Leadership / #ForbesLeadership

December 27, 2018,   10:00 AM

The Most Influential Expat Women In The Middle East 2018

Forbes Middleeast

Forbes Middle East FULL BIO

landmark renuka jagtiani

Women have played a vital role in reshaping the business scene across the Middle East, and among them are expats who continue to make their own mark in a wide range of sectors such as retail, technology, media, beauty, health, banking, and financial services, and more.

In an expansive ranking, Forbes Middle East lists some of the most influential female figures in the region. Indian expats represent 33% of the list, with six out of the total of 18 influential women hailing from India.

As head of one of the largest retail and hospitality conglomerates in the Middle East, Africa and India, businesswoman and Landmark Group CEO Renuka Jagtiani tops the list. She has led the group's strategic expansion into new countries, launched the Landmark International franchise division and initiated the company’s e-commerce platform.

Credited for building the eponymous Huda Beauty – a brand that is valued more than $1 billion- the well-known entrepreneur Huda Kattan ranked second.

To formulate this ranking of the most influential businesswomen, we considered:

  • Revenues of the companies that they lead
  • The title, scope, and impact of the role that they perform
  • The experience that they possess
  • The growth of their firm, and other initiatives that they have led in the last three years.


1- Renuka Jagtiani

Title: CEO

Company: Landmark Group

Sector: Retail

Country: India


2- Huda Khattan

Title: Founder and CEO

Company: Huda Beauty

Sector: Retail

Country: American/ Iraqi


3- Rafiah Ebrahim

Title: President, Middle East and Africa

Company: Ericsson

Sector: Technology

Country: Malaysia


4- Asil Attar

Title: CEO

Company: Alyasra Fashion

Sector: Retail

Country: U.K


5- Céline Brémaud

Title: Vice President

Company: Microsoft Middle East and Africa

Sector: Technology

Country: France


6- Carmen Haddad

Title: CEO

Company: Citi’s Private Bank Family Office - Middle East & Citibank Saudi Arabia

Sector: Banking and Financial Services

Country: Germany


7- Shrimati Damal

Title: CFO

Company: Majid Al Futtaim

Sector: Banking and Financial Services

Country: India


8- Donna Benton

Title: Founder and Chairman

Company: The Entertainer

Sector: Technology

Country: Australia


9- Donna Sultan

Title: President and CEO

Company: KEO Capital

Sector: Diversified

Country: American


10- Zanubia Shams

Title: Co-Chairperson

Company: Zulekha Healthcare Group

Sector: Healthcare

Country: India


11- Cynthia Corby

Title: Partner Audit & Assurance

Company: Deloitte

Sector: Consulting

Country: U.K


12- Poonam Bhojani

Title: CEO

Company: Innoventures

Sector: Education

Country: India


13- Alida Scholtz

Title: Managing Director

Company: Hertz Germany  

Sector: Services 

Country: South Africa


14- Shafina Yusuff Ali

Title: CEO

Company: Tablez Food Company

Sector: Food and Beverages

Country: India


15- Jane Drury

Title: Group CEO

Company: Middle East Digital Group

Sector: Technology

Country: U.K.


16- Giselle Pettyfer

Title: CEO

Company: Falcon & Associates

Sector: Services

Country: U.K.


17- Jenny Hunt

Title: Partner and CEO

Company: Gateway Group of Companies

Sector: Services

Country: U.K.


18- Kritika Rawat

Title: Co-Founder

Company: K-Company

Sector: Media

Country: India

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