News & Highlights

  • June 2022

Creating Emerging Market Interview: Ouided Bouchamaoui

Ouided Bouchamaoui is CEO of Hédi Bouchamaoui Group (HBG Holding), former President of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade, and Handicrafts (UTICA), and Co-Founder of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, a civil society organization whose leaders won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015. In her interview, Bouchamaoui explains that her childhood was unusual in the broader context of growing up in the Arab and Muslim world a few decades ago. This interview is part of the Creating Emerging Markets project which provides a unique research and teaching resource on business leadership in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East over recent decades.
  • June 2022

Event with Professor Arthur Brooks: From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life

This June, the MENARC hosted a virtual event in collaboration with the HBS Clubs of Egypt, GCC, Lebanon, and Turkey featuring Professor Arthur C. Brooks, William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School. He shared his findings from his recent book From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life. Arthur talked about how his me-search project turned into a research project and how people could find purpose, meaning, and success as they age. More than 120 alumni and friends of HBS attended the webinar.
  • April 2022
  • Case Centennial

HBS Case Centennial Celebration: Untold Stories of Entrepreneurs from the Middle East

The MENA region has produced a multitude of entrepreneurial successes, including several unicorns. Over the years, the MENA Research Center has had the honor to turn some of these success stories, many featuring female protagonists, into HBS case studies. In the first part of this video series; Katherine B. Coffman, Associate Professor of Business Administration, talks about her experience with the BulkWhiz: Negotiating as a Startup Founder in the UAE case and Shikhar Ghosh, Professor of Management Practice in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit speaks about what made Instabeat—One More Lap? a great case for students.

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In the second part; Barbaros Özbugutu, Co-Founder and CEO of Iyzico, and Mikhail Lomtadze (MBA 2002), CEO & Chief Ecosystem Officer of, shared their experiences being HBS case protagonists.

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Learn more about the case method:

  • March 2022
  • Executive Education

Senior Executive Leadership Program—Middle East: Participant Perspective

Faced with a slew of challenges inherent to conducting business in a challenging part of the world, Muna Batayneh, director of operations at Engineering Enterprise Company, sought innovative approaches and strategies for addressing complex situations in Iraq. Muna's quest prompted her to apply to our Senior Executive Leadership Program—Middle East (SELPME). While on Harvard Business School campus for the program’s first module, she sat down with us to share her thoughts about her experience thus far.

New Research on the Region

  • July 2022 (Revised September 2022)
  • Case

Birla Carbon Egypt: Building Soft Power in a Foreign Country

By: Jeremy Friedman and Malini Sen

Birla Carbon, a flagship business of the nearly $60-billion global conglomerate and India-headquartered Aditya Birla Group (ABG), is one of the world's top manufacturers and suppliers of high-quality carbon black. The largest among its 16 manufacturing plants is Birla Carbon Egypt (BCE), situated in the port city of Alexandria. BCE started its operations in 1994, to become the first carbon black manufacturing unit in Egypt and the Middle East. Over three decades it has grown to become a leading exporter in the region, playing a significant role in the Egyptian economy. However, the journey has not been without its challenges as BCE has tackled political unrest and frequent changes in government, besides growing concerns about pollution. Given Egypt's recent volatile political history, would BCE be able to successfully continue to separate business from politics? More broadly, what would BCE's success or failure mean on a global scale? As India seeks to grow into a great power, how would its economic footprint abroad distinguish it from other great powers? Could BCE represent a new, Indian version of FDI?

  • July 2022
  • Teaching Material

Arçelik (A), (B): From a Dealer Network to an Omnichannel Experience

By: Ayelet Israeli, Fares Khrais and Menna Hassan

Arçelik Turkey, the country’s market leader in household appliances, was at an omnichannel crossroads in January 2020. Arçelik was a B2B player utilizing a dealership network with an umbrella of brands and had one of the largest brick-and-mortar store networks in Turkey. In 2015, Arçelik, which was focused on offline sales, realized that online demand was growing and they were behind the competition, which was intensified due to the entry of global household appliances brands and online marketplaces to Turkey. So, they decided on a company-wide omnichannel transformation scheduled to go-live by 2020. They faced resistance from both dealers and employees. While Arçelik tried to gain the dealers’ trust and buy-in, they experimented with one of their smaller brands on online marketplaces to learn more about e-commerce. In early 2020, Arçelik felt the squeeze as pressure mounted from the growing presence of marketplaces and online demand. They needed to find a way to cater to the online demand quickly while keeping their established partners happy.

  • June 2022
  • Case

The SAH Group: The Time is Right

By: Juan Alcacer and Alpana Thapar

In January 2021, Jalila Mezni, cofounder and CEO of the SAH Group, was preparing to present the company’s future growth plans to its board of directors. The Tunisian company was a leading producer and distributor of personal care and packaged hygiene products. In 2019, it expanded further by entering the detergents market. By 2020, the company employed over 4,500 people and had a presence in 20 African countries. The Lilas brand had become a household name in Tunisia, outperforming brands owned by global players like Procter and Gamble. In detergents, SAH was steadily gaining ground over multinational consumer goods companies like Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, and Henkel. As Mezni looked ahead, she had to carefully evaluate three growth opportunities: introducing a range of kitchen cleaners, vertically integrating operations in the detergents business, and opening a subsidiary in Kenya. Which of these, if any, would be the right way forward for the SAH Group at this juncture?

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Istanbul Staff

Esel Çekin
Executive Director
Yasemin Çağlar
Assistant Director, Educational Programs
Zeynep Mağgönül
Office Manager

Cairo Staff

Ahmed Dahawy
Research Associate

Dubai Staff

Alpana Thapar
Associate Director, Dubai
Fares Khrais
Research Associate

Tel Aviv Staff