Global Restaurant Investment Forum

11-13 February 2020 – Amsterdam


11-13 February 2020 – Amsterdam

Speaker Profile

Paul Smith

Chief Executive Officer, Java House Africa

36 years Commercial and International leadership, Paul has worked and lived overseas for the last 17 years and successfully lead the establishment of business in 20 countries, across the MENA region, India, Russia, China, S.E. Asia and Africa. Exposure includes working with UK and International listed companies, Joint Ventures, Locally Owned and Private businesses, in positions as CEO, Managing Director and Director.


C.E.O. The Java House Group based in Nairobi Kenya and currently operating in Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya

Consultant, Interim roles as (2013-2017): -

•Business Advisor to Java House Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, (worked with Abraaj on initial Java due diligence.)
•International Development Director with The Casual Dining Group, one of the UK largest F&B Group. Launching their brands into the MENA/Asia. •CEO of Liwa Minor LLC. A J.V. Launch of the Coffee Club in the UAE
•Vice President for Hospitality in The RMA Group based in Bangkok, growing Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and opening the first F&B international brands in Myanma

F&B Career in (2001-2013): -

•Costa (Whitbread Plc.) •Managing Director Asia, and Chief Representative China. (Whilst in China Paul was also a Director on the boards of both Costa’s Shanghai and Beijing J.V’
•Director with a specific remit for Joint Venture and Business start-up in Russia and China; •Regional Franchise Director for the MENA & India region based in Dubai; •Head of Food & Beverage for M.H. Alshaya, based in Kuwait: Managing the Starbucks and Pizza Express franchises in the Gulf, including new market launch in Turkey.

Retail Career in (1982-2001): -

•Marks & Spencer Plc (Retail Leadership).: Store General and Divisional Management, Central Store Operations (Foods), Multi-Store Management. HR and Logistics.

MARKET PORTFOLIO: UK, China, S.E. Asia, Russia, Turkey, MENA, India, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Cyprus

LEADERSHIP STYLE: A strategic thinking leader, capable of successful implementation in pioneering scenarios. Paul has led management teams, focusing on strategic change, start up, and performance improvement initiatives. He coaches team capabilities to perform and deliver, principally in culturally diverse markets.


I.M.D. Lausanne, Switzerland: Breakthrough Program for Senior Executives (2010)

MSc Change Leadership,

BSc (Hons) Food Marketing

Diploma: Change Leadership;

Diploma: Marketing

Inst. Marketing Qualifications