Brothers, investors and entrepreneurs Danish Farhan and Wisam Amid have created a new market for design-centric strategy and innovation firms in the UAE.
After dropping out of (multiple) universities, Danish Farhan founded his first digital agency, 13th Studios, in 2001, becoming one of the first companies to set up in the newly established Dubai Internet City free zone. As one of the first web design shops in the UAE, 13th Studios rapidly gained traction, and Danish sold his first company at the ripe old age of 21.
With Wisam Amid, who had earned his MBA while Danish was scaling his first company, signed on as Managing Partner, the brothers united behind a new vision: a hybrid design agency and consulting firm that would address the untapped intersection of strategy, design and technology. The result was Xische & Co., the anti-disciplinary brand and communications agency behind some of Dubai’s biggest stories. Through opportunities made possible by Dubai’s business-minded government, like creating Dubai's first national tourism brand, to co-authoring the Smart Dubai Happiness Agenda and Dubai’s Blockchain strategy, to branding the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, Xische & Co. has carved out a reputation as the to-go-to storytellers for Dubai’s boldest thinkers.
Today, Xische & Co has matured into Xische Holdings, with independent practices reflecting the company’s core disciplines. SquadX has productized Xische’s trademark hybrid teams, with “squads” of specialized employees deployed to some of the region’s largest corporations working as embedded team members to deliver massive-scale digital transformation projects. Senior strategists with DigitAI consult with business and government leaders to map authentic and results-oriented approaches to adopting future technologies. And the flagship Xische & Co. is telling stories of transformation for businesses, governments, and social enterprises across 6 continents. The portfolio also includes the lifestyle photography brand Nicolas Dumont as well as Spidersilk, a cybersecurity simulation and mitigation firm, and Algofy, a digital-first insurer.
Danish and Wisam’s determination to compete against household brands proves that Dubai is the perfect headquarters to scale and grow a global brand.
"The city of Dubai has been the catalyst for our vision from day one. It’s difficult to imagine any other city as a backdrop to scale unique ventures over the past two decades. The opportunities that establishing in this city has opened for us, from being one of the first companies to set up in d3 to contributing to the UAE Mission to Mars, have accelerated our growth in innumerable ways.
Dubai has engineered the right mix of people, attitudes and opportunities to enable breakthrough growth on a global stage. Now is the time, and here is the place, to start pursuing your vision.” - Danish Farhan, Founder & CEO
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