To read 400-word biographies of our associates based in the Middle East and Africa, click on a country below:
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
*FATIMA NAKHJAVANPUR is a highly regarded leadership coach based in the Middle East. She assists Fortune 100 executives, senior professionals, government officials, and their teams to identify and build on their strengths in order to improve in the areas of leadership capacity, succession planning, talent retention, and career transition.
A native of Iran, Fatima received a bachelors degree in business administration from Ajman American University in the U.A.E. She also holds a degree in small business management given by the Paris Chamber of Commerce. Designated by the International Coach Federation as a Professional Certified Coach, Fatima has completed both the Coaches Training Institute’s program in Co-Active Leadership and the Center for Right Relationships’s program in Organisation & Relationship System Coaching. She is able to work professionally in Persian, French, and English.
During the early portion of her business career, Fatima gained 18 years of experience in marketing, sales, and human resource management. Her first employer was Chalhoub Inc., a Middle Eastern leader in luxury brands, for which she opened the Iranian market. Later, Fatima joined Mansoor Ahmed Mohd, a major Middle Eastern distributor of tableware, serving as a marketing executive and developing a new brand identity for the firm. Still later, Fatima was employed by British American Tobacco as a recruitment consultant for its management trainee program for the Middle East.
During 2009, Fatima left the corporate world to pursue her long-time intention to advance human development through training, consulting, and especially coaching. Since then, she’s been delivering services throughout the Middle East, and well beyond it, to clients including Dubai International Airports, Emirates NBD Bank, Adidas, Pepsi Cola, Honeywell, British American Tobacco, Unilever, UBS, Oshkosh, Merck Serono, and Cristal Chemicals. She’s worked with more than 50 nationalities.
Fatima is a member of Dubai Chapter of the International Coach Federation, the Dubai Business Women’s Council, and the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. She has been interviewed on Dubai One TV and invited to speak on Dubai Eye Radio. Her articles on coaching have been published in the newspapers “Gulf News” and “7 days.”
Fatima lives with her husband and two boys in Dubai. A world traveler, she is a student of ancient wisdom, learning from masters how to live a conscious life in relationship with the many other forces in life. She devotes part of her non-professional time to furthering women’s empowerment, and she participates in yoga, paragliding, and long walks in nature.
WAHID SHARAF, a fluent speaker of Arabic, is comprehensively familiar with Egypt. He maintains a residence in Cairo in addition to his home in Switzerland. His decades of experience in global marketing gives him the insight needed to ensure sustained success within culturally diverse contexts. Intercultural competence coaching is more than a career choice for Wahid; it is a calling.
Born in Switzerland to a Swiss mother and Egyptian father, Wahid holds a bachelor of business administration from Babson College in the U.S. He is certified as an Evidence-Based Coaching by Fielding Graduate University, and accredited at the ACC level by the International Coaching Federation. Wahid holds eight other qualifications from organizations in Europe and the U.S. Among them are Intercultural Coach & Trainer; Cross-Cultural Communications; Conflict Management & Mediation; Immunity-to-Change Facilitator; Transforming Business, Society & Self; and MBTI Steps I & II. Besides Arabic, he is fluent in German, French, and English.
Wahid has over four decades of experience working as a manager or consultant with large global companies, most with bases or significant activity in the Middle East. As a marketing executive in several high-profile Swiss corporations, Wahid led business negotiations with companies in the Middle East and Far East as well as the rest of Europe. He personally oversaw the creation of multinational partnerships and fostered new sales and marketing opportunities. His diverse industry experiences – across banking, agro-chemical, pharmaceutical, aviation, and engineering – have made him a versatile and resourceful advisor to his clients. [At Wahid’s request, GROVEWELL is not naming any companies with which he has been associated.]
As a consultant and coach to executive teams in global corporations, Wahid developed solutions that promoted effective cross-cultural interaction between his clients and their culturally diverse markets. Leveraging cultural differences, his clients have become able to maximize success in a wide variety of complex circumstances. Building bridges between European, Middle Eastern, and Asian markets became second nature for him.
Wahid has fused his broad industry and cultural knowledge with a 30-year martial arts journey to form a uniquely embodied and integrated approach to cross-cultural competence coaching. Incorporating the philosophies and techniques of Aikido and other martial arts into each day has shaped his outlook, his thought process, and his deliveries to clients and coachees.
Wahid spends much of his spare time practicing his favorite sports, Aikido and horseback riding. He also enjoys reading – particularly world history – traveling, and photography.
*GABRIELLE PIMSTONE is an executive coach and organization development practitioner with two decades of experience facilitating organizational change and developing individuals and teams. Because her work experience spans Australia, Indonesia, and the U.S. as well as her native South Africa, she possesses a global perspective based on rich experience in multicultural settings. In addition, her South African upbringing gives her particular insights into cultural diversity and value differences.
Gabrielle holds a postgraduate degree in industrial and organizational psychology at the University of Cape Town; she also is accredited through Arnold Mindell as a Process Work facilitator. Her first professional role was as an HR consultant in Cape Town for two years, after which she emigrated to Australia. There she held two positions: first as a change management consultant for Andersen Consulting, then as an internal OD consultant for Westpac Bank. In the latter, she helped top executives design and manage the rollout of a group-wide strategic learning program.
Gabrielle returned to South Africa in 2001 as an internal OD consultant at Investec, an international investment bank. She was exposed to a sophisticated model of OD and gained expertise in facilitating individual and group processes that included strategic thinking sessions, team development and coaching, and diversity process. She was instrumental in the rollout of a leader-development program that comprised coaching.
In 2003, Gabrielle founded her own consultancy, which focuses on the development of individuals and teams. Her clients have included South African and global corporations where she has focused increasingly on leader development in group and individual settings. Her clients have included Accenture, Gauteng Provincial Department, Investec Bank, First National Bank, Pilot Crushtec, Hereaus, Johnson & Johnson and, for Microsoft North Africa, a project requiring virtual coaching via Skype with coachees in Morocco.
Female empowerment remains an ongoing challenge in South Africa, so Gabrielle volunteers to support disadvantaged female corporate leaders, assisting them to step into their authority. For example, over three years she coached a leader at Transnet, addressing issues of self-regard and self-efficacy in relation to her male counterparts. Currently, Gabrielle’s clients include two female bankers; she is assisting them to manage their impact on others, and to develop their own feminine power rather than emulate their male counterparts.
Gabrielle also has volunteered for charities benefiting aids orphans. She enjoys yoga and cycling, and is currently studying Italian. Finally, Gabrielle loves animals and dreams of founding an animal sanctuary.