Entrepreneur of The Week: Tarig El-Sheikh, Beneple

This tech expert has developed a series of projects which have enjoyed quick success
Entrepreneur of The Week: Tarig El-Sheikh, Beneple
By Tamara Pupic
Sun 08 Nov 2015 12:54 PM

Not only was Tarig El-Sheikh, a Dubai-based serial entrepreneur, the first entrepreneur to join AstroLabs Dubai's Accelerator Programme in order to develop his latest business idea, but he managed to sell that start-up only eight months after the beta launch in January 2015.

Beneple, a free online platform to help start-ups and SMEs manage all their HR needs, was recently acquired by a Dubai-based financial services group for an undisclosed amount.

At the recent launch event of AstroLabs Dubai’s new space in Jumeriah Lake Towers, Louis Lebbos and Muhammed Mekki, the tech hub’s co-founders, were glad to present the acquisition of Beneple as the hub’s first success story.

However, that is not the first entrepreneurial success for El-Sheikh.

Istashir, a corporate finance and management consulting firm he set up in the UAE in 2011, was acquired two years and three months after it was established.

His second UAE-based venture, Knot Standard, an e-commerce custom menswear company, developed a strong online presence and opened branch offices in New York City and Washington DC in just a few years.

As a trustee board member for Reach for Children, an non-government organisation that administers humanitarian aid to children in Africa, El-Sheikh spends a few weeks out of every year teaching young orphans in Kenya (2012, 2015), Uganda (2013, 2015) and Tanzania (2014).

Last, but not least, he advises and occasionally invests in start-ups that are looking for help and guidance.

Before entering the tech start-up world, El-Sheikh had a successful career in the finance industry serving as a senior investment banker at Macquarie Capital and Lehman Brothers in London.

He holds a MBioch in Molecular Biochemistry from Oxford University and a Distinction MSc in Finance from Cass Business School in London.

Without any hesitation, this week’s Entrepreneur of the Week accolade goes to Tarig El-Sheikh.

Do you know an entrepreneur who deserves to be our Entrepreneur of the Week? Please send your nominations to neil.king@itp.com and tamara.pupic@itp.com

For information, tips and advice on setting up a new business or insights from those who have taken the leap into the world of entrepreneurship, click on the Arabian Business StartUp section.


For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.