Sima Ganwani Ved, the remarkable Founder and Chairwoman of the Apparel Group, has left an indelible mark on the retail industry in the Middle East. With her dedication to business ethics, a commitment to gender equality, and a deep passion for philanthropy, Ved’s story is nothing short of inspiring.
The Apparel Group, based in the UAE, is a multibillion-dollar conglomerate that stands as one of the largest retailers in the Middle East. With over 85 brands, 2,100+ stores spanning 14 countries, and a workforce of more than 20,000, Ved’s leadership has been instrumental in its remarkable growth and success.
Sima Ganwani Ved’s journey is marked not only by professional excellence but also by a slew of well-deserved awards. She has been recognized as The Philantropreneur of the Year, and Retailer of the Year, and has received accolades such as the Great Place to Work and Great Women’s Award. Her dedication and commitment to her craft have not gone unnoticed.
Born in Africa and brought to Dubai in the 1970s by her self-made entrepreneur father, Ved’s story is one of hard work and perseverance. She pursued her education at King’s College London, earning a Bachelor’s degree and an MBA in business management. Her entrepreneurial spirit ignited at the tender age of 20 when she began her journey by managing a department in her father’s shopping mall in the early 90s. This experience instilled in her a profound respect for hard work and a strong foundation in business ethics.
Beyond her entrepreneurial success, Sima Ganwani Ved is an active member of several global organizations, including the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and the CEO. Notably, she became the first female member of YPO to establish a regional chapter, YPO MENA STAR. This chapter was founded with a vision of promoting gender equality within the organization, and it has since achieved an impressive 52% female membership, the highest in YPO globally.
Ved’s compassion extends beyond the boardroom. Her commitment to underprivileged children led her to mentor her teenage daughter in launching the Athleisure brand, F5 Global. A portion of the brand’s profits is dedicated to the education of underprivileged children, a testament to Ved’s commitment to social responsibility.
In addition to her work with her daughter, Ved has also mentored and co-founded a new social commerce beauty platform, NESSA, with her eldest daughter, Selina. Their efforts are a testament to the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that runs through their family.
Every decade, Sima Ganwani Ved embarks on a new creative journey. In 2000, she wrote a weekly column for two years, and in 2010, she hosted a TV chat show on Star Plus, where she interviewed Bollywood, Lollywood, and royalty. Now, she hints at yet another exciting venture in the pipeline, leaving us eager to discover what’s next.
Sima Ganwani Ved’s story is a remarkable blend of entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and a commitment to making the world a better place. Her impact on the business world, her pioneering efforts in promoting gender equality, and her dedication to the underprivileged are a testament to her enduring legacy.
Check out her Instagram profile.