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Opontia acquires and scales high-performing e-commerce businesses across Eastern Europe, The Middle East, & Africa. The company is led by a team of e-commerce experts with extensive experience in brand building and scaling, product design and launch, logistics, and SME financing. 

We work across Eastern Europe, The Middle East, & Africa and we are backed by some of the world's leading investors. We currently have offices in the UAE and KSA and make acquisitions and sell to the UAE, KSA, Bahrain, and Kuwait. 

About us: About
About us: Team

Meet The Team


Philip Johnston, CFA

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

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Philip is an entrepreneurial finance expert who is passionate about building the next-generation e-commerce consumer group in Eastern Europe, The Middle East, & Africa.

Prior to starting Opontia, Philip spent two years at McKinsey, Dubai working on e-commerce strategy, private equity, and post-merger integration. Before this, he spent two years doing venture capital investing across Southern Africa, and five years in banking split between London, New York, and Singapore.

Philip holds an MPA in Economics and Government from Harvard University, an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School, an MA in Mathematical Finance from Columbia University, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder.


Manfred Meyer

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

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Manfred is an internet entrepreneur with a vision of enabling the e-commerce ecosystem across Eastern Europe, The Middle East, & Africa. 


He was previously the Chief Market Place Officer for one of the largest global E-commerce players in Southeast Asia, Lazada (Alibaba) where he successfully onboarded and drove the growth of over 500 brands and 50,000 sellers. Following this, he moved to the Middle East and became Chief Commercial Officer of one of the largest e-commerce companies in the region processing 25 million orders annually. After this, he was the founder the CEO of Next Commerce, an e-commerce enabler managing the online presence of brands in the UAE and KSA. 


Manfred holds a MA in Corporate Finance from Vienna University of Economics and Business.

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Balagopal Menon

VP, Investments & Acquisitions

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Bala is a seasoned e-commerce leader in the EEMEA region who is excited to help homegrown e-commerce brands in Eastern Europe, The Middle East, & Africa scale globally.

Prior to working for Opontia, Bala was leading Amazon's Fashion Marketplace business in the UAE. Before Amazon, Bala was a part of the leadership team at Uber Eats MENA where he was in charge of customer acquisition/growth, and prior to this, Bala headed Zomato's food delivery business in the UAE. He has also worked in strategy consulting at McKinsey & Company. 

Bala holds a graduate degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He also holds an MBA in Finance from the Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad

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Shruti Arora

VP, Brand Management

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Shruti is an experienced brand expert and creator who is excited to take brands in the region to the next level.

Shruti has spent three years at Namshi, a leading fashion e-commerce retailer in the Middle East, where she headed the portfolio of private label brands generating $60M revenue per year. Prior to this Shruti spent 8 years in various roles across buying & merchandising, product strategy and brand management at various retailers between Vancouver, Montreal and Milan.

Shruti holds an MBA from INSEAD, a Masters in Fashion Design and Management from Bocconi, and a BBA from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. 

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Mohamed Benyahia

VP, Operations

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Mohamed is a logistics and operations expert with a passion for developing creative solutions to e-commerce challenges in Eastern Europe, The Middle East, & Africa.

Prior to joining Opontia, Mohamed was the Operations Director of one of UAE's leading logistics, courier, and mailing services providers, Posta-Plus. Before this, he was among the first employees at, helping to develop their logistics infrastructure from scratch, as an Operations Program Manager. Mohamed was also previously an Operations Director at Petrom in Morocco.

Mohamed holds an MBA in Strategy and Finance from Duke University and a Master in Electrical Engineering from Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Electricite et de Mecanique. 

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