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Yogesh Mehta, managing director, Petrochem ME --- There was no missing Yogesh Mehta in the past year, with his profile shooting up thanks to a starring role on “The Entrepreneur” reality TV show. He came to Dubai at the age of 29 with no job, no plan and no future. Last year his company took over spectacular new offices in Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Things have turned out pretty well: Petrochem Middle East FZE was established in 1995 in the free zone of Jebel Ali in Dubai and has its own state-of-the-art storage terminal for bulk and drum chemicals. Established as a partnership with Petrochem UK, the company has grown from strength to strength and has become one of the largest independent petrochemical distributors in the Middle East.
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Shaji Ul Mulk, chairman, Mulk Holdings --- Mulk Holdings is a multinational conglomerate with a diversified business interests spanning primarily three sectors - Construction Materials, Renewable Energy and Health Care. It has 10 different divisions in the UAE, plus interests in Europe, Oman, the USA and India. According to Mulk himself, “Our Goal is not just to be the largest manufacturer of Metal Composite Panel in the world.” So far he is well on the way to achieving that with the company already worth close to $1bn.
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The Khimji family, founders, Khimji Ramdas --- Yet another huge Omani based Indian to make the 2013 grade – and what a big one this is. The Khimji family is the driving force behind the Omani business conglomerate Khimji Ramdas, which operates across a wide range of sectors including consumer, infrastructure and industrial sectors. Currently there are six main partner-directors who run the company. These are: Kanaksi Gokaldas Khimji, the most senior director; Anil Mathradas Khimji, responsible for global brands; Ajay Mathradas Khimji, who handles the Nutro biscuit brand, for a sister firm of KR, based in the UAE; Pankaj Kanaksi Khimji; Nailesh Kanaksi Khimji, responsible for Roto Packaging and SFIC, both sister firms in the UAE; and Hritik Ajay Khimji.
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Faisal Kottikollon, CEO, KEF Holdings --- Indian US-educated engineer Faisal Kottikollon set up Sharjah-based KEF Holdings in 1997. Today, the firm competes equally against European foundries that have been active for more than a century and has manufacturing locations in the UAE, Middle East and India. US-based Tyco International completed its 100-percent buyout of KEF Holdings last year. At around the same time, Kottikollon established the KEF Company in the Dubai International Financial Centre, which has interests in a number of sectors, including infrastructure, healthcare and education.
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Mohan Valrani, vice chairman, Al Shirawi Group --- Born in Sind in 1940, Mohan Valrani came from a family of entrepreneurs and from an early age those close to him observed that he has a unique ability for making money. In 1966, Valrani set up a partnership with influential Emirati businessman Abdulla Al Shirawi and the two have remained partners ever since. Under his leadership, the Al Shirawi Group was set up in 1971 and from a modest beginning of trading in steel and cement has grown into a multi – dimensional company with interest spanning 29 firms and with around 6,000 employees. Valrani is also chairman of the Indian High School.
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Dilip Rahulan, e xecutive chairman, Pacific Controls --- Dilip Rahulan founded Pacific Controls in Australia in 1984 before expanding the company to Dubai. Rahulan is known as something of a champion of green and energy efficient buildings; Pacific Controls’ UAE headquarters was awarded the honour of becoming the Middle East’s first platinum-rated green building by the US Green Building Council and Leadership in Energy and Environment Design. In July, the firm signed an agreement with Saudi telco Mobily to jointly offer machine-to-machine energy management solutions for vertical industry sectors in Saudi Arabia.
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Mahendra Patel, g roup managing director, GEAP International --- Mahendra Patel runs an empire that has been operating in the UAE for over three decades. The group has a very successful track record of operating not only in the UAE but also in several European and Middle Eastern countries. The flagship company of the group is GEAP International (UAE) LLC, which was founded in 1974. One of Patel’s highest-profile projects is Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.