Panelists' Profiles

Vipul,  Consul General of India

Vipul joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1998. He has served in Indian Missions in Cairo, Colombo and Geneva. In his diplomatic career he has dealt with diverse areas including political and commercial relations, development, disarmament, international security and media. For the past three years (2014-17), he worked with External Affairs Minister of India.


Vipul did his graduation in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of
Technology, Delhi. He also holds an MBA from Indian School of Business,
Hyderabad. He is married to Kirti and they have two children.

Sanjeev Dutta, Executive Director, Commodities & Financial Services, Dubai Multi Commodity Center


Sanjeev Dutta, Executive Director, Commodities, DMCC, 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 14 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.

Paresh Kotecha, Chairman and Managing Director, Richcomm Global Services

Paresh Kotecha is a Commodity trader with over 35 years of experience, and he comes from a merchant family in Uganda. He was a senior trader at Louis Dreyfus Trading Limited and at European Grain and Shipping, both based in London, covering grains/oilseed trading and hedging risk on exchanges derivatives globally. Since 1995, Paresh has been involved in food security issues and commodity consultancy matters across SADC with the FAO, the U.S. Aid and has worked as an advisor to the Zambian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.


In 1997, he established B&P Group in South Africa, which was a leading independent broker on the JSE SAFEX Commodity Derivatives market.  In addition, he has been active in the physical grain and oilseed transactions across the region from farm gate to bulk global trade.


In 2007, Richcomm Global Services was established in the DMCC and it is a regulated derivatives’ broker on the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange.  Further, in 2017, the company was approved as a Sub-Investment Manager by the Maltese Financial Services Authority on Almagest SICAV plc – Commodity Trading Fund - as well as a shareholder in Timeless Asset Management, a category II EU regulated asset manager.

Ramia Farrage, Master of Ceremony, Dubai Media Incorporated


Ramia Farrage is the Presenter and News Bulletin Editor of Emirates News on Dubai One TV and has led the news broadcast since its launch in 2007.  Previously, Ramia presented and produced the program Business Arabia, which aired internationally on CNBC.


Ramia has interviewed several world leaders including General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, Mohammed Khatami, President of Iran, Gerhard Schroeder, Chancellor of Germany and Jimmy Carter, US President.
Ramia acts as an emcee at high-profile private and public sector events including the World Government Summit in Dubai, where each year she moderates the sections on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.


She is also a freelance contributor published in Arabian Business Magazine and Forbes Arabia among several other publications. 
Ramia holds a MA in Global Diplomacy-International Relations from the University of London, SOAS, as well as a BA in Communications from the University of Winnipeg and an Associate’s Degree in Journalism from Red River College.

Les Male, Chief Executive Officer, DGCX

 

Les Male is the Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX), the largest and most diversified derivatives Exchange in the Middle East. Les has nearly 30 years’ experience in the Global Commodities industry with particular expertise across Exchanges, risk management and trading systems. As an extensively networked business leader with a consistent track record of driving new business, he builds outstanding customer relationships, whilst protecting and growing shareholder return.

Les joins DGCX from NASDAQ where he was responsible for client facing activities on the Global Commodities product suite across UK based Prop shops, brokers, market makers, trading companies and Clearing Merchants (GCM’s) trading crude oil, fuel oil, gas and power derivatives and OTC swap contracts.

A double Engineering graduate from the University of Bath, he joined British Gas as a pipeline engineer before managing strategic projects for the Network Code, culminating in leading the development of Europe’s first gas spot market (the OCM). He later became Commercial Director at EnMO and then continued in that role for APX-Endex, the Anglo-Dutch European gas and power trading Exchange. In 2010 he became the European Managing Director for the Green Exchange, a US backed venture for global carbon trading. After acquisition by the CME Group, his role took on the European gas and Global LNG strategy for NYMEX, prior to joining NASDAQ in 2014.

Jonathan Grange, Founder of Sunstone Brokers


Jonathan Grange has extensive agricultural commodity trading experience. He learnt to trade with LDC in Paris in the 80’s and was head of softseeds & vegoils for Andre, Switzerland in the 90’s.

 

In 2001 he started an IT company in India and then spent time farming in Ukraine. He was a cash broker with Vicorus, Switzerland where he started the Oilseeds department and was part of the management team. With team work and broad market coverage the company achieved growth through comprehensive market understanding, integrity, innovation and being a sounding board for clients. A great believer in fundamental analysis and the impact of macroeconomics on commodity price he writes slightly quirky, sometimes politically incorrect, market reports.

Luca Gorlero, Chairman, Strategy Committee, Agon Asset Management Limited

Luca has over 21 years of diversified experience  with expertise in private equity & new ventures international taxation, and project financing. He successfully executed PE deals spanning across geographies with a geographic bias towards Europe & the Middle East. Luca is managing the asset and wealth management activities at Richcomm and has been one of the founding forces behind their set up.

Luca is currently serving as Chairman & Founder of Affinitas Consulting, a firm focused on providing services to organizations interested in developing a presence in the emerging markets with a particular focus on the GCC and Central Asian countries. Luca also served as compliance officer for the Golden Eagle Investment Advisors LLC in New York, USA.

Earlier in his career, he was the the Deputy Commercial Director at RAK Free Trade Zone in UAE, where he was responsible for overall supervision, coordination and development of all business parks and General Manager of New Ventures at Tejari (Dubai World), as well as COO of Golden Eagle Capital Advisors in New York, USA (FINRA regulated entity). Luca holds an MBA from Golden Gate University (San Francisco, USA), and a B.A. in Political Science from Universita' di Genova (Italy) and a marketing certificate from UC Berkeley (USA).

James Wild, Managing Director, Wild Agri DMCC

James Wild, is a senior Agricultural Commodity trader with over 30 years of experience, specifically on flows into and out of East Africa. After spending nearly 25 years in Kenya for a major global commodity trading house, James became their Head for Middle East & Africa in 2013.

In 2017 he established his own company, WILD AGRI DMCC based in United Arab Emirates to leverage on his deep and longstanding client relationships throughout Africa and the Middle East to provide his clients with optimum pricing and logistics services.

Evans Amoah-Nyameky, Trustee at Ashanti Investment Trust

A practicing lawyer in Supreme Court of the United Kingdom of England and Wales, Evans has been listed in top legal directories of the Legal 500 as a recommended lawyer specialising in court advocacy. Evans has also been personally rated for advocacy in the Super Lawyers publications.


Evans is on the Board of Trustee’s and is responsible for Ashanti Investment Trust’s affairs throughout Europe. Predominately Evans represents the legal interest of the Ashanti Kingdom in Europe, in particular, the legal interests of His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Ashanti King.


Evans has over 20 years wealth of experience of court procedure and advocacy exposure, bringing a solid international focus on compliance and regulation of the affairs for the Ashanti Investment Trust. Evans is proficient with international money laundering laws, anti-bribery and corruption regulation, international commercial transactions and compliance with the Financial Conduct Authority. Evans comes from a law firm that has experience of acting in cases involving the placing of multi-million-pound international contracts, UK contracts worth millions of pounds and kick back commission for loans worth millions of pounds. Evans obtained his higher rights of audience in ‘all proceedings’ allowing him to offer both civil and criminal advocacy at the highest level of litigation.
 

Matt Stanley, Director, StarFuels

Matt setup the StarFuels Middle East office in September 2018 after previously running the Dubai office for Freight Investor Services for the last 5 years.  StarFuels are on the world’s biggest derivative and physical energy brokers with offices in New York, Houston, London, Geneva and Singapore. Matt works closely with clients providing advice and support on managing their requirements for both physical and derivatives across the barrel.  

 

Matt was instrumental in supporting the launch of the AG fuel oil derivative contract in 2016 and is driving other products within the AG region working closely with traders, Exchanges and PRA's.  Matt was previously a director in London for Nigerian energy company Oando PLC and in Switzerland and Singapore for energy trading house Trafigura. Matt is a regular published commentator on the oil markets, drawing on his background of 20 years’ experience in the oil industry.

Sanjay Sethi, Director Sustainability, Phoenix Group 

 

Mr. Sanjay Sethi is a Sustainability and Impact investment leader for 3 decades, developing and managing integrated supply chain, food and agribusiness projects, large commercial farms and agri infrastructure. As Director Sustainability at $2.5
billion Phoenix Group, he is leading transformation of the agrifood commodities business to a more sustainable future and helping set up new sustainable integrated projects.

 

Mr. Sethi was awarded “The Africa Food Prize 2013”, “Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 for Food Security” and “Chief Sustainability Officer of the Year Award” in 2018 and 2019. He is member of the Steering Committee of Global Agribusiness Alliance (A World Business Council for Sustainable Development initiative) and was also re- elected to the Board of Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), an initiative of UN Environment. Mr. Sethi graduated from Institute of Rural Management, Anand India and CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India. He also completed Leadership Course from Yale Business School, New Haven - USA, in partnership with World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Sachin Suri , Chairman & Managing Director (Founder), CropData
 

Sachin is a successful social entrepreneur with over 22 years of experience in areas of corporate strategy and risk management with fortune 500 companies in USA, India and Europe in the finance, commodities and defence industries.
 

Sachin developed the CropData concept and the overall strategy with the vision to transform the lives of marginal and small farmers of India.
 

Sachin has been a strategic advisor to central and state government departments in India, helping them solve large social impact problems.
 

Sachin also co-founded Instasol Group, USA sixteen years ago, is a company specializing in high-end advanced defence technologies and is a market leader in India, in its domain.
 

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Sachin was a corporate strategist with Ernst & Young, New York and spent a few years as a risk management analyst for fortune 500 companies in New York, while working with Ernst & Young, JP Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse First Boston.
 

Sachin is an accomplished inventor, awarded with several USPTO patents on breakthrough
technologies, having an MBA in finance from City University of New York and BE in Chemical
from Jawaharlal Nehru Engineering College, Aurangabad.

Dr. Anis Samet, Associate Professor of Finance

 

Dr. Anis Samet holds a Ph.D. from HEC-Montreal-Canada and he is certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM) and Bloomberg Professional.

 

He offered several financial and executive trainings to UAE Central Bank, Sharjah Finance Ministry, Sharjah Asset Management, UAE Securities and Commodities Authority, Nasdaq Dubai, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Dubai Financial Market, and Dubai Mercantile Exchange. Some of the training topics were: Global securities, Wealth Management, Operational Risk Management in Financial Institutions, Investment Funds: Risk Evaluation and Analysis, Statistics for Capital Markets, Dashboard and Data Analysis with Excel, Company Valuation, Risk Management in Financial Institutions, Real Estate, and Public Finance.

 

Before moving to the UAE, he worked as a Risk Management Advisor at a pension fund in Canada and he taught at HEC-Montreal. Dr. Anis Samet has made several professional presentations at international conferences and workshops.

Joe Vu, Head of Financial Sales, LME

 

Joe started his career at Macquarie Bank in Sydney and was transferred to HK in 2006 with the Cash Equities business following Macquarie’s acquisition of ING Barings Asian Equities franchise. Shortly after the Global Financial Crisis, Joe joined Liquid Capital, a proprietary trading and market making firm specialising in index options where he was then promoted to run the HK office overseeing a team to manage the technology and business operations. During Joe’s tenure at Liquid Capital, the HK desk grew to do the most volume on N225 globally outpacing flow from banks.

 

Joe then was asked to manage client relationships for the HK Mercantile Exchange. Joe then was recruited to join the Asian leadership team of First Derivatives (Kx) looking after strategy, business development and sales, based in HK.

 

In 2016 Joe took up a post at the London Metals Exchange in Singapore, covering clients in APAC, Middle East and India. Joe has over 20 years in the financial industry across sell side, buy side, exchanges and vendor organisations.

Mahesh Nair, Senior Manager – Treasury Solutions, National Bank of Fujairah

Mahesh Nair is the Senior Corporate Dealer for Precious Metals and Diamond Unit at the National Bank of Fujairah with over 20 years in the banking and financial industry.
 

He started his career in India before moving to the Middle East where he has spent the majority of his career. He previously worked for Orient Financial Brokers before heading to Man Financial and then to Doha Bank. He was working at Mashreq Bank helping SME clients with their Forex requirements.


He currently uses his wealth of experience to provide clients a wide variety of products in the
Precious Metals and Diamond units and giving structured solutions.

Harish Pawani, Head of Purshottam Kanji & Co., Bin Sabt Jewellery LLC

 

Harish Pawani is heading Dubai Exchange Centre LLC, a leading exchange house in Dubai for over 40 years. He is also a Director in Purshottam Kanji Exchange Co. LLC, - having large branch network in Sultanate of Oman. He has degree in Electrical Engineering. Besides, he has interests in bullion trading companies of Purshottam Kanji Group in UAE & Oman. He is the founder member of FERG and is actively associated with it as committee member since its inception. He is a permanent trustee on board of Indian High School and India Club, Dubai. He is also member of the advisory group of on precious metals at DMCC

Jeffrey Rhodes, Founder & Managing Consultant, Rhodes Precious Metals Consultancy DMCC

Jeffrey founded Rhodes Precious Metals Consultancy DMCC in 2013 after a successful career in the precious metals industry spanning four decades working across four continents for major bullion banks and financial institutions. Since 2013 he has successfully advised a number of high profile clients in the global precious metals markets and has been prominent in the development of the Dubai Multi Commodity Centre, having been a member of Dubai’s Gold Advisory Group since its inception in 2003 until the present day. Jeffrey is a past chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of the LBMA, having been the founding editor of its popular trade magazine The Alchemist. Most recently Jeffrey has been actively involved in the development of the RAKGOLD project at RAKBANK and is Chairman of the Advisory Committee at IPMR. He has had a regular slot on the Dubai Eye’s Business Breakfast Show for a number of years, appears frequently on financial TV, and participates in global precious metals forums as a speaker and moderator.

William Purpura, Chairman COMEX Governors Committee, Principal, GLT Direct DMCC

William Purpura currently serving his fourth term as Chairman of the COMEX Governors. In 1987 he co-founded Great Lakes Trading Group which became one of the largest brokers on COMEX. Clients included major bullion banks, fund managers and
large professional traders. Mr. Purpura has advised exchanges in the US, UAE, China and Singapore along with major banks and brokerages. He is a member the Board of Advisors to the Faculty of Business at the University of Macau as well as the Advisory Board of Asia Pacific Academy of Economics and Management. (APAEM). Mr. Purpura is active in precious metals and energy markets through his firms GLT Group LLP and GLT Direct DMCC. He is one of the founders of Dillon Gage Asia, a distributor for major sovereign mints around the world.

Robert Willock, Director MENA, Economist Corporate Network

Robert is the Director of the Economist Corporate Network based in Dubai and covering the MENA region. Robert works closely with regional business leaders to help inform their business strategies through political, economic and operational insight and connect them with their senior leadership peers.
 

Robert is a business analyst, editor and publisher with 25 years of experience in Europe and the Middle East covering a wide variety of sectors, including hospitality, retail, construction, energy and transport, and has a particular interest in human capital management. He has organised many conferences and roundtables, recruiting and prepping speakers and panelists, and is himself an accomplished event chairman, moderator and presenter. Recent highlights have included staging a conference on privatisation in Riyadh, chairing sessions at the World Ocean Summit in Abu Dhabi, speaking at a cloud computing event in Doha and moderating a senior leadership roundtable in Dubai.
 

Robert completed an MBA at the University of Leicester School of Business in 2012 and holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Nottingham.

Nagendra Kumar – Chief Business Officer, NSE


In his current role, he is responsible for commodities business development at NSE and also for building business at NSE IFSC. As part of his commodity business development role, he is coming up with NSE Gold Standard by which local refiners will be empanelled to deliver their bars in the exchange platform.


He has over 24 years of experience in the Stock Exchange and Clearing Corporation space. He has been with NSE since 1995 and has experience in almost all the functions of the exchange ranging from operations, membership & listing activities, setting up of clearing house, handling physical delivery of settlements, product development etc.

 

In his earlier assignments with the Exchange, he was heading the business development function of all asset classes and was instrumental for bringing in global HFT / Algo firms to India. He was also associated with NSCCL responsible for the clearing and settlement of all asset classes traded and reported at the exchange, conceptualization and implementation of various
clearing and settlement solutions.

 

Nagendra has also been associated with some of the leading technology companies and was
involved in implementing clearing, settlement & depository solutions across the Globe.

Djamal Djouhri, CEO at Al Ghurair Resources LLC

Djamel Djouhri was born in Algiers, Algeria on March 31, 1956.
He graduated from School of Economics in Algeria with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Major in Management, and completed his Master’s Degree in Business Administration at San Diego State University, USA.


After his master degree Djamel joined Mashreq Bank’s Treasury & Investment Department, as incharged of trading in Foreign Currency and capital Markets; he served the department for five years from 1983 until 1988.


By 1990 he joined Gulf Import and Export Company, Dubai as a Marketing Manager. From the startup the business was to trading 500K to a million MT and dealing mainly in soft commodities especially, wheat and barley. By 2004 Djamel took charge as the Vice President of the company heading trading and procurement of Grains and Oilseed including Soya Business, as Oil business was added in 2004and the company took to rebranding itself by changing its trade name to Al Ghurair Resources.


Currently and since 2009, Djamel has been working as the Chief Executive Officer for Al Ghurair Resources business. Through his excellent leadership and well–structured team, Al Ghurair Resources continues its race in the International market competing against all major International players in the Grain industry. During all these years Djamel has been very a very active participant and part of US Wheat Association, International Association of Operative Miller, Global Grains Association, Grain and Feed Trade Association, US Soy Bean Export Council and other relevant industries.

Dharmesh Bhatia, Associate Vice President FX & Commodities Strategy (Wealth Management), at EmiratesNBD Bank

 

Dharmesh Bhatia has 15 years of experience in Research & trading division, covering a range of sectors including, bullion, base metal, energy, agriculture commodities. In his last position as Head of Research Team at Kotak Commodities in Mumbai, India. Dharmesh Holds the Master Degree in Financial Market along with Certified Manager from Harvard, he also holds Technical Analysis degree of CMT & CFTe (U.S & Europe). Mr. Bhatia is widely travelled and been quoted in popular press and trade publications frequently. His comments appear in the wealth Monitor, Khaleej Times (UAE), Business line, Economic Times, Business Standard, Financial Express, and other Media Co like CNBC, Bloomberg, ET Now and Zee Business. He was one of three nominees for India’s Best Market Analyst at the Zee Business Awards in 2011 and 2013 and was named Base Metal Analyst in India’s Best Market Analyst category at the Zee Business Award in 2012 by Shri Pranab Mukherjee – Honorable President of India.

Arvind Arora, Deputy General Manager - Treasury and Corporate Finance, Export Trading Group

 

Arvind is currently working with Export Trading Group (ETG) as Deputy General Manager - Treasury and Corporate Finance, where he is responsible for Treasury and Corporate Finance activities such as Fundraising, Treasury Operations, Working Capital Management, and Investor Relations across ETG. He handles a debt book of close to USD 2.5 billion across 45 countries and from 50+ institutions. Before joining ETG, Arvind led Business Development and Relationship management roles for ICICI Bank, Hughes Telecommunication and Department of Telecommunication (India) across Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and US. Arvind holds Engineering Degree and MBA from prestigious institutes in India. He is also a CFA and FRM Charterholder.

Prebagaren Moodley, Managing Director of Sekila International 

Preba Moodley is Deputy Chairman of Emerald Group, an Angolan investment group with offices in Luanda, London and Dubai. Preba is also Founder and Managing Director of Sekila International Trade, an international trading company based in Dubai.

Preba has significant banking experience having commenced his banking career with the New Republic Bank in South Africa before joining FirstRand Bank as a corporate banker and treasury specialist. He has banking experience in credit, corporate banking and treasury. Preba was part of a team of financial markets specialists that set up Decillion, South
Africa’s first non-bank financial derivatives structuring and trading company.

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