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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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.
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 consistent with reader interests?
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