Grant Thornton Bahrain appoints Navneet Sharma as Director of IT Advisory

11 May 2018

Grant Thornton in Bahrain has brought seasoned tech and business consultant Navneet Sharma aboard as its new Director for IT Advisory Services.

Joining Grant Thornton Abdulaal following a three-year stint as Senior Manager in fellow global consulting firm Protiviti’s Manama office, Sharma will in his new Director role work with senior management clients in evaluating, implementing, operating and monitoring technology in areas such as digital transformations, cloud and mobility strategies and the creation of secure solution architecture that meets their business transition, security and compliance needs.

With over a decade and half experience in various areas of IT and business advisory, and previous completed assignments in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, UK, Germany, India and Africa, Sharma prior to crossing from Protiviti worked in a series of senior management roles for a number of telcos, including Libya Africa Investment Portfolio’s LAP GreenN, Afghanistan's leading telecommunications provider, Roshan, and the Kenyan division of India’s Airtel – before which he served as a Principal Technology Consultant for PwC in New Dehli.

“GTA management welcomes Navneet on board and wishes him good luck and success in this new journey,” the local firm said in a statement, while its Managing Partner Jassim Abdulaal – a 23-year assurance and business advisory veteran with stints as an Audit Partner for BDO and Director with PwC under his belt – told the Gulf Daily News that Sharma’s appointment reflected Bahrain’s progress toward establishing itself a regional MENA tech hub with a particular focus on fintech, blockchain, cloud, and cybersecurity services.Navneet Sharma, Director of IT Advisory - Grant Thornton“Fintech as the confluence of financial services and technology offers individuals as well as small, medium and large corporates opportunities to innovate and deliver services more efficiently and economically,” Abdulaal said. “We believe that technology like mobile wallets will contribute positively to converting society to be less dependent on cash, it will also contribute to promoting financial inclusion, putting Bahrain at the forefront of the fintech revolution.”

Sharma, fresh in his new role, added; “Innovations in fintech have a clear potential to disrupt how the financial sector will operate in the future, creating many opportunities to invent new products and services that can meet the rapidly changing needs of consumers, whether that is enabling people to pay for goods in shops using their phones, providing greater convenience through fingerprint, or any of the many innovations in the region that businesses are exploring.”

The recruitment news follows the local firm’s recent celebration of its successful growth over the past decade, emerging as one of the leading audit and advisory entities in the Kingdom. “Grant Thornton Abdulaal has exhibited exponential growth in the past decade, growing from seven employees and 70 clients in 2006 to 100 employees and more than 1,200 clients at present.” Abdulaal said. Globally, the Grant Thornton International network has a headcount of over 50,000 operating across 136 countries – with revenues last year topping $5 billion.

In other recent local appointment news, Aluminium Bahrain has named the founder and Managing Partner of Istishara Consulting, Adnan Hashim, as its new Chief Financial Officer


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Carlos Ghosn's daughters get their career starts in strategy consulting

16 April 2019

With the Ghosn affair taking yet another twist, this time concerning allegations in Oman, the world’s media remains gripped.

A highly celebrated figure in Lebanon, the case of ex-Nissan and now ex-Renault head Carlos Ghosn has captivated the media round the world, with his re-arrest and detainment in Japan on further embezzlement charges last week – this time concerning allegations in Oman – delivering the latest twist in the saga. For his part, Ghosn continues to deny the charges, labeling the latest allegations of financial impropriety as “outrageous and arbitrary”.

Much of the media fascination stems from Ghosn’s remarkable story. Born to Lebanese immigrants in Brazil, Ghosn spent much of his youth in Lebanon before moving to Paris to pursue an engineering degree – and in almost no time arriving at the very top of the global automotive industry as a feted turn-around specialist, having rescued both Renault and Nissan from probable ruin. The other factor; a cultivated lifestyle of celebrity glamour.

Front and centre in that image was Ghosn’s young family, including a son Anthony and three daughters – Caroline, Maya and Nadine – who have all grown into their own spotlight in the international business and entrepreneurial worlds. And in line with that A-list background, all three of his daughters got their career starts at the crème de la crème of the strategy and management consulting world; prestigious MBB firms McKinsey & Company and BCG.The Ghosn family affair with the international consulting sector  The eldest Ghosn daughter, Caroline, joined McKinsey in 2007 following a BA in International Relations at Stamford University – before founding professional career network Levo in 2011 with three of her McKinsey associates. Her husband, Nicholas Flanders, CEO and co-founder of carbon reduction tech-company Opus 12, (and former COO of Levo), is likewise an alumnus of McKinsey – serving for three and a half years alongside Ghosn in the firm’s New York office.

Carlos Ghosn’s second daughter got her start at Boston Consulting Group.  A regonised name in luxury fashion as the founder and creative director of Nadine Ghosn Fine Jewelry, her brand counts and Beyoncé and the recently deceased fashion icon Karl Largerfeld among its celebrity clientele. At BCG, Nadine, who also graduated Stamford, served as an associate in the firm’s luxury and consumer goods practice before joining a management programme at Hermès.

Like her eldest sister, Ghosn’s youngest daughter Maya joined McKinsey’s New York office – spending over three years there as an engagement manager before departing in 2016. Maya is now Manager, Housing Affordability for the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Pricilla Chan to promote social equality. Incidentally, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, a former McKinsey consultant, has been a mentor to Caroline and also founded, where Maya first started out as an intern.

Carlos Ghosn’s son Anthony – who has now been embroiled in his father’s affair with accusations of money being funneled via Oman toward his financial services start-up, Shogun (where he is CEO but has not been accused of any direct involvement) – didn’t get his break at an MBB, but his step-brother, Anthony Marshi, the son of Carlos Ghosn’s second wife Carole Nahas, is a partner with BCG in New York according to French newspaper Le Figaro.