January 2024

Innovation, investments and entrepreneurship in the agritech & foodtech sectors - Experience sharing between Gulf countries and France

Technology transformation, climate change and global threats on food security are shaping a new wave of concerns, but also major opportunities in the agri-food sector. Investments in agri-tech and food-tech businesses and pilot projects have increased worldwide and many GCC countries are at the forefront of this trend. Investing in food security through alternative proteins, high-tech production, new infrastructure storage or improved distribution networks are also major tools to achieve economic diversification in the region.

This seminar aims at bringing together Qatari, GCC, French stakeholders to shade light on the current agri-food challenges and some insightful entrepreneurial journeys. We will discuss opportunities, bottlenecks and necessary enablers to unfold the full potential of the agri-food sector.

Event Details

  • Day: Tuesday, 30th of January 
  • Time: 12:00 - 02:00 PM
  • Venue: HEC Paris in Qatar | Msheireb Downtown, 2nd floor


  • 12:00 - 12:10 PM - Opening remarks will be delivered by H.E. Jean-Baptiste Faivre, the Ambassador of France to Qatar, and Dr. Pablo Martin De Holan, the Dean of HEC Paris in Qatar.

  • 12:10 - 1:10 PM - Presentations by 3 key speakers:
    - Innovative business models and challenges of scale by Sophie Bénard, HEC Paris alumni, former Head of industrial performance at Innovafeed, Scale-Up and Industrial transformation expert.

    - Veganism and Sustainability by Ghanim Al-Sulaiti, HEC Paris in Doha, founder of Enbat holdings.

    - Next-Gen Agri-Food Supply chains leading to Sustainability by Hussein Al-Hussein, Farm to Plate company (UAE), regional manager for the MENA region

  • 1:15 - 2:00 PM - Panel: “Fostering innovations in agri-food systems: opportunities, enablers and challenges across the value chain”

    - Introducing moderate of the panel discussion will be led by Eng. Mark Velders (Ministry of Municipality, Doha) and Dr Delphine Acloque, Expertise France - Food Security Department (Ministry of Municipality, Doha)

    - Alvyn Severien, founder and CEO of Algama Foods, vice-president of the French Microalgae association and food-tech ambassador for the French government

    - Ramzi Schumann, HEC Paris alumni, alternative proteins & food innovation funding 

    - Firas Khalil, HEC alumni, Baladna Food Industries 

    Mohammad Batran, Agrico General Manager 

    Mickael Boccacino, HEC alumni, president of Differs company

    - Concluding Remark by Ms Efi Frager, Director of the Economic service of the French Embassy.

  • 2:00 - 3:00 PM - Lunch by Qatar's first and only plant - based café Evergreen Organics. 

Building Community

As members of the same community, we all need to collaborate more; sharing data and supporting each other's work instead of working in silos. In order to encourage and leverage collaboration, HEC Paris intends to establish Entrepreneurship and Innovation, with the support of the Qatar Foundation. We want to build a governing board, identify founding members, and leverage stakeholders as ecosystem partners.

Key Speakers

Sophie Bénard   Sophie Bénard Industrial strategist and change catalyst, HEC Paris alumni.
Sophie is an enthusiastic leader and doer with a strong analytical side, bridging the gap between strategy and operations (transverse cost-reduction, industrial footprint optimization, value engineering, scale-up, deployment plans).
She has extensive experience in management consulting and in industrial scale-up at Innovafeed, an innovative and disruptive French feed company promoting circular and zero waste agri-food chain replicating insect's role in nature. Sophie led the design and delivery of a new Innovafeed site in the USA.
Ghanim Al-Sulaiti   Ghanim Al-Sulaiti, HEC Paris in Doha, founder of Enbat holdings.
Ghanim Al-Sulaiti is a young Qatari entrepreneur passionate about creating a positive impact on society by promoting a plant-based lifestyle. He is a serial entrepreneur, founding his first business—Evergreen Organics—in 2016, and now has over 10 projects currently live or under development. All of these projects share the same vision and values as its founder—to be vegan, sustainable, and promote a healthier lifestyle.
Enbat holdings is a family of vegan companies founded in Qatar in 2016, with the mission of creating a global ecosystem where plant-based businesses can flourish. Today, the company’s growth can be seen across food, wellness, and service industries through ethical and mindful investments. Enbat provides its investors with opportunities to become long-term stakeholders in the collection of companies that seek to address the concerns of vegans, animal lovers and environmentalists by avoiding investments that directly contribute to animal suffering, destruction of the natural environment and climate change. 
Hussein Al-Hussein   Hussein Al-Hussein, Farm to Plate company (UAE), regional manager for the MENA region.
Hussein stands as an accomplished expert in the realms of growth strategy and strategic partnerships, wielding an impressive portfolio of achievements that have spurred growth, innovation, and transformation across various sectors within the Arab world. His leadership across multiple projects has honed his ability to introduce and adeptly manage the implementation of new technologies, prioritizing education to ensure the efficient evolution of organizations.
In his role as the MENA Regional Manager at Farm To Plate, the agri-food tech arm of Paramount Software Solutions based in the United States, Hussein brings to bear his wealth of experience by offering unparalleled strategic guidance in the domains of innovation and technology. His influence extends across both public and private sectors throughout MENA countries. 


Please feel free to contact us for any further information:
Email: qatar-events@hec.fr | Phone: +974 4141 3200 | Web: qatar.exed.hec.edu
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