In the news 2015

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy&’s partners Walid Tohme and Haroon Sheikh, principal Ashish Labroo, and manager Anna Germanos write that too many large organizations in the GCC are missing a significant business opportunity. At a time of increasing costs pressure, rising competition and a volatile economic environment, these organizations – such as family conglomerates, multi-business unit corporations, investment portfolio companies or government entities with multiple departments – have yet to exploit the potential of group-wide collaborative sourcing.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

According to Strategy&’s partner Daniel Diemers, across the world women hold a significant share of private wealth and the Middle East is no exception. Estimates suggest women control more than a fifth, or 27 per cent, of the world’s wealth and between 20 and 25 per cent of the approximate $2.2 trillion (Dh8.08 trillion) high-net-worth assets across the GCC.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

 “PwC and Strategy& plan to open a Digital Experience Centre in Dubai, to provide digital-centric services to clients in the region. The Digital Experience Centre will open in mid-2016 and will occupy an entire floor of Emaar Square offices. The digital and physical environment will feature a state-of-the-art immersion lab and collaboration spaces, engineered for PwC and clients to reimagine their customer’s experience, their businesses and co-create a plan to get there.”

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy&’s partner Daniel Diemers writes that although the market opportunity is clear, banks have not always found it easy to get it right. This segment is often demanding and price-sensitive. Customers also tend to be sophisticated investors, who require plenty of advice and explanation. But if the banks can put together an attractive offering, then there are plenty of potential gains.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

Strategy&’s partner Per-Ola Karlsson writes that the UAE’s gross domestic electricity consumption has more than doubled over the past 10 years, and is expected to grow even more rapidly over the next five years as the country undergoes substantial growth.  A recent forum organized by the Energy Working Group of the UAE-UK Business Council and facilitated by Strategy&, highlighted three key aspects of energy efficiency which comprise of smart cities, building efficiency and water usage.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

According to Strategy&’s partners George Chehade and George Sarraf, and manager Yahya Anouti, the deregulation of transport fuel prices in the United Arab Emirates as of August 1 is important and timely. The initiative will move the country toward a more sustainable path of development, a goal shared by other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy&’s partner and Middle East managing director Richard Shediac explains in an interview that we want to be known as the ‘capabilities firm’. For example, if the client is a bank that wants to enhance its SME business, we might focus on their capability in credit scoring. That’s a key function that will be essential to them in assessing SME lending, and therefore they have to be good at it.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy&’s partner Samer Bohsali, principal Abdulkader Lamaa, and user experience designer Krystal Kougioumtzi,  write that digital natives – people who have grown up with the internet and have known only the digital era – now form the largest target audience for most businesses. As a result, the most far-sighted companies will develop products and services with the specific needs and wants of digital natives in mind, not least their tendency to buy lifestyles, not just products.”

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

According to Strategy&’s partner Per-Ola Karlsson, Middle East companies are showing the same positive development we have seen across the world with substantially more CEO turnovers being planned and this past year was a record with 83 per cent of all turnovers being planned. We do see that company boards are making succession planning a clearly greater priority than in the past.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Milind Singh, principal with Strategy&, writes that the UAE has achieved improved footing in seven of the ten sub-indices contributing to NRI rankings. However, the UAE needs to continue on this positive trajectory to climb the ranks and lead among global ICT players.

 

Distribution market: Lebanon

Strategy&’s partner Joe Saddi explains in an interview that the main challenge that we face is finding the right talent. We have a very high hiring bar because our clients expect the best. We want to hire people who are part of the social fabric and understand the local culture. Clients are no longer content with just consulting services. They also want someone to walk them through implementation. So we had to make a choice: Do we build those skills internally or do we partner with someone who already had them?

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

According to Strategy&’s senior partner Joe Saddi, partner George Sarraf, and principal James Thomas, one of the greatest challenges facing the Middle East is also one of the most underappreciated: how to attract and retain human capital. This is a real impediment to the strategic plans of some Middle East countries, particularly those in the GCC. They are making the transition away from resource based economies to knowledge based industries, and those industries rely mainly on human capital.

 

Middle East and Africa Telecom Operators Must Digitize to Monetize
Distribution market: Pan Arab

Bassam Hajhamad, principal with Strategy&, writes that like telecom companies around the world, operators in the Middle East and Africa are in a bind. Thanks to digitization—the rapid adoption of connected digital technologies and applications by consumers, enterprises, and governments—there is unprecedented growth in the data travelling across their broadband and wireless networks. Operators have helped make high-speed connectivity broadly available.

 

Saudi Arabia & UAE Control 74 percent of GCC’s Private Wealth
Distribution market: Saudi Arabia

Strategy&’s partner Daniel Diemers and senior associate Jihad Khalil write that the study estimates that at present, there are between 1.5 million and 1.6 million wealthy households in the GCC with total investable assets of around $2.2 trillion. Most of the region’s private wealth resides in Saudi Arabia (44 percent), but the UAE has made notable gains with its share of GCC’s private wealth increasing from 24 percent to 30 percent from 2009 to 2013. Together, Saudi Arabia and the UAE control 74 percent of the region’s private wealth, up from 71 percent in 2009.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

According to Strategy&’s partners Fadi Majdalani and Ramy Sfeir, and senior associate Patrick Nader, women should be encouraged to contribute much more to family businesses, new research asserts. The stakes are high: family firms are GCC economic powerhouses. The story of GCC business development outside oil is mostly one of family businesses. Family-owned companies contribute as much as 80 per cent of the GCC’s non-oil GDP.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

According to Strategy&’s partner Ramy Sfeir, governments’ support of women’s employment is critical and has had a positive impact on promoting a more active role for women in their family businesses.

 

Challenges ahead for GCC MICE market
Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy&’s partner Richard Shediac writes that despite the potential of the meetings market, most emerging economies have not developed a good understanding of this part of the tourism industry, nor do they have a well-considered strategy for getting a larger share of the pie.