RetailME ICONS: Find out more about the 100 most power retail leaders of MENA

August 16, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Name: Fawaz A. Alhokair

Company: Fawaz Alhokair Group

Designation: CEO

Fawaz Alhokair serves as the Chairman Fawaz Alhokair Group and is responsible for determining the Group’s strategies, aligning the strategic priorities of his executive leadership, and encouraging business innovation, which over the years has propagated and sustained growth. Fawaz has been the Chairman since the company’s inception in 1989 and throughout the intervening period of rapid growth, he gained valuable leadership experience and wide-ranging retail knowledge whilst also creating a compelling business model. Furthermore, he has been instrumental instrumental in engaging with the government of Saudi Arabia to enhance the role of women in the Saudi workplace.

Name: Majid Al Futtaim

Company: Majid Al Futtaim Group

Designation: Executive Chairman

Emirati business mogul and founder of one of the largest retail and real estate conglomerates in the region, Majid Al Futtaim established the Majid Al Futtaim Group in 1992. The Group now has a portfolio of the leading shopping malls, communities, retail and leisure centres across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. He has been credited to changing the face of retail, leisure and entertainment across the Middle East, starting with City Centre Deira in 1995. Under his vision and guidance, the Group operates 350 Carrefour stores in 17 countries, 500 VOX Cinemas, Ski Dubai, Ski Egypt, Dreamscape, Magic Planet amongst many more under the Group’s portfolio. Majid Al Futtaim is also amongst the wealthiest people in the Middle East with a net worth that stands at a $3.7 billion.

Name: Micky Jagtiani

Company: Landmark Group

Designation: Founding Chairman

Established as one of the most prominent retail personalities in Dubai today, Micky Jagtiani, began his retail journey in 1973 by selling baby products. He started the retail conglomerate, Landmark Group, which today employs 42,000 people worldwide, and operates a 30 million sqft. of retail space. As a constant innovator, Micky created and led more than 27 diverse brand concepts. He has spearheaded the growth of the Group across different regions and is known to have led by example to foster a culture of integrity throughout the years. The Group further diversified  into the leisure, food and hospitality sectors with Landmark Leisure, Balance Spa & Salon, Citymax Hotels, Fitness First and Foodmark.

Name: Mohamed Alabbar

Company: Emaar International

Mohamed Alabbar has had a huge role to play in the hyperbole’s associated with Dubai, being the man behind the world’s tallest building, biggest shopping mall, and the largest fountain show. Mohamed Alabbar is considered one of the key architects of Dubai’s economy and a massive driving force for the country’s overall development and growth. He has been a catalyst for the success of several regional brands including the Americana Group and Over the years he has developed class mixed use projects, including his retail businesses, across 20+ markets in the Middle East, North and Sub Saharan Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and South and South East Asia as well as the United States. Since 1977, Mohamed Alabbar with Emaar Group has been at the forefront of economic growth and development and continues to strive to bring innovative experiences to the residents and visitors of the UAE.

Name: Mohammed Alshaya

Company: Alshaya Group

Designation: Executive Chairman

Mohammed Abdulaziz Alshaya is the Executive Chairman of Alshaya Group, a dynamic multinational business and faimly-owned enterprise, which was founded in 1890 in Kuwait. He was appointed as CEO if the Group in 1990 and became Executive Chairman in 2007. As a world-leading franchise operator offering a rich choice of brands, services and experience to millions of customers, Alshaya’s portfolio extends across retail, food, leisure and hospitality, through to property investment, commercial trading, joint ventures and mall developments. Mohammed’s vision has seen the company grow from one retail franchise store in 1983 to becoming one of the world’s leading retail franchise businesses, with 70 brands, more than 4,000 stores, cafes and restaurants, over 100 e-commerce sites that employ 50,000 people from 120 nationalities.

Name: Yussufali MA

Company: Lulu Group International

Designation: Chairman and Managing Director

Known as a humble and visionary leader, Yussufali is one of Asia’s most well-known business personalities today. He began his retail journey during the height of the Gulf War in the early 90s by launching the first supermarket under the Lulu brand. Growing from one supermarket to department stores to eventually large format hypermarkets and shopping malls, he revolutionised the organised retail sector in the region. Yusuffali has burgeoned to establish a conglomerate with more than 110 hypermarkets and malls, with operational bases in 22 countries, which employs 57,000 people. Yusuffali has been credited to being a key contributor to the UAE’s economy with his company recording an annual turnover worth $8.4 billion. During the pandemic alone, the company hired 3,000 new staff. Earlier this year, under Yusuffali, the Group opened its first all-women store in Saudi Arabia.

Name: Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair

Company: Al Ghurair

Designation: Chairman

H.E Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, is the Chairman if Al Ghurair Investments, which has a range of diverse products under its portfolio including  Al Ghurair Retail. Founded in 1999, Al Ghurair Retail represents some of the world’s finest clothing, apparel and personal care brands. Today, the company enjoys a market presence in the UAE and Qatar, with a vision to mark a footprint across the GCC. It has more than 30 stores with over 110 employees working for its leading two brands, The Face Shop and Springfield, in the GCC. He has plans to expand The Face Shop in the UAE and broaden its e-commerce scope too. Al Ghurair Retail has also announced that it will be hosting 18 Spanish brands in the Spain pavillion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Name: Ahmad AR BinDawood

Company: BinDawood Holding

Designation: BinDawood and Danube

Ahmad is the CEO of BinDawood Holding which manages two key retail chains – BinDawood and Danube – across 74 hypermarkets and supermarkets in major Sauid Arabian cities and employs over 10,000 people across the Kingdom. He joined BinDawood Holding at the start of his career working his way up the ranks until he was appointed CEO of Danube in 2014 and BinDawood Holding in 2018. Ahmad has led BinDawood and Daube through a period of revitalisation and growth. Under his tenure, Danube grew from 9 branches to 47 branches, and BinDawood to 27 branches by December 2020, with ambitious expansion plans to open more stores across the Kingdom and regional markets in the coming years. He is also spearheading the digital transformation of BinDawood Holding’s business, embracing the latest retail innovations to foster transparency in the supply chain. Ahmad is also the driving force behind the award-winning e-commerce platform Danube Online and the Danube App.

Name: Ali Saeed Juma Albwardy

Company: Albwardy Investments

Designation: Founder

Al Albwardy founded Albwardy Investments in the UAE in the mid-1970s as a company that operates in a number of diverse and complementing business sectors ranging from food distribution and retail, construction, hospitality and hotel ownership. The Group has since grown to have a global reach, operating in over 20 countries, with a combined workforce of over 10,000 and an annual turnover of a billion dollars. Under its retail portfolio, it operates leading supermarket chains Spinneys, Waitrose and Al Fair. Spinneys has 51 retail outlets in the UAE and seven in Oman, while Waitrose has 13 stores in the UAE.

Name: Ali Bin Saeed Al Shamsi

Company: Al Shamsi Holdings

Designation: Chairman

Ali Al Shamsi established Al Shamsi Holdings in 2000 focusing on fashion retail in the region. It currently operates over 70 stores in the GCC, employing over 500 multinational staff. Recently the Group took a step towards enriching the in-store experience for its customers, by launching ASH>ONE, a Digital Catalogue Store Solutions as part of its loyalty scheme. Ali Runs the family-owned company, which has a well-established retail network that provides its current brands with a suitable platform to continually develop and perform above and beyond expectations.

Name: Antonio Gonzalez

Company: Sunset Hospitality Group

Designation: CEO

Antonio, a Spanish national, is one of the most highly accomplished hospitality entrepreneurs in the region. Possessing extensive knowledge of global hospitality markets, particularly the Middle East, Africa and the US, he has spent the last 12 years successfully transforming and expanding SHG’s impressive portfolio. As CEO, Antonio oversees all of SHG’s extensive operations and resources. He plays a key role in mapping out and driving forward strategic plans to bolster its portfolio of businesses and further cement SHG’s presences as one of the region’s leading international hospitality brands.

Name: Dr. Ata Atmar

Company: Bateel International

Designation: Managing Director

Ar. Ata Atmar joined Bateel in 1999 i  order to execute the company’s ambitious vision to market dates like Swiss premium chocolates. He elevated a revered ancient fruit to gourmet delicacies and created a luxury retail experience that launched an entire new market for dates. Today, Ata can proudly say that he has fulfilled his task of creating an opulent experience for customers around dates as Bateel has now become a brand that provides the ultimate indulgence and gifting experience, and is at the forefront of food innovation.

Name: Dr. Azad Moopen

Company: Aster DM Healthcare

Designation: Founder Chairman and Managing Director

Ar. Azad Moopen’s journey in developing the healthcare sector of the region has been phenomenal. Starting from a single doctor clinic in Dubai in 1987, Aster DM Healthcare has grown over the 33 years into a global healthcare conglomerate of more than 380 facilities spread across seven countries. Among its many establishments are the 225 Aster pharmacies in the GCC. He revolutionised the healthcare service in the region by creating a healthcare model and facilities which are accessible to different income groups and masses.

Name: Azza Fahmy

Company: Azza Fahmy Jewellery

Designation: Founder

50 years ago Azza Fahmy initiated her journey towards being one of the most esteemed jewellery designers in the MEA region. The history of the brand began when Azza Fahmy discovered a German art book about the classical jewellery of Medieval Europe at an Egyptian book fair igniting her passion for jewellery design. Today, the brand’s retail operation comprises of over 14 retail doors across the MEA including owned and operated boutiques with recent additions of their first London store in Burlington Arcade and a US ‘pop-up’ at Waldorf Astoria in LA, plus retail clients in the US, London, online and their own online boutique –

Name: Colm Mcloughlin

Company: Dubai Duty Free

Designation: CEO and Executive Vice Chairman

Colm Mcloughlin was a member of the consultancy team from Aer Rianta, the Irish Airport Authority, which was contracted by the Dubai Government to launch the new Duty Free operation in 1983. He remained in Dubai as General Manager of the new operation, later becoming the Managing Director and Vice Chairman and CEO. Under the Vision of the the Vice Executive Officer, Dubai Duty FRee has grown significantly over the past 37 years, growing from US $20 million on 1984 to over $2 billion on 2019.

Name: Dr. Dhananjay Datar

Company: Al Adil Trading

Designation: Chairman and Managing Director

Popularly known as the Masala King, Dr. Dhananjay is a self-made entrepreneur, who started his career in 1984 as an intern in a small grocery shop established by his father in Dubai. Over the years, he has managed to grow Al Adil from a tiny shop to a group that encompasses a chain of 49 spacious super stores spread across the GCC, two spice factories, and two flour mills equipped with modern technology. Dr. Dhananjay’s rags to riches success story hasn’t just proved to be inspirational for many in the region, but has also been noticed by the rulers of the UAE as a result of which he was bestowed the title of Masala King in 2001 for his contribution to the economy.

Name: Dorgham Shaaban

Company: BRANDS International

Designation: Chairman

Dorgahm Shaaban is the Chairman of BRANDS, a luxury formal fashion company established in the UAE with more than 50 stores across three countries. He started his career with his father’s wholesale meat and food stuff business in Abu Dhabi and played a huge role in keeping it at the forefront of the industry for several years. After having realised his true passion and earning and name for himself, Dorgaham opened the first BRANDS’ store in 2014. Presently, the company has over 500 employees and maintains its high product calibre through close-knit connections with renowned manufacturers worldwide.

Name: Fahad Abdullah Al Othaim

Company:  Al Othaim Investment Company

Designation: Chairman

Fahad Al Othaim has led the Al Othaim Group to new heights through his passion, dedication and commitment to building the knowledge base within his teams. He was an early adopter in establishing and quickly growing the entertainment business in the GCC. The indoor amusement center business forms a key revenue pillar at the Al Othaim Group. Under him, the company is currently working on implementing large multi-use development projects in Riyadh. He also ensured that salaries were not reduced, managed controllable costs which helped conserve cash, honoured commitments made to vendors during the period in which malls were closed due to the pandemic.

Name: Firoz Merchant

Company: Pure Gold Jeweller

Designation: Chairman

With 45 years of entrepreneurial experience, Firoz Merchant is one of the top business leaders and philanthropists in the region today. Since 1989, he has driven Pure Gold Group’s transformation and multinational expansion strategy – spurring a net worth of USD $1 billion. Under his leadership, he revitalised a one-store company into a multinational corporate group – that has a 10-fold increase in operation profit.

Name: Ibrahim Sharaf

Company: Sharaf Group

Designation: Chairman

The Sharaf Group operates under the guidance of its Chairman, Ibrahim Sharaf, that has helped the brand grow exponentially since its inception in 1975.  The Group has a diversified portfolio and operates in 40 countries across the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Ibrahim is responsible for over 9500 people and hosting multiple international electronic and technology products under its portfolio. Under him, Sharaf DG has now become a household name in the region for technology.

Name: Hisham, Kamal and Wissam Al Mana

Company: Al Mana Group

Designation: Directors

The three Al Mana brothers own and operate the Al Mana Group, a Qatari conglomerate operating in most areas of retail including luxury, fashion, home interiors, watches and jewellery. The company was founder by their father, the late Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana, in 1951. With over 300 stores in eight countries, Al Mana operates 55 brands across retail, food and beverage, technology, media and entertainment.

Name: Ingie Chalhoub

Company: Etoile Group

Designation: Founder and Managing Director

Over the last 25 years, Ingie has built a strong presence inside the GCC in countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Lebanon. Revolutionising the regional fashion industry, Ingie launched Etoile ” La boutique”. This concept store brought many international brands to the Middle East fore the first time. With a strong presence in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Riyadh, each store portrayed a unique theme relevant to its region, with a well thought-out collection in each store.

Name: Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari

Company:  Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari Group

Designation: Executive Co-Chairman and Owners

Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari are the Owners and Executive Co-Chairmen of the Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari Group, which is a leading UAE business conglomerate based in Dubai. The brothers’ vision and passion for entrepreneurship has driven the Group to diversify its portfolio from just a cold storage to entertainment and real estate. Building a theme park like IMG Worlds of Adventure is an ambition that the owners have had for as long as they can remember. It is one of the world’s largest indoor theme park that spans across a vast 1.5 million sqft. and includes 25 original retail concept stores, 28 F&B outlets, and has over 800 employees.

Name: Isobel Abulhoul

Company: Magrudy’s

Designation:  Co-Founder

Isobel co-founded Magrudy’s in 1975  and has been in-charge since its inception. The journey began as an educational toy and bookstore hwich remains at the heart of their operations even today. Over the years the company has branched out in the UAE and currently operates in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah and across various universities as the sole operator of campus bookstores. Isobel has led the brand through countless hurdles as well as helped them become a household name for students and parents alike. Acknowledging the obstacles placed by the pandemic on their brick-and-mortar stores, Isobel helped Magrudy’s adapt and launch an online platform. Isobel also founded and directed the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, from its inception until 2019.

Name: Jacky Panjabi

Company: Jacky’s Group of Companies

Designation: Group Managing Director

Jacky Panjabi is the Group Managing Director and Co-Founder for the Jacky’s Group of Companies, which was founded in 1970 in Hong Kong alongside the support of his older brother. Jacky’s opened its outlet in Dubai in 1985 before opening its first retail outlet under the Jacky’s Electronics name in 1988. The Group maintains a strong standing in the electronics and home appliances markets. Jacky is still actively involved in the business and continues to push limits, encourage innovations, and contribute to the electronics retail ecosystem of the region.

Name: Jamal Hussain

Company: Kibsons International

Designation: Managing Director

Jamal Hussain took over the reign fore Kibsons, the largest importer of fruits and vegetables in the Middle East, in 1997. Kibsons International has grown to occupy a pre-eminent position in the fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry industry in the UAE. Under Jamal and his wife and company director Halima Jumani’s leadership, its retail operations have flourished, making them on of the e-commerce pioneers within the fresh produce industry. Jamal’s leadership also enabled the company to bring in global brands including British brand Sainsbury’s to the Middle East.

Name: Lal Ganwani

Company: Lals Group

Designation: Owner

Lal Ganwani established Lals Group in 1979 as a household name in the the retail segment throughout the GCC with Dubai as its headquarters. Over the years, Lal has managed to grow the conglomerate to operate 200+ retail stores occupying an area of over 1.6 million stft. in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, KSA and Iraq. Today the Group employs over 3000 people, while continuing to expand an innovate as well as reinvent shopping experiences.

Name: Joy Alukkas

Company: Joyalukkas Group

Designation: Chairman and Managing Director

Joy Alukkas started his entrepreneurial journey in the UAE with a single jewellery showroom, which has now grown to become a 150 plus outlets chain, spread across 11 countries. He had the foresight to open the world’s largest showroom in Chennai, considered the jewellery hub of India. The Group features 150 jewellery showrooms, 60 Joyalukkas exchanges, 4 Jolly Silk stores and 3 Jewellery manufacturing units. Joy Alukkas revolutionised jewellery retailing through many innovative initiatives managed by his well-trained staff of over 8000 personnel.

Name:Kamal Jamjoom

Company: Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group

Designation: Chairman

Kamal Jamjoom is the Owner and Chairman of Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group LLC. The Group was launched in 1987 and currently employs over 3000 staff across seven countries . Under Kamal, the KOJ Group acquired The Body Shop Stores in the UAe, and became the exclusive distributors and operators of The Body Shop retail stores in the UAE. The Group launched endless aisle fulfilment and click-and-collect across over 500 retail stores. Kamal also announced the establishment of Nayomi’s first-of-its-kind virtual store in the Middle East and ELC’s new marketplace business model recently. Today KOJ owns and operates more than 650 stores across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Morocco.

Name: Khalid Al Tayer

Company: Al Tayer Insignia

Designation: Managing Director

Khalid al Tayer is the Managing Director of Al Tayer Insignia, the retail business of Al Tayer Group, after being appointed as its CEO from 2011 to 2019. Al Tayer Insignia represents over 60, luxury, lifestyle, beauty and hospitality brands as well as its proprietary luxury e-commerce site, where Khalid is CEO. Khalid has spearheaded Joint Venture arrangements with Kering, Prada Group, Ermenegildo Zegna, Brunello Cucinelli, Jimmy Choo, Thom Browne, and MCM.

Name: Khurshid Vakil

Company: Marina Home Interiors

Designation: Co-Founder

Khurshid Vakil is the Co-Founder of Marina Retail Corporation, under which Marina Home Interiors retail chain operates. The home decor company is headquartered in Dubai and operates its large format stores across most Middle East markets, North Africa and the sub-continent. Khurshid directly employs 750 staff regionally and manages 850,000 sqft. of retail space. He remains at the forefront of Marina Home’s expansion and brand building strategy with a vision to take the brand forward globally through company-owned operations and franchise licensing.

Name: LT Pagarani

Company: Choithrams

Designation: Chairman

At the age of 35, LT Pagarani took over Choithrams’ hospitals and schools, and eventually became Chairman of the Group most well-known for it community supermarkets that have no integrated itself in UAE’s culture since its launch in 1974. Under his leadership, the supermarket chain has growm to over 70 stores across the GCC and operates in other verticals including production, distribution and HORCEA with a turnover of billions of dirhams.

Name: Mikdad Babhrawala

Company: Western Furniture

Designation: CEO

Mikdad Bhabrawala has placed profound footprints in the UAE and GCC’s pathway to becoming a leader in the premium luxury furniture retail sector. He resumed his duties as General Manager of Western Furniture since the company’s establishment in 1992. Through relations with designers and an incredible knowledge of the market and the region he was able to establish Western Furniture in the MENA as a known name in the home retail space, with the strongest presence being in the UAE.

Name: Mohammad A. Baker

Company: Gulf Marketing Group (GMG)

Designation: Deputy Chairman and CEO

A dynamic Emirati entrepreneur, Mohammad A. Baker has a passion for driving change and progress. Mohammad has led the activation of anew strategic plan during his time as Deputy Chairman and cEO of GMG, having assessed where the business was a at and planning for its ambitious long-term growth. He is responsible for approximately 9,000 employees and believes in investing in people. GMG, under Mohammad’s leadership, has introduced more than 90 brands into the Middle EAst, including Nike, Vans, Columbia, and North Face. Today, he works closely with GMG’s leadership team to live its vision of inspiring people to win in ways that make the world better.

Name: Mohamed Al Zaabi

Company: Miral

Designation: CEO

As CEO, Mohamed Al Zaabi oversees the management of Miral’s expanding portfolio on Yas Island and in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Under his management, Miral’s assets have expanded, including strategic developments across both Yas Island, one of the top global destinations for entertainment and leisure, and other areas of Abu Dhabi. Mohamed has plans to expand Miral’s operations over the coming years by introducing exciting experiences equipped with high-end technology and add more entertainment and leisure venues under its portfolio.

Name: M.A. Ashraf Ali

Company: Lulu Group International

Designation: Executive Director

Ashraf Ali, the younger brother of Lulu Group’s Chairman M.A. Yussufali, is the force behind the company’s aggressive expansion and operations across the globe. Starting from the shop floor as a supervisor, he worked his way up the ranks to take on bigger and more diverse responsibilities in the 40+ years he has spend with The Group. Ashraf Ali has been playing a key-role in the rebranding and launch new generation hypermarkets with state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure. Apart from physical stores, Ashraf Ali heads the e-commerce initiatives of the Group, which already has a strong foothold in the UAE.

Name: Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg

Company: Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group LLC

Designation: Managing Director

Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg is the Vice President and Managing Director of Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, a multidivisional conglomerate with 27 companies. She is well-known businesswoman in the Middle East, who has carved a niche for herself in the region due to her support and encouragement of Arab women entrepreneurs. In 2020, she was awarded the Legion of Honor, Chavelier by President of France Emmanuel Macron, in appreciation of her outstanding efforts in strengthening partnership between France and the UAE.

Name: Naim Maadad

Company: Gates Hospitality

Designation: CEO and Founder

With over 39 years in the hospitality world across Australia, Asia and the Middle East in various senior management roles, Naim has launched and operated some of the world’s best hotels, resorts, spas and lifestyle food and beverage concepts. Naim’s career has  exposed him to some of the best properties around the world and he was orchestrated several openings and operations. Under him, Gates Hospitality now has around 1000 employees and made AED150 million int the past year.

Name: Naresh Kumar Bhawnani

Company: West Zone Group

Designation: Chairman

Hailing from a middle-class family in MP, Naresh started his career at the age of 15 in India and thenn established the Group on 2nd December 2004 on UAE National Day in Mirdif. Since then, West Zone has emerged as a household name, with more than 125 operational stores. Over the span of 16 years Naresh has successfully diversified and expanded The West Zone Group’s portfolio to include supermarkets, hypermarkets, logistic facilities and malls. Currently he employs 5000 employees and manages about 2 million sqft. of retail area.

Name: Nizar Choucair

Company: Patchi

Designation: Founder

Nizar Choucair had an admiration for chocolate since age 11. Through his original vision he wanted to create a chocolate gifting service to help customers create memories and add personality to his brand. He opened the first boutique on Hamra Street in Beirut, Lebanon. As part of its expansion, Patchi opened its newest retail concept in Saudi Arabia. It represents the first boutique-of-its-kind for Patchi in Saudi Arabia, characterised by its focus on customer experience.

Name: Omar Al Futtaim

Company: Al Futtaim Group

Designation: Vice Chairman

Omar Al Futtaim is the Vice Chairman of Al Futtaim Group (AFG), one of the most progressive regional family business conglomerates, head-quartered in Dubai inthe UAE. As Vice Chairman and CEO of this third generation privately owned business, Omar is responsible for leading and growing the business across five business verticals: automative, financial services, real estate, retail and health. Today AFG is present in more than twenty different markets across Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia and employs in excess of 42,000 employees. Under Omar’s leadership, many of Al Futtaim’s existing brands have made headways in innovating customer experience.

Name: Pankaj Khimji

Company: Khimji Ramdas

Designation: Director

Pankaj Khimji is the 5th generation business leader of Khimji Ramdas, one of the most prominent conglomerates of Oman founded in 1870. Among its retail arms is Spar, the world’s largest supermarket chain, which was brought to Oman by Khimji Ramdas. Pankaj takes keen interest in initiatives to equip young Omanis with the requisite skills to start their own businesses. One such initiative that he was very closely involved with is the Sanad services, which paved the way for fostering an entrepreneurial culture in the country.

Name: Patrick Chalhoub

Company: Chalhoub Group

Designation: CEO

Patrick began his career in 1979 when he decided to become involved in the realisation of his father’s vision to build a bridge between the East and the West and be the ambassador of luxury in the region. In 1990, he created a regional distribution platform in the Jebel Ali Free Zone with Fendi, L’Oreal, Dior Perfumes and Puig. For nearly 30 years, Patrick has been fully involved in strategic development of the business to guarantee long-term success.  As such, he continues to expand the Group’s distribution, retail business, marketing and communication and activities and is also eager to strengthen the Group’s support services in terms of of offer and skills and is very engaged in the Group’s digital transformation.

Name: Paras Shadadpuri

Company: Nikai Group

Designation: Chairman

Paras founded the Nikai Group in Dubai in 1987 and has transformed it into a global conglomerate over the past 20 years. Today, the Nikai Group, which offers over 400 home appliances and electronics and has over 60 million customers, has business interests in electronics, appliances, food products and FMCG amongst other arms, with offices in the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Georgia and China.

Name: Ram Buxani

Company: ITL-Cosmos Group

Designation: Chairman

Dr. Ram Buxani has been an integral part of the evolution of ITL-Cosmos Group, the first company to secure a decree by the then ruler of Dubai, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum to operate commercially. Over the past six decades, he has devoted himself to the growth and diversification of the Group into a shining example of retail experience. Today, the Group has strong interests in consumer electronics retail, information technology, textiles and banking.

Name: Rami and Ihsan Abu Ghazaleh

Company: ALBAIK

Designation: CEO and Chairman

Rami and Ihsan Abu Ghazaleh run ALBAIK, Saudi Arabia’s leading fast food chain, which began operations in 1974 in the city of Jeddah. Their father, later Shakour Abu Ghazaleh signed an exclusive agency agreement with a company abroad for usage of proprietary deep-fried chicken spice blends and equipment, being the first in the market to introduce the “broast” chicken concept in all of Saudi Arabia.

Name: Tawhid Abdullah

Company: Jawhara Jewellers

Designation: CEO

Tawhid Abdullah is the CEO of Jawhara Jewellers, a company with roots that date back to 1907. He is also the Chairman of Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, the largest trade body for Dubai’s jewellery industry with around 600 members representing all sectors of the trade. He has been credited to bringing innovation and progressing Dubai’s gold industry and has been actively involved in initiatives the bring the Emirate’s vibrant gold retail ecosystem together.

Name: Renuka Jagtiani

Company: Landmark Group

Designation: Chairwoman and CEO

For over 25 years, Renuka has guided the Landmark Group’s corporate strategy and grown the fashion and hospitality businesses for the region’s leading retail and hospitality conglomerate in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent. A cornerstone of the Group’s journey, Renuka was instrumental in creating the high-street fashion brand Splash in 1993. In her current role, Renuka oversees all retail and hospitality operations, leading strategic growth through expansion into new markets and driving the Group’s CSR initiatives. Under her leadership, the Group forayed into e-commerce and invested in MENA region’s largest privately-owned logistics and distribution hub, with a vision to reach the customers, no matter where they shop.

Name: Rizwan Sajan

Company: Danube Group

Designation: Founder and Chairman

Rizwan Sajan is a business leader and visionary who raised his business empire from a two-member husband-wife team way back in 1993 to a multi-billion dollar sustainable diversified business conglomerate with nine business spread across 50 locations in 10 countries employing more than 3,600 people. He is one of the most prominent UAE businessmen, who is a strong voice of the private sector and an advocate of the UAE’s economy.

Name: Malik, Salim, Rahimo and Moez Sacoor

Company: Sacoor Brothers

Designation: Founders

The four Sacoor Brothers founded their family business in November, 1989 in Lisbon, Portugal. Today, the retail fashion brand is present in 19 countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia as well as online and employs almost 1,000 people globally. After successfully making a mark in the men’s collection for 32 years, the brand proceeded to create dedicated women, kids and outlet stores collections. After expanding worldwide, the four brothers recognised an opportunity in the market which ignited a new brand named Sacoor One, targeting the millennial generation with its hip identity and stores replicating a New York loft complete with a kitchen and even a bedroom.

Name: Sima Ganwani Ved

Company: Apparel Group

Designation: Founder and Chairwoman

Siman Ganwani Ved, whose entrepreneurial journey started at the age of 23 with one retail store, is the the founder and Chairwoman of Apparel group, one of the largest retailers in the Middle East based out of the UAE. The company is home to 75+ brands with over 1,750 stores in 14 countries employing more than 16,000 people. Under her vision for expansion, the Group operated close to 2000 stores by the end of 2020, carving a strong presence under her leadership not only in GCC but also in South Africa, India, Singapore and Indonesia.

Name: Thomas Lundgren

Company: THE One

Designation: Founder

Born in Sweden, Thomas Lundgren moved to Dubai in 1993 after a brief stay in Kuwait. After landing in the UAE in 1996, Thomas Lundgren founded THE One, which currently has over 530 employees. Currently the brand has over 21 stores in 7 countries in the MENA region.

Name: Tony Salame

Company: Aishti

Designation: Chairman

Lebanese-Italian businessman and art collector, Tony Salame started Aishti in 1989 as an emporium for edgy fashion labels. Since its inception, the company has grown from a one-shop operation into a luxury empire, even expanding into other domains including home furnishing, publishing, restaurants, spas and art. Under his leadership, Aishti has grown to become an undisputed fashion and luxury products market leader in Lebanon.

Name: Tony Jashanmal

Company: Jashanmal Group

Designation: Group President

Born in Kuwait in 1947, Tony Jashanmal started his career with the Jashanmal Group of Companies in 1971 and is presently the Executive Board Member of the Group, which has retail and wholesale distribution businesses throughout the Arabian Gulf as India. During his career at Jashanmal he established several new businesses within the company in sectors such as print media, men’s accessories, tobacco and fashion, rebuilt Kuwait operations following the Gulf War in the early 90s, drove the Group’s expansion into India and established many of the joint ventures that the Group is part of today.

Name: Toufic Kreidieh

Company: Brands For Less

Designation: CEO

As the Co-Founder and CEO of BFL Group, Toufic established a corporate structure to be quite functional. Under his leadership the company has been steadily growing and has reached an annual revenue of more than AED1 billion and a continued growth in sales and revenue, with an average rate of 38 per cent. Toufic’s vision expansion is to lead the BFL Group across the Middle East and Europe, and expansion plans are underway in Kuwait and Oman, and soon in Saudi Arabia.

Name: Waleed Al Khaldi

Company: Zohoor Alreef

Designation: Founder

Zohoor Alreef was founded by brothers Waleed and Faisal Al Khaldi in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia in 1991. Under Waleed’s guidance and keen business acumen the brand now has 250 stores across the GCC with more plans for expansion. Under Waleed’s leadership the brand made a revenue of $24 million in the past year.

Name: Wassim G Daher

Company: AZADEA Group

Designation: Chairman

Wassim is the Chairman of AZADEA Group, a premier lifestyle retail company, which was launched in 1978. The Group currently owns and operates more than 40 leading international franchise concepts representing international brand names in fashion and accessories, food and beverage, home furnishings, sporting goods, multimedia and beauty and cosmetics. With 10,000 employees, the company boasts a solid infrastructure overseeing more than 550 stores spread across 14 infrastructures overseeing more than 550 stores spread across 13 countries.

Name: Yousuf Badri

Company: Eros Group

Designation: Chairman and Managing Director

Yousuf Badri manages the 54 year-old Eros Group that has over 1000 employees and retails in 50,000 sqft. The organisation specialises in retailing consumer electronics, mobility, IT, Home Appliances and convergence products. Under Yousuf’s vision to capture the regional market, the brand grew out of their single store and now retails in over 17 locations, being the preferred distributor for many international brands in the UAE.

Name: Yasser Beydoun

Company: Brands For Less

Designation: Managing Partner and Co-Founder

The BFL Group was established in 1996 in Lebanon by Yasser Beydoun and Co-Founder Toufic Kreidieh. Yasser has been with the company throughout its journey across the Middle East as its Managing Partner and Co-Founder. The company was well ahead of the curve as Yasser initiated BFL Group’s first e-commerce presence in 2013, a platform they still benefit today. The Group launched over 12 stores in the UAE during 2020 and is set to launch more than 10 stores as part of the 2021 expansion.

Name: Vidya Chhabria

Company: Jumbo Electronics LLC

Designation: Chairperson

Vidya Chhabria is the Chairperson of the diversified business conglomerate, Jumbo Electronics LLC. She has been leading the company for almost 20 years directing its way with optimism and integrity in the 21st century. Vidya has been at the helm of Jumbo Group after her late husband Manu Chhabria established Jumbo as one of the first and largest technology distribution, retail and enterprise solutions businesses in the region. Under her, the Group employs 2500 employees across. The electronics retailer works with key premium brands including Sony, Dyson, Weber, Laurastar and Du.

Name: Faraz Khalid


Designation: CEO

Before joining Noon as CEO, Faraz was busy leading operations at fashion e-commerce firm Namshi, which he co-founded in 2011. A few years later, he was recruited by noon, that now has over 2,500 employees. Boasting his local market knowledge, after his appointment, he immediately turned his focus to increasing noon’s presence while providing customers with a transformational e-commerce experience.

Name: Hisham Zarka


Designation: Managing Director and CTO

Hisham started his entrepreneurial journey in e-commerce in 2011, when he co-founded Namshi. After its acquisition by Emaar, he moved to noon to lead its digital operations and serve as its Managing Director. During the pandemic, to curb the spread of the virus, noon moved to a cashless payment system. Responding to rampant surge in demand, Hisham helped establish “noon Daily”, which would enable customers to get next day deliveries of all essentials and groceries at no minimum cost.

Name: Huda Kattan

Company: Huda Beauty

Designation: Founder and Chairwoman

Named one of the 25 most influential people on the internet, Huda Kattan is the founder of Huda Beauty, one of the fastest growing beauty brands worldwide. She is an entrepreneur, internationally recognised beauty authority, Hollywood-trained makeup artist and content creator. Guided by her expertise and keen eye for detail, Huda founded her eponymous cosmetics brand Huda Beauty in 2013. Huda launched false eyelashes into Sephora in The Dubai Mall. The launch immediately shattered records in the Middle East and soon after in the United States. Today, the billion-dollar company has more than 250 employees globally and has been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to customer engagement.

Name: Kunal Kapoor

Company: The Luxury Closet

Designation: Founder

Kunal founded The Luxury Closet in 2011 as a luxury resale marketplace for items like handbags, clothes, watches and jewellery, focusing on hard-to-find brands like Chanel, Rolex and Cartier in the new capital of luxury – Dubai. The Luxury Closet has raised over $18 million in funding from leading regional investors like MEVP and Wamda Capital and serves clients across the globe representing 85 countries, with 10 million unique visitors annually and 2 million plus members.

Name: Leena Khalil

Company: Mumzworld

Designation: CCO and Co-Founder

Alongside her partner Mona Ataya, Leena co-founded Mumzworld, which has undergone tremendous growth since its launch in 2011. Mumzworld is now the leading mother, baby and child platform in the region after disrupting the entire e-commerce market with their various products that focus on building a community for mothers rather than just a transactional space. Through Leena’s strategies, the brand has grown ten-fold in the last five years and its employee base has tripled since.

Name: Majed M. Al Tahan

Company: AYM Commerce and Danube Online

Designation: Founder and CEO, Aym and Co-Founder and MD, Danube Online

Majed M.Al Tahan is an award-winning entrepreneur and e-commerce leader in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a great passion to impact the apps market. Majed recognised that e-commerce was the missing element in Saudi’s retail landscape and he grabbed the opportunity to begin his journey to build the first ever online service for grocery shopping in the Kingdom. In 2016, he founded AYM Commerce as the platform to power the technology needed to revolutionise the Middle East’s e-commerce grocery space and set up Danube Online.

Name: Mona Ataya

Company: Mumzworld

Designation: CEO and Founder

Mona Atay has proven to be one of the Middle East’s most prominent entrepreneurs. A transformational leader and change agent, Mona pioneered the e-commerce vertical space with in 2011 fo all things mother, baby and has since been leading this vertical. Mona’s constant and consistent driver for growth and innovation has led to the staggering success of the company over the past nine years.

Name: Ronaldo Mouchawar

Company: and Amazon

Designation: Vice President of Amazon MENA, CEO and Co-Founder of

Ronaldo Mouchawar is a Syrian-American entrepreneur and a pioneer of e-commerce in the MENA region. He co-founded Group and served as its CEO. He grew the company into the largest e-commerce retailer in the Arab world. Amazon acquired for $580 million in 2017. Mouchawar currently serves as the Vice President of Amazon MENA, spearheading the business across the region. Mouchawar has also served as a board director for Instashop, a homegrown UAE grocery app, after investing in the business in 2017.

Name: Abdul Nazar

Company: Life Pharmacy

Designation: Chairman and Managing Director

Starting with just a single store, Abdul Nazar has grown Life Pharmacy over the last 25 years to operate over 250 retail outlets throughout the UAE consisting of pharmacies, healthcare hypermarkets, health and wellness stores catering to an annual customer base of more than ten million walk-ins. Abdul Announced the launch of the pharmacy’s official online portal where it offers a wide range of products that cater to daily need including medicines, cosmetics, lifestyle products and healthcare equipment. Under his tenure the group has been lauded for many firsts in the region including the first healthcare hypermarket in the GCC. Today, the Group is the largest healthcare retailer in the region.

Name: Abdulla Ajmal

Company: Ajmal Perfumes

Designation: Deputy COO

Abdulla Ajmal holds the distinction of being the first of the third generation to join Ajmal Perfumes. Having served the business in various aspects , Abdulla has worked his way up and at present hold the post of Deputy COO of Ajmal Perfumes. During his tenure, he developed the French aligned fragrance line within Ajmal Perfumes and succeeded to diversify Ajmal’s clientel through an effective brand-positioning strategy. His mission is to introduce Ajmal Perfumes to more countries in the region and worldwide.

Name: Adel Sajan

Company: Danube Group

Designation: Director

Born into a business family, Adel’s introduction into the business world started from a young age of 13. After graduating, he took charge of the retail wing of the Group, bringing in new ideas, fresh perspectives and cultivating a family-like culture for the 2000+ employees under him. Under his leadership, Danube Home has grown by 40%-50% year-on-year over the last five years despite a tough retail market. The Group also opened 27 franchise stores globally in more than 10 countries making Danube Home a global brand.

Name: Affan Al Khoori

Company: aswaaq

Designation: Deputy CEO

Affan Al Khoori’s first role was an Area Manager Trainee with EPPCO. this role offered Affan the opportunity to interact with EPPCO’s large customer base and an ethnically diverse market. During his career at aswaaq, Affan has held the positions of Category Manager, Director – Merchandising and Buying, Executive Director – Retail and COO, and in 2015 was appointed as Deputy COO. Affan remains committed to finding the most innovative customer service techniques and the technologies that can enable them.

Name: Ahmed Ragab

Company: BRG Holding

Designation: CEO

Ahmed Ragab is the Group CEO of Egypt-based BRG Holding. Ahmed has successfully launched three private labels in different segments. One of his key contributors has been crafting and executing iconic collaboration with regional figures, which have facilitated the broadening of market relations for the company. He has steered the company towards the right path during difficult times and tackled every crisis and evolved during key situations like political unrest in Egypt, economic uncertainty in the country among other hurdles.

Name: Amit Dhamani

Company: Dhamani Jewels

Designation: Managing Director

Amit Dhamani is the second generation jeweller who has made a significant impact on the worldwide jewellery industry specifically in the GCC region. In the last 30 years, under his forward thinking leadership and modern style of management the Group has managed to develop a strong corporate identity. Amit has been pivotal in enabling the company transform into a well-recognised jewellery brand among many fashionistas.

Name: Alain Bejjani

Company: Majid Al Futtaim

Designation: CEO

In February 2015, Alain Bejjani was named CEO of Majid Al Futtaim -Holding. As CEO, Alain led the fundamental shift of Majid Al Futtaim into a strategic architect and institutional shareholder for the Group. Under his leadership, the company grew its revenues, profits, employment and geographic footprint; established the Majid Al Futtaim Leadership Institute; launched a Net Positive strategy, targeting a positive corporate footprint by 2040. Majid Al Futtaim Retail’s online sales increased by 188% across all markets, contributing 3% of its total revenue in 2020.

Name: Anuraag Sinha

Company: Liali Jewellery

Designation: Managing Director

Laili Jewellery was established in June 1999 by Raed Ahmed Baker and Anuraag Sinha. AS it stands today, Liali Jewellery boasts 23 outlets in the most of UAE, Oman and Bahrain’s landmark locations. Liali, under Anuraag’s guidance, innovatively replenished their stock by recycling and converting older stick endeavouring to optimise profits while also expanding the brand into the digital sphere by integrating an e-commerce platform to help facilitate customer wants despite them not being able to visit the store.

Name: Ashish Panjabi

Company: Jacky’s Retail LLC

Designation: COO

Ashish Panjabi runs Jacky’s Retail LLC, which operates Samsung Brand Shops across the UAE; Jacky’s Electronics, a multi-brand electronics retailer is a partner in Cutting Edge Solutions FZE, a company focused on supplying high quality finishing products for printing, manufacturing and fabrication industries. As COO of both Jacky’s Electronics and Jacky’s Retail LLC, Ashish managed to reverse the impact of the pandemic after severe restructuring which has subsequently resulted in new energy in the overall business. Under his leadership, the company has seen successful growth of Samsung retail stores, especially for its premium products.

Name: Hadi Badri

Company: Namshi

Designation: Chairman

Hadi Badri was appointed Chairman of the board of Namshi in 2019. Under him, this year Namshi became the first e-commerce platform to expand into Qatar. It recorded a 50%  increase in business and 33% in new customer acquisition since the pandemic. Hadi even signed a strategic partnership with the largest e-commerce retailer of China, to bring brands like Baleno, Dodogogo, Latit and MO&Co to the Middle East.

Name: Ishwar Chugani

Company: Giordano Middle East

Designation: Managing Director and CEO

Ishwar started his 40 year career in the retail industry by setting up Sinbad’s Wonderland in Al Ghurair Centre, Dubai in 1979. Ishwar then joined Giordano in September of 1992 and has been there since. Now, as Managing Director and CEO he has been data-driven and has turned his focus from solely brick-and-mortar stores to establishing an online presence for the fashion brand as well. Under him the bran has expanded to 12 countries and has 250,000 sqft. of total retail area.

Name: Kabir Lumba

Company: Landmark Group

Designation: Managing Director

Kabir Lumba is not a new addition to the Landmark Group by any means. He has been with the Group for over 16 years and has even served as Managing Director for Lifestyle and took over as Max’s CEO in 2018. Under Kabir the company has spent AED 1 billion in a fully automated mega distribution centre in Dubai to strengthen its supply chain capabilities in 2019. In the same year the Group also launched Styli, which is a gateway to access curated designs and the latest fashion trends for men and women.

Name: Kamal Vachani

Company: Al Maya Group

Designation: Director

Kamal Vachani is the Group Director of Al Maya Group, one of the UAE’s leading supermarket chains. He has played a fundamental role in innovating Al Maya’s operation when it comes to digitising operations, bringing global brands from Italy, Switzerland, Australia, and India to the UAE.

Name: Dr. Bander T. Hamooh

Company: Panda Retail Company

Designation: CEO

Dr. Bander has over 25 years of experience in numerous retail pharmaceuticals, and FMCG leadership roles. In 2017, Dr, Hamooh was assigned the role of CEO of Panda Retail Company, a grocery store chain with 106 million customers in Saudi Arabia and egypt. Dr. Hamooh has been driving robust growth and transformation programs in Panda, repositioning the company on top of retail industry in Saudi Arabia.

Name: Imad Bukhari

Company: THE Group

Designation: CEO

Imad Bukhari has more than 20 years of experience in the retail sector. He founded Cozmo, a premium Jordanian supermarket, and together with a committed team has helped the company grow to be perceived as a leading brand in the industry. He is also credited to launching the Kingdom’s first supermarket e-commerce website and application in 2016, giving customers the freedom to shop from the convenience and comfort of their homes.

Name: Jayant Lal Ganwani

Company: Lals Group

Designation: CEO and Vice-Chairman

Jayant Lal Ganwani is the Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Lals Group and has been involved with the family business since 1986. Under him, Lals Group recently launched Mom Store, an experiential, omnichannel concept for everything mom, baby and child. Through his vision, Lals Group has successfully contributed to the ever-evolving retail landscape in the GCC offering shoppers value and variety through the multiple brands under the Group.

Name: John Hadden

Company: Alshaya Group

Designation: CEO

John Hadden is the CEO of Alshaya Group, one of the world’s leading brand franchise operators. Under John’s guidance the brand has been able to launch over 60 new e-commerce sites and apps. The brand also grew its food and Starbucks delivery exponentially as customers preferred to eat aeat home. He also led the Group’s recent partnership with The Walt Disney Company Middle East to bring the Disney Store to MENA.

Name: Khaled Soliman

Company: Jashanmal Group

Designation: Group CEO

With over 40 years experience across varied industries of construction, manufacturing, hospitality and retail, Khaled Soliman is currently leading the Jashanmal Group as the Group CEO towards developing and implementing robust strategies and programs for the Group’s transformation to a modern and digitally advanced retailer. He has been instrumental in defining and implementing the e-commerce and omnichannel strategy that the Group operates within.

Name: Manu Jeswani

Company: Landmark Group

Designation: Group Director

Manu is now the Group Director of Landmark Group, one of the largest retail conglomerates in the region. He has been credited to have built the Middle East’s largest footwear brand portfolio, SHOEMART, which was founded in Dubai in 1990. It has since expanded to over 163 stores across 13 countries worldwide. He has also been fundamental in bringing international brands such as Carpisa Ecco, Dumond, Foot solution amongst others, in SHOEMART stores.

Name: Mark Tesseyman

Company: Liwa Trading Enterprises

Designation: CEO

Mark is the CEO of Liwa Trading Enterprises, a retail operator representing multiple international franchised and wholly owned brands in a total of 250+ outlets throughout the GCC. Tesseyman credits his education and extensive international experience to allow him to conceive, develop and implement best practice retail management principles for industry-leading international companies, whilst being focused on a customer first principle.

Name: Marwan Moukarzel

Company: Fawaz Alhokair Fashion Retail

Designation: CEO

Marwan is the CEO of Fawaz Alhokair Fashion Retail, the leading fashion retail group in Saudi Arabia. At Alhokair, Marwan oversees all facets business, across all operating territories. Marwan drives growth and maximises value for shareholders, brand owners, and customers, pivoting Alhokair to new heights.

Name: Muna Al Gurg

Company: Easa Al Gurg

Designation: Director of Retail

Muna Easa Al Gurg is the Director of Retail of Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, a multidivisional conglomerate with 27 companies. Thanks to Muna’s vision a digitisation push and smart tech investments were made – including dedicated e-commerce platforms and CRM systems for brands counting Better Life, Al Gurg Stationery and Kare.

Name: Nisreen Shocair


Designation: CEO – Middle EAst

Nisreen joined YOOX NET-A-PORTER(YNAP), an online luxury and fashion brand from Italy, in January 2020 with extensive global retail and e-commerce expertise. One of Nisreen’s accomplishments as CEO was the launch of a new localised site for customers in the Middle East, where content on both the app and the website will be available in English and Arabic.

Name: Paul Houlsby

Company: Zohoor Alreef

Designation: CEO

The purveyor of perfumes appointed Paul Houlsby as CEO to run the day-to-day and operations as they planned to expand adding to their existing 250 stores across the GCC. Under Paul, the brand made a revenue of $24 million in the past year. Paul’s guidance has the brand focused on optimising their MIXOLOGY techniques through technology and share it with an experience sales team that can share the processes behind the brand’s uncanny ability to create bespoke fragrances.

Name: Rita Mathieu

Company: Khoury Home

Designation: Head of Operations -COO

Rita was appointed as Head of Operations – COO of Khoury Home for her vast experience and operational expertise. With this expertise she has led Khoury Home to expand to six countries boasting over 626 brands and has established the homeware market leader to develop a strong relationship with the customers and have a strong market presence. She also mobilised the social media presence of the brand by posting regular content to better help engage customers that were unable to come into the stores due to the pandemic.

Name: Raza Beig

Company: Splash and LMI (Landmark Group)

Designation: CEO

Raza Beig heads Splash and LMI, the fashion concepts of Landmark Group. Since the inception of Splash, Raza has been involved in almost every aspect of the business from buying to visual merchandising, budgeting and retail operations. Raza’s bullish approach facilitated the initial days of the Group’s entry into a new market and before he knew it, he was made a board member, in charge of the fashion division for India. Eventually, in 2006 he was appointed as the CEO of Splash.  Raza is at the forefront of the business, spearheading the brand across the Middle East, Levant countries and the Sub-continent, with aggressive expansion plans in the near future.

Name: Saifee Rupawala

Company: Lulu Group International

Designation: CEO

Saifee Rupawala is one of the earliest team members to join Lulu Group in 1982. Today, as the CEO he spearheads the management and operation activities of all the portfolios including hypermarkets, shopping malls, international sourcing centers and diversifications. Saifee’s management and operation skills are key for the frictionless functioning of the Group, as it has over 55,000 employees from 45 different nationalities catering to more than 1.5 million customers every day.

Name: Shamlal Ahamed

Company: Malabar Gold

Designation: Managing Director – International Operations

Shamlal Ahamed, the Managing Director – International Operations of Malabar Gold and Diamonds, found himself at the helm of jewellery retailing business affairs at a very young age. He has transformed a talented workforce of 13,000 employees into a cadre of professional managers with high emphasis on quality deliverance and unblemished integrity. Under him the brand saw a $4.51 billion revenue with a 20% year-on-year growth in the past year.

Name: Sunil Kumar

Company: Spinneys

Designation: CEO

Sunil’s journey to become CEO in 2019 after working in various departments within the hypermarket is a testimony of his hardwork and dedication. Under him, the hypermarket employs nearly 3360 people and has expanded to multiple locations across the UAE. The hypermarket, despite the pandemic, saw a 22.50% year-on-year growth under Sunil. He now sets his sights on the digital retailing sphere, driving e-commerce through third-party platforms which would enable the brand to enter new markets and expand operations.

Name: Tapan Vaidya

Company: PJP Investments Group

Designation: CEO

Tapan is currently CEO of PJP Investments Group, owner-operators of Papa John’s in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Currently focused on developing and  expanding Papa John’s in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Tapan aims to develop and exceed the 100 restaurant mark in the UAE in the next five years and has also signed on Saudi Arabia to launch 100 restaurants in the Kingdom over the next 10 years.

Name: Vinod Talreja

Company: Babyshop (Landmark Group)

Designation: Group Director

Vinod has been the market leader in baby care with Babyshop for over 21 years, joining them in the year 200. Ever since, the brand has erupted as the market leader in baby care with rapid expansions seeing them have over 235 stores in 19 countries and 47 stores in the UAE. After overseeing this massive expansion, Vinod helped the brand establish an online presence.

Name: Zaid Alqufaidi

Company: ENOC Retail

Designation: Managing Director

Zaid, an engineering graduate from the University of Central Florida in the United States, is the Managing Director of ENOC Retail. He is responsible for the strategic development of ENOC Group’s retail business streams. Over the years, he has immensely contributed to bridging the gap between the ENOC and EPPCO brands during the formation of the Group’s identity as ‘ENOC Group’. He has also played an instrumental role in the development of EPPCO’s retail network. Under his leadership, the convenience store ZOOM was acquired and added to the Group’s portfolio. Currently Zoom has over 235 stores but Zaid intends to expand further regionally.



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