Country: UAE (Lebanon)
May Habib is the founder and CEO of Qordoba, a language services and digital content company based in Dubai that works with over 650 linguists in 30 countries. She was formerly the mergers and acquisitions director at Mubadala and an investment banker at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, New York.
Born in rural Lebanon, the eldest of eight children, Habib emigrated with her family to Canada at the age of eight. She studied at Harvard, where she headed the news board for the college newspaper, an experience that helps her bridge the often tenuous gap between writing, profitability and speed. Qordoba employs 31 permanent staff. ‘If you had told someone you were building a tech team in the Middle East a few years ago, they would have thought you were insane! Today we’re showing we can write software here that disrupts industries,’ Habib said recently. Last year, the firm raised $1.5m in funding — from Silicon Oasis Ventures and MENA Venture Investments — which it plans to invest in product development.