About Cupola Group MEA
The Cupola Group’s history mirrors the success story of Dubai. Cupola started life as a venture capital boutique almost two decades ago, the brain child of Arif Naqvi – the founder and CEO of Abraaj Capital, a leading investor operating in global growth markets with over $7.5 billion of assets under management.
The group’s historical milestones include the setting up of numerous franchise concepts in the region including Pizza Express, TGI Fridays, Thomas Cook, and Estée Lauder among others. Cupola also provided the operational and financial nucleus of a number of pioneering concepts in the Middle East, prominent among these are the first Contact Centre in the region established in 1999 (CTS), which has become the core of a regionally focussed BPO; a Visa/MasterCard accredited financial cards manufacturing and personalisation unit (CPC) which was sold to Oberthur Technologies; and a document management business which was sold to Aramex.
Against all odds, Cupola did the unprecedented in 2000 when it outbid several well placed regional contenders to acquire the Inchcape Middle East business via a leveraged buy-out worth more than $102 million. The acquisition gave Cupola access to a highly diversified portfolio of regional businesses, including leading food wholesalers and retailers such as Spinneys supermarkets, logistics and oilfield services. The journey from a financial advisory service to a major owner-operator of diverse businesses is well captured in a 2009 Harvard Business School case study prepared by Professor Josh Lerner.
Fast forwarding to the present, a significant part of the original Cupola has morphed into Cupola Group MEA, a service provider which operates a number of companies primarily focussed on the Middle East and Africa region. We are the region’s pioneer in outsourced business services. Our core strength is the ability to understand our customers’ needs and to efficiently translate these into implementable processes together with the requisite human and physical infrastructure. Over the last 15 years we have acquired a client base that covers major international and regional banks, technology companies, public sector entities and multi-sector retailers. Our services include setting up and operating contact centres, call centres in UAE, outsourced CRM, providing high quality personnel, managing HR functions and providing logistics support.