Flavio Leoni is the Vice President of Sales, Distribution, Loyalty and Marketing at AccorHotels Middle East, which includes a portfolio of more than 100 hotels across 14 leading hotel brands spanning 10 countries with over 1.2 million loyalty members.
With over 20 years of international experience in Hospitality, Financial Services and Consumer Goods, Flavio is a strategic thinker and leader with a strong track record in driving results and operational excellence across several disciplines from Strategic Planning, Sales & Marketing Finance Consulting, Project Management, and Technology & Innovation.
Mehdi is the Co-founder and Co-CEO at eyewa, the largest ecommerce platform for eyewear catering to the MENA market. Prior to founding eyewa, Mehdi led the business operations and growth for Foodpanda, a global mobile food delivery marketplace operating in 12 countries. Mehdi co-led the MENA region with Anass Boumediene, Co-founder of eyewa, for more than three years until the acquisition by Delivery Hero.
After spending nearly a decade as a strategy consultant with Bain & Company, the region’s top management consulting firm, Mehdi is an expert in various business sectors including retail, consumer goods and telecommunications.
In addition to his expertise in strategy consultancy, Mehdi worked as a Product Manager for Valeo in China, the French leading auto-parts manufacturer.
Mehdi holds an MBA from Stanford University, a Bachelor in Business from ESSEC Business School in Paris and a Bachelor in Management from Tongji University in Shanghai.
Kyrgyz entrepreneur Ulugbek Yuldashev is the founder and chief executive officer of AWOK.com, which is, one of the leading online retail platforms in the UAE. He founded the online store in 2013, which commenced operations, by selling electronics and gadgets. The company has grown rapidly since its inception, offers over 50,000 products across 30 plus categories, and employs close to 500 people. Yuldashev has had a flair for business since an early age and started his first company in 2004, when he was just 19 years old. It was a retail and wholesale business in Kyrgyzstan named Domashniy (Russian for Home Center). In 2006, the ambitious young entrepreneur moved to Dubai and in 2008 established the wholesale company Gulf Alabel Technologies LLC. Success in this venture led to Yuldashev setting up another wholesale company called Alifco LLC followed by entering the ecommerce industry in the region with ALIFCA DMCC as the parent company of AWOK.com.
Ulugbek is a business graduate and considers his father to be his mentor who instilled in him discipline and ethics in business at a young age. Hailing from a retail background, Yuldashev is committed to being customer-centric. Customer satisfaction is at the core of his decision making process as much as an acute business sense and boldness.
Yuldashev’s commitment to ‘not quit without winning’ stems from being a dynamic sportsman since school days. He has grown up winning various national and regional level competitions in Kyrgyzstan. Competitive sports that he has trained in and won include martial arts, tennis, swimming and 10km running. When away from his growing business, Ulugbek enjoys spending time with his young family. He is a voracious reader and speaks English, Russian, Kyrgyz and Uzbek fluently.
Abdellatif Waked led the team that launched Uber in Egypt in 2014, and has overseen the expansion that has made Cairo one of the fastest growing cities for Uber in the world. Since then he has also led Uber’s move into cities across Egypt including Alexandria, Tanta, Mansoura, Zagazig, Damanhur, and Gouna, creating more than 200,000 job opportunities for partner drivers in the process, and moving millions of riders across the country every week. Abdellatif has quickly risen through the ranks at Uber, and is one of the youngest‐regional general managers at the company globally. Following his success in Egypt, his role has been expanded and he will now oversee Uber’s operations across the MENA region in Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, as General Manager for the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to working at Uber, Abdellatif worked for McKinsey & Company consulting for their Cairo, Toronto and Dubai offices. He has experience in fields ranging from the public sector and healthcare to airlines and telecommunications, where he focused primarily on strategy, marketing, and corporate finance. He is also the co-‐founder of TrainForAim (TFA), a sports company focused on conditioning and events management. He has an MBA from INSEAD Business School, an MSc in Economics from University College of London and a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.
In his current role, Brian leads the Information Security team of Commercial Bank International (CBI), which is a UAE based bank. At the top of his agenda is working with CBI’s senior leadership team to prioritize and align security initiatives with the bank’s evolving strategy and risk appetite. This is especially important considering the fast pace of changes within cyber security, (new threat actors, changing methods and motives of attack) and how banks do business today.
Brian started out in risk management, consulting for clients across multiple industries; from financial services to telecom, retail and oil & gas companies. In his 15 years security profession experience, Brian has worked in leading institutions such as PwC, Barclays Bank delivering risk projects across Africa, Middle East, Europe and Asia in numerous capacities. Roles included Head of Operational Risk and Information Security, Assistant Manager Systems and Process Assurance, Chief Operating Officer – Technology Risk, Vice President Internal Audit and Chief Internal Auditor. He holds industry certifications including CCISO, CISM, CISA, FCCA and an MBA from Durham University.
Amit is the regional Head of Security for Mastercard, Middle East and Africa. He is responsible for the overall conduct of security strategy in the region that includes people, data and assets. He works internally within Mastercard as well externally with payment eco-system players, Government bodies and Regulators to raise awareness about information security threats, emerging risks and best practices to aid in policy development. He strongly believes that for information security to be effective it should have support from senior leadership and be embedded in the culture and organizational design. Organizations should look at security in a holistic manner rather than create point solutions. Amit comes from management consulting background having worked with Ernst & Young and Deloitte in the UK.
He is a frequent speaker on security strategy, data privacy and security regulation. Additionally, he has contributed to several newspapers in the region on cyber security best practices and payment fraud.
He received his Masters in Technology from Aston University, UK and holds certificates in security, project management and governance. Currently he is pursuing Masters in Information Systems Management from Harvard focusing on Cyber Security.
Hussain Al Fardan is the Head of Innovation Centre – Strategy and Corporate Excellence at Dubai Customs, Chairman, Ideas Arabia & Ideas UAE, Board Member Ideas UK, Board Member World Innovation Organization. Hussain has over 20 years of experience in employee engagement, Innovation and Business Improvement with proven interpersonal and leadership skills. He is experienced in all aspects of Innovation both internal and external within the organization, with demonstrable success in Building Innovation Culture within a Governmental environment. Hussain has developed and delivered innovation culture method that is now used by many government departments across the UAE to develop employee driven creativity and manage continuous improvement.
Noora Al Ahbabi holds the position of Information Security in the IT department at Ministry of Economy, UAE government, where she is contributing to improving, developing, and raising the security level in the ministry.
Noora holds a bachelor degree in information security and network technology in 2016. Graduate of Zayed University, UAE. She is certified in introduction to Networking CCNA1 (IT Essentials), in CCNA Exploration (Network Fundamentals), in CCNA Exploration (LAN Switching and Wireless), and in CCNA Routing and Switching (Routing Protocols). She is also ISO certified in information security from Merit for training and consultancy, 2018.
Noora’s aim is to implement HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE’s vision of creating a secure electronic space and to help consolidate the UAE's position among the world's safest countries in cyberspace and harnessing technology to create a new reality and a life of opportunity and a model for development and e-security worldwide.
Venu is Group CISO of UAEEXCHANGE. He has 15+ years of experience in Information Security, IT Security Management. Venu in current role is responsible to develop, maintain and oversee the enterprise wide cyber security vision, strategy, architecture, policies and program. He has in-depth knowledge of interpreting global data protection regulations, information security standards & framework requirement and incorporating the same in to rational as well as effective operational, executable management & technical controls.
Started working at a very early age and became the youngest CTO at the age of 21, he won Business world Young Entrepreneur Award this year & Entrepreneur of the year 2013 by TiE. He is honored with the “100 Smartest Digital Marketing Leaders Citation” by World Digital Marketing Congress this year. Brahma Kumaris & their media wing Godlywood studio awarded him for his achievement & excellence in media at the International Conference-cum-Cultural Festival. Shabir has had a successful track record in various technology and business positions at a CXO level for few years before he became an entrepreneur. He has sold few ventures in the past and his current ventures that he has founded and co-founded are ZengaTV, one of the leading OTT services, OneDigital Entertainment, a Digital content company, OneAxcess.com, a unique self-serve, multi-platform distribution and monetization video ecosystem with over few thousands of content owners, creators and brand advertisers on board, InnovCrowd Pte Ltd which owns two Crowd funding platforms - DesiredWings and Catapooolt focusing on reward based and equity crowd funding respectively, Rastey, a Cab Service, Wyze Bots, a chat bot company, Leap 10, a start-up incubation lab, WoVoyage, a women only travel company, PSiamgone.com, an after death service, Holosuit, an AR/VR, tech start up, Clinical Nutrition, Food & supplement brand, SSN Solutions, a next generation tech company which specializes in consumer data acquisition etc. He has further investments in renewable power and few other industries. He is a successful entrepreneur and a professional with an excellent track record in technology innovation especially in the digital media and convergence technology.
*Speakers to be confirmed
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