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10. Sunny Varkey, GEMS
Millionaire Sunny Varkey is the epitome of a self-made man. His education group, GEMS, has morphed from a single Indian primary school to the biggest provider of K12 education in the world. Under Varkey’s steer, Global Education Management Systems (GEMS) today teaches 100,000 students in 100 schools across 11 countries. (ITP Images)
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9. Dr P. Mohamed Ali, Galfar
As the founder of Galfar Engineering and Contracting Co, Dr P Mohamed Ali has earned his stripes as one of the Gulf’s leading entrepreneurs. From its start in 1972, the firm has grown into the single largest private sector employer in Oman, with an annual turnover of more than $1bn and more than 27,000 staff.(Image from http://www.pmali.com)
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8. Tony Jashanmal, Jashanmal Group
With roots dating back to 1919, ‘Jashanmal’ is a household name across the Middle East. The group began trading in Basra, Iraq, with a single store. Today, executive director Tony Jashanmal leads a UAE-based corporation with multi-channel activities across the GCC and India.(Image from http://www.jashanmalgroup.com)
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7. Rajen Kilachand, Dosdal Group
Founded more than six decades ago in Mumbai, the Dodsal Group has grown into a multinational conglomerate with interests in engineering, mining, trading and hospitality. (ITP Images)
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6. Ramesh Prabhakar, Rivoli
Ramesh Prabhakar is the managing partner, of the UAE-based Rivoli Group. In 1988, Rivoli Group sold just one watch brand as the company fought to establish itself in the Middle East. Today, it is one of the region’s largest importers and retailers of luxury brands.(ITP Images)
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5. PNC Menon, Sobha Developers
Born in Kerala, Menon migrated to Oman in 1976 to launch an interior decorating business with a partner. In 1995, spotting a gap in the real estate market back home in India, he founded Sobha Developers, named after his wife in Bangalore.
Today Sobha is one of the largest companies in Oman’s construction industry. Menon remains chairman of the firm.
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4. Yusuff Ali MA, Emke
For any UAE resident, the Lulu chain of hypermarkets is a familiar sight – but it’s just one of the many brands held by the Emke Group.
The group boasts an annual turnover of $3.5bn globally, and is one of the largest Indian-owned conglomerates in the Gulf, employing more than 22,000 people from over 29 countries.(ITP Images)
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3. Chhabria family, Jumbo Group
From his humble beginnings as a radio-parts trader in Mumbai, to his final role at the helm of electronics conglomerate Jumbo Group, the late Manohar Chhabria was a business force to be reckoned with. Following Chhabria’s death in 2002, aged 56, his wife, Vidya, and three daughters, Komal, Bhavika and Kiran, took over the running of his business empire.(ITP Images)
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2. BR Shetty, NMC Group
Entrepreneur B R Shetty is managing director and CEO of the Abu Dhabi-based New Medical Centre (NMC) Group of companies. With initial interests in hospitals and hospitality, Karnataka-born Shetty has since diversified into sectors including pharmaceuticals, financial services, retail, real estate and IT.(ITP Images)
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1. Micky Jagtiani, Landmark Group
Billionaire ‘Micky’ Jagtiani is head of the conglomerate Landmark Group, and one of the most powerful figures in the Middle East retail industry.
Launched in 1973 with a single Bahrain store, Landmark Group has grown into one of the Gulf’s largest retail empires. Today, its brands span from children’s fashion, footwear and cosmetics, with additional interests in leisure, hotels and electronics. With 900 stores in 15 countries, Jagtiani’s operations now turnover $3.2 billion a year and employ 31,000 staff.(ITP Images)