Academy Speakers

Aasif Khan

Automechanika Dubai - Aasif Khan

Customer-focused Senior Professional with almost 19 years of rich and diversified experience in the industry. In his current role as the Industry Advisor for Discrete in EMEA-South, Aasif is responsible for Go-To-Market, Business Development, Demand Generation, Partner Enablement, and driving Technology with Customers across the region.

Aasif’s experience cuts across multiple functional and leadership roles in Manufacturing, Technology Consulting, Value engagements, Services delivery, etc. His responsibilities encompass digital transformation advisory, industry strategy planning, thought leadership, sales support, demand generation, field training & enablement. Aasif carries more than a decade of solid domain experience in Discrete manufacturing.

Specialties: Industry Strategy & Thought Leadership, Drive C-Level Strategic Engagements, Devise compelling Technology vision/road maps, etc.

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Abeer Fakhoury

Automechanika Dubai


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Adam Ridgway

Automechanika Dubai - Adam Ridgway

A sustainabilist, a father, speaker and focused entrepreneur, driven by purpose.

ONE MOTO is an award-winning, impact driven EV company focused on changing the way we move.

I specialise in sustainable product development, tech-driven vehicles and delivering the future of mobility to the everyday commuter and logistics sector. I'm a speaker of Future and Smart Mobility, and a start-up mentor for the future of entrepreneurship in the region.

Having successfully built an exited four businesses in the UAE over 14 years in Dubai managing a portfolio of start-up companies four respected brands under The MEDIACUBED Group; humbled by a collective of fantastic award-winning clients, a proud portfolio and a team that supported the vision of the businesses.

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Alberto Giacoppo

Automechanika Dubai - Alberto Giacoppo

Alberto is Senior Researcher at GRS Research and Strategy. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics and Management from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. He primarily focuses on Business Intelligence, Market Research, Customer Experience, and Data Visualisation

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Alon Bar Eli

Automechanika Dubai - Alon Bar Eli

A real estate developer and owner of several companies in Israel, United States and Central America;

  • Investing in CHM Motors from its early stages, allowing continuous development of the prototype to its current stage;
  • Vast experience in complex business operations  around the globe in various spheres, such as real estate, tourism and entertainment. 

From a deep interest in the way engines work, which made him believe that it is possible to change the entire existing concept for engines and bring to the world a revolutionary innovative engine.

Disrupt the global motor industry by introducing innovational, efficient and eco-friendly solutions that benefit everyone: from manufacturers to end-consumers around the globe.

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Bechara Haddad

Automechanika Dubai - Bechara Haddad

Bechara Haddad is the CEO of Jino, a startup in the automotive industry that connects car owners to their cars and provides doorstep services. Bechara is a successful leader in building and growing startups, he formerly launched and built Zomato in Lebanon and made it the number food delivery app, and then joined Toters. Previously, Bechara worked as a Regional Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble. He graduated with honors from a top business school, ESCP Europe with a master’s in Business Administration with a focus on innovation.

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Chirenj Chandran

Automechanika Dubai - Chirenj Chandran

"Chirenj Chandran is the Founder and CEO of MySyara, the Middle Easts first auto-tech startup, revolutionizing the journey of car ownership. Under his leadership, the company has achieved 600% year on year growth and expanded operations internationally - achieving six figure annual revenues with acquisitions valued at over $5MN.  On his journey to professional success, he gained a wealth of knowledge and experience within the automotive sector - launching an e-commerce platform for tyres and managing a large automotive service chain with more than 900 fleet customers. Over the years he has been feature in leading media publications in the region including Entrepreneur Middle East and Arabian Business. Chirenj grew up with a deeply rooted passion towards automobiles and mobility. He has completed his bachelors in digital marketing from the University of Kent UK. "

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Craig Stevens

Automechanika Dubai - Craig Stevens

Craig has been a leader of digital transformation within the automotive sector for over 20 years and is passionate about solving problems for buyers and sellers by creating marketplaces based on trust, transparency, data and tech.

Having been part of successful Boards and Executive teams that have transformed  the automotive industry in the UK, Europe, MENA and China and having successfully navigated digital transformation through recessions and now a pandemic, Craig and his family are now based in the UAE and focused on accelerating digital transformation for the automotive market throughout the GCC and globally for the expanding export market.

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Edoardo Gianotti

Automechanika Dubai - Edoardo Gianotti

Mr. Edoardo Gianotti holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Turin and a Master's degree from the University of London in Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics. He has spent over 29 years in the field of vehicle regulation. He has gained experience in the field of private and international organizations. Since 2006, he is a staff member of the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). In this area, he covered multiple tasks as secretary of the Working Group on Lighting and Signaling (GRE),  Noise (GRB), coordinator of the intelligent transport system and leader of the project "Intelligent Transport Systems for Sustainable Mobility ". At the moment he is covering the task as secretary of the Working Party on Passive Safety (GRSP) and General Safety Provisions (GRSG) of WP.29. He’s also the Focal Point of the 1998 United Nations  Agreement on Global Technical Regulations for wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts and of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 in the area of Safe Vehicles.

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Hala Kabbara

Automechanika Dubai


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Erik Deitersen

Automechanika Dubai - Erik Deitersen

Erik Deitersen is a Director with africon GmbH. Since 2014, he has been working with companies from around the world to assess markets and devise growth strategies in Africa. As the head of africon’s automotive practice, he has worked on and accompanied more than 30 automotive projects in the region. 

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Farid Sfeir

Automechanika Dubai - Farid Sfeir

Farid is a tri-linguist, pro-active, hands-on training consultant with experience in sales, service, parts, and technical fields. He earned accreditation as a globally certified trainer with Jaguar Land Rover, and as a master trainer with Ford. With clients like Mercedes, General Motors, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche, Nissan, and Ford, Toyota, Audi & Volkswagen Farid has successfully shared and gained experience at the same time.

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Fatima Kashwani

Automechanika Dubai - Fatima Kashwani

Fatima Kashwani received her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering with honors at Khalifa University in 2021. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Computer Science at Khalifa University. Her main research areas are Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Autonomous Vehicles. Her thesis project is focused on teleoperation of unmanned vehicles.

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Jonathan Taylor

Automechanika Dubai


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Fuad Bassam

Automechanika Dubai - Fuad Bassam


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Gurhan Cevikel

Automechanika Dubai - Gurhan Cevikel

Gurhan is the Head of Automotive Market Intelligence and Consulting at GfK MENA, with more than 15 years of experience in oil & gas and automotive industries at top global companies including Shell Lubricants. In his current role, he works closely with top automotive clients to support their business growth plans through key strategic levers, intelligence, market insights and consulting solutions.

His experience cuts across various leadership roles in sales, marketing and business development at local, regional and global level. He led multiple businesses, teams and projects in strategic planning, consulting, new market entry, marketing management, digital transformation, channel management and market intelligence.

Gurhan has graduated from Bogazici University, Istanbul with a B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering, followed by an MBA degree. He is based in Dubai-UAE with his wife and 7 years old son.

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Kyle Weber

Automechanika Dubai - Kyle Weber

Kyle Weber is a passionate electric vehicle industry leader with 15 years of international experience. He is the Customer Journey & Innovation Manager for Saudi Arabia’s Ceer. Hailing from Chicago, Kyle holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University and MSc in Engineering Systems and Management from Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa University.

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Lyudmila Koltomova

Automechanika Dubai - Lyudmila Koltomova

Ms. Lyudmila Koltomova holds a Diploma in Petroleum engineering. She started her career at TÜV SÜD as a business development for Third Party Inspections with exposure to different industries and construction sectors

During this time, she was responsible to manage projects at Public and Private sectors in the MENA region.

Due to rapid growth of EV vehicles on the world’s roads in 2020 with battery electric models and possibilities to drive the services expansion Lyudmila contribute to unleash the opportunities to the new services of TÜV SÜD as for example AV certification, Homologation Vehicle Safety Inspections and Cyber Security. Together with the international and  local teams moving forward to educate, certify and advise industries.

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Mahdi Ben Mrad

Automechanika Dubai - Mahdi Ben Mrad

Mahdi brings 16 years of international experience in Industry & Consulting with a focus on business transformation and operational improvement in diverse sectors including Automotive, Industrials, Chemical and Utilities.

Mahdi combines wide-ranging quantitative and qualitative skills honed from a solid background in engineering and consulting with a strong ability to gain a clear and concise view of the right strategic directions for clients. In his early career, he held engineering and program management positions in industry.

Mahdi is graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in France and has an MSC in Executive Engineering from Ecole des Mines de Paris.

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Majid Khonji

Automechanika Dubai - Majid Khonji

Majid Khonji is an assistant professor in the EECS department at Khalifa University, UAE, and a research Affiliate with MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), USA. He received his MSc degree in Security, Cryptology, and Coding of Information Systems from Ensimag, Grenoble Institute of Technology, France, and PhD in Interdisciplinary Engineering from Masdar Institute, UAE, in collaboration with MIT in 2016. Previously, he was a visiting assistant professor with MIT CSAIL, a senior R&D technologist in Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and an information security researcher in Emirates Advanced Investment Group (EAIG).

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Mark Matthias

Automechanika Dubai - Mark Matthias

Mark is the Sales Director for Trinity Lubes & Greases FZC and GRENVO Lubetech, wholly owned subsidiaries of the SGL group.  SGL is one of the world’s leaders in lubricant development holding a number of patents that are made for and sold by the world’s leading lubricant brands. Mark is a UNITI Certified Professional for Lubricant Technology and has extensive experience in selling and developing businesses.  He is passionate about educating thereby helping importers and distributors exploit their markets with lubricants and greases so that they can maximise their synergies and experience growth. Mark has been in the UAE for a year, before this he worked for a German oil company looking after markets in Africa, Australia, India and northern America. 

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Martin Unterhauser

Automechanika Dubai - Martin Unterhauser

Mr. Martin Unterhauser holds a Diploma for automotive engineering. He started his career at TÜV SÜD as an authorized signatory for vehicle homologation in 2009. During this time, he was responsible for countless projects together with nearly all global well-known automotive manufacturers. During his dispatchment (2018 - 2021) he was responsible for all Mobility activities within TÜV SÜD Korea. After returning to Germany, he is now in charge for Mobility Services within the region Asia. The special attention of Mr. Unterhauser belongs to the new services of TÜV SÜD as for example Scenario based testing, Safety of the intended functionality (SOTIF) and Cyber Security. Together with the local teams in the countries Mr. Unterhauser is now transferring the existing know-how and further establish the local resources.

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Massimiliano Spalazzi

Automechanika Dubai - Massimiliano Spalazzi

Massimiliano joined Jumia in Lagos (Nigeria) on day 1 in 2012 as part of the marketing team for its launch. Since then, Massimiliano has been growing his scope and responsibilities across the Group and has launched and managed more than 10 countries’ operations and functions. Today, he is the CEO of Jumia Nigeria. Massi brings over 10 years’ experience in sales and marketing in the e-commerce industry. He has a record of accomplishment of success in the development and effective implementation of robust strategies with a keen focus on delivering sustainable growth in diverse markets. He has a strong focus and drives to deliver outstanding business performance while strengthening controls and developing talents. Massimiliano holds an MSc Double Degree in International management from Bocconi University (Italy) and Fudan University (China), and a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Business Administration.

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N Gurubasappa Basavaraju Nonavenakere

Automechanika Dubai - Gurubasappa Basavaraju Nonavenakere

More than just qualifications and experience truly dedicating myself in the passion of automobiles, Young, Energetic, Honest in Automobile Professional, having a First RANK, AUTOMOBILE (Gold Medal) certificates & 29 + Years of first class automobiles experience, open/friendly personality and have the capability to develop hands–on and theoretical - technical skills for whom automobile is essential, developing and conducting training courses in accordance with Industry guidelines, skill and performance measurement, ensuring the core values with BEST practice programs.

Different experiences such as AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURERS TRAINING, State Road Transport corporation on Petrol / Diesel systems at the primary stage of career, hands on experience on the EUROPEAN / AMERICAN / JAPAPESE products {viz., VW, Audi, Peugeot / INFINITI, NISSAN, Mitsubishi , Continental, MAN, Iveco / Ford, GM, Chrysler, CAT} are the basic tools of my tool box.

In further, leading a team of Trainers in Training Division that provides both technical & business process training, TELE DIAGNOSIS (Manchester & Germany, Singapore), Annual budget planning, technical advice, network training plan, customer satisfaction, organizing Technical and non-technical skill contests in OMAN ~ till date at – DUBAI, bringing Gold, Silver and Best performance awards to the esteemed organization {AWARDED AT GLOBAL LEVEL- JAPAN} proves my dedication towards the training profession.

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Phillippe Dupin

Automechanika Dubai

Over 30 years in the lubricant industry, out of 20 of them were in international business management, Philippe Dupin has developed a solid reputation in delivering business strategies strengthening financial performance and operational effectiveness in a multicultural company such as ExxonMobil. Ability to change and turnaround profitability by implementing innovative strategies & partnerships , he has demonstrated discipline and conviction to make things happening in very challenging environments. The new digital space is the best  platform for traditional industries such as lubricants to think differently and perform over competition.

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Rami Rabia

Automechanika Dubai - Rami Rabia

"Rami Rabia is an e-commerce expert based in Dubai, UAE. He consults with e-commerce operators to help them leverage the marketplace business model within B2B and B2C. Previously Rami was part of a pure-play e-commerce marketplace based in Dubai and Malaysia. Rami also has vast experience within the public and the private sector in trade, FMCG, and digital marketing. "

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Rolfe Hartley

Automechanika Dubai - Rolfe Hartley

Present affiliation: Kemipex – Head of Innovation

Areas of interest:
•Lubricant formulations

• Ph.D. Chemistry - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
•Senior Advisor – Ethyl Corporation now known as Afton – 12 years
•Principal Technologist – Infineum – 17 years
•Vice President Technical – Tianhe – 6 years
•33 issued United States Patents and foreign counterparts
•Co-inventor of Afton ATF technology
•Co-inventor of Infineum HDD soot dispersant technology.

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Salman Hussain

Automechanika Dubai - Salman Hussain

Salman is an Engineer with a deep desire to transform mobility to electric in the region with prolific experience in the field of electric vehicles for over 6 years.           

Salman is the Chief Product Officer for EV LAB, the omnichannel retail concept by Chalhoub that aims to bring a selection of electric vehicles to consumers of the UAE and also Founder of FUSE, an exciting concept that converts classic cars to electric. Through strategic partnerships, consulting, community engagement, engineering and market leadership, our companies are laying the groundwork for the dramatic changes are we are bearing fruit of the region.

Being in the UAE for over 25 years, he has a deep connection to the UAE and has first-hand witnessed the changes in transforming this city into the regional hub of the MENA region and increasingly the beacon of sustainability. An engineer by trade, he has worked in several industries after his Masters in Engineering from Imperial College in London, and with experience in the aviation industry, construction and glazing, and lastly with electric vehicle and infrastructure. He was the first private owner in the UAE of the Renault Zoe in 2016, having driven more than 6 years exclusively with electric vehicles and having covered more than 200,000km within the UAE fully electric. He worked at EVERA in early 2019 to promote sustainable solutions to the adoption of Electric Vehicles, and then EV LAB to scale the startup to achieve scale and developing their product and has recently completed the first UAE-made long range EV conversion of a classic VW beetle. Salman also serves as a member of the Future Mobility Club (FMC), a Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) initiative focused on raising awareness and encouraging collaboration within the regional mobility sector to drive change.

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Sameer Parab

Automechanika Dubai - Sameer Parab

Sameer Parab, leads the automotive and mobility practice at Aranca, a leading growth advisory firm. I manage and execute strategic projects for global clients across the automotive value chain. I have expertise in GTM Strategy, New Market Entry, Growth Strategy, Feasibility Studies, Competitor Due Diligence, Diversification Strategy, and Profitability Improvement. I love to keep myself updated with the latest developments and disruptions in the automotive industry.

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Sepideh Malekzadeh

Automechanika Dubai - Sepideh Malekzadeh

Sepideh Malekzadeh is an ambitious Strategy Manager for Caterpillar (Distribution, Service and Digital Division)  for the Middle East & Eurasia Region. Sepideh is responsible for leading key strategic projects with Caterpillar teams and external business partners  to drive growth. Prior to joining Caterpillar in July 2022, Sepideh has worked for 12 years in the Automotive Industry (Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover) both in the UK and the UAE. Until recently at Ford Motor Company, Sepideh oversaw Product Planning & Portfolio Strategy, with commercial vehicles coverage responsibilities for the International market groups. At Jaguar Land Rover, Sepideh was a Senior Project Planner in Products, Processes, Programs & Operations – prior to this, she was a Program Manager in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering. Her career in the Automotive industry has provided Sepideh with expertise and experience in great leadership skills, change management, continuous improvements and Six Sigma project Lead. Sepideh holds a BEng and MSc Engineering Degree in Aerospace.  Sepideh has a great interest to invest my spare time to mentor, educate and support young women to join the engineering field and Automotive industry.

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Subharshee Ramarathnam

Automechanika Dubai

Subhashree, currently based in Dubai, is Principal Consultant with Frost & Sullivan's Mobility Practice. She has over 13 years of combined management consulting and OEM experience (in Customer Oriented Engineering) in the global markets with a strong knowledge on the Middle East Markets. Her experience includes covering broad range of sectors, working with leading industry experts to deliver high profile Mobility projects from inception through to delivery, with particular expertise in: New Mobility Business Models (Leasing, car sharing, Used cars subscription, etc.), Omni-channel retailing of cars & spare parts and Automotive aftermarket.

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Shailen Shukla

Automechanika Dubai - Shailen Shukla

Shailen Shukla is an Alumni of Delhi University and IIM, Ahmedabad, is an astute professional with over 30+ years of experience in Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management, Profit Centre Management, Commercial Operations, Project Procurement and Management, Vendor Management and ERP & Systems Implementation.

Currently working as a Chief Logistics Officer at PicTruc LLC, a MHAO group company, with a JV with Unanu India. Powered by Massive Data and Innovation, PicTruc is well poised to bring in Disruptive Technology in Logistics through Marketplace and end-to- end Logistics Platform.

With a plethora of Truck, Trucker and Intermediates Database, PicTruc continuously monitors the movement of Freight to provide much needed insights-enabling you to make better, more proactive logistics decisions.

Previously for 9 years, worked as Business Head of JECL Logistics LLC (A 3PL company under the Jumbo Electronics Group)  and Head Logistics, Jumbo Electronics, a top UAE Electronics Distributor / Retail Chain. Winner of “SCATA (Supply Chain And Transport Awards) – Supply Chain Of The Year Award 2013” and “Supply Chain Of The Year - Highly Commended” in 2014, “Supply Chain Manager of The Year – Highly Commended” in 2015.

Earlier worked in Senior Positions in large Indian Companies like Reliance Logistics (General Manager), Grasim (Head SCM), Vedanta (Sterlite Optical and Balco as AGM Commercial), Modi Group (Modi Industries, Modi Cement), etc, and MNCs like Brightpoint (Director Operations) and TNS / Cantar India (Director Business Operations) in India.

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Subhash Joshi

Automechanika Dubai - Subhash Joshi

Subhash Joshi is a thought leader, futurist and a strategist with over 15 years of experience in following his passion of contributing to the mobility industry. He has worked with many global and regional clients, focusing on key growth areas and working with private and public sector to implement growth change strategies. Subhash currently serves as Mobility Business Unit Leader and Regional Head for Middle East and Africa at Frost & Sullivan. In his current role, Subhash works on futuristic scenarios and forecasts in understanding how mobility will operate. He works closely with clients to help them understand the impact of these changing scenarios and mega trends on their businesses. As the Mobility industry transitions to being more consumer-and service-focused, Subhash has been spending a lot of time in rethinking new business models and identifying opportunities outside automotive space in order to bring-in solutions for the mobility sector. Working with technology startups is his another area of interest as they are playing a major role in making Mobility more consumer-focused.

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Tony Abouzolof

Automechanika Dubai - Tony Abouzolof

Tony Abouzolof co-founded of Syncron while at University in 1995. Since that time he has helped grow the company to become a leader in aftermarket inventory, pricing, and service fulfillment management solutions for the automotive, heavy equipment, agricultural, and mining equipment industries. He is currently the VP of Global Accounts.

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Thomas Kobudzinski

Automechanika Dubai - Thomas Kobudzinski


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Vincent Belhandouz

Automechanika Dubai - Vincent Belhandouz

Founder of Aniel Marketplace, the leading B2B platform for automotive spare parts in France. 12 years as entrepreneur in automotive aftermarket and 10 years as consultant and SAP project manager at Total Energies.

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Vishal Pandey

Automechanika Dubai - Berna Akinci

Vishal drives the GCG Automotive & Mobility Practice that provides regional market intelligence, thought leadership and insights to the emerging & fast transforming sector in Middle East and Africa region. He is a leading MENA focused Market Entry & Go-To-Market Strategy Specialist who has been involved in over 100 Automotive, Mobility and Logistics related research & market entry engagements mostly across MENA.

Vishal has worked across the value chain with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and tier one suppliers. He has led large-scale new market entry projects in the automotive sector and worked extensively in the aftermarket parts and digitalization of the value chain.

He is a regular industry leader contributing to PMV Middle East, Truck & Fleet Middle East and has an active involvement with Automechanika Dubai and Riyadh events as a Knowledge Partner. 

Vishal holds an MSc in Real Estate and Regeneration from the University of Glasgow, a UNWTO Themis degree in Tourism and International Cooperation for Development from The George Washington University and a Degree in Hotel Management. He is currently a Doctoral Scholar in Management at the Jindal Global Business School. 

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Yousef AbuAlaish

Automechanika Dubai

As General Manager of Arabian Automobiles, Yousef Abu Alaish takes the lead on key aftersales functions, for NISSAN, INFINITI, and RENAULT brands, that includes planning and strategy, marketing, business development, customer experience and Balance Score Card management, among other duties. With over 23 years of high-level executive experience in the automotive industry, he has built a robust association with decision makers in key government sectors and automotive partners.

A Mechanical Engineer from University of Jordan, and an MBA from Wolverhampton University, UK, Yousef has also obtained Certification for Leadership & Digital Strategy from Harvard Business School and Columbia Business School. He is also preeminent in leadership skills by leading global consultants, Egon Zhender and Marshall Goldsmith.

Under his leadership, Arabian Automobiles (AAC) Aftersales was globally recognized for its digital transformation across aftersales processes and implementation of best industrial practices. He also led AAC in national customer satisfaction ranking as per IPSOS and J.D. Power and drove a track record of financial results during the challenging situations.

Yousef has continuously introduced innovative aftersales best practices inspired from customer behavior and his extensive knowledge of the regional and international automotive sectors with his passion for continuous improvement and creativity, thus making him a strong exuberant employee oriented leader in the automotive industry.

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Zaheera Omar

Automechanika Dubai


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Zuhri Yusof

Automechanika Dubai

Zuhri Yusof is a seasoned automotive leader with 20 years of automotive experience focusing on business and digital transformation. He currently heads the automotive industry practice as part of the enterprise solutions in PwC Middle East. He has served multiple automotive companies in a management capacity before moving into consulting where he has advised multiple automotive OEMS, importers, distributors, suppliers and dealers with focus on disruptive technologies to enable them to transform and stay ahead in the market.

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