Head of Communications, Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
Sibtain Naqvi has 16 years of corporate experience in diverse industries including investment banking at HSBC, academia, ride-hailing, digital distribution, healthcare, financial technology, and e-commerce. Currently he is tasked with managing investor relations with SmartPay, a Japanese digital consumer finance company.
In his last role, Naqvi worked as Founding Member and Director Marketing and Strategic Communications for Retailo Technologies, the fastest growing B2B technology company in the Middle East and Pakistan, where he was instrumental in raising $45 million in investment funding. As Marketing Director he helped increase LinkedIn following zero to over 50,000 followers and was able to increase traffic to website and social media channels by 9x and 13x respectively. He managed external stakeholders including Ehsas which is the main poverty alleviation program of the Pakistan government. Naqvi also forged partnerships with key institutions including Pakistan’s largest bank the National Bank of Pakistan and its third largest financial institution Meezan Bank.
Prior to Retailo he worked in Careem, the leading ride-hailing company in the MENA region which was acquired by Uber for USD 3.1 billion. Naqvi led the Public Affairs portfolio and was tasked with coordinating with the government of Pakistan for a ride-hailing tax and registration policy while also managing the communications and public relations portfolio. During his tenure he launched several initiatives which made Careem one of the most recognizable brands in MENA while also working out a favorable working climate for the ride-hailing industry. Both were instrumental in achieving a USD 3.1 billion valuation for the company.
Naqvi’s first major strategy role was in the establishment of Habib University, Pakistan’s only liberal arts institution. Naqvi worked on the business plan before successfully launching the brand which led to high student, staff and faculty recruitment, positive media coverage, and strong partnerships with global institutions including Stanford and Berkeley universities. As Head of University Relations he worked with the board on sustainability and helped raise USD 18 million through individual and institutional donations.
Besides his work in the corporate sector, Naqvi is also an independent researcher and author with several published books, papers, and articles. He holds an MBA from the Institute of Business Administration with a concentration in strategy.