Former Zain CEO Saad Al Barrak on Tuesday night received the prestigious Businessman of the Year award at the Arabian Business Kuwait Achievement Awards.
In just seven and a half years he managed to transform Zain, Kuwait’s provincial telco, into a global giant.
Under his guidance the former-state owned operator grew from a customer base of 500,000 operating in one Gulf state to 72 million customers across 23 countries.
Over the same period, revenues at the company jumped from $570m to $8bn.
Kuwaiti business legend Ali Alghanim also triumphed at the ceremony, walking away with the coveted Lifetime Achievement award.
Alghanim’s company Ali Alghanim & Sons was founded in the 1960s and has grown to become one of the region’s biggest players, operating in a number of industries including car dealerships.
The judges remarked that he had “from day one shown leadership, strength and vision.”
He was one of 16 individuals to be honoured while Gulf Bank won Best Bank, KGL Logistics received the award for Logistics Company of the Year, and the Yakoub Al Homaizi Group winning Retail Company of the Year.
The Special CSR Award went to Equate, with Chartis taking Insurance Company of the Year.