Senior Executive Team

Dave Anderson
Chief Executive Officer
Aujan Group Holding

Dave Anderson joined Aujan Group Holding in 2010 as Managing Director and Group Chief Financial Officer. In 2015, took over the role of Chief Executive Officer for Aujan Group Holding.

Prior to that, he held the position of Chief Financial Officer at Dubai Properties Group. In a career spanning 30 years, Dave has also held senior management positions with companies including Cadbury Schweppes, Colt Telecom and Unilever.

As the Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Dave ensures the effective operations of the Group’s Executive Committee, manages Group functions, and has line management responsibility for the individual business units that make up Aujan Group Holding.

Dave is a Chartered Management Accountant and holds a Master’s degree in Physics from Oxford University and an MBA from Warwick Business School.

Abdulla Aujan
Executive Chairman
Aujan Group Holding

Abdulla Aujan first joined Aujan Industries in 2006 as head of Supply Chain, responsible for raw and packaging materials, production planning, logistics, and product research and development. In 2011, Abdulla joined Aujan Group Holding as Director of Business Development. As Director of Business Development, he was responsible for the long term development of the Group with a focus on strategy, investment priorities, organizational development, staffing and governance.

Abdulla has become the Executive Chairman of Aujan Group Holding in 2018.

Abdulla holds a Business degree from Richmond, The American International University in London, UK.

Ahmad Azzouni
Group Chief Legal Counsel
Aujan Group Holding

Ahmad Azzouni joined Aujan Group Holding in 2010 as Chief Legal Counsel. Prior to that, Ahmad worked in the corporate departments of DLA Piper and Hadef & Partners in Dubai where he advised local and international clients on corporate and commercial transactions in the region.

As Group Chief Legal Counsel, Ahmad is responsible for the development and management of the Group legal function, as well as advising on investments, acquisitions, corporate structure, dispute resolution and development of sound corporate governance practices. Ahmad is also the Board Secretary for Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company, Rani Refreshments, and other Group companies.

Ahmad holds a Law degree from the University of Jordan and an LLM in Commercial Law from UWE, Bristol, a PG Dip in Arbitration from Queen Mary College, University of London and a PhD in Law from Nottingham Trent University.

Kanishka Gupta
Chief Financial Officer
Aujan Group Holding

Kanishka joined Aujan Group Holding in 2012 as Group Finance Director. In 2015, he was appointed Group Chief Financial Officer for Aujan Group Holding.
Prior to that, Kanishka held the position of Chief Financial Officer at Seaways International, a marine offshore company, and Finance Director at Tatweer Dubai, a Dubai Holding subsidiary. With over 20 years’ experience in family-owned businesses, multinationals and semi-government organizations, Kanishka has held leadership positions across several industries including real estate, FMCG, leisure & entertainment, hospitality, healthcare, marine offshore and trading.

As Group Chief Financial Officer, Kanishka is responsible for the financial and risk management of the Aujan businesses, development of Group financial strategy, and management of Group governance framework, control systems and policies designed to preserve company assets and report accurate financial results.

Kanishka is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and holds an MBA from Asian Institute of Management, Philippines which included a merit-based program with Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University.

Don Surrao
Chief Information Officer
Aujan Group Holding

Don joined Aujan Group in 2013 as the Group CIO. In this role he is responsible for defining, implementing and operating Information Technology (IT) across Aujan. Working together with business leaders to drive simplification and automation of business processes, as well as to promote the effective use of Information and Systems, for growth and efficiency. Don also ensures that the IT function remains fit for purpose, operates securely to relevant standards, and to benchmark costs. Don has over 25 years of IT experience in defining IT strategies, successfully implementing complex systems with business change, transforming the IT function to operate in line with industry standards, leveraging vendors, and maximizing the potential of multicultural teams.

Prior to joining Aujan, Don held the position of IT Director at Unilever, responsible for running the Global Program Management Office, successfully implementing Unilever’s IT Strategy, before that, he was the CIO of Unilever Greater China, where he successfully delivered the required IT to enable Unilever to win in this strategic yet highly competitive market. Don has previously held a number of Global and Regional Management roles in The Hawpar Group, Mitsubishi Electric and Coca Cola Amatil.

Don holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Computer Science.

Avinash Ratta
Interim Marketing Director
Rani Refreshments

Avinash Ratta joined Rani Refreshment a member of Coca-Cola family of companies as Interim Marketing Director in 2021. Avinash is a prolific commercial Food and Beverage professional with more than twenty years’ experience in marketing, innovation, brands and business development with Unilever Plc. and Nestle S.A., globally and in the Middle East and Asia markets. For the past eight years, he has held leadership positions with regional leaders like Nestle Middle East, IFFCO Group and Agthia Group PJSC, including as Marketing Director, Business Development Director, Chief Marketing Officer and EVP for the GCC, Turkey, Egypt and Africa.

During his roles, he has led innovation and growth initiatives for global brands like MILO, NESCAFE and NESQUIK and headed up marketing development and operations organizations for brands like NOOR, AL AIN WATER, CAPRISUN and YOPLAIT.

Avinash is also the CEO & Founding Managing Director of GRAINVELOCITY, a turnkey project management and management consulting firm that runs high priority projects to accelerate the growth of F&B businesses in our region.

He has an MBA from INSEAD, France, M.S. from Princeton University, US and a B.Tech. and Silver Medalist from IIT, Mumbai.

Elena Son
Africa Commercial & Operations Director
Fenix Projectos e Investimentos Lda

Elena Son Joined Fenix Projectos e Investimentos Lda, a subsidiary of Aujan Group Holdings, in 2017 as the Africa Commercial Director.

Prior to that, Elena has held senior positions in Mozambique spanning nearly thirty years including Managing Director for the real estate company Home and Gardens Lda for 12 years, Managing Director of a marketing company 2GG Lda, and Managing Director for ESS Marketing and Communication consultancy.
In addition, Elena is the founder of MINFO, one of the largest electronic magazines in Mozambique that launched in 2008. Elena has also held the positions of Interim Marketing Director for Coca-Cola Sabco Mozambique SARL, and Marketing and Communication specialist for Millennium Challenge Account in Mozambique for four and a half years prior to joining as the Africa Commercial Director for Fenix Projectos e Investimentos Lda.

Elena represents Aujan Group in Mozambique, being responsible for all Commercial and Operational functions for Fenix Investimentos Lda including Rani Resorts. Elena administers the Home Owners Association for the Iconic Torres Rani, manages its Corporate Social Responsibility, as well as overlooks all government and media relations. Elena also sits on the board for Luwire Wildlife Conservancy; the concession granted in the Niassa Province of Mozambique.

Elena is currently completing her MBA with the University of Wales – Ducere (Trinity Saint David).

Thomas F. Stein
Chief Executive Officer
Aujan Industrial Solutions

Thomas is the CEO for Aujan Industrial Solutions (AIS) where he is responsible for executing a growth and diversification strategy for the business. Thomas joined AIS through Cayan Holdings, a venture development and investment firm focused on investing industrial manufacturing and services ventures across the GCC, where he was a Co-Founder and Partner.

Prior to industry and investment roles, Thomas was a Management Consultant with A.T. Kearney and Charles River and Associates focusing on clients in oil and gas and industrial manufacturing in both the US and Middle East regions. He was an advisor on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s economic development and diversification strategy in addition to a number of private sector clients across a range of industries focused on strategy development and execution

Thomas has over 20 years of P&L management, business development and management consulting experience across oil and gas, petrochemical and heavy manufacturing sectors. He holds an undergraduate degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso and an MBA from Rice University. He is also an author and contributor to numerous articles and white papers on topics that include competitiveness, strategy and governance.