If you are vaguely familiar with the Middle East startup scene, it’s impossible to escape the name Fadi Ghandour. From his office in Jordan, Ghandour has had a heavy hand in laying the foundation of the Arab world’s rising tech scene.
As a fresh-faced graduate of George Washington University, Ghandour returned to Jordan as a young man to start Aramex in 1982. It took 16 years for his transportation and logistics company to get the proper licenses to operate in the region, but by 1997, Aramex was ready to go public, becoming the first Arab company to hit the NASDAQ. In the last two decades, Ghandour has also become a prominent angel investor in the region. Notably, he was one of the first investors in Maktoob— the Arab internet portal that was sold to Yahoo last year for $164 million. Recently, he’s made 14 other investments, including bets on Asuaq, Jeeran and Twitvid.
On this week’s episode of Entrepreneur To Entrepreneur with Shervin Pishevar, the founder of SGN talks to the man he calls the “Ron Conway of the Middle East” from his Aramex office in Jordan. Ghandour discusses the region’s investment climate, how Aramex was an incubator for Maktoob, what he’s buying now and why he says “until today, I never even knew i was an entrepreneur.” Videos below:
Part I: Meet The Ron Conway Of The Middle East
Part II: Gambling In The Middle East
Part III: Tour Of Ghandour’s Office
Episode 1: The New Kitchen Of The Middle East
Episode 2: Yahoo’s Former Chief Data Officer On Their $800 Million Mistake