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\nFounder and CEO, NMC Health
\nMergers and acquisitions specialist BR Shetty has been hard at work last year. Fresh from the $1bn takeover of exchange giant Travelex, Shetty has also just signed off the purchase of a 51 percent fertility firm Fakih IVF via his healthcare firm, NMC Health. But Shetty is pretty much an institution in his own right having created one of the UAE’s best-known medical outfits. He is considering opening hospitals in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with further expansion across the MENA region once political stability returns. Shetty arrived in Abu Dhabi in 1973, establishing New Medical Centre (NMC) two years later. He also quickly set up UAE Exchange, which accounts for 12 percent of all remittances to India. Shetty was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in 2007, and the Padma Shri in 2009 for his services to trade and industry.
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\nFounder, GEMS Education
\nSunny Varkey may have left much of the management of GEMS Education to sons Dino and Jay, but his imprint still runs through the world’s biggest education provider. Under Varkey’s leadership the group morphed from a single school, Our Own English High School — which he established in Dubai in 1980 — to an operator that oversees the teaching of 110,000 students across nearly every continent of the world. He also established the Varkey GEMS Foundation, a philanthropic trust — which is chaired by former US president Bill Clinton — and introduced the Guruvar Awards in India, which honours over 144,000 teachers in around 3,000 schools across 45 cities in India. In 2014, private equity investors Fajr Capital, Blackstone and Bahrain sovereign fund Mumtalakat acquired a “significant minority stake” in GEMS Education’s emerging markets business.
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\nChairman, Kataria Holdings
\nWith investments in the UK, the US, Denmark, Germany, the UAE, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong, Kataria Holdings has a global reach. Its chairman, Raghuvinder Kataria, is one of the best-known businessmen in the region with a spectacular track record of success. In the last year, he has made two large acquisitions in Scotland; the Scottish Widows headquarters and Standard Life House for a combined $504m. The deals follow the 2009 purchase of two buildings in Dubai’s Emaar Square for $205m. But he is best known for his work in telecoms. Early in his career, he led the formation of JT Telecom — a joint venture between Telia and Jasmine Telecom. That JV later merged with Bharti Enterprises to provide coverage across India. Bharti Airtel is now the top telco in India and the third-largest in-country mobile operator globally. Kataria remains a founding shareholder in that company.
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\nChairman, Aster DM Healthcare
\nDr Azad Moopen’s astonishing track record makes him one of the most successful Indians in the Gulf’s healthcare sector. From a small office with just one doctor, Aster DM Healthcare now has 275 establishments across the GCC and India, with 13000 employees which includes 1,500 doctors and 3500 para medical staff.
\nHis portfolio includes the Aster Medcity in Kochi, a hospital in Bangalore, two hospitals in Andhra Pradesh and a further two in Maharashtra, and that’s not to mention the facilities in the Gulf, where the Moopen story began. The company is looking at listing in India later on this year, Moopen told Indian media last week. “So you have to keep expanding if you have to have exponential growth” Moopen told us last year. “We believe very strongly that growth is the fuel for any good company and there has to be a pipeline projects.”
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\nFounder, VPS Healthcare
\nAs boss of fast-growing medical firm VPS Healthcare, Dr Shamsheer Vayalil has had another stellar year. He operates 16 hospitals and medical centres under a range of brands, including Burjeel, Lifeline, LLH, Lifecare and Medeor 24x7. It has a 7,500-strong workforce, and last year said it was looking to hire another 5,000 staff to serve what is one of the Gulf’s most in-demand industries. Last year, VPS Healthcare also expressed an interest to acquire Al Noor Hospitals Group, although the latter was eventually bought by South Africa’s Mediclinic for $2.2bn. “Current profits for the group are exceeding $70m per year. Based on an equivalent price to earnings ratio of 22.3 for the sector in Q3 of last year, this values the group at approximately $1.5bn,” VPS Healthcare wrote in a submission to Arabian Business. The statement also confirmed that Dr Shamsheer is the 100 percent owner of the firm’s shares.
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\nPresident, Thumbay Group
\nA third-generation entrepreneur, Thumbay Moideen was raised in a traditional Indian family with a business background. Thrust into business at an early age, Moideen handled the mantle of the conglomerate established by his father Ahamed Hajee Mohiudeen and grandfather Yenepoya Moideen Kunhi, expanding the firm even further.
\nFollowing numerous business trips from India to the UAE over five years, he decided to establish the Thumbay Group UAE in 1998.
\nThe group has since ventured into health education, healthcare, medical research, diagnostics, retail pharmacy, health communications, information technology, retail opticals, wellness, hospitality, distribution and real estate.
\nAs well as Thumbay Hospital in Dubai, Moideen established Gulf Medical College in Ajman, educating students from over 67 countries, which saw the launch of the associated GMC Hospitals, with locations in Ajman, Fujairah and Sharjah.
\nThe latest addition to Thumbay Group’s growing number of healthcare services is the Thumbay Clinics, with locations in Dubai, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and RAK.
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\nFounder and Chairman, Advet Bhambhani Ventures
\nOnly in his mid-thirties, Advet Bhambhani is founder and chairman of Advet Bhambhani Ventures, which has investments and businesses in healthcare, hospitality, real estate and entertainment across the UAE and India.
\nUnder his leadership, ABV claims to have grown revenues from $8m in 2002 to more than $300m in 2014, with now more than 500 employees. It has five holding companies: Lifeline Healthcare, Nucleus Hospitals, Constellation Communications & Events, Delish Hospitality and Conjure Realty, with around 22 operating companies underneath.
\nBhambhani is investing in pioneering healthcare concepts — last March he announced plans to open five luxury hospitals in India by 2020. They would resemble hotels, offer personalised care and transport patients in Rolls-Royce cars. The first is scheduled to open in Mumbai in 2017. A graduate of Purdue University, Bhambhani has been based in the UAE for more than a decade.