Millennial CEOs

The finalists have been found, the pairings set, the CEOs confirmed and the students on standby.

The countdown begins! Our 8 finalists won’t have long to wait until they finally meet their CEO and get to shadow them for a day.

The days for each student will be varied, catering to each industry. Some will require students to attend for more than one day, the dates and timings will vary so that each student can attend on the most interesting days when things are afoot. While we won’t divulge the exact plans for each student’s day, to maintain the element of surprise, (until our follow up article once the students and CEOs have met) we will, however, present the pairings for this year’s CEOx1Day project. The lucky students selected this year are as follows:


  • Ahmad Azari, from the American University of Sharjah will be receiving a new perspective from Martin Stewart, CEO for OSN the direct-broadcast satellite provider serving the Middle East and N. Africa
  • Aizah Amir, from Abu Dhabi University will be introduced to the workings of the distribution chain, alongside Cem Tarik Yuksel, MD for Unilever Gulf.
  • Ajith Roy, from the American University of Sharjah will be experiencing life in the fast lane with Bruce Robertson, MD for Jaguar Land Rover.
  • Aysha AlSharhan from the American University of Sharjah will be touring the industry with Ahmad AlFalasi, CEO, Corporate Services and Investment, Dubai Tourism.
  • Maitha Mohammed, from Zayed University will be entertained in the offices of Issam AbdulRahim Kazim, CEO from Dubai Tourism.
  • Rohan Bhatia, from American University of Sharjah will receive an energy boost shadowing while following Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO for Siemens Middle East & Siemens LLC UAE.
  • Sanjana Raheja from University of Wollongong Dubai will be guided through the assortment world of chocolate by Guido Ferralasco, MD at Ferrero.
  • Shaima Mohammad from Zayed University will be shadowing one of the UAE’s most outstanding business leaders Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, CEO of TECOM Group.

As the dawn of the Millennials approaches, this initiative is a pivotal stepping stone for those with the confidence, drive and ambition to be leaders of the future. Each student will receive the opportunity to probe the knowledge of their CEOs and find out the intricate workings of a company and how they excel. For those who wish to start their own businesses, this is their chance to gain advice from their CEOs as to what requirements are needed to be a leader, start a company, develop a team or successfully obtain funding. Sometimes all you need is a great idea and a little bit of luck, however, we’re not all that fortunate, but if you’re fresh out of luck, knowledge and a good plan is the key. If our young finalists are contemplating the idea of starting their own business or eventually working their way to CEO, then this is their chance to get an inside glimpse into how things are done.

It’s not all about the students either, the CEOs benefit too. Through a millennials perspective, a CEO can glean an idea as to how much change will take place and where the industries will be in the next 10 – 15 years. With fresh insights and ideas to help the companies grow, our CEOs will receive a peek into the future with the new work force that will be soon be marching in. Gone are the days of workers staying with one company their entire career, instead the fast paced, disrupted and evolving market has grown accustomed to employees seeking a move every couple of years. With changes like this, a millennials opinion on their world might be useful.

Odgers Berndtson Middle East are thrilled that in our flagship year we had so many interested CEOs and students keen to join us in this programme. We’re looking forward to next years’ project and to meeting with the new students and CEOs for our programme. 

If you’d like to follow our students and CEOs progress, please keep an eye out for our next article in September with their personal insights.