What We Can Learn From Drake Manager & OVO Founder, Oliver El-Khatib

Oliver El-Khatib
Photo credit: Zach Gold
Drake Manager and OVO Founder Oliver El-Khatib recently spoke with Billboard about his involvement in building one of the music industry’s most successful brands.
“The story of El-Khatib’s climb is, famous partner or not, as interesting as Drake’s,” the website writes.
In just five years, the 27-year-old went from managing a tiny clothing shop to developing an international powerhouse in the unlikely city of Toronto with co-founder and producer, Noah “40” Shebib.
Like any great leader, he didn’t do it alone. Fellow Toronto native Gavin Sheppard (CEO and co-founder of the Remix Project) told Billboard that El-Khatib “has been and continues to be a leader and friend to young creators across the Greater Toronto Area [GTA].”
And while OVO is dedicated to fostering home grown talent, the company doesn’t sacrifice quality control:
“Music is the currency, he stressed, adding that there is a universal standard of quality; just because you’re from the GTA doesn’t make you exempt. The OVO team holds creators — songwriters, producers, photographers, videographers, whoever — to the same standard,” writes Billboard.
El-Khatib also stressed the importance of being versatile when starting your own business:
“To own the company, you have to be able to do everything, like getting down on your hands and knees to tie your shoes a certain way to be negotiating deals. There’s so many different levels of being part of a team. It’s a pretty egoless job at the end of the day to be able to make something work. Whether you own a small business or a restaurant, whatever the case, you have to be willing to do everything as the owner.”
It’s safe to say OVO wouldn’t be where it’s at today without Drake though. According to El-Khatib, Drizzy’s consistency throughout the years has been invaluable:

[Drake’s] ability to deliver again and again is what earned us the credibility and the following at the end of the day.

Read Billboard’s full article here.
Related: Drake – 0 To 100 (The Catch Up)