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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Two Pakistani women among Forbes most powerful businesswomen in Middle East

In 2006, Asif co-founded a healthcare corporation and took on the role of chief executive in December 2023.

Two Pakistani women have been recognized by Forbes as among the most powerful women in the Middle East.

Shaista Arif, the co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of PureHealth Holding, a health network is ranked fourth in the list of ‘The Middle East’s 100 Most Powerful Businesswomen 2024’.

In 2006, Asif co-founded a healthcare corporation and took on the role of chief executive in December 2023. The company launched its initial public offering (IPO) in the same month, raising $986 million by offering 10% of its shares on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), according to Forbes.

The IPO attracted significant interest, with subscriptions exceeding expectations. Professional subscribers oversubscribed by 483 times. In January 2024, the company made a significant acquisition, purchasing Circle Health Group, the largest independent hospital operator in the UK, for $1.2 billion excluding debt.

During the same month, PureHealth also made a notable acquisition, buying Sheikh Shakbout Medical City, the UAE’s largest healthcare complex, for $600 million. This acquisition brought in revenues of $585.4 million.

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Another Pakistani woman, Shazia Syed,  former General Manager of Unilever North Africa, Levant, and Iraq is ninth on the list. Syed is being hailed for her extensive experience.

The ex-CEO of Unilever Pakistan has an extensive background, having held positions such as president of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry and director of the Pakistan Business Council. With roots in Abbottabad, she began her career with Unilever in 1989 as a management trainee in Pakistan. In 2021, she took on the role of general manager for North Africa, Levant, and Iraq within the company.

“She also sits on the board of United Bank Limited in Pakistan, is a member of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee, and is the chairperson of the Board Audit Committee,” Forbes reported saying that she earlier worked as a member of the boards of Pukka Tea and Pepsi Lipton.