Top Indian Business Leaders for 2017


Forbes Middle East has announced the Top Indian Business Leaders of the Arab World 2017 at an exclusive ceremony in Dubai, U.A.E. The event honored business owners, executive management and the next generation of leaders of some of the largest companies in the Arab region.

Speaking at the event, HE Mr. Vipul, Consul General of India in Dubai, said “Indians make up the largest expat community in the GCC region, with over 7 million Indians residing and contributing to the economies of the host countries, not only as big business conglomerates but also as professionals, construction workers and in government departments. Indian and Arab civilizations have been at the forefront of human progress over centuries, connected by land and sea. For several decades, the partnership between the two has intensified further, especially with the contributions made by these leaders. It is a pleasure to celebrate and recognize the Top Indian Leaders in the Arab World and I am thankful to Forbes Middle East for inviting me to the event.”

The 2017 list of Top Indian Business Leaders comprised 100 business owners and 50 executive management. This year, for the first time, Forbes Middle East also highlighted 28 young and talented next generation business leaders who will take the family legacy forward.

The businesses of the top 100 business owners represent different vital sectors, with most of the leaders running diversified companies, followed by the retail, real estate and construction sectors. 27 business leaders have roots from Kerala, followed by Sindhis and Gujarat with 23 and 16 respectively. Yusuff Ali M.A., Managing Director of Lulu Group international leads the business owners’ category, followed by Sunil Vaswani, Chairman of Stallion Group and Dr. B.R. Shetty, Founder of NMC Healthcare and the UAE Exchange. 11 business owners have PhDs with five being medical doctors of which three have founded hospitals in the U.A.E. Total revenues of the top 10 business owners adds up to an estimated $28.9 billion.

The top 50 executives work across different sectors with 15 executives hailing from the banking and financial services. Sanjeev Chadha, CEO for Asia, Middle East and Africa at PepsiCo International leads the executive management category followed by Raghavan Seetharaman, Group CEO of Doha bank and Adnan Chilwan, Group CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank holding the top three positions. 24 of the companies represented by the top 50 executives have revenue of over $1 billion.

These business owners and executives oversee a workforce of over 750,000 employees. Forbes Middle East for the first time has identified the next generation of business leaders who will lead 25 family owned businesses with an estimated total revenue of more than $27.5 billion.

The information was collected from questionnaires, industry or government reports and company websites. Companies where revenues were undisclosed, estimations based on other available information, such as volume and capacity were taken into consideration. Some individuals with large businesses were excluded from the rankings due to lack of data.

The criteria for selecting top Indian owners were based on:

Financial impact – Revenues of the company irrespective of ownership stake
Employment impact – Number of employees
Age of the company
Editorial points – factors such as positions on industry bodies, personal achievements, CSR initiatives and ownership stake
The criteria for selecting top Indian executives were based on:

Financial impact – Revenues of the company irrespective of ownership stake;
Employment impact – Number of employees;
Experience – Number of years in the industry;
Title – The importance of the role in the organization
Editorial points – factors such as positions on industry bodies, personal achievements, CSR initiatives and ownership stake
Forbes Middle East’s event is being hosted by Arab Publishing House in partnership with Dubai-based financial services company Morgan Gatsby as preferred private banking partner; HumanSoft Holdings Company as strategic partner; XXII Carat as preferred luxury real estate project by Forum Group; Indian Television Broadcaster, Zee TV as Television partner; 106.2 Big FM as Radio partner and the event is managed by Tarteeb media.


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