Alumni, Kazakhstan, Notable Alumni

Gulnar Tyndybaeva ‘96 Founder of Look.tm Fashion Portal

IMG_6845‘Share your skills and FLEX experience with as many people as you can,’ Gulnar advises to FLEX alumni. ‘People are the same in every country and you can find your place anywhere in the world. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience change and develop outside of your comfort zone’.

Gulnar Tyndybaeva ‘96
Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan / Mantua, NJ
Education: BA in English from Kyzylorda State University

‘In order to attract talented people to come and work with you, you need to create good working conditions. My main goal is to keep up the creative atmosphere within the company and support the team,’ says Gulnara Tyndybaeva ‘96, co-founder and co-owner of Look Advertising Agency and Tag Media Publishing House. ‘People in our company never ask me whether they can leave work early or have a longer lunch break – they are free to set their own schedules and priorities and, as a result, they feel inspired by what they do’.

Having recently moved to Dubai with her husband and two sons, Gulnar continues to work remotely and is involved in all aspects of her company’s digital production. She is also actively networking and looking for new growth opportunities in the Middle East.

Gulnar 3The company, Tag Media Publishing House, is comprised of three digital projects – lifestyle and fashion online portals Look.tm, Comode.kz, and Gagarin.tm. Another digital platform dedicated to producing and publishing ‘How To’ video content is currently being developed.

Gulnar came up with the idea of her first online portal Look.tm five years ago when she accidentally came across an online forum for women while on maternity leave. The topics of discussions interested her and she soon began to analyze what people were reading most and why. Since most women registered on the forum were from Kazakhstan, Gulnar organized a meeting offline during which she proposed to make their own website.

Two more enthusiasts supported her idea and together they began to work on Look.tm: ‘At the time I thought that it would just be our hobby. But developing a website costs a lot of money, so we decided to turn it into a commercial enterprise.’

Gulnar 1In a little over four months the newly-born portal hit profitability, but fashion magazines in Kazakhstan still needed to be convinced. ‘At the beginning all publications were skeptical about our ideas. But we were not. So rather than waiting around we worked on them on our own and became the most read platform in the country,’ remembers Gulnar.

The success of the website was spotted by a leading advertisement company, which made an offer to buy Look.tm. Gulnar refused to sell the platform and offered to create a joint advertisement agency specializing in creative content instead. ‘By uniting advertisement and creative journalistic content we launched a unique project, which was profitable, innovative, and effective,’ she says. ‘While preparing content we got to know our audience extremely well, so it was easy to tailor advertising to its needs’.

Nowadays the company has over 70 employees in Kazakhstan and Russia, most of whom have come from well-known digital and print publications. Gulnar couldn’t be more proud of her team: ‘Even many of our clients admit that working for us is a dream. Work has a huge impact on our private lives so we are trying to make it fun and exciting’. Going from strength to strength, the company plans to expand into other markets and languages, starting with English.

Gulnar 2Gulnar’s success has roots in her FLEX year. She believes that the program made her more open-minded and destroyed cultural stereotypes that inhibit personal growth and success. ‘The strongest borders are the ones that exist in our heads. Many people in Kazakhstan feel that their work is not worth international attention and don’t bother striving for recognition. The FLEX program gave me confidence to adapt and develop my creative ideas anywhere in the world.

‘Share your skills and FLEX experience with as many people as you can,’ Gulnar advises to FLEX alumni. ‘People are the same in every country and you can find your place anywhere in the world. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience change and develop outside of your comfort zone’.

Article written by Tatyana Movshevich

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


5 + 3 =