In a list of most powerful Indian CEOs in the Middle East, the Forbes magazine on Friday announced the names of top 50 business leaders for 2017.
Sanjeev Chadha, Pepsico’s CEO for Aisa, Middle East and Africa topped the group, while Raghavan Seetharaman from Doha Bank and Adnan Chilwan of Dubai Islamic Bank ranked second and third respectively.
Sanjiv Kakkar of Unilever and Raghu Malhotra of Mastercard bagged the next two spots. However, at number six is Aligarh-born Tarique Chauhan, the Group CEO of EFS Facilities Services Group.
Aligarh Muslim University and Harvard alumnus, Chauhan’s story is an incredibly inspiring one.
When he took over the group’s reign in 2009, the world in general and UAE in particular was passing through the biting impact of the global recession.
However, he successfully led the company to an unprecedented height raising the revenue from $100 million to $1 bn in 2017. The workforce of the company under his leadership too grew considerably- from 1,000 in 2009 to over 18,000 in 20 different countries eight years later.
Today’s his clients include Apple and HSBC among others.
Speaking to Janta Ka Reporter from Dubai, Chauhan said, “I’m truly humbled to be included in the elite league that has CEOs from Pepsico, Mastercard and KPMG. I was always taught by my parents to make impact in people’s lives. Impact, by making a difference to others. We came from from a very humble background. But today, I manage a company, which staffs 18,000 people spread across 20 countries.”
Other AMU alumnus making the cut in the chosen league announced by Forbes magazine as the 50 most powerful Indian CEOs in the Middle-East is Asim Arshad.
At number 19, Arshad is the CEO of Orient Travel. Like Chauhan, he too had studied from Aligarh Muslim University.
Speaking at the World Travel Awards in 2014, Arshad had said, “We are very people-driven organisation. We believe in people and they deliver..You have to keep the competitive edge. You have to keep innovating. You have to invest in technology and for us, we’ve had a great organic growth.”
The recognition by Forbes of Chauhan and Arshad assume significance given the current spotlight on the AMU, an educational institution whose contribution to India’s youth in general and minority community in particular has often been underestimated.
Forbes recognising two AMU alumnus is also indicative of the quality of the AMU education, which, if not politicised, is capable of producing many world leaders in future.