Abdullah Verachia

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.

He 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.

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 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 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.

Some of his more notable achievements include being:

  • selected for the Brightest Young Minds in South Africa
  • awarded Harvard Business School Dean’s Scholarship for leadership and innovation
  • the 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

Some of the positions he currently holds are :

  • CEO: The Strategists
  • being on the Senior Faculty: GIBS

Prior to these, he was::

  • an executive: International at Rand Merchant Bank
  • on the FirstRand India Management Board
  • co-founder and partner: Frontier Advisory (acquired by Deloitte in 2015)
  • current Board and Advisory Member: The Institute of Directors South Africa
  • Chairperson of the Board: Education Africa
  • Board member: General Electric South Africa
  • Social Advisory Panel: Sibanye-Stillwater
  • Trustee: Londvolota General Electric Supplier Development Trust
  • Member: University of Pretoria Think Tank on the Future of Work – and many more

Having presented and consulted in more than 60 cities including 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.

He has captivated audiences in Also at 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,

A PhD candidate with a focus on strategy and dynamic capabilities, Abdullah 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).

He is a regular media commentator for a number of global news outlets and publications and he wrote the book, ‘Disruption Amplified: Reset, Rewire, Reimagine Everything’ 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 sits on several boards and also serves as an EXCO advisor to leading companies.