Chairman, Altrad, France
2015 award winner
EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 France
Born as a nomadic Bedouin in Syria and forbidden from attending school, Mohed Altrad learned to read on his own. Eventually, he received a scholarship to study in France and went on to buy a nearly bankrupt business in 1985 that became the basis of Altrad.
Altrad is the world leader in cement mixers and a European leader in scaffolding and wheelbarrows. Last year, the construction equipment company generated US$959m in sales and is on target to reach US$1.13b in revenues before 2016.
Mohed places the individual at the center of his company and advocates multiculturalism and respect for diversity. He sleeps very little, so by night he writes books. His partly autobiographical novel, Badawi, is now taught in some French schools as part of the literature curriculum.