Top CEOs In Pakistan – 2016

When tasked with compiling any “TOP … “ list, the first challenge one faces is always laying down the basic criterion for a fair selection process. To be honest, this development of criteria is often more tough and rigorous an assignment than filling in the profiles for the Top list.

The task gets tougher as we mount the steed to group the top CEO’s of the country.

As has been our practice, PakWired’s ranking of CEOs is meant to be a measure of enduring progress. We track and analyze each CEO’s performance through his or her tenure. The basic purpose is to share the achievements that go beyond the most recent quarterly or even annual results and truly evaluate long-term performance.

In the past, our ranking – (here is the 2015’s and 2014’s list) – have majorly been based on hard stock market numbers.

We preferred the fact that the ranking was based empirically on data and not on reputation or anecdote. However, it also felt incomplete, since it couldn’t account for the many aspects of leadership that go beyond mere market performance.
And so this year we’ve tweaked things. We’ve added to the mix a score of soft skills, in this case it happens to be: governance.

We’ve also changed our methodology and have included CEOs with respect to the type of industry they operate in. We’ve also made sure to include only those who took the reins before 2014 AND have been in the office until January 2016 at least, and have brought around a visible volumetric growth during their tenure. We looked at total shareholder return, as well as the change in each company’s market capitalization. In addition to this, the list has been developed not as a ranking list but a categorization list.

As a result of these shifts, the 2016 top CEOs classification is quite different from last year’s.

In the following categorization list of “Top CEOs of Pakistan in 2016”, we have taken into account the policy choices and business decisions based on the trends & forces at work in Pakistan and in the region, weighing both opportunities and obstacles that come along. In order to keep it objective, we’ve tried our best to avoid including family owned businesses in the list.

As we continue to experiment with the absolute measure of a CEO’s worth, we anticipate getting our readers’ input. Are we right to include these critical, but less easily quantifiable, measures?

Are there further ways of fully evaluating companies and their CEOs? Are there other CEOs who belonged here, but got missed being mentioned?

Share your feedback and opinions. You’re more than welcome.

Financial Sector

Nadeem Hussain – Tameer Microfinance Bank


Nadeem Hussain is the Founder and has been the President and CEO of Tameer Microfinance Bank. The pioneer of branchless banking in Pakistan, with Easy Paisa, TMB was established in 2005 and had achieved break-even by 2009. Nadeem Hussain has been recognized as one of the top 100 CEOs in the country as well as “Leader of the Year” at the 6th Annual Global Microfinance Achievement Awards 2011 held in Geneva.
Crowned with two awards at Pakistan’s first Banking Awards, Tameer Bank’s journey to the top is a testament to Hussain’s passionate performance.

Hussain moved to join the Board of Directors at Tameer Bank earlier in May this year, as Ali Riaz Chaudhry took over as the new President and CEO of the bank.

Ayesha Aziz – Pak Brunei Investment Company

Ayesha Aziz took the responsibility of setting up Pak Brunei Investment Company and succeeded in positioning it at the forefront amongst its larger and more established peers, in terms of size and profitability in no time. With her rich and diverse experience in investment banking, asset management, treasury, and portfolio management at play, the company’s positioning has been awarded with a long term rating of [AA], one of the highest in the industry. Aziz has been involved in establishing and managing business operations and subsidiaries of Pak Oman Investment Company, including a Microfinance bank and an Asset Management company, where she acted as a member on the board and CEO, respectively. Currently, she’s working as the CEO as well as the Managing Director at the Pak Brunei Investment Company.

Aziz is an MBA from the Institute of Business Administration and a CFA Charter holder.

Abdul Waheed – AGICO

Abdul Waheed – AGICO

Askari General Insurance (AGICO) is the 6th largest insurance company of Pakistan. It has its operations in almost 20 major cities of Pakistan. AGICO is involved in general insurance business and has sizeable business in all segments of general insurance.
Waheed has rich diversified experience of Financial Management, Banking, Leasing and Insurance to his credit, both inside and outside Pakistan. He has been holding the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Askari General Insurance Company Limited since July 2010.

Before joining as CEO AGICO, he was working as CEO of Askari Leasing Limited, a group company of Army Welfare Trust, where he also worked earlier as Vice President Business Development. He has experience of working in Canada as Senior Financial Consultant in Dupont Canada Inc. and as Manager Accounting and Finance in Procter & Gamble Inc. (Iams).

Waheed is a Certified Public Accountant (USA), Certified General Accountant (Canada) and M.Com (Punjab University).

Faheem Ahmad – JCR-VIS 

Top CEOs 2016
JCR-VIS Credit Rating Co. Ltd. (JCR-VIS) has been pre-approved as a rating agency by MFI Rating Fund for ratings of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Pakistan and other South Asian countries.

Founder of the VIS Group, President and CEO of JCR-VIS, Faheem Ahmad has been the person behind JCR-VIS since its inception in 1997.
He has top level management experience at international level in the fields of credit rating, Islamic and conventional financial risk assessment modeling.

In 2001, Faheem participated in the establishment of Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) in Bahrain. IIRA now has mandates in 11 Islamic countries. He also established Pak Ujala as a last-mile solution provider in the cold chain network. The end product is a solution for retailers in on-grid/off-grid areas. In 2013 he was elected Chairman of the Board of ACRAA (Association of Credit Rating Agencies in Asia), the first Pakistani to be elected to this position.

Ahmad did his graduation in Civil Engineering from NED University of Engineering and Technology and completed his MS in the same field from the Oregon State University in 1983.

FMCG Sector

Abrar Hasan – National Foods Limited

Top CEOs 2016

Beginning its journey in 1970, National Foods is one of the market leaders in the FMCG sector in local industry.

Abrar Hasan has been with National Foods Limited since 1993, where he was later appointed as Chief Executive by the Board of Directors in the year 2000. Under his inspirational leadership and proficient operations management skills, NFL has transformed from a simple recipe producer to a full-fledged foods company.

Hasan with his extensive experience and in-depth knowledge has set examples and inspired the NFL team to embrace new technology, discover upcoming marketing trends and invest in human resource development, companywide. Under his leadership, NFL has become a 13.5 billion rupee conglomerate, with ISO: 9001, ISO: 22000, HACCP certifications and numerous industry awards.

Hasan graduated with a Bachelors degree in Industrial Management with a minor in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, Indiana, USA.

Jehanzeb Khan – AkzoNobel Pakistan


Jehanzeb Khan, Chief Executive of AkzoNobel Pakistan was appointed to the Board of Directors in August 2011. He started his career with ICI Pakistan in November 1983, where he has served in various sales and marketing roles, and later in managing businesses.
In 2012, Jehanzeb led his team in demerging the paints business from ICI Pakistan, and in the same year established AkzoNobel Pakistan as an independent public listed company. Since then he has successfully steered AkzoNobel Pakistan in establishing itself as a successful, profitable and sustainable entity. At work he is passionate about creating value for stakeholders, and doing so in a manner that embraces AkzoNobel’s excitement about sustainability.

He did his BS in Auto Diesel Technology from the Oregon Institute of Technology in the US.  He studied Business Administration at the Darden School, University of Virginia, USA graduating in 1981 with an MBA degree.

Software Houses

Salim Ghauri – Netsol Technologies


Salim Ghauri is the CEO and founder member of NetSol Technologies Ltd. He is also President of NetSol Technologies Inc. Asia Pacific Region. He has been a software developer since the early 1980s.

With Ghauri’s persistent hardwork, NetSol became the first and only Pakistani origin company, software or otherwise, to get listed on NASDAQ, the first and the only company in Pakistan to achieve CMMI Level 5 certification, and the biggest Pakistani IT company in terms of revenues and infrastructure. Since 2003, NetSol has been lifting the Best IT Export Performance Award (sponsored by the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry – FPCCI) for the highest export of IT Services.

Before establishing NetSol Technologies, Ghauri was a successful IT consultant in Australia. Ghauri is credited with setting up the first IT-based training institute and a software house in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Recently, he has been appointed as the Honorary Consul of Australia for Punjab, Pakistan.

Zia Chishti – TRG 

Top CEOs 2016

Zia is the Founding Partner, Chairman and CEO of The Resource Group. He is also the Chairman of the Board, and CEO of Afiniti.  Earlier, Zia was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Align Technology that he led from startup to over a $1 billion valuation on the NASDAQ. Previously, Zia held positions in investment banking and consulting at Morgan Stanley and McKinsey & Company respectively. Zia is the non-executive Chairman of the Boards of two publicly traded TRG portfolio companies, and also maintains several private board positions.

Zia received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in Economics and Computer Science, and his MBA from Stanford University.


Javed Afridi – Haier

Top CEOs 2016

Javed Afridi is the CEO of Haier Manufacturing Unit. He joined Haier as Marketing Manager in 2005 and has now been the Chief Executive Officer at Haier Pakistan since 2008. Afridi won the best CEO award by CEO Summit Asia 2015. He has been very supportive of both the domestic and international cricket teams for Pakistan. Haier Pakistan has sponsored many cricket tournaments under his supervision including Haier Super 8 T20 Cup and Pakistan Super League. Afridi has also owned a cricket franchise Peshawar Zalmi for US$16 million for a ten-year period.

Afridi received Master’s degree in Global Management from the London School of Economics, England, in 2009.

Zeeshan Akhtar – Q Mobile

Top CEOs 2016

With over 12 years of diversified experience stretching across the Middle East and Asia from start up to established market leaders, Zeeshan Akhtar has been affiliated with the distribution of foreign brands like LG and Samsung. It was there that Akhtar realized his own understanding of the Pakistani market and established QMobile in 2009 as a start up. In just 4 years limited span of time the brand made it to Pakistan’s No.1 Selling Mobile Phone Brand.
Providing an answer for advanced technological mobile phone needs of Pakistani market, Akhtar has ensured that QMobile retains the lion’s share in the country’s smart phone market.

Online Enterprises

Monis Rahman –

Top CEOs 2016
ROZEE.PK, Pakistan’s number one online job site which connects talent with opportunity, is a service of Naseeb Networks, Inc., a Silicon Valley new media company. Monis Rahman, President and CEO Naseeb Networks since 2002, has previously founded and run several companies ranging from Internet startups to chip design consultancies. He has raised venture capital for two Internet startups in Silicon Valley, and has nine patents to his credit. Internet entrepreneur with 15 years of experience setting up online businesses in emerging markets and delivering results, Rahman began his career at Intel Corporation where he was a key member of Intel’s microprocessor design team. He completed his undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and did graduate work at Stanford University.

From founding a small home based company to a 130 employee venture capital back leader in online recruitment platforms, which is used by 64,000 employers and 6 Million job seekers, Rahman has truly raised Rozee.

Zeeshan Ali Khan –


Zeeshan, a chemical engineering graduate from the Imperial College London, launched an online real estate enterprise in 2006 in partnership with his brother Imran Ali Khan., now synonymous with property business, under Khan received its first angel investment from the French property portal authority Gilles Blanchard in 2012, followed by a Series A round in 2014 and sizeable Series B round in 2015. The last venture round in January 2016 resulted in raising a whopping $20 million. The portal has undergone impressive growth over the last year, expanding its team from 90 employees at the start of 2014 to over 600 employees, 3.5 million monthly visits, 3 million property listings, more than 9,000 registered agencies, offices in 9 cities and presence in 30, as of now.

Earlier this week, Property Portal Watch (PPW) declared the 5th most effective real estate website across the globe. 8 to 10 thousand property websites are currently operating across the globe and the numbers is continuously growing with the passage of time.

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

EDIT: Please check lists from other years – 2014, 2015, 2017, 20182019 and 2020 respectively.



  1. Syed Zahid

    26/05/2017 at 3:39 pm

    What about Mr Muhammad Farooq Naseem, Group CEO of DWP Group.
    He is CEO of one of the leading Group of Pakistan working in HVAC, IT and Networking etc

  2. Husnain

    08/10/2017 at 10:55 pm

    Unfortunately you missed Saima Kamal the CEO of UBL one of the leading Bank in Pakistan. BTW I appreciate these people their hard work , motivation and enthusiasm brought fruits

  3. Umar Farooq

    17/02/2021 at 12:09 am

    You forget the Syed Abdullah Bukhari owner of Enrichers investment group. He has 20 years of experience in the investment company

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