Zafar Siddiqi, Co-Founder and Chairman.
Zafar Siddiqi is Co-Founder and Chairman of Murdoch University Dubai and Global Institute Middle East FZ LLC. The development and growth of this business follows his vision of developing human capital in emerging markets.
Zafar Siddiqi is also Chairman and Co-Founder of CNBC Africa, Chairman and Founder of CNBC Arabia and President and Founder of CNBC Pakistan. He provides strategic oversight to the three networks that encompass 71 countries with a staff contingent of 900 people.
Mr. Siddiqi is a former KPMG Partner and ventured into media in 1995 when he established Telebiz in Karachi, Pakistan. He established a general new channel, Samaa TV and FM, in Pakistan in 2007 and serves as its Chairman.
Mr. Siddiqi is on the Board of the International Emmy’s and also serves on the advisory counsel to the President of Nigeria. He is an Adjunct Professor of Murdoch University. He is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants (England & Wales).
Rakesh Wahi, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman
Rakesh Wahi is an entrepreneur who has been involved with early stage investments in emerging markets for the last 24 years. He is a well-respected member of the investment community and has distinguished himself in the field of IT, telecoms, media, technology and education investments in the CIS, Middle East & North Africa, South & South East Asia and Sub-Sahara Africa. Mr. Wahi is Chairman of CMA Investment Holdings, a family investment company that has representation through its portfolio companies in over 20 countries.
Mr. Wahi is the Founder of – CNBC Africa, Forbes Africa, ABN Productions, ABN Training Institute, ABN Newswire Services, ABN Digital, ABN Pictures, ABN Education Trust, Trans National Education, Murdoch University Dubai, Ananya Farms and Tech One Global. He closely oversees the management, operations and strategic growth of all these ventures. His core focus is on long term corporate development through building strong management teams. Mr. Wahi has been involved with the financing and development of several media, telecommunications, IT and education initiatives in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa over the last 24 years. His focus remains on start-up ventures in media, telecoms, IT, Technology and education. His core expertise is in building start-ups from concept to exit. Following a private equity model, he has successfully built, acquired and exited businesses in Asia and the Middle East. He has since 2004 been actively involved with reviewing several investment opportunities in Africa.
His vision in Africa is to set up the continent’s largest repository of economic and business information built through a point of presence throughout the continent and exhibit the information through television (CNBC Africa), print (Forbes Africa) and online mediums (ABN Digital). His Group currently operates in 8 African countries through 12 bureaus. By 2013 the Group will be in 15 countries (18 bureaus) and by 2014 in 20 African countries. He is setting up his second university in Ghana in academic collaboration with Lancaster University from the UK.
Over the last 8 years Mr Wahi has been involved with the development of business media and financial journalism in the African continent. He has worked on skills development and implemented the policy of empowerment through employment by creating competencies through training, development and indigenisation.
Mr. Wahi is the founder of the ABN Education Trust set to finance the college education in financial journalism of children from previously disadvantaged families in South Africa. Through the family trust Mr. Wahi has funded the electrification of villages in India (TIRI project) and oversees the care of the Tutuzela Orphanage in Alexandre in South Africa.
Prior to moving to the UAE in 1988/89, Mr. Wahi served with the Corps of Engineers in the Indian Army for about 9 years and was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (“VSM”) by the President of India in 1985 for courage and dedication beyond the call of duty. Mr. Wahi was also part of India’s scientific expedition to the Antarctica where he established India’s second base in 1987/88.
Mr. Wahi was educated at the Doon School in India and later earned a Bachelor of Science degree (1979) and a Bachelor of Technology degree in Civil Engineering (1986) from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Mr. Wahi is a Member of the Institute of Engineers, Calcutta, India. He is a Founding Member of IBLF – a global investment group and on the Board of Fourth Dimension, the education affiliate of Cricket Australia. He was recently awarded a Doctorate (Engineering, IT & Multimedia) by the Minister of Education of Namibia.