About Nilesh Ved
With over 1750+ stores and more than 75 international brands to boast about and racing to 2000 stores by the end of 2020, the Apparel Group, under the patriarch of the Mr.Nilesh Ved, had a rather modest start. Commencing its operation with just one brand in 1999, Mr. Nilesh Ved was just rearing to gather momentum in the Retail industry. Setting a strong foothold in the Gulf, the Apparel Group has crossed the regional boundaries and embarked in the Global market.
In 1999, Mr. Nilesh Ved, now one of the leading Fashion Retailers in this part of the world, initiated his successful journey with 3 stores of Ninewest a U.S. brand with its first exclusive store in Lamcy Plaza. The success brought by the launch of a few stores allowed a clear understanding of the retail market apparent in the Gulf, thus allowing Mr. Ved to concentrate on his business strategy of further introducing new labels and expanding his reach to the consumer. Mr.Ved belongs to a family of successful entrepreneurs and businessmen. His family runs the largest gold bullion trading in Dubai since 1904. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the prestigious Boston University.
Since his early days, Mr. Ved was highly influenced by the North American retail environment and had a dream to bring in trendy fashion brands of the West to the Middle East, which seemed to be a promising market for retail.
He is known for his pace of work and high leadership skills with which he drives everyone towards the organizational goals.
About Sima Ved
Sima Ganwani Ved belongs to a unique visionary elite family of business oriented people. Originally Indian and brought up in Dubai, she spent her former years in awe of her retail tycoon father – Mr. Lal Ganwani, owner of Lal’s Group.
Sima graduated from Kings College London with a BSC in business management before pursuing her Masters in Business Administration from University of Bradford, post which she decided to emulate her father by joining the family business. She spent her early days working at Lamcy Plaza which gave her the sales experience and confidence to start her own retail business with husband Nilesh Ved. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Nilesh, Sima Ved has single-handedly shattered any stereotype. Today, she is the Vice Chairperson of Apparel Group – a global fashion and lifestyle retail conglomerate which boasts of having 75+ international brands and over 1750 stores across 14 countries.
Even as Sima continues to be a formidable presence in the boardroom, she has pursued her many passions with zest. Be it carving a career for herself as a journalist, or pursuing her love for acting with local theatre groups, and taking this further to host her own lifestyle TV chat show.
‘Hi Tea with Sima Ved’ saw her interview celebrities like His Highness Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Boman Irani, Raahat Fateh Ali Khan etc, while even getting them to share their favorite recipes in her kitchen in front of an audience.
An ardent believer in giving back, Sima has always taken an active role in working towards the betterment of the community. She turned to voluntary work for several years with the Children’s Hope Foundation (CHF) as well as many other charity initiatives & endeavors, helping children from underprivileged backgrounds, while also creating awareness and advocating women’s empowerment.
In 2016, Sima was presented with The Global Gift Philantropreneur Award by Eva Longoria, for exemplifying the foundation’s mission and for her outstanding involvement and dedication in making a significant contribution to changing lives at an international level. In addition, Sima‘s partnership with the Al Jalila Foundation through the Apparel Group, reflects her commitment to transforming lives through medical education and research.
Looking at role models like Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Malala Yousafzai, Sima endeavors to spend her time focusing on becoming a relevant example of inspirational female power. Eva Longoria’s speech recapitulates the spirit of Sima’s strength of character when she said; “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! With her sense of energy, passion and persistence, we couldn’t have picked a better person than Sima to be the recipient of “The Global Gift Philantropreneur Award this year”.
Sima’s work & family are the two things closest to her. Any time away from work is spent with family – with her husband Nilesh, daughters Selina & Sarisha and son Nayaan. Her can-do, will do attitude to life – is definitely a testament to her success.
Founder and Vice Chairperson