Are you thinking of doing business in Afghanistan? There are a few names that your investors and stockholders will expect you to be familiar with, especially if you’re trying to put roots in the country on a long-term basis. Here are just eight Afghani businessmen that are worth further research.
1. Zamari Kamgar
A technical engineer who rose from poverty and eventually worked his way to Balkh University, Kamgar is a great example of the power of ambition and drive. Today he’s considered one of the wealthiest men in Afghanistan, owning Kam Air and also advising the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI).

2. Habib Gulzar
It may be a conservative nation, but Afghani people still know how to drink! Habib Gulzar runs a business devoted entirely to non-alcoholic products, and it was even the first company to manufacture Coca-Cola in the Middle East. Gulzar isn’t afraid to try new things in his business ventures, which is one of the reasons he’s a man to watch.

3. Najeeb Zarab
If you’re looking for prolific businessmen, look no further than Najeeb Zarab. As the founder of Najeeb Zarab Unlimited, one of the richest trade companies in Afghanistan, he has a hand in everything from luxury goods to fresh produce. His reputation climbs by the year. He’s definitely a man to know overseas.

4. Ehsan Bayat
The head of Telephone Systems International and the co-founder of the Afghan Wireless Communication Company, Bayat has made a name for himself in the wireless business. He also gives back to the community through his charity work, winning multiple humanitarian and social responsibility awards from the Afghan people.

5. Haji Momin Khan
Khan took an old brand and almost entirely re-invented it for the 21st century: He’s the driving force behind Momin Oil Industries, a company that was founded in 1910 but faced struggles from competitors in recent years. Until his careful eye, Momin flourished once again into a thriving trading company and one of the most successful in the country.

6. Hamed Minhaj
Minhak knew he wanted to be a businessman from the age of 16, and he’s stayed committed to that goal throughout his life. He’s the co-founder of Hamed Baba Ltd; he’s invested in several multinational corporations around the world; he knows how to work the press to his advantage. He’s a name to remember in modern Afghanistan.

7. Abdul Rahim Safi
As an extremely wealthy man, Safi could retire from the world of business at any time. Instead, he strives every day to improve the lives of his people by dabbling in a variety of trade, export and service industries. Keep an eye on the Safi Group and Safi Airways: He owns them both.

8. Habibullah Karimi
Agriculture might not be the first thing you think of when you think of Afghanistan, but Karimi has made a successful business out of the importing and exporting of agricultural equipment. Not only is he the co-founder of Barakat, Inc., but he’s also sitting on an impressive but undisclosed amount of wealth!

These are just eight corporate men worth watching in Afghanistan. Whether you’re looking for new investors or expanding your own business overseas, these are the names you should be familiar with before you hop on a plane.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].