Arif Naqvi, the CEO of Abraaj Capital, recently spoke at MILE in Medina, Saudi Arabia, about global economic trends and how the economy in the MENASA region will develop throughout 2011.
Naqvi explains how growing unemployment issues and income gaps will continue to challenge Arab governments, especially in the Levant and North Africa, and why it's crucial that the private sector assists with building educational systems and creating new jobs y supporting entrepreneurship.
The power of entrepreneurs cannot be underestimated, he notes.
"Is it history that creates impersonal forces [that create pivotal movements] or is it the individual that gave rise to that moment? It doesn't actually matter. The thing that [entrepreneurs] have in common is that they are all agents of change. An entreprenuer is anyone that is an agent of change. They break from ranks, they define risk, and they change the status quo."
Naqvi defines entrepreneurs as having the following qualties:
- an incredible degree of willpower
- insatiable curiosity
- clarity of vision, discipline, and focus
- they are very adaptable
- they are dreamers
- they are workaholics
- they have an unrelenting commitment to integrity
- they are driven by the details
Also, he says, "Entrepreneurship is an art form, it's not a science. You should have the basics in place, and then you should learn- you should be curious."
Watch the video below or on the MILE website.
About Arif Naqvi:
Arif Naqvi, 49, is founder and Group CEO of Abraaj Capital, the largest private equity group in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. In 2008, The Institutional Investor billed him as among the 12 most influential businessmen in the Middle East. Mr. Naqvi is on the board of several bodies including the World Economic Forum's Arab Business Council, the Pakistan Human Development Fund and the King Abdullah II Award for Youth Innovation & Achievement in Jordan. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Assocation and the Advisory Board of the Columbia University Middle East Research Center. In 2006, he was awarded Pakistan's highest civilian honour, the Sitari-e-Imtiaz, by the republic's president. Before founding The Cupola Group in 1994 and Abraaj in 2002, Mr. Naqvi worked at Arthur Andersen and Saudi Arabia's Olayan Group. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics.
The Madinah Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship (MILE) is a leading Corporate Social Responsibility Program dedicated to enhancing leadership capacity and entrepreneurial excellence in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. Strategically located in the Madinah Knowledge Economic City of Saudi Arabia; MILE is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Savola Group that has grown into a collaborative initiative attracting participation from global business schools, academic professors, management consulting organizations, and professional associations.