. At that time there were no real players on the market and everyone was just working on launching their own SSPs or DSPs by white labeling global platforms or through partnerships. We saw an opportunity to provide a platform that could combine all of the services into one place to work together. So we started to build a solution that would be able to combine all the services under one roof and automate the process as much as possible. We are continuously revamping our technology and launching new solutions.

At the same time, we have been witnessing the growth of Programmatic advertising in the region more than ever. Recently in 2019, we launched our fully self-serve programmatic performance platform Xerxes with the overlaying of AI/ML engines supported by OEMs inventory supply, and how these can help brands in redefining their performance programmatically. We are reaching almost 57% of the digital audience via our platform and at the same time, we are offering full-funnel programmatic solutions for the brands and agencies to optimize the ROAS (Return on Advertising Spends). 

Shaneer N. Siddiqui

A news aficionado, Shaneer, Managing Editor of, is a keen observer of how news and mass communication industry is bringing about an invigorating change. He has a vast journalistic experience and writes on topics covering politics, social and development issues.

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