November Spotlight – Samie Al Ashrafi CEO Marmalade Fish Dubai








Tell us about you, your experience and time in the Middle East.

I was born and raised in the UAE and studied in the UK and the USA. My first job was at Walt Disney World in Orlando and I went on to enjoy a global career in Learning. I recently left the corporate world to form Marmalade Fish, a management and learning consultancy focused on organisational values and culture.

What made you found Marmalade Fish?

In the past, businesses have grown often at the expense of the communities they serve. Management styles digressed from traditional approaches and family values, to an era of charismatic leaders focused on self-interest. Organisational blind spots, coupled with the pressure to perform, resulted in good people letting some bad things happen.

It is time to redefine our understanding of ‘success’. Today’s leaders must learn from the past and recognise that sustainable growth isn’t possible without becoming a stakeholder in society. The world needs companies to be a force for good, giving people the existence they deserve; one of meaning, and of example. It will require us to rebuild institutions from the inside out and empower the people that drive them.

What do you do for companies?

At Marmalade Fish, we partner with leading global businesses to create high performance cultures underpinned by values, enabling employees to be at their best, more of the time. Our clients have engaged us in the fields of aviation, technology, financial services, and pharmaceuticals, to embed lasting transformative change in their organisations. As part of the culture change, we design and develop learning and coaching programmes to create the will for change and develop the critical skills the transformation requires. Our solutions are built on habits and practical tools/ techniques that people can apply straight away.

What is your philosophy?

We have a clear, meaningful and higher purpose to make work better, and our values underpin everything we do – to be authentic and progressive. At the heart of our work is understanding the strategic enablers that will transform your business. We then map and align activities to the enablers in order to create a commercial, outcome-based approach. Essentially, we are bringing values and culture to the front and centre of how you do business by embedding them across the employee lifecycle. The result is improved engagement, accountability, customer experience, innovation and, of course, financial performance.

Where can our readers find out more?

You can check us out at or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @marmaladefish.

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