Learn more about the Forum Speakers

Hear from the foremost thought leaders and innovators in the industry.



Ahmed Bin Sulayem continues to play a leading role in positioning DMCC and Dubai as a major international commodities hub for trade. Under his leadership DMCC has built and delivered the UAE’s largest and fastest growing Free Zone; ensured the UAE has 60 percent market share of global tea re-exports, enabled mainly by the DMCC Tea Centre; helped establish Dubai as the world’s leading physical gold market and one of the world’s top 3 hubs for the diamond trade. Mr. Bin Sulayem’s extensive knowledge of the diamond trade also led to his appointment as global Kimberley Process Chair on behalf of the UAE Ministry of Economy in 2016. The UAE Chairmanship saw Mr Bin Sulayem travel to 20 countries including Latin America before concluding the successful chairmanship with a speech on the draft resolution “The Role of Diamonds in Fuelling Conflict” at the UN General Assembly in February 2017.







With more than three decades of port operations and management experience, Mohammed Al Muallem, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, DP World – UAE Region, has led the growth and development of the region's most important port through a period of major expansions, defining and driving its strategic vision.

Jebel Ali Port, the flagship of DP World has developed rapidly under his guidance and counts itself today amongst the top 10 ports in the world. In the last decade, the container throughput in the UAE Region has doubled from 7.6 million TEUs in 2005 to 15.2 million in 2014.

In 2003, Al Muallem inspired port operations in the region, when he employed the use of the Quad Lift Gantry, a gantry crane capable of lifting four 20 feet containers or two 40 feet containers in one single lift, a concept never before seen in the world.

Al Muallem joined Port Rashid in 1983 and moved rapidly through various operational and management roles, before overseeing the UAE Region of DP World in September 2005. Al Muallem was appointed Chairman of the Executive Merging Team of Dubai Ports Authority, Dubai Customs and the Free Zone in 2000 and in May 2004, Executive Coordinator for the Terminal 2 development at Jebel Ali Port.

Mohammed Al Muallem holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. and has completed extensive training in U.K. at the University of Cranfield College, Manchester.

Mr Al Muallem assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director for DP World, UAE Region in January 2017 to explore a new world of opportunity of global supply chain & trade corridors and is responsible for UAE Region's Ports, Parks and Free Zones, Logistics, Dubai Trade and World Security.

“The ever-changing world of trade demands innovation, integration and proven expertise”




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Dr. Shashi Tharoor is an award-winning author of 17 books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Great Indian Novel, Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century, An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India and the upcoming Why I Am A Hindu. He has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. A second-term Member of Parliament representing Thiruvananthapuram, and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, he has served as Minister of State for Human Resource Development and for External Affairs in the Government of India. During his nearly three-decade long career at the United Nations, he served as a peacekeeper, refugee worker, and administrator at the highest levels, serving as Under-Secretary General during Kofi Annan’s leadership.










Anil Cooke is President/CEO of Asia Siyaka Commodities PLC, a leading tea Broking house and largest Auction logistics provider in Sri Lanka. He is a member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing UK and has been a professional marketer of Tea throughout his carrier of 30 plus years. He is a past Chairman of the Colombo Brokers’ Association, past Director of the Sri Lanka Tea Board.

Anil has been closely associated with development and implementation of marketing strategy for Sri Lanka’s extraordinary range of specialty Ceylon Teas; and has guided production of three short Documentary films on Ceylon Tea. He is frequently sought as a speaker at International Tea events.










Bala Sarda, 26, is the CEO & Founder of Vahdam Teas - a direct-to-consumer premium tea brand. Founded in early 2015, Vahdam Teas is among India's fastest growing consumer product brands & have been shipped to consumers in over 83 countries. It is building among India's first home-grown truly global tea brand by leveraging technology, cutting out middlemen & disrupting the fragmented supply chain of tea. It has raised venture financing from some of India’s leading angels & consumer VCs, including Fireside Ventures, Singapore Angel Network, Mumbai Angel.

Bala, who started the company at 23, is a passionate entrepreneur & comes with over 80 years of lineage in the Indian Tea Industry.









An Engineer by profession and a serial entrepreneur, RK Nair manages entities serving in Oil&Gas, Marine, Building Services and Healthcare. RK has also served in a couple of multi-national organizations across all GCC countries, during his tenure in the Gulf since 1983. He is passionate about wellness and public speaking and blends both these passions beautifully by volunteering with Siddha Samadhi Yoga, spreading the scientific program on Smart Living and with Toastmasters creating more Leaders. He is married to Uma, an entrepreneur, trainer and coach, who shares his passion for SSY and Toastmasters.










John spent over two decades working as a creative director with leading London agencies heading a variety of accounts, including; River Island, bp, Shell, Giant Casino, Sainsbury’s, McLaren F1, Emirates, Bmi British Midland, Austrian, Emaar, Burj Khalifa, Armani, Sega, Land Rover, Tata Motors, Taj, Tsogo, Oberoi, Mubadala, Blackstone, BEA (Bank of East Asia), Wanda.

Brash is the result of John’s vision to establish a creative consultancy with a more personal and bespoke way of doing business. He founded Brash in May 2007 and has built a handpicked team of talent who share his vision. John is not your typical CEO, but then Brash is not a typical brand consultancy. Everyday John and his team try and find creative and unconventional ways to help clients identify and realise opportunities for growth. A natural entrepreneur, John is tireless in his enthusiasm and curiosity. His optimistic nature, his genuine interest in clients and their business has played a significant role in cementing our strong reputation in the market. Brash is authentic and agile, their independence will enable them to stay ‘Brash’ and relevant.








To successfully lead the commodities business of DMCC, the world’s number one Free Zone for commodities trade and enterprise, requires a commodities expert that goes way beyond the numbers, logistics and supply chain ‘know-how’ to give the organisation agility to maintain its competitive edge - today, tomorrow and long into the future.

Meet Sanjeev Dutta, Executive Director, Commodities, DMCC, who brings over two decades of multi industry expertise in both audit and consulting as a Chartered Accountant with PwC, India and KPMG, Bahrain and Oman, as well as a wealth of knowledge on the global commodities trade from his more recent roles at DMCC.

Since he joined the organisation 12 years ago, Sanjeev has subsequently taken on a range of both financial and operational roles within DMCC, that span Chief Financial Officer for the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange, through to DMCC’s Director of Control, with overall responsibility for financial controls, corporate governance and risk management.

He has been instrumental in building DMCC’s Innovation Hub; its Tea Centre, which handles over 41 million kgs annually; and DMCC Tradeflow, the dedicated online platform for registering possession and ownership of commodities stored in the UAE; and the much anticipated DMCC Coffee Centre. Sanjeev’s latest role to lead and cement DMCC’s position as the global gateway for commodities trade and enterprise, continues to evolve.

Drawing upon DMCC’s world-class trade infrastructure from its DMCC Free Zone, home to over 14,100 companies; through to its trade facilitation for key commodities sectors such as precious metals, its financial services platforms including the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange; and its unique platforms like DMCC Tradeflow; Sanjeev ensures the organisation develops the appropriate infrastructure the trade needs to succeed, as well as connecting market participants from all over the world through global events such as DMCC’s annual global Dubai Precious Metals Conference; the Global Dubai Tea Forum; and the Dubai Diamond Conference.

From precious metals, diamonds, tea, coffee, to the food and agri trade; and its financial services platforms that brings trade finance solutions as well as Commodity Murabaha mechanisms to market, Sanjeev ensures the suitable infrastructure that enables people to trade with confidence is in place.

Sanjeev is also a member of DMCC’s executive leadership team, responsible for contributing to the organisation’s general management, strategic direction and growth initiatives. He graduated from Calcutta University in 1995.






Mike was born in Germany in 1953 in a town called Gaggeneau; whose name exemplifies culinary excellence. In 1967 he started a 3 year apprenticeship program as a pastry chef followed by another 2 year apprenticeship program as a chef; this paved way to fulfil his ambition to become a professional pastry chef. The following years were years of wanderlust, he got his first experience in a 5 star hotel called Atlantic in Hamburg - Germany and Bayerischer Hof in Munich. In 1975 he left for London to work at the Hilton Park Lane and at The Berkley. During this time he also worked hard to learn the English language. The following years took him to places like Operakalleren in Stockholm, Southampton Princess in Bermuda, Ambassador on the sea in Cape Town. And after his return from South Africa in 1983 he decided to go to Cairo to work at the Nile Hilton as executive sous-chef, this opportunity changed his life, in 1987 he earned the position of an executive chef with the Hilton in Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates.

He has travelled and worked as a chef and executive chef in over 20 countries and in over 35 five star hotels across the world, in the course of which he gained invaluable experience of the hospitality segment and priceless insights into this highly competitive industry. The pursuit of his quest led Chef Mike to set up the Emirates Culinary Guild in 1992 which is the chefs’ association in Dubai with over 1200 members. He served as the guild’s treasurer and also as the organiser of the Emirates Salon Culinare during the annual Gulfood exhibition that hosts over 1200 participants. The other Middle Eastern experiences were mostly around the nineties - 1993 Sheraton Oman, 1996 Doha Sheraton, 1997 opening of the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai.

Chef Mike has worked tirelessly to make life easy for the members of the guild. He realized early that reducing prep time and minimizing storage challenges would reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of professional kitchens.

After spending over 16 years in the Middle East and a total of 27 years of experience within the hospitality industry, his cherished dream of serving his culinary counterparts with convenience led Chef Mike to join hands with Barakat Vegetable & Fruits L.L.C. Here, he evolved the novel concept of creating freshly pressed juices and cut vegetables and fruits into a tasteful art. After two years of meticulous planning and thoughtful execution, his dream came true. Barakat Quality Plus was opened for business in 2001, as an extended kitchen to the food industry in the UAE. The new factory was unique in the Middle East. In 2012 Barakat opened another factory dedicated to fresh cut vegetables, gelato ice creams and freshly made soups for retail. Today Barakat Quality Plus has over 750 employees and processes 160 tonnes of fruits and vegetables every day and 46000 litres of fresh juice every day to most hotels, airlines hypermarkets and supermarkets in the region.





MB. Nguyen Thi Anh Hong is standing vice chairwoman of Vietnam Tea Association cum Director of Center for Tea Market Development and Research, with 20 years of experience in the Tea Industry. She is mainly responsible to create and manage trade promotion programs of VITAS including allocation of resources, make plans and take final decisions, contact foreign counterparts, attend international meetings and promotion of trade proposals for the tea industry. She is the one who established the national trademark “Cheviet” for Vietnam tea industry, register the trademark domestically and internationally and popularized it on mass media. She is also Chairwoman of the Board of Organizer of Vietnam Tea Masters Cup, and a righteous judge of International Tea Masters Cup.










Joanna Wu is the international chief executive of the World largest tea expo company HJC, Shenzhen, China; also awarded as the ambassador of the China National Tea Museum which represents China to communicate with the world.

As an immigrant of New Zealand, Joanna always uses her dual vision on how to utilize the globalization to enhance the tea industry sustainability.

Being a contemporary artist for near a decade, Joanna strongly believes culture communication is a crucial move toward the success of global tea trade.

In her years of practice, she is focusing on helping the international brands entering China and the Chinese brands launching in the global market.









Mr. Mohit Agarwal started his career in tea in the year 1993. He has now notched up an experience of more than 25 years in the Tea business.

He established and continues to spearhead the Asian Tea Group which has it's presence in India, China, Kenya, Mozambique and Sri Lanka.

Drawing from his vast knowledge and experience with tea production, the Group owns and runs plantations in Assam (India) and in Mozambique (Africa), where they have recently established one of the largest Organic Black CTC plantations in the world.

The Asian Tea Group owns and operates trading offices in Kolkata (India), Coimbatore (India), Fuzhou (China), Mombasa (Kenya) & Colombo (Sri Lanka).

The Asian Tea Group currently handles approximately 20,000 MT of tea annually across all of its offices worldwide.







Dr. R.A. Fernando is an Alumni of the University of Cambridge having completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business in 2008 and a Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership in 2014. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration Degree from the European University, Switzerland 2016. He also has a Diploma in International Management and Advanced Management Program at the INSEAD Business School in France. He is an Executive in Residence at the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre since September 2010 and Chairman/CEO of Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Pvt. Ltd.

His career with multinationals spanned 1981-2003, Unilever, Smithkline Beecham International covering Africa, Middle East and Asia in CEO/Business Development positions 1981-2007. He was the first CEO of the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology 2008-2011 and Operations Director of the Malaysia Blue Ocean Strategy Institute 2011-2016 and was the UN Global Compact Focal point for Sri Lanka 2007-2011.

In terms of work exposure he has worked in FMCG, Healthcare, Apparel and Nanotechnology. In terms of assessment of sectors and embedding sustainability/ESG in corporate strategy in addition to the sectors he has worked in, his work with INSEAD/Cedep/UN Global Compact and numerous Boards covered other sectors focused in Asia i.e. National Sustainability Strategy Reviews for Singapore (INSEAD Case 2012), Malaysia (Sustainable Tourism), Vietnam (Pharmaceuticals and Apparel), Plantations (Aitken Spence) and Urban Sustainable Apartments (Fairway Holdings), Leasing and Finance (Lanka Orix Leasing Company) Cedep (EU Management develop initiative) based at INSEAD has contracts with many French MNC’s. Since 2014 he worked with L’Oreal, Valeo, Renault/Nissan’s Asia Pacific management cadre’s each year in June /July in Shanghai to challenge and sensitize them to Climate change risks to their supply chain.

In terms of ongoing projects he is currently involved in working with the European Investment bank, Luxembourg to develop an INSEAD Case Study by reviewing EIB’s commitment to investing in Sustainable projects in the EU and Asia as they mobilize the Euro 88 Billion budget to impact the UNSDG’s.

He has developed the following unique Sustainability/ESG assessment and Strategy embedding tools /matrix for his Masters and Doctoral studies:

1) UN SDG/SCS Embedding Matrix – To help define which 1-3 of the 17 UNSDG each business and Industry should engage and impact
2) Strategic Corporate Sustainability – 7 Imperatives for Sustainable business – An assessment tool to identify which imperatives a business needs to focus on to ‘embed sustainability /ESG’.
3) Strategic Management of Risk - Impact of Climate Change Risk on Sectorial Supply Chains
4) Strategic Management of Sustainability led-Opportunity - Creating New Sustainable Blue Ocean

Market spaces in the emerging sectors of Nanotechnology, Sustainable Tourism, Apparel and Agriculture)

In September 2007, he won a “Global Strategy Leadership award” at the World Strategy Summit for his work in the Apparel and Plantation sectors. In November 2015, he published ‘Strategic Corporate Sustainability – 7 Imperatives for Sustainable business’ (Partridge: Penguin Random House), based on his work at Cambridge University.





Snigdha perceives tea as a lifestyle product and not a commodity. She trained under Japanese Tea Master, Nao Numekawa and founded Tea Trunk in 2013. Tea Trunk curates finest teas directly from farmers and crafts them into unique tea blends with all natural ingredients. Snigdha is an empaneled author and spokesperson for Tea Board of India.

Snigdha is a trained Tea Taster who specializes in creating unique hand-blended teas. Received her certificate as a Tea Sommelier in 2011 from the Tea Sommelier Academy in Sri Lanka. She was trained by the well-known Tea Master, Nao Kumekawa, from Japan. On her tea trails, she has tasted and profiled more than 5000 varieties of teas.

In July 2013, she launched her own line of signature tea blends, where they source teas directly from farmers and craft them into unique tea blends. All blends are 100% natural. No artificial flavors or colors are used. These luxury teas are available at high-end boutique stores, award winning restaurants, cafes, spas and five stars hotels across India. Through the online store, the teas are enjoyed in over 10 countries.

She popularized Tea Appreciation and Tea Tasting events in India, and pioneered the much admired Chai Walk in Mumbai. Over the last three years, she has conducted Tea Workshops and Tasting events for clients like the American Consulate (Mumbai), IIFL, CII, FICCI Flo among others. Over 2000 people have attended these tastings in India and USA. She was awarded the INK Fellowship in 2013. In May 2015, Snigdha was a speaker at World Tea Expo at Long Beach, California, USA. She was profiled alongside eminent tea personalities of the world on World Tea News, the definitive platform for tea trade across the globe. Snigdha is an empaneled author and spokesperson for Tea Board of India. She represents Indian Tea industry in International publications and at Tea conferences around the world.

Her passion for tea extends beyond the trade. She plans to launch a Tea School to revolutionize academic opportunities to study tea. Snigdha’s vision is to set up a global learning hub for Tea, in India. She believes, India without a Tea school is like France without a Wine school.





Mehak Srivastava is a journalist based in Dubai; having spent 90% of her life in the United Arab Emirates, she is well-acquainted with the rampant (as believed by some) tea-culture in these parts. On most evenings, you will find her huddled in front of a chai-stall, constantly complaining about the lack of “authentic Mumbai chai” in the metropolitan city of Dubai. When she finds time away from tea, she pursues writing, reading, and watches films. She holds a bachelor’s degree in media and communications from Manipal University Dubai, and aspires to one day be a significant part of the Indian film industry.











Huzaifa Nalwala, an Indian, obtained a postgraduate First Class degree in Management Science with specialization in Marketing Management from the University of Bombay.

A Research Analyst in Frost & Sullivan’s Automotive practice in Mumbai, he moved to the UAE in 2002 to first join InCite Research as Market Research Executive before moving on to IMES Consulting as Consultant in early 2006. Following the acquisition by ManSci in 2010, he was promoted as Senior Consultant and he has continued to add valuable service to ManSci’s increasing clientele. He is actively engaged in various industry market research and consulting projects in the Middle East & North Africa, including feasibility studies, IPO prospectus studies and market assessment studies in both food and non-food sectors during his career. He is the ManSci’s permanent Research Consultant for Dairy and Beverage markets in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen and Algeria. Huzaifa is permanently based in Dubai.








He was born in Bandung, West Java Province where more than 75% of the national tea is produced there. He started his working experience early when in 1965 (till 1968), after completing an internship at the Commodity Trading Division of C. Tennant & Son, New York City, he worked there, which later was acquired by Cargill of Switzerland.

In 1956, his late father, Haji Badruddin, bought a tea plantation called Dewata from a Dutch company, Tiedeman van Kerchem, which was the embryo of the now Kabepe Chakra group of companies which owned 6 tea estates in West Java and Sumatra, and started to venture into Palm Oil plantation in West Kalimantan, to diverse its activities.

PT KBP Chakra had for the last 10 years built close relationship with the small tea growers surrounding their tea estates on a ‘socio entrepreneurial’ basis and was adopted as the company’s strategy in its expansion program. Since 2010 up to November 2017, Mr. Badruddin chaired the Indonesia Tea Board, and he was Chairman of Indonesia Tea Association for two terms (1994 to 1998 and 1998 to 2003), and in 1993 to 1998, was Chairman of the Indonesian Green Tea Cooperative.

He in 1961-1962 participated in the American Field Service (AFS) Exchange Student Program, attending Senior High School in East Windsor, Connecticut, USA and afterward studied at Textile Institute, Bandung, Indonesia.





Ramaz Chanturiya, General Director of the Rusteacoffee Association, which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation and unites all leading tea and coffee company of the country.

Ramaz is a tea specialist in the third generation and has been engaged in tea business for more than 25 years. Over the years of work in the field of tea, he has gained experience in the production and marketing of tea products, has knowledge of technical regulation for the tea business and is a recognized expert in the field of Government and Public Relation.

From 1997 to the present time he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of International Tea House, whose activities include production of business magazines “Coffee & Tea in Russia” and “Coffee & Tea International”, organization of various tea exhibitions, events and festivals, implementation of generic tea promotion projects, etc.

Ramaz Chanturiya is one of the ideologist-founders and the Chairman of the Tea Masters Cup - the worldwide system of competitions among tea specialists, which development was started in 2013 and where 16 countries are already taking part.







Ali Al Khabbaz is a Business Development Manager who works with Saeed Ahmed Al Mahroos & Sons Company in Saudi Arabia who partners with sales and marketing executives to achieve and grow their business goals. Ali is responsible for ORLANDA TEA in Saeed Ahmed Al Mahroos & Sons Company. Ali is a trained import and export director in GCC.

Ali holds a Master Degree in Marketing & Human Resource Development from the University of Newcastle, Australia.











Yahya Beyad is a multi-lingual entrepreneur, with global business experience and interests. CEO of Britannia Tea Co Ltd; he is also on the Board of other companies within the Group. He joined the family Tea business in 1961 and continues the ancestral trade that was started by generations before him; trading across the Silk Route to neighbouring countries, China, Indonesia and India. Originating from Yazd, educated and trained in India, Yahya has lived with his family in the UK for the past 35 years. With a deep knowledge of tea and tea-consuming habits, Yahya has passionately and proudly promoted tea across the globe for more than half a century.











Mr. Tiampati is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings Ltd. KTDA Holdings through its management services arm manages 67 tea factory companies throughout the country which are owned by tea farmers. KTDA oversees the field activities, factory processing, logistics and sales of tea through various channels to a number of export destinations. The smallholders in Kenya number over 600,000 cultivating tea on over 130,000 ha and producing over 250,000 tons of made tea. This accounts for approximately 60% of Kenya’s tea exports.

KTDA has established six (7) Subsidiary Companies along the tea value chain that provide services, reduce cost of operations and enhance efficiency for the farmers. He has had long and varied experience in management having served with companies in Agriculture, manufacturing, mining and financial services.

He sits on the Board of Family Bank and the Standard newspaper group. He is a past Chairman of the East Africa Tea Trade Association and director Tea Board of Kenya.

Mr. Tiampati holds a Postgraduate Degree (MSc.) in Marketing and Product Management from the Cranfield Institute of Technology (Cranfield University) in the United Kingdom, a Diploma of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (DIPM) from the United Kingdom and Undergraduate Degree in Business Administration (B.Com) from the University of Nairobi.





Managing Director for Tala Tea since 2002.

Board Of Director for Mani Tea Trading company since 2010

Board of Director for Holding Kanoon Karafarinan Toseegara 2016

Before that was working as a Financial advisor in the United States.











Lisa is the Regional Representative for Southern Africa for the UTZ program/Rainforest Alliance.

In this position she oversees the organization’s work in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, all of which have an operational tea sector in different stages of development. The activities in these countries entail working with multiple stakeholders including producers, smallholders, companies, governments and international NGOs on topics including Climate Change, Living Wage and Gender.

Lisa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and has 10 years’ experience in the field of sustainable agriculture, working closely with companies, producers and certification schemes across a variety of sectors including rooibos, wine, sugar and tourism.









Nanda Kishore has been associated with Coca-Cola System for the last 12 Years. He handled various roles in analytics from regional level to national level in India and has handled Business Intelligence Function for UAE and Oman for 4 Years. Currently, he is handling Trade Marketing Function for UAE and Oman. Apart from Coke, he was associated with Bayer, GE and SC Johnson in Analytics and Financial Planning Roles.












Farhad has been with dph since 1991 and is responsible for worldwide activities of several product divisions including the tea division.

As a "one stop shop supply chain company", dph provides packing solutions for the tea and coffee industry - specialized in tea packing, they offer machines, equipments and materials required, from the harvest to the point of sale.

Start-up support, feasibility studies, factory layout, trade finance support, supply of machines / packaging material, staff training and worldwide technical support are integral business fields.

Through his family business, Farhad grew up with the tea industry. Before joining dph he held leading positions in multinational companies like (Continental AG, Germany and Daimler Benz AG (today Daimler AG), Germany).








Zainab AlMousawi, a coffee enthusiast, ex-barista, current home barista and an in-progress café owner. Her coffee journey started in Melbourne in 2008 when she was completing her bachelor studies in psychology. It was the first time she was introduced to speciality coffee and the first time she ever had coffee without sugar. She has then decided to learn more about it so she perused a job as a part-time barista in one of the cafes there. She also became a member of the SCAE and enrolled in a few of the training classes in the UAE and overseas. Coffee has become more than just a drink, it became her number one passion and is always on the thrill to learn new things and educate others about it.










Shri Paras Desai is the Executive Director of Wagh Bakri Tea Group. He holds a Diploma in Management Studies from Ohio State University, USA, and is a skilled tea taster.

Shri Paras Desai is a 4th generation entrepreneur in Wagh Bakri Tea Family and joined the business in 1993. In last 25 years, with his vision and expertise, the company has progressed well and recently received “CNBC Gujarat Ratna Award” by Hon. Chief Minister of Gujarat Smt. Anandiben Patel and “Assocham - Most Promising & Trusted Brand of the Year 2016” by Hon. Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Welfare Shri Pushottambhai Rupala.

He was instrumental for factory expansion which has led to 50% increase in production capacity. He successfully initiated modernisation of warehousing and storage that significantly increased storage index.

Moreover, he was a major force in setting up at Wagh Bakri a NABL certified laboratory that ensures consumers get the purest form of teas.

Shri Paras Desai is also active in many CSR activities in his personal capacity and also lead CSR activities on behalf of Wagh Bakri Tea Group in women empowerment, education & rehabilitation.

Shri Paras Desai is part of major associations and holding important position such as President of “Western Indian Tea Dealers Association” (WITDA) and the Vice Chairman of “Federation of All India Tea Traders Association” (FAITTA).

He has represented Wagh Bakri Tea Group in several national and international tea and trade forums.





Dr. Mattis Gosmann is the Vice President Sales & Marketing of the Composite Fiber Business Unit (CFBU) of P.H. Glatfelter. The corporate headquarters of Glatfelter lays in York, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., and The CFBU is headquartered in Gernsbach, Germany.

Glatfelter is a global manufacturer of specialty papers and engineered materials with an annual revenue $1.6B USD. The company offers more than 150 years of experience, technical expertise and world-class service and holds a leading position in the tea and coffee filter paper industry.

Dr. Gosmann studied Chemistry at the University of Hamburg, Germany and Rennes, France and completed his PhD thesis in polymer science at the University of Hamburg, Germany in 2000. He gained various experience in technical, commercial and management positions with multinational companies like LyondellBasell and Honeywell before he joined Glatfelter in 2015.





Khalid Al Mulla

Khalid Al Mulla is the CEO of Easternmen & Co. and Coffee Museum, the only one in UAE. He is the National Coordinator of the Specialty Coffee Association UAE Chapter; an association which brings Specialty coffee community in UAE together through events like National Coffee Championships which is sanctioned by the World Coffee Events.

Khalid sees coffee as an integral part of the culture and it should be celebrated and preserved.











Mr. Christian Dinkler; Head of Sales at Martin Bauer for APAC, LATAM, Middle East, Russia.

Mr. Christian Dinkler has been with Martin Bauer since 2007 as Head of Sales for Fruit and Herbal Infusions supplied to the Tea Industry.

He is responsible for the worldwide sales activities within Martin Bauer Group, the world leader in Fruit and Herbal Infusions.











Gus is a Partner in EY’s MENA Climate Change & Sustainability Services team in MENA.

Building on a 25 year management consulting career that has been focused on developing and delivering large programmes of work with private and public sector organizations globally, Gus these days works with clients to deliver the sustainability agenda for people, cities and infrastructure; to support the development of government policy to enable the development of renewable energy projects; and to manage the set up and delivery of associated public and private sector business transformation programs.

Over the past 10 years, he has worked closely with international clients to address the integration of sustainability into long-term business strategy and growth plans, the assimilation and assurance of financial information with environmental, social and governance information in company reports, and in helping organisations understand the real cost their activities have on the economy, environment, and society. He has also supported projects that have involved the development and implementation of strategies, policies and cost recovery schemes for efficient resource management, and the implementation of energy, environmental, occupational health and safety management systems.

Gus has a BSc (Hons) Biology with Oceanography from Southampton University, UK, a MSc in Management Science (specialization in management of corporate change), from Imperial College, London, UK, and a Certificate in International Business (part), from New York University, USA.






Mr.Imdat Sütlüoğlu was born in 1953 in Rize – Turkey. He graduated from İstanbul University. He has been in the tea industry between 1998- 2002 as owner of tea manufacturer factory. Mr. Sütlüoğlu was mayor of Ardesen 1994-2002, Member of Parliament between 2002-2007, Minister of Environment 2002 – 2003 and now, he is Board of Chairman, General Director of Çaykur from 2011, President of Turkish National Tea Council since 2012. Mr. Sütlüoğlu speaks English, Arabic. He is married and has four children.












Mr. Sanjay Sethi has been the Managing Director and Tea Consultant for Gundlach Packaging DMCC since April 2012. He established the factory & business of Gundlach, a German based family business, specializing in the printing of tea tags & tea envelopes. Previously, he established the Dubai Tea Trading Centre (DTTC) - an initiative of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Government of Dubai - with the mandate to grow Dubai as a value addition hub and expand the trade in multi-origin teas through Dubai. He is also a professional Tea Taster for the past 34 years.











Indrajit Roy has 35 years of vast and in-depth knowledge and experience of the Indian Tea industry and has been exposed to all sides.

He was a tea maker in Namdang Tea Company (now McLeod Russel India Limited) and as a producer marketeer in Apeejay Tea Group. In Carritt Moran and Company Private Limited, he was an expert on tea tasting and broking. He was also a quality assessor, tea buyer, blender and packet tea expert in Duncans Tea Limited and Goodricke Group Limited. He also has an experience as a merchant exporter in Hindustan Unilever, for Speciality Teas.

He is currently with Rossell Tea (Division of Rossell India Limited) known for its Consistent Quality Produce and MRL Compliance, for almost nine years, as Vice President Marketing and has played a key role in connecting with a large base of premier overseas buyers for quality bulk teas, in USA ,UK, Germany, Iran, UAE amongst others, whilst creating a strong network in the Indian Domestic Market as well for Rossell's CTC Produce.

He is a key member of The Indian Tea Association Export and Marketing Sub Committee and in several important committees of Calcutta Tea Trader's Association as well.






Asif Paracha is CEO of Asif Rehman Paracha & Co., based in Karachi, Pakistan. Founded in 1988, represents one of the leading tea buyers in Pakistan. With the network of office around Pakistan, we cater high volumes of tea. Currently, he is serving Pakistan Tea Association as Vice Chairman. He is fellow of Institute of Cost and Management of Pakistan (FCMA) and holds a degree in cost & management. He is skilled tea taster and passionate tea trader.










Hawraz Jamal is a young businessman and currently he is the General Manager of Sheraz Int. Trade & Transport, a family owned business in Iraq-Kurdistan. He has 8 years of experience in the Logistics Business and trading various foodstuff commodities such as Tea. He Holds a BBA and MBA in Business Administration & Economics from the American University in Iraq-Sulaimani.