Mohed Altrad : entrepreneur and writer
Mohed Altrad, President of the group that bears his name, comes from the Syrian desert. He was born in a nomadic tribe, and orphaned at an early age. As a Bedouin, he was not permitted to attend school. He managed to learn to read by himself and went on to study, first in Raqqa, then in France, where he obtained a number of qualifications, reaching the level of doctorate in IT. He began his professional career as an engineer, first at Alcatel and then at Thomson, before working for ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company). He returned to France as a "serial entrepreneur", starting by creating an IT business. Shortly afterwards, in 1985, he purchased Mefran, a small firm specialised in scaffolding, located in the Hérault region. This was the beginning of the Altrad group.
Entrepreneur, recognised and respected business manager, President of Montpellier rugby club (one of the leading clubs in the Top 14, France's national rugby league), Mohed Altrad is also a novelist, essayist, philosopher, unfailing humanist and father of five children. He believes that "entrepreneurs do not build businesses alone. A company is always the fruit of the shared efforts of those who put their own personal commitment into a project […] And the human dimension is essential; it must be respected and promoted […] because it is the group aspect of the adventure that makes it worthwhile."
Mohed Altrad was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour in 2014. He also won the World Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015. He is the first Frenchman to have won it.