Ahmed Ragab
Ahmed Ragab
Group CEO - Baraka Retail Group (Egypt)

Ahmed Ragab is the group CEO and executive board member of Egypt-based BRG Holding. He is the CEO and board member of Barak Optics Group, as well as board member of Baraka Folio Company and Sigma Construction. Ragab is also a selected entrepreneur with Endeavor Egypt. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the American University in Cairo, Master’s in Business Administration from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands. He also completed the Scaling Ventures Programme from Harvard Business School in the US. Ragab is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Ashish Panjabi
Ashish Panjabi
COO - Jacky’s Group of Companies

Ashish Panjabi is the COO of Jacky’s Business Solutions. Panjabi also runs Jacky’s Retail LLC, which operates Samsung Brand Shops across the UAE and is a partner in Cutting Edge Solutions FZE. He is a board member and president-elect for the UAE Chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneur), where the focus is on fostering entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, education, funding and incubation. He is also involved in various mentorship activities, as a Tech Mentor at in5 Tech and at Techstars, which is a seed accelerator. Panjabi is also a board member of the Dubai Computer Group, which represents the interests of the computer industry in Dubai and is formed under the auspices of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is currently a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) MENA One Chapter as well as a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Bart Denolf
Bart Denolf
CEO – Franchise - Sacoor Brothers
Charles Wright
Charles Wright
Co-founder - Hopi
Heba Al Farazi
Heba Al Farazi
Founder & CEO - Coveti

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 Farazi is an advisor in global sourcing and non-market strategies. With strong knowledge in factories relocation for best market access, Al Farazi 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 Farazi is now on a mission to create a global revolutionary data driven platform to unite best emerging brands with the millions of people across the globe who are looking for their next unique treasure find.

Hisham Al Amoudi
Hisham Al Amoudi
Group CEO - Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group
Ian Ohan
Ian Ohan
Founder and CEO - KRUSH Brands
Isobel Abulhoul
Isobel Abulhoul
Co-founder - Magrudy’s

Isobel Abulhoul co-founded Magrudy’s, a bookshop chain, in 1975. In addition to Magrudy’s, she was a co-founder of Jerboa Books, a publishing company which produces children’s books in Arabic and English. Abulhoul has a keen and abiding interest in education and literacy. Following a chance conversation and the support of Emirates Airline, she founded and directed the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, from its inception. In 2013, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and also the Festival patron, issued a Decree forming the Emirates Literature Foundation, naming Abulhoul as one of the trustees on the board. In addition, Abulhoul also holds the position of CEO of the Foundation. She is also a trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction Board, secretary general of the Kalimat Foundation and director of the board for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library and a member of the Supreme Committee for the Year of Tolerance. Abulhoul is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Kristian Stinson
Kristian Stinson
Co-founder - Hopi
Mark Tesseyman
Mark Tesseyman
CEO - LIWA Trading Enterprises

With over three decades of experience in the fashion retail industry, Mark Tesseyman has made his mark as an experienced and successful retailer across GCC, North Africa, Russia in addition to Europe and the UK. Tesseyman was appointed CEO of LIWA Trading Enterprises in 2015 to restructure and grow the organisation. A key focus has been to target specific market sectors and evolve a retail strategy in line with shifting global trends. He has driven the change management agenda placing the customer first, improving performance and transforming the way the company operates. Tesseyman has extensive international experience, developing and implementing best practice retail management systems and working for industry-leading international companies, including Next Retail, Matalan Ltd, The Peacock Group and Alshaya. Prior to his current role, he held key senior positions at both large corporate PLC companies and family-owned organisations. He is also familiar with private equity-backed businesses. Tesseyman is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Marwan Moukarzel
Marwan Moukarzel
CEO - Fawaz Al Hokair Retail
Mona Ataya
Mona Ataya
Co-founder - Mumzworld.com

Mona Ataya, CEO & founder of Mumzworld.com, has proven to be one of the Middle East’s most prominent of women entrepreneurs. Beyond leading a successful and growing SME, and inspiring her employees and communities, Ataya is on a mission to change the region, one mum at a time. She has managed to grow Mumzworld from a business plan on paper to a leading an enviable brand reaching more than 2 million mothers across the region in 7 years. Founded in 2011, Mumzworld has pioneered a revolutionary and gold standard e-commerce shopping experience for all things mother, baby and child in the Middle East region. Today, Mumzworld offers over 250,000 products, an engaged community, exclusive product offerings and delivery to over 20 different countries in the fastest, most convenient and cost-effective way, at everyday low prices. Under Ataya’s leadership, Mumzworld has undergone tremendous growth and successfully established itself as the regional leader in this vertical space. Ataya is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Naim Maadad
Naim Maadad
Chief Executive & Founder - Gates Hospitality

Naim Maadad comes with over 38 years of experience in the hospitality world across Australia, Asia and the Middle East in various senior management roles. He has launched and operated some of the world’s best hotels, resorts, spas and lifestyle F&B concepts. During his stint with international hospitality groups, Maadad was instrumental in nurturing sound relationships with owners, securing the best-possible locations, negotiating and formalising contractual agreements and appointing teams to infuse and reflect the ethos of the brands. Being based in the Middle East over the past 20 years, Maadad has witnessed tremendous industry growth, gained a deep cultural understanding and has been endorsed by principals & organisations alike. In 2010, he established Gates Hospitality, a home-grown hospitality company representing F&B brands, including Ultra Brasserie, Reform Social & Grill Dubai, Folly by Nick & Scott and Publique, to name a few. He as a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Nawal El Masri
Nawal El Masri
Founder - Exhale

Nawal El Masri is the founder and storyteller of Exhale, a mindful and conscious driven e-commerce brand that seeks to change perspectives through storytelling, art, visual journeys and clothing. El Masri believes that through Exhale she can bring awareness for mental wellness and break stigmas in order for the society to use the tools they have at hand to heal themselves. Artists from around the world, storytellers, writers, painters, illustrators and poets come together to tell stories with Exhale. The brand also teams up with educational awareness events such as The Global Teacher Prize to target and bring awareness to the millennials. El Masri has partnered with UNHCR to further initiate and activate the process of supporting and healing. She is a speaker at the American University of Sharjah advocating mental health, alongside forming a lecture collaboration at DIDI Institute in d3 for fashion students about mindful designing.

Neelam Keswani
Neelam Keswani
Co-Founder - Glamazle
Phillip Smith
Phillip Smith
Group Head of Digital - Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group
Piyush Kumar Chowhan
Piyush Kumar Chowhan
Group CIO - Lulu Group

In his role at Lulu Group International, Piyush Kumar Chowhan is responsible for digital strategy and execution of technology for all its global businesses across 12 countries, which include retail, hypermarket and shopping malls. He has over 20 years of experience in driving businesses change using the latest technology innovations, thereby enhancing business value. Chowhan has acquired strong domain knowledge in retail, e-commerce and supply chain management while working for global retailers like Walmart, Target, Circuit City, Tesco and Best Buy. He has also been instrumental in leading the deployment of state-of-art, award-winning supply chain replenishment programme, defining the roadmap for future-ready retail stores and Artificial Intelligence and analytics. He has won many awards for his work and is a part of the Steering Committee of the Analytics and Data Science COE (jointly started by the Government of Karnataka and NASSCOM in Bangalore).