ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates: Pure Harvest Smart Farms, the region’s leading tech-enabled agribusiness, has announced the recent appointment of Saqib Zia to the role of Chief Commercial Officer. This follows a number of recent hires to Pure Harvest Smart Farms’ leadership and management teams: Lucio Baron has been appointed as Vice President of Strategy; Fatima Haveliwala has been given the position of Vice President of Strategic Finance; and Head of Construction has been assigned to Gareth Wilson.

“We are delighted to confirm these appointments and welcome a new group of talented and experienced professionals to the Pure Harvest team,” said Mr. Sky Kurtz, Co-founder and CEO of Pure Harvest. “As Pure Harvest continues its mission to transform food production by developing and deploying cutting-edge controlled-environment agriculture technologies in the import-dependent and water-scarce Arab Gulf region, it is more important than ever that we have the right human capital in place to achieve our mission. I’m humbled by the quality of talent we are able to attract.”

Mr. Saqib Zia, Chief Commercial Officer, has over 20 years of successful commercial experience working with two of the biggest global multinational corporations (MNCs), Procter & Gamble and Shell, managing multi-billion dollar brands such as Duracell, Head & Shoulders, and Olay. It’s his diversity in navigating different regional marketplaces that sets him apart and makes him a global practitioner scaling the North American, European, Middle Eastern and African markets. He holds an MBA in Marketing from Pakistan.

Mr. Lucio Baron, Vice President of Strategy, has over 15 years of experience in strategy consulting, after beginning his career at McKinsey & Company in Italy and working across Europe, Middle East, Australia, and Africa. He has in-depth experience working with energy-intensive industries such as petrochemicals, power production, and mining and joins Pure Harvest from his position as Associate Partner in the Dubai office of McKinsey & Company. He holds a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” and an MBA from London Business School. 

Ms. Fatima Haveliwala, Vice President of Strategic Finance, has over 10 years of experience in the areas of finance and consulting. She joins Pure Harvest from her role as Senior Director of Finance at Hala, where she established the finance function. Prior to that, she was Global Head of Finance & Cash Operations at Fetchr, covering all countries in the region. Before moving to the UAE, she held various finance leadership roles at Tata Steel, Citibank, and Ernst & Young in Mumbai, India. 

Mr. Gareth Wilson, Head of Construction, has over 12 years of experience in the construction sector, with half of that spent in the Middle East. He joins Pure Harvest from his position as Senior Project Manager at Majid Al Futtaim, where he championed innovative projects including Majid Al Futtaim’s indoor ski parks. His earlier career was spent in the UK, where he worked as a Construction Manager for Sir Robert McAlpine, one of the most well-regarded construction companies in the country, which worked on projects including the London Olympic Stadium. 

These appointments will serve to support Pure Harvest’s ambitious growth agenda, including ongoing expansions across the GCC but also establishing a foothold in Asia. At present, the total capital raised to date by the company is well in excess of a quarter of a billion USD ($272 million). 

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