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Sabeer Bhatia’s journey from $400 mln Microsoft deal to IoT for agriculture

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Sabeer Bhatia’s rise to prominence is part of “technopreneur” folklore. At age 19, he arrived in Los Angeles with $250 in his pocket. He talked his way to secure $300,000 funding to set up a company that was to launch Hotmail, among the first web-based free email at the time. When Hotmail users touched 8 million, the industry began to take notice. Soon he had suitors, Bill Gates of the Microsoft kind being the obvious one. The first offer was $50-60 million, which he promptly ...

Amr Banaja: Of CSR, Vision 2030 and financial literacy in Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

For all intents and purposes, Amr Ahmed Banaja is just another Saudi-born Western-educated executive who has climbed up the corporate ladder. But there are things that differentiate Amr Banaja from others of his ilk. Amr has worked in some of the most happening industries – banking and real estate to name just two – and some really prominent companies such as Kodak, Gillette and Unilever. In the process, he has witnessed the transformation of key Gulf markets such as the UAE and ...

Majed al-Tahan and Saudi Arabia’s transforming online retail space

Monday, 11 September 2017

Majed M. al-Tahan was not destined to rest on his laurels with a degree in architecture from King Abdul Aziz University. A stint as a real estate developer only built up his appetite for the next big idea. Now Founder and CEO of AYM, and MD of Danube App, Majed was born in a well-known family in Jeddah. Yet he endeavored to do something different, which took him to London over a decade ago. Here he found in his path breakthrough technology, innovative ideas and gave him the opportunity to ...

Howard Gough and Cigna’s art of balancing global with local

Monday, 7 August 2017

“Go deeper”, “go local” and “go beyond”. That is how Howard Gough summed up the strategy of Cigna, the Connecticut-based global health service company, a day after its deal with Zurich Middle East. Howard’s list of designations tell a story of its own. He is the CEO of Cigna Mena Region, CEO of Global Individual Private Medical Insurance (GIPMI) and CEO of Government Segment, Cigna Corporation. Just to put things in perspective, Cigna is a Fortune100 ...

Radwan Moussalli and his transformative cable-to-cloud journey

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Even by Dubai’s cosmopolitan standards, it is not easy to find someone with as diverse a background as Radwan Moussalli. He was born in Damascus, studied in the UK and is now a Canadian national. Radwan had brief stints working in Kuwait and the US before moving to Dubai. In 1996, Radwan joined Teleglobe Canada and was with the company until 2006 when Indian tech giant Tata Communications acquired the company. As a result, Radwan became Tata Communication’s employee number 1 in the ...

Tourism as the cornerstone of Bahrain’s diversification plans

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

“This is the time to look at Bahrain,” Jarad Bachar, Executive Director, Bahrain Economic Development Board [EDB], had his agenda sorted when I caught up with him at the bustling Arabian Travel Market last week. True to his role, Jarad brought more than just his skills and experience to the table. He has been in the region for nine years, having worked with Dubai’s tourism body and as strategic advisor to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Abu Dhabi Commission for Tourism. ...

Amira Rashad: Of women shaping corporate culture and tackling technology

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

What remains to be said about an unassuming woman entrepreneur and a self-confessed global citizen who was born in Cairo, grew up in Tanzania, Kuwait and London and spoke Swahili before any other language. A lot really. As impressive as this might sound, that’s just the start, there is a lot more to Amira Rashad. She has been through the peaks and troughs of the dotcom boom-and-bust cycle and emerged having learnt “more from the bust than the boom”. She believes in women ...

Why businessman Nasif Kayed calls himself the ‘Arab Culturalist’

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

In the 1980s and 1990s, Nasif Kayed was an Arab businessman with a gift of the gab, and a passion for breaking the stereotype. He had already been involved with over 40 companies and ventures and was on way to taking his businesses to the next level. Today, he calls himself inter-cultural consultant & inspirational speaker, and Middle Eastern cultural expert. Kuwait-born Nasif, son of an electrical contractor, was raising in the United Statesa family of seven, two from his wife’s ...

The Cambridge-born ‘literapreneur’ who made Dubai home

Friday, 10 February 2017

Isobel Abulhoul OBE, CEO and Trustee Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director, has worked relentlessly to keep the benefit of reading alive

Two retirements, a tragedy and an ecosystem for sports management

Monday, 30 January 2017

Anand Krishnan, Managing Partrner of FidelisWorld, has had a ringside view of the topsy-turvy world of global financial services industry

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