10 Things You Didn’t Know About Naguib Sawiris

If you’re conversant with the business world, particularly in telecommunication and media, you’ve probably heard the name of Naguib Sawiris. But there is much more about this exceptional businessman, political powerhouse, and philanthropist than what meets the eye. In this article, we uncover 10 intriguing facts about his life, career, and achievements that you probably didn’t know.

1. Naguib Sawiris comes from an influential family

Naguib Sawiris was born into the famous Sawiris family, a reputable Coptic Christian family in Cairo, Egypt. His father, Onsi Sawiris, was a leading entrepreneur in the building and contracting industry. His brothers, Nassef and Samih Sawiris, have also carved successful niches for themselves, with one being a successful businessperson and the other heavily involved in politics.

Such an influential background has undoubtedly played a pivotal role in Sawiris’ rise to prominence, inspiring and providing the resources needed for him to succeed in business.

2. Sawiris holds a degree from a top Swiss university

Education was a significant aspect of Naguib Sawiris’ upbringing. After he finished his high school in Egypt, he moved to Zurich, Switzerland, where he attended the recognized Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). There, he earned a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a diploma in Technical Administration. This early exposure to international education undoubtedly shaped his global perspective of business.

His solid foundation in education has, no doubt, contributed significantly to his entrepreneurial success, equipping him with the knowledge and skills to manage large corporations and businesses.

3. He played a pioneering role in the telecoms industry

After his graduation, Sawiris joined the family business and quickly identified a gap in the telecommunications sector. In 1998, he launched Mobinil, one of the first mobile operators in the Middle East. The company grew rapidly under his leadership, contributing significantly to the region’s telecoms development.

With time, his influence extended beyond Egypt as he began to establish telecom companies in other parts of Africa. Today, his telecommunications empire stretches from North Africa to Asia.

4. He rose to become one of the richest men in the world

Due to his immense success in the telecommunications industry, Naguib Sawiris’ wealth accelerated at a phenomenal pace. According to Forbes, he is currently one of the wealthiest men in Africa, with his net worth running into billions of dollars.

His wealth, however, does not just represent personal prosperity. Sawiris is well-known for redistributing his wealth through various philanthropic endeavors, focusing on education and social development.

5. He is a significant political figure

Naguib Sawiris is not only an incredible businessperson but also a significant political figure. He founded the Free Egyptians Party in 2011 with the aim of establishing a modern, secular, and civil state in Egypt. His party has been active in pushing for political reforms and democratic processes in the country.

His contribution to Egyptian politics has been immense, and his influence extends beyond his native country to wider international politics.

6. His media investment is expansive

Apart from his significant contribution to the telecommunications industry, Sawiris has made substantial investments in the media industry. He owns substantial stakes in prominent media companies, such as Euronews.

His investment in media has not only contributed to his wealth but has given him a significant influence in the industry. He is renowned for using his media influence to promote freedom of speech and democracy.

7. He has a passion for art and culture

Naguib Sawiris is a man of varied interests, and one of his passions is art and culture. He is known to be an avid collector of art, with a collection that boasts works from some of the world’s most famous artists.

This passion extends beyond just collecting, with Sawiris being an active patron of the arts. He has sponsored numerous art and culture initiatives in Egypt and internationally.

8. An outspoken philanthropist

Sawiris’ philanthropic efforts are known worldwide. In 2015, he notably offered to buy an island in the Mediterranean to house Syrian refugees, providing them with jobs and a safe place to live. While the plan didn’t fully materialize, it highlighted Sawiris’ desire to help and change the world.

Additionally, through his family’s foundations, he has contributed to charitable causes, focusing on education, healthcare, and social development, in Egypt and worldwide.

9. His switch to politics was initially met with controversy

When Sawiris decided to delve into politics, his move was initially met with controversy. He faced strong opposition from Islamic fundamentalist groups due to his secular standpoint and his activist role during the Egyptian revolution.

Despite the controversy and challenges, Sawiris remained firm and played a significant role in the shaping of the post-revolution political landscape in Egypt.

10. He has a yacht named after his daughter

Sawiris is also known for his extravagant lifestyle and taste for grandeur. One of his known possessions is his luxurious yacht, which he named after his daughter, Chantal.

The yacht, a custom-designed Italian superyacht, is one of the many symbols of his immense success and is often spotted in lavish vacation spots around the world.

For more information on Naguib Sawiris, you may visit the following useful links:

Naguib Sawiris on Forbes
Naguib Sawiris on Bloomberg