Andrew Williamson comes with 22 years of experience with 11 years in the UAE. He is currently director, head MENA retail at JLL. He is responsible for revenue generation, leasing and property development advisory work at JLL MENA.
He has been involved in numerous retail development advisory assignments in the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Egypt and Oman. Some of the key projects handled by Williamson include Al Faisaliyah Mall and The Landmark in Riyadh, Emaar Jeddah Gate in Jeddah, Aramco, SDHOP in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Palm Mall in Muscat, Oman; and The Crescent Project in Baku, Azerbaijan, among several others.
Williamson has a degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario. He is also a certified financial planner.
Dr. Kumar Prasoon
Group Chief Information Officer Century Malls - Safeer Group
As a Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Century Malls – Safeer Group majority role is to provide vision and leadership for developing and implementing information technology initiatives and to direct the planning and implementation of enterprise IT systems in support of company operations in order to improve cost effectiveness, service quality, and business development ; and being responsible for all aspects of the organization’s information technology and systems. In the capacity of Chief Information & Technology Officer , also responsible for IT infrastructure, vendor management, technology projects, internal business analyst staff and the following functions:
Oversight of all outsourced IT vendor contracts and performance
IT infrastructure for multiple offices, including IT security and telephone infrastructure
IT and application vendor management, including critical applications
Oversight of outsourced desktop support
IT procurement and contracts
Data management, business analytics and business intelligence systems
Company IT policy, standards and procedures
Monitor industry developments and develop technology strategy recommendations for executive management like
Integrated Systems Architecture
Over the past 20 years, Furqan Athar has been instrumental in the financial and administrative strategic planning and management of some of the most successful shopping centers and mixed-use developments in the Middle East and Asia.
Furqan began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG before taking on management positions with Dubai-based developers Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Shopping Centres and Al Futtaim Group Real Estate. An expert in business process and IT set-up, he has participated in the deployment of major ERP solutions such as JDE 1 World, Navision and SAP in major multinationals.
In previous management positions with Majid Al Futtaim Shopping Centres and Al Futtaim Group Real Estate, he has been instrumental in the financial and strategic planning of some of the Middle East and Asia’s most successful shopping centers and mixed-use developments.
Furqan is a trained Chartered Accountant (CA) and a Chartered Management Accountant (CMA) from the UK with wide-ranging experience in investment portfolio management, from planning to divestment and exit strategies.
In 2004 he launched SPRET Trading; he founded Retail Solutions, an investment management and advisory firm based in Dubai. He’s the Managing Director of SPRET Retail, a multinational retailing company with over 250 employees within various locations across the Middle East.
In 2011, Furqan became a partner at McARTHUR + COMPANY. As director of strategic planning and finance, he leads the team on various assignments throughout the Middle East, North America and Asia.
He has extensive experience in all aspects of the shopping centre industry, more specifically in investment management and value creation.
Furqan is well known throughout the region as an expert in shopping centre investment, underwriting, and operational finance, as well as planning and Retail Operations.
After my basic school and college, i went to KVMC in Antwerp (Big City in Belgium), where I studied in the local Art-University… Master of arts.
Together with my art-studies, i studied psychology (clinical and business-psychology) in distance learning… Master of Psychology.
Together with these studies i studied to get my teaching-degree at PHOKT in Hasselt (big City in Belgium)… Teaching-Degree.
After i had these three degrees, i started teaching in Montfortcollege (Leuven – big Belgian City).
During my teaching-career, i studied Business-Management and i started to work in several companies after my teaching-hours… Master of Business-Management.
I started to work fulltime in 2 bus-companies and one food-company (slaughterhouse). First as Logistics Manager, afterwards as Direction Manager.
Together with my Managers-career i studied Fine arts at Ohio State University – USA (distance learning)… Master of Fine arts.
During his career in these 3 companies I studied Esotheric Medicine, Manual Therapy and Osteopathy…. Degree as Esoteric Physician.
Since 09th of august 2016 i am C.E.O. (General Manager) at MTF-Contractors / MOFEX-International / MTF-Technics / MTF-Metalindustries / Lothar (5 companies in total), and still working on saturday, in the one Medical Practice that i kept.
Director-Technical Services and Pre Sales-Sage Software Middleeast
Mansoor is a seasoned business application and strategy professional with more than 15 years of relevant experience. As qualified accountant by trade and a certified Project Management Professional, he brings a diverse background to the business management application domain. His earlier experience as Financial and System Auditor has given him comprehensive understanding of business and regulatory requirements and enabled him to successfully manage and lead, by bridging the gaps between IT and business requirements, in complex systemreengineerings& implementations. His knowledge of the ERP and IT domains is not merely honed with experience, he is certified consultant on Sage technologies and also a certified member of ISACA as ‘Certified in Risk and Information System Control’ (CRISC).
Before joining Sage, Mansoor managed the SAP global roll out as the Project Manager for Colgate Palmolive. He is well published in relevant press and presents regularly at Sage and partner events.
In his current role, he is working as Director Technical Services & Pre Sales for Sage Middle East. His team is not only responsible to lead the company’s product strategy but is also entrusted with enabling the partners on Sage’s technologies.
Mark Anthony Lack is the Chief Executive Officer of Retail Arabia, the master franchise owner of the Geant Hypermarket and Geant Easy brands in UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait as well as the owner of GulfMart supermarkets and The Bahrain Mall.
A retail veteran of 30 years and having started on the store floor, Mark brings with him wide and deep knowledge of the retail industry gained whilst working in a variety of formats from discounters, wholesalers, neighborhood stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets and FMCG distribution in 19 different countries around the world including an extensive period of time spent in the GCC.
Experienced at each stage in the business cycle from pure start up to accelerated growth, realignment and turnaround in both mature and developing markets Mark has always been able to quickly identify the key challenges in an organization that require the most attention and then give back the greatest return for all stakeholders in the quickest time possible.
With an absolute passion for training and people development alongside an obsession for high standards and detail within the operation Marks goal has always been to get the best possible out of the team to ensure that the customers experience is memorable and one they want to repeat time and time again.
An unswerving belief that retail can be a simple business, Marks aim is to simplify processes and procedures to ensure that colleagues can spend more time interacting with customers and truly deliver on the promise of providing quality, freshness and a shopping experience with difference.
Group Marketing and Communications Manager, Paris Gallery
Mohamad Jaber is the Group Marketing and Communications Manager of the region’s leading luxury retailer, Paris Gallery. A results-oriented person, he has an uncanny knack for knowing what works and what does not. At Paris Gallery, he is in charge of not only the company’s corporate marketing unit but also the company’s worldwide franchises. He was also featured at the World Marketing Congress in its list of 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL GLOBAL MARKETING LEADERS.
Mohamad has always found himself in challenging management positions where he has had to use his highly developed social and professional skills and experience to become one of the major reasons for the success and growth of those organizations.
Regional Sales Manager focus on Channel Development in Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Greece with 15 years’ experience in Business Development for Emerging Markets.
Very active in developing channel business for major European and USA brands with solid network in GCC, North Africa, South Africa and Turkey. 360 Management of all sales & marketing aspect including B2B and large deals.
Mohamed began his career as Marketing Research Analyst at Hewitt Associates (US company) before moving to Significant GfK (Belgian company) as leader of Marketing research projects for French speaking countries in Europe.
His Emerging Markets experience began with a new position at IRIS SA (A division of Canon) as Channel Manager for Middle East, Turkey and Africa where he has a proven successful sales track in Power retail, Online Shopping and large corporate deals.
Graduated as Engineer in Applied Economics from the National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics in Rabat, Morocco. Speaks Arabic, French, English, Dutch, German and Turkish.
Passionate about Retail trends thanks to the strong Acumen in Digital Signage & Point of Sales.
After graduating from the University of Amsterdam as MA in business economics, Olav started his career in 1999 as product manager for Philips Lighting in the Netherlands. In 2006 he moved to Mexico to take the role of regional product marketeer for the Latin America region.
In 2008, he started to work on the introduction of LED technology in Philips’ lighting fixtures for general lighting. Olav is based in Dubai since 2012 to bring LED technology and other innovations to the market in the Middle East, being the marketing manager for professional projects.
With an Austrian college diploma in furniture engineering and interior design I started my career in the shopfitting industry as a Project Engineer in 2005 at the Umdasch Shopfitting Group headquarters in Austria.
2006 I have assumed the role as a Project Manager and have realised projects for Umdasch Shopfitting in the UK and Ireland. I also moved to live in the UK for 5 years to support the set up of a local subsidiary with more independent operations on the ground.
Throughout the global economic crisis and in the position of a Key Account Manager I was a vital part to manage our existing accounts in Ireland and the UK as well as capture market share by acquiring new clients. At the same time I was able to support the process of defining the right structure and application of our systems for this young subsidiary.
Even throughout the period of the global economic crisis I have been successful in achieving my individual sales targets and acquiring new business. With key accounts like Dublin Airport Authority it was also under my responsibility to realise large scale projects like the furniture package for the entire direct retail fitout on the new Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport in 2010.
In 2011 I have decided to further invest into my career by starting an MBA at Oxford Brooks University which I had to continue on a remote-study basis since I followed an opportunity with Umdasch Shopfitting in the Middle East, where project management on the ground had to be strengthened and structured as well.
Based in Dubai I have first assumed as Head of Projects responsibility for Sales & Project Management and led a team of Account Managers and Project Managers to grow the business and deliver successful projects across the entire region. Since 2016 I took the responsibility as Managing Director for our entire set up in the Middle East developing business plans in order to meet the ambitious strategy of our division “Premium & Travel Retail” and the group HQ in Austria.
Reshmi Raj has been a resident of UAE since 17 years and has been in the Retail Security business for the past 14 years. She is a computer engineer but with a passion for sales. She has been selling security systems to retailers since 14 years and that was when the word Anti theft was nothing but having cameras in the store.
Infoquest was founded 7 years back just to help the retailers have a smooth flow in opening a store and also she felt that innovations in retail will never stop. Presently Infoquest has been able to secure a lot of stores for major retailers and also have been counting their customers with TYCO solution with 98% accuracy since the past 3 years. Infoquest has recently partnered with EMVIGO and the aim is to help retailers have an app that fits their store needs and help them generate more sales.
Strategist, Planner & Implementer with expertise in devising strategies aimed at enhancing overall Business growth, sustained profitability of operations& Continuous Improvement Performance.
Successful history of leading all functions of Retail, Franchise & Commercial Operations including merchandising, sales, customer service, inventory, purchasing, supply chain, logistics & process improvements.
My Advanced practices in Business, Finance, IT, MIS, E-commerce & Integrated systems and total solutions are a key milestone in all operations and development action plans in addition to launching on-line shopping & integrated e-commerce and digital marketing platforms.
GCC and MENA Expert in Retail, Franchise, Marketing and Communications, B2B & Wholesale in the Retail and Franchise industries with the top associated Brands:
# Transforming Window Fashion # Sedar
# Footwear Brands & Concepts # dejavu Shoes, fragola shoes, adidas, Timberland, GEOX, Quicksilver
# Fashion Apparel # OXYGEN Luxury Fashion, O2 Value Fashion, SOMBRA, YES MISS
# Furniture Concepts # American Furniture
# Consumer Electronics # BOSE, JBL, PELCO, OEM Brands
# F&B Restaurants & Cafe Shop Chains # Alien Le Notre, Chilies, Cina-Monster, Pavarotti
# Opticals & Jewellery # with VERSACE, PRADA, POLICE, CHANEL, D&G, Ray-Ban, VOGUE
# Cosmetics & Perfumes Concepts# Fortune Departmental Concept, Free zone Concept
# In-House Fashion Brands & Concepts # Brands as Le Club, Omarines, Armata de Marie
Sedar Global is the World-wide leading company in the Window Fashion, Window Couture, Wall Coverings & Home Accessories lifestyle with the most innovative Retail Concepts based on unique customer experience based on detailed Retail competency based system to enrich the lifestyle retail shopping practices world-wide.
Sedar Global Scope of Operations is within Middle East and North Africa and we started our franchise intensive operations and activities in Asia Pacific region.
Sedar Global was just awarded as the most innovative franchise model and best booth design in Franchising and Licensing Asia 2016 in Singapore this October 2016.
We are willing to share our retail experiences, knowledge , best practices , retail design concepts , technology integration & few other exposures based on our recent continuous retail development and markets activation.
BSc(Hons) MBA DIC Country Head of Retail-UAE at AXIOM Telecom
Born, raised & educated in London and now working in Middle East, Taiyab is a people-centric senior retail executive with 20+ years of experience of retail/services as well as strategic project experience and adept at implementing complex change. Put simply, he believes his product and passion, is people.
From the humble beginnings of helping his late father operate a fast food franchise to learning the basics of sales at Burberry in London’s Regent Street, he excelled at Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s fast-track graduate scheme, becoming an Area Manager and moving onto other key retail/service providers in senior retail roles including Johnson’s, Carphone Warehouse and Phones4u.
With a proven track record of managing large complex operations with international/multi-cultural environments he believes in driving success through people – focusing on developing talent and building motivated and inspired teams.
First foray into the region was as head of the retail operations at Qatar Duty Free (part of Qatar Airways) and opened $16 billion Hamad International Airport (HIA) Doha on 27th May 2014 with a team of >1,500 across 53 nationalities.
A forte for complex culture change and taking retail teams on the journey, he believes retail still has a hugely relevant part to play in the way consumers shop – but it must evolve to become truly omni-channel hence giving customers choices and a seemless buying experience across multiple platforms.
With two degrees including an MBA from Imperial College London, he tries to find time raising three children as well as writing his first book on customer focused strategies and how businesses put the customer ‘at the heart’.
Leadership – ability to manage and lead large cross-functional, diverse teams in complex retail environments – sets example through dynamic hands-on style.
Sales focus – ability to drive results across suite of KPIs through store teams.
Results orientated – track record in tactical quick wins as well as focus on yielding of sustainable business growth through long term objectives.
Customer First – creating a culture where the customer is at the heart of everything.
Stakeholder management – comfortable at influencing at all levels – a ‘go to guy’ for support functions.
Team engagement – built relationships and buy-in with 4 levels of managers within retail team – through honesty, integrity and personable leadership approach.
Innovative – ability to ‘think out of the box’ and drive new retail initiatives.
Project management – delivering to deadlines and within budgets.
Business acumen – knowledge of financial processes, budgeting & business planning.
About Axiom Telecom
It was 1997 when Faisal Al Bannai decided that there was a better way to trade and distribute mobile devices and accessories. axiom telecom was born. And now it’s all grown up. Today we’re the largest retailer and distributor in the region with 525 locations and growing, and more than 1,950 hand-picked expert employees across the United Arab Emirates, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.
We’re the major authorized retailer and distributor of some of the world’s most recognizable brands including Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Lenovo, BlackBerry and Nokia. We also deal with various telecom operator partners in each of the countries where we have a presence.
The only thing we’re satisfied with is the next big idea. More happy customers. Unstoppable service. Our 60 second data transfer service is a perfect example where our customers can have all their data on their new phone in an instant. We also encourage customers to get hands-on with the latest technology. And we’re the first and only telecom retailer to provide pick up, repair and delivery service. And all that makes us smile.
Our goal has always been to revolutionize our industry. So we innovate. Then think. Innovate some more. Then we get it done. Every day.
Graduated from Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management, in Alexandria University- Egypt. Held various management positions in Hospitality Management and Retail in Middle East. Joined NCC Group of Companies as General Manager in 2007; currently a Group CEO and Executive Committee member, Board of Directors Member in NCC Kuwait & Al Raha International Integrated Facilities Management LLC, and Co-founder & CEO of Business DNA Company and was Chairman of OPAL-NCC Company (2014-2015).
Initiating Souq Planet concept as the first digital supermarket in the Middle East, and awarding Business DNA “The Best Retail IT Solution Provider in the Middle East” by Reseller Magazine 2015; are milestones in an ongoing journey for changing the business culture & environment in the region.
Used to be a sports analyst in Dubai sports channel 2012-2013. And a speaker for various events like InRetail Summit 2014 & 2015, Retail Show Middle East 2014 & 2015, Retail Middle East 2014, Future Retail 2014, & GITEX 2013 & 2014; with active participation in NRF (New York, USA) for 2014, 2015 & 2016.