JCU Alumnus Daryush Arabnia is New Chairman, President and CEO of Geico Taikisha Group

John Cabot University Trustee and alumnus Ali Reza Arabnia recently passed the baton of the Geico Taikisha Group to his son Daryush Arabnia, also a JCU graduate.

Dr. Ali Reza Arabnia and Daryush Arabnia

From left: Dr. Ali Reza Arabnia and Daryush Arabnia

Geico Taikisha specializes in turnkey original coating systems and plants for the vehicle industry. The company recently announced that it has won a contract with Tesla to build the painting section of the new Tesla factory in Germany.

According to a statement on the company website, Daryush takes over the Group, which is based near Milan, in keeping with his father’s entrepreneurial philosophy: “The new president will continue on the path of innovation with a particular focus on young people to address the challenges of the future of a highly competitive, cutting-edge industry.”

Daryush graduated from John Cabot University with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 2008 before going on to earn an MBA from Bocconi University in 2013. He started working at Geico as a project manager in 2009 and just two years later flew to China to open a new branch of the business. He is also credited with launching the strategic project “Smart Paintshop,” which won several international prizes.

Born and raised in Teheran, Dr. Ali Reza Arabnia graduated from John Cabot University in 1983 and has been a JCU Trustee since 1998. The University, which has benefited from his great generosity and wise counsel throughout the years, awarded Dr. Arabnia the degree of Doctor of Business Administration honoris causa in 2010. He has often been praised as a unique example of a CEO guided by ethical principles and a creative approach to problem-solving, especially in times of crisis. One of the ingredients of Geico’s success is the fact that Dr. Arabnia never stopped investing in innovation, research, and education, especially in difficult times. “You need to build yourself up in times of crisis, so that when the train comes, you can run faster than the others and catch it first,” he told the JCU community during a lecture entitled “Expanding Your Business in a Time of Crisis.”

In fact, the company reacted to the serious economic crisis that hit the auto industry in 2008 by investing as much as possible in innovation and research. That strategy paid off as Geico was able to win major contracts thanks to its cutting-edge technology and energy-efficient operations. After Geico recovered, Dr. Arabnia actually gave workers back the money that they lost when they were placed under a voluntary “reduced salary” regime in 2009 and 2010.

Dr. Ali Reza Arabnia will remain CEO of Gecofin, a family holding company, and will continue his commitment to social causes as president of the Istituto per i valori d’impresa (Institute for Entrepreneurship Values).

Congratulations to Daryush Arabnia from the JCU community!

2+