News & Highlights

  • May 2017

Adebayo Ogunlesi JD/MBA 1979 Receives 2017 Alumni Achievement Award

Born and raised in Nigeria, Adebayo Ogunlesi JD/MBA 1979 was one of six alumni who received the 2017 HBS Alumni Achievement Award, an important award given to HBS' most distinguished graduates since 1968. Today Ogunlesi runs Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), one of the world's leading investment funds focused on infrastructure, and manages a portfolio of projects around the world.
  • May 2017

MBA Admissions Director in Africa

It's outreach season for the HBS MBA Admissions team, and this year it meant that MBA Admissions Director, Chad Losee MBA 2013, had the opportunity to visit Africa for the first time. He brought HBS on the road, hosting well-attended prospective student events in Ghana, Nigeria and the Cote D'Ivoire. Later this summer he'll be making additional trips to both South Africa and Kenya.
  • March 2017
  • Alumni News

Nigeria's Iron Lady Goes Global

World Bank VP and Treasurer Arunma Oteh (MBA 1990) has a clear sense of why she likes her job: “You bring very sophisticated finance tools to tackle the world’s most challenging problems.” Originally from southeastern Nigeria, she grew up with Nigerians from several different ethnic groups in the country’s north, along with Indian, Chinese, European, and American expats. “My early exposure to people from diverse backgrounds is probably the reason I enjoy such environments,” says Oteh, who served for 17 years at the African Development Bank before her 2010 appointment as director general of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission.

New Research on the Region

  • September 2017
  • Case

Careem: Raising a Unicorn

By: Shikhar Ghosh and Alpana Thapar

This case follows two ex-McKinsey consultants, Magnus Olsson and Mudassir Sheikha, who in search of finding their true purpose decide to found Careem, a Dubai-based ride-hailing service. Following its launch in July 2012, Careem experiences rapid growth of 30 percent per month in the UAE and other countries in the MENA region, surpassing the co-founders’ expectations. However, as a result of such immense growth, the startup struggles with various operational and cultural organizational tensions. These challenges are described from the perspective of the founders and through the eyes of Deepika Thakur, one of the early employees. By 2014, in order to succeed in Saudi Arabia, the largest and most complex market in the Gulf, Olsson and Sheikha recognize the importance of finding a strong leader to head the Saudi operations. They have their sights on a specific German-Saudi entrepreneur, Abdulla Elyas, but he has so far declined both of their initial proposals to join Careem. In the backdrop, Uber has developed a successful track record in the West, raising close to $2 billion dollars globally, and has a growing presence in the UAE following its launch there in August 2013. Finding themselves at a crossroads, Olsson and Sheikha must figure out how to address several critical organizational issues, decide how to bring Elyas on board, and ensure a robust strategy to maintain its leadership position in the region.

  • September 2017
  • Case

Becton Dickinson: Creating Shared Value by Advancing Global Health

By: Mark R. Kramer and Sarah Mehta

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) was a medical technology firm headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, with 43,000 employees and 2016 revenues of $12.5 billion. For several years, the company had pursued development of products that created shared value, defined as those that both generated profits and created positive social impact. One of the primary ways the company advanced such products was through establishing and maintaining public-private partnerships (PPPs) with governmental or non-governmental organizations. In June 2017, Gary Cohen, an Executive Vice President of BD, and Renuka Gadde, Vice President of BD’s Global Health function, were deeply engaged in a six-year PPP to bring a new low-cost labor and delivery tool called the Odon Device to market. This device had the potential to avert hundreds of thousands of maternal and newborn deaths, primarily in low-resource settings. Although they had faced many challenges in bringing together multiple organizations to develop and launch the device, Cohen and Gadde were convinced that BD’s ability to collaborate with governments and international agencies to address urgent global health needs was a source of competitive advantage for the company. Through these collaborations, BD had strengthened important external relationships and developed a distinctive corporate strategy for its expansion in emerging markets. Cohen, Gadde, and the BD Global Health team were also working to construct a framework for measuring both the social and financial impact of the company’s shared value initiatives, starting with the BD Odon Device. Cohen believed that creating shared value was “fundamentally a better way to do business,” but he wanted hard data to demonstrate the full economic and social benefit of BD’s shared value initiatives. The competition for internal capital and the challenges of taking on new types of products meant that any shared value initiative required a rigorous business case and clear indicators of social impact.

  • August 2017
  • Case

Hilti (A): Fleet Management?

By: Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, Oliver Gassmann and Roman Sauer

This case explores the strategic decision-making process of premium power tools manufacturer Hilti in 1999, when the company was considering implementing a fleet management system in the construction industry. Fleet management would involve a shift from selling power tools to leasing them as a service. For Hilti, it represented an entirely new business model, which would substantially differentiate the company from its competitors. While fleet management had the potential to significantly improve the customer experience, Hilti was already a successful firm under its extant model, and had to decide whether the restructuring of its business model was worth the risk.

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Johannesburg Staff

Pippa Tubman Armerding