Yusuffali tops new Forbes list of Indian leaders
Dubai, May 14, 2014
LuLu Group International managing director Yusuffali M A has topped the Forbes Middle East 'Top Indian Leaders in the Arab World' list of business owners and founders, cementing his position as an unmatched business leader.
Forbes Middle East last night held an exclusive award ceremony and gala dinner in the Godolphin Ballroom, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, to celebrate and acknowledge the Top Indian Leaders in the Arab World.
Sanjeev Chadha, CEO of PepsiCo AMEA, topped the CEO lineup and in the CFO category, DP World’s Yuvraj Narayan clinched top spot.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was the evening’s special guest, taking to the stage for a candid heart-to-heart guided by Forbes Middle East’s features editor Joanne Al-Samarae.
Encompassing the entire Arab world for the first time, the ranking included 170 Indian business owners, founders and C-level executives including CEOs and CFOs, based in the region. While the ranking covered a geographical area stretching from the shores of the Arabian Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, most of the leaders are to be found in the GCC, said a statement.
A total of 120 business owners and founders made it to the ranking this year, with 22 per cent falling within the retail sector; 19pc of them in industrials and 7.5pc in the diversified sector.
Unsurprisingly, the UAE ranked first with 78pc of business owners choosing to establish their companies in the country.
Of the 40 CEOs that made the final cut, the UAE accounted for 37 entries, leagues ahead of the rest of the region; Qatar is home to just two and Oman, one. Banking and finance was the most prevalent sector, with 13 CEOs.
For their part, seven of the top 10 CFOs are based in the UAE, two in Kuwait and one in Bahrain, with banking and finance ahead of the rest, but closely followed by real estate and construction, and retail.
Well-known business leaders Dr Azad Moopen, chairman DM Group; Mohan Valrani, senior vice chairman & MD Al Shirawi Group of Companies; and BR Shetty of the UAE Exchange and NMC Healthcare were also honoured at the event.
Other awardees on the night included Surya Subramanian, group CFO, Emirates NBD; Rizwan Sajan, founder & chairman of Danube Group; Thumbay Moideen, founder-president of Thumbay Group; V Shankar, group executive director & CEO - EMEA & Americas, Standard Chartered; and Adnan Chilwan, CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank.
Shah Rukh Khan spoke about the deep relationship that exists between India and the Middle East, as well as his personal affection for the Arab world. In an intimate setting, the star also welcomed questions from the audience and shared exclusive insight into his own life and work.
Indian Ambassador to UAE T P Seetharam also attended the event as the guest of honour, and Boris Collardi, CEO of Julius Baer Group, which partnered with Forbes Middle East on this special occasion, delivered an engaging keynote speech.
Collardi said: “I would like to thank Forbes Middle East for creating this platform and in particular acknowledging the tremendous efforts of Indian business leaders in shaping a vibrant business community in the Arab World. To our mind every member of the Indian business community is a winner, for it is this sense of purpose to deliver beyond our boundaries that drives us to levels of excellence.”
Amongst the highlights of the evening was the unveiling of the latest issue of Forbes Middle East magazine, which includes a comprehensive ranking of inspirational Indians, upon which the evening’s prestigious awards were based.
Speaking after the event, Khuloud Al Omian, editor-in-chief, Forbes Middle East and vice-president of Arab Publisher House, said: “Indian entrepreneurs and businessmen have played an enormous role in the continued development of the Arab world. Their passion, drive and expertise have blended with the region’s own, creating a truly unique business environment.”
Hannah Stewart, executive editor at Forbes Middle East, described the hard work behind the evening’s celebrations. “Tonight’s event and the latest issue of Forbes Middle East that underpins it are the fruits of months of dedicated work. The Forbes Middle East team has worked diligently to create a comprehensive ranking and rich editorial content, while the relentless efforts and attention to detail of our team and invaluable partners have paved the way for a fantastic evening of celebrations.” - TradeArabia News Service