Top 100 Indian Business Leaders In The Arab World

The Top Indian Business Leaders in The Arab World 2016 (Owners) 1

Indians make up the largest chunk of expats in GCC countries. They contribute a great deal to the economy, as laborers on construction sites, or founders of multi-billion dollar conglomerates.

Some entrepreneurs have inherited family enterprises that have long operated in Arab countries. Tony Jashanmal’s family, for instance, founded a general store in Basra, Iraq in 1919. Ten individuals on the FORBES MIDDLE EAST list of top 100 Indian entrepreneurs run businesses that are more than 50 years old.

Nine are billionaires, including Mukesh Jagtiani (net worth: $4.4 billion), Yusuff Ali M.A. (net worth: $4.2 billion), and Sunil Vaswani (net worth: $2 billion).

Several are pioneers. Sunny Varkey founded the largest private network of K to 12 schools in the world. GEMS Education has a presence in 19 countries. Varkey’s foundation bestows annually $1 million to outstanding teachers. This year, a Palestinian primary school teacher won. Siddek Ahmed developed a low cost self-cleaning toilet, and received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for “reinventing” the toilet.

Of the 100 entrepreneurs, 91 are based in the U.A.E., a testimony of the ease of doing business in the country. In fact, four of the top 10 later moved their headquarters from other countries to the U.A.E.

In addition to entrepreneurs, FORBES MIDDLE EAST ranks 50 Indians who have leadership positions in multinationals and Arab companies. Sanjeev Chaddah is the CEO of PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and Africa; Adnan Chilwan is the CEO of Dubai Islamic, the largest Islamic bank in the U.A.E., which recorded a 37% growth in net profits last year.


We started with a list of 250 entrepreneurs, before narrowing it down to 100. We sent out questionnaires, and collected information from other primary sources.

To rank the 100 top entrepreneurs, we used the following criteria:

  • Revenues
  • Number of employees
  • Age of the company
  • Visibility: professional associations and media exposure.

To rank the 50 top executives, we relied on:

  • Experience
  • Geographical reach
  • Number of employees
  • Position


1Sunil VaswaniGroup ChairmanStallion GroupDiversified
2Yusuff Ali M.A.Managing DirectorLuLu Group InternationalRetail
3Mukesh JagtianiChairmanLandmark GroupRetail
4B.R. ShettyFounderNew Medical Centre; U.A.E. ExchangeHealthcare, Financial Services
5Sunny VarkeyChairmanGlobal Education Management SystemsEducation
6P.N.C. MenonChairmanSobha GroupReal Estate and Construction
7Azad MoopenChairmanDM GroupHealthcare
8Rajen KilachandChairmanDodsal GroupDiversified
9Ravi PillaiChairman and Managing DirectorRP GroupDiversified
10Shamsheer Vayalil ParambathManaging DirectorVPS HealthcareHealthcare
11Shaji Ul MulkChairmanMulk HoldingsDiversified
12Rizwan SajanChairmanDanube GroupDiversified
13Feroz AllanaDirectorIFFCO GroupFoodstuff
14Siddeek AhmedManaging DirectorEram GroupDiversified
15J.R. GangaramaniPresidentAl Fara'a PropertiesReal Estate and Construction
16Thumbay MoideenPresidentThumbay GroupMedical School, Healthcare
17Pradeep K. HandaGroup CEOKAPICO Group HoldingDiversified
18Joy AlukkasChairmanJoyalukkas GroupJewelry
19Tony JashanmalGroup Executive DirectorJashanmal GroupRetail
20Jayant GanwaniCEORetail
21Lachmandas K. PagaraniChairmanAl Maya GroupRetail
22G.B. JethwaniChairmanGeebee GroupDiversified
23Ajay BhatiaManaging DirectorBhatia BrothersDiversified
24Adeeb AhamedCEOLuLu International ExchangeFinancial Services
25L.T. PagaraniChairmanChoithram and SonsRetail
26Ashok Bhawandas AwtaniChairman and Managing DirectorNeelkamal Group of CompaniesIndustrials
27Ramesh RamakrishnanChairmanTransworld GroupLogistics
28Basheer K.P.ChairmanWestern International GroupConsumer Electronics
29Mohan ValraniManaging DirectorAl Shirawi Group of CompaniesDiversified
30Dilip RahulanExecutive ChairmanPacific ControlsTechnology
31Paras ShahdadpuriChairmanNikai GroupConsumer Electronics
32Harish Kumar Lal TahilianiManaging DirectorArab and India SpicesFood and Beverage
33Dhananjay DatarChairman and Managing DirectorAl Adil Group of CompaniesRetail
34Firoz MerchantChairmanPure Gold GroupJewelry
35Vardaraj ShettyChairman and Managing WorkerRamee Group of Hotels, Resorts & ApartmentsHospitality
36Korathe MohammadChairmanK.M. Trading Co.Retail
37Sudhir GoyelManaging DirectorGulf Petrochem GroupPetrochemicals
38Eugene MayneGroup CEOTristar GroupLogistics
39Jacky PanjabiGroup Managing DirectorRetail
40Sohan RoyChairman and CEOAries Group of CompaniesDiversified
41Anand KapoorFounderMiDCOM GroupDiversified
42Ram BuxaniPresidentITL GroupRetail
43Manohar LahoriGroup ChairmanPalmon GroupDiversified
44Atul AhujaCEOFlemingo InternationalRetail
45Harshad MehtaChairmanCs7Jewelry
46Abdulla Amiruddin AjmalGeneral ManagerAjmal PerfumesPerfume maker and Retailer
47Nilesh VedChairmanApparel GroupRetail
48Sudhakar TomarManaging DirectorHakan AgroFood and Beverage
49Birbal Singh DanaChairman and Managing DirectorDANA GroupIndustrials
50Kiran AsherGroup Managing DirectorAl Ansari Trading EnterpriseDiversified
51Kamal PuriChairman and PresidentSkyline Group and Skyline University CollegeEducation
52Bharat BhatiaCEOConares SteelIndustrials
53Faizal KottikollonCEOKEF HoldingsDiversified
54Hassan DarveshChairmanDarveshDiversified
55Lalu SamuelChairmanKingston HoldingsIndustrials
56S.K.WadhawanChairmanSamara Group of CompaniesAutomobiles
57Khurshid VakilCo-FounderMarina Home InteriorsRetail
58Amit DhamaniCEO and Managing DirectorDhamani Jewels GroupJewelry
59Vasu ShroffChairmanRegal GroupDiversified
60Mahendra PatelGroup Managing DirectorGEAP InternationalDiversified
61Asgar Shakoor PatelChairmanPatel RoadwaysLogistics
62U.M. RaoCEOPetronashPetrochemicals
63Shailesh DashCEOAl Masah CapitalFinancial Services
64Ramesh HiranandaniCEOHira IndustriesDiversified
65Sudesh AggarwalChairmanGiant Group of IndustriesIndustrials
66Advet BhambhaniChairmanAdvet Bhambhani VenturesDiversified
67Bharat ThakurChairman and Managing DirectorArtistic YogaHealthcare
68Zulekha DaudManaging DirectorZulekha Hospital and Healthcare GroupHealthcare
69Shyam Alamchand BhatiaChairmanAlam Steel GroupIndustrials
70Thomas K. V.Managing DirectorThomsun Group of CompaniesDiversified
71Varghese KurianChairmanAl Namal Group and the VKL GroupReal Estate and Construction
72Yogesh MehtaManaging DirectorPetrochem Middle EastPetrochemicals
73Sugathan JanardhananManaging DirectorRoyal FurnitureIndustrials
74Deepak AroraManaging DirectorDRA Group of CompaniesReal Estate and Construction
75Ali Asgar MirChairman and Managing DirectorIAS MediaMedia and Advertising
76Kulwant SinghCEO and Managing DirectorLama Desert TourismTravel and Tourism
77Thomas AlexanderChief Executive DirectorAl AdrakReal Estate and Construction
78Ahmed A.R. BuhariPresident and CEOCoal and Oil GroupEnergy
79Rajan MathraniManaging DirectorElekta GulfConsumer Electronics
80Tejinder SinghCEOBPO+Services
81Ved Sharan ChhabraChairmanInter Ocean Ship RepairsShipbuilding and Services
82Sundar MenonChairman and Managing DirectorSun Group InternationalEnergy
83K. MuraleedharanChairman and Managing DirectorSFC GroupFood and Beverage
84Shafi Ul MulkCEOGlobal Hawk DiagnosticsHealthcare
85Praveen Kumar ShettyChairmanFortune Group of HotelsHospitality
86Ganesh IyerManaging PartnerFLC GroupMedia and Advertising
87Vito GomesManaging DirectorAviation Services ManagementServices
88Mustafa VayazilManaging DirectorGargash Insurance ServicesInsurance
89Russi PatelChairmanBDOServices
90Sajith AnsarCo-FounderIdea SpiceMedia and Advertising
91Ranjeet Deepak ChavanCo-FounderSPF Realty Real Estate BrokerReal estate and Construction
92Kalpesh SampatChief Operating OfficerSPF Realty Real Estate BrokerReal estate and Construction
93Gaurav TandonManaging DirectorK KompanyMedia and Advertising
94Rajagopal SukumarManaging DirectorAl Nabooda Insurance BrokersInsurance
95Kurian KuriakoseManaging PartnerSohila and Kuriakose Chartered AccountantsServices
96Raju MenonChairman and Group Managing PartnerMorison Menon GroupServices
97Khalid ManiarManaging PartnerHorwarth MakServices
98Pradeep LaljaniManaging DirectorConsolidated Electrical FactorsIndustrials
99Jagdeep SahaniManaging DirectorAl Othman and Al Bisher Trading Co.Food and Beverage
100Vinesh K. BhimaniCEOKimoha EnterprisesDiversified


Jason Lasrado, Ahmed Mabrouk