“When you think about female empowerment; you have a vague figure of someone in your head, but then you meet Sima and you go like, oh wait a minute; that’s female empowerment, that’s what it looks like!”, said Eva Longoria at the Global Gift Gala in Dubai, before bestowing Sima with the Philanthrepreneur of the Year award.

Sima Ganwani Ved is the Founder and Chairwoman of the Apparel group, one of the largest retailers in the Middle East based out of the UAE. The multi billion dollar company is home to 80+ brands with over 2025+ stores in 14 countries with 20,000+ human capital. Over the years, Sima has been the recipient of many awards professionally and personally, some of which are The Philanthrepreneur of the year, Retailer of the year, Great Place to work, Great Women’s award and Emirates Woman of the year.

Sima was born in Africa and brought to Dubai by her self-made entrepreneur father in the 1970s. She studied in King’s College London to achieve her Bachelors degree and subsequently an MBA in business management. She began her entrepreneurial journey at the age of 20, working in her dad’s shopping mall in early 90s as the manageress of a department. To her, that set the tone of her value for hard work and business ethics.

Sima is an active member of many world organisations like YPO and CEO. She is also the first female member in YPO to set up a regional chapter (YPO MENA STAR) that began with a vision of gender equality for its membership base. The chapter has achieved 52% female members, which is the highest in YPO globally.

Her compassion for underprivileged children led her to mentoring her teenage daughter to launch her own Athleisure brand F5global, some of the profits of which will go towards the education of such kids. She simultaneously has mentored and founded a new social commerce beauty platform called NESSA with her eldest daughter Selina.

Every decade or so Sima likes to embark on a creative journey. Back in 2000, she wrote a weekly column for 2 years. In 2010, she hosted a tv chat show on Star Plus where she interviewed Bollywood, Lollywood and some Royalty. So it is time to launch something new.