News & Highlights

  • 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.’’
  • April 2017
  • Working Knowledge

Professor Dennis Campbell and Turkasset

"Turkasset: Bringing Customer-Centricity to Debt Collection" is a case written by Professor Dennis Campbell (Accounting and Management) about a Turkish-based company pioneering a kinder, gentler method of collecting debt which could be an international model for others to follow. This Working Knowledge piece takes a deeper look at Professor Campbell's research on how Turkasset is being a debt resolver instead of just a debt collector.

New Research on the Region

  • 2017
  • Working Paper

When Exit is an Option: Effects of Indiscriminate Violence on Attitudes Among Syrian Refugees in Turkey

By: Kristin Fabbe, Chad Hazlett and Tolga Sinmazdemir

Most research on the effects of violence on civilian attitudes and behavior during civil war presumes that civilians are trapped in the conflict zone, with incumbents and insurgents competing for their loyalties. Yet in many cases - such as the current conflict in Syria, which we examine - large numbers of civilians leave the conflict zone, at least temporarily. How does indiscriminate violence affect civilian attitudes when exit is an option? Using a natural experiment owing to the inaccuracy of barrel bombs, we examine the effect of having one's home destroyed on a cluster of attitudes of Syrian refugees in Turkey related to their personal security, side-taking and social engagement. While losses from barrel bombing represent only one component of wartime harm, they nevertheless have profound effects. Specifically, civilians who lose a home to barrel bombing are more likely to see the Assad regime as a greater threat to themselves personally and to the whole of Syria. Such harm does not, however, increase civilians' support for the opposition, who failed to protect them. Instead we show that such violence increases parochial forms of solidarity and social engagement within the refugee community. Altogether this suggests that, when civilians can escape the conflict zone, they no longer need to choose sides as they seek safety, but rather may object to all armed groups. One implication of this logic is that for the armed groups - and particularly the incumbent in this case - indiscriminate violence may be a tragically effective tool for driving out populations that could have otherwise provided support and cover to the opposition. This argues for a "draining the sea" logic to indiscriminate violence, distinct from the logic described in the cases of captive civilian populations.

  • September 2017
  • Case

CyberArk: Protecting the Keys to the IT Kingdom

By: Raffaella Sadun, David Yoffie and Margot Eiran

CyberArk was the recognized leader in the Privileged Account Management (PAM) space, a cybersecurity sub-segment it had essentially created to secure organizations’ IT systems and sensitive data. Over 17 years the Israeli company had grown to a market capitalization of over $1.6 billion, with sales exceeding $217 million, and 900 global employees with a strong corporate culture. In May 2017, Udi Mokady, Founder, Chairman and CEO, debated how best to drive growth. He mulled over whether he should stay the course and remain focused on providing best of breed PAM for enterprises, both on-premise and in the cloud, or expand into new markets. Cyber threats were on the rise, which afforded numerous growth opportunities such as entering the broader identity management space, creating new products to protect critical infrastructure, and securing the burgeoning world of the Internet of Things (IoT). This case explores the company's competitive position, the challenges of sustaining its advantages in a highly competitive and consolidating industry, and whether it should pursue organic or inorganic growth, while maintaining company culture.

  • August 2017
  • Case

Turkish Economy Bank and Fortis Bank: Managing a Complex Merger

By: Stuart C. Gilson, Esel Çekin and Sarah L. Abbott

Following the announcement of the merger of the Turkish Economic Bank (TEB) and Fortis Bank AS, Varol Civil, TEB's CEO, is faced with the task of executing the merger of these two entities. First, all parties must agree to the economic terms of this merger; a process that is challenging due to the complex ownership structures of these banks. Second, Civil and his team must find a way to combine the operations of the banks. With meaningful overlap between the two franchises the potential for cost savings and synergies is significant. However, the risks involved are also significant.

See more research

Istanbul Staff

Esel Çekin
Executive Director
Yasemin Cagiltay
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