Success Has a Human Face

In the 2009 book Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer examine how the start-up sector came to drive an entire nation’s economy. The example of Israel is a textbook case of how, when working together, entrepreneurs from all sectors can make economic history. Ten years on, what conclusions can we draw from the start-up revolution, which has spread across the globe and transformed the economies of pioneering nations such as the USA, South Korea and China, among others?

In the 2009 book Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer examine how the start-up sector came to drive an entire nation’s economy. The example of Israel is a textbook case of how, when working together, entrepreneurs from all sectors can make economic history. Ten years on, what conclusions can we draw from the start-up revolution, which has spread across the globe and transformed the economies of pioneering nations such as the USA, South Korea and China, among others?


The first is that the creation of a digital hub is always a boon for an economy. China, the world’s number one industrial power, has come from nowhere to be a leading tech nation, thanks to Chinese conglomerates with the foresight to have business models based on IT and tech innovation.
Frank Wang (No. 3 on our list) is the perfect example of this approach. The company he leads, DJI, has become the world-leader in drones thanks to the application of mass-produced cutting-edge technology, while Adam Neumann (No. 9 on our list) has built a real estate empire based on the practice of co-working, something few considered, well, workable just a decade ago.

For these visionary figures and other entrepreneurs like them – the feted unicorns – the one great unknown remains their ability to reduce levels of debt accrued during their swift ascensions. Because, in spite of impressive turnover and stratospheric market valuation, profit – when the company is not in deficit, as is often the case – remains disappointing. And as for the data-centricity of the business models of today’s entrepreneurs, there are many shades of grey in the laws governing data use, a fact which has the capacity to negatively impact performance.
It is on this fluid entrepreneurial landscape that Leaders League now turns its eye, to find the 21st century’s captains of industry.                  

 

 

Methodology

 

 

Outside of objective criteria (turnover, market value and growth rate) Leaders League used the following five criteria when compiling our Top Ten Entrepreneurial Executives list

 

Longevity: must have occupied current position for at least three years

 

Growth: their company’s annual turnover must exceed €250 million and growth must be above the average for their sector

 

Profitability: for listed companies, annual profits must exceed the previous year’s results  

 

Innovation: demonstrable impact on company’s sector of activity and potential future growth

 

Social responsibility: have an ESG program in operation

Read the full Special Report: Top Ten Entrepreneurial Executives in the World – 2019 Edition

The ten figures on our list lead the digital economy and drive innovation that impacts every facet of the global economy.
Summary No. 10: Nadiem Makarim (Go-Jek) No. 9: Adam Neumann (TheWeCompany) No. 8: Elon Musk (SpaceX) No. 7: John & Patrick Collison (Stripe) No. 6: Katrina Lake (Stitch Fix) No. 5: Kim Beom-seok, alias Bom Kim (Coupang) No. 4: Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn) No. 3: Wang Tao, alias Frank Wang (DJI - Da Jiang Innovation) No 2: Zhang Yiming (ByteDance) No. 1: Ilham Kadri (Solvay)

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