Core Team

Arif Saiyad

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Saiyad is the eponymous founder and CEO of ASA Ventures. His foray into entrepreneurship started in his native Portugal in 2003, where ASA was formed and since has successfully established businesses in many countries. His visionary approach to entrepreneurship is the driving force behind the success of the group, and his affinity for turnkey and innovative solutions tailored for cross-industry businesses has been instrumental in the expansion of ASA’s ecosystem. His natural business acumen and instinctive solution-oriented mindset has made him the perfect backstage collaborator for technology-related businesses. His operational expertise is mainly in machine learning, artificial intelligence, web engineering, and software development paired with extensive experience in e-commerce, marketing, and business analytics. He dominates a unique and pivotal niche in the venture capital landscape as both an investor and operating partner.
With a bachelors in Engineering from Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa (ISEL), he completed his software engineering course with Microsoft and is also a Google-certified developer. His control of technological gravity paired with his visionary entrepreneurial spirit has turned what was his first web development company in Lisbon into his first lucrative exit. This milestone has since opened doors for more ASA companies in different parts of the world.
He seed funded and eventually operated, an e-commerce website based in Dubai. His initial investment of $30,000 turned into $3 million almost overnight, as he found the right means to address a glaring market gap in electronic gadget retail. In the first quarter of 2017, he started Callix, a call center service company with specific focus on SMEs. By December 2017, Callix was in all leading newspapers in the region. One of his latest projects featured in InBusiness magazine is Freecars, a new car rental concept that promises to get rid of monthly payments and maintenance costs. With his operational models investors get incredible strategic benefits with unparalleled visibility into the very disruption that shake up the incumbents. |
Danish Rizvi

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Rizvi is a seasoned senior executive with over 18 years of experience in Investment Banking, Corporate Finance, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Structured Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Commercial Banking, Risk Management, and International Trade. He holds a successful track record in change-intensive environments, leveraging strategic problem-solving and partnership-building skills to drive sustainable improvements and critical transformations. He brings value to the team through his exceptional communication skills and his strong ability to conceptualize.
Holding a Master's Degree in Business Management and having completed numerous banking courses, he has previously held senior management positions at leading commercial and investment banks, and family offices. He has a strong network of relationships and has been a public speaker at various events. He served as a visiting lecturer in top-tier business schools and is a leading member of numerous social platforms driving impact and community development. He is a contributing author and a professional commentator on alternative investments solutions, venture capital and private equity and is passionate about creative and disruptive entrepreneurial businesses. His expertise also includes transaction and fund structuring, real estate investments, project financing, financial modelling, and capital raising through debt and equity markets.
Mr. Rizvi also has an extensive experience in trading various industrial and commercial commodities internationally and has successfully operated and expanded a logistics business from Pakistan to the Middle East and other countries in the Asian subcontinent. He has voluntarily contributed actively in poverty alleviation and rainwater storage in the rural areas of Pakistan as well as work as a voluntary financial advisor to a leading NGO in Pakistan working for children with disabilities. |
Lea Realon

Head – Corporate Communications

Ms. Realon is the Head of Corporate Communications and is an industrious asset to ASA Ventures. She is a talented and peak-performing senior public relations and communications expert with extensive knowledge in the areas of campaign, strategy, media and public relations, communications, editorial management, copywriting, and corporate social responsibility.
She has been highly involved with copywriting for the portfolio companies and has successfully led PR campaigns, digital advertisements, and social media campaigns. She has organized and executed many ASA Ventures' events, set up interviews, and assisted in summits and conferences. Prior to joining ASA Ventures, Ms. Realon worked with Ayala Land Corporation, a specialist real estate development and marketing firm, developing their marketing strategies, managing their international sales operations in the mid-segment market, embarking and managing various Real Estate collaborations and executing corporate deals for the group. She had also launched a strong online fashion retail store in the Philippines, which carried on successfully for a year.
Ms. Realon is an alumna from the University of the Philippines, with a Bachelor's degree in Communication Arts specializing in Speech Communication and Writing, with a special focus on Humanities and Public Relations. She earned a Postbaccalaureate degree in Education and is a certified professional teacher and trainer with three years of training experience. Her accomplishments include writing and editing various publications, posting literary and film reviews, organizing and moderating panel discussions, and giving motivational and inspirational talks at educational institutions for career progression and positive personality development.
While working as a teacher, she also co-authored a basic guide for students and scouts for saving the environment. She has been a strong contributor to society through volunteer work with ABS-CBN Foundation Incorporated, focusing on underprivileged children as well as working at the Cultural Center of the Philippines assisting young children in theatre productions. She has also actively been involved in Church services in raising donations as well as running various community development programs. |
Haider Syed

Head of Business Development

Mr. Syed is a vital member of ASA Ventures with his inherent talent for business networking and external relations. As the organization's Head of Business Development, he establishes relationships with potential business partners, clients and investors, both in the local and international domain. His successful link building has brought invaluable partnerships to the group and has cemented ASA Ventures' foothold in international business landscapes.
He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Karachi University, Pakistan. His exposure to business and entrepreneurship began at an early stage of his life. His early foray into business has led him to widen his expertise in business management and coaching, focused networking, and strategic business negotiations. He joined a manufacturing conglomerate and has successfully established and expanded its distribution arm with an international market reach and contracts.
His individual entrepreneurial pursuits have been lucrative businesses. He has also transformed a platform for virtual assistants catering to American clients, into a full-scale call centre in Pakistan. He has established and operated a motorcycle trading company with an improved cost to profit ratio and through his intervention, the sales increased manyfold. He was also briefly involved in brand management for a pharmaceutical company that launched its line of cardiac health medicine. He has actively supported charitable institutions in Pakistan by providing monthly support for underprivileged families, through basic and medical necessities. |
Kheirya Elesawy

Project Manager - Callix

Mrs. Elesawy is one of the driving forces of ASA Ventures' success with a decade-long career. She continues to be a strong figure as ASA Ventures' Executive Vice President of Operations. Born and raised in Libya, she returned to her native country Egypt and completed her Bachelors from Ain Shams University in 2004. She has completed accounting courses with a particular focus on Management Accounting. She has also earned her first level Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification, training from different well-known international institutions such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
She specializes in business management, budget planning, Income auditing, and accounting consultancy. She served as the Chief Accountant for the Boconcept group, situated in Designopolis, Cairo. She was also involved in operations, product distribution, and income auditing for major brands such as Roche Bobois Paris and Tempur. She is specialized in operating different accounting systems including Axapta. She has also served at Egyptian Castle Investments, participating in various infrastructure constructions and trading projects between Egypt and the Middle East. Her expertise also includes handling trading activities in various industries including, but not limited to, construction, food and beverage and agriculture. She served at Vertex Express managing forwarding agents and building freight forwarding networks through the World Cargo Alliance (WCA) network where she successfully managed 120 agents all the way from Dubai to China. Subsequent to that, she served as the Chief Accountant and store manager for all of Kitcherama Trading LLC's branches.
Mrs. Elesawy supports the regional office of UNESCO in Cairo through volunteer work. One of the projects she was involved in allowed her to help families in need of financial aid. She led a team of volunteers who had 50 families under their care. Through these projects, she has helped send kids from underprivileged families to continue their studies in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

Mohamed Nadhir Tahri

Vice President - Operations

Mr. Tahri brings a decade's experience of managing people and clients into ASA Ventures as the Vice President of Operations. He holds an International Bachelor's degree in Hospitality and Hotel Management along with an Infographic Design diploma. As Vice President of Operations at ASA Ventures, Mr. Tahri directs operations to evaluate the performance of ASA Ventures' companies and its staff to determine areas of potential cost reduction, operational improvement in efficiency and effectiveness along with policy upgrades.
Hailing from Algerian roots, Mr. Tahri previously worked as a General Manager at two prime hotels, namely Ville de Roses and Station Thermale Hammam Melouane. He is a firm believer of the hands-on approach and was directly focused on every aspect of the hotel, from maintenance to marketing.
Under his expert guidance, both hotels rose to immense prominence and gained nationwide recognition, gaining interviews with TV networks as well. Having managed hotels, he has a successful track record in dealing with a multitude of situations and people with finesse and flair. Beyond interpersonal skills, his abilities extend into accounting, business administration, procurement, marketing, and social media. Having owned a car trading business, his entrepreneurial thought process and business ability are perfectly aligned with ASA Ventures ideals. Mr. Tahri believes in bridging geographical gaps of through conversation and speaks multiple languages including Arabic, French and other European languages.

Samreen Shaikh

Lead Startup Booster, RevUp

Ms. Shaikh as the Vice President in the Production Department has been an integral part of the success of ASA Ventures. She is an expert digital architect with a passion for emerging media, data-driven marketing and customer engagement strategies that build brand equity and credibility as well as transform the consumer experience and drive long-term revenue growth while enhancing a shareholder value for maximum ROI.
She is a growth catalyst with a history of cultivating and leading cross-functional teams in their achievements of aggressive targets, creating unique market-entry tactics and introducing and growing major entertainment brands and award-winning marketing campaigns such as Dr. Gadget in Dubai - UAE.
She is an innovative trendsetter with an entrepreneurial spirit and demonstrated success engaging with numerous audiences across a variety of mediums, developing and launching disruptive products and services into burgeoning and mature markets through an equal blend of vision, strategy and execution such as the launch of Datamax and Chatsource - two successful companies under the ASA Ventures' portfolio located in India
Raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with a Bachelor's in Computer Science and Engineering from India, Ms. Shaikh carries along an array of expertise, knowledge and value to the group as a whole. Prior to ASA Ventures, she single-handedly developed and commercialized a successful mobile application providing notification services based on geofencing technology in India. She has conducted workshops and received awards for her outstanding performances in technology-related projects and has published numerous articles on online magazines, moderated several focus groups, led research forums, and has also actively volunteered in bringing meaning to life for many deserving people through regular activities and philanthropic exercise in countless orphanages and old age homes in India.

Abhay Kumar

Vice President - Human Resources

Mr. Kumar heads the ASA Ventures' Human Resource division and has a straightforward approach to ensure the well-being of the group's most important assets: the employees. Holding an MBA specializing in Human Resource from the Belgian-affiliated Indian Institute of Planning and Management, he contributes to ASA Ventures' efforts in becoming a major name in the venture capital scene as the go-to expert for recruitment and testing, employee engagement, conflict resolution, internal organization, and training and development. He manages training and professional development. He is also pursuing his third level CIPD certification at an institute in Dubai.
With his network of legal and human resource practitioners in the UAE, he has the ability to seek out the best talent for the jobs in a methodical and exact manner. Being in the industry for 8 years, he has mastered how to relate and manage employees from all walks of life: from blue collar workers to higher executives, all with different personalities and everyday needs. Mr. Kumar also shines in areas of events coordination, team building, and mediation between employer and employee. He is also trained in ISO readiness and auditing.
He is an active supporter and member of NGOs dedicated to social work in India. Part and parcel of his volunteer work include seeking donations for medical relief for those in need of optical and cardiac operations. He has also volunteered in blood drives and fundraisers to provide wheelchairs for the handicapped. He devotes his weekends to a civic organization whose latest major event is an audience with the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.

Ayman Ebada

Project Manager - Unbreak

Mr. Ebada as ASA Ventures' Sales Manager has an impressive track record along with prior experience in entrepreneurship and optometry. He is a sales expert with a focus on promoting ASA Ventures' innovative ventures. With expertise in coordinating sales distribution, training programs for sales representatives, analysis of sales statistics, estimation of sales potential and a strong professional network, Mr. Ebada is a zealous asset for ASA Ventures.
Mr. Ebada led the sales for optical providers and created strategies for the sales team. Eventually, he moved to KSA and handled managerial responsibilities with advertising and sales as his prime focus. Subsequently, he created a business in Egypt and became one of the leading prime eyewear suppliers in the country with multiple stores and a significant market share with major customers such as Shrouk Hospital as well as corporate partners such as Vodafone. His expertise includes outdoor sales, social media and digital marketing.
He is currently developing a brand for children's eyewear after having volunteered at schools with free eye check-ups for children. In addition to working towards the betterment of children, he has previously provided free eye-checkups in rural areas.

Ajinkya Tanpure

Assistant Vice President - Investments and Strategy

Mr. Tanpure holds a strong grip on the research and investment analysis for ASA Ventures. Currently pursuing CFA and holding an Undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, Mr. Tanpure believes in leveraging STEM skills towards a quantitative focused approach to finance and valuations. At ASA Ventures he handles valuations, pitchbooks, investment recommendations, due diligence research, and identifies high potential investments hedged by quantifiable indicators such as market size, potential, and landscape.
During his university years, he served as the president of the university media team and was a secretary for the UAE chapter of Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK, honing his interpersonal and management skills. In addition to the above, he was one of few from Heriot Watt Dubai to be selected for an exchange program to China where he learned about the Chinese business environment and the Chinese language at Tianjin University of Finance and Economics and went on to pass the HSK Level 1. After graduation, with prior experience in renewable engineering but an interest in business and finance, he moved to management consulting with Protiviti followed by a brief stint at Magnitt, where he gained a deep understanding of the MENA VC ecosystem. Subsequent to that, he served at Proserv, an oil and gas services company, and worked with the finance department to bridge inefficiencies with the engineering teams.
He has a passion for understanding the underlying technologies behind investments and is highly skilled to analyze the innovation's potential competitive edge. He has a passion for innovation, financial markets, and Blockchain, and uses the application of mathematics to analyze investments. Mr. Ajinkya also volunteers as an English teacher with SmartReading and visits labour camps in UAE to provide continuing education in the English language to blue-collar workers in Dubai.

Abeer Bape

Project Manager -

Ms. Bape is the Corporate Coordinator of ASA Ventures and is a vital member to the group's success. With her assertive attitude and perseverance, she has established herself in the business world.  She is the crucial link between the C-Level executives as well as other divisions and departments. She has developed fruitful relationships within and outside ASA as well as executed team-driven process improvements to increase revenue growth, operational efficiency, and overall profitability. With her expertise in Finance, Accounts and Procurement as well as Business Analysis, her strong organizational techniques bring in excellent team management that ASA runs on.
On top of attaining a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration specializing in Finance from Symbiosis International University, India, Ms. Bape is also proficient with various e-tools such as System Applications Products (SAP), Ariba, PeopleSoft, and Barclay's payments system.
During her 6 years of experience, she has served as a Tactical Buyer to AXA, a French multinational insurance firm. She has provided training to new team members on the procurement process and systems and was the focal point for assisting business areas with their purchase requirements. She would also monitor business partners' compliance and other operational activities and is a certified domain expert in Procurement to Pay, a program launched by the company. Striving to chase excellence, Ms. Bape was awarded the Excellent Customer Service provided to Business Partners in the Financial Year 2015-2016. 
Ms. Bape is also an animal rights advocate. She occasionally assists the Middle East Animal Foundation and The Red Paw Foundation with adoption days or events. 

Country Heads

Igor Amaro

Country Head - Portugal

Mr. Amaro is one of ASA Ventures' pioneer team members who, in no small part, has helped establish the foundations of what is now an international venture capital company with a presence in Europe, South Asia, and the GCC. He is now the Country Head at Portugal for ASA Ventures.
With more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, and creative direction, and having been immersed in various sectors ranging from Retail, F&B, Telecommunications, and Architectural Design, Mr. Amaro's multifaceted international career has made him one of ASA Ventures' vital cornerstones.
On top of an Architectural Design degree, he holds a certificate in Fiber Optics and Telecommunications Infrastructures. Gifted with an analytical mind fused with a creative spirit, he shifted his focus to marketing and became a formally trained and certified marketing and publicity professional.
Beyond the lines of his field, he has ventured into other creative and entrepreneurial pursuits. He has owned the company that pioneered the installation of fibre optics in Europe as a second tier subcontractor of Portugal Telecom, Portugal's largest telecom company. His earliest achievement was his involvement with Kirby, an international home appliance brand, in sales and marketing. In the UK, he was affiliated with the Michelin-starred restaurant, Hakkasan. Back in Portugal, he spearheaded several interior design projects for corporate clients and hotels.
In 2013, he served as the Marketing Director of ASA Ventures and has since directed the organization's most successful campaigns. He brought in the idea of Black Friday to the UAE through, one of ASA Ventures' e-commerce businesses, and has since been replicated by other e-commerce websites.

Osman Ramdin

Country Head - Mauritius

Mr. Ramdin is an adept chartered accountant and an entrepreneur having 26 years of experience. He has experience in the accounting and auditing sectors, serving in the Big Four auditing firms. Apart from operating his successful auditing and consulting business in Mauritius, he serves as the Country Head at Mauritius for ASA Ventures. As an ambitious and hardworking individual, his significant tenures at highly respected companies are a testament to his commitment and ability for handling multiple tasks on a daily basis competently and working well under pressure. The frequent acknowledgement of his contribution from various CEOs illustrates his potential value to his assignments.
He is a fellow member of The Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (UK). Mr. Ramdin is listed among the top 100 business leaders in Mauritius. Besides his accounting and auditing background, he also manages the investment portfolio of his clients by defining the investment strategies to attract the best possible returns. He achieved various nominations by top UK magazines for his contribution to the financial sector. Mr. Ramdin has also acted as an Independent Financial Advisor to the Government of Mauritius in identifying different sectors which required investment in order to boost the economy.
With his solid background of the financial sector and his knowledge of managing business, he was appointed by the Government of Mauritius, under the aegis of the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperative, as a financial tutor by lecturing financial and business management courses to local entrepreneurs and business people.

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