Interview with Arif Naqvi

Founder and Group Chief Executive The Abraaj Group

In the global growth markets, I see a lot of opportunity. I see resilience in the consumer model that they face and I think the opportunities there will continue to increase as time goes by.

Different markets have different perceptions of political risks. So, for example, if you take the Arab world, there is a clear perception of the ‘Arab Spring’ contagion spilling over… But within this region, there are still pockets of tremendous opportunity.

I’m convinced that the private equity industry globally is a force for good and a force for growth and I think for too long it has been living under the misconception of the general public that it is populated by people who are totally focused on the profit imperative.

It’s very important to look at the stakeholder context when developing the business model and to see how we engage with government, with civil society, even at times with politics, but certainly with the business community as we expand our model going forward.

I wish that advances in medication were fast enough to enable me to be a fly on the wall 50 or 75 years from now because I think the world then is going to be dramatically different from the world today.

We’ve always had the 10-year plans. We’ve always had the five-year plans. But the period that I always focus on is the three-year horizon. I feel that you can get your arms around it, you can understand it, you can build your organisation to withstand challenges that come in that period.

We have created something called the Abraaj Sustainability Index where we track across 70 different parameters, both quantitative and qualitative, the performance of the businesses that we have invested in.

As part of PwC's 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, we spoke with Arif Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group. In this short video, Arif shares his views on the evolution of the global growth markets, the rise in urbanisation and the opportunities this creates, and the impact of demographic shifts on consumption patterns.

Arif Naqvi is the Founder and Group Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group, a leading growth markets investor with US$ 7.5 billion in assets under management. With over 25 years’ experience of investing in public and private companies, Mr. Naqvi has led the Group’s involvement in some of the most notable private equity transactions in growth markets.
Mr. Naqvi is a Board Member of the United Nations Global Compact, Pakistan Human Development Fund and the Chairman of the British Asian Trust Advisory Committee - Pakistan. Mr. Naqvi also serves on the Board of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association, IMD Foundation, Endeavor Global and the Advisory Board of Columbia University’s Middle East Research Center.
Mr. Naqvi has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Oslo Business for Peace Award, the highest form of recognition given to individual business leaders for fostering peace and stability through creating shared value between business and society, and the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, a prominent civilian honor awarded by the Government of Pakistan. In 2011, he was named as one of the 50 most influential people in the global private equity industry by Private Equity International.
Mr. Naqvi is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.