News & Highlights

  • JULY 2021
  • MBA EXPERIENCE

MBA Voices: A Moroccan Student’s Experience—Meet Nassima Belkadi, MBA Class of 2022

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, Moroccan student Nassima Belkadi, MBA 2022, shares her dream of empowering women in patriarchal societies.
  • JUNE 2021
  • EVENT

Book Launch Webinar with Professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee: Better, Simpler Strategy: A Value-Based Guide to Exceptional Performance

On June 15th, in collaboration with Harvard Business Review Turkey, the MENA Research Center virtually hosted Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit. Serdar Turan, Editor-in-Chief at HBR Turkey, and Esel Çekin, Executive Director of the MENA Research Center spoke with Professor Oberholzer-Gee about his new book, “Better, Simpler Strategy: A Value-Based Guide to Exceptional Performance.” Professor Oberholzer-Gee has provided a simple tool, the value stick, which every organization can use to make its strategy more effective and easier to execute. In the discussion he showed how executives in Turkey can use this tool to create a competitive advantage. More than 200 alumni and friends of HBS attended the webinar.
  • MAY 2021
  • EVENT

Webinar Series: Alumni Perspectives from Middle East & North Africa

This May and June the HBS MENA Research Center hosted panel discussions with fellow alumni in GCC, Lebanon, North Africa, Saudi Arabia and Turkey who shared their MBA experiences. The Center also had the privilege of hosting Professor Victoria Ivashina, the Lovett-Learned Chaired Professor of Finance and the Faculty Chair of the Global Initiative for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and Professor Juan Alcacer , James J. Hill Professor of Business Administration, who shared about the case method and participant-centered learning. The virtual panels gathered around 200 prospective students.
  • April 2021
  • EVENT

Virtual Event with Professor Ashley Whillans

On April 6th, in collaboration with the HBS Clubs of the GCC, Egypt, Lebanon, the MENA Research Center virtually hosted Professor Ashley Whillans, Assistant Professor of Business Administration. Professor Whillans shared her research findings from her recent book Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life. She talked about the causes and consequences of time poverty and touched upon the six research-based strategies for managing the minutes on the clock, all with the ultimate goal of enjoying both work and personal time. More than 150 alumni and friends of HBS attended the webinar.

New Research on the Region

  • September 2021
  • Case

TAV Airports: Acquiring Almaty International

By: Juan Alcacer and Esel Çekin

The case opens in April 2020 with Sani Şener, CEO of TAV Airports, a vertically integrated regional airport operator headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey, and his team discussing the pending acquisition of the Almaty International Airport in Kazakhstan. The company had been looking for ways to increase its revenues, which had shrunk by 35% in 2019 after the closing of its flagship airport in Istanbul. The business case for acquiring Almaty International was quite strong: it was an asset acquisition with no maturity, and it came with fuel and cargo operations, functions that were unaffected by the cyclicality of passenger traffic. But the world had changed significantly since TAV made a conditional offer of $415 million, outbidding all other interested parties in November 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the aviation industry had been facing unprecedented challenges, and passenger traffic in Almaty had dropped by around 40%. In the meantime, the seller of Almaty International was undeterred and pressed TAV to close the deal. Şener and the senior management team were at a critical juncture: they had to move ahead soon or risk missing out on an opportunity that had looked very bright pre-pandemic.

  • September 2021
  • Case

Sawiris Foundation for Social Development

By: Brian Trelstad and Alpana Thapar

Founded in 2001 by the Sawiris family, one of the wealthiest families in Egypt, the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development (SFSD) invested in human capital and provision of basic social services for the most marginalized Egyptians. In 2015, Noura Selim’s (MBA 2013) arrival triggered a series of changes related to the Foundation’s direct-grantmaking efforts, how SFSD evaluated the success of its programs, and the number and nature of partnerships it had with development finance institutions, the private sector, and the government. By June 2021, under Selim’s leadership, SFSD achieved success across several fronts. Selim nevertheless felt that the Foundation still had a long way to go in terms of fulfilling its goal to elevate Egypt’s education system. Comprised predominantly of public schools, the system delivered low quality education, and resulted in poor learning outcomes, which translated into high youth unemployment. She was in the process of crystalizing SFSD’s five-year strategy and wondered how she should balance the allocation of the Foundation’s time and financial resources to drive as much change in the education sector as possible.

  • September 2021
  • Teaching Material

Ensuring Your Family’s Future: The Alagil Family Office (B)

By: Lauren Cohen, Esel Çekin and Fares Khrais

See more research

Istanbul Staff

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

Dubai Staff

Alpana Thapar
Associate Director, Dubai
Fares Khrais
Research Associate

Tel Aviv Staff

Danielle Golan
Assistant Director