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Abdullah Verachia








Who Is Abdullah Verachia

Abdullah serves as the CEO of The Strategists where he plays an active role in assisting companies and organisations craft competitive future strategies. He has significant expertise in strategy, competitiveness and sector trends and facilitates a number of high level strategy sessions and breakaways for companies and governments and also speaks globally in this area. He led the team that crafted the 2017 - 2030 Gauteng Economic Development Strategy with the Premier and Executive Council. He also led the 2017 Mauritius Competitiveness foresight strategy, He also plays a lead role on the Oxford University and Gates Foundation programme on South Africa in a Digital Age.

Having presented and consulted in over 60 cities globally Abdullah has been recognised as a leading speaker, disruptor, strategist and thought leader on competitiveness and the interplay between strategy and disruptive innovation. His experience make him a sought after global speaker in these areas. In December 2017 Abdullah received a standing ovation at the acclaimed TEDx Euston in London. Abdullah was also asked to be the keynote speaker at the 2018 World Speech Day.

Abdullah has built a number of disruptive and truly innovative companies. He is thus able to fuse experience, insight, strategy and expertise into a beautiful tapestry that has relevance and application to companies and organisations around the world. 

He holds a Bachelors in Law and a Masters in Management (cum laude). He has also completed executive programmes on strategy and shared value and also on Competitiveness, with Professor Michael Porter's Institute of Strategy and Compettiveness, at Harvard Business School. He also completed an executive programme at University of Oxford's Said Business School as well as an executive programme on broadcast technology at Columbia Business School. 

He has presented around the world to leading listed firms, international organisations and governments including in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Accra, Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi, Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris.London and New York. He has been asked to present at some of the world's leading institutions including the School of Public and International Affairs at Colombia University in New York, Tedx Euston, the OECD in Paris and Casa Asia in Madrid amongst others.

He has led research, strategy and consulting assignments in an array of sectors including banking, mining, finance, asset management, construction, insurance, legal, audit, FMCG, telecoms, retail and automotive. He has also headed up consulting assignments on behalf of a number of South African Industrial Development Zones and Investment Promotion Agencies. He has also done work on behalf of leading donor organisations and specifically on the intra-emerging market flows between Asia and Africa. He has also advised and engaged with a number of Indian companies entering Africa. 

He has participated in numerous high profile Asia-Africa initiatives, private meetings, conferences and delegations and served on a number of initiatives. Abdullah is also a regular media commentator for a number of publications including CNBC Africa, BBC, CCTV, CNN, SABC, Moneyweb, Business Day, SAFM, 702, Al Jazeera, New York Times, Financial Times, Reuters and the Sunday Times. 

Abdullah has written the book Reset, Rewire, Remagine everything - managing and leading in disruption. Abdullah has also co-authored a book on the commercial corridor between Africa and India as well as "The Book every business owner must read." 

Abdullah also serves on a few boards. Companies and organisations have found Abdullah's unique blend of legal, business, emerging market, academic and youth experience to add incredible value to their strategies.

Keynote Topics:

  • Executive Advisory

  • Reset, Rewire And Reimagine Everything. Relevance, Agility And Adaptability

  • Disruption, Disintermediation and Digital-Engaging The Future

  • Reimagining Everything: Innovation, Creativity And The Art Of Exponentiality

  • Beyond The Headlines: A Real View On South Africa

  • The Post Pandemic Boom: Step From The Now Into The Next

  • Thinking Exponentially: Building The Mindset That Gets You To Navigate an Exponential World





  • CEO of The Strategists

  • Senior Faculty at GIBS

  • GIBS Programme Director: Harvard Senior Executive Programme for Africa

  • Co-Founder of Digicars - a disruptor in the motor industry 

  • General Electric Southern Africa {Board and Leadership Council)

  • University of Pretoria Think Tank on the Future of Work

  • Gauteng Vision 2055 task team

  • Gauteng Innovation Advisory Board

  • Education Africa (Chairperson of the Board)

  • Penryn College Council

  • Appointed by the Minister of Trade and Industry as a judge for the South African Premier Business Awards

  • General Electric Supplier Development Trust {Trustee)

  • South African Model United Nations {Chairperson)

  • FirstRand India Management Board {resigned in July 2014)

  • Advisor to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and 

  • Development's {OECD's) Development Centre on the 2011 edition of the African Economic Outlook, focusing on Africa and its Emerging Partners.

  • Executive: International at Rand Merchant Bank

  • Member of the management board of FirstRand India

  • Co-founder and Partner at Frontier Advisory {acquired by Deloitte in 2015)


Disruption Amplified

Disruption Amplified

Reset. Rewire. Reimagine Everything.

The world has entered a period of accelerated change. This has everything to do with the disruptive events of 2020, the cognitive rewiring which each of us is going through, and the profound macro shifts reshaping the world as we know it.

We are living though an unprecedented period of rapid and pervasive transition. Every aspect of our reality is shifting, from how we work and play, to how we educate our children and care for the health and wellbeing of our families, ourselves and our neighbors.

How does this affect the future of strong, dominant sectors such as tourism and travel, consumer, retail, property, education, health, automotive and financial services, among others?

  • Can we rewire these and other sectors for a new reality?

  • Do we even have the wherewithal to reimagine the future?

  • How do we start the process of pressing the reset button?

  • Can we reimagine the world we live in and take proactive steps to play a part in it?

  • Do we have the tools to shift our business strategies?

  • Are we primed to take advantage of the opportunities on offer?

  • Can we sidestep our fear of the unknown and open our minds to exciting new possibilities?

Transport yourself into the future with global future strategist, speaker and disruptor Abdullah Verachia as he leads you through the fundamental shifts taking place at every level and how these will reshape the world as we know it. Envisage a new reality, new cross-border opportunities and new avenues for personal and business growth.

Achievements and Accolades


Abdullah has been recognised as a visionary young leader who has played an active role in South African society for a number of years. He has been selected as the Mpumalanga youth leader of the year and a finalist for the South African youth leader of the year. He was also selected to be a part of the Brightest Young Minds in South Africa as well as an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Abdullah also received an honorary award for 15 years of excellence toward Youth Development and the Model United Nations in South Africa. 


Selected for the Brightest Young Minds in South Africa

Presented with the 15-year excellence award for his contribution towards and development of the Model United Nations

Awarded honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society

"We have been working with Abdullah for the past 18 months with a focus on organisational strategy, cascaded down to divisional and departmental levels across the organisation. The strategic acupuncture provide extreme clarity within the business and paved the way for an environment of collaboration, continuous improvement and success. We are now in the second year of the strategic review and are continue to the see positive impact of this process on our business processes. What cannot be quantified on paper is Abdullah’s extraordinary levels of interest and care in his client’s businesses, their performance and the standard of service that he provides. Abdullah is more than a consultant, he is a business partner and I highly recommend him to anyone requiring outside facilitation to bring the team together through a refreshing reflective, interactive and engaging process."

Lisle Clark Chief Executive Officer at Twizza (Pty) Ltd -

"Having been participant in many facilitated corporate strategy development sessions I'd always thought and felt comfortable with the thought that the facilitators needed to be good at what they did but they were meant to be almost invisible, in the background so to speak. That was until a session that was led & facilitated by Abdullah! Abdullah not only challenged us to dream really big, think beyond today's capabilities, imagine the 'impossible'; he also made it feel incredibly achievable and therefore possible through a practical and guided process of thinking through the issues, helping us align our vision to high leverage actions that would contribute immensely to the manifestation of that vision. So since that session, I've always judged strategy facilitators against that standard; looking for someone who: inspires big and futuristic thinking, makes you believe you can achieve anything, gives you the tools to back that confidence up, A high standard indeed - all inspired by Abdullah."

- Tebogo Mekgoe Founder of Orenda Advisory & Strategy -

"For the past 8 years, the South African Graduate Employers Association has had a close relationship with Abdullah Verachia in guiding our members to consider new and emerging skills, practice and industry trends. We value Abdullah's contribution in supporting our work and thinking as we navigate the very complex future of building talent for the South African Economy."

- Cathy Sims  Executive Director: South African Graduate Employers Association -

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