Badr Jafar, Chair of Executive Board
Badr Jafar is CEO of Crescent Enterprises, which is the parent company of Gulftainer. Crescent Enterprises is a diversified global conglomerate, which operates across four distinctive platforms to develop innovative, sustainable and profitable businesses. Mr. Jafar is also President of Crescent Petroleum, which is the first independent and privately-owned petroleum company in the Middle East, and Chairman of Pearl Petroleum, the largest natural gas producer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
In 2010, Mr. Jafar founded the Pearl Initiative, a non-profit organisation committed to promoting a corporate culture of transparency and accountability across the Gulf Region of the Middle East, in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Partnerships. He is a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, a member of the UNESCO International Commission on the Futures of Education, and a member of the Board of Overseers of the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Mr. Jafar is actively engaged with a number of higher education institutions, serving on the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Judge Business School, the International Advisory Council of the American University of Beirut, and the Business Advisory Council of the American University of Sharjah. Consistent with his interest in promoting social entrepreneurship in the MENA Region, he serves on the Boards of Advisors of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) and Gaza Sky Geeks, and is Chairman of Endeavor UAE, an initiative encouraging high-impact entrepreneurship.
Mr. Jafar has been a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization since 2005, and served as Chair of the YPO Emirates Chapter. He was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011 and is Co-Chair of the WEF Family Business Community and a member of the WEF Stewardship Board on Growth and Competitiveness.
Peter Richards, Member of Executive Board
With over 12 years of seagoing experience and 34 years of expertise in the operation and management of Ports and Container Terminals, Peter Richards joined Gulftainer’s headquarters in the UAE in 1987. He has served as Managing Director, General Manager, Operations Manager, Terminal Manager and Operations Superintendent with the company. Mr. Richards is currently the CEO and Executive Board Member of Gulftainer and CEO of Gulftainer’s US arm, GT USA. Mr. Richards steered Gulftainer’s diversified growth from being a simple port operator to an integrated logistics supplier. He has played an instrumental role in expanding Gulftainer’s global footprint to Europe, and the Americas, in addition to securing consultancy contracts regionally; and in 2015 took the reins to drive the company’s global expansion plan into the USA. Building Gulftainer’s reputation in its home ports, which in turn enabled the company to export its competencies and productivity world-wide, Mr. Richards established the company’s credentials as a premier international port operator. A qualified Master Mariner with Diploma in Nautical Science, Mr. Richards has gained the reputation of being able to operate a very tight ship with excellent productivity and maintaining a loyal, long-term staff. His commitment and vision, as well as entrepreneurial maturity, has been recognized by numerous industry bodies including Sharjah’s International Maritime Club (IMC), who awarded him the Golden Helm Excellence Award in the Trade and Export category, the Propeller Club, Port Canaveral who named Peter the Maritime Person of the Year and Logistics Middle East magazine, which has regularly named Peter one of the top five most influential executives in Gulf Cooperation Countries Logistics Industry.
Neeraj Agrawal, Member of Executive Board
Neeraj Agrawal is Executive Director of Crescent Enterprises, parent company of the Gulftainer group of companies. Within his role as member of the Executive Board of the Group, Neeraj provides management oversight and support as required for all major decisions and policies of the company and has played a key role in the company’s international expansion, diversification and related financing actions.
Mr. Agrawal is also a Board Member of Crescent Group, a family firm operating in the UAE for over 42 years, comprised of Crescent Enterprises, the company’s conglomerate operating across multiple core sectors of the global economy and Crescent Petroleum, the region’s first independent and privately-owned petroleum company.
Mr. Agrawal is responsible for finance and treasury functions for the Crescent Group and building relationships with the investment and banking community. His numerous achievements throughout his 25 years with the firm include the successful formation and capitalization of Dana Gas, the US$ 1.2 billion acquisition and financing of Toronto Stock Exchange listed Centurion Energy International Inc., and the Middle East’s first forward looking accelerated US$ 1 billion Sukuk issued by an associate company, which received the 2013 “Restructuring Deal of the Year” award.
Mohamad Makkawi, Member of Executive Board
Mohamad Makkawi is Executive Director and a member of the Executive Committee at Crescent Petroleum, the first independent and privately-owned petroleum company in the Middle East.
Arriving in the UAE in 1974, Mr. Makkawi worked in the engineering and construction industry with Halcrow International and the Mothercat company. He then joined Gulftainer, as a plant and transport manager where he stayed for six years, before finally joining Crescent Petroleum.
Following his appointment in Crescent Petroleum in 1990 as a Project Director Mohamad worked on all major gas projects including the Gulf-South Asia Gas Project, the UAE Gas Project, and more recently on the Kurdistan Gas Project.
Mohammed took on the role of project leader for the Gulf South Asia Gas Project (GUSA Project) - a world class cross border large diameter gas pipeline project to connect Qatar with Pakistan through the U.A.E. and was directly responsible for the implementation of all the company’s offshore facilities, including offshore-onshore gas pipelines.
Mr. Makkawi is a graduate of the American University of Beirut with a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering with Distinction and Honors.