Transform Magazine: Turning Cold Into Gold – 2023

Transform caught up with Ibrahim Lahoud and Mo Saad of Brand Lounge to uncover the secrets of their work with cold logistics company Coco on the eve of the Transform Awards MEA. The UAE-based consultancy had high hopes for its work, entering Project Coco in many different categories.

The Dubai Design District, like most of this fantastic city, appears in the distance like a particularly deceptive mirage rising from the dusty earth. For its visitors, who are likely weakening from the determined grip of the Arabian sun, the shadow cast by the contemporary, shimmering offices is a welcome sight.

Even amidst a mighty sandstorm, which engulfed much of the Middle East ahead of the Transform Awards, the dark silhouette of the world’s tallest building can still be made out a few miles away. Among other things, the imperious Burj Khalifa serves these once barren lands as a trademark device, signaling the emirate’s new found wealth and boundless ambitions.

It’s no wonder, then, that Brand Lounge has taken up residence in this omphalos of design, art and fashion. Safely inside and sheltered from the scorching, mind-numbing heat in a neatly maintained air-conditioned office, the jovial Brand Lounge team find themselves huddled around a cozy common area drinking coffee.

But don’t be fooled by the relaxed environment. A plethora of trophies of all shapes, sizes and colors clutter nearly every shelf in the office. It’s the eve of the Transform Awards Middle East and Africa, and the consultancy has high expectations to complete its illustrious collection after entering five of its projects this year.

“We are hard on ourselves,” admits Mo Saad, head of design and creative impact. “Sometimes it’s not so healthy, but most of the time it works.”

He joins Ibrahim Lahoud in the latter’s office, which also has shelf after shelf of Transform Awards trophies. Despite the apparent success of most of the firm’s projects, favorites still exist. For the Chief Strategy and Knowledge Officer, a project he and Saad have been working on over the past year with a company that was looking to revolutionize the concept of cold logistics stands out.