Stephen Saad

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Stephen Bradley Saad born June, 1964 is a South African billionaire businessman, who is the founder and chief executive of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings (JSE: APN), the largest producer of generic medicines in Africa.Forbes estimated Saad’s net worth at $1.09 billion as of January 2018.

Stephen was born in June 1964 and raised in Durban, South Africa. He attended the Durban High School in Durban.  He graduated from the University of Natal, where he received a Bachelor of Commerce. He played rugby in Ireland and studied to become a chartered accountant after which Saad returned to South Africa where his indomitable entrepreneurial spirit ignited to pursue his career.He started his career at Quickmed, a prescription drug distribution company in black townships during apartheid. At the age of 29, he sold his share in Covan Zurich for US$3 million, thus becoming a millionaire. In 1997, together with Gus Attridge, he co-founded Aspen Pharmacare, in a highly traded, globally competitive industry with a R1 billion debt! However, under his leadership, with keen financial acumen, strategic acquisitions, operational competitiveness and commitment, he developed Aspen to become a highly profitable concern, with local and international subsidiaries. With its strong local manufacturing content – Stephen’s overriding vision is “It can be done and it can be done in South Africa”.  Aspen Pharmacare has since become the largest producer of generic medicines on the African continent.

Aspen Pharmacare which was started in a three-bedroom house and later moved to Greyville course in Durban now has over 26 manufacturing facilities at 18 sites on six continents and approximately 10 000 employees.  It distributes products to more than 150 countries and has operations in more than 50 of these, with recent additions in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Carricam, Asia Pacific, Western Europe and Japan.

Stephen’s vision and leadership has ensured Aspen Pharmacare maintained its position as the leading supplier of generic and branded medicines in South Africa and Australia and has been ranked among the top five generic pharmaceutical producers globally.

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Also, Aspen was ranked as the 10th most innovative company by Forbes in its “The Top 25 Most Innovative Companies in the World 2014” list. “Putting South Africa on the map from a pharmaceutical manufacturing perspective is also a great source of pride for me.” In South Africa, Aspen was one of the founding members and drivers of the Public Health Enhancement Fund, a three-year partnership between the public and private health sector in South Africa, which is expected to inject millions of funds to assist government in addressing a number of public healthcare priorities identified by the Department of Health.  Aspen’s commitment to South Africa’s development is noteworthy. Besides contributing to human resource development and pharmaceutical research, the company is involved in a number of Corporate Social Investment (CSI) projects in various disadvantaged regions.

Further, the company is committed to offering support and accessible, affordable healthcare facilities to disadvantaged communities.Stephen chairs the Sharks, a rugby union club in Durban.  He also sits on the board of trustees of his alma mater, the Durban High School.  In 2014, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University for the positive role of Aspen in the city of Port Elizabeth.  In 2005, Stephen was inducted into the international Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year, Hall of Fame, sharing this honor with among others Patrice Motsepe (ARMGold) and Michael Dell (Dell Computers).