“We are living proof that when human beings have the courage and commitment to transform a dream into reality, there is nothing that can stop them,” famously proclaimed H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Minister of Defence of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as the ruler of Dubai.
A man brimming with the self-belief to follow his own dreams, Akbar Moideen Thumbay is not one to tread a path chalked out for him. Driven with the passion to succeed, he is highly encouraged by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s inspirational leadership and pearls of wisdom.
Akbar was born to Dr Thumbay Moideen, a third-generation business entrepreneur and Mrs Zohra Moideen, a renowned artist in Mangalore, India. Residing in the serene city of Ooty, he completed his secondary education at the city’s elite academic institution, The Lawrence School, Lovedale.
After moving to the U.A.E. as a teen, he continued his studies with the International School of Choueifat in the UAE and completed his graduation in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Sharjah (AUS). He later went on to continue his postgraduate studies in Hospital Management at the renowned SDA Boccioni School of Management, Milan, Italy.
Presently, Akbar is serving as the Vice President, Healthcare Division of Thumbay Group, U.A.E. Delving further into Akbar’s nature, he is an enthusiastic workaholic, a dimension of himself that he is quite proud of. Besides his professional life, he actively pursues his hobbies of driving, engaging in various indoor sports and travelling to foreign countries. Currently, he lives with his lovely wife, Nousheen Salma and three young sons, Ahmad (10), Omar (8) and Rashid (6).
In an interview with CIOLOOK India for its edition of ‘The Most Prominent Business Leaders In Gulf,’ Akbar spoke about his and Thumbay Group’s professional journey and how he is leading it to new heights of success. Highlights of the interview are given herein.
Please, brief us about your journey as a professional and how you have made Thumbay Group excel in its niche.
The Thumbay Group is a multinational business conglomerate with diversified interests in operations in Education, Healthcare, Medical Research, Diagnostics, Retail and Hospitality.
Driven by a passion for automobiles, I started my higher studies by pursuing Mechanical Engineering. I was a main team member in the AUS Engineering Team that built an FSAE race car that would later race in the United States. The highlight of his course was the internship I undertook at Mercedes Benz Headquarters in Berlin, Germany.
Having joined the family business at a very young age and undergoing the rigours of learning and understanding the basic essentials of the business, awoke my concealed business acumen, prompting me to pursue my Master’s in Management studies.
After completing my studies, I spent the first few months interning with a leading New York-based consultancy, getting exposure to healthcare, insurance coverage and lifestyle management principles.
Later I joined Thumbay Group on a full-time basis and came to grips with the regular operations and day-to-day challenges of the organization. I was later entrusted with the responsibility of managing the Healthcare and Retail Divisions of the Thumbay Group, as a reward for my relentless dedication and hard work.
The Healthcare Division deals with the operations of all its hospitals and clinics in Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, India as well as the Thumbay Labs. Seeing the opportunity through UAE’s growing number of medical tourists, and evolving the division’s goals with the vision of the Government of Dubai, I launched the award-winning initiative, Thumbay Medical Tourism (TMT). TMT is a full-fledged unit that caters to extending healthcare services to the growing number of international patients at Thumbay Group’s hospitals.
Under the banner of the retail division, I initiated the concept of Nutri Plus Vita, health nutrition and wellness range at one of its retail brands, Thumbay Pharmacy, to go along with the expansion of the division which also includes ZO and MO Opticals.
Please brief our audience about Thumbay Hospitals, its USPs, and how you are currently positioned as one of the best service/solution providers in your niche.
Thumbay Hospitals, over the years, has become one of the largest healthcare providers in the private healthcare sector offering quality and affordable care to all sections of society in the U.A.E.
One of our key initiatives has been to promote Thumbay Hospitals in the medical tourism segment in an aggressive manner. The hospital’s international quality healthcare services and well-equipped facilities have brought in patients from as far as Africa and Southern Europe, seeking treatments from executive check-ups to complicated surgeries.
My biggest aim in life is to establish Thumbay Group as the largest Healthcare provider in the Middle East. We are now developing plans to start Thumbay Healthcare and Diagnostic facilities across the UAE while venturing into other GCC countries.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to be future leaders like you?
While working in a family business has a lot of advantages, I believe in the philosophy that, every individual involved in the business must strive hard to ensure that the business survives, flourishes and is well protected especially in the current scenario of a competitive market. I personally feel that a family business like any other business requires total dedication, perseverance and above all hard work.
While it is my father that I look up to for helping me acquire the art of determination and perseverance, I am also highly influenced by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai as well as Warren Buffet, all of whom have unique styles of leadership and functioning that is worth emulating.
Please give us a list of achievements/awards/recognitions that accurately highlight your prominent position in the Gulf region.
Akbar Moideen Thumbay has been
- Recognized by H.H. Sheikh Hamadan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai for efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the UAE.
- Recognized by H.H. Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman for efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the UAE.
- Inducted into the American University of Sharjah Alumni Wall of Fame 2017.
- Featured in the twenty-five young Business Leaders in UAE, profiled in a coffee table book GEN NEXT INDIANS, published by Exponent Media, Dubai.
- Featured in the Magazine Masala ‘Hot 20 Under 30.’
- Received award for the Best Medical Tourism Hospital in the Middle East by the New Economy in 2013 by a leading newspaper in the UK.
- Honoured as “Champion of Change” at 7th Annual MENA HR Excellence Awards in recognition of his leadership.
- Owner of the Cricket Team “Thumbay Kasargod Leopards” at KCL, UAE
Akbar Moideen Thumbay has been a sought-after speaker at various conferences and seminars held in the Middle East and Europe which includes:
- Invited as a panellist for Healthcare CEO Panel at Dubai Cyber Warriors Conclave 2022.
- Invited speaker at the “International Medical Travel Exhibition and Conference” held in Oman in April 2013.
- Invited Speaker at the “Borderlines in Healthcare” event in May 2014 in Austria.
- Invited as a speaker at Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government for the Leadership & Entrepreneurship Series 2016.
- Invited as speaker at AUS Enterprising Youth Forum at the American University of Sharjah in April 2016 Invited as a speaker at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry Majlis 2016.
- Invited as a panellist for Middle East Healthcare Insurance Conference 2016.
- Invited as a panellist for Healthcare Design & Infrastructure Conference 2016.
- Invited as a panellist for AUS – TMI’s Family Entrepreneurship Seminar 2017.
- Invited as a speaker for Harvard Crossroads Summer Program 2017.