Analysis

Top CEOs in Pakistan 2020

This year we are on the seventh edition of the hugely popular annual list of the Top CEOs in Pakistan by PakWired. As always, many factors are considered when filtering down the list and in the past readers have queried the selection process. Some of the factors we review are company progress, revenue management, social profile, engagements, corporate responsibility, and social engagements. Previous years can be found by clicking on the respective links below.

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

N.B: This list is never sponsored and nor does the order the CEOs appear in have any significance. Names are listed randomly.

Lt. Gen. Tariq Khan – Fauji Fertilizer

Fauji Fertilizer CEO

Khan appears in our list for the first time. As with many other directors in Fauji Fertilizer (FF), his career started within the army. He holds directorships in an array of boards including Askari Bank Ltd, Phillip Morris (Pakistan), and Thar Energy Ltd. He is an alumni of Command & Staff College Quetta and National Defence University, Islamabad. Post-retirement he has also served on the faculty of both institutions too. He has been awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military) and is also the first Pakistan Army General who has been conferred upon the U.S ‘Legion of Merit’ by the U.S Government for his meritorious services as a senior representative at U.S CENTCOM in Tampa, Florida.

Olivier Sabirie – Total Parco Pakistan

Total Parco CEO

Olivier, has been heading Total Pakistan since July 2016 and of late you will have seen their presence grow in the country. He graduated from the École Spéciale Travaux Publics (Paris, France) after studying Civil Engineering in 1992. Olivier has been with Total since March 1994 where he started as Operations and Network Manager in Mozambique. After serving in various countries throughout Africa, a stint in France, he has now been in Pakistan for nearly four years.

Shamoon Sultan – Khaadi

Khaadi CEO

Sultan, appears in our list for the second consecutive year. Khaadi is in need of no introduction as it has carved a respected position in one of the most competitive sectors in Pakistan. Shamoon graduated at Indus Valley after choosing to pursue weaving and has had the honour of working with names like Noorjehan Bilgrami. His perspective and desire to introduce something new to the market has reaped great reward. Currently Khaadi has stores in Canada, UAE, UK, and USA amongst Pakistan.

Sima Kamil – United Bank Limited

UBL CEO

Ms Kamil joined UBL in 2017 and has over 37 years of branch and corporate banking experience since starting her career with American Express. She has a degree in Business from Kingston University, UK which was followed by an MBA from City University, London. Kingston also conferred an honorary Doctorate to Ms Kamil for her services in Business Leadership. She also boasts holding a ‘Certified Director’ title from IBA Karachi. In addition to professional duties she in advocate for the education sector and is a member of the Board of Governors of Karachi Grammar School.

Salim Ghauri – Netsol

Netsol CEO

Ghauri is a name that requires no introduction. Asides from being referred to as the ‘Bill Gates’ of Pakistan’, he has featured in our Top CEO list a few times. He is the Founder and CEO of Netsol which is Pakistan’s only company to be listed on the NASDAQ. As many readers will know, Netsol is also one of Pakistan’s biggest IT exports. Ghauri also serves as TIE president for the Lahore Chapter and is honorary Consul of Australia (Punjab). Ghauri features heavily on social media sharing his consistent fitness regime as well as guidance from his experience in the industry for the youth to aid motivation and nurture their passion.

Muhammad Shahid Ali Habib – Arif Habib Ltd

Arif Habib Group CEO

Habib has made a name for himself in his 20 year career gaining experience in Banking, securities brokerage, and asset management. He holds an MBA in Finance from IBA and a Bachelors in Computer Science from FAST. Later he went on to complete the High Potentials Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. His experience entails working at Motiwala Securities Ltd and Bank Albilad Ltd and currently heads Arif Habib Ltd which has shown a positive increase in profits despite challenging times in the sector.

Mansoor Ali Khan – Bank Al Habib

Bank Al Habib Logo

Khan has been at the helm of Bank Al Habib (BAHL) since the end of 2016. He holds a Masters in Business Administration. Previously has worked at Bank of Credit & Commerce in Pakistan and the Middle East. Since 1994 however, he has been with BAHL and worked his way up from zonal head. Sadly we couldn’t find a picture of Mansoor Ali Khan and we respect that he may want to avoid social media altogether.

Zeshan Afzal – Million Smiles

SAF CEO

Zeshan is no stranger to the Top CEO list. He held office as the Global CEO for the Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) which focuses on social welfare projects including hospitals, schools, and water supply management. Previously Zeshan has been CEO at Peshawar Zalmi  and also worked at various big names such as Stylo and KMPG after leaving the Wall Street life in the US. Recently he has added the youth movement of Million Smiles to his portfolio, which focuses on engaging the youth for positive impact which has led to him departing from SAF to pursue the mission of Million Smiles.

Wahaj Siraj – Nayatel

Nayatel CEO

 

Wahaj returns for the second time to our list and deservedly so. He is a graduate from UET Lahore followed by a Masters from the University of Melbourne. He has vast experience within the telecoms industry and racked up time at COMSATS before co-founding NayaTel in 2002. He has guided NayaTel to become Pakistan’s first provider of Fibre to the Home and is seen as a hard worker and visionary

Usman Gul – Airlift (Start Up)

Airlift CEO

Usman co-founded Airlift in January 2019 which hit the headlines near the end of 2019 by raising $12 million in Series A funding (the country’s highest). He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Denison University in Ohio and later dropped out of his Masters program to focus on Airlift. Work experience entails working for Mastercard where he was a senior analyst, and Marqeta & Door Dash we he oversaw merchant partnerships.

Final Thoughts

Having compiled the list since 2014, this is the seventh year and each year it becomes increasingly difficult to identify and filter down to final handful of CEOs who make the list. We do read and consider your comments and appreciate constructive feedback on the final list. We also save a fixed spot for a start up CEO as many of our readers are interested in the start up eco-system. What other features can we change to ensure the list remains consist with reader interests?

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DISCLAIMERS

** This compilation, by no means, is the total sum of the count of Top CEOs in Pakistan. This is ONLY an indicator, a reflection. **

** THIS POST IS NOT SPONSORED. **

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    31/03/2020 at 5:36 am

    Not surprised that pakwired has picked up and included Gen Tariq Khan in their list. There is much more to him than you have written in your note though.

  2. Anonymous

    31/03/2020 at 6:03 pm

    Great and interesting list.

    I suggest if you may sometime introduce a world renowned CEO of Pakistan origin Mr. Fareed Hussain (or Fred Hussain as the West calls him), who is famous for turning around the under performing companies . I read his interview in Harward Business Review. He mostly remained CEO of German Pharmaceutical giant and once involved in a merger of 75 Billion US$. He also remained on CNN Board. Currently he is heading a company in New York, I believe.

    This may become an Inspiration for our children

    You may google for more info please.

    Regards
    Mushtaq Jumma

  3. Tajamul

    01/04/2020 at 10:24 am

    Incomplete without Aamir Ibrahim..!!

  4. Anonymous

    02/04/2020 at 12:31 pm

    Love to see Airlift in this list. They are well deserved.

  5. Anonymous

    02/04/2020 at 12:32 pm

    Love to see Airlift in the List. Only one year they make it. Wow!!! what an achievement.

  6. Fayyaz Khan

    04/04/2020 at 12:39 pm

    You guys should expand your research on the topic. CEO of Etimaad Engineering pvt. Ltd should be enlisted as he achieved marvelous success with a sailing titanic.

  7. Human

    05/04/2020 at 9:40 pm

    How can you put CEO Nayatel there?

    His vision goes no more than few feet from his own chair. Most of his time is spent criticizing employees or defending shitty policies signed by him. He likes people and promote them who are always showering him praises while hell bent on those who disagree on even a little thing. I suggest that you actually take into into account the morale of employees and conduct of person before putting someone in that list.

  8. Bilal

    20/04/2020 at 12:47 pm

    What was the criteria? CEOs are hired for one job only i.e. to maximize value for shareholders. Except the Khadi CEO, each of these CEOs you mentioned belong to a field which has much more successful companies that had a much better year than these companies. And what is that million smiles guy doing on this list?

    General sb deserves to be on this list of course. This is Pakistan after all.

  9. Business Consultant

    21/04/2020 at 11:10 am

    While you have considered company progress, revenue management, social profile, engagements, corporate responsibility, and social engagements, these however have nothing to do with the CEOs leadership Style, or them as a leader. Have you sought feedback from their people? Have you questioned their thought process? Have they implemented innovative leadership practices within their organizations? Do they have an aura of fear around them?

    Those who seem to be more visible on Social media are not to be the benchmark.

    Food for thought.

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