As Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) celebrates 30 years, a UAE-based businessman has been appointed for the first time to the global board of the organisation. A global business network of entrepreneurs, EO is one of the most prestigious business clubs worldwide.
Sanjay Raghunath, Chairman and Managing Director of Centena Group, a Dubai-based group of companies, is the second person from the Middle East, Pakistan and Africa (MEPA) region and the first from the UAE to make it to the global board of EO. He will serve as director on EO's global board for three years.
EO spans 52 nations and 167 chapters and boasts more than 12,000 influential entrepreneurs.
The organisation helps entrepreneurs learn and grow through peer-to-peer learning by networking with business experts across the globe. It inspires members to new ways of thinking through the various activities held during the year.
A major focus area of EO is mentoring young entrepreneurs. Its student programme offers $400,000 worth of support to the best entrepreneur idea generated by students in universities across the globe every year.
The appointment is expected to boost local businesses across the UAE, GCC, Middle East and Africa. Among other things, EO mentors new businesses and new ideas.
"Being a leader, it gets very lonely at the top. EO has helped me to learn from experiences of others and become a better leader and individual. Peer-to- peer learning has been one of the most significant benefits from EO for me says Raghunath, who was instrumental in building Centena Group and diversifying it to businesses such as marine electronics'; instrumentation, industrial control automation, security products and solutions, life and analytical sciences and education training solutions.
EO says, will play a more enhanced role across the region and the UAE during the coming years, especially guiding business leaders through some of their difficult times and help them navigate crisis situations.
“As a member of the global board, I hope to work towards EO’s vision of creating the world’s most influential community of entrepreneurs,” says Raghunath, who has served on the EO’s global leadership positions as part of the technology and finance committees and also been a member of the regional EO board.
Since its inception in 1987, EO has focused on building a global network to serve the unique needs of the complete entrepreneur. EO mainly focusses on helping members facing business challenges, those who want to expand their business networks or are looking to connect with small- and large- business owners who are ready to share their experiences and best practices.
“Being a member has helped me grow my establishment to a multi-million dollar business. The insight that I receive from other members worldwide has been invaluable,” he adds.
Fallaha, External Engagement Committee Chair, was all praise for Raghunath appointment, noting his contributions to EO's local and regional chapters.
When Raghunath was earlier in-charge of the finance, the regional chapter managed to achieve record reserve for the organisation.
"It was the first time we had managed to achieve such a result. Today the local business owners will require assistance as they expand to international markets. There is no better person than Raghunath who can play a constructive role,” he added.
Raghunath himself has been involved in supporting various start-ups and is on the board of many groups that empower entrepreneurs and students.