ICS Speakers 2023
Rahul is Group Director, Digital at Landmark Group, the region’s leading retail and hospitality conglomerate, operating over 2,200 outlets in over 21 countries. With a workforce of 48,000 people, Landmark has over 40 homegrown and franchise brands in the Middle East and India, catering to a diverse family audience.
Rahul leads Group strategy for Ecommerce, IT, Analytics and Loyalty Assets at Landmark Group. Under his leadership the Group drives its robust omni-channel business with 9 of its biggest
homegrown brands online and it’s first online-only fashion offering – Styli. He is closely involved in the strategic development of the Group’s retail business in the Middle East and India and is a Board Member of Landmark Retail and Landmark Arabia.
In his current role, Rahul is responsible for driving an integrated roadmap for ecommerce, technology, data management and CRM. His portfolio also includes the ‘Shukran’ rewards program, which is the Middle East’s biggest loyalty offering with over 21 million members, across 9 countries and 43 brands.
Rahul is an alumnus from the Georgetown University, United States of America.
Leena Khalil is the co-founder and founding shareholder of Mumzworld.com, responsible for the developmental strategy and growth of the business across the Middle East. Leena, relocated to region in 2009. Previously worked in London in Investment banking focus on technology fund raising both through IPOs and Private placements. Leena later moved to work in business process outsourcing helping local government optimize processes and customer service through the utilizing of technology.
Leena is also a major shareholder in Andador Babywear, a leading distributor of baby supplies in the GCC with customer in Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt and the UAE
Graduated from Cambridge University with a BA in Electric Engineering, Leena is kept busy by running a rich schedule for her children Hana, Ahmad and Jude.
Brandon Rowberry is the CEO of Aster DM Healthcare – Digital Health. Under Brandon’s leadership, Digital Health was set up as an independent business and merges both the physical door and digital door to access healthcare as a seamless experience from simple virtual consults to e-ICUS at home. The business integrates digital transformation, technology and innovation as core pillars to deliver enhanced patient centric services and enable wider access. Driving the digital roadmap for the entire group of companies, he plays a crucial role in developing capabilities across the organzation’s existing presence across the globe.
Mr. Rowberry has led the creation, investment, launch and growth of dozens of businesses over his career. He also currently acts as an advisor and board member of a number of companies and private equity firms focused on improving people’s lives around the world.
Until the end of 2020, Mr. Rowberry served as an executive in Strategy & Planning at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. Prior to ADIA, he was an executive leader and significant investor in healthcare, serving as a Vice Chair at the world renowned Mayo Clinic and as the VP of Innovation Development at United Health Group (the world’s largest healthcare company). He was responsible for growing a broad healthcare focused portfolio as well as a sustainable innovation culture.
Neeraj is a hands-on Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with expertise in product development, operations, insurance, and the FinTech industry. Through strategic foresight, drive, and determination, he built a strong foundation for his successful multi-million dollar company within a short span of time.
In 2018, Neeraj was entrusted with the task of setting up Policybazaar.ae to fill what the PB Fintech group saw as a void in financial aggregation space. Today Policybazaar.ae has grown from a one-man start-up to a 400+ strong organisation with over 150K insurance policies sold each year. Neeraj envisions fostering a behavioral change in the UAE relating to how finances and social security is perceived in the region by the masses and promote digital channel as the preferred medium for the consumers when managing personal finance. Furthermore, he seeks to rejuvenate the FinTech ecosystem in the state by offering a robust alternative to traditional methodologies through Policybazaar.ae.
As a leader and self-sufficient innovator, Neeraj is comfortable in any role from the executive boardroom to the operations floor. He is a savvy negotiator known for strong business development and relationship building skills. Neeraj’s innate ability to build high-performance teams, including his strategically-selected senior management staff, has served as a growth catalyst and infused productive energy into the workplace.
Prior to his elevation as the CEO of Policybazaar UAE, he is credited to building the Car Insurance business for the flagship venture Policybazaar.com in India.
Glen has been in Executive Leadership positions for 20+ years, implementing a variety of curricula across primary and secondary levels in New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the UAE.
His early commitment to excellence was demonstrated as the Headmaster of Pinehurst School in New Zealand where he spent 10 years. The school received recognition as Cambridge University International Examinations’ ‘Top School Award’ for the last nine consecutive years of his tenure.
He is very familiar with both the International Baccalaureate (IB) and Cambridge University International Examinations. He was the former Chairman of the IB Heads Association and Chairman of the Cambridge University International Examinations. In recognition, he was a recipient of a bursary from Cambridge University for his commitment to leadership and curriculum development.
Glen has also been an advisor to Ministries of Education in five countries and has been invited to speak at numerous international conferences.
Most recently he has been a Head of School/CEO in Dubai, where his school was a finalist in IB school of the year and was selected as one of the top ten schools in Dubai.
Born in Morocco, Mouna Abbassy grew up in a country where beauty rituals formed a part of essential social affairs as far as females were concerned. She witnessed her mother and other women in the community prepare their own beauty recipes with the raw and natural ingredients.
So, the creative force behind izil and a true inspiration, Mouna Abbassy started her company in 2013 after a successful marketing career in prestigious multinational companies in Dubai.
Her passion and her commitment to excellence earned her many prestigious awards like the Hadafi Award and the Cartier Women’s Initiative award and a place in the top 5 Women in Business by Arabian Business Startup and in the top 5 Arab Women that Are Changing the Beauty Game by Vogue Middle East. In 2019, only 6 years after she started, she was ranked 18th in the list of Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands by the prestigious Forbes Middle East magazine. She has been mentioned in the same list by Forbes in 2020 and 2021 as well. The list of awards and recognitions continues to grow with the brand izil.
Fueled by the passion and knowledge from her rich culture, Mouna started off with selling Moroccan beauty products on Facebook pages and exhibitions in the UAE. Because the products provide instant fantastic results, the demand quickly grew enough for her to open a kiosk in Dubai Festival City. Mouna’s Marketing background, and her 1 year program on cosmetic science at the UK Cosmetic Science Society quickly helped her scale up the business. Between 2014 to 2016, izil opened 6 kiosks and started to be noticed as Mouna started receiving multiple awards and accolades. In 2016, Mouna merged all the kiosks into one major one at Dubai Mall, and launched an e-commerce website. As sales skyrocketed, izil opened its own GMP certified manufacturing facility in Ras Al Khaimah in 2019 which was a massive step. A year later, Mouna finally took the plunge and launched a rebranded, high-end flagship store in Dubai Mall, which now also houses izil’s own deluxe spa (2020), and a Moroccan Hammam facility (since 2021).
Accomplished and dynamic CEO with over 20 years’ experience successfully driving growth and change for multiple retail businesses, from start-ups to $BN companies, across the Middle East, US, Europe and Africa. Strategic key change-agent with proven ability to turn-around failing fashion and apparel companies, overhaul product development processes, build new supplier and procurement relationships, and institute promotional strategies, effectively repositioning declining brands. Exceptional leadership experience across P&L Management, product sourcing, store operations management, buying and financial planning, as well as forecasting trends that keep consumers coming back for more. E-Commerce set up specialist from concept to fully functional platforms.
Sanjeev Madavi is a seasoned business leader with over 25 years of global experience in Digital transformation, Innovation, New business ventures and Operational Excellence across multiple industries. He is passionate about digital-driven enterprises and speaks regularly on new-age business ecosystems and technology innovation for the future. He is an avid proponent of the joint business and technology ambidexterity and has received several accolades and recognitions including the 2021 Legend CIO Award from World CIO Forum and the 2019 Supply Chain & Logistics Technology Leader of the Year award.
He currently serves as the Group Chief Digital Transformation Officer for Khimji Ramdas Group in Oman driving their business transformation agenda using digital models, strategies and 4IR emerging technologies. Sanjeev is a recognized leader in turning businesses into digital enterprises and executing business transformation with organizational change. Sanjeev excels in delivering a positive impact to the bottom line using his global experience in business and technology leadership, Strategy & Governance, Process Excellence, Future-driven Technology roadmaps, Innovation based Enterprise Solutions and Business Entrepreneurship.
Sanjeev is a Civil Engineer and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad and has completed several executive leadership programs, including Harvard’s Building Capability with PDIA, Stanford GSB LEAD program in Corporate Innovation and most recently the Wharton School’s Corporate Governance and Boardroom Credentials. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Business Administration from Swiss Business School on the topic of ‘Adopting Digital Agility for Organizational growth amongst middle east Enterprises.’
Specialties: Enterprise Digital Transformation, Technology Vision & Strategy; Corporate Innovation Strategy; Turning businesses digital; New Business Ventures; National Platforms and Digital Ecosystems; Management and Technology Consulting; IT Portfolio, Program and Project Management; Enterprise & Cloud Architecture Design; Technology Change Management; Enterprise Data Analytics and BI; Enterprise Systems Lifecycle Management; Certified Internal Auditor; Certified Supply Chain Specialist; Lean Six Sigma and CIP; Logistics and Supply Chain models design; Global Network Planning and Capability building for the future
Damien Corcoran is the Chief Executive Officer of Grandiose Supermarket, a premium grocery supermarket chain under the Ghassan Aboud Group.
Corcoran brings a wealth of global experience with his career spanning 13 years from some of the leading supermarket and fresh food retailers. Besides his overarching experience across technology startups and restaurant chains, Corcoran held the role of Regional Director for leading British retailer Sainsbury’s. Corcoran recently also spearheaded International business US chain Whole Foods Market, a part of Amazon, as Vice President.
Prior to his growth in the segment of retail, Corcoran had a military career and rose through the ranks into senior leadership roles.
Corcoran is also a Board Director of a non-profit foundation with a philanthropic vision to continue using his platform to help those in need around the world.
Elli always envisioned being an entrepreneur, even as a professional woman. She is Persian by origin, brought up in beautiful Sweden and in Dubai for the last 7 years. Expressing her life in UAE, she says, “I now call Dubai home, and we love it. We love to see the sunlight 365 days a year, endless opportunities, the diversity of all nationalities and most of all, I love the beach.” She has strong experience in IT and finance, having worked for one of Sweden’s largest banks in Stockholm. She also worked for two years in a media company in Dubai. Throughout the stint, she has witnessed the highs and lows of the business world, including both success stories and initiatives that did not do well.
However, her underlying passion was always fashion and e-Commerce. After 2 years in Dubai, she found a deficit in the children’s market. There was a lack of nice designs and brands with focus on sustainability. The concern made her imagine an online marketplace for exclusive baby apparel and accessories. She wanted to bring the exclusivity of the Swedish Brand into the GCC region. Thus, she brought Elli Junior into existence. “I had no experience in retail, e-commerce, or import/export; all I knew was that I wanted to change the deficit in the UAE market,”she says. Her vision has unfolded in great strides. Elli Junior is present in 20 trending stores across the GCC. In Jan 2020, Elli Junior launched its own collection of high-quality organic baby towels, playmats, bamboo blankets and lots more. Recently, the brand launched its first retail stores, and went from e-commerce to omni channel, and believes a mix of both is the best combination. While the business focuses on online expansion, the stores draws a massive attraction, allowing customers to touch and feel the products.
The brand also offers fast and free shipping with gift wrapping and personalizations.
Elli Junior: Award winning one stop shop for parents, focus on premium design sustainability
We only want to bring in and produce the best products for your children. We make children’s life’s more beautiful
At Elli Junior, we always strive to bring our customers products that are both sustainable and beautiful. Our product range aims to make the lives of parents easier by bringing you all the products you need for your parenting journey on one platform.
“Solomon Rajesh is an accomplished Managing Director with 15 years of exceptional leadership in the e-commerce industry. With a proven track record of successfully setting up startups from scratch in India, Kuwait, and UAE, he has demonstrated an exceptional ability to lead and inspire teams to achieve outstanding results.
Solomon began his career at Amazon, where he gained extensive experience managing markets in the US, CA, and India, including catalog setup, vendor support, and supply chain operations. He went on to hold senior management positions at Reliance Retail in India, where he was instrumental in setting up Reliance Smart in the south part of India and worked with startups like Peppertap in India and Baqala in Kuwait. Additionally, he played a key role in the growth of elGrocer in the UAE, where he oversaw logistics, customer support, and catalog functions, and was responsible for expanding operations in all 7 Emirates.
As the current Managing Director of SWAN, an online grocery and home services platform, Solomon brings his wealth of experience and exceptional leadership to the table. He is a skilled project and people management professional with expertise in end-to-end operations management, logistics, and customer support, among others. Solomon’s exceptional leadership and expertise make him an e-commerce set-up specialist from concept to a fully operational platform. His ability to lead and inspire teams to achieve outstanding results has earned him a reputation as a successful entrepreneur and a leader in the e-commerce industry.”
Emirati entrepreneur Heba Al Fazari is a visionary and founder of Coveti. A former diplomat, the first Emirati offshore engineer in 2002 and author of “Politics of fashion: The Global Sourcing Hacks Every Fashion Designers Need,” she has worked and lived in more than 10 countries. Armed with a Georgetown Global MBA and Foreign Relation, Al Fazari is an advisor in global sourcing and non-market strategies. With strong knowledge in factories relocation for best market access, Al Fazari uses many innovative strategies to expand her business across different territories. With Coveti, she has set out on a journey to support the new wave of emerging brands that would otherwise remain undiscovered and unheard. Al Fazari is now on a mission to create a global revolutionary data-driven platform to unite best-emerging brands with millions of people across the globe who are looking for their next unique treasure find.
Ana is a marketing and corporate communications professional passionate about transforming the world through movement and sports. She has led marketing strategy and developed marketing and communications plans in multiple industries, including retail, construction, logistics, consulting services, government, and NGOs. With a Harvard Business School Executive Education in B2B Marketing Strategy, she is also a recipient of the “Sustainable Leadership Award” by the Asian Confederation of Businesses.
Originally from Portugal, Ana moved to Dubai in 2005 and immediately fell in love with the city and region. Leading ASICS marketing function for the region allowed her to fuse two of her passions – sports and marketing in her current role. A true believer in the impact sports has on our wellbeing, Ana has launched ASICS running communities throughout the region across UAE, KSA, Qatar, and Kuwait – all with a mission to uplift the society to move for better physical and mental health. She is also a fierce advocate for more women in sports, running not to simply lose weight but for mental health and confidence.
Some of the most notable campaigns Ana has launched include managing AISCS sponsorship activation at World Athletics Championship in Qatar, launching the world’s first virtual Marathon at Home during COVID, and spearheading the development of ASICS Dubai running shoes – the first running shoes ever developed for a city.
Ana is a spokesperson for ASICS and is open to discussing the following topics:
- The retail landscape in the Middle East
- E-commerce and cryptocurrencies
- Sound Body, Sound Mind Philosophy
- ASICS global research on the impact of movement on mental health
- Launching running communities in the region
- Launching stores in the region
- Creating impactful marketing campaigns
Ravi Gupta is the Founder and CEO of SafexPay, one of India’s fastest growing fintech startups specialising in tailor made payment platforms for businesses. He is an industry expert with over 15 years of experience in payment gateways, digital wallets, and alliances in the e-commerce industry.
With an MBA from ICFAI in Mumbai as well as a B. Tech. from K.N.M.I.E.T, Ravi is a serial entrepreneur with strong business acumen and a proven record of profit improvement through planning and implementing strategies. He has consulted various fintech startups in building payment gateways, e-wallets/PPI licenses, QR code payments, switches, UPI, EAS/MPOS, and POS systems and helped these companies launch their products in India as well as global markets.
Alongside working on payment aggregation / gateways offering more than 300+ payment methods across 80+ banks, including all credit and debit cards, IMPS, UPI, multiple currency gateways, EMI, prepaid wallets, tokenisation, UPI, NEFT/RTGS, etc., he has developed mobile money and wallet platforms with new technologies like HCE, NFC.
Prior to SafexPay, Ravi was the VP Products & Alliances, E-Billing Solutions (EBS), where he carved his mark by increasing the transactions from $800 million to $3.2 billion a month and growing banking alliances from 18 to 40+ within 20 months. He was also the Product Head at Techprocess, where he integrated 40+ financial institutions, and onboarded 5000+ merchants with a GTV of INR 25bn.
Tarek the Marketing & e-commerce Director of Beside Group. A strategic department head with over 20 years’ experience in the retail/premium-segment across Middle Eastern & European markets. In the past 14 years he’s spent at Beside Group, he’s managed exciting brands such as Diesel, Fred Perry, Scotch & Soda among others in the Middle East and is responsible for all Marketing, e-commerce, CRM & Loyalty activities across Beside’s brand portfolio.
Imad Hammad founded CarSwitch.com in early 2016. A seasoned executive with over 10 years of management consulting and line role experience across +10 developed and emerging markets. Imad currently oversees operations, business development, and overall execution of CarSwitch.com strategic agenda.
A dean’s list graduate of the University of Toronto, Imad holds an undergraduate degree in computer & electrical engineering. He was formerly an Associate Partner in McKinsey & Company where he led multiple teams to deliver tangible top-line impact against the broad commercial agenda of the largest TMT players in the MENA region. His work there primarily focused on strategy, product design and marketing & sales transformations.
Imad also held a line role as the Regional Director of Sales & Pricing at OSN where he led product and promotion decisions across 8+ markets and sales operations from footprint optimization to target setting and incentive design.
A pragmatic leader with a collaborative approach to problem solving and rigorous analytics, Imad has worked with host of senior leaders and lead diverse teams across 3 continents to deliver tangible results.
Building YallaMarket and YallHub – ‘Netflix’ in q-commerce.
– CEO and Co-Founder, YallaMarket and YallaHub;
– 15 years in FoodTech, Retail and Horeca experience;
– Serial Entrepreneur and Angel investor, 4 years in Dubai;
– 15 successful projects in total, successful b2b saas in FoodTech in the UAE and GCC:
– Syrve Middle East: 1000 clients (including Carrefour and Papa John’s);
– UAE RC: 7000 restaurant members;
– 5 profitable companies in past
As for YallaMarket success story, in a year the startup raised $12m by MENA-based funds and investors such as: Wamda Capital, Dubai Angel Investors, Prashant K. Gulat, Doha Tech Angels, Angels Deck, Nader Bassit, Flyer One Ventures. Moreover, on the infrastructure of YallaMarket Leo launched a unique quick-commerce-as-a-service (Q-CAAS) solution YallaHub. It allows business owners access to logistics, marketing, delivery, and all the means necessary to reach customers directly in Dubai.
Over the past 25 years, Furqan Athar has been instrumental in strategically planning and managing some of the most successful shopping centres and mixed-use developments in the Middle East and Asia.
Furqan began his career at Price Waterhouse Coopers and KPMG before taking on management positions with Dubai-based developers Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Shopping Centres and Al Futtaim Group Real Estate. An expert in business process and IT set-up, he has participated in the deployment of major ERP solutions for various multinationals. He has been instrumental in the financial and strategic planning of some of the Middle East and Asia’s most successful shopping centres and mixed use developments.
Furqan is a trained Chartered Accountant (CA) and a Chartered Management Accountant (CMA) from the UK with wide-ranging experience in investment portfolio management, from planning to divestment and exit strategies.
In 2004, Furqan launched SPRET Trading; he founded Retail Solutions, an investment management and advisory firm based in Dubai. He’s the Managing Director of SPRET Retail, a multinational retail company with over 250 employees within various locations across the Middle East.
In 2011, Furqan established McARTHUR + COMPANY proudly which boasts over 110 years of cumulative experience with over 90 successful shopping centre projects worldwide. McARTHUR + COMPANY offers the benefit of local offices to serve clients in the Middle East & North Africa, Asia, and North America. Our professionals offer expertise using international best practices with local knowledge of retail markets and shopping influences.
McARTHUR + COMPANY works with leading investors and developers of shopping centres, mixed use developments, and retail destinations providing development advisory, retail leasing, marketing, asset management as well as investment and financial analysis for our clients. We create well-planned, highly popular shopping destinations with long-term financial growth in value. Mr Athar has extensive experience in all aspects of the shopping centre industry, specifically focusing on investment management and value creation. Furqan is well known throughout the region as an expert in shopping centre investment underwriting and operational finance.
Zahra Abdalla considers herself a modern-day Bedouin. The half-Iranian and half-Sudanese cookbook author, entrepreneur and social media influencer was born in London, England and lived in various cities across the world including Khartoum, Riyadh, Vancouver and London, before moving to Dubai and calling it home for the past 18 years.
Her culinary journey started with her online blog in 2010 and soon thereafter she presented her own cooking shows on MBC3, and hosted the fourth season of a food and travel documentary show called Maggi Diaries on MBC1. As part of her work on Maggi Diaries, she had the opportunity to travel to Egypt, India, Spain, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, and meet amazing, inspiring and wonderful women of change who addressed important social issues including food wastage, hunger, environment, mindfulness and women empowerment.
Working from her studio, Zahra develops and creates modern interpretations of Middle Eastern recipes, inspired by her childhood, the flavours of the region and her travels. For Zahra, food is her artistry as well as therapy, and a medium through which long-forgotten memories can be brought back to life or new ones can be made. Zahra is a keen advocate of sustainability and the importance of being mindful of how we source our food, prepare our food and eat our food.
In addition to her public roles, Zahra is an avid food entrepreneur and founder of Zahra’s Kitchen, a retail frozen food range available for sale in over 35 Spinney and Waitrose locations across the UAE.
Zahra is married and has three young boys and a little puppy. She loves to travel, stay fit and collect art when she is not obsessing over new recipes.
With over 7 years of experience in the e-commerce industry, Mohit Gadam knows all about taking brands and making them grow exponentially. He has been the e-commerce strategy behind multi -million dollar enterprises. Not surprising, considering that he has worked with Amazon, Walmart, ebay, Rakuten, Sears, Noon, Flipkart &Amazon in 8 countries.
Passionate about everything e-commerce and DTC, Mohit has been instrumental in making brands grow 10X times. Whether with a team of 2 or 60, he has worked in all departments of the industry, competently handling end to end operations. When it comes to doing business, he knows precisely, all tools of the trade to take a brand cross border in the most efficient way. He has rich knowledge of data mining and extraction and using it to scale brands, both private and world renowned labels.
With an MBA in Business, Management and Marketing Services, from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Mohit does justice to his role of COO at Assiduus Global. His expertise of the e-commerce sector comes backed by multiple certifications namely Six Sigma in operations, Amazon Advertisements and Google Ads & Analytics. Consistent growth and keeping up with market standards are his business goals. And he has repeatedly achieved them rapidly and efficiently.
“It’s not about specific technologies anymore. It’s about how entire ecosystems evolve and converge together to serve common consumer objectives.”
For Tamanna Padhi, digital transformation for consumer and retail companies isn’t just a one-time event, it’s a continuous process—and she’s constantly seeking out new ways to transform businesses across food and beverage, beauty, e-commerce, and other sectors.
“Transformation really goes beyond technology because it needs to be a fundamentally different way you are thinking about your business,” she says. “It’s not about just a few tools. It’s about the whole culture of leadership in thinking digital-first.”
And she loves nothing more than equipping teams with the process and tools they need to head off on their own digital journey. She’s particularly proud of one food and beverage company her team recently supported. “Digital is now part of their DNA,” she says, “which fundamentally changes the direction of their growth, as well as the culture from within.”
Tamanna has worked in six different Kearney offices around the world, and she says they all have three factors in common: their problem-solving methods, dedication to their clients, and a friendly atmosphere. “A common theme that has been seen across all Kearney teams and Kearney partners is they really put themselves in the shoes of the client and try to answer what is best for them, not just the best intellectual answer,” she says.
“They really want to answer the question in essential rightness,” she says. “And not just find an answer, but also get to the bottom of how that answer is going to manifest itself. That really makes your work impactful.”
“I fundamentally believe that an idea is as good as how well you can describe it and implement it.”
Mohammed is always open to new opportunities—from solving existing problems to business development.
And as a partner in Kearney’s consumer and retail team in the Middle East and Africa, he has the opportunity to drive transformational change across a diverse set of geographies, industries, and markets.
“It’s a lot of different moving parts, which keeps it very interesting,” he says. “And we have so many opportunities to do deep content and impact work, which is what keeps me in this business.”
Meeting with new clients, working with them to understand their problems, and creating steps to solve them through deep collaboration is the part of the process Mohammed loves best.
“We’re sharing our experience, but also our time,” he says. “That comfort is required.” And sometimes the problems turn out to be different from what the client originally thought they would be. “I enjoy serving as that thought partner and trusted advisor, helping them get clarity on what the real issues are,” he says.
Mohammed worked at Kearney early in his career before moving on to explore other opportunities in the consumer goods industry. When an opportunity arose for him to return, he took it. “Rather than following a brand or following a specific industry, it’s about following people you can learn and grow from, which I’ve always had at Kearney,” Mohammed says.
CEO, PJP Investments Group (Papa Johns United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan & Iraq)
BSc in Mathematics from St. Xavier’s College & a Business Diploma from NMIMS, Mumbai, India, Tapan started working in restaurants from his University days – loved his work so much, he never left the industry.
Now a veteran in the industry & on Caterer Middle East Power 50 List 2020 & 2021; RetailME ICONS awardee for 2021; Tapan is currently CEO of PJP Investments Group, owner-operators of Papa Johns in the UAE, KSA, Jordan & Iraq. With 36 years’ experience across Middle East & India, Tapan has been associated with the development of hundreds of restaurants across these markets with brands including Papa John’s, Chili’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Outback Steakhouse… it is a long list. Currently focused on developing and expanding Papa John’s in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Tapan is keen to give back to the industry from his deep knowledge and hands on experience. He is also on the Advisory Board of UAE Restaurant Group, a not for profit organization patronized by UAE Chamber of Commerce, the voice of the industry in UAE. The current crisis that the industry has now faced for almost two years, Tapan has dug deep to bring new insights and creative solutions in handling his business.
Rohit Dhananjay Datar is a procurement professional with a successful track record in managing and procuring goods from India and the UAE. As the Director of Al Adil Trading Co. L.L.C., he has a wealth of experience in sourcing products from various markets and has proven expertise in introducing innovative solutions to streamline operations. Under his leadership, the company has launched a new e-commerce website and has established partnerships with leading technology and delivery solutions providers. With his sales experience to top A-tier retailers and online sellers, Rohit Dhananjay Datar continues to drive growth and success for Al Adil Trading Co. L.L.C.
Relevant Experience – Entrepreneurship & Startups
2006-2008: Chief Organiser, Proto.in
Proto.in was India’s leading showcase event for Product Startups; 8 events over 5 different cities in India where 15 of the hottest start-ups were given a stage in front of investors and entrepreneurs. Sponsored by Sequoia Capital and AWS
2008-2012: Founder and Producer, Starting Up, ETNOW
Founded India’s first TV show for start-ups and venture capital. Featured over 500 start-ups on the show and the world’s leading entrepreneurs and VC’s including Steve Jurvetson (DFJ Ventures), Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail), Vinod Khosla (Khosla Ventures), Naveen Tewari (Inmobi) and Sachin Bansal (Flipkart). Built a TV audience of over 1m people with over 50 start-ups raising over $50m via the TV program over 4 years (Link to the show here). Also wrote over 45 stories on entrepreneurship for the Economic Times; India’s most well read financial newspaper – link to the articles here
2013: MBA from INSEAD (France, Singapore)
2015-2019: Co-Founder and CEO, BookMyShow Indonesia, Jakarta
Co-founded BookMyShow in Indonesia; a Cinema and Event ticketing platform. Grew the business to over $10m revenue in 3 year period also raising $6m from Jungle Ventures. Grew a 50 member team and became the no.2 player in Indonesia in a short period of time
2019-2021: Founder and CEO, BookMyShow, Middle East
Set up and led the expansion of BookMyShow into the Middle East. Struck a $3m deal with the Coca-Cola Arena to become the Official ticketing partner and built an Events ticketing and promotion business with revenues of over $6m. Grew a 30 member team that also expanded to KSA and set up business in Riyadh
2021-2023: Chief Business Officer, Lenskart Middle East
Founded Lenskart in the Middle East in March 2021; grew out Softbank funded $4.5b valued Lenskart in the Middle East opening 8 stores in year 1; growing a 60 member team and building a leading Omnichannel – Offline and online business in the UAE. Built the brand, set up logistics, customer experience, merchandise and partnerships – all leading to business growing to $4m in year 1 become the no.1 D2C eyewear brand in the UAE in record time. Won the ‘New Market Entrant of the year’ award conferred by the India Global Forum and the Ministry of External Affairs; Indian government
2023 – Present: Founder and CEO, Startify
Now building Startify, a start-up platform for the Middle East with a mission to help accelerate start-ups and grow them in the region. With a focus on D2C to begin with; Startify is a Go-To-Market Accelerator which helps start-ups grow through a variety of solutions including Set-up, Positioning, Customer Acquisition, Business Development and Fundraising. Vision is to layer this with a media and event platform and finally a venture fund to grow and develop start-ups in the Middle East
Qadreya Al Awadhi is the 27-year-old Emirati Founder and CEO of Bumblebee, a homegrown business of ready-made frozen meal plans for babies and toddlers, and has been selected to be part of a United Nations Women’s Program.
The idea of her business began when she babysat her friend’s son who was being weaned and realized they couldn’t find any healthy or nutritious meals for him at the supermarket or local grocery. The only options available at the time were meals that lacked flavour, colour, and nutrition. Qadreya identified this gap in the market and was determined to help mothers provide a healthy alternative for their babies. Thus, was born Bumblebee, a baby meal plan catering to the needs of new parents providing nutritious and delicious meals for babies and toddlers.
With a mission to ensure babies develop a healthy and sustainable relationship with food, Qadreya kickstarted her business with an initial self-investment of AED 150K. In order to understand a meal’s macronutrients and nutritional value, she onboarded a pediatric nutritionist and a chef to help develop a menu selection to suit a child’s dietary standards. By utilizing natural and high-quality ingredients, they developed recipes that were not only nutritive but also delicious. All of Bumblebee’s meals are cooked from scratch, including the sauces, and offer various new flavours and textures for every meal.
Born and raised in Dubai, Qadreya studied Finance at Zayed University followed by a master’s from The University of Wollongong in International Business. She currently also manages a full-time job working with one of the biggest financial institutions in the world.
Qadreya is passionate about voluntary work to help and educate young people, especially in the financial field, and has successfully won multiple awards for her company. She also received a certification in culinary school before establishing Bumblebee.
Qadreya would be open to speak about the following topics:
- Why is the Middle East such an important market?
- The story behind the brand
- The challenges faced when starting the business
- Growth and future plans for the business
- Tips on kickstarting your own business in the UAE
- How is she aligning her business with the National Strategy for wellbeing 2031?
Abhishek worked as a Senior Business Development Manager for CRISIL Ratings for 2.5 years before to joining Redseer Strategy Consultants. He is also the creator of Ghar Sey, a hyperlocal online bazaar.
Traveling, singing, travelling, trying out new restaurants, and watching Modern Family are all things Abhishek enjoys.
Akshay is Associate Partner with Redseer Strategy Consultants, based out of their Dubai office. He is a seasoned strategy consultant with close to 10 years of experience in Technology, Analytics and Consulting. His experience spans across emerging markets including India, Southeast Asia and MENA. He has advised clients on a wide array of mandates covering growth strategy, due diligence, competitive positioning.
Akshay currently heads the delivery of strategy consulting mandates for Redseer’s Middle East office. He is frequently quoted by leading media houses in the region on emerging themes in the digital economy.
He has previously worked with Goldman Sachs and Samsung and is an alumnus of IIM Kozhikode and NIT Raipur.
Javed Akberali is the co-founder and Managing Director of Wellx. He is responsible for spearheading the strategic vision of Wellx, the region’s first wellness-backed insurance experience. His portfolio at Wellx also includes leading the Customer Experience agenda of InsureTech, heading up growth, partnerships & marketing in addition to driving the overall strategy of the business. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University. Javed is a passionate CX professional who is on an adventure to create incredible experiences for everyday citizens that deliver meaningful impact.
Born and raised in the UAE, Javed brings senior leadership experience from within the financial services arena, having nurtured and led large sales teams, pan-UAE geographically spread customer lifecycle management teams, dynamic & lean product functions as well as, leading cross-functional groups in project planning, management & execution, driving the overall strategy, transformation & goals of diverse businesses. Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, Javed has been heavily involved in transforming businesses, building on an exceptional track record throughout his 20+ years- long career within various strategic & diverse capacities.
Renowned for his successful handling of retail banking, including customer lifecycle management of 2mio+ customers & real estate portfolios worth billions of dirhams. In addition, overseeing initiatives with outstanding results, which included launching first-of-their-kind products in the region. His achievements have been wide-ranging, from building pioneering customer lifecycle management hubs to heading product management for UAE’s largest mortgage business, including direct responsibility & accountability of the P&L.
He accomplished all these and more while holding key retail, corporate and hybrid banking positions – with consistent recognition through his steady advancement across various leadership positions. At Dubai Islamic Bank, having been identified as a High Potential Employee of the bank, he made the Group CEO club which propelled his growth to lead critical functions as the Head of Product Management for Home Finance post; after which, he was nominated as the bank’s first, Head of Solutions Hub & Customer Experience, a first of its kind concept within the UAE’s consumer banking arena.
The driving force behind the launch of Wellx was the introduction of the UAE’s unique national wellbeing strategy 2031. Javed felt the UAE offers the perfect launch pad and ecosystem for entrepreneurs who aim to make real change in people’s lives. Along with his partner, Javed envisions Wellx to deliver an insurance-based wellness experience that supports healthy, happy and resilient communities by harnessing the power of data to radically optimize healthcare efforts and spending in the region.
When not working on one of his many business ventures, Javed is found indulging in playing and watching sports, particularly paddle tennis and football, he is also a huge Manchester United Fan and never misses a game!
After graduating from the prestigious IIT Kharagpur, he turned down lucrative offers from some of the best corporate organisations. He chose his lifelong passion – teaching as his career path. He has been a strong advocate of higher secondary education in India and has always envisioned making education easy and accessible for every student around the world. His first tryst with success happened in the form of RiSE, an institute he founded in J&K, which at present, is clocking 6 digits revenue in just 4 years since its inception. Over the years he has led multiple teams of expert faculties for topmost competitive examinations like JEE/NEET/Bank PO/ SATs/CSAT and many more. He has interacted with over 25,000 students and parents from all over India and has successfully guided more than a thousand students to some of the most premium institutes like IITs/NITs, Princeton, UPenn., Purdue, NYU and more. He has a deep cognitive understanding of students’, teachers’ and parents’ psyche, challenges and pain points across geographies and demographics and he has used all of his valuable learnings in creating Filo.
Mohammed Alabbar is a visionary entrepreneur, the founder and CEO of AKAAR, a revolutionary provider of private homes, offering different homes with complete experiences that elevate and optimize the lifestyle of private residential land owner. In addition Alabbar is the host of SERDAAL, a social media channel that talks about entrepreneurship and leadership. With over a decade of experience in real estate development, facilities management, and construction, Alabbar is a thought leader in his industry. He started his entrepreneurial journey at 9 years old and has a passion for identifying and correcting issues in the world through his business ventures.
Alabbar has a track record in the industry by building over 30 private homes, 40 retail outfits, and 100 interior designs for both commercial and residential properties in Dubai alone. And managing over a thousand facilities around the globe. His expertise and experience inform his work with AKAAR, which offers branded homes for private residential land owners and aims to revolutionize the homebuilding experience by providing a seamless and hospitable solution.
In addition to his work with AKAAR, Alabbar is the host of SERDAAL, where he shares his knowledge and insights on entrepreneurship and leadership. He is frequently sought after as a speaker on these and other related topics. Alabbar uses his platform and business ventures to raise awareness and drive positive change, making a lasting impact on people’s lives. With his deep understanding of the real estate development industry and unrelenting drive, Alabbar continues to lead AKAAR towards continued success.
Shibi Kabeer is a visionary entrepreneur, mother, and founder of babystore.ae, an online baby store in Dubai. With a passion for entrepreneurship and a desire to create a business that would fill a gap in the market, Shibi launched babystore.ae in 2018.
Before starting her own business, Shibi worked in the low voltage industry for four years. She then went on to assist her husband in setting up a fire safety business, where she gained valuable business skills over the course of five years. This experience gave her the confidence and knowledge she needed to start her own venture.
Babystore.ae has become one of the leading online stores in the UAE for mothers, offering a wide range of high-quality products including diapers, skincare, toys, baby gear, clothes, and mommy care items. Shibi’s commitment to providing her customers with the best products and services has led to the store’s success.
As a mother herself, Shibi understands the needs of new mothers and has made it her mission to make their lives easier by providing doorstep delivery within 1-2 days. Her dedication and hard work have made her an inspiration to many, proving that with passion and perseverance, anyone can make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
As a Marketing Director Sharad heads the marketing department at Century Financial. His remit includes evaluating and developing marketing strategies, planning, coordinating marketing efforts, and building awareness and positioning for the company. Under his leadership Century Financial underwent a major brand identity change in 2019, making the Century brand more relevant and relatable to the new age customers and media. Sharad holds a post graduate diploma in Marketing Management besides being a Bachelor of Commerce and Economics from University of Mumbai, He has also completed his CISI certification (International Introduction to Securities and Investment) making him investment & financially astute marketing professional.
Nitesh Agarwal is the Regional Head, Middle East at Urban Company, Asia’s largest tech-enabled home services marketplace in the country, with a partner network of over 40,000 highly skilled professionals across 60+ cities and 5 countries.
Nitesh joined Urban Company, when it was a budding startup, as Assistant Vice President – Business Development in 2015, with the expertise of leading projects in e-commerce, energy, retail and financial solutions. After a short stint at the popular food aggregator application Swiggy, he returned to Urban Company in 2020 as a Regional Business Head and soon got promoted to the role of Business Head. His role in the UAE began with his appointment as Vice President – Middle East, responsible for the growth of the brand’s business in the region.
Nitesh’s passion for the industry comes from the desire to make a real difference in people’s lives and creating respectable employment for them while standardising and revolutionizing a traditionally unorganised services industry. He enjoys creating customer backward solutions from deep insights to disrupt the age old traditional services ecosystem which essentially translates to customer obsession.
Before joining Urban Company, Nitesh was a seasoned senior management professional with almost ten years of experience in e-commerce, consulting and banking solutions. He began his career as an analyst in the private banking division of J. P. Morgan, dealing with high-net-worth individuals in Mumbai. His other career highlights include his roles as an Associate Consultant and Senior Associate Consultant at Opera Solutions, a global provider of Practical, Scalable, Transformative AI Solutions, from 2013 to 2015 and Senior Director at SuprDaily, a subsidiary of Swiggy, from 2018 to 2020.
Nitesh holds an MBA in Strategy, Finance and Marketing from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Besides this, he is also a Level 1 Chartered Financial Analyst and is part of the Chartered Insurance Institute Committee for the Gulf and Middle East.
Mohammad Alawi is a board member & CEO – Red Sea Markets Co. He comes with over 25 years of experience in creating successful developments and renovating existing retail properties in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He chairs the Shopping Malls Committee at JCCI and is a member of the National Saudi Tourism Board in Riyadh.
Golden Scent pioneered fragrance & beauty e-commerce in the MENA region when it launched in 2014. Today, GoldenScent.com has the largest fragrance library worldwide covering more than 20,000 products from perfumes to home fragrances, aromatherapy, beauty products and much more. Apart from housing over 1000+ International, Niche and Regional brands, GoldenScent has also successfully introduced and scaled innovative/exclusive digital-first DTC beauty and well-being brands like Candy Addict, House of Sarib and others. Headquartered in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and with hubs across the region, Golden Scent delivers to across the GCC region and to over 80 countries worldwide.
As a founder of the company, I have directed, set up or been involved in practically all departments of the company, its operations, its growth from zero to multi million USD market leader
in its category, from conceptualising visions to their realizations. I am also very involved in the creation and growth of brands, where we work with world class fragrance houses and supply chain partners across Europe, Middle East and Asia as well as make use of state of the art data infrastructure in search of the latest consumer trends in order to create world class consumer products.
David was appointed Senior Vice President, Global Business Development for Ocado Group in July 2022. He is responsible for growing and maintaining both current and potential new partner relationships. David joined Ocado in January 2012 as Head of IR and Corporate Finance. In September 2017, he was appointed SVP North America, where he led corporate partnership development activities in that region. Prior to Ocado, David was an investment banking Managing Director at DC Advisory Partners and Daiwa Capital Markets, advising companies on M&A, financing, strategy and other corporate finance matters. He is a Chartered Accountant, qualifying with Arthur Andersen as part of its Corporate Restructuring group before moving to Brunswick, the corporate communications consultancy
A consummate career professional, Ketaki has been into brand and product marketing, public relations (PR), and consumer loyalty for over 12 years. She has led the airline partnerships and loyalty program for a leading airline in India and headed the marketing and PR functions at iconic global restaurant brands in the UAE.
Starting her eventful career with Kingfisher Airlines based in Mumbai, India, Ketaki worked closely with the ownership, senior leaders, High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), and VVIP high fliers as Manager of Airline Partnerships and King Club – the loyalty program. Ketaki led a team of 100-plus customer care executives at 13 airports across India.
Currently, Ketaki is the Head of Marketing at Jollibee, based in Dubai, UAE. Jollibee is a much-loved restaurant chain founded in 1978 with over 1,500 locations across 17 countries. In his hit food and travel documentary show, Parts Unknown on CNN, the late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain referred to Jollibee as the “wackiest, jolliest place on Earth.” Despite being at the helm for only a year now, Ketaki has spearheaded the brand’s reach in other demographic groups after being the de facto brand of choice for Filipino nationals worldwide. Her recent campaign – King Bee of the Ring with Virgin Radio Dubai and UAE’s most influential radio personalities – Kris Fade and Priti Malik was a smash hit! The campaign assisted Jollibee in securing the non-Filipino populace as 25% of its clientele – the highest ever recorded since the brand started operations in the UAE. Her focus is to continue attracting more diversity in the clientele of Jollibee by encouraging trials and increasing access to and visibility for the brand across the nation. Ketaki plans to use regional radio and digital and traditional media to reach her target audience.
Localizing the brand positioning of Jollibee is critical to remain relevant in the UAE and attract mainstream audiences. In this regard, Ketaki is working closely with the Operations and R&D teams to launch new menus. She is instrumental in achieving revenue targets and gross margins with double-digit growth YOY. Ketaki also manages the annual brand marketing and promotions calendar involving significant investment towards advertising across multiple media channels.
Ketaki was the Marketing and PR head honcho at Nando’s Flame Grilled PERi PERi Chicken Restaurants, in Dubai, UAE, till recently. Under her decisive leadership, the brand achieved unprecedented success – Nando’s was accorded “Superbrands” status in 2020 and 2021. With the spectacular grand opening of its new flagship store at The Dubai Mall and later in Mall of the Emirates, Nando’s was back in the big league of premium casual dining in the UAE.
Through relentless networking, attention to detail, and perseverance, Ketaki ensured the Nando’s brand voice and presence was felt across all spheres of the UAE F&B landscape – be it as the exclusive subscription drive partner of Gulf News, UAE’s leading English daily newspaper, or by securing big wins for Nando’s at Caterer ME and RetailME awards. It also tremendously helped that she had spearheaded Nando’s call center operations and was their Learning and Development (L&D) Manager before leading the marketing team.
Ketaki regularly speaks at industry events, participates in panel discussions, and actively champions industry-relevant issues.
A graduate in Business Administration, she also holds a Masters in International Marketing with specialization in Digital Marketing from the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University.
An accomplished business leader with 25+ years of experience, Suresh Vaidhyanathan has played strategic leadership roles for pre-eminent multi-billion conglomerates in the Middle East, Asia & Africa.
As the Group CEO of the UAE headquartered Ghassan Aboud Group (GAG), Suresh leads a diverse portfolio of businesses that include automotive, retail, food, hospitality, logistics, healthcare, and eB2Bdigital platforms (FMCG & Automotive).
Notably, the group has partnered with the AD Ports Group in establishing two large Public-Private Partnership projects in the food and automotive sectors – the Abu Dhabi Food Hub – KEZAD and the Global Auto Hub, KEZAD. The group is also rapidly expanding its grocery chain Grandiose Supermarket – a premier retail chain based in the UAE reputed for freshness of product and unmatched customer experience.
In his earlier stint as Group CFO, he was featured in the Forbes List of Top 10 Indian CFOs in the Middle East and within the Top 20 CFOs in the GCC 2021 (Khaleej Times NAFA List).
Suresh is an Alumnus of the Leading Digital Business Transformation program at IMD Business School in addition to certifications in Blockchain Technologies and Artificial Intelligence at MIT Sloan School of Management.
In 2012, Suresh was recognised as the NACD Board Leadership Fellow (National Association of Corporate Directors, USA). He is a Certified Board Director from the Institute of Directors, Dubai (Hawakamah) and is a Lifetime Fellow Member at the Institute of Directors, India.
Paras Rishi is currently in the capacity of Senior Manager – Marketing with GMG. He is an experienced omnichannel marketing professional passionate about technology driven growth. He currently leads all things Marketing for GMG’s E-commerce business unit where he is responsible for Digital, MarTech, Affiliate Marketing, SEO, Demand Generation, Marketing Partnerships, Customer Programs, Bank Alliances etc. Prior to joining GMG, he held various marketing roles at companies like Flipkart and Myntra.
I am responsible for service delivery to our customers and partners across Zurich’s retail and corporate life businesses in the Middle East. Creating fulfilling and enriching experiences that are compelling for our customers who interact with our brand is exciting. With over 16 years of experience in service delivery, I have been at the forefront of many key transformational initiatives that brought services online, helping our customers take control of their policies and manage them at a place and time that is convenient for them. Validation from customers in the form of satisfaction scores and continued adoption of what we delivered has been personally rewarding.
Tatiana Rahal was appointed as the first female Managing Director of talabat UAE in December 2021, having previously been responsible for the Oman market in her capacity as Managing Director since 2019 and Corporate Performance Manager in 2017. Today, Tatiana’s role is focused on driving talabat UAE’s business performance across its operations including technology & innovation, logistics, sustainability and corporate responsibility, just to name a few.
Prior to joining talabat, Tatiana held the position of Senior Associate at global strategy consulting firm Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), where she got the opportunity to work on a diverse set of projects in Berlin, Dubai and Qatar.
Tatiana has an undergraduate degree in Economics from the American University of Beirut and a Masters’ Degree in Global Marketing Communication from Emerson College in the USA, where she started her professional career.
Entrepreneur with a passion for Internet businesses. Over 20 years of experience across diverse functions like Analytics, eRetail & Alliances in both Domestic and International markets. Currently spearheading GreenHonchos, one of the leading eCommerce enablers of Technology & Digital solutions for scaling D2C brands online.
Dr. Ullas Rao is the Assistant Professor of Finance, School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, Dubai. He earned his doctorate in finance for his work on ‘Posterior Analysis of Mergers & Acquisitions in International Financial Scenario during the Last Decade’ from the University of Mysore, India, under the guidance of Dr. M. R. Suryanarayana Murthy (PhD Birmingham, UK).
With more than 12 years of teaching, consulting and research experience, Dr. Rao has made significant contributions in disseminating financial education through high-impact educational programmes for a wide audience of undergraduate, postgraduate, and management students.
He has also conducted a significant number of training and consulting programmes on finance for some leading Indian and multi-national corporations, which have been rated highly by their participants. In addition, to demonstrating strong organisational skills, he has conducted numerous high-impact and influential conferences and seminars on finance in India and the UAE.
Dr. Rao has published extensively in journals of international repute and presented papers at leading International conferences, including the 22nd Australasian Conference on Banking & Finance, held in Sydney, Australia, in 2009.
An industry veteran having held leadership positions at many successful start-ups. His specialisation is setting up new businesses and building the foundations in terms of people and processes so they can be hyper-scaled. He was the founding management team at Shoppers Stop, Inox, BBC Worldwide, and Central Department stores and has led the commercial and operational success of these companies over 27 years.
Mohamed Imtiyaz is the Head of Business Development for Amazon Payment Services in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA). In this critical role, Mohamed spearheads the go-to-market efforts of Amazon Payment Services across eight countries in the MENA region, namely the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman.
Imtiyaz has spent a decade in Amazon leading the go-to-market strategy for multiple products including Amazon Pay, Amazon Gift Cards and now Amazon Payment Services. In his 15+ years of experience in the e-commerce and fintech domains, he has scaled multiple multi-billion dollar businesses ground-up.
Imtiyaz is a Fintech thought leader who has deep experience in Digital Payments, Co-brand Partnerships, Gift Cards, BNPL, and Wallets, and is passionate about helping businesses succeed using technology.
Imtiyaz also specializes in People Management, Sales Ops, Inside Sales, Vendor Management, Small Business and Enterprise Solution Consulting and Pre-sales, Digital Marketing, and Product Management.
Prior to Amazon, Imtiyaz has worked for Yahoo and Dell in India in the cloud and SaaS domains. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Science Engineering from JSSATE (India).
Ben is a Director in PwC’s Middle East Deals practice, with a specific focus on advising businesses in the Retail and Consumer Markets. Ben is an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, and has worked with PwC since 2009, with over ten years’ M&A experience. Ben previously worked with PwC”s UK practice, before relocating to the Middle East in 2018.
Ben primarily advises clients on M&A deal execution, from both a buy-side and a sell-side perspective. Ben has worked with some of the Middle East’s leading businesses in the Consumer Markets sector, which include Noon / Namshi, The Chalhoub Group and LuLu Group International.
Chanda Lokendra Kundnaney is Founder of femtech startup LiZZOM. Mostly known as an impact entrepreneur in the startup community. A TEDx speaker and a strong believer in innovation in business. She brings a unique, uncensored approach to mentoring aspiring student entrepreneurs at schools, catching them young. A strong believer in clean and sustainable living.
She also helps women in communities set up and build their Amazon businesses. Besides inspiring students and helping women in the community, Chanda is on a mission to make periods a safer time of the month for women as well as for the environment.
Period by period, one at a time.
Her personal experience became a business opportunity and she founded LiZZOM an e-commerce website for lifestyle period care products.
Larry and Charly Pruden are the founders of PAWDEGA, UAE’s first holistic and natural pet wellness store. Shipping to 55 countries, PAWDEGA is the safest place to shop for pet parents who care about ingredients.
From natural treats and frozen pet food to organic supplements, organic pet shampoo, and non-toxic toys; PAWDEGA only carries truly safe and non-toxic pet products to help improve the mental and physical health of cats, dogs, and horses.
Charly & Larry Pruden have developed thought leadership in naturally preventing disease in modern-day pets and creating health from within. They have had public speaking engagements at many pet wellness events that were live-streamed worldwide. Together they have worked with world-renowned holistic and integrative veterinarians to increase awareness around important pet wellness topics.
Charly Pruden, holistic pet lifestyle expert and a co-founder of PAWDEGA, has been the driving force behind the successful positioning of the PAWDEGA brand as the safest pet store in the Middle East. She is in charge of the marketing strategy, content strategy, content creation, customer value journey, customer satisfaction, team building, business development, and more.
Larry Pruden, holistic pet lifestyle expert and a co-founder of PAWDEGA, ensures pets have access to truly safe and non-toxic pet products in the UAE and internationally. He is responsible for business development, product vetting, registering and onboarding new brands, imports, exports, and business operations.