Mr. Al Banwan was appointed Chairman of Mobile Telecommunications Company (Zain) in March 2005.
Having completed his Bachelor of Science (Finance and Administration) at the University of Kuwait in 1982, Mr. Al Banwan began his career with the Kuwait Foreign Trading Contracting and Investment Company (KFTCIC, now the Kuwait Investment Company), where he became Senior Vice-President by 1996.
He then took over as the Deputy General Manager of Wafra International Investment Company, Kuwait, between 1996 and 1999.
Mr. Al Banwan was the Vice-Chairman and CEO of the National Investment Company, Kuwait from May 2000 till March 2012; he was Chairman and Managing Director from April 1999, and Managing Director and member of the Board since 1996. In addition, Mr. Al Banwan is a member of the Board of Directors of several regional and international companies.
Prior to being appointed Chairman of Zain, Mr. Al Banwan was the Vice-Chairman and a member of the company’s Investment Committee. Mr. Al Banwan is also Vice-Chairman of the Kazma Sports Club.
Mr. Al Kharafi was appointed as Vice Chairman of Zain on 20 February 2014 and he currently holds office as Chairman, VP and Board member of several businesses as part of the Kharafi conglomerate.
He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kuwait University, and has an exceptional track record in spearheading crucial business development as well as consultancy operations for major firms and social institutions.
Mr. Al Kharafi holds several senior roles inside the Kharafi Group, which include Chairman and Managing Director of Gulf Cables and Electrical Industries Company, Kuwait; and Group Vice-President, Mohammed Abdulmohsin Al-Kharafi & Sons WLL Kuwait.
Outside the Kharafi Group, Mr. Al Kharafi is General Manager of Al-Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate Co; member of the Board of the Refreshment Trading Company (Coca-Cola), and Vice-Chairman of UNIEXPO, Kuwait.
He is also a member of the Board of INJAZ, Kuwait and a member of Industrial Advisory Board for the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Kuwait University.
Mr. Al Kharafi was awarded Best Young Investor in the Middle East by the Minister for Commerce and Industries in Jordan in 2005.
Mr. Al Faris was first elected to the board in 1999. He was previously the Chairman for Kuwait Cable Company and is currently a Board member of the Egyptian Kuwaiti Holding Company. He earned his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Kuwait University in 1967.
Mr. Al Kandary was elected to the Board in 1999. He has been Vice-Chairman of Iraq Kuwaiti Holding Co. since 2004. Mr. Al Kandary has also been a member of the Board of Zain Jordan since 2002.
He has previously held the position of Chairman of Al Ahlia Real Estate Co. (1995-2002).
Mr. Al Kandary earned his Bachelors degree in Law from the University of Beirut in 1992, and a degree in Literature from Kuwait University in 1983.
Mr. Al Nafisi was elected to the Board in March 2005 and served as Deputy Chairman from March 2010 till February 2014.
Having vast experience in the fields of finance and investment, Mr. Al Nafisi began his career with Burgan Bank in 1978, was a member of the Board and CEO of International Project Investment Group (1992-1996), and Chairman of Al Madar Islamic Finance (1998-2003). He has been a member of the Board of the Arab Telecom Co. from 2000 and Chairman since 2003, in addition to being CEO of the Al Nafisi National Group since 1986.
He earned his Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Whittier College, California, in 1977.
Ms. Shaikha Al Bahar is the Chief Executive Officer of National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and Board member of various divisions within NBK, having extensive experience in the region in the areas of privatization, project finance, advisory services, bond issues, other financial transactions, and private placements.
She has been involved in all of the Kuwait Investment Authority's (KIA) privatization deals since 1994. A well sought out public speaker in many local, regional and international conferences, Ms. Shaikha Al Bahar is also the Chairperson of: NBK Lebanon, Al Assima Real Estate Co. Kuwait, and Audit Committee Emanating from the Board of Directors of International Bank of Qatar–IBQ.
Ms. Shaikha Al Bahar is a Board Member of: International Bank of Qatar (IBQ), National Bank of Kuwait (International) P.L.C., Turkish Bank, NBK Global Asset Management Ltd., Intra Investment Co. S.A.L. – Lebanon, and member of the Kuwait University-College of Business Administration–Board of Trustees.
Her major personal achievements, among many include: Arabian Business (March 2011): The World’s 500 Most Influential Arabs (ranked the 8th locally and the 141st Arabian), and 100 Most Powerful Arab Women (ranked the 3rd locally and 15th Arabian). Forbes (December 2004, April 2006, and February 2008): Most Powerful Woman in the Arab World; and GCC Executive Woman of the Year (1997) – Dubai.
Mr. Al Kazemi was elected to the Board of Zain Group in 2010.
Apart from this role at Zain, Mr. Al Kazemi also serves as the CEO and Chairman of Shaker Al Kazemi & Sons, a real estate company. He has held this position since 1982.
Mr. Al Kazemi has also been the Chairman of Al Arabi Sporting Club since the year 2000. He is a Board Member of Ahli United Bank and Vice Chairman of Marsa Alam Holding Company.
Mr. Al Roudan was elected to the Board of Zain Group in 2011.
Mr. Al Roudan joined the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) in 1986 and held several positions until he was appointed Manager of Investments – General Reserves in 2006. This area of KIA manages local and Arab investments in companies and funds in which KIA is a shareholder.
Mr. Al-Roudan also represents the KIA on the Boards of companies where KIA is a shareholder. Apart from being a Member of the Board of Directors of Zain Group, Mr. Al Roudan is also Chairman of the Board of EK Holding.
He is also a Member of the Supreme Commission, which oversees projects that are held on State property.
Mr. Al Roudan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economy from the University of Kuwait.
Mr. Gegenheimer was appointed CEO of Zain Group effective December 2, 2012.
He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Finance and Management from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago.
Mr. Gegenheimer is a telecom veteran of over 25 years’ experience, with a track record of impressive results, and a good portion of his time spent in Kuwait and other places in the region.
He is a native of the US and prior to joining Zain Group spent the last decade in various senior management and leadership positions at regional operators, including in Kuwait. He has spent time working for technology heavyweights including Cisco Systems and Motorola, and has also enjoyed a stint in the financial services industry in the US.
Mr. Matta was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Zain Group effective June 10, 2010, six years after joining the company.
He plays a critical role in the Zain Group senior executive management team, determining the Group’s strategy, and is responsible for all financial, investment and investor relations issues.
Mr. Matta joined Zain in 2004 as the CFO of the Lebanon operation ‘mtc touch’, and was thereafter promoted in 2007 to CFO of Zain Kuwait, Zain Group’s mother operation and most profitable company.
In early 2008, Mr. Matta was again promoted to the role of Zain Group Middle East Finance Officer, overseeing the operations in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
Mr. Matta is a results-oriented leader and an advocate of firm corporate governance and transparency. He has more than 15 years track record of solid financial and managerial experience in the Middle East. With a strong corporate finance background and expertise, Mr. Matta has solid relationships with investment and commercial banking communities across the region.
Mr. Matta attained an Executive MBA from the American University of Beirut, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Emre Gurkan was appointed Chief Strategy Officer of Zain Group effective 10 Feb 2014.
A seasoned telecommunications executive, he comes to Zain with over 20 years of experience, encompassing deep consulting and industry expertise in Middle East, Africa, North America and Europe.
Prior to joining Zain, Mr. Gurkan was the Group Chief Strategy Officer of Oger Telecom. He has also held other senior roles in A.T. Kearney and McKinsey & Company in Atlanta, Dallas, Istanbul and Dubai offices and served leading telecom operators in various regions. In addition, he also worked at Turkcell Telecommunications and Baan Company and was a co-founder of an applications development company.
Mr. Gurkan holds an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MS in Management Information Systems from London School of Economics and Political Science and a BS in Computer Engineering from Istanbul Technical University.
Mr. Allam was appointed Chief Technology Officer of Zain Group effective December 2011, a role in which he oversees all the Group’s telecommunication networks and technology strategy.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Allam was the Chief Operating Officer of Zain Sudan, having joined the operation in May 2003 as Chief Technology Officer.
He assumed his latest role having achieved many accomplishments in his outstanding record, with over 20 years of experience in the fields of Information Technology and Telecommunications.
In Zain Sudan, Mr. Allam helped build a nationwide network while deploying the latest technologies, including IP and mobile broadband, which contributed to substantially increasing the customer base while sustaining the company’s market leadership position.
Mr. Allam holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering degree from the University of Kent in England. He also attended several courses ranging from software development to systems administration as well as leadership and management.
Eaman Al Roudhan was appointed Chief Regulatory Officer of Zain Group effective 1 November 2014. A results-focused telecommunications executive, she brings to the role 20 years of experience of which 17 years in Telecom executive management and leadership of different business units within Zain Kuwait as well as several Zain Group affiliates.
She began her Telecom experience having joined Zain Kuwait in 1998, and together with a small team launched the first mobile prepaid service in Kuwait, which went on to dominate the country’s prepaid mobile customer base. As Zain expanded across the region, Al Roudhan’s responsibilities also grew from 2003 onwards as she was an active-participant in the start-up teams in several Zain operations across the Middle East, namely Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia.
In parallel Al Roudhan continued to play a key role in the transformation of Zain Group, building operational teams and establishing solid foundations for business units across all major telecommunications sectors including Intelligent Networks, product & service development, strategy and business planning, roaming, wholesale and carrier relations, as well as regulatory affairs. Throughout this period she orchestrated numerous strategic alliances with international and regional operators.
Mrs Al Roudhan is a member in a number of international standards and regulatory affairs bodies such as the GSMA Arab World regional interest group and the GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer Group (CROG). She holds a BSc in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from Kuwait University and has attended programs at Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT), and executive programs at Harvard Business School.
Duncan Howard was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Zain Group, effective 1 July, 2014. Under this role, Mr Howard will oversee and enhance all commercial, marketing, branding and advertising areas across Zain’s regional footprint.
Mr Howard joined Zain Group September 2013 managing Group Operations during which time he successfully developed and led the introduction of Zain Group’s new operating model, bringing about an increased focus on Commercial and Operational performance. He has also laid the foundations for the establishment of Group Enterprise initiatives that will be rolled out across operations.
Mr Howard came to Zain with 20 years’ experience in Mobile, Television and Fixed Telecoms across the Middle East, Europe and North America. He has strong Commercial and Operational expertise that have included key roles as Chief Commercial Officer for a Quad-Play provider offering mobile, fixed, data and both Broadcast and IPTV services. He also held positions as Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Business Officer and Director of Customer Care & Retail for Vodafone in Egypt.
Mr Howard holds an MBA from the Open University, UK and attained a BA (Hons) System Analysis from the University of West of England.
Mr. Jandhyala was appointed Chief Internal Auditor of Zain Group effective April 1, 2014, 10 years after joining Zain, a critical role given the US $4.4 billion of revenues that Zain generates across its mobile operations.
Rising through the ranks within Zain Group, Mr. Jandhyala is a dynamic professional with over 24 years of proven leadership track record with telecommunication and consulting firms, having worked in complex business environments in Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East & Asia.
A firm advocate of transparency and strict corporate governance, he has deep experience in the areas covering internal audit, revenue assurance and fraud management. He has well established credentials in developing new and strengthening critical pillars of Risk Management, in his years at Zain. He has led several major successful issue resolution initiatives and was at the forefront of a few acquisition related function-specific integration projects across the African continent and the Middle East region.
Mr. Jandhyala has Bachelor of Commerce and Law degrees from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India and has received a scholarship for a dual degree in Master of Science in International Finance and a MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Miami, USA, receiving the Playmobil award for Honors in Accounting. He also has a Chartered/Board Secretary diploma from India.
In January 2014, Mr. Kassab was promoted to MD of Mada Bahrain, a fully owned subsidiary of Zain Group that oversees the International, Wholesale and Roaming functions of Zain Group and its operations.
A telecom veteran of over 40 years, Mr. Kassab joined Zain Group in December 2012 with the initial task to build, operate and manage the newly setup division of Zain focused on the Internet Protocol / Multiprotocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) – Cloud project, a mechanism in high-performance telecommunications networks that directs data from one network node to the next based on short path labels rather than long network.
Throughout his career, Mr. Kassab has held executive positions with various international telecommunications companies that are leaders in the field. RCA Global Communications was his first stop. It was followed by a sequence of moves within the industry that took him to MCI International, Teleglobe Canada, WorldCom and Verizon Business.
His track record include several milestones of which, he negotiated and implemented the first ever digital IPL (64KBPS) with Bangalore and India for Northern Telecom in Canada when working for Teleglobe; for MCI the first MPLS agreement with India Reliance, a Frame relay service agreement with VSNL (TATA today), first MPLS Node in Russia and first MPLS node in Turkey to name a few.
Most recently Mr. Kassab played an instrumental role in the establishment of Middle East-Europe Terrestrial System (MEETS), a GCC-wide telecoms consortium that was formed to build a high-bandwidth regional transmission cable system for the region.
Effective April 1, 2015 Mr Wael Ghanayem returned back to Zain Group to become part of the Group’s executive leadership in implementing its new strategic direction of transforming into an integrated digital mobile operator. In addition will continue to support Zain Iraq, the country’s leading mobile operator, as an advisor to the mobile operator’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Ghanayem joined Zain Iraq in 2008 as the Chief Financial Officer and later had the responsibility of Chief Operational Officer added to his title.
Mr. Ghanayem joined Zain Iraq having already had more than 10 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in a previous role as a CFO for a leading telecom operator in Palestine.
He has been a qualified Certified Public Accountant since 1996, having also secured a Bachelor’s degree in Administrative Sciences from Yarmouk University, Jordan; and an MSc in leadership and strategy from London Business School.
Mr. Al Omar was appointed acting Chief Executive Officer of Zain Kuwait, effective October 13, 2011. Prior to his appointment he was the Chief Operating Officer of Zain Kuwait and before that, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer from March 2011.
Between 2005 and early 2010, Mr. Al Omar held the position of Zain Group Internal Audit Director, a critical role in the management’s senior ranks given the company’s significant expansion during this period, where it operated in 23 countries across the Middle East and Africa.
Mr. Al Omar joined Zain (then MTC) in September 2001, having worked previously in an internal audit capacity in the Kuwait Investment Authority.
He holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from California State University. Mr. Al Omar is also a Certified Internal Auditor from The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), a credential awarded by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
Mr. Erwa was appointed CEO and Managing Director of Zain Sudan in July 2008 and CEO of Africa Operations in May 2012. He is a prominent figure in Sudan, where he is well known for his varied and colorful working experience.
He joined the University of Khartoum as a student in the Faculty of Economics and Social Studies, and moved to the Military College to graduate in 1970.
He then worked in the Air Defense Forces and attended several training courses in Electronics, Radar and Artillery in Sudan and the UK.
Mr. Erwa served as an Instructor in Sudan Military College prior to joining the National Security Services in 1976, where he served till 1985. During that period he attended several professional training courses in Intelligence, Technical operations and Strategic Studies, nationally and in the US.
Mr. Erwa served as Consul General in the Embassies of Sudan in Moscow (ex Soviet Union) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) during the period from 1977 to 1984.
Mr. Erwa holds an Airline Transport Pilot License (APTL), and a helicopter pilot license. He worked in the private sector in the aviation industry from 1986-1987. Between 1988 - 1989 he worked for the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a research officer specializing in the Horn of Africa affairs.
In 1989 Mr. Erwa was appointed a State Minister in the Presidency of the Republic of Sudan as National Security Advisor to the President between 1989 - 1995. He then held the position of State Minister of Defense in 1995-1996.
Mr. Erwa was then appointed a Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations in New York, from 1996 - 2005, which is the longest period an Ambassador has held that post in the history of Sudan.
Mr. Erwa became a private consultant between 2006 - July 2008, when he was appointed the Managing Director for Zain Sudan.
With his vast experience in the fields of finance and investment, Mr. Al Charchafchi was appointed Chairman of Zain Iraq in 2004.
His professional career started in 1970 with AR Charchafchi& Sons Co., established in 1952 where he had assumed the Board membership and CEO position from 1970 till present.
Mr. Al Charchafchi is also one of the founders and currently the Director of The Iraqi British Business Council (IBBC), an organization specialized in facilitating trade, investment, human resources, training, technology transfer and know-how into the Republic of Iraq since 2003.
Hassan Kabbani was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Zain KSA on Sept 1, 2013. Mr. Kabbani assumes the role of Zain KSA CEO at a pivotal moment in the company’s evolution, and will place a greater focus on developing new areas of growth, enhancing the customer experience and service offerings as well as strengthening relationships with all other stakeholders.
With 23 years of executive telecommunications experience in the Middle East and Africa, he joins Zain KSA with very strong credentials. To date, he has held the post of CEO of five successful telecommunications operations, playing a pivotal role in business transformation, and helping them to achieve extraordinary growth.
Mr Kabbani headed mobile operations within ‘Orascom Telecom Group’ in Egypt, Algeria, Sub-Saharan Africa, Yemen, and Syria, and prior to these CEO positions, he held key commercial and customer focused roles in France Telecom Mobile Lebanon. Prior to joining Zain, Mr. Kabbani was Advisor to the Chairman and Board member of ‘Oger Telecom’ as well as a Board member of mobile operator ‘Cell C’ in South Africa.
A Lebanese national, trilingual in Arabic, English and French, Mr Kabbani attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Marketing from the Lebanese American University in Lebanon, undertook a Post graduate Program in the Strategic Management of Services from INSEAD Institute France, and a Post graduate program in Management from Ecole Superieure des Affaires ESA, Lebanon.
Mr. Al Hanandeh, a Jordanian national, was appointed CEO of Zain Jordan effective July 1, 2011.
He comes to Zain Jordan with an impressive professional track record, having joined the Zain family as Chief Financial Officer of Zain Sudan in March 2011.
Prior to that, he spent four years as the General Manager of Posta Plus, a Gulf-based company specializing in world-class delivery, courier and postal services across the Middle East. Between 1994 - 2006, Mr. Al Hanandeh was a key member of the Aramex Group, initially joining as an accountant and rising to Country Manager of several of Aramex’s Asian operations.
Mr. Al Hanandeh graduated in Banking and Finance from Yarmouk University, Jordan in 1994.
Mr. Zainalabedin was appointed General Manager of Zain Bahrain effective May 2008.
Prior to this appointment, Mr. Zainalabedin acted as Chief Commercial Officer for Zain Bahrain, where he was responsible for the sales, marketing and customer care departments. During this period the operation grew to an active customer base of 567,000, representing a significant market share of 35% in a three-player market.
Previously Mr. Zainalabedin held the position of Retail Sales Manager at Zain Bahrain when he established and managed the Indirect Sales Unit. Prior to this, as Manager of Enterprise Applications within the IT department, he was part of the team involved in Zain Bahrain’s establishment, which included developing an IT strategy. As well as establishing an IT helpdesk, Mr. Zainalabedin was responsible for facilitating customer payments, automating the company’s sales outlets and implementing and managing financial and human resource IT-related projects.
Prior to joining Zain Bahrain, Mr. Zainalabedin gained almost ten years of experience in the IT field, working for
companies such as International Turnkey Systems where he held the position of the Core Banking Group Manager.
Mr. Zainalabedin, a Bahraini national, holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Computer Engineering from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia.
Basel Manasrah was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Zain South Sudan, effective 28 January 2014.
With 13 years of telecommunications experience, Mr. Manasrah joins Zain South Sudan with very strong credentials in commercial, technical and operational aspects after holding several key senior positions within Zain Group since joining the company in 2000, including Chief Operations Officer of Zain Jordan, Marketing and Customer Care Director of Zain Kuwait, Commercial Consultant for Zain Iraq, and Commercial Consultant of Zain Bahrain prior to the launch of commercial operations.
Mr Manasrah holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing from the University of South Florida and is an Alumni of London Business School.