Board of Directors

A collective of prominent leaders of industry guided by the principles of accountability, integrity & transparency.

Gaurang Desai

Gaurang Desai
Chairman

Gaurang has 25+ years of global experience shaping the industry through working with financial exchanges, market infrastructures and regulators.

As a seasoned entrepreneur with a deep understanding of contemporary financial markets, he has managed and established various regulated exchanges and Clearing Houses/CCPs in MENA.

Gaurang’s stately achievements include being a Founding member (and CEO) of the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) and his role as an appointed Advisor to the UAE’s Securities & Commodities Authority (SCA). He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration in Finance on top of a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce.

Ralf Glabischnig

Ralf Glabischnig
Secretary General

Ralf is a serial investor and entrepreneur who’s currently building a worldwide Blockchain ecosystem with bases in Europe’s “Crypto Valley” and MENA’s “Crypto Oasis”.

Together with his business partners at the Inacta Group, he is the founder and main shareholder of 20+ companies (including http://tokengate.io , Gentwo, inapay & Proofx) and has invested in over 100 start-ups – primarily focusing on venture capital, venture building and consulting & IT Services.

 Ralf is also a founding member of several organisations relating to digital assets; the Crypto Valley Association, the Swiss Blockchain Federation, CV VC and CV labs, SHED Business Club and the DMCC Crypto Center.

Bhavin Shah

Bhavin Shah
Treasurer

Bhavin brings a wealth of global experience from across the industry as a trusted advisor to multiple Boards of Directors, CXOs and governments. Currently the Partner and Head of MEA for FRA; in the past 18 years he’s worked with financial & development institutions, sovereign wealth funds, investment companies and industry regulators – serving clients across Asia, Middle East, Africa, America and Europe.

 Bhavin regularly speaks at international conferences as a renowned thought leader on future finance. He is the producer and host of two online talk shows; ‘Fintech Pioneers’ and ‘Cryptonomy Talks’. He’s also a Harvard Business School alum and was awarded as a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum.

Iskandar Najjar

Iskandar Najjar
Director

Iskandar is the Co-Founder and CEO of Equiti Group. He has a proven track record of leading and growing FX and CFD companies in the Middle East and abroad.

 With over 12 years based in the GCC, lskandar began his career as a financial advisor working for Barclays Bank in the UK before transitioning to FX and relocating to grow the industry in MENA. He was the former MD of ADS Securities (EMEA) and CEO of Alpari ME. Under his leadership, Alpari ME grew to become the leading FX firm in the Middle East. lskandar holds a MBA from the London Business School and a MSc in Finance from Leeds Beckett University.

Adrianus Schoorl

Adrianus Schoorl
Director

Adrianus became Wizz Financial’s Group General Counsel and Head of Compliance in May 2022. He features prominently in legal rankings and directories due to his extensive experience in financial regulation and technology from the Middle East and beyond.

Prior to joining Wizz, Adrianus was head of the MENA financial services regulatory team for leading law firm, White & Case LLP. His expertise focuses on building out frameworks and supervision capacities within the financial space.

Atul Khekade

Atul Khekade
Director

As a tech entrepreneur, Atul has designed and developed applications for various industries from banking, travel and aviation to create value in excess of a billion dollars.

Atul is a Co-Founder of XinFin (XDC) – a public Blockchain network providing base layer infrastructure for web3 applications that work across all industries. Under Atul’s guidance, the XDC Network has a fully diluted market cap of over USD$1 billion. Its powerful decentralised computing abilities have supported mainstream businesses deploying over 50+ live applications and 10,000 smart contracts to date.

Talal Tabbaa

Talal Tabba
Director

Talal is the CEO and Co-Founder of CoinMENA, a regulated cryptocurrency exchange under the Central Bank of Bahrain and has also co-founded the Jibrel Network, a Swiss-based Blockchain development company.

 Talal also serves on the Board of Middle East Payment Services (MEPS) in Amman and on the advisory board of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy. Prior to crypto, Talal worked in financial and supply chain consulting services at PwC and managed a private investment fund in Saudi Arabia. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Engineering (Economics Minor) from Purdue University, IN, USA.

Rifad Mahasneh

Rifad Mahasneh
Director

Rifad is the Vice President and General Manager of Rain in the UAE. He brings over a decade of experience in strategy, management and public policy.

After spending years at Uber managing the ride-hailing segment of the business across the GCC and Levant markets; Rifad joined Rain in 2021. Rain is a licensed cryptocurrency brokerage servicing the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.