n the difficult times when the world is going through a pandemic, these ten business persons listed below are at the forefront of driving innovation in different sectors in the Middle East.
Chris Roberts, Eltizam
Chris joined Eltizam Asset Management Group in 2014 as the CEO. Since 2014, Eltizam Group has expanded from AED35m to AED 1bn+ in revenues in 2021 and from 3500 units in its OA/PM business to 100k+ units and now has 6500+ highly skilled employees.
One of his leadership's most significant accomplishments is the launch of "Get Wonky," Eltizam's organizational and business enhancement culture in 2019. Get Wonky is how Eltizam Group's employees see themselves -surrounded by boundaries but able to navigate their way towards clients' and customers' needs for positive business outcomes. Seeking to build on the organization's successful track record, Chris continuously works with his leadership team to challenge the status quo – encouraging both entities and team members to excel at what they do, ensuring customer happiness and employee well-being.
Looking forward, Chris is spearheading an aggressive technology-driven regional expansion strategy to deploy Eltizam's portfolio of business lines across the MENA region.
Fadi Yaish, ‿ and us
Fadi has been credited for making his clients, agencies, and the region famous. His work has been the only work from MENA in TED 10 Ads Worth Spreading, and it has been recognized with over 700 industry honors across the World.
He was the first creative director from his region to be ranked in the World's Top 10 in 2008 and Top 3 in 2015. He is the only ECD from his region that made it to the Top 5 Worldwide. #3 in 2015, #4 in 2016, #2 in 2017 and #2 in 2018. In late 2018, he established ‿ and us. And in less than three years, ‿ and us is considered the fastest growing agency in the Middle East with a sheer portfolio of clients that's is hard to get for any big agency size, needless to say, a young one.
Fadi Yaish is paving the way for a new way of thinking that reinvents how agencies do business in the region. It is not just redefining the creative status quo but truly offering clients what they need to achieve their business objectives and, most of the time, exceed them.
Peter Somers, Emirates Post
As CEO of Emirates Post, Peter Somers leads the company's strategic objectives to transform from a traditional postal operator into a state-of-the-art logistics player that offers qualitative and innovative solutions for shipping and receiving documents and parcels. Emirates Post will increase its retail footprint in the UAE, provide the best-last mile solutions and offer digital tools and products. Leveraging Dubai as a gateway to the Middle East, North Africa, and the world, Emirates Post is offering cross-border eCommerce shipping solutions to retailers and e-tailers around the globe.
With over 25 years of profound experience in the industry, Somers shares his knowledge and expertise with the team at Emirates Post.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski, Think Natalia
At 29, at the peak of Dr. Nat's career and unhappiness, she quit her job and started from scratch. She committed to designing her dream life(style) during a nine-month sabbatical and founded Think Natalia.
Her obsession is helping businesses to get more visibility, clients and become the voice of their niche through the art of social selling and authentic content marketing on LinkedIn. Dr. Nat consults and speaks globally, comes from Hanover (Germany), and lives in Dubai.
She started as a Social Scientist, turned into a Dr. of Philosophy, Personal Branding Strategist, Edutainer, bilingual Keynote Speaker, two times bestselling Author, Top 100 Leader in Education, and LinkedIn Marketing Unicorn with 110.000+ followers.
Books, biohacking, good food, and exploring human potential make her happy.
Hesham Elfeshawy, At Home Doc
The Covid-19 pandemic — perhaps the most unprecedented event of our time — has really been multiple pandemics in one. As some might describe as a black swan, it was ultimately the opposite with Hesham, the CEO who co-founded At-home-doc — Telemedicine and home visiting doctors licensed healthcare provider — with his twin brother Dr. Hatem in 2017.
With more than $4.35 million of venture funds raised, their bookings grew by 235% YoY in 2021, surpassing all projections.
In 2022, with a new non-disclosed round of fundraising, At-home-doc is determined to provide its insur-tech solution for corporates and individuals while leveraging its unique telemedicine solution.
"We are finally releasing our innovative frontend technology designed to squeeze out savings and efficiency from the current health insurance industry model while taking the user experience to a whole new level." Says Hesham.
Denko Mancheski, Reef
Born surrounded by tech, Denko Mancheski is a founder of one of the fastest-growing blockchains named Reef Chain. He was born and raised in Macedonia, lived in Slovenia for over seven years, currently lives in Dubai. Denko focuses on investing and delivering value in multiple sectors in the GCC region.
He started programming in early high school with C++ and did algorithmic competitions for a few years. Then, he started building commercial software and joined an ERP provider where he made complex modules still used today (warehousing, accounting, etc.). The next journey was healthcare - he joined one of the biggest healthcare platform providers in Europe, worked there for over 2.5 years, and led a team building a complex modeling tool for healthcare data.
Around seven years ago, he got into the blockchain landscape. His first experience was with the NXT blockchain, which turned into Ardor. The journey continued with Solidity (Ethereum) and Bitshares, Steem, and EOS. In 2020, he decided to entirely focus on Reef Chain and build the best user-centric blockchain infrastructure. Reef Chain integrates the best aspects from the most commonly used blockchains while maintaining full smart contract compatibility. Reef Chain is an EVM-compatible blockchain for DeFi and NFTs. It is fast, scalable, has low transaction costs, and does no wasteful mining. The blockchain is built with Substrate and comes with on-chain governance.
Navin Valrani, Al Shirawi Group of Companies
As Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Al Shirawi Group, the Dubai-headquartered conglomerate, Navin Valrani pursues lifelong learning as a personal goal and a core business strategy. After graduating from the Wharton School of Business, he completed his MBA at London Business School and got a Master's Degree in Education Entrepreneurship at Penn. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate and researching the efficacy of technology in the field of learning.
Navin has been with the Al Shirawi Group for over 28 years and has led various companies to market leadership in their respective industries. With the stability of the Al Shirawi Group and an IT infrastructure that is world-class, Navin believes that Al Shirawi Group's companies can not only take on international players but come out on top.
Navin's passions lie in the areas of female empowerment and teaching. He has endowed several scholarships for female students seeking higher education and oversees the renowned Junior MBA program, a business curriculum he founded and teaches at Arcadia School. His dedication to service and teaching led to him receiving the William B. Castetter Award and serving on the Board of Overseers at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education.
Mohammed Abbas, Wafy App and GT Medical
With a demonstrated history of working in the medical equipment and pharmaceuticals industry for a period spanning over 15 years, Mohammed Abbas, Founder and CEO of GT Medical (gtmedical.com), has been striking over 100% growth YoY for more than ten years consecutively while developing a sector-pioneering brand across Saudi Arabia.
The hunger for success didn't stop there. In 2016, Abbas ventured into founding an interactive platform, Wafy App (wafyapp.com), offering a complete guide to tourism, culture, sports, and entertainment for the Kingdom. Wafy App is a lively guide of all events taking place in Saudi's most popular cities, home to more than 4,500 land and sea experiences and a rich archive of 5,000+ articles. It is injected with fresh, daily content and features over half a million categorized businesses and places in a proprietary map. Wafy App netted a rising base of over 1.2 Million active users in 2021 alone in addition to ranking above 4.5/5.0 on both the App Store and Google Play – setting a record while registering unprecedented user adoption, even during the recent pandemic compared to platforms with relevant content.
The proven record associated with Abbas's upward trajectory is only evidence of what the future holds for GT Medical and Wafy App, especially since the ambition seems to be growing well beyond the borders of Saudi Arabia.
Ziad Rizk, Crayon
Ziad Rizk, Crayon CEO for the Middle East & Africa, leads the company's growth & transformation in the region as a customer-centric innovation and IT services company helping customers leverage the power of technology to drive the greater good.
Company Culture, People Empowerment, and Customer Obsession. Those are Ziad Rizk's key ingredients in creating a unique and disruptive approach to the market. As a result, Ziad grew the business to more than 2500 customers in the last five years and drove reach into 72+ countries across the MEA region, generating annual revenues of +1Bn AED.
With a global team of accredited experts, Crayon is now a major player in the software management, Cloud and Data & AI fields. "We help businesses make data-driven and cost-saving decisions while navigating the digital future. Combining technology with great talent is how we drive value and impact across MEA," said Ziad
Rakesh Y Madhur, Senior Business Executive
An entrepreneurial warrior outlook combined with strategy, analytical capability, and a result-driven approach at its helm makes Rakesh an excellent recourse leader. Starting, building, growing, and improving businesses and operations has set forth a trajectory of next-level growth for all that he has endeavored. Naturally oriented to drive poignant results, prompt decision making, and quick turnarounds define his professional style. His mantra remains 'people first.'
An impressive career in India had him make valuable contributions in various roles, starting as a frontline contributor and handling responsibilities up to a national level leader with leading telecom operators in India. Bringing his surcharged spirit to the Middle East, Rakesh has effortlessly impacted Telecom, CE retail spaces since 2011 in UAE. With multiple profit-making ventures behind him, he presently serves as a senior executive in the region's largest Consumer Electronics Retail Business. A well-rounded chief, his contributions are an asset to every enterprise and individual he chooses to serve.
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