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Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Sevag Papazian, principal with Strategy&, writes that there has been phenomenal digital growth for economies, businesses and consumers during the past two decades. GCC governments understand this and have developed ambitious digital plans such as Dubai’s 3D printing initiative and its unified government platform for citizens, DubaiNow. Meanwhile, consumers in the region are among the world’s most tech-savvy.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

Strategy&’s partner Samer Bohsali writes that executives in the GCC are excited by digital. They recognise its benefits, such as stronger customer orientation and increased efficiency, which is vital in an era of budget constraints. Many companies, however, perceive the process of going digital as the adoption of a specific technology, rather than a transformation journey.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy&’s partners Ramy Sfeir and Marc-Albert Hamalian write that family businesses in the Middle East and North Africa are confronting important internal and external challenges. New generations are taking control of family conglomerates with different ideas about how these should operate and what the role of family members should be. Meanwhile, their external environment is becoming more uncertain and competitive.”

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab 

According to Strategy&’s partner George Sarraf, executive advisor David Branson, and principal Yahya Anouti, maintaining the GCC’s low gas prices, which are set considerably below international prices, is unsustainable and will create significant problems for the region in the future. While keeping GCC gas prices low has supported local economies in the past, the cost of new gas production is set to rise significantly in the future.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy&’s partner Alessandro Borgogna and manager Aditya Agarwalla write that airlines need to transform how they sell to their customers. If they are to take advantage of the changes in the travel distribution industry, while preventing digital technologies from turning their airplane seats into commodities, they will need to overhaul their ticket-distribution strategy. In the future, airlines will need to consider all the channels available in each market for connecting with their customers. They will have to take account of the data they can now collect through social media, loyalty programmes and the booking process.

 

Distribution market: Global

Strategy&’s partner Per-Ola Karlsson writes that there is a host of examples of women taking leadership positions during crises. The glass cliff theory “may be a myth and that other factors can explain what we see. Women accounted for just 10 of the incoming 359 chief executives worldwide in 2015, the lowest rate since 2011. But while it is clear that many factors including leadership development approaches and cultures make it that much harder for women, Strategy& has not found any statistical evidence to back the idea that female leaders were brought in more often during crises. What it did find was that in the previous decade female chief executives were 27 per cent more likely to be forced out than male chief executives.

 

Distribution market: Global

Strategy&’s partner Per-Ola Karlsson notes that more than 80% of these companies’ CEOs are internal appointments. Almost two-thirds of them have spent 12 years or more climbing up the corporate hierarchy. They are drawn from a large cadre of long-term employees who dominate the upper ranks of the organisation and usually outperform external recruits because they have far more company-specific knowledge.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab 

Strategy&’s partners Gabriel Chahine and Walid Tohme, and principal Nikhil Idnani write that the concept of mandatory health insurance is gaining momentum across much of the region, with governments looking at expanding access in partnership with private sector hospital networks. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have initiated efforts to build centers of excellence in multiple specialties such as trauma, cancer and cardiac care. And agreements have been struck with well-known institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins to manage facilities.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy&’s partner Per-Ola Karlsson and director of the Ideation Center Rawia Abdel Samad explain that in recent years, leading Gulf Cooperation Council companies have grown in their domestic markets and through international expansion. These large GCC firms are poised to compete with the global corporate elite, those highly successful multinational companies that already have deeply embedded capabilities. To play at this top level, however, regional firms will need to avoid growth traps. Too often companies focus on top line growth or country-specific competitive advantages rather than building foundational capabilities, which means that after initial rapid expansion they struggle in the big league.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab 

Strategy&’s partner Fadi Adra, principal Sevag Papazian, and director of the Ideation Center Rawia Abdel Samad write that while every GCC government has announced spending cuts to conserve budgets, conventional cost-cutting is only a short-term fix and could potentially slow a country’s growth over time. For GCC governments to cut costs and grow simultaneously, Strategy& recommends adopting a Fit for Service framework.

 

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