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Assadullah Zamir is the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock for Afghanistan. He focuses on restoring Afghanistan’s licit agricultural economy through empowered human resources, agricultural production and productivity, natural resource management, improved physical infrastructure and market development. He has more than 15 years of leadership experience within the private and public sectors focusing on rural development, education, agriculture and natural resource management. Earlier positions include Finance Advisor with the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development; Senior Advisor with the Ministry of Education; Director General of Programs for the Ministry of Agriculture, Senior Policy and Program Advisor to the Minister at the Ministry of Mines, and Deputy Chief of Party for Mining Project financed by USAID. Minister Zamir was the co-founder of a grassroots non-profit organization serving rural communities on women education, sustainable development and skill building. Minister Zamir a Fulbright Alumni earned two Master’s degrees, one in Economics from California State University and another one in finance and Banking, and has held senior roles at several NGOs including the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Since 2012, and as its founding CEO, Haifa Dia Al-Attia has been leading the Queen Rania Foundation (QRF), a research and program development NGO charged with influencing national policy and with innovation in education. Leading nine independent initiatives, QRF focuses on coordinating and impact evaluating their work to align with needed national reforms. Appointed to the National Committee for Human Resources Development, she led on developing the Early Childhood through Grade 12 part of the strategy. An AUB graduate and former public school teacher, , Haifa became Deputy Director and Education Adviser at the Crown Prince’s Office; helped found the Amman Baccalaureate School and served for 23 years on its Board of Trustees; served as Vice President and regional representative of the International Baccalaureate Organization and as a consultant with the Aga Khan Academies Unit. Today, Haifa is also the Chairwoman of the Board of Edraak, the first not for profit Arabic Language Massive Open Online Courses platform created by QRF in 2014, the Queen Rania Teacher Academy and the Jordan Education Initiative. She also serves on the board of the Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education. She served on the International Women’s Forum Global Board and as secretary to IWF/Jordan and Jordanian Gymnastics Federation. She was also President of Jordanian Osteoporosis Prevention Society. Haifa is perfectly bilingual in Arabic and English and speaks both Italian and French, is a football and gymnastics enthusiast and played on the national Table Tennis Team.
Driven by passion and a need to succeed, Yogesh Mehta established Petrochem Middle East in 1995. Yogesh is credited with an ability to carve water out of stone and a burning desire to succeed against odds, having established a business by opening a state-of-the-art storage terminal for bulk and drum chemicals. Within five years, Petrochem Middle East grew from strength-tostrength to become one of the largest independent petrochemical distributor in the Middle East with global offices and a turnover of more than a billion dollars. A Harvard Business School Alumnus, Yogesh’s success story has been widely documented, and in 2010 he was ranked seventh in the Arabian Business Indian Power List. Yogesh strongly believes that Petrochem Middle East’s success has been as a result of forecasting and anticipating market and customer needs, he is an enthusiast of “the people”, constantly asserting that his employees are the business’s greatest assets. His grasp on the dynamics of the chemical industry, and on building a strong reputation with buyers and sellers in the fraternity has contributed to making the “Petrochem Brand”, and raising the company to new heights. Under his leadership, Petrochem Middle East has evolved into not only a chemical distribution company but trading and logistics. With his son Rohan having joined the business recently they strive for growth and diversification into new industries and markets globally.
Anthony Boukather, is CEO of A.N.Boukather- Automotive, Exclusive distributor of Mazda, Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia, Motoguzzi, KTM, Otokar, Bajaj, Shoei, Motorex in Lebanon. The company started in 1927 With his grandfather Nicolas Boukather that introduced NASH cars in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. His father Antoine introduced in 1968 the Mazda Brand in Lebanon and 2018 will represent 50 years of partnership between Mazda and ANB. Anthony holds a BA in computer Science from The American University of Beirut and an Executive MBA from INSEAD. Anthony is perhaps best known, together with his twin Brother Nicolas, for orchestrating the remarkable turnaround of the family business in Lebanon that grew by more than 20 times. The group also diversified to become market leaders in Motorcycles Distribution in Lebanon , BtB car Rental, and trend setters on the Real Estate Market. They also invested in Growing the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Lebanon by establishing a corporate accelerator inside the Company that facilitated the growth of many startups. The company received many trophies including : UnitedNation Climate Change Champion in 2017, Volume & Market Share Increase Award from Mazda, one of the Fastest Growing company of the Arab world from ARABIA500, Anti-Corruption Winner from The Lebanese Transparency Association, Best Customer Service from Mazda, Best Marketing Award from Piaggio, Excellency Achievement award from KTM. Anthony is passionate of how family business functions and highly believe in effective corporate governance in family businesses. Anthony is active in Associations including: Vice President of INSEAD Alumni Association in Lebanon, Member of the Board of Directors of OumElNour, Founding Member and NextGen Leader of the Family Business Network – Levant , and YPO member. Anthony has also a passion for entrepreneurship as he is an Mentor with UKTechHub, Confideo and Mowgli.
Founder CEO WISeKey, United Nations Expert on CyberSecurity, Telcos and Trust Models, working for ILO, UN, UNCTAD, ITC/WTO, World Bank, UNDP, ESCAP (83-99). Internet Web Pioneer; Founder, Chairman and CEO of WISeKey SA. Founder and SG International Organization for Secure Electronic Transactions OISTE.org. Founding Member of the "Comité de Pilotage Project E-Voting" of the Geneva Government, Member of the UN Global Compact, Member of the Global Agenda Council. Founding Member WEF Global Growth Companies 2007-16. WEF New Champion 2007 to 2016, Vice Chair WEF Agenda Council on Illicit Trade 2012/15, Member of the 2014-16 Selection Committee for Europe for the WEF Growth Companies. Founder of the Geneva Security Forum. Member the WEF Global Agenda Council on the Future of IT Software & Services 2014-16 . Member of the New York Forum. Selected as one of the WEF, Trailblazers, Shapers and Innovators https://lnkd.in/eAPb3_9 Specialized investor in disruptive technology startups AI, Blockchain, IoT and Cybersecurity . Fundraising and IPOs Awards: Nominated by Bilan.CH among the 300 most influential persons in Switzerland 2011 and 2013, top 100 of Who's Who of the Net Economy, Most Exciting EU Company at Microsoft MERID 2005, Man of the Year Economy AGEFI 2007, Selected by Bilanz among the 100 most important 2016 digital heads in Switzerland. Nominations as a New Champion by the WEF from 2007 to 2016 in Dalian and Tianjing , China. Award Holder CGI. Member of the New York Forum. Adjunct Professor of the Graduate School of Engineering RMIT Australia (95/99). Head of the Trade Efficiency Lab at the Graduate School of Engineering at RMIT.
With entrepreneurial instincts tailored in her genes, Shifa Yusuffali noticed the gap in the market for quality facilities and services in ‘edutainment’. Her experience in keeping her toddlers engaged made her focus on the critical service demands for kids in general. This led her foraying into the Education, Edutainment & Entertainment industry. She currently heads Idea Crate a group with diversified interests into entertainment and edutainment concepts and has imminent plans to venture into the education industry as well. While Shifa’s interests are wide and varied – from gastronomy to photography and traveling – her experiences as a mother to two toddlers greatly influenced her decision to expand into the Education and Entertainment market. Being a parent and a favorite aunt, it was easy for her to relate to other parents who often struggle with indoor activity options that can keep their children entertained and at the same time enriched. Shifa dared to break the trend of this highly pronounced and populated industry by marrying traditional business practices with innovation, invigoration and inspiration. With that, she decided to launch Ideacrate Edutainment Company, with its first brand, Orange Wheels, a unique one-stop educational and entertainment centre for the whole family located on the Ground Floor of Al Wahda Mall extension. This innovative indoor play center features various fun zones including two play structures (Mega for 5 to 12 years and Junior for under 5’s), climbing walls, O-Town, A&C or arts and crafts area, gym, classrooms and party halls, SalOn and spa for kids and moms, Café-O serving healthy treats for the whole family, and retail space. Following the success of this venture she moved into the Family Entertainment launching her first concept as Orange Spin again in Al Wahda Mall extension which caters to the entertainment needs of teenagers and adults by providing them with numerous options such as Laser Tag, F1 Stimulators, Mini Bowling and a range of Arcade Games. When it came to opening her own venture, Shifa’s priority was to give back to the community of the UAE where she was born and brought up so she ensured the venue complies to the highest standards of safety and quality. Shifa’s eye for aesthetics and creativity can be seen throughout the premises of Orange Wheels & Orange Spin as she was personally involved in selecting concepts, designs and color themes – after all, her business philosophy is to treat each venture as an extension of her family. Shifa operates from her head office at Idea Crate currently, which is engaged in realizing her vision of spreading the unique concepts across UAE. With five expansion projects planned in the upcoming years Shifa is confident of taking her dreams to the next level. Shifa also holds a Business Administration degree with a focus on Marketing and is the youngest daughter of Mr. Yusuffali M.A., the Managing Director of Lulu Group, who ranks among the top business personalities in Asia, so it’s not far-fetched to say that entrepreneurship is in her DNA! With business affluence in the backbone and the greatest support of the parent company, Shifa aims to build home grown brands and concepts through her entrepreneurial journey.
Jonathan is an experienced and hands on tech and media leader that is passionate about building high performance teams and growing businesses internationally. He is the head of the Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan at Facebook and leads the regional office in Dubai. As Facebook’s first employee in the Middle East & North Africa, he built the MENA team and business from the ground up and is responsible for growing revenues across Facebook’s family of brands. In September 2016, Jonathan was named media and marketing business leader of the year by Gulf Business. Prior to Facebook, Jonathan was VP, Head of Ad Sales, Emerging Markets at MTV Networks and tasked with maximizing advertising revenues for brands like MTV, VIVA, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central across all media channels. During his tenure at MTV Networks, he also held the position of Strategy & Business Development Director for Viacom International, and played a key role in strengthening the company’s position across multiple lines of business and regions. His passion for the technology and startup ecosystem combined with the corporate finance experience he gained as a consultant at Stern Stewart & Co also led him to become an investor and active advisor to a variety of startups in the Middle East. Jonathan holds an MBA with highest distinction from Columbia Business School in New York and bachelor degrees in International Business from Universidad Pontificia Commillas in Madrid and the European School of Business in Reutlingen. He speaks 3 languages fluently and has lived in Germany, Spain, Argentina, the US, the UK and the UAE.
Vera is the head of Global Communications of the Dubai Future Foundation, a core entity of the Dubai Government that was launched by the office of the Prime Minister of the UAE to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Dubai through innovation. She is also a part of the founding team for the Dubai Future Accelerators which was launched to pair the world’s most exciting technology companies with leading government departments to create transformational solutions with a global impact. Before joining the government of Dubai, Vera set up the chapter of Techfugees, a social enterprise mobilizing the international tech community to respond to the refugee situation. Prior to that, Vera came to the Middle East as an Entrepreneur in Residence and then later became a Founder for one of Rocket Internet’s tech ventures. Before her career in the tech world, Vera completed her MSc at the London School of Economics and served as a political consultant in the European Union in Brussels. She has lived in 10 countries and is fluent in five languages.
Ramesh, a dynamic entrepreneur, an Indo-African business magnate, investor and philanthropist has deep business interests across Africa and Middle East. He carries more than 28 years of rich experience in global technology, market development and business process outsourcing across Telecom Providers and other Verticals. As ISON Group’s Founder and Chairman, Ramesh is a result-oriented, decisive leader, backed with outstanding success record in disparate market segments. A proven big picture player, Ramesh brings to table his long strategic play for crafting business solutions as well as his well-timed tactical moves for ensuring their effective implementation. Maximally involved in clients business reengineering for optimum throughput, he routinely crafts innovative and out of the box IT and ITeS solutions for them. His ability to identify opportunities even in complex situations and then communicate them effectively to stakeholders have earned him consistent respect amongst customers and unwavering loyalty of his colleagues. Under his leadership, ISON has become one of the leading centers of IT and ITeS excellence and has acquired a panAfrican footprint with presence in over 25 African countries. Staffed with over 12,500 employees across Africa and Middle East in 29 countries, ISON has secured various people awards including the Great Place To Work (GPTW) organization’s award, under the Bright Spot category for ‘Best Practices’ and exceptional ‘CSR’. In addition, Ramesh was conferred with the “Entrepreneur of the Year” Champion in Biz Awards during 2016 ASSOCHAM India Africa Trade and Investment Forum. Ramesh was bestowed with “Technology Company CEO of the Year” during 2016 Nigeria Technology Awards (NiTA). Recently featured by Fortune, Ramesh strongly believes A4 represents the tenets of his life: audacity, agility, and the ability to deal with ambiguity. Ramesh is very passionate about partnering with initiatives like Girl Effect (GE) who work to bring adolescent girls out of isolation. ISON and GE launched a project Girl Connect in early 2017, which provides information, entertainment, counsel and help to adolescent girls using technology and online mentors and currently aims at targeting one million unheard voices in Nigeria. Ramesh is the best-known entrepreneurs of the “Digital Africa” revolution. He has invested in African start up Oliza in Kenya (online mobile recharge and loyalty based app) and is anchoring Mondo Ride’s (on line taxi aggregation) expansion plan in East Africa. An entrepreneurial advocationist to the budding startups in Mobile apps and Internet of Things (IoT) areas such as Athenta, u2opia and mVentus; He has been investing and mentoring in the upbeat technology areas which serve as the base of “Digital Revolution in Africa”. A sports enthusiast, Ramesh has strong passion towards sports and has been an avid cricketer. Through GolfLAN; he is determined to bridge the gap for Golf enthusiasts in Africa, digitally. GolfLAN is the only comparable aggregator that serves the needs of golfers in emerging economies. Ramesh had previously served global technology majors such as IBM, Ericsson, and ABB in ASEAN and APAC regions, where he initiated several high-value business models. Achieving the distinct track record of contracting multi-billion dollars business during his tenure with IBM, Ramesh also pioneered the path-breaking IBM-Bharti IT outsourcing arrangement on a revenue-share basis. This business deal then went on to become a benchmark for entire industry and is now a Harvard Business case study that has been discussed globally in more than 50 boardrooms, and has also been referenced in the Global Strategies for Emerging Asia. 2 Copyright © 2017 ISON Group As a founder of ISON, Ramesh has won several awards for his company including the ASSOCHAM India-Africa Champion in Biz Awards consecutively for 2 years 2016 & 2015 for “Distinguished Achievement in IT & ITES”, Gartner Cool Vendor 2015, EBA 50 Best Global Employer Brand 2015, EBA Africa Best Employer Brand, consecutively for 3 years 2016, 2015 & 2014 and many others. Ramesh graduated from MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a Masters degree in International Trade. He has undertaken a number of executive programs at leading institutes such as Harvard University, Wharton Business School and INSEAD. Ramesh also used to teach IBM course, “Major Deal Maker” during his tenure at the corporation. Since 2016, Ramesh has embarked on a journey to create ISON 2.0, an innovation driven enterprise that would employ 40,000 people by the end of year 2019 and acquire an expanded footprint across 35 Sub Saharan African countries. Ramesh is married and lives in Dubai.
Rami is an experienced and hands-on business leader in the multichannel fashion & jewelry retail industries which, for over 25 years, has been a source of, both inspiration through its creativity, and motivation through its challenges. Working with renowned famous brands requires mainly operations, however, it is the challenges of working with up & coming designers and their success thereof into becomes a household name that is most rewarding. Creativity, knowhow and execution of product and retail concepts become critically important to appeal and achieve the necessary end-user buy-in. His current interests that he holds dear to his heart are developing new projects and startups with high performance teams which can grow businesses to sustainable levels in a socially impactful manner. Having lived in the US, Italy, France, Switzerland, Lebanon, Kuwait, and South Africa, Rami has come to perceive and note the differences that exist from culture to culture but more importantly to understand the consistent aspirations, dreams and social glue that are universally global. Rami believes that we must continually question all economic systems or philosophies that lose their perspective and falsely prioritize interests and goals over the means & resources necessary to achieve them. When the ends become overly exaggerated as being more important than the means, we usually find that, those stakeholders that these ends were meant to serve, are instead negatively affected by it. We must always remember that our social and economic systems where meant to sustain the human race and take a critical eye to whether they are actually achieving their basic purposes. Rami hopes that through the Private Wealth nstitute Network, like minded individuals can collaborate in creating long-term socially viable programs and projects that are capable of meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
Binoy R. V. Meghraj is the Executive Vice Chairman of Meghraj Group, an international investment banking advisory, fiduciary services and infrastructure consulting business founded in Kenya in 1922. The Group is now headquartered in the British Isles, and operates from 12 offices in Asia, Africa and Europe. Binoy is responsible for Meghraj Group’s strategy, international expansion and new business initiatives. He is the Chairman and founder of Meghraj Capital, the Group’s investment banking advisory business, which has offices in Kenya, Japan, India, UK and Dubai. Binoy is based in Dubai, and spends his time between Dubai, Japan, Kenya, UK and India. He earlier lived in Tokyo for 9 years, and whilst there advised a number of large Japanese companies on acquiring or partnering with companies overseas. Binoy is a Trustee of 2 family charitable foundations which are focused on education, health and welfare. He is on the Board of Directors of the Family Office Council, a membership group for single family offices. He has an MBA with distinction from London Business School, and an Honours Degree in Commerce & Accounting from the University of Birmingham.
Shaikha Noora Bint Khalifa Al Khalifa is a Bahraini entrepreneur. Winning bachelor’s degree in graphic design at New York University, she also holds a Master of Media & Public Relations. Shaikha Noora did over 20 keynote speeches per year. Her clients include government, academy cross Middle east as well as dozens of trade associations. Her topics include innovation, enchantment, social media, evangelism, and , personal branding, entrepreneurship. She stand to influence the way the youth think and to build the best training in the Middle East, to evolve the economy and the Western world by bringing inspiring speakers and working alongside them. Invests in a broad range of projects from youth to women, focusing on fashion branding and marketing for start-ups to big companies, aligning with the developing needs of the region.
A woman of many talents, Rawya Mansour is a globally acclaimed Environmental Activist, Humanitarian restlessly fighting for the uplifting of all stratifications of society. In 2007, just before the Egyptian food riots. Mansour foresaw the need of a drastic change, and took the matter in her own hands by founding RAMSCO for Trade and Distribution. There she developed and tested a groundbreaking approach to organic agro-business within Egypt, through the invention of fertilizers and agro-technology. This approach looked to developing novel techniques that focused on enhancing national food security by saving water while increasing yields. Upon the success the pilot project in her research center, Mansour founded the RAMSCO Foundation for Sustainable Agricultural Development in 2009. An NGO operating to oversee Mansour’s zero-waste agro-technologies and fore plan the creation of self-sustainable zero-waste eco-villages. In 2012 Mansour established OASIS (Organic Agriculture for Social International Solidarity) in The Principality of Monaco. The possibility of creating agricultural villages in arid land is realized through OASIS’s patented organic fertilizers and biochar machines that allow for fruit and vegetables not only grow, but thrive in a desert environment with low water usage. The machines take agricultural waste and turn it into bio-char, one of the few components with the ability to reverse climate change due to its capacity to sequestrate carbon dioxide from the air. These fertilizers and machines, patented in Egypt, Northern Africa, AOPI and, France, Monaco Australia are the first of their kind and if employed on the large scale will bring great feats in terms of reversing environmental damage, climate adaptation and food security in the area while fighting poverty through new social agroeconomic job creation and eco-tourism. Rawya Mansours’s most recent endeavor has been the creation of the foundation “We Are The People” along with Mr. Naguib Sawiris in partnership with the Basilicata region of Southern Italy. “WATP” is the pinnacle of Mansour’s life work, it plans to take an area in the barren and impoverished region of Basilicata and transform it into a holistic and sustainable Entrepreneurial Zero-waste Eco-village (EZE). This microcosm will be complete with schools, youth centers, health care, and job opportunity through Mansour’s agro-technology for both locals and incoming refugees that are otherwise crippling the Southern regions of the Mediterranean. If this project is created throughout North Africa as well as the Mediterranean it can greatly reduce migration from under developed countries. Furthermore, creating a means for the Southern European countries to deal with the influx of refugees in a new socially and economically sustainable manner. We Are The People has been presented to the government Italy as a member of the G7 together with UNIDO. Rawya Mansour’s work has proclaimed her an honorary member of the Egyptian National Women’s Comity for Foreign Affairs, Arab Business Women’s Council, 100 Women Who Rose Above Change In the Muslim World, A Hero of the Green Era, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, and a member of UNDP’s IDSC, and a Role Model for African Women.
In 1994, Mr. Al-Jebouri began his career working for Arthur Andersen in London. In 2002 Mr. Al-Jebouri took on the challenge of a political career. He joined the newly elected government in Bulgaria as a Senior Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Bulgaria. In 2005 Mr. Al-Jebouri to stayed on as Head of the Tourism sector a ministerial role. In 2007 Mr. Al-Jebouri resigned from all of his government posts and returned to his financing career. He was asked to lead the private banking efforts of Barclays Bank in Geneva responsible for Russia, CIS and SEE markets. In 2009 Mr. Al-Jebouri returned to London to set up a private equity fund focusing on SEE. At one point the fund had more than USD $2.3 billion of assets. In 2012 Mr. Al-Jebouri started a number of business operations in Iraq. Having successfully managed to grow and divest the bulk of his private enterprises, Mr. AlJebouri joined BCGE in Geneva to head up their international Banking Rep. office in Dubai and the efforts of the bank to develop and grow its market penetration in Africa, GCC, Middle East, Russia and CIS.
Mr. Kuchava has been the Chairman of the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee of the Parliament of Georgia since November 2016. Mr. Kuchava was elected as a Head of Parliamentary Delegation of GUAM and member of the OGP (Open Governance Partmenrship) council. Moreover, he is the president of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly. During 2011 - 2015 he served as an elected member of the Board of Directors in International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). He continued reading lectures at Tbilisi State University, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), and Caucasus University as an Associated Professor. He served as a corporate law specialist in number of international organizations and projects, such as: EU project - ‘’Georgian-European Policy and Legal Advise Center”, Chemonics International Inc. – implementing USAID Business Climate Reform Project. International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the area of corporate law and corporate governance. In 2010 he co-founded the law firm ‘’Eristavi and Partners’. In 2011 Kuchava’s success with his start-up mining company ‘’Caucasus Minerals’’ made him the cover story of Forbes magazine. Under Kuchava’s leadership as a CEO of “Georgian Copper and Gold” company was listed on London Stock Exchange. As a founder of the non-governmental organization ‘’Georgian institute of Directors’’ (in May 2011) cooperation agreement was signed with IFC and throughout these years it has been conducting educational projects and collaborates with the companies in terms of enhancing management and governance practices. Mr. Kuchava holds Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from Tbilisi State University and the Master’s degree in Corporate Law from Nottingham Law School.
Muhannad Ebwini, is co-founder and CEO of HyperPay. Muhannad has led the business to its current position as one of the Middle East’s fastest growing and successful online payment businesses. It is regarded as highly innovative and is seen as one of the new generation payment service providers. The company has offices in Amman, Dubai and Riyadh. Muhannad has over 15 years of experience in the online, eCommerce, gaming, and payment industries, having successfully grown the business of OneCard, a leading regional alternative payment mechanism between 2004 and Feb 2010. During his tenure at OneCard, Muhannad has spearheaded the development of the online payment and eCommerce industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), working successfully with international and regional players, provide alternative payment solutions for them, assist and provide support in localizing them and adapting them to the MENA culture, as well as providing them with a suite of value-added services such as support centers and marketing. Prior to joining OneCard, Muhannad worked at Maktoob, the leading regional portal recently acquired by Yahoo as the Business Development Manager of Mazad Maktoob, an online auction service that later morphed into Souq.com, and remains the leading online auction service in the MENA region. Prior to Maktoob, he held sales and marketing management positions at eSolution , a local web development company in Amman, Jordan. Muhannad is a certified eCommerce Consultant “CEC” and Project Manager eBusiness (PME), and holds an MBA in Management and International Business from NYIT and a Bsc in Computer Software Engineering from Princess Sumayya University in Amman, Jordan.
Paras Shahdadpuri is a former diplomat with the Indian Foreign Services, and has served in various Indian diplomatic missions in China, the US, Saudi Arabia and Libya. He quit the diplomatic career and started his business in UK in 1987. It was sheer coincidence that he happened to visit Dubai and experienced love-at-first-sight for this city. He soon moved to Dubai and set up his business. He is currently the Chairman of Nikai Group with business interests in electronics, appliances, food products, staffing outsourcing and restaurants, with offices in UAE, Oman, China, Saudi Arabia, Georgia, Russia and other countries. He is the founder of the Nikai brand, which has been named a Superbrand in 2011, 2016 and in 2017. In a short period, he has built a formidable electronics brand with over 400 products that compete with major Japanese and Korean brands. Nikai is exported to 60 countries and has over 55 million satisfied consumer base. With a view to giving back to the community, Shahdadpuri has taken keen interest in developing India-UAE business relations. The business community, represented by the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), which is the only recognized body by the Dubai authorities, elected him with the highest votes as its President for the tenure 2009 to 2011. The business community, persistently urged him to return to IBPC, and he was again elected with the highest votes to take up the Presidentship for the tenure 2013 to 2015. Shahdadpuri developed IBPC as a catalyst for the growth of India-UAE economic, investment and trade relations, and nurtured close ties with UAE authorities and local business houses. This has helped the UAE become one of the biggest trading partners of India and vice-versa. Currently he is the Vice President of the high profile Business Leaders Forum comprising selected high net- worth Indian businessmen in UAE, Senior Emirati businessmen from UAE and other countries. Business Leaders Forum (BLF) is a UAE and regional based organization to support large scale investments in India and UAE and to help senior businessmen set up their ventures between the two countries and beyond. In lieu of Mr. Shahdadpuri’s invaluable involvement and contribution to the development and growth of the UAE Billiards and Snooker Association, HH Sheikh Juma bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum has appointed Mr. Shahdadpuri as an Honorary Board Member of the Association for the period of 2017-2020. Shahdadpuri was awarded the prestigious Bharat Shiromani Award in 2005 by former Prime Minister of India Shri I. K. Gujral for his outstanding achievements in business and community service. He was given the CEO International Achievement Award for the year 2012, the Industry Ingenious Award during the Powerbrands Hall of Fame function, and recognized for his contributions to the Global Electronics sector during the Middle East Business Leaders’ Summit 2013, besides a number of other awards for his outstanding achievements in business and social fields such as Bizz award for inspirational company. He was awarded the Indian innovator award by the prestigious BNC in 2016 and the Gulf Excellence Award by the NDTV network. He has been included in the 30 Most Powerful Indians in the GCC list. He has been repeatedly named as one of the top Indian leaders in the UAE by the famed Forbes and Arabian Business magazines. He was also featured as one of the 100 Most Influential Global Indians. Nikai Group was recognized with ISO 9001 certification in 2012, Dubai Quality Appreciation Award and the Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award in 2013 and 2016. Nikai was also awarded the Dubai Service Excellence Award for 2015 cycle. Shahdadpuri is involved in community development not only in his native country India, but also in the UAE. He contributed handsomely to Dubai Cares, an initiative of the Dubai Government, and is also an active member of the Rotary Club in Dubai. In the education field, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development (Former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research), Shahdadpuri instituted an “Award for Excellence in Innovative Teaching” to the best teacher and an “Award for Recognition of Outstanding Achievement” to the best student in the Higher Colleges of Technology of UAE. When it comes to charity he has always led by example, by supporting groups like Dubai Autism Group, Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs, Rashid Centre for the Disabled and innumerable charities back home as well. Shahdadpuri has been a subject of case study as a diplomat-turned-entrepreneur in various universities, and has appeared in various TV channels and other media in the UAE, China and India.
Khalid Howladar is the Managing Director and Founder of Acreditus, an advisory practice created to serve the credit strategy, rating and Islamic finance needs of Gulf and Islamic Banks, Corporates and Governments. He is a trusted authority in the fields of GCC and Islamic banking, regional credit risk, sukuk finance and securitization and helps promote the ethical, social and financial inclusion underpinnings of Islamic Finance. Previously, Khalid spent 15 years at Moody’s Investor’s Service in various key roles in London and then Dubai since 2008. As Moody’s first Global Head of Islamic Finance, he was responsible for the formation and strategy of a new global and cross business line team of Analytical, Commercial and Media representatives to provide holistic and insightful coverage of this fast growing and dynamic sector through strong research, outreach and analytics. Concurrently, Khalid was the regional Team Leader/Senior Vice President for the GCC Banking team responsible for rating a diverse portfolio of around 60 financial institutions. He was also a Credit Co-Chair for the European, Middle East & Africa Banking team and a senior participant in GCC Sovereign and Sukuk committees. Prior to these leadership roles, he was an analyst in the structured finance team responsible for rating over $150 billion of Middle-Eastern securitizations and a diverse mix of cash, synthetic, high yield, asset-backed and project finance CDOs. He holds an MSc in Finance from London Business School, an MSc in Advanced Information Technology and a BEng in Software Engineering both from the Imperial College of Science and Technology and Medicine.
Bart Van de Vel is leading Facebook’s efforts to build strong partnerships with beauty & luxury businesses in the Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan. Before moving to Dubai last August, he spent four years at Facebook’s EMEA HQ in Dublin as part of the Global Marketing Solutions team. When he isn’t glued to a mobile screen, he spends time traveling the world & the seven seas, learning Arabic, and trying very hard not to be the worst volleyball player on the beach.
Employment History: - Corporate relationship manager for the central region at the Saudi British Bank for three years (1998 – 2001); - Management committee member at Abunayyan Holding (2001-2008); - Board member at Abunayyan Holding (2008-present ); - Chairman of audit and risk committee at Abunayyan Holding (2016-present); Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (finance) with a minor in economics from the University of Oregon in the United States of America.
Idriss Al Rifai is an entrepreneur passionate about disrupting the Middle East retail market with technologies and customer-centric services that enable the growth of e-commerce in the region. Idriss has developed and optimized a last mile delivery solution specifically for the e-commerce needs and requirements in the Middle East. In 2012, Idriss founded Fetchr which has evolved to become a full end-to-end logistic solution, backed by technology, for e-commerce companies, regional players, social media sellers as well as SMBs in the MENA region. In addition to its B2C and standard C2C deliveries powered through its app, Fetchr also recently launched an on-demand delivery service, the first of its kind in the region. Fetchr is also the first company in MENA to raise $52M in funding to date ($11M Series A and $41M Series B), led by a top tier Silicon Valley VC, New Enterprise Associates. This opened up the doors for other startups and entrepreneurs to receive funding form outside the region. Idriss’s goal is to empower all deliveries through technology in emerging markets. Previously Idriss worked for MarkaVIP, a leading ecommerce player in the MENA region, where he headed the operations and built an in-house logistics department for the company to expedite deliveries. Prior to this he worked as a consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Idriss holds degrees from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris (Sciences Po) and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He is also a Rath and Fulbright scholar and Endeavor entrepreneur.
Jahangir Aka, Managing Director, joined the firm in January 2015 and is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Jahangir is responsible for managing and developing Neuberger Berman’s business in the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining Neuberger Berman, Jahangir was with SEI for 9 years, initially covering the UK and later established SEI’s presence in the Middle East. Earlier in his career, he spent nine years at Standard Chartered Bank, having worked in roles across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Formerly he was Head of Product, Sales, and Marketing for International and Private Banking based in London. Jahangir graduated from King’s College London with a BSc in Mathematics and Management.
Hasit Patel is Chief Operating Officer of the Ramco Group of Companies based in Kenya. The Ramco Group was established in 1948 and currently comprises of 41 companies spread across 5 countries in Africa with an annual turnover of over $280 million. The group operates in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda through a philosophy of building strong relationships and creating opportunities for people to grow. Hasit is passionate about learning, IT, strategy, innovation and high performance and is pushing the group towards a sweet spot between nimble family owned businesses and high performing corporates which, he strongly believes, could become the secret sauce that propels the Ramco Group to achieve its goal of becoming a billion-dollar business by 2025. Hasit received his BEng degree from Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine in London and joined the family business in 1997.
Amir Barsoum, is the CEO & Founder of Vezeeta.com During his Management Consultant role in McKinsey & Company, Amir served several Healthcare and FMCG entities in public and private sectors in Europe and MENA. He then led the strategy of MENA markets of AstraZeneca pharmaceuticals. Amir holds an MBA from the American University of Cairo, Bachelor of Pharmacy from Ain Shams University and an Executive Education Certificate from Harvard Business School about scaling startups. He is also an Endeavor Entrepreneur and on the Board of Directors of Endeavor Egypt and a Board Member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Together with his reputable educational background and profound work experience and knowledge of how different Healthcare systems operate in International Markets, Amir introduced Vezeeta end of 2014 – the first online booking platform in the region – that is today revolutionizing the healthcare industry by solving many pains including accessibility and medical data availability.
Since 2001, Mr Popal has managed several Australian entities dealing in various mining and exploration assets and conducting international trading. Mr Popal has held board positions on several ASX listed and unlisted companies and is currently the Chairman of Eclipse Metals Ltd - ASX (EPM) and Managing Director of Ghan Resources Pty Ltd. Mr Popal is also responsible as Chairman of Perth Mining online networking platform and overall holds directorship on several other Australian Companies advising on corporate governance, corporate structures and compliance. Mr Popal currently manages various business interests in the Australian exploration and mining industry with vast corporate experience in the mining sector. Recently Mr Popal successfully spearheaded negotiation with Rio Tinto as a global mining giant on Farm-in Joint Venture dealings on Australian uranium exploration tenements in the Northern Territory. As an Entrepreneur he is well versed in Perth mining community and brings about a wealth of corporate industry knowledge in fulfilling information asymmetry needed to provide a confident and secure commercial mining industry experience to prosper. Mr Popal is also accredited as a business leader and member of the CEO Institute of Western Australia. Since inception of his working courier, he has gained good communal learning experience in mining industry that could only be gained through exploring for mineral resources from the vast deserts of Australia. Growing up in his home city Perth, Western Australia, which is known as a leading global mining hub, has provided him practical mining industry knowledge, with subsequent corporate industry exposure running his office from Perth has shaped him with progressive pattern of thoughts in networking and achieving commercial success. He has over 15 years’ experience in business and property development and has managed various commercial dealings within a network of companies in various countries around the world including India, China and Malaysia.
Rob Leslie is the founder and CEO of Sedicii and Kyckr. Sedicii is a pioneer in the space of self-sovereign identity where it uses a patented zero-knowledge proof protocol to help people and businesses prove their identities in a fully privacy preserving manner. Rob has been named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer for his work with Sedicii utilising the zero-knowledge proof protocol and has been invited to speak at Davos on Cybersecurity, Identity and other technology issues affecting the world’s economies. In 2007 he co-founded Kyckr (ASX:KYK) which listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in September 2016 and provides organisational identity services for KYC & AML services to banks and other regulated financial institutions across the globe. Rob a qualified electronic engineer has a successful track record of establishing and growing businesses to considerable scale. He was part of the original management team in Dell Japan that established and grew the business to almost 300 employees and $300M turnover in 4 years. He also co-founded, grew and ultimately sold PTS Japan in 2000.
Saqr Mashhor Ereiqat is a Dubai based BlockChain Evangelist and Program Manager for IBM’s consulting arm Global Business Services. He has spent the majority of his decade at IBM leading complex projects across 23 Countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He has spent the past two years assisting clients to define their BlockChain agenda and has successfully led one of the first BlockChain Strategy Engagements for the Global Government Industry. His Global and Regional centric experience has helped him specialise in turning around complex programs and projects. His clients include DHL, Airtel, Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority, Smart Dubai Government Establishment and Shell to name a few.
Proud to be a ‘Cyber Coolie’ with a Lifetime Mission to Enable the Re-emergence of Samudra Bharat ! Samruddha Bharat !! Praful has an experience of 34 years in the Supply Chain Management industry. He co-founded and built Dynamic Logistics with his late father and brother from a modest beginning to enjoy the First Mover Advantage in the Indian Logistics industry. Dynamic Logistics is the pioneer of the 3rd Party Logistics concept in India and its claim to fame is having introduced the Just-In-Time Inventory System in TATA Motors, and also has the distinction of having set up the First Dry Port and the First Air Cargo Complex in the Private Sector in India. Building a great DNA is his contribution to Dynamic Logistics and his vision is to build Dynamic Logistics into an Institution. A product of the Port of Singapore, he has undergone training in Container Freight Station Management at Tanjong Pagar, in 1986. Praful has travelled widely to 48 countries across the world and has led and been a member of various Indian delegations abroad. Education is a passion with him and he has been a guest faculty at IIM-A, the Johnson Business School at Cornell University, the University of Warwick, Babson College in Boston, Symbiosis and many other educational institutions besides social organizations and clubs. He has been an athlete during his school and college days and is now an avid trekker and ultra marathoner. He summitted Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa in Feb, 2002.
Prior to his co-founder role at Altibbi, Ayman was a Vice President at IMENA Group, an internet investor and operator. His area of focus was corporate development which revolved around fund raising on the investment side; strategy, business intelligence and monetization on the operations side. Ayman also founded his own telehealth company in the US in 2011. Ayman holds an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. Ayman is passionate about entrepreneurship, he speaks Arabic natively and Spanish proficiently. He enjoys standup comedy and playing squash on a regular basis.
Anton Golub is a co-founder and Chief Research Officer (CRO) at Lykke Corp. He is an expert in financial applications of the Blockchain technology and computerized trading. Before Lykke Corp, Anton worked with Richard Olsen at Olsen Ltd, a pioneer hedge fund in the field of high frequency finance. At the age of 25, Anton was commissioned by UK Treasury to work on The Foresight Project - The Future of Computer Trading in Financial Markets. Anton was a Marie Curie fellow at Manchester Business School, where he analysed market microstructure and High Frequency Trading (HFT). Anton authored academic papers and book chapters, and participated in several European Union funded projects (Risk Management and Risk Reporting, Sophocles, BigDataFinance). Anton has a Masters degree from University of Zagreb and is a PhD candidate at Universite de Geneve.
Authoritative Middle East high tech multinational expert, Sam Blatteis, has spent the past 20 years at the center of Middle East economic policymaking. An American tech executive, global thought leader, and specialist on the Middle Eastern digital economy, Mr. Blatteis was Google’s previous government affairs chief in the Gulf countries. Sam sat at the table as GCC government leaders formulated and drafted key high tech laws impacting the region's massive technology industry. Blatteis has become the world's leading independent expert on the MENA digital economy, working with the highest levels of government on their digital economy investments. He has been routinely interviewed as an expert on Middle East strategic affairs in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Forbes. Sam is widely known as among the most well-connected people in the Middle East high tech arena. Mr. Blatteis previously worked in the U.S. Senate, the State Department, and Deloitte. His previous roles also included advising the White House, Fortune 500 Companies, and numerous head- of-state offices on Middle East innovation. Blatteis has a masters from Georgetown in Middle East Public Policy and studied Arabic and Chinese for five years, each. He has worked and lived in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Kuwait, Syria, Cairo, and the United States. He is from Silicon Valley, where his family has been for north of 100 years.
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