The network of… Richard Branson
He’s just celebrated turning 60, so we decided to mark the occasion by checking out six of the Virgin billionaire’s most interesting contacts.
September 13, 2010 4:45 by e.andraos
When Virgin Mobile launched in Qatar, it was thanks to a deal struck between Branson and this man. Dr. Nasser Marafih is CEO of Qtel (Qatar Telecom), Qatar’s biggest telecoms company. The entry of Virgin Mobile caused some consternation in the local mobile market, after Vodafone Qatar pointed out the new arrival violated its license, purchased at great expense. Marafih shrugged off a potential fine, saying, “It will not have any (material) impact.”
Marafih boasts a degree in Electrical Engineering, a Masters in Science, and a PhD in Communication engineering. He found his way into Qtel in 1992 as an expert adviser from the University of Qatar, later joining the company full time. In his time there he has helped introduce internet to Qatar, and helped the company privatize. He became CEO in 2002, and has overseen its drive to become a global telecoms player.