Two Pakistanis included in Forbes list of 100 most powerful businesswomen of the Middle East

Leading global business magazine Forbes has included two Pakistani women among the top 10 female executives in the Middle East.

Shaista Asif, ranked fourth in Forbes’ ‘The Middle East’s 100 Most Powerful Businesswomen 2024’ list, serves as the co-founder and group chief executive officer of PureHealth Holding, a healthcare network based in the UAE.

Asif co-founded the healthcare company in 2006 and took up the role of Group CEO in December 2023. The company’s initial public offering (IPO) raised $986 million by offering 10% of its issued share capital in Abu Dhabi in December 2023, Forbes reported. Securities Exchange (ADX), the IPO was oversubscribed 54 times among professional clients and 483 times among retail clients.

Additionally, in January 2024, PureHealth acquired Circle Health Group, the UK’s largest independent hospital operator, for $1.2 billion before debt, as well as Sheikh Shaqbout Medical City, the UAE’s largest healthcare complex, for $600 million. which had revenues of $585.4 million.

Shazia Syed, general manager of Unilever North Africa, Levant and Iraq, as well as senior customer development head for Arabia, took ninth place on the list due to her extensive corporate experience.

Syed, former CEO of Unilever Pakistan, has held positions such as President of Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Director of Pakistan Business Council.

He assumed his current role in 2021 after joining Unilever in Pakistan as a management trainee in 1989. Forbes said that

Syed also serves on the board of United Bank Limited in Pakistan, holding positions such as member of the Board Risk and Compliance Committee and Chairman of the Board Audit Committee.

Additionally, she has previously served on the boards of Pukka Tea and Pepsi Lipton.

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