At a glittering ceremony held in Dubai on Tuesday, Forbes Middle East honoured the region's most successful Indian businessmen. The awards were split into two categories: the top 100 Indian entrepreneurs and the Top 50 Indians in executive management in both multinationals and Arab companies.
The who's who of the UAE business fraternity was in attendance at the awards ceremony, now in its fourth edition. T.P. Seetharam, Ambassador of India to the UAE, was the guest of honour and distributed the awards.
Seetharam said: "The contribution of Indian businesspeople in the region is well known and acknowledged to be very significant and this is expected to grow in years to come. In the last year, we have not only seen the relationships between people to people prosper but also observed strengthening of the government to government bond. Our ties with the region are going beyond the transactional relationship into a more strategic partnership."
The diplomat was upbeat that India and the UAE are now collaborating in a number of areas that were earlier thought impossible, such as defence, infrastructure, renewable energy, semiconductors, etc.
"It is time for an India-UAE business forum which will see enthusiastic partnership from Emirati businessmen. This will quantum leap the potential for cooperation," Seetharam added.
The top 100 entrepreneurs were chosen based on factors such as revenues, number of employees, age of the company and visibility. Meanwhile, the selection for the top 50 executives was based on criteria such as work experience, geographical reach, number of employees and position.
Some of the leaders inherited family businesses that have been operating in the region for decades, with 10 running businesses that are over 50 years old. Over 90 per cent of the entrepreneurs have their base in the UAE, with their operations spread across the entire region. These tycoons have businesses spanning 24 different industries.
Among the top 100 entrepreneurs, 91 are based in the UAE and nine are billionaires. Some of the top entrepreneurs honoured include Gaurav Tandon, founder and managing director of K Kompany; Ved Sharan Chabbra, chairman and MD of Inter Ocean Ship Repair; Kulwant Singh, CEO and MD of Lama Tours, a destination management company; Shailesh Dash, founder and CEO of Al Masah Capital; Bharat Bhatia, CEO of Conares Steel; Ram Buxani, chairman of the International Traders (Middle East) Ltd; Dhananjay Datar, managing director of the Al Adil Group, who is referred to as the 'King of Spice'; Adeeb Ahamed, CEO of Lulu International Exchange; Joy Alukkas, chairman of Joy Alukkas Group; Thumbay Moideen, founder and president of the Thumbay Group which deals in education, healthcare and research; Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group which deals in building materials; Dr Azad Moopen, chairman of DM Healthcare Group; and Sunil Vaswani, group chairman of the Stallion Group which spans 18 countries and deals in commodities, food trading, auto assembly and dealerships.
Danube's Sajan also had the honour of being featured on the cover page of the May 2016 edition of the English edition of Forbes Middle East.
Meanwhile, the executive management category was dominated by the banking and finance industry, with 18 entries.
A few prominent winners were Deepak Khullar, CFO of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank; Santosh Varghese, GM of Middle East and Africa, digital products and services at Toshiba; Mohit Malhotra, CEO of Dabur International; Nilesh Khalkho, CEO of Sharaf DG (he began his career as a scientist at India's Defence Research and Development Organisation); Anurag Agrawal, MD at Canon Middle East; Ishwar Chugani, MD at Giordano Middle East; Rajeev Kakar, MD and CEO of Dunia Finance; Ashok Khanna, CEO of Al Tayer Motors; and Raghu Malhotra, president of MasterCard in Middle East and Africa.
As published on Khaleej Times.