About Abdullah Verachia

GLOBAL STRATEGIST,
SPEAKER & DISRUPTOR

Abdullah Verachia is a sought-after global speaker, advisor, practice strategist and innovator. He is adept at fusing practice, education, insight, empathy and experience together to add significant value at all levels. Abdullah has served in senior executive and board roles, crafted competitive strategies for leading companies and governments around the world, lectured at some of the top-ranked business schools globally and also built and run a number of successful companies.

Notable Achievements:

  • Selected for the Brightest Young Minds in South Africa
  • Awarded Harvard Business School Dean’s Scholarship for leadership and innovation
  • Recipient of the 2019, 2020 and 2021 GIBS Excellence in Teaching Award for executive education and academic programmes, as voted by staff and students
  • Presented with the 15-year Excellence Award for contributions made towards and development of the Model United Nations
  • Made an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society
Abdullah Verachia

Global Strategist, Speaker & Disruptor

01.

GLOBAL STRATEGIST

THOUGHT LEADER & STRATEGIST

Abdullah serves as CEO of The Strategists, where he plays an active role in assisting companies and organisations to craft competitive future strategies and build innovation functions. He is renowned for his expertise in building ambidextrous organisations.

With significant expertise in strategy, innovation and disruption, Abdullah facilitates numerous high-level strategy sessions and breakaways for companies and governments, and is an authoritative speaker on the world stage regarding these matters.

He has led strategy, innovation and consulting assignments in an array of sectors including banking, mining, finance, asset management, construction, insurance, legal, audit, FMCG, telecoms, retail and automotive. Abdullah and his team have consulted and guided more than 200 global multinationals firms (listed and non-listed) to build disruptive, ambidextrous organisations, with a focus on building success in the now and the next.

Abdullah led the team that crafted the 2017-2030 Gauteng Economic Development Strategy in association with the province’s Premier and Executive Council. He also led the 2017 Mauritius Competitiveness foresight strategy and continues to play a vital role on the Oxford University and Gates Foundation programme on South Africa in a Digital Age.

02.

GLOBAL SPEAKER

SOUGHT AFTER SPEAKER

Having presented and consulted in more than 60 cities globally, Abdullah has been recognised as a leading speaker, disruptor, strategist and thought leader on disruption and the interplay between strategy and disruptive innovation. His experience makes him a sought-after global speaker in these areas.

In December 2017, Abdullah received a standing ovation at the acclaimed TEDx Euston in London. Abdullah was also invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2018 World Speech Day. Having built numerous disruptive and truly innovative companies, Abdullah is able to fuse experience, insight, strategy and expertise into a beautiful and relevant tapestry that has application to companies and organisations around the world.

Abdullah has delivered presentations around the world to leading listed firms, international organisations and governments. He has captivated audiences in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen, Mumbai, Bangalore, Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Accra, Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi, Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris, London and New York. Some of the world’s leading institutions, including the School of Public and International Affairs at Colombia University in New York, TEDx Euston, the OECD Paris and Casa Asia in Madrid, are among the acclaimed bodies that have invited Abdullah to present at their events.

03.

EDUCATION

SENIOR EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE

Abdullah is a PhD candidate with a focus on strategy and dynamic capabilities.

He is a Harvard Business School alumnus, having completed the acclaimed Harvard Business School General Management Program, and also holds a Bachelors in Law and a Masters in Management (cum laude).

Abdullah has also completed a number of executive programmes namely:

  • Strategy and shared value, with Professor Michael Porter’s Institute of Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School.
  • Executive programme at University of Oxford’s Said Business School
  • Executive programme on broadcast technology at Columbia Business School

 

04.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

SENIOR EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE

Abdullah is a regular media commentator for a number of global news outlets and publications including CNBC Africa, BBC, CCTV, CNN, SABC, MoneyWeb, Business Day, SAFM, 702, Al Jazeera, New York Times, Financial Times, Reuters and the Sunday Times.

Abdullah is the author of ‘Disruption Amplified: Reset, Rewire, Reimagine Everything’, which was published in 2020. He also co-authored a book on the commercial corridor between Africa and India, and contributed to ‘The Book Every Business Owner Must Read’.

Abdullah has authored a number of academic journal articles and business school case studies.

05.

BOARD & EXEUCTIVE ADVISOR

Abdullah sits on several boards and also serves as an EXCO advisor to leading companies. Companies and organisations have found Abdullah’s unique blend of legal, business, emerging market, digital, strategy, innovation, academic and human capital experience to add significant value to their organisations. Many companies have gone on to build successful, long-term partnerships with Abdullah as a trusted EXCO advisor.

An ability to advise and guide senior leaders and teams to build disruptive and ambidextrous organisations sets Abdullah apart and has solidified his reputation as a globally sought-after advisor and strategist.

01.

INTERNATIONAL

THOUGHT LEADER & STRATEGIST

He holds a Masters in Management (Cum Laude) and has also completed executive programmer on strategy and shared value and also on Competitiveness, with Professor Michael Porter’s Institute of Strategy and Competitiveness, at Harvard Business School as well as on broadcast technology at Columbia Business School.

02.

GLOBALLY

SOUGHT AFTER SPEAKER

Abdullah has presented to over 250 global companies and institutions and has been recognised for his incredibly powerful addresses on disruption and disintermediation. He has been asked to present at some of the world’s leading institutions including the School of Public and International Affairs at Colombia Univercity in New York, the OECD in Paris and Casa Asia in Madrid amongst others. In December 2017 Abdullah received a standing ovation at the widely acclaimed TedxEuston in London.  

04.

BUSINESS LEADER

SENIOR EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE

Abdullah is the Chief Executive Officer of ‘The Strategists’ – a leading strategy consulting firm that helps governments and corporates craft competitive future strategies. He serves as faculty at GIBS and programme director for the Harvard Senior Executive Programme for Africa.

Serving on the board of General Electric in South Africa, Education Africa and The Collective Genius. Abdullah previously served as Executive: International at Rand Merchant Bank as well as partner and co-founder at Frontier Advisory. He is also the co-founder of a leading motor industry disruptor. He led the team that crafted the 2017 – 2030 Gauteng Economic Development Strategy with the Premier and Executive Council. He also led the 2017 Mauritius Competitiveness foresight strategy.

05.

MEDIA

COMMENTATOR

Abdullah is also a regular media commentator and is currently co-authoring a book on Leading in a changing world – the future of disruption. Abdullah also serves on a few boards. Companies and organisations have found Abdullah’s unique blend of legal, business, emerging market, academic and youth experience to add incredible value to their strategies. He has received numerous leadership awards including being selected for the Brightest Young Minds in South Africa.

ACCOLADES

  • Awarded fifteen year excellence award for the contribution and development of the Model United Nations.
  • Awarded honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society
  • Wits Business School Deans list of merit
  • Appointed by the Minister of Trade and Industry as a judge for the South African Premier Business Awards

Positions Held

  • CURRENT
  • CEO: The Strategists
  • Senior Faculty: GIBS
  • Programme Director: Harvard Senior Executive Programme for Africa
  • Co-Founder: Digicars (a disruptor in the motor industry)
  • PREVIOUS
  • Executive: International at Rand Merchant Bank
  • FirstRand India Management Board
  • Co-Founder and Partner: Frontier Advisory (acquired by Deloitte in 2015)
  • CURRENT BOARD & ADVISORY
  • Member: The Institute of Directors South Africa
  • Chairperson of the Board: Education Africa
  • Board: General Electric South Africa
  • Board: Clarke and Sons (including Twizza)
  • Social Advisory Panel: Sibanye-Stillwater
  • Trustee: Londvolota General Electric Supplier Development Trust
  • Member: University of Pretoria Think Tank on the Future of Work
  • PREVIOUS BOARD & ADVISORY
  • Advisory Board: Gauteng Innovation
  • Task Team: Gauteng Vision 2055
  • Brains Trust: Youth Employment Service
  • Board: Penryn College Council
  • Appointed by the Minister of Trade and Industry as a judge for the South African Premier Business Awards
  • Chairperson: South African Model United Nations
  • Advisor: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Developmnt's Development Centre for the 2011 edition of the African Economic Outlook

Contact us

Tel:

+27 (0) 83 327 1593 | +27 (0) 448 6823

Social Links

Looking forward to insightful conversations together!

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