News & Highlights

  • JULY 2017
  • EVENTS

Professor Joshua Margolis Leads Case Study in Tel Aviv for Alumni

On July 3rd over 30 alumni gathered in the AOL office in Tel Aviv to participate in a lively case study led by Professor Joshua Margolis about leadership and change management. Margolis taught his case "Ron Johnson: A Career in Retail" about Ron Johnson's successful career with Target and Apple, and his unsuccessful attempt to turnaround JCPenny. The case included a video of Ron Johnson speaking with HBS students, filmed when the case was first taught on campus. The ensuing discussion explored a framework on how to diagnose, design and deliver change in an organization.
  • May 2017
  • Center News

HBS MENARC Team Outreach: Oman, Egypt, Lebanon and Kuwait

Researchers from the HBS Middle East and North Africa Research Center travelled to Oman in January to meet with the CEOs and senior executives of Omani corporations to generate leads for new cases. These efforts were continued in March with Gamze Yucaoglu (MENARC Assistant Director, Research ) and Alpana Thapar (MENARC Assistant Director) returning to Egypt to connect with HBS alumni and local business executives, as well as promote the Global Colloquium (GloColl) on Participant-Centered Learning at the American University in Cairo. That same month, the remaining members of the MENARC team travelled to Lebanon to further their understanding of the local business environment, as well as meet with the deans of the Lebanese American University and the American University of Beirut. More recently, Esel Cekin (MENARC Executive Director) and Yasemin Cagiltay (MENARC Educational Programs Manager) visited Kuwait to attend the 3rd annual HBS admissions event and discuss the GloColl program with the dean and faculty of Kuwait University, in addition to generating case leads.
  • April 2017
  • Admissions

HBS Admissions Event in Kuwait

On April 17th, HBS hosted the 3rd annual MBA admissions event in Kuwait. The event featured keynote speaker, Samer Khanachet (MBA ’75), COO of KIPCO Group, as well as a talk by Professor Brian J. Hall, Albert H. Gordon Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Attendees were given the opportunity to have their HBS questions regarding the MBA and Executive Education Programs answered during a Q&A with HBS representatives and an HBS alumni panel of accomplished MENA business professionals.

Professor Hall shared his thoughts on the event; ‘’The event in Kuwait was fantastic. The attendees included a broad range of people from the Kuwait business society, including prospective MBA candidates, and were amazingly engaged with the speakers and panelists. It was HBS at its best.’’

New Research on the Region

  • October 2017
  • Case

Bitfury: Blockchain for Government

By: Mitchell Weiss and Elena Corsi

In the Republic of Georgia, legend had it their land was a precious gift from God he had intended to keep for his mother. But over time, the land had been under intermittent threat from without and within. In 2017, the Bitfury Group, which Valery Vavilov had co-founded, had helped publish 300,000 Georgian land titles onto the blockchain, making them immutable and, many believed, unhackable.  What came next, Vavilov’s team envisioned, were smart purchase and sale contracts via the blockchain; and from there, a full suite of property-related services and, eventually, blockchain as the foundation for a transformation in government services. Vavilov, who had co-founded Bitfury and expanded it substantially from its bitcoin mining roots, felt a blockchain-driven makeover of this sort would take place not just in Georgia's government, but around the world. It was not a matter of "if?" anymore; although that still left the question of "when?"

  • September 2017
  • Teaching Material

Actera Group: Investing in Mars Cinema Group (A)

By: Victoria Ivashina and Eren Kuzucu

In summer of 2010, Murat Çavuşoğlu (HBS MBA 1994) led private equity firm Actera Group’s investment in Mars Cinema Group (Mars), the leading movie exhibitor in Turkey. Immediately after acquiring Mars and merging it with the second larger player in the market, AFM, Çavuşoğlu focused on institutionalizing and implementing value creation work streams in Mars. While transforming an entrepreneurial company into an institutionalized firm, Çavuşoğlu established adjacent businesses such as movie advertising and ticket sales. The most recent step in transforming Mars was to establish a movie distribution arm, which would help the company to monitor and manage the seasonal cycles, enhance the appeal for investors in the exit, and improve the valuation. However, while Çavuşoğlu was laying out the plans for his next move with movie distribution in 2014, Turkey’s Council of State, the highest administrative court in the country, had decided to cancel the approval for the merger of Mars and AFM, putting all of Actera’s efforts on Mars at risk. Should Çavuşoğlu push the stop button for distribution? If Çavuşoğlu decided to move forward with distribution, should he do it now or wait until the process with Turkey’s judiciary and regulatory authorities cleared out?

  • September 2017
  • Teaching Material

Actera Group: Investing in Mars Cinema Group (B)

By: Victoria Ivashina and Eren Kuzucu

In summer of 2010, Murat Çavuşoğlu (HBS MBA 1994) led private equity firm Actera Group’s investment in Mars Cinema Group (Mars), the leading movie exhibitor in Turkey. Immediately after acquiring Mars and merging it with the second larger player in the market, AFM, Çavuşoğlu focused on institutionalizing and implementing value creation work streams in Mars. While transforming an entrepreneurial company into an institutionalized firm, Çavuşoğlu established adjacent businesses such as movie advertising and ticket sales. The most recent step in transforming Mars was to establish a movie distribution arm, which would help the company to monitor and manage the seasonal cycles, enhance the appeal for investors in the exit, and improve the valuation. However, while Çavuşoğlu was laying out the plans for his next move with movie distribution in 2014, Turkey’s Council of State, the highest administrative court in the country, had decided to cancel the approval for the merger of Mars and AFM, putting all of Actera’s efforts on Mars at risk. Should Çavuşoğlu push the stop button for distribution? If Çavuşoğlu decided to move forward with distribution, should he do it now or wait until the process with Turkey’s judiciary and regulatory authorities cleared out?

See more research

Istanbul Staff

Esel Çekin
Executive Director
Yasemin Çağlar
Educational Programs Manager
Eren Kuzucu
Research Associate
Zeynep Maggonul
Administrative Office Manager
Gamze Yucaoglu
Assistant Director - Research

Dubai Staff

Alpana Thapar
Assistant Director, MENA Region

Tel Aviv Staff

Margot Eiran
Assistant Director