News & Highlights

  • May 2020

Virtual Alumni Event with Professor Suraj Srinivasan

On May 8th, Alain Bejjani, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Holding and Professor Suraj Srinivasan, Philip J. Stomberg Professor of Business Administration in Accounting and Management, discussed crisis management during COVID-19 and the future outlook for the retail industry and the region in general. The webinar hosted over 180 alumni from the region.
  • MAY 2020

Virtual Alumni Event with Professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee

On May 28th, Hüsnü Özyeğin (MBA 1969), Murat Özyeğin (MBA 2003), and Professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit discussed the expected speed of recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. They also addressed opportunities during the downturn in the region. Over 170 alumni from the region attended.
  • FEBRUARY 2020

Offline Experiences in Omnichannel Retail with Professor Antonio Moreno

On February 11th, the MENA Research Center welcomed Professor Antonio Moreno, Sicupira Family Associate Professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit to Istanbul, Turkey. Professor Moreno gave a talk on Offline Experiences in Omnichannel Retail and led an interactive discussion with more than 20 HBS alumni and participants. The participation and energy of the attendees during the event made it a big success.
  • JULY 2019

MBA Voices: A Lebanese Student’s Experience—Meet Yazan Halwani, MBA Class of 2020

MBA Voices is Harvard Business School’s admissions blog. A collection of community perspectives on the blog provide prospective students with insight into life at HBS. In this interview, Lebanese student Yazan Halwani, MBA 2020, explains his journey to become one of the applicants admitted to the school.

New Research on the Region

  • Teaching Interest

Strategy and Technology (Elective Curriculum)

This course explores the unique aspects of creating effective management and investment strategies for technology-intensive businesses. What strategies can win in markets with strong network effects? How can firms leverage technology to build multi-sided platforms? How can firms create and capture value from intellectual property? What are the unique challenges of governing technology-intensive firms? And how can firms build and sustain competitive advantage in new, emerging technologies with high degrees of uncertainty? The course provides a series of concepts and frameworks which students can directly apply to strategic problems they may encounter post-graduation. We will study firms ranging from pre-revenue startups to large multinationals, and industries that include artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, cloud services, e-commerce, social networking, semiconductors, operating systems, streaming media, intellectual property, 5G wireless communications, voice assistants, electronic ink, virtual and augmented reality, video gaming, and blockchain.

  • April 7, 2020
  • Article
  • Russia in Global Affairs

The Pandemic and the Price of Power

  • April 2020
  • Case

The Board's Role in Refocusing Bahrain Development Bank

By: Paul M. Healy and Alpana Thapar

In March 2016, Bahrain Development Bank’s (BDB) existing board term came to an end and Khalid Al Rumaihi was appointed the new chairman. Determining a need for change, he immediately overhauled the board and replaced BDB’s long-standing CEO. The new board quickly concluded that BDB needed to refocus on its core business of lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and selected an experienced Bahraini corporate banker to implement this strategy. However, within six months, the new CEO resigned and the board had to once again look for a replacement. Expanding their search globally, they found Sanjeev Paul, a Singaporean with immense experience in SME lending, who was appointed CEO of BDB in May 2018. Over the next 20 months, with the board’s support, Paul headed an organization-wide revamp aimed at enabling the bank to refocus and achieve its mandate of supporting SMEs. By December 2019, the changes started to pay off; after three years of losses, BDB turned its first profit. However, Paul and the board recognized their work was far from over. BDB’s cost structure was higher than that of competition, they paid below-market salaries, and had an outdated core banking system. As Al Rumaihi looked ahead to his second term as chair, he wondered how the board could help Paul and his management team in addressing these challenges.

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Istanbul Staff

Esel Çekin
Executive Director
Youssef Abdel Aal
Research Associate
Yasemin Çağlar
Educational Programs Manager
Zeynep Mağgönül
Office Manager
Gamze Yücaoğlu
Assistant Director, Research

Dubai Staff

Alpana Thapar
Assistant Director, MENA Region
Fares Khrais
Research Associate

Tel Aviv Staff

Danielle Golan
Assistant Director