Former Zain CEO Saad Al Barrak on Tuesday night received the prestigious Businessman of the Year award at the Arabian Business Kuwait Achievement Awards.
In just seven and a half years he managed to transform Zain, Kuwait’s provincial telco, into a global giant.
Under his guidance the former-state owned operator grew from a customer base of 500,000 operating in one Gulf state to 72 million customers across 23 countries.
Over the same period, revenues at the company jumped from $570m to $8bn.
Kuwaiti business legend Ali Alghanim also triumphed at the ceremony, walking away with the coveted Lifetime Achievement award.
Alghanim’s company Ali Alghanim & Sons was founded in the 1960s and has grown to become one of the region’s biggest players, operating in a number of industries including car dealerships.
The judges remarked that he had “from day one shown leadership, strength and vision.”
He was one of 16 individuals to be honoured while Gulf Bank won Best Bank, KGL Logistics received the award for Logistics Company of the Year, and the Yakoub Al Homaizi Group winning Retail Company of the Year.
The Special CSR Award went to Equate, with Chartis taking Insurance Company of the Year.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
Green Building Company of the Year: ACICO Construction Co
Lifetime Achievement: Ali Alghanim
Property Company of the Year: Al Hamra Real Estate Company
Investment Company of the Year: Al Imtiaz Investment
Industrial Company of the Year: Al Qudaibi Group
Best Islamic Bank: Boubyan Bank
Insurance Company of the Year: Chartis
Businessman of the Year: Dr Saad Al Barrak
Best Bank: Gulf Bank
Hospitality Company of the Year: Hotel Missoni Kuwait
IT Company of the Year: ITS
Logistics Company of the Year: KGL Logistics
Best Vision in Banking Sector: Kuwait International Bank
Telecom Company of the Year: Wataniya Telecom
Retail Company of the Year: Yakoub Al Homaizi Group