In the news 2017

Distribution market: Gulf News

According to Amr Goussous, Partner with Strategy&, Middle East telecom operators need to prepare for a new wave of merger and acquisitions (M&A). In the near future, operators will more actively go after regional or global firms in the expanding information and communications technologies (ICT) sector.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

According to Strategy& Principal Bruno Wehbe, land owners in the Middle East need a new approach to manage their holdings. Whether governments or private owners, they need to reap value rather than holding onto land as long as possible. This is an unfamiliar strategy for many owners, which they will need to implement systematically to generate the maximum possible value.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates​

Strategy& Partner Karl Nader writes that the retail landscape in the GCC is changing thanks to growing online activity, characterised by the entrance of new online players. For example, Amazon recently acquired the Middle East online retailer Souq.com and Mohamed Alabbar’s multi-category retailer noon.com is scheduled to launch later this year.

 

Distribution market: Saudi Arabia 

According to Strategy& Partner Samer Bohsali, Principal Sevag Papazian, and fellow at the Ideation Center Melissa Rizk, the GCC can truly benefit from sharing economy platforms by tapping into underexploited human resources and assets. GCC consumers spent $10.7 billion on sharing economy platforms in 2016, generating an estimated $1.7 billion in revenues for these platforms.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

According to Jad Hajj, Partner with Strategy&, the technology industry seems to have plenty of growth opportunities. More Middle East organizations are adopting cloud computing, while the Internet of Things (IoT, the network of connected devices) is altering the face of business. Yesterday’s science fiction is becoming today’s business reality, whether in the form of drones, autonomous trucks, virtual reality, or digital assistants. The massive growth in demand for digital technology does not, however, on its own mean secure profits for technology firms. 

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

According to Samer Bohsali, Partner with Strategy&, GCC governments need to continuously reskill their workforce to embrace the latest technologies. The digital sector tends to change rapidly because of continuously emerging new technologies that redefine the way business is done, which is less often the case in traditional jobs. Creating a digital workforce of continuous learners is key to drive the success of national transformation plans.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

According to Strategy& Partner Samer Bohsali, the GCC countries have ambitious targets to move away from their dependence on oil. National plans like Saudi Vision 2030 and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 require leaps of efficiency across their whole economies. Digitisation, driven by a local, skilled, and adaptable workforce, is one of the key enablers required to reach these objectives.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy& Partner Samer Bohsali and Principal Sevag Papazian write that more and more GCC consumers are using mobile applications to book taxi rides and accommodation at a touch of their screen. These applications are part of the sharing economy, the latest digital evolution, which allows people to buy or rent goods and services directly from each other. The sharing economy creates markets from previously underused assets, such as rooms in private houses and seats in cars, turning them into accommodation and journeys. It can also provide much-needed flexible jobs and promote digital innovation.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

Strategy& Principal Bilal Mikati writes that the rising demand for education in the GCC is driving an investment boom in the sector. The number of announced private equity transactions and mergers and acquisitions in education increased three-fold in the past decade, which resulted in the sector ranking second in private equity transactions of all sectors in the Middle East from 2011 to 2015.

 

Distribution market: Saudi Arabia

Strategy& Partner Karl Nader writes that the food and beverage sector in the GCC is developing, due to consumers’ changing tastes, increased women participation in the workforce and a government push for healthier diets. For food and beverage companies, understanding these trends and how they affect consumer purchases can help unlock growth.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

Strategy& Partner Karl Nader writes that Fit for Growth book was authored by three of the firm’s principals to describe the result of “an evolution” in their work. The book does not offer — even by the standards of books on management — a particularly gripping narrative. In short, it is a reference guide in three parts (a brief introduction to the concept, a manager’s guide, and a few afterthoughts on the “human element” and keeping up morale) that offers decision-makers access to insights and practices which Strategy& developed over years of strategic consulting.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

According to Ramzi Khoury, Principal with Strategy&, telecom operators can position themselves to take advantage of the growing drones market in the GCC. Drones are becoming increasingly popular as they can help companies in diverse sectors transform their operations and make better decisions, such as through gathering and analysing data or by conducting deliveries. As a result, the drones market is expanding at a rapid pace in the GCC, and could be worth $1.5 billion by 2022.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

Strategy& Partner Haroon Sheikh writes that the countries of the GCC spend roughly $130bn a year on defence, far more than any other states as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). Geopolitical uncertainties in the region mean that high spending is likely to continue. Yet because the region lacks defence manufacturing capabilities, most of that money goes to foreign companies and contractors. GCC governments remain customers for defence technology, rather than its designers and developers.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

According to Strategy& Partner Karl Nader companies in the GCC are facing mounting pressures. Operating expenses are rising, driven by the requirement to hire local staff instead of expats, and increasing regulatory changes. Margins are shrinking as multinationals take over more activities from their local partners. Moreover, revenues are declining due to an overall increase in competition and the slowdown in economic growth.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy& Partner Alessandro, Principal Marwan Bejjani, and Manager Tarek Khalifa write that airports and airlines are made for each other. They excel at coordinating to get their millions of shared customers safely from place to place. However, they do not work together well in other areas that could boost revenues, lower costs, improve efficiencies and enhance the customer experience.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

According to Strategy& Partner Per-Ola Karlsson, the firm analysed 2,500 leading public corporations around the world over the past 10 years. The period of time and the number of data points throws up interesting trends. One of the key findings of the current report is an increase on the number of CEOs let go for “ethical lapses” — not necessarily their own, but within their organisations.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy& Partner Fadi Adra and Manager Valerie Jambart explain the need for systems to protect children at school and at home has been highlighted by the number of child abuse cases reported to the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children last year, a consultancy says. Last year, the foundation handled 62 cases, down from 69 in 2015. Since its inception in 2007, it has handled more than 500 cases.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Jad Hajj, Partner with Strategy&, writes that the demise of the SIM card will mean that telecom companies will lose control of connectivity, with important implications for consumers, device manufacturers, mobile network operators, and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), which buy network capacity from telecom operators and then sell it to consumers.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Family businesses in the Gulf Cooperation Council are major forces in regional philanthropy, supporting a wide range of causes. And as they undergo important internal changes, with new generations taking control, these businesses can increase the impact they have in their communities by modernising traditional philanthropic approaches.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates 

Strategy&’s Principal Sevag Papzian writes that Digitalisation has become an imperative for companies worldwide. The smart adoption of technology and exploitation of the data it generates can help companies reinvent their business model, achieve major operational and cost efficiencies, and become more relevant to their customers.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab 

Serge Eid, Manager at Strategy& writes that with incomes in the region rising and new infrastructure being built, GCC countries are enjoying higher standards of living. As consumption levels increase in both shops and online, key actions need to be taken to safeguard GCC consumers from fraud, misinformation and other possible threats.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy&’s Principal Nikhil Idnani writes that GCC healthcare has significant potential for investment in R&D. The demand for new hospitals, clinics and medical services is growing, and the GCC governments are expected to spend and invest significantly more in the sector by 2020.

 

Distribution market: Saudi Arabia

Strategy&’s Partner Georges Chehade, Principal Olaf Schirmer and Director Manish Mahanjan write that to reduce bureaucracy, GCC companies can use the Bureaucracy Measurement Index (BMI), recently launched by Strategy&,. Developed in the Middle East for the first time, the Index provides a quantitative means to assess the level of bureaucracy within a company, compares it to competitors and highlights problem areas. The result is a fact-based recommendation how bureaucracy should be treated best.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy&’s Partners Hilal Halaoui and Salim Ghazaly write that Gulf countries are engaged in a determined effort to diversify their economies away from oil production and the exploitation of natural resources. At the same time, they are also actively working to address other economic challenges, including job creation and growing demand for quality public services.

 

Distribution market: United Arab Emirates

Strategy&’s Partner Fadi Adra and Manager Valerie Jambart write that with the passage of a major child protection law in the UAE in 2016 and with other steps being taken by Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, a crucial area of social policy in the GCC is receiving the attention it deserves. Progress will be even faster, however, if the region’s governments put in place a systematic approach to the prevention, detection and management of child abuse within a comprehensive national framework.

 

Distribution market: Pan Arab

According to Strategy&’s Partner Samer Bohsali, 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.