CEO Today - Middle East Awards 2023

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Abdallah Massaad Group CEO of RAK Ceramics PJSC - FEATURED WINNER - PAGE 32 “As a manufacturing company, we have realized the fruits of sustainable investing over the years, especially in terms of waste utilization and energy consumption, contributing more positively to our local environments.”

- FEATURED WINNER - PAGE 46 Peter Richards CEO of Gulftainer “We operate best as a family which embraces its customers as part of an extended family. Our clients know we care about their business, and we will help them prosper, as obviously their success is our success.”

CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - 5 - - INTRODUCTION - Dear Readers, Welcome to the prestigious CEO Today Magazine Middle East Awards! It is with great pleasure that we gather here today to honor and recognize the outstanding achievements and remarkable leadership displayed by some of the most exceptional executives in the Middle East. In this exclusive edition of CEO Today Magazine’s Middle East Awards 2023, we bring you a collection of stories and profiles that shine a spotlight on the visionaries who are shaping the business landscape in the region. From accomplished entrepreneurs to industry pioneers, our esteemed winners have exemplified excellence in their respective fields and have propelled their organizations to new heights. Throughout the pages of this magazine, you will discover inspiring tales of triumph, insightful interviews, and in-depth profiles of visionary CEOs who have left an indelible mark on the Middle Eastern business community. At CEO Today Magazine, we firmly believe in the power of exceptional leadership to shape the future and inspire others to reach their full potential. We are delighted to recognize the outstanding contributions made by these extraordinary individuals, whose dedication, passion, and strategic foresight have made a lasting impact on their organizations and the wider business ecosystem. The Middle East is a region of immense diversity, rich cultural heritage, and abundant opportunities. It is a place where ambition meets innovation, and where ideas are transformed into reality. As we celebrate the achievements of these exceptional CEOs, we also celebrate the spirit of collaboration, entrepreneurship, and resilience that defines the Middle Eastern business landscape. I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to all the winners of the CEO Today Magazine Middle East Awards. Warm regards,

Featured Winners Jerry Inzerillo Diriyah Company Ahmed Gamal M A Anderson Group Said Alhatmi Ahliban Johnson Varughese Walaa Abdallah Massaad RAK Ceramics PJSC Massimiliano Colella Evercare Group Mikael Salmela Codesta Peter Richards Gulftainer 8 20 24 28 32 34 38 46

My name is Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah Company and a staunch advocate for the global hospitality sector and its people for over five decades. I have been fortunate to have worked with the very best in this industry and have delivered projects that have been recognized and celebrated across the globe. My greatest passion is people and at its core, that is what hospitality is all about, curating and enhancing experiences that forge deeper emotional connections for travelers and guests, offering windows into cultures and ways of life. At Diriyah Company, we are creating one of the world’s premier cultural destinations, where you can immerse yourself in a depth of heritage and history unlike anywhere else. Centered around an awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ancient At-Turaif District, Diriyah charts the life of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, both as the place of its founding and home to the roots of its modern society. For the entire team at Diriyah Company, there is immense pride in the role we are playing in opening such an iconic historical site for the first time. As we progress, we are celebrating and showcasing all that Saudi culture has to offer. Each one of us is a guardian of Diriyah’s centuries-long legacy and we all recognize and are motivated by the pride in which it is held by the Saudi people. CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - SAUDI ARABIA - - 8 -

Inzerillo Group CEO of Diriyah Company Jerry What is the vision and mission of Diriyah Company, and how does it fit into the broader goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 agenda? The Vision 2030 agenda is transforming Saudi Arabia into a world leader in tourism, hospitality, and travel. To be involved in such ambitious plans offers a once-in-alifetime opportunity to contribute to the next chapter of a nation. Before I say anything else, it is so important to understand what Diriyah is and, possibly more importantly, what it is not. Diriyah is not just another shiny new-build tourism destination offering the same “copy, paste” product, differentiated only by its address. Diriyah is infinitely more than that. Diriyah was the site of the founding place of the First Saudi State in 1727 and has, for almost three centuries, been a global gathering place. From its beginning as an oasis that provided sanctuary from a harsh desert climate that nurtured a nascent nation to its rise to a hub for trade, intellectual exchange and artistic expression, Diriyah can truly be described as the heart of a Kingdom and an ancient cradle of Arabian civilization. The Diriyah Company is fulfilling its mission to forge an unrivalled cultural and lifestyle destination. As Vision 2030 transforms quality of life in the Kingdom, our work across the development is contributing to this success, providing a lifestyle imbued with a breadth of culture and a place in history unrivalled anywhere in the Arabian Peninsula. Diriyah will become the place to celebrate the wonders of Saudi Arabia’s deep history and rich heritage and will showcase to the world the treasures that can be explored in the Kingdom. What initiatives do you have in place to attract international tourists to the area, and what unique experiences can visitors expect to have? Visiting Diriyah is a journey of cultural and heritage immersion and discovery not found anywhere else in the region. Today Diriyah is open, and we have already welcomed over half a million visitors in our first three months. The At-Turaif district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed in 2010, forms the core of the development. Its enchanting Najdi architecture, recognizable in its mud-brick walls, has inspired the design of the project, creating an environment truly unique to Diriyah. Whether you are exploring the countless exhibitions showcasing some of the country’s most precious artifacts or sampling traditional Arabic coffee in the fabulous 18th Century ruins, you will be enriched by the cultural immersion. CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - SAUDI ARABIA - - 9 -

For food-loving travelers, Bujairi Terrace, the Middle East’s new premier cuisine offering, is open and catering to the gastronomical desires of even the most enlightened foodies. Fusing examples of local Saudi cuisine with the world’s most celebrated restaurants, an unrivalled number of culinary adventures await. Diriyah is also a world-class destination for cultural and sporting events. From Saudi Arabia’s first Contemporary Art Biennale and the Saudi Design Festival, held in the Jax District, to Diriyah Season’s boxing matches, Diriyah Tennis Cup and Diriyah Equestrian Festival, and not forgetting the electrifying Formula E, Diriyah has become a meeting point for the cultural and sporting worlds. Your journey of discovery at Diriyah is limited only by your imagination. Can you describe the key projects currently underway at Diriyah, and how they will contribute to developing the area as a cultural and tourism destination? We are developing a historical destination that has been at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s history since its inception and we are reestablishing it as a global gathering place, attracting proud Saudi nationals, inquisitive international tourists, leading investors, and the pinnacle of cultural talent. Diriyah is progressing at pace. We ultimately aim to attract 27 million annual visitors and create 55,000 permanent jobs. This will be an almost unimaginable transformation for the area, supporting the local community and offering residents and visitors alike a cultural experience like no other. Looking to the future, Diriyah Company will be a world leader in hospitality, tourism, and real estate. To highlight just a few examples, we have announced 34 world-class branded hotel operators that will form our hospitality portfolio, including the Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood and Six Senses. We will also welcome more than 400 retail and entertainment outlets to Diriyah Square, which will be one of the country’s largest shopping destinations. Alongside Bujairi Terrace’s renowned culinary collection, our prestigious offerings will complement the Kingdom’s rich culture and heritage and establish Diriyah Company as an industry leader, pioneering cultural urban development and destination management. We have only just begun to unlock the wonders of Diriyah, and we are immensely proud of our exciting future agenda and to have attracted such iconic brands and partners to be a part of our development journey. How does the Company ensure that its projects are sustainable and environmentally responsible? Sustainability is essential at every level of our work in Diriyah, The City of Earth and as we develop, we always seek new ways to maximize best practices and improve our building processes and management, to further that commitment. Diriyah Company has been awarded the internationally renowned USGBC LEED precertification at the platinum level in recognition of our continuing work to enhance sustainability across the entire development. We have also enrolled in Saudi Arabia’s own sustainability certification program: MOSTADAM, which is directly linked to achieving the Vision 2030 objective of improving quality of life for all Saudis. Protecting the natural environment and the way of life that has existed here for centuries is fundamental to our work. Sustainability must therefore be more holistic, conserving, enhancing, and celebrating the community and environment. A great example is that the first phase of the Diriyah Masterplan will be built entirely in the traditional Najdi architectural style, which is such a defining part of Diriyah’s identity and culture. Using locally sourced materials; mud, stone, straw, and water, the development is guided by their use in the UNESCO World Heritage Site At-Turaif. “Visiting Diriyah is a journey of cultural and heritage immersion and discovery not found anywhere else in the region.” CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - SAUDI ARABIA - - 10 -

With such a deeply rooted history and connection to the Kingdom, sustainability and the preservation of its identity and natural environment is at the very heart of our work. What are some of the challenges that you have faced in your role as GCEO of Diriyah Company, and how have you addressed them? Any development or project on the scale of Diriyah, especially one that deals with such a cherished history, inevitably has many challenges. For my part as GCEO, I oversee the myriad Diriyah Company operations across a variety of different departments, individual and joint ventures. When His Royal Highness The Crown Prince asked me to lead Diriyah Company, his first task for me was to build a best-in-class team. He told me to get the best in all the areas we work and with his support, we did just that. You name it – from culture and heritage to design and architecture – we have brought together the very best from the Kingdom and across the world. With a great team comes great results – my job is to make sure that everyone works together towards our common goal and to keep progress moving in the right direction…forwards! The second way I address challenges is through planning. With so many moving parts across Diriyah Company and the development, meticulous planning is essential to delivering our goals and to mitigating potential risks. “Assess, action, manage”, three words to live by when managing a project like this. An effective leader sees many steps ahead and acts proactively to address challenges before they are reached and certainly before they become issues. It is that principle that guides the way I engage with challenges in my role as GCEO and indeed as I have with any management role I have held. How do you approach leadership and management, and what qualities are most important for a successful CEO? There is no one size fits all approach to leadership and management but in my view, a successful CEO should be two things: a great motivator and an even better listener. In any firm, the leader must inspire and motivate their staff. As I have already alluded to, a great team is essential to success but however competent the team is, if they feel CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - SAUDI ARABIA - - 11 -

disenfranchised, fail to work together, or are not guided by the bigger picture, they will not reach their full potential. A successful CEO should be able to energize the team to deliver to the very limits of their potential and to feel both a part of and essential to the success of the team. The second quality for a successful CEO both enables and improves your ability to motivate – listening. If you fail to hear the concerns or challenges being faced by your staff or recognize a good idea and work to implement it, you will not be able to get the most out of your team’s skills or motivate them to perform. To be a successful CEO then, you must be a great motivator and an even better listener. How do you communicate the vision and goals of the company to your team and stakeholders and ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards the same objectives? When a company or project has many staff and multiple divisions or areas of work, clear, consistent, and planned communication is essential. In my view, maintaining ongoing communications with the employees keeps the company up-to-date and cognizant of progress and target areas of improvement. This leads to greater collaboration, team-member “buy-in” and a cohesive approach to delivery. This must of course be combined with senior leadership meetings, strategy sessions, and careful planning of announcements, communications, and the launch of initiatives to optimize resources and meet (and hopefully exceed) your targets. The key: don’t think of communication as an afterthought – bring the team with you, then they will be by your side when you need them. We have a saying “There’s only one Diriyah” This means each individual is critical to our success we are one family in our triumphs and challenges we are passionate and united by one vision of 2030. How do you foster a culture of innovation and creativity within the organization and encourage employees to think outside the box? Innovation is progress. From optimizing a process to reducing the resources required to pioneering a revolutionary new best practice that sets the new industry standard, innovation is essential to success. I have never been afraid to change and improve. Who determines that the existing way is best? Who can claim that there is no better way? The answer to both is no one. We all innovate, no two people are the same and they do not work in the same way either. I encourage everyone to work together and learn from each other – that is how you foster a culture of innovation and creativity. Learn from your neighbor, listen, watch, and try it out. So, the answer is simple – work together and learn together. Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring CEOs just starting out in their careers? Build relationships, be assertive, and try everything. Experience counts; no experience is a bad experience. I spent 50 years working in all areas of the hospitality industry to get to where I am today. I have worked at almost every level and have a breadth and depth of experience that means I can understand the challenges of those around me…because I have been there! So, build relationships, be assertive, try everything, learn as many skills as you can and build a repertoire that will prepare you for as much as possible. Being willing to learn is the key – you can never learn everything, but you can also never know enough and on top of it all work and live your life with service and gratitude. “We have only just begun to unlock the wonders of Diriyah, and we are immensely proud of our exciting future agenda and to have attracted such iconic brands and partners to be a part of our development journey.” CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - SAUDI ARABIA - - 12 -

There is no one size fits all approach to leadership and management but in my view, a successful CEO should be two things: a great motivator and an even better listener. ❝ ❝ CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - SAUDI ARABIA - - 13 -

CONTACT Email: Websites: CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - 14 - - BAHRAIN -

CEO of TCIG As the CEO and Co-Founder of TCIG, Hyder is the key driving force behind the overall Group’s growth, its strategy and business diversity. Hailing from the North of the United Kingdom, Hyder has been at the helm of the business since 2012, when it set up the Global Hub of business operations in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Hyder’s core experience is in Consumer Engagement, having led strategies and transformation programs for internationally recognised blue-chip brands and conglomerates throughout the world. Formulating like-minded partnerships with key players, the business has gone from strength to strength. With his extensive understanding of Marketing, Communications, Loyalty, Technology and the Digital Space, he has been able to connect the dots of complex business needs, not just a think tank but an executable eco-system of delivery for implementation of a strategy. He mastered and devised a four-step process – Analyse, Strategise, Deliver and Monitor which has been the core of the approach that led him and the group to immense success. Hyder’s management style is somewhat unique for a CEO. His attention to detail and clarity in direction ensures that the whole team across the ecosystem are set up to succeed without the need for complex layers of leadership or cumbersome processes. He has a simple “let’s cross the I’s and dot the T’s and get things done” attitude. This has led to global recognition and immense success for the group, and Hyder personally. Cohen Hyder CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - 15 - - BAHRAIN -

CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - 16 - - BAHRAIN - Tell us a little bit about TCIG’s values and mission? Ali Cohen and I took the saying “Jack of all trade, master on none” and challenged this. Why can’t you be a “Jack of all trade, master of all?”. The reality is, businesses spend more time managing outsourced services than focusing on the needs of business, mostly delivered by multiple companies with no holistic overview of the challenges at hand. With this simple problem in mind, we gave birth to a smart, talentdriven organisation delivering comprehensive services to partners worldwide in a singular relationship. With the delivery ecosystem at TCIG, we strategise not for the sake of strategy but tangible, deliverable solutions to common day business problems and needs. Multiple relationships under one hood. This is the key to the success of our diverse organisation. Our mission is outlined simply with a mantra that we all at the organisation live by: Crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. Nothing but perfection will do. What makes TCIG unique? Our key uniqueness is in our people, they are at the helm of the deliverable ecosystem. The passion and loyalty our team has to deliver cohesiveness and excellence is what makes us at TCIG a go-to partner, not just a supplier or vendor. There is no company in the region, if not globally, that can offer a truly comprehensive offering like TCIG. Anyone can come up with an idea, or an element of the product that is not part of the core business, and we will take things from start to finish. From Strategy to Concept, from Business Development & Marketing to Program Management and Fulfilment, from Contact Centre Support to Accounting Support; in essence, an arm of a business within a business. Our multiple divisions feed each other to deliver our clients and partners with holisticness in thinking, delivery and management of programs for travel, e-commerce, loyalty and manufacturing.

CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - 17 - - BAHRAIN - What have you been working on over the past 12 months? I have been working on extending the diversity of TCIG. Over the past 12 months, we have launched Hydur, our foray into a directly consumer-facing business. A lifestyle brand that curates quintessential products that provide individuality and personalisation which, we believe, drive memorability for our customers. The Hydur business has 5 dedicated verticals: Hydur Fragrances – primarily focused on scent nebulization for on the go, at home and work scenting; Hydur Collective – a unique limited piece-based fashion collective; Hydur Workshop – the first dedicated B2B Clothing manufacturing service with no minimum order quantities to support smaller businesses who want to launch their own brands; Hydur Bespoke – a distinctive contemporary tailoring and styling service in the GCC and Hydur Residences – Branded Villas, Hotels and Interiors for the higher end of the market. Our residences are designed and built with the residents in mind not just to look good but to be functional. The Hydur business launch has proven to be a massive success with fully operational bases in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and the United Kingdom. In addition to the Hydur business, we have launched a fully-fledged travel operation in the United Kingdom and Bahrain to support our ongoing fulfilment partners for loyalty and travel programs with a full IATA license and relevant tourism licensing in place. This has given us more control over the fulfilment aspect of our travel product to our customers globally and sees our entry into the travel and tourism business. What do you look forward to for the future of TCIG? As a talent-centric business, the future is all about holding and introducing talent in the verticals we operate in. We aim to train, engage, and recruit the finest talent not just based on experience but based on conviction and a passion to succeed. Furthermore, the future is all about local and international growth, and we have implemented a focused strategy that will see our global business footprint grow into the United States and beyond. In addition to growing our partnerships with our plethora of global brands, we are engaging actively with new partners and clients that will see us growing our Loyalty, Travel and Manufacturing businesses respectively in new markets and regions.

We are also undergoing a process of our propriety platform technology upgrade, which will see our already superior technology platform that is delivering online selling and fulfilment for Travel, Loyalty and e-Commerce hit even higher heights setting the benchmark and exceeding what currently the technology space has to offer. Our new technology will be driven by business and marketeers, as this has always been the philosophy and approach since day one, unlike others who are driven by techies. The importance of loaded not bloated technology platforms is at the heart of our evolution and technology that delivers on time, user-intuitive front ends and superior user-friendly administrative functions that will see us setting a new standard in the technology platform space. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being the CEO of TCIG? The most challenging part of my role as the CEO is to steer the business to grow organically and methodically. It can be tempting to bite more than one can chew, but my approach is to take things piece by piece, do them right and do them justice then grow them leading into building selfsufficient divisions that feed into an eco-system of delivery that is holistic yet cohesive and complementary to another element of the business. The rewards are seen when we can offer holisticness in our deliverable obligations to our partners and clients, globally, by devising well thought out strategies and programs that enable businesses to flourish without the complexity of managing multiple 3rd party relationships. Being able to say yes and to challenge the rationale is all that I and my team are about foundationally. The sense of seeing a strategy to deliver and running it to success is what the organisation thrives off. What does this award mean to you? It is humbling to have received this award, not just for me personally but for my whole team too. Without my team’s unprecedented support and alignment to my vision, the success and recognition would be meaningless. So, I accept this award not just as a CEO of a global organisation but as a person who sees the reason for my personal and organisational success in the hands of a dedicated, diverse, and committed team of experts and perfectionists who are not simply in a job for namesake but do things with conviction and passion. I especially would like to share this award with my colleagues Ali Cohen and Majd Hejair, without whom at the helm, the day-to-day operations of a complex organisation like ours would simply not be possible. This one is for the team. CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - BAHRAIN - - 18 -

Without my team’s unprecedented support and alignment to my vision, the success and recognition would be meaningless. ❝ ❝ CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - BAHRAIN - - 19 -

CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - 20 - - KUWAIT -

CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - 22 - - KUWAIT -

In a recent interview with CEO Today Magazine, Mr. Said Abdullah Al Hatmi, the CEO of ahlibank and an experienced leader in the banking and finance sector, discussed his professional journey, explained how ahlibank has maintained its leading position and delved into the challenges faced by the banking industry. Mr. Al Hatmi discusses how he brought his first-hand experience to the forefront, implementing strategies to overcome these challenges to succeed in the industry. In this interview, he shares his insights and expertise on the importance of technology in today’s banking landscape and how ahlibank has been leveraging these tools to stay ahead of the curve. While talking to us, Mr. Al Hatmi provides a valuable perspective on the current scenario of the banking industry and how it can continue to meet the needs of its customers. CEO of ahlibank Abdullah Al Hatmi Mr. Said CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - OMAN - - 24 -

Can you tell us about your journey to becoming CEO of ahlibank and your role in the company? Also, could you provide some information about the bank? I have had the privilege of working with ahlibank for a significant part of my career, serving in various senior management positions before being appointed CEO in June 2018. Throughout my more than two-decade career in commercial banking, I have gained extensive experience in multiple areas, including corporate banking, retail banking, risk management, finance, and banking operations. These have provided me with a solid foundation and prepared me for my current role. As CEO of ahlibank, I am responsible for leading the bank toward achieving its strategic objectives, ensuring operational efficiency, and maintaining a strong corporate culture that is customer-centric, innovative, and transparent. A key aspect, such as decision-making, is a collective exercise for us at ahlibank. Together with my senior management colleagues, we make key decisions that drive the growth and success of the bank, with a focus on expanding our customer base and branches, both digital and physical, while continuously enhancing the customer experience. ahlibank is one of the leading financial institutions in Oman, serving the banking needs of individuals, businesses, and institutions since its inception. We are committed to excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction, for which we are heavily investing in advanced technology and delivering banking solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers. These include personal banking services as well as corporate banking solutions. Additionally, we offer Islamic banking services that are compliant with Shariah law, catering to the needs of customers who prefer a more traditional banking approach. Our efforts have been recognized through numerous industry awards, including the prestigious’ Bank of the Year 2022’ award from The Banker, a monthly international financial affairs publication by The Financial Times. We are proud to be considered one of the most trusted and respected banks in Oman. ahlibank has been a leading financial institution in Oman for over 15 years. What do you think sets ahlibank apart from its competitors, and what initiatives have you implemented to maintain its position? At ahlibank, our distinguished performance within the industry stems from our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional customer service. We persistently endeavor to establish new standards by creating unparalleled opportunities for our clientele and stakeholders. Our team maintains vigilance towards market trends and customer feedback, ensuring our adaptability and responsiveness to their continuously evolving needs. We have implemented a multitude of innovative strategies to fortify our standing as a reliable and reputable banking institution. These strategies include expanding our branch network to bolster our market presence, accelerating digital adoption by introducing a multifunctional kiosk, and perpetually refining our product and service offerings to accommodate the everchanging needs of our clientele. We remain resolute in our dedication to enriching our product and service offerings with inventive and groundbreaking solutions, thereby illustrating our pivotal role in the nation’s digitalization process. How has ahlibank adapted to the changing digital landscape in the banking industry? What role has technology played in the bank’s growth and success? Adopting a complete digitalization process is essential for growth and supporting a country’s economic goals. At ahlibank, we know the world is experiencing a digital transformation, and we are ready to adapt and succeed in this changing environment. We have invested time, effort, and resources to stay up-to-date with global trends, using digital tools that allow customers to handle banking tasks from home or work. ahlibank currently offers a platform of digital banking channels for corporate transactions. Our e-channel “ahlibank is one of the leading financial institutions in Oman, serving the banking needs of individuals, businesses, and institutions since its inception.” CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - OMAN - - 25 -

portfolio includes ahliB2B for secure payments and salary transfers, ahliNET for safe transactions, and ahliRDC for remote check deposits, along with an ‘instant’ savings account. Our advanced multifunctional kiosk represents our goal of putting customers at the center of our operations. With technology and workplace improvements, Ahlibank provides better security, speed, ease, convenience, and customer experience. ahlibank has a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility. Can you tell us about some of the bank’s initiatives in this area, and how they align with the bank’s overall mission? Our dedication to corporate social responsibility is rooted in our understanding of the community’s needs and our recognition of today’s digitally savvy consumers who demand real-time information and news. We actively engage with the community in which we operate to identify areas that necessitate support for the attainment of immediate and long-term objectives. Our Himam program, a comprehensive talent management initiative targeting the country’s youth, exemplifies our unwavering commitment to sustainable human resource development. Since its inception in 2015, the program has been successful in this endeavor. Additionally, we have recently launched iGeneration program targeting graduates and entrylevel employees to provide them a hands-on technical experience in the banking sector and support the Bank’s digital transformation journey. In the previous year, we launched the “Tamkeen” Crowd Funding initiative, a pioneering effort in Oman. This initiative followed the signing of a Strategic Partnership Agreement between ahlibank and Beehive, aiming to provide a tailored online financial lending solution for Oman’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to support their business pursuits and contributes to creating a sustainable ecosystem that propels the nation’s economic diversification efforts. Furthermore, we have collaborated with the government in various relief measures and continue to partner with local non-governmental organizations to extend our assistance beyond the scope of our business operations, helping those in need. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing ahlibank in the coming years, and how do you plan to address them? No organization remains impervious to global concerns, and inherent challenges are an integral component of every business. With this in mind, I believe the most significant challenges within the banking sector encompass maintaining competitiveness, optimizing digital experiences, adapting to shifting business models, and satisfying the continually evolving demands of customers who are more exacting than ever before. We have pursued a strategic growth plan to guarantee that our competitive advantage is sustained and our resilience is prominently displayed. Our digitalization process rests upon a robust foundation, and we carefully consider customer feedback alongside global trends to ensure our roots are strong and our branches are meticulously nurtured. Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring CEOs, particularly those in the financial industry, looking to lead their organizations to success? To achieve success as a CEO in the financial sector, one must hold strategic thinking abilities, excellent leadership skills, and the capacity to navigate a rapidly changing market. I suggest that individuals aiming for CEO positions should concentrate on creating a distinct vision for their organization, establishing a competent team, embracing technology, focusing on customer satisfaction, and being adaptable to change. A clear vision will assist CEOs in making informed decisions that align with their organization’s objectives, while a competent team will help put these decisions into action. With technology playing an increasingly critical role in finance, CEOs should be willing to invest in new technologies that can enhance their organization’s efficiency. Additionally, focusing on the needs of customers can help to build a loyal customer base and drive business success. To conclude, being adaptable to change is crucial in the constantly evolving financial sector, as CEOs should be open to new ideas and technologies that can help their organization stay ahead of the competition. By implementing these suggestions, aspiring CEOs can proactively tackle the obstacles of the financial industry and guide their organizations toward success. With technology playing an increasingly critical role in finance, CEOs should be willing to invest in new technologies that can enhance their organization’s efficiency. CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - UAE - - 26 -

“I would like my legacy to be remembered as a person who played an important role in building a world-class institution known for its service, transparency, and good governance.” CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - SAUDI ARABIA - - 28 -

Johnson Varughese has been with Walaa Cooperative Insurance Company (Walaa) since 2007. He is one of the founding members who joined the company as its first CFO, closely supporting the then-CEO in its initial phases of setting up the accounting functions and introducing necessary internal controls and reporting procedures to facilitate compliance with all regulatory requirements necessary for obtaining the operating licenses and approvals. He was appointed as the CEO of Walaa toward the end of 2012, and since then, he has been leading the company from the front through all its phases of growth, challenges, product diversification, and strategic expansions. He has led the company in doubling the Paid-up Capital from SAR 200 million to SAR 400 million through its first capital raise in June 2015, eventually reaching the current capital of SAR 850 million through capital raise, bonus shares, and mergers. Instrumental in ‘turning around’ the operations of the company and establishing a surplus in shareholders’ equity, he led the growth momentum of the company and, in February 2020 successfully completed the first merger in the Saudi Insurance sector with speed and efficiency, followed by a second merger in October 2022. He is a member of the Insurance Executive Committee of Insurers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and has been the Chairman of the Finance Sub-Committee for two consecutive terms. He holds a Bachelor degree in Commerce, is a qualified chartered accountant, and is a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing, hospitality, trading and the financial sectors. CEO of Walaa Varughese Johnson Tell us more about the history of Walaa. Walaa was incorporated in 2007, as a public listed Saudi company and commenced its operations in February 2009. The company was founded by 34 renowned businessmen, mostly from the eastern region of Saudi Arabia. The company wrote a gross written premium of SAR 142 million in the first year (2009), joined the Billion Riyal League in 2016, and wrote over SAR 2.6 billion in 2022. Walaa is one of the few “A” rated insurance companies in the Saudi market today. Over a period of the last 14 years, Walaa grew from a position of being a very small insurer in 2009 - its first year of operation, to be among the top five players in the market, having more than 65 branches spread throughout the kingdom. Walaa’s vision is to position itself as one of the leading insurance and reinsurance company in the Saudi insurance market, providing all classes of Shariyah compliant products in all segments and to all cross-sections of society. CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - SAUDI ARABIA - - 29 -

What have been some of your favourite achievements of the company? 1. “A” rated company by S&P and Moody’s. 2. First company in the insurance sector in Saudi Arabia to successfully complete a merger. If that was not enough, Walaa successfully completed the second merger, becoming the first insurance company & publicly listed company to have two mergers. 3. Walaa is proud to be awarded one of the most prestigious awards by the Ministry of Labor, for conducting the best on-the-job training. Walaa was in the race for this award amongst 10,000 other companies in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Walaa employs over 80% nationals with the female workforce of about 25%. 4. Achieved seven ISO certifications - in quality, security, business continuity, QHSE, risk, and social responsibility. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced? The major challenges that we faced in the initial years were inadequate scale and lack of talented resources. Walaa has also had its share of challenges when the motor insurance segment went through a serious price correction in 2014-15 as well as in 2021-2022, during which the company reported significant losses. What are some of the key business lessons you’d like to share with younger CEOs? One of the most important lessons that I would like to share with my friends is never to go for shortcuts; business will come if you are prepared to extend outstanding service at a fair price. Secondly, stay close to customers when they need your service. Thirdly, be transparent and brutally honest in your dealings. What is your favourite thing about your role? I joined Walaa as one of the first employees in 2007 among a dozen others at that time. Now, we have over 550 employees. The notable point, both then and now, is that we remain a large family, and our motto is one team, one dream. What do you hope your legacy will be? Insurance companies are built over decades if not centuries. We are only in the 14th year of our operations, and we are building an institution that will last. I would like my legacy to be remembered as a person who played an important role in building a world-class institution known for its service, transparency, and good governance. What does this award mean to you? I consider this award a recognition of the hard work put in by Walaa team over the last 14 years. “Our motto is one team, one dream.” CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - SAUDI ARABIA - - 30 - “Never to go for shortcuts; business will come if you are prepared to extend outstanding service at a fair price.” CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - SAUDI ARABIA - - 31 -

Group CEO of RAK Ceramics PJSC About Mr.Abdallah Massaad Mr. Abdallah Massaad is the Group CEO of RAK Ceramics PJSC and a member of the Board of Directors of several subsidiaries of RAK Ceramics and other international organizations. Mr. Massaad has more than 25 years of experience in industrial manufacturing and ceramics. He has a keen understanding of regional and international markets, having successfully developed operations through his business leadership abilities across different geographies. An award-winning CEO, Mr. Massaad was awarded the ‘Visionary CEO in Manufacturing Leadership’ by Frost & Sullivan, ‘GameChanging CEO’ by Finance Monthly, ‘Outstanding CEO’ at the Global Business Excellence Awards, ‘Executive of the Year’ at the BIG Awards for Business and the ‘CEO of the Year’ by CEO Monthly Magazine over the years. Most recently, the ACIMAC, Associazione Costruttori Italiani Macchine Attrezzature per Ceramica, awarded Mr. Massaad with a Special Jury Award for Outstanding Work in Marketing and Branding in 2022. Mr. Massaad was also recognized among the Top 10 CEOs, in the Logistics and Industrials sector, by Top CEO Conference and Awards in 2022. Mr. Massaad holds post-graduate qualifications in Management ‘DEA in Business Administration’ (1998) and an undergraduate degree in ‘Maitrise in Business Administration – Marketing’ from USEK (Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik), Lebanon. He is fluent in Arabic, French, and English and also speaks essential German. Massaad Mr. Abdallah CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - UAE - - 32 -

What is your favorite thing about the sector you operate within? It is fascinating how dynamic the ceramics sector is. This is where we emphasize and highlight our creativity and design, promoting it regularly and embedding it at the heart of the company’s philosophy. RAK Ceramics is at the forefront of technology and innovation, ensuring we meet the scrutiny of everyday life and giving room for imagination in every aspect. The fact that we can provide our customers with endless creative possibilities speaks about our commitment to innovation. What have been your most notable recent achievements? As the demand for distinctive and sustainable ceramic products grows, RAK Ceramics’ emphasis on sustainable production has increased. We have invested in the latest cutting-edge technologies and recently launched our Smart Factory, which integrates automation and IoT technologies to revolutionize tile manufacturing and meet the evolving demands of our customers. Equipped with the latest machinery and technology, our facility optimizes production, reduces waste, and enhances product quality. As a manufacturing company, we have realized the fruits of sustainable investing over the years, especially in terms of waste utilization and energy consumption, contributing more positively to our local environments. “We continue to leverage on our expertise and business skills to pursue responsible and sustainable production, developing a safe and comfortable environment for our stakeholders while still delivering value.” What are your plans for RAK Ceramics for 2023 and beyond? Given current macroeconomic conditions, growth remains our primary focus, supported by our diversified operations, leveraging on our 2022 consolidation exercise and building on our upcoming expansionary plans. We look to pave the way for sustainable economic growth beyond 2023; as such, our strategic priorities align with our sustainability objectives. What does this award mean to you? “RAK Ceramics is a success story that has grown from a ceramics producer to a global lifestyle brand in a relatively short period of time. This success has been achieved through the vision and unwavering support of our stakeholders, sustained investment in manufacturing technologies, and the hard work of our employees. I’d like to thank everyone at RAK Ceramics. I’m honored to accept this award on their behalf.” About RAK Ceramics RAK Ceramics is one of the largest ceramic brands in the world. Specializing in ceramic and gres porcelain wall and floor tiles, sanitaryware, tableware, and faucets. The company has the capacity to produce 118 million square meters of tiles, 5 .7 million pieces of sanitaryware, 26 million pieces of porcelain tableware, and 2.6 million pieces of faucets per year at its 23 state-of-the-art plants across the United Arab Emirates, India, Bangladesh and Europe. Founded in 1989 and headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, RAK Ceramics serves clients in more than 150 countries through a network of operational hubs in Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Australia. Across global operations, the company employs approximately 12,000 staff from more than 40 nationalities. RAK Ceramics is a publicly listed company on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in the United Arab Emirates and, as a group, has an annual turnover of approximately US$1 billion. With over 25 years of experience from field sales, to sales management, to product marketing, Mr Massaad has highly developed business leadership skills in national and international markets. ❝ ❝ CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - UAE - - 33 -

About Massimiliano Colella Massimiliano Colella is the Chief Executive Officer of the Evercare Group, the leading impact driven healthcare network in emerging markets across Africa and South Asia. He is widely recognised as an expert in leading healthcare companies to success with almost three decades of experience in large multinationals such as Johnson & Johnson and Smith & Nephew. He has served as a Board Member with Industry Associations and Chambers of Commerce such as Asia-Pacific Med-tech, Europe MedTech Association, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Czech Republic. CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - UAE - - 34 -

Massimiliano Colella CEO of Evercare Group Tell us about Evercare’s vision for the transformation of healthcare and how you work to make that a reality. The Evercare Group is an impact-driven company wholly owned by the Evercare Health Fund, a US$ 1 billion fund managed by TPG’s Rise Fund, one of the largest impact investment funds in the world. Our mission is to transform healthcare for people in emerging markets. Through this commitment, we are part of a global movement to build a more equitable and prosperous future for the world through Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. Evercare operates an integrated health platform of 29 hospitals, 13 clinics and 93 diagnostic centres. Our services are delivered by our 12,000 employees in five countries across Africa and Southeast Asia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Nigeria. As impact investors, we have to focus on the “double bottom line”: bringing a new level of high-quality care into under-developed health systems, while at the same time building a robust business that achieves sustainable returns. We also contribute towards local long-term economic growth. We create jobs that allow our people to support their local economies and allow their countries to retain the professional expertise they worked so hard to acquire. By providing high-quality care, we reduce the incentives for medical tourism. When high-income patients travel overseas for treatment, this represents – literally - money leaving the economy of the countries. Equally concerning, medical tourism dilutes political support for developing local services and so the whole system suffers as a result. In addition, through our staff development programmes, we are building “human capital”, specific skills and career opportunities. We train staff to provide a better quality of care and we support national government initiatives to improve healthcare for everyone. What are your main achievements since you inherited the group? Since inheriting the platform in 2019, Evercare/ TPG has transformed the organization strategically, operationally, and clinically while delivering robust growth. In fact, we have doubled our patients throughout the last two years (not including the COVID surge) and we CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - UAE - - 35 -

continue to strengthen and expand our outreach to offer life-enhancing services across South Asia and Africa. In Bangladesh, we acquired the Evercare Hospital Dhaka and opened a second hospital, in Chattogram. We also bought two new hospitals in India bringing the total to 13 hospitals in the country, spread across 6 states. We opened Evercare Lahore Hospital in Pakistan and Evercare Lekki Hospital in Nigeria – both greenfield projects – as well as a large number of diagnostic centres which provided essential services which were particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. These facilities are fully equipped with the latest technology and staffed with highly skilled doctors and nurses. Evercare has also been investing in quality. Of our 29 hospitals, 15 have achieved international accreditation including Joint Commission International which sets the benchmarks for service quality and patient safety across the world. A clinical governance committee for the group meets regularly to review monitor, guide and support the delivery of care with a focus on the quadruple aim of our healthcare system delivery: Patient outcomes, patient experience, healthcare worker well-being and efficiency. We also recently launched the Evercare Foundation, a not-for-profit arm of the Group, to sharpen our focus on improving the health of vulnerable women and children across our area of operations. Although not even a year old, the Foundation has already delivered a life-changing impact through its flagship initiative in Pakistan. This programme, based at Evercare Hospital Lahore, provides free Cochlear implants and supportive care to children from rural villages who face a lifetime of hardship and exclusion due to unaddressed hearing impairment. Today in Kenya, the Foundation is developing a programme for women in resource-poor settings and rural areas to increase their access to safe pregnancy, birthing, and post-natal care by upskilling community health workers together with the Ministry of Health and local NGOs. In Bangladesh, we are supporting surgical interventions for children with congenital anomalies. Projects like these contribute to more inclusive societies and support the rights and dignity of everyone. Moreover, at Evercare Group we believe that there is a fundamental connection between healthy patients, employees, and the environment. For us as impact investors, ESG cannot just be a punchline, it really has to be core to our DNA, and we need to live that commitment and leadership every day in our business. We recently partnered with EMEX, a global leader in ESG compliance reporting to provide real-time information in support of our environmental and sustainability goals so we can measure our progress. We have also decided to implement a series of renewable solar PV and energy efficiency projects at five key hospitals in three countries to help reduce our carbon footprint. We cannot build quality healthcare systems without highly trained and motivated staff. In Evercare, we use the term “Caregivers” to acknowledge that every person within our group goes above and beyond in the care they provide, regardless of their specific job profile and position in the organization. We have first-class training facilities within the Group, and we also rotate our clinicians and nursing talent through our global mobility program to provide international developmental assignments across our area of operations. We promote and push for equal opportunities across our workforce, which is already largely composed of women on the clinical side. We currently have women in 34% of senior and middle management roles and we are committed to reach the target of 50% in the next few years. Beyond addressing the need for gender parity, Evercare is currently supporting the incubation of a women’s network and building a succession management program to ensure affirmative action. So, we are justifiably proud of our achievements. But because we see the needs in the countries where we work, and because we remain committed to continuous improvement, we also know much remains to be done, and that keeps us focused. What were the obstacles you faced along the way and the challenges facing the private health sector in general? We inherited this platform on the understanding that change was required in key areas of management and delivery. I believe we are on the right track and a lot of progress has been attained, but the focus has to be on working towards the next level of excellence. Of course, the COVID pandemic has been a major factor, and no one could have predicted the scale of its impact. Our first duty was to contribute to the national CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - UAE - - 36 -

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