Mr. Rakesh Wahi is a visionary entrepreneur who has been involved with early stage investments in emerging markets for the last 30 years. He is a well-respected member of the investment community and has distinguished himself in the field of IT, telecoms, media, technology and education investments in the CIS, Middle East & North Africa, South & South East Asia and Sub Sahara Africa.
Mr. Wahi is Chairman of CMA Investment Holdings that has representation through its portfolio companies in over 22 countries.
Mr. Wahi is the Founder of the ABN Group that includes CNBC Africa, Forbes Africa, ABN Productions and ABN Training Institute. He is also the co-founder of Trans National Academic Group, Murdoch University Dubai, Curtin University Dubai, Lancaster University Ghana, TAG Middle East and Tech One Global. His core focus is on long term corporate and leadership development through building strong management teams.
Mr. Wahi has a vision to develop capacity across the African continent by establishing centres of excellence. This initiative will see the establishment of a large number of tertiary educational institutions with a focus on STEM’s, health sciences, energy and engineering. Mr. Wahi is a sought after speaker at educational institutions on leadership and entrepreneurship.
Prior to moving to the UAE in 1988/89, Mr. Wahi served with the Corps of Engineers in the Indian Army for about 9 years; and for distinguished services to the country in peacetime, was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal ("VSM") by the President of India in 1985. Mr. Wahi was also part of India's scientific expedition to the Antarctica where he established India's second base in 1987/88.
Mr. Wahi was educated at the Doon School in India and later earned a Bachelor of Science degree (National Defence Academy 1979) and a Bachelor of Technology degree in Civil Engineering (College of Military Engineering 1986) from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Mr. Wahi is a Member of the Institute of Engineers, Calcutta, India and a Fellow Member of the Australian Institute of Management. Mr. Wahi was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Science from the International University of Management by the Minister of Education of Namibia.
Mr. Wahi has been honored by various stock exchanges to ring the bell including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (2014 & 2017), the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Zambian Stock Exchange.
Mr. Wahi is the founder of the Africa Business Leaders Awards and the Person of the Year Awards that are held across Sub Sahara Africa. In its 10th year, the awards recognize outstanding leadership across different disciplines. Some of the most renowned names in Africa are the recipient of these awards.
Mr. Wahi is founder of the ABN Education Trust in South Africa and the TAG Foundation in Ghana to finance the education of children from previously disadvantaged families in Africa. The Trust also contributes to other causes including orphanages and destitute women in Africa. His philanthropic activities extend to India where the family has made contributions to primary education in villages, electrification of villages and bursaries for young women at a vocational center in Dehradun and bursaries for school children at several institutions.
Mr. Wahi is a keen golfer and the founder of the CNBC Africa Corporate Golf Challenge, a prestigious golf tournament hosted annually by him for top corporates in South Africa the proceeds of which go towards charity.
In March 2013, as part of a team building exercise, Mr. Wahi led a team of 15 members from his company to the top of Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest free standing mountain. 100% of the team made it to the top. In April 2015 Mr. Wahi took a team from his company to climb the Everest Base Camp when the earthquake struck; Mr. Wahi brought them all back safely to Dubai.
In Nov 2016 Mr. Wahi published his memoirs through an autobiography titled “Be a Lion” that was published by Penguin South Africa. The book is available via Amazon or www.bealion.pub.