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Gulf shoppers trim spending and turn to online retailers to save cash
September 7, 2022

More than half of the consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia say they’re cutting back on spending, amid rising inflation and an increase in the cost of basic goods. A study by McKinsey, the management consulting firm, found the number of people who shop for products online has doubled in the past two years, with 42 percent receiving online deliveries at least once per week, including groceries, household cleaning products, consumer electronics and clothing.

From applied AI to edge computing 14 tech trends to watch
August 28, 2022

Over the past few years, the use of applied artificial intelligence, which recorded an investment of $165 billion in 2021 according to McKinsey, has emerged across various industries and business functions. From 2018 to 2021, it scored the highest innovation scores for all the trends that McKinsey studied. With AI capabilities such as machine learning, computer vision and natural-language processing, companies in all industries can use data and derive insights to automate activities, add or augment capabilities and make better decisions.

Working From a Tropical Island Is the New Working From Home
Jun 30, 2022

“It’s a growing segment but will remain a ‘niche’ segment,” said Margaux Constantin, a partner at McKinsey & Co. who leads the firm’s work in tourism. The potential for high spending on longer-than-average trips makes business-leisure travelers an attractive market, she said. “It’s not surprising to see that some destinations are actively prioritizing this segment as part of their tourism strategy.”

Awareness is the biggest obstacle to using NFTs, Web3 and metaverse, experts say
Jun 29, 2022

The biggest challenge facing regulators and players in the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and Web3 platforms is educating users, experts have said. “Most often, we find that people judge this world of cryptos and metaverse based on external experiences, rather than from within. You will not understand it unless you are fully immersed in this ecosystem,” Marwan Al Zarouni, chief executive of the Dubai Blockchain Centre, said at DIFC FinTech Week in Dubai on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the metaverse is a digital space that allows users to communicate and move virtually in their three-dimensional avatars or digital representations. It is part of Web3 and projected to reach $5 trillion by 2030, according to a recent report by McKinsey & Company.

A single job skillset will not cut it any longer when it comes to ecommerce
Jun 20, 2022

Many jobs will be transformed by technology in the next decade – potentially over 1 billion globally, according to the OECD. In the MENA region and Pakistan, McKinsey predicts, 17 percent of jobs could cease to exist by 2030. However, technology will also create jobs – 12 million more by 2025, the World Economic Forum says. This changing landscape presents huge opportunities for reskilling and upskilling people for future-facing roles.

Metaverse market to reach $5tn by 2030, McKinsey finds
Jun 16, 2022

The metaverse, which is being seen as the future of business and human interaction, is projected to reach USD5 trillion by 2030, according to the latest report from McKinsey & Company. E-commerce, which has grown significantly because of the coronavirus pandemic in the past two years, is poised to make up more than half of the metaverse market at USD2.6 trillion, the consultancy said in Value Creation in the Metaverse. It will be followed by virtual learning, advertising, and gaming. “The metaverse represents a strategic inflection point for companies. It presents a significant opportunity to influence the way we live, connect, learn, innovate, and collaborate,” Eric Hazan, senior partner at McKinsey, said.

Companies are hacking their way around the chip shortage
Jun 1, 2022

As the global chip shortage stretches toward the two-year mark, manufacturers are pulling some unusual tricks to keep production lines moving. Carmakers are using semiconductors taken from washing machines, rewriting code to use less silicon, and even shipping their products without some chips while promising to add them in later. With the shortage of semiconductors now a new normal, everyone is being forced to adapt. “There’s desperation in the market,” says Bill Wiseman, a senior partner at the consulting firm McKinsey. “If you’re building a USD350,000 mass spectrometer, and you can’t ship it because you don’t have a 50-cent chip, you’re pretty much willing to pay anything,” Wiseman adds.

How a visually impaired talented Saudi realized her full potential
May 29, 2022

According to Ebtehal Alnasser, earning a place in our Qimam Fellowship برنامج قمم was a particularly transformative experience, which helped redefine her life goals. “I had the opportunity to connect with inspiring CEOs through the fellowship,” she said. “One of the guest speakers that came to deliver a talk about their personal journey was especially inspiring for me. They also had a disability... I found it fascinating that I could connect with someone of his caliber and start to build my network with inspirational thought leaders that I met through Qimam.”

AI can unlock $1tn a year in value for banks, McKinsey says
May 25, 2021

The adoption of artificial intelligence technology could potentially deliver up to $1 trillion in additional value each year for banks, according to global consultancy McKinsey. AI technology is expected to boost revenue through the increased personalisation of customer services and lower costs due to the efficiency gains of higher automation, fewer errors and better resource use. “As customers conduct a growing share of their daily transactions through digital channels, they are becoming accustomed to the ease, speed and personalised service offered by digitally native [companies], and their expectations of banks are rising,” said senior partner Renny Thomas.

Why positive change in Middle East starts with bringing women into the work force
May 17, 2022

According to a 2020 study by management consulting firm McKinsey and Co., “increased female participation in professional and technical jobs can turbo-charge economic growth in a region that will be significantly impacted by the Fourth Industrial Revolution — making their participation all the more critical.” McKinsey emphasized four indicators that correlated with women’s participation in professional and technical jobs: Education, financial inclusion, digital inclusion, and legal protection.

McKinsey report: Designers are critical to business performance, but there’s a big catch
May 4, 2022

The business community has long understood that a healthy design team is critical to a healthy business, and research suggests that companies with strong design investment can grow revenue at twice the rate of industry peers. McKinsey & Co. published a new report that provides insight into why some design teams tend to make a bigger impact inside and outside their company than others. After studying data from 3 million designers across more than 100,000 design departments, McKinsey came to a perhaps surprising conclusion: The size of a design team alone does not dictate a company’s performance. Instead, McKinsey argues that success is born from folding designers into larger teams and operations in a business. That structure was the most important factor in determining design’s impact on business.

PCR podcast a battle for the future of banking
April 21, 2022

PCR, a special limited series by The National in which we try to make sense of the numbers and answer important questions on the post-Covid recovery. Episode 8: digitisation and the future of banking after Covid-19 Digital and online banking have already been steadily rising in recent years, but the pandemic introduced large-scale, full-speed uptake. In some instances, we’ve seen a 200 per cent jump in new mobile banking registrations. Guest: Georgi Konov, partner at McKinsey and Co, digital, distribution, and retail banking.

Stripe, Alphabet, Meta, Shopify and McKinsey to invest $925m in carbon removal technology
April 12, 2022

FinTech company Stripe, e-commerce firm Shopify, consultancy McKinsey and technology companies Alphabet and Meta have teamed up to launch Frontier, an advance market commitment (AMC) to accelerate the development of permanent carbon removal technology. The founding companies will invest nearly $925 million over the next nine years to purchase permanent carbon removal solutions from manufacturers worldwide, they said on Tuesday.

The anatomy of the net-zero transition
March 13, 2022

Now that addressing climate change has become a top priority worldwide, economic policymakers and corporate strategists alike are embracing sustainability goals — most notably, “net-zero” greenhouse-gas emissions. But what will it take to get there? In a new McKinsey Global Institute report, my co-authors and I aim to answer this question. “Achieving this target will involve profound economic and societal shifts, affecting countries, companies and communities” said by Mekala Krishnan, partner at McKinsey in the Middle East.

International Women’s Day: Women’s economic inclusion holds promise of a prosperous Arab region
March 7, 2022

Chiara Marcati, a partner at McKinsey & Company, said businesses greatly benefit from gender diversity in leadership positions, with more diversity going hand in hand with higher organizational effectiveness. She added that McKinsey research has identified several kinds of leadership behavior that correlate strongly with organizational effectiveness. “It’s our duty to set an example for the next generation of women — our daughters, nieces and friends — and ensure there is a path to success.”

Roadmap to net zero: Who will pay for the $3.5 trillion transition?
February 7, 2022

Dr Jonathan Woetzel, Senior Partner at McKinsey and Director McKinsey Global Institute, explains the way forward. Khaleej Times spoke with Dr Woetzel on McKinsey’s recent survey on the net-zero transition in 2050 and sustainability. [Interviewer:] The net-zero transition in 2050 will require an additional $3.5 (Dh12.86) trillion. Where will this money come from? [Jonathan:] A key question arising from the net-zero transition is one of “who pays”. Various aspects to consider include…

50 Most Powerful Businesswomen
February 1, 2022

Senior partner Rima Assi named one of the 50 Most Powerful Businesswomen in the Middle East by Forbes. Rima is the managing partner of McKinsey's office in Abu Dhabi. She advises leaders, policymakers, and governments on transforming fiscal-management and investment programs, enabling sustainable economic growth in the region. Rima is also an active advocate of gender diversity and leads McKinsey’s diversity and inclusion efforts in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa.

McKinsey: Net-zero transition will cost $275 trillion globally by 2050
January 25, 2022

The net-zero transition will cost $275 trillion globally by 2050 as low-emission activities are ramped up and high-emissions activities decrease, according to a new report from consultancy McKinsey & Company. The increase in capital spending on physical assets for energy and land-use equates to an average $9.2tn per year or an increase of $3.5tn on today’s annual spending, McKinsey found in its latest study: The net-zero transition: What it would cost, what it could bring. “The net-zero transition will amount to a massive economic transformation,” said Mekala Krishnan, a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute and lead author of the report.

Executives expect new business lines to drive half of future revenues
January 18, 2022

The latest global study by McKinsey & Company has revealed that business leaders are on average expecting half of their company’s revenues will be derived from new products, services or businesses by 2026, with one in five considering new business building their foremost priority. “There is a shift in the mindset of many MENA groups,” said Dubai-based McKinsey senior partner Ahmed Youssef. “They understand that what has gotten them the growth in the past decade won’t necessarily get them the growth they aspire for in the next decade. This has led them to explore the incubation of and investment in new businesses to fuel more inclusive and sustainable growth.”

Economic recovery ‘like no other’: IMF, McKinsey, OECD experts tell PCR podcast series
December 23, 2021

A crisis like no other, followed by a fast economic rebound, creating an unprecedented situation that is affecting all sectors and countries. That is the assessment shared by some of the world’s leading business and economics experts about the post-Covid-19 economic recovery in a new podcast series by The National. Martin Hirt, senior partner at McKinsey and Co, described the unique nature of the crisis and the recovery. “It's very visible now that this has been a light-switch-economy type of crisis, where it has been shut down faster than any economic crisis in history. But at the same time, it almost instantly recovered when the lockdowns were ended, when people were able and willing to move around again,” he said.

Executives have ‘positive expectations’ for 2022, despite pandemic, inflation concerns McKinsey
December 23, 2021

Company executives around the globe have positive expectations for 2022, with relatively upbeat outlooks for the global economy and their countries, despite concerns around the risks of the new Covid-19 variant and rising inflation, according to the latest McKinsey Global Survey.

Physical, mental health issues named top cause of US unemployment
December 13, 2021

According to McKinsey’s latest American Opportunity Survey, nearly half of jobless workers canvassed said health issues were the main cause of their unemployment, with 30 percent saying they had to leave work because of physical health issues, and 15 percent citing mental health issues.

In the age of AI, here’s how to unlock sustainable inclusive growth in the Middle East’s job market
December 7, 2021

“Youth in the MENAP region are as bright and talented as youth anywhere in the world. Creating opportunities for half a billion young people to productively engage matters for the region’s prosperity and for the global economy,” observes Gassan Al-Kibsi, Managing Partner at McKinsey Middle East. “We hope this report helps contribute to a stimulating dialogue with public- and private-sector leaders that focuses on game-changing opportunities that could truly make a difference for young people in the next 20 years.”

Global banking industry records divergence in performance post Covid-19, report says
December 3, 2021

The valuation gap between leading banking institutions and those trailing behind is widening, a new report by management consultancy McKinsey has said. Banks are splitting into “rock star” performers and “utility-like” laggards, based on their total returns to shareholders, said the 11th McKinsey Global Banking Review report, which revealed great divergence in industry performance with time running out for poorly performing companies to adapt business models and catch up. “The outlook for the industry remains clouded with half of banks not covering their cost of equity,” McKinsey said in the report.

Global fashion sales set to surpass 2019 levels by up to 8% in 2022
December 2, 2021

Global fashion sales are set to surpass 2019 levels by 3 percent to 8 percent in 2022, according to McKinsey and fashion media company The Business of Fashion. The industry’s recovery is set to be strongest across China and the US, with Europe lagging behind, according to the report, which interviewed top industry executives and surveyed more than 220 international fashion executives and experts. Supply chain pressures will be the main challenge for the industry, posing a risk to the pace of the recovery, with 49 percent of fashion executives citing supply chain disruptions as the leading factor that could impact their businesses in 2022, the report found.

The world is hiring more women and here’s why that’s a good thing for economies
November 30, 2021

One in three women are planning to downshift their career or leaving the workforce entirely this year, a 2021 analysis by global research consultant McKinsey and other research firms worldwide showed, compared to last year’s figure of one in four women worldwide. But things have been changing for the better, and still is. Adding more women to the labor force should bring larger economic gains than an equal increase in male workers, the report indicated. This is because the global economy is characterized by high unemployment rates for both men and women, but the percentage is higher among women. Such themes are also echoed in McKinsey’s "Delivering through diversity" report.

To Future-Proof Healthcare, Collaboration Between The Public And Private Sectors Is Key
November 30, 2021

A recent Entrepreneur Middle East Live webinar held in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention looked into how healthcare delivery has been reimagined post the COVID-19 crisis. Ahmed Osman, Associate Partner, McKinsey MENA, added that the UAE was among the first countries in the world to start asking about the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and how to make sure that the country bounces back quickly. "The pandemic is obviously a humanitarian crisis that has created unprecedented challenges across the globe, urging everyone to mobilize quickly, and to figure out the costs later,” Osman explained.

McKinsey & Company launches Forward in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey
November 28, 2021

McKinsey & Company announced the launch of its regional flagship virtual platform, “Forward”, a one-of-a-kind learning program for young professionals in the first years of their career. Rakan, one of the Forward alumni, said, “Forward teaches you simple things, but they’re so effective, and when you learn them, you just think: ‘Why hasn’t anyone taught me this before? Why didn’t I learn them in school or university? They’re such crucial skills.” Viktor Hediger, Senior Partner at McKinsey, shares, “Forward offers a transformational experience for young leaders at a very critical point in their career, their first or second job, where they need the most guidance. In this fast-changing world of work, these young people have the power to shape the future for themselves and others around them”.

McKinsey & Company launch the third edition of the Qiyada Emerging Leaders program
November 10, 2021

McKinsey & Company has launched the third edition of the Qiyada Emerging Leaders program – a one-year journey that helps young leaders in Abu Dhabi realize their potential through a selection of in-person workshops, immersion sessions, one-on-one coaching, and digital-learning courses. Unlike traditional leadership development programs focused on technical skills, the Qiyada Emerging Leaders program offers an immersive learning experience of self-discovery, self-definition, and self-shaping. It has been designed for promising leaders committed to shaping and driving the ambitious transformation underway in the UAE’s capital.

Business travel to reach two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels in 2022 led by Asia and Mideast
November 3, 2021

Global business travel is expected to reach two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year, with the revival led by Asia and the Middle East, after the sector was disproportionately hit by the COVID-19 crisis, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. While the segment will bounce back, the recovery will be uneven, making public-private partnerships even more important in the months and years ahead, the WTTC said in a report in collaboration with McKinsey.

Global payments industry to bounce back from pandemic-induced contraction this year
October 11, 2021

The global payments industry posted its first contraction in 11 years in 2020 but is poised to quickly return to its long-term growth trajectory, according to management consultant company McKinsey & Company’s annual sector report. “The relatively muted 2020 top-line numbers mask some important countervailing effects, however, which are poised to re-set the scale of opportunity for payments players for years to come. The pandemic accelerated ongoing declines in cash usage and adoption of electronic and e-commerce transaction methods,” McKinsey said.

The world’s economic recovery is bound to be uneven but let's make it minimally so
September 21, 2021

In the next two decades, about 127 million young people will enter the workforce in the region, facing an unemployment rate of 23 percent, says consulting firm McKinsey. At the same time, nearly 29 million jobs are at risk of being displaced by 2030 because of automation. Solutions to this will need to involve lowering barriers and thinking beyond borders. An emerging talent pool of this scale is also a rare opportunity. The danger is that extremists will also view a disaffected and disenfranchised generation as fertile recruiting ground.

Saudi consumers ready for pre-pandemic levels of shopping and travel, survey finds
September 20, 2021

About 72 percent of consumers in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s biggest economy, are optimistic that the kingdom’s economy will rebound within two to three months despite the impact of the pandemic, according to a survey by global consultancy McKinsey in March this year. Saudi Arabia’s swift response to the Covid-19 pandemic has softened the blow of the global crisis on the country, which is expected to grow 2.4 per cent this year and 4.8 per cent in 2022, the International Monetary Fund said.

What Are The Business Opportunities For Arab Youth In MENA
September 16, 2021

The Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan (MENAP) is one of the world’s youngest regions, with nearly 60% of its population—or almost 350 million—under the age of 30, according to new data by McKinsey. In McKinsey’s latest report, “Opportunity Youth,” the consultancy argues that the contribution, innovation, and full participation of the region’s youth in the economy, could double MENAP’s economic output and increase job opportunities by 50%.

Bahrain’s cashless payments surge to $3.62bn in first half of 2021
September 7, 2021

Reforms to open banking are expected to have broad ramifications for the payments business, according to a recent survey from McKinsey, published in 23 August. When respondents to the survey were asked what government- or regulator-driven action would be most effective in steering customers to digital payments, 27 percent nominated regulatory approval for open banking. In 2018, Bahrain made a leap forward in the financial services sector, issuing open banking rules, followed by a framework with guidelines on data sharing and governance in 2020.

How Middle East and North African countries can give young populations a crack at prosperity
September 3, 2021

In a report published in August titled “Opportunity Youth: Imagining a bright future for the next generation,” McKinsey’s Middle East office outlined seven “game-changing opportunities and ideas” that could help create more than 100 million jobs and double the region’s economic output. “When we set out to write this report, we went into this knowing that there are many challenges in the region,” Tom Isherwood, senior partner at McKinsey, told Arab News. “There are so many issues that are affecting youth today and the youth that will enter the labor force in the next 20 years. However, there are also big opportunities for them and the region as a whole that have not been written about in the same way.”

Game-changers needed to secure future for youth, new report says
August 12, 2021

Increasing access to early childhood education enrollment and reskilling and upskilling existing workers, are some of the ways in which governments across the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan (Menap) region can help unlock opportunity for the youth over the coming two decades. A new report from McKinsey & Company’s Middle East Office titled ‘Opportunity Youth: Imagining a bright future for the next generation’ recognises some of the systemic challenges in the Menap region, such as unemployment and gender disparity in the workplace, and offers a perspective on the biggest game-changers that can tackle them.

In MENAP, achieving gender equality is a USD1.9 trillion opportunity, McKinsey study finds
August 12, 2021

Achieving work force gender equality in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (MENAP) region could translate to nearly USD1.9 trillion in additional economic output by 2040, a new report from consulting giant McKinsey has found in its report titled Opportunity Youth found. But to achieve this, governments and large institutions must commit to include women in the workforce. Within organizations, flexible work helps create a more supportive environment for female workers.

UAE can go completely cashless by 2030, according to industry expert
September 1, 2021

The payments landscape in the Middle East is notorious for its reliance on cash. Despite the region’s digitally savvy population and their unorthodox ways, cash has a strong cultural hold and is backed by centuries of conformity, making it difficult for consumers to steer away. However, the landscape is evolving and various factors are paving the way for digital payments to dominate in the region. A recent McKinsey report, titled ‘The future of payments in the Middle East’, states that this movement is driven by industry pressures, disruptive forces, changing payment patterns, and the increasing prospects for banks and fintechs in a rapidly evolving environment.

This center in Dubai is growing 'future-proof' food in the desert
August 26, 2021

Rising temperatures and extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change are making farming conditions increasingly challenging and disrupting food distribution. But scientists in some of the world's driest places are coming up with solutions to boost local food production by introducing plants that thrive with less-fertile soil and seawater. The work of ICBA is part of a global effort to find alternate ways to produce food. But with the effects of climate change already being felt around the world, Joshua Katz, partner at consulting firm McKinsey & Company, believes that more than one system will be needed to provide food security in the future.

Covid-19 boosts digital payments adoption in Middle East, McKinsey says
August 25, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the uptake in digital payments across the Middle East, with digital wallets and contactless payment methods set to dominate and shape how transactions take place in the future, according to McKinsey. “Even before the pandemic, digital payments were growing rapidly … [the] impressive growth rates have been boosted further by the pandemic,” said McKinsey.

Business Extra: solutions to youth unemployment in the Middle East
August 18, 2021

The numbers are striking: Over the next 20 years, 127 million young people will enter the labour force in the Middle East and North Africa, but face an unemployment rate of 23 per cent. At the same time, nearly 29 million jobs are at risk of being displaced by 2030 because of automation. McKinsey lays out solutions to address the issue of youth unemployment amid a changing labour market in a new report.

Tom Isherwood, a senior partner at the consultancy, joins co-hosts Mustafa Alrawi and Kelsey Warner this week to discuss how to give dignity and purpose to this rising generation.

MENAP governments need to prepare youth for jobs of tomorrow McKinsey report shows
August 12, 2021

Governments in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (MENAP) region need to prepare for a surging youth population that will need to be prepared to find jobs as automation will make millions of today’s jobs obsolete, a new report from consulting company McKinsey has found. Over the next two decades, around 127 million young people are expected to enter the region’s labour force, but nearly 29 million jobs, about 17 percent of current jobs, are at risk of being displaced by 2030 because of automation, and Covid-19 has only accelerated this, the report said.

Five ways to reverse decades of youth unemployment in the Middle East
August 12, 2021

Developing emerging technology while retooling education for the modern labor market, among other strategies, has the potential to reverse decades of youth unemployment in the Middle East, creating millions of new jobs and doubling the region’s economic output, according to a new report from McKinsey. “Even though many countries in the region, both through private and public initiatives, are undergoing impressive transformations today to broaden economic opportunities available to their youth, there is still much to be done,” said Khalid AlJihrish, a co-author of the report.

Growth of light product demand to stall in future: McKinsey report
July 26, 2021

Demand for light product (gasoline, diesel/gasoil, jet/kero, including biofuels) is expected to level by the mid-2020s, suggests a research report released by McKinsey & Company. The report, titled Global downstream outlook to 2035, forecasts that on current trends, demand will fall by 2.8MMb/d from 2019 levels by 2035; this rises to 11.7MMb/d if the energy transition accelerates.

These futuristic pods could help cities solve their traffic problems
July 22, 2021

Transport pods that travel above the ground — often referred to as “sky pods” — are sometimes compared to monorails or cable cars. But they offer greater flexibility, says Stephanie Haag, associate partner at consulting firm McKinsey & Company. “In a cable car, you have one car and it always drives at the same speed,” she says. “[In sky pods] you can use many different cabins on that particular infrastructure,” such as ones tailored for shorter trips in urban areas or for longer distances.

What next for comms in a post-pandemic Middle East?
June 30, 2021

A discussion on the essential role of PR in a post-pandemic world, in partnership with ASDA’A BCW.

Comms teams swiftly adopted whatever technology worked to get the job done, video-conferencing being the obvious primary method. Prudencio describes this as “15 years of digitalisation happening in 15 months”, with the pandemic serving to accelerate changes that were only just on the rise at the beginning of 2020.

World Government Summit announces 8 knowledge partnerships to empower the next generation of governments
June 21, 2020

World Government Summit announced eight new knowledge partnerships, with the most prominent consulting companies and specialized global research institutions, to launch a series of reports and studies to identify the most important trends and new opportunities to support governments and enhance their readiness for the future and the world beyond the COVID-19. Meanwhile, McKinsey & Company’s How Governments Can Accelerate the Value of Digital Health report will focus on the importance of the future of healthcare and digital health. For his part, Panco Georgiev, senior partner at McKinsey in the Middle East and co-author of the report, said: “Digital health can unlock tremendous value for governments in enhancing health systems’ operational efficiency, patient experience, and patient outcomes.”

Here’s how you can manage your IT spends and save more
June 15, 2021

Top business-IT leaders in a panel discussion on The Economic Times Spectrum shared their experiences on how to manage IT spending. Dr. Chandrasekhar Panda, Senior Director, Digital & Core Tech Strategy, McKinsey & Company believes that if the companies are not managing the demand effectively and do not frame the business case clearly, the stakeholders will raise questions and it might get difficult for the CFO to get the budget approved.

A mentorship program aims to help top Saudi students fulfil their true potential
May 5, 2021

Now in its fourth year, the highly sought-after scheme selects just 50 students through a rigorous evaluation process from an annual pool of more than 15,000 applicants to participate in an intensive 12-day program. “Given the vast pool of intellectually curious, emerging talent in Saudi Arabia, the country’s youth have immense potential to have a direct impact on the transformations underway,” said Abdullah Saidan, an associate partner at McKinsey Middle East, promoting the scheme.

Qimam Fellowship selects class of 2021 for 4th edition of the program
April 13, 2021

This year marks the largest applicant pool the program has received since its inception in 2018 with 19,000 applications. 50 individuals were ultimately selected following two virtual interviews with public and private sector leaders. Abdullah Saidan, Associate Partner at McKinsey in the Middle East said, “We are incredibly excited to welcome our fourth cohort for the Qimam Fellowship program. There’s no doubt that these talented individuals will contribute to the massive development in the Kingdom. We hope that through this program we play a small part to enable their future journeys of success.”

8 charts on UAE's shifting consumer behaviour landscape
April 6, 2021

McKinsey & Company has surveyed over 500 consumers in the United Arab Emirates to gain insight into the current state of consumer sentiment, as well as trends emerging in consumer behavior. The UAE is most optimistic for economic recovery as compared to other countries. Abdellah Iftahy, partner and leader of the consumer and retail practice at McKinsey, said, “We see that the big changes of 2020 continue to play out this year: shifting to value and essentials, flight to digital and omni-channel, and shock to loyalty.”

Retail Leaders Circle highlight its partners
March 30, 2021

The Retail Leaders Circle (RLC), powered by The New York Institute of Management, announced the key partners of its 7th MENA Summit, which will link leading industry figures and stakeholders on March 29, 30 and 31, 2021, under the theme The Great Retail Reset: Disruption, Resilience, and the Power of Collaboration. Commenting on consumer sentiment, Abdellah Iftahy, partner, McKinsey & Company, said: "In our latest McKinsey Global Institute report, the consumer demand recovery and lasting effects of COVID-19, we look at how the post-pandemic recovery in consumer demand is likely to evolve, and which pandemic-induced behavioral changes are likely to 'stick'.

Consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are optimistic about an economic recovery
March 30, 2021

In January, the International Monetary Fund revised its 2021 growth estimate for the global economy to 5.5 per cent, 0.3 per cent higher than its October estimate, on the back of the Covid-19 vaccination drive and support measures put in place by the world’s largest economies. “We see that the big changes of 2020 continue to play out this year: shifting to value and essentials, flight to digital and omni-channel, the move to a homebody economy and shock to loyalty,” Abdellah Iftahy, a partner and leader of the consumer and retail practice at McKinsey Middle East, said on Tuesday.

Consumer sentiment in UAE and Saudi Arabia optimistic, McKinsey study finds
March 30, 2021

The majority of consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are increasingly optimistic that the economy will recover in two to three months but their overall spending remains low, McKinsey & Company’s latest consumer sentiment survey indicated. "Value and convenience are the primary reason for consumers to spend and try new brands as well as new places to shop," said Abdellah Iftahy, Partner at McKinsey & Company, who led the research on the sentiment survey. "Quality and purpose are also often cited when choosing new brands," he continued.

Why leaders shouldn’t be afraid to be vulnerable
February 4, 2021

Dr Shamma Hamdoon Al Naqbi, Program Chair - Rabdan Academy, shares a personal journey of leadership, and finds that balance, especially in one’s self, is key.

“I remember when I was accepted into McKinsey’s Qiyada emerging leaders program – a one-year immersive leadership journey for early-stage professionals. I thought to myself, prepare. Prepare for rigour, for reading, for analytics and for a framework driven approach to leadership.”

Opportunities of $3.7 trillion are threatened with being lost to the world’s banks

Partner in "McKinsey & Co.", Dr. Mazen Najjar, said in an interview with "Al Arabiya" that the banks' failure to move to cope with the economic conditions severely affected by the pandemic will provide a ground for losing opportunities for returns estimated at about $ 3.7 trillion until 2024.

Fossil fuels to take a back seat in the global energy landscape
January 29, 2021

COVID-19 has caused a short-term dip in global energy demand, while a long-term shift away from oil and other fossil fuels takes on a new pace in the backdrop. A new McKinsey & Company report explores the future of global energy consumption. McKinsey surveyed over 2,000 executives globally, presenting them with four scenarios on how the economy will emerge from the crisis – each with a varying level of virus containment and policy effectiveness. Based on their responses, the broad expectation is that the virus will be contained and growth with resume in the short term.

Paths of Impending Asian technological superiority
December 31, 2020

Jeongmin Seong, partner at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), said in an article that over the last decade, Asia has accounted for 52 percent of global growth in tech-company revenues, 43 percent of startup funding, 51 percent of spending on research and development, and 87 percent of patents filed, according to new MGI research. Seong added that Asia is likely to continue to forge ahead with its technological development. But to make the most of its progress, enhancing technological collaboration within, and among regions, remains a priority for Asia and the rest of the world, he said.

Coronavirus-Stressed Banks May See Cumulative Revenue Loss Of $4.7T Until 2024
December 11, 2020

The global banking industry could lose between $1.5 trillion to $4.7tn in cumulative revenue between 2020 and 2024 because of the effects of Covid-19, according to a new report from consultancy McKinsey. Banks will need to fundamentally reinvent their business models to sustain a long period of zero or near-zero per cent interest rates and other economic challenges, according to McKinsey's latest Global Banking Annual Review. “Middle East banks have also been severely impacted across all levers, i.e. margin decline, demand slowdown and increased credit losses. However, capital and liquidity positions remain strong, allowing these institutions to weather the storm,” said Jawad Khan, McKinsey’s banking practice leader in the Middle East.

Global banking sector could lose up to $4.7tn revenue over four years due to Covid-19
December 11, 2020

The global banking industry could lose between $1.5 trillion to $4.7tn in cumulative revenue between 2020 and 2024 because of the effects of Covid-19, according to a new report from consultancy McKinsey. Banks will need to fundamentally reinvent their business models to sustain a long period of zero or near-zero per cent interest rates and other economic challenges, according to McKinsey's latest Global Banking Annual Review. “Middle East banks have also been severely impacted across all levers, i.e. margin decline, demand slowdown and increased credit losses. However, capital and liquidity positions remain strong, allowing these institutions to weather the storm,” said Jawad Khan, McKinsey’s banking practice leader in the Middle East.

Gulf banks take lead role in companies’ bailouts
November 30, 2020

“The sector is vulnerable in the wake of the pandemic, and still a nascent one, however,” says Mazen Najjar, leader of McKinsey & Company’s Kuwait office. “Creating opportunities for private sector employment is critical for the transformation under way in the region.”

McKinsey launches second edition of Qiyada
November 26, 2020

McKinsey & Company has launched the second edition of the Qiyada Emerging Leaders programme – a one-year journey that aims to maximise the potential of top Emirati talent.

Rima Assi, Senior Partner, and Head of McKinsey’s Abu Dhabi office, said: “Abu Dhabi is going through an ambitious transformation that requires the support of young, driven leaders. Through this year-long development journey of self-discovery, we hope to unlock both the personal and professional potential that will better equip participants to drive this transformation.”

Cityscape offers solutions to COVID-19 challenges
November 16, 2020

Dubai: Several real estate company officials and some of the participants in the "Cityscape Real Estate Summit", which started in Dubai, agreed that real estate developers are moving more aggressively than ever to meet the needs of the middle class, amid a remarkable tendency for banks to provide the necessary loans, as shown by recent data issued by the Land Department in its annual report. "Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, it has also revealed many new opportunities," said Pierfrancesco Rocca, associate partner at McKinsey Middle East.

GCC consumer behavior signals rise of the ‘homebody economy’
November 10, 2020

Dubai: COVID-19 has changed consumer behavior patterns around the world, and the GCC bloc is no exception, according to new research by consultancy firm McKinsey & Company. Besides the abvious human challenges, the study, entitled “Digital: A Spotlight on the New Consumer,” has shed light on the pandemic’s potential implications for the global economy, businesses and employment.

McKinsey’s edad hosts first – ever all – women edition
November 9, 2020

McKinsey & Company has launched a special edition of edad to commemorate the program’s 10th anniversary in the Middle East. The two-day program brought together 100 university female students and young female professionals who are just beginning their careers.

Future Hospitality Summit: Adventure travel weathers conronavirus pandemic
October 27, 2020

“Adventure travel, which has been a booming industry, remains one of the resilient categories,” Alex Dichter, a Partner at McKinsey and Company, said during the virtual Future Hospitality Summit on Monday.

UAE and Saudi Arabia consumers most optimistic about Covid-19 economic recovery
October 21, 2020

The UAE consumers' optimism reflects their overall confidence in the government and system in terms of their interventions and management of the current situation,” Abdellah Iftahy, a partner and leader of McKinsey’s consumer and retail practice in the Middle East, told The National.

How cutting edge medical technology could give us longer and healthier lives
October 21, 2020

McKinsey study finds innovations could cut the global disease burden by up to 10 per cent - and make people aged 65 feel like they're 55.

Why women’s careers have been hurt the most by Covid-19 – Pocketful of Dirhams
October 20, 2020

McKinsey’s research during the pandemic has also found that more female than male employees fear Covid will negatively affect their promotion prospects. And all of this at a time when women were already wrestling with the thorny issue of equality in the workplace and the gender pay gap.

High Optimism: UAE consumers sold on recovery
October 17, 2020

More UAE consumers are sanguine about the recovery of the economy now compared to four months ago and they see the economy rebounding faster in the next couple of months, says a new survey. As many as 61 per cent of UAE residents believe now that the economy will rebound within two to three months and grow just as strongly as or stronger than before Covid-19 against 57 per cent at the end of June, according to a McKinsey & Co survey.

UAE consumers sold on recovery
October 18, 2020

More UAE consumers are sanguine about the recovery of the economy now compared to four months ago and they see the economy rebounding faster in the next couple of months, says a new survey. As many as 61 per cent of UAE residents believe now that the economy will rebound within two to three months and grow just as strongly as or stronger than before Covid-19 against 57 per cent at the end of June, according to a McKinsey & Co survey.

Covid-19 accelerates changes in global payments industry
October 3, 2020

Global payments revenue in the first six months of 2020 contracted 22 per cent, or $220 billion, from a year ago due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report by McKinsey & Company. The management consultancy expects revenue for the entire year to be about $140bn lower than in 2019, a 7 per cent decline from a year earlier.

Digital space reshaping Saudi consumer spending amid COVID-19
September 11, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic changed nearly every aspect of global business, and consumer spending is no exception. Abdellah Iftahy, partner at consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, told Argaam that the pandemic has not only overhauled how and where consumers choose to spend their money, but their lives as well.

Virus raises risk of cyber pandemic, experts warn
August 20, 2020

Saudi companies looking to carry on “business as usual” during the coronavirus pandemic have faced unprecedented challenges amid the growing threat of cyberattack, according to cybersecurity experts. The digital meeting was moderated by Mahir Nayfeh, partner at McKinsey & Company, who highlighted the important role that digital transformation is playing during the lockdown and how varied models help to avoid cyberattacks.

World counts coronavirus pandemic’s runaway economic cost
August 12, 2020

An article by Frank Kane explains that the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns and the ongoing damage it is doing to the global economy will cost us USD12 trillion in lost economic output by the end of 2021 — roughly USD1,600 per human being on the planet. He points out that there is not going to be some global tax collector visiting each household in the world to demand the cash. For one thing, McKinsey estimated that spending by governments could actually reach around USD30 trillion by 2023 as the unpredictable effects of the pandemic lingered.

6 Things That Need To Change For The Financial Sector To Become Fully Digital
August 12, 2020

Although banks have been dabbling in digital for some time, until recently they hadn’t truly embraced a fully online approach. However, in the last few months leaps and bounds have been made towards a transformation in the financial sector.To find out what the future of digital banking might look like, Forbes Middle East gathered regional and international fintech leaders for an exclusive webinar exploring “Disruptive Digital Banking.” The webinar was moderated by Sonia Wedrychowicz, Senior Advisor at McKinsey.

Supporting the 10 million meals campaign
May 20, 2020

Melvina Tarazi, partner at McKinsey & Company: ‘’The way that individuals, businesses, charities, and volunteers have rallied together to deliver meals to those in need, is a wonderful expression of the compassion and spirit of this special country. I am truly grateful to be able to give back to a community that I have called home for decades.

Mindfulness coaching sessions for frontline staffers
#TogetherWeAreGood
May 11, 2020

Members of staff at SKMC will receive dedicated training from Aberkyn experts, through 90-minute sessions on how to build team resilience and deep connections with self and others to remain healthy in relationships in day-to-day practice as well as provide renewal, focus and energy.

Breaking the glass ceiling in the Middle East
April 13, 2020

Rima Assi was one of the first two women senior partners in the Middle East at McKinsey and Co, one of the world’s most prestigious consulting firms. She tells host Amina Taher about her work-life balance as a single mother, the time she was mistaken for the receptionist and her love of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“Together, We Can Keep Our Community Safe” - Joydeep Sengupta, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company
April 5, 2020

Joydeep Sengupta, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, talks about his commitment towards the business community and society during these difficult times and supporting government’s efforts to ensure our safety.

GCC consumers currently the most positive according to latest McKinsey poll
April 3, 2020

McKinsey & Company boss Kevin Sneader recently made the comment that following the coronavirus crisis nothing would return to normal, but a new survey from the management consulting giant suggests that the citizens of Saudi Arabia and the UAE might not share the same view – with almost 60 percent of those canvassed expressing confidence that the economy will grow to become “just as strong or stronger” than prior to the pandemic.

Majority of UAE and Saudi consumers confident their countries’ economies will rebound quickly
April 2, 2020

A majority of UAE and Saudi consumers are optimistic that their countries’ economies will rebound within two to three months despite the crippling effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, a new survey from global consultancy McKinsey found.

Saudi consumers are optimistic on recovery
April 2, 2020

Consumers in Saudi Arabia are among the most confident in the world that the economy will recover after the slow down because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but they are still reining in spending while the emergency lasts.That is the main finding of a survey conducted in the Kingdom by international consulting firm McKinsey as part of a global analysis of consumer sentiment in light of the virus’s impact on normal economic life.

Dubai Chamber launches series of webinars to support business continuity
April 1, 2020

Dubai Chamber launched the webinar series on Wednesday by organising the first online workshop in cooperation with McKinsey & Company, which was attended by more than 150 participants. The webinar dealt with best practices for remote work for the private sector, the challenges that may arise from this shift in organisational work and structure, and the mechanisms, procedures and technologies used.

Gemma D’Auria & Aaron De Smet share their 5 methods of crisis management
March 25, 2020

For many decades, we at McKinsey have helped leaders navigate all manner of crises across sectors all over the world. While different challenges require different responses, and even though the current climate is new for all of us, we’ve found it useful to draw on our years of experience to identify some practices that can help. Here are five practices that can help you lead your organization through this unsettled time.

Retail In The GCC A Region in Transition
March 11, 2020

When it comes to shopping, Middle Eastern consumers are experienced and increasingly savvy. Retail is a favorite cultural pastime and informed consumers can’t get enough luxury items, in-store experiences, and the latest fashions. That said, the GCC markets are changing, amid shifting economic currents and the rise of digital.

Why Arab countries must give women a fair chance
March 8, 2020

As the world marks yet another International Women’s Day (IWD), the resonance of an occasion dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in different fields is being felt in a changing Middle East. As experts who spoke at the recent Global Women’s Forum Dubai noted, achieving gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a key driver of change, yet the region’s female workforce participation level is the lowest in the world.

Top jobs for women in Mideast set to double but challenges remain
March 8, 2020

The proportion of women in professional and technical jobs in the Middle East is set to double over the next decade, but women in the region still face a higher number of challenges than elsewhere in the world if they are to bridge the gender gap.

International Women's Day Women can help 'turbo charge' Arab economies but reforms needed
March 7, 2020

Women are “not yet sufficiently integrated” into high-productivity sectors in the Middle East said Rima Assi. She called for a “paradigm shift” in the years to come and “Many countries and organisations have made significant progress by implementing policies and creating environments that lead to greater parity,” Ms Assi said. “There is real momentum, yet challenges remain.

How artificial intelligence can revolutionize the Middle East energy sector
February 23, 2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a key role in the near future in the utilization of energy resources — including renewables such as solar and wind power — according to a report that draws on research conducted by the American management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

McKinsey report findings released at GWFD 2020 says 4IR is key to opportunities for women in MENA
February 19, 2020

During a session at Global Women's Forum Dubai (GWFD) 2020’s Economy Hub, Chiara Marcati, Partner at McKinsey & Company, who has been involved in various projects related to gender diversity and inclusion over the past decade, said that "advancing gender parity in the region stands to be such a driver of change." Marcati explained that the Fourth Industrial Revolution can create opportunities for women through automation, digitisation, online platforms and the rise of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship ecosystem in transition
February 18, 2020

Entrepreneurship has become a hot topic in Pakistan; and the digital startup progress particularly in the last 6-7 years has been visible and vibrant. From rising middle income group to rising 3G/4G subscriber base to growing digitization and e-commerce, the potential is well acknowledged. The landscape has transitioned with the emergence and growth in not only the startups, but also the supporting players, events, activities, and funders.

Majority of Middle East consumers plan to spend more this year
February 11, 2020

E-commerce in the Middle East is growing at about 30 per cent year-on-year, Abdellah Iftahy, partner and leader of the consumer and retail practice at McKinsey Middle East, told The National. A yet to be released McKinsey study of 1,000 consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia found overall sentiment is improving. About 49 per cent of people in the kingdom are optimistic about the country’s economy, compared with 39 per cent in 2019. In the UAE, the figure is 46 per cent, compared with 40 per cent last year. “The big shift this year versus the previous year is the consumer sentiment is actually improving for the first time since 2015,” Mr Iftahy said.

Panel Saudi Arabia is booming in terms of e-commerce
February 11, 2020

Abdellah Iftahy, a partner at McKinsey & Company told Arab News: “I think this retail summit happening in Saudi Arabia is a big sign of the importance of retail in the Kingdom.” Citing a survey by McKinsey on Saudi consumers, he said: “Half of them think that the economy will be positive this year. Last year it was 40 percent, that’s now up 10 percent.”

Retail leaders gather in Riyadh for consumer industries summit
February 9, 2020

In a survey of consumer sentiment to be released on the opening day of the summit, consultants McKinsey said consumer sentiment is improving for the first time in five years in the region, especially among Saudis, who are upbeat about the economy, with 45 percent giving positive survey responses.

Prestige Saudi leadership program for top student talent launches latest edition
January 30, 2020

A prestige Saudi leadership development program aimed at nurturing the Kingdom’s top young talent on Wednesday launched its third edition. Abdullah Saidan, associate partner at McKinsey Middle East, said: “Given the vast pool of intellectually curious, emerging talent in Saudi Arabia, the country’s youth has immense potential to have a direct impact on the transformations underway.

Sustainability needs ‘good governance and good disclosure’
December 15, 2019

The GCC Board Directors Institute (GCC BDI), a non-profit organisation for board members, concluded the 7th annual GCC BDI Chairman Summit with a strong message to corporate boards in the region: “Corporate governance matters enormously to the nature of our economies and the kind of growth we want to see.”

For his part, Conor Kehoe, guest speaker and Senior Partner Emeritus and Special Adviser at McKinsey & Company, said: “How can directors add more value – for shareholders – and also well beyond?”

UAE online seeks out category winners
December 1, 2019

A McKinsey report estimates that fashion-related sales in the Gulf amount to $50 billion. Sure, much of that still happens at brick-and-mortar stores, but by now online has been able to draw in a growing share of that dollar spend. And these spends are quite substantial — the average per capita spend on fashion in the UAE is estimated at $500 by McKinsey, and that swells to $1,600 a person in Saudi Arabia.

The GCC’s $50bn fashion sales market sees growth despite global slowdown
November 22, 2019

With annual fashion sales of $50 billion (Dh184bn) and some of the world’s highest per capita spending, the GCC market presents “significant opportunities” amid a pessimistic global outlook for the industry, according to a new McKinsey study. Annual spending per person reached approximately $500 in Saudi Arabia and $1,600 in the UAE, found the fourth annual The State of Fashion report from the consultancy, published on Thursday.

We need to equip young people for the jobs of the future from a pre-school age
October 22, 2019

The new reality is one in which 45 per cent of jobs will be automatable by 2030. The automation potential will vary across sectors: jobs requiring repetitive routine work such as manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will see more than 50 per cent of its work done by smart devices. Jobs that require emotional intelligence and creativity such as the arts, health care and entertainment will only see a 29 to 37 per cent automation rate.

Gulf needs to become a digital talent builder rather than an importer
October 8, 2019

Even though many businesses in the Gulf region are interested in digitization, only a few of them have moved aggressively while many companies are testing the waters and wondering how to move from strategy to action. Digital transformation is all about deploying technology to solve business problems.

“Talent is the number one challenge in digital transformations, globally and locally. Culture is an essential factor in attracting, developing and retaining digital talent,” Abdulkader Lamaa, Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, told TechRadar Middle East.

How global companies are bringing women-friendly work benefits to the UAE
September 11, 2019

In the UAE, the government has taken important steps indicating that gender balance is a national priority. Last year the UAE cabinet endorsed a bill ensuring equal pay for men and women. Currently in 46th place in the United Nations Development Programme’s Gender Inequality Index, the UAE aims to be one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality through its Vision 2021.

Five challenges Gulf businesses must tackle to go digital, according to McKinsey
May 28, 2019

Despite many companies in the Arabian Gulf being interested in digitalisation, the transformation and evolution to web-based systems remain limited, according to McKinsey. The consultancy listed five key challenges faced by regional companies trying to become digital.

GCC consumers becoming more price-conscious
May 6, 2019

Consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are becoming increasingly price sensitive and demanding, while expecting more convenience, according to a new survey published this month by McKinsey & Company. “I think trend number one from a consumer perspective is that consumers are more and more cautious. What we saw here in the UAE and in Saudi — and that’s true for nationals and expats — that consumers are … spending less and saving more.” Abdellah Iftahy, partner at McKinsey, told The National.

5 Main Shifts in Consumer Behavior in the Middle East
May 3, 2019

According to a report published by McKinsey & Company, entitled “Navigating a perfect storm in the Middle East’s consumer sector” surveyed 2,000 consumers in two of the region’s largest economies, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Consumers in the Middle East are changing their buying behavior, spending less while expecting more convenience.

Brand loyalty slips in Middle east due to job insecurity: report
May 2, 2019

Eight out of every 10 people in the UAE are apparently worried about losing their jobs. That's according to a new report by the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which also found that residents are becoming more cost-conscious. Around 40 percent of respondents in the UAE and Saudi Arabia said they are cutting down on spending and paying closer attention to prices. The report also revealed that consumers are becoming less brand loyal.

Start-up spirit
May 2, 2019

Pakistan has 130 million people under the age of 30, it is an emerging economy projected to continue growing quickly in the coming years. Start-ups have taken off across the nation in an enhanced business environment, while incubation and incentives from the government have attracted new venture capitalists to Pakistan. But the country still has some distance to go in order to reach its full potential.

McKinsey tells how to weather the ‘perfect storm’ in Gulf retail
May 2, 2019

The consumer retail market is always dynamic, always changing. But maybe now, especially in the Middle East, it is changing faster and more unpredictably than ever, and companies in this sector are going to have to stay on their toes to avoid getting left behind. The most adaptable will survive and thrive, the rest “will get left behind,” said McKinsey.

MENA’s start-up scene is taking off. Here’s how investors can join in
April 2, 2019

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the most digitally connected in the world. Around 88% of its population is online daily, and 94% of people in the region own a smartphone. Digital consumption is similarly high in some countries; Saudi Arabia, for example, ranks seventh globally in social-media engagement, with an average of seven accounts per individual.

This is how Middle Eastern retailers can keep up with e-commerce
April 1, 2019

Retailers have struggled to compete with the growing popularity of large-scale competitors such as Amazon and Alibaba. The industry is also in the grip of a revolution powered by digital technology, as people shop online rather than in stores. Shopping is becoming more of an experiential activity, during which stores compete for consumers' "share of wallet".

Digital disruption is changing the Middle East consumer
March 26, 2019

Middle East consumers are ahead of global percentages in terms of shopping on Amazon, buying groceries online, shopping by smartphone and using digital payments. “Between 2015 and today, 40 percent more consumers [in the UAE and KSA] are more price conscious,” said Abdellah Iftahy, McKinsey partner, told The National.

How to win the data insights battle
March 24, 2019

Digital disruption, or digital transformation, is upon us. Industry after industry is witnessing a sea change in every aspect of their business, whether it is understanding – in fact predicting – what the consumer wants, the way in which the products and services that they desire are being designed, how they are being delivered, or creating loyalty for products and services.

Tapping Saudi Arabia's abundant pool of talent
March 2, 2019

“As Saudi Arabia continues its economic transformation and ambitious programs under Vision 2030, the group of young, dynamic leaders who will ultimately be responsible for driving that vision must prepared to make it a reality,” said Tom Isherwood, partner at McKinsey & Company.

Globally accepted rules needed to optimise AI potential
Feb 11, 2019

Director of McKinsey Global Institute and senior partner at the company Jonathan Woetzel stated, "Presence of developed infrastructure, easy access to technology and committed leadership to develop the technology further are some of the prerequisites for the development of AI and UAE has these factors in abundance. I expect that the UAE will be a leader in the deployment of AI and in its development as well."

Amid banks' Consolidation, retaining dominance of financial intermediation is key
November 29, 2018

In this thought piece in The Banker Middle East, Hans-Martin Stockmeier, senior partner at McKinsey Middle East, talks about how banks have 4 strategic choices in markets where the banking industry is consolidating.

Technology creating the bank of the future
November 21, 2018

The bank branch as we know it is in need of reinvention. Most customers now carry a bank in their pockets in the form of a smartphone and visit an actual branch only to get cash or occasionally advice. Changing customer behavior and the emergence of new technologies do not spell the end of branches, but rather the dawn of smart branches, which use technology to boost sales and significantly improve customer experience.

GITEX Technology Week news highlights
October 21, 2018

During a panel discussion at GITEX, Desiree El Chebeir, vice president, McKinsey Digital’s Dubai office, discussed the importance of gender balance in tomorrow’s classrooms and the strategies for ensuring that the consumers and producers of tomorrow’s innovations are more widely representative of society as a whole. According to Desiree, current female founders of start-ups have provided up to a 36 percent higher financial return compared with a number of male-led start-ups. Yet only 2 percent of venture-capital money has gone to female-led start-ups. There’s a lot of opportunity for economic gain if we integrate women better.

HR Club holds its Forum in Abu Dhabi to discuss “Future Jobs”
October 14, 2018

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources held the 5th Human Resources Club Forum 2018 in Abu Dhabi to discuss trends in “Future Jobs”, The Forum hosted Dr. Dirk Schmautzer, Partner, and Stephen Hall, Associate Partner at McKinsey. And they highlighted the impact of modern technology on UAE’s future jobs, workforce, and their skills, as well as the implications of that on governments, and the steps taken to seize opportunities and meet the challenges facing the future workforce.

When It comes to millennials, GCC banks must be paranoid
August 30, 2018

According to associate partners Christian Kunz and Kishan Shirish, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) banks must modernize their technology landscape, along with the business and operating model, to enable speed and flexibility. In addition to building internal capabilities, banks will also need to create an ecosystem of players to deliver those products and services, while owning the customer experience.

The urgent treasure hunt for digital talent in the Middle East
July 15, 2018

As consumers walk around with eyes glued to their smartphones, businesses know that digital is no longer a buzzword; it is core to their growth and survival. With that realization comes the urgent treasure hunt for digital talent – an opinion piece by Jigar Patel, partner, and Christian Kunz, associate partner in McKinsey’s Middle East office.

Inaugural class of 50 Qimam Fellows graduates in Riyadh
June 30, 2018

The 50 Qimam Fellows originate from a variety of backgrounds and fields of study from more than 25 universities in KSA and abroad. Tom Isherwood, partner at McKinsey & Company, stated: “We believe that Saudi Arabia is rich with extraordinary talent and were delighted to take the concept of Qimam under our wing when it was still just an idea. We are a member of this community and incubating and launching the Qimam Fellowship Program is a demonstration of our commitment to the Kingdom through identifying and developing future leaders. I congratulate the first batch of the very talented Qimam Fellows on their graduation.”

Family-owned businesses: planning for survival
June 10, 2018

Family-owned businesses (FOBs) are critical to the economy. And yet, they are complex and fragile systems, particularly during times of succession. Globally, family-owned businesses tend to falter at the first transition, from the founder to the second generation; only around 15 percent survive to the third generation. In the Middle East, many family-owned businesses are at this critical transition juncture. McKinsey Senior Partner Ahmed Youssef describes the actions FOBs can take to ensure their longevity. The National: “Succession planning: a medicine for family-owned businesses’ longevity”

The changing face of the asset and wealth management industry
June 4, 2018

McKinsey associate partner Kishan Shirish was recently interviewed about the changes affecting the asset and wealth management industry. He explains, “The industry is being reshaped by digital trends, shifting customer expectations, regulatory changes and the decreasing profitability of the model. Rather than a one-off event, the industry’s transformation reflects the continuous pressure to innovate through digital, which will shape customer behaviours, business models, and the industry’s very structure in the long-term.”

Dubai Chamber to announce winners of 3rd Dubai Smartpreneur Competition
April 24, 2018

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is set to announce the top three winners of the 3rd edition the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition during the closing ceremony of the ArabNet Digital Summit 2018 on May 1st. This year’s judging panel is joined by Andriy Radchenko, Senior Engagement Manager at McKinsey.

How are consumer buying preferences shifting across the Middle East region?
April 22, 2018

The 2018 Middle East Sentiment Survey by McKinsey & Company reveals that consumers in the region are becoming more cost-conscious, less brand-loyal and rapidly shifting purchasing behaviours. 'Approximately 55 per cent of consumers are now actively looking for savings across markets, with those in Saudi Arabia leading the way,’ says Abdellah Iftahy, associate partner at McKinsey Middle East, during an interview with CNBC Arabia.

Arab Women’s Forum
April 10, 2018

"I'm often struck when I do team workshops in the region...at the imbalance that I see," said Nicolai Nielsen, expert associate partner at McKinsey, in his discussion of the power of parity at the inaugural Arab Women Forum in King Abdullah Economic City. 'There’s a push for equality in the work place, but more still needs to be done', added Nielsen.

Retail Leaders Circle
March 28, 2018

Our latest survey of Middle East consumers reveals that they are becoming more cost conscious, less brand loyal and rapidly shifting their purchasing behaviors. They are finding creative ways to spend less and actively considering alternate brands. The survey was launched at the Retail Leaders Circle in Dubai by McKinsey's Peter Breuer and Gemma D'Auria. 

Digital potential to drive growth in the region
March 25, 2018

According to a recent McKinsey study, MENA has realised only 8% of its digital potential. Western Europe has achieved 15% and the U.S. has captured 18%. For financial institutions, the potential in the region is significant.

McKinsey is Knowledge Partner at IoT Middle East
March 13, 2018

‘In 2018, we will see more lighthouse sites for industrial internet of things (IIoT) solutions’, says Enno de Boer, a partner at McKinsey Digital. ‘Currently, there are 40 innovation cases and the region has good scope to have lighthouse sites in every sector, especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia,’ he added. Christos Sermpetis, partner at McKinsey, said that three major technology innovations are happening right now and they are data and connectivity; artificial intelligence and flexible automation.

Winning with Talent
March 12, 2018

“The most important ally for a CEO who is trying to drive more focus on talent is a board that is equally committed to talent as a driver of the long-term success of the company," said Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey, in an interview about his new book, Talent Wins.

Dubai Chamber launches third Smartpreneur Competition
March 4, 2018

A special event to introduce this year's competition featured a panel of experts, including McKinsey partner Vinay Chandran, who leads McKinsey Analytics in the Middle East. The competition is seeking innovations in Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Digital Transformation.

INJAZ Al-Arab enabling Arab youth to drive the economy forward
February 20, 2018

Akef Aqrabawi, President and CEO of INJAZ Al-Arab, wants education opportunities to reach one million students in the Arab world by 2022. INJAZ's programs are backed by a number of companies, including McKinsey. 

Qimam Fellowship Program launches
February 18, 2018

The Qimam Fellowship Program launched in Saudi Arabia aims to identify, develop, and empower the most promising university students to achieve their full potential. The program is supported by a number of companies, including McKinsey. “Our business model in the region relies on identifying and developing talent,” said Tom Isherwood, partner at McKinsey & Company. “We look forward to playing a role in creating new opportunities for Saudi's next generation of business leaders, especially as we stand at such a transformative moment in the social and economic evolution of the Kingdom.”

McKinsey is Knowledge Partner at World Government Summit
Feb 11-13, 2018

Ahead of the World Government Summit, McKinsey analysed six countries — Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — to determine the impact automation could have on the region. Nearly 45% of existing jobs in the Middle East could be automated in the near future, the McKinsey study shows. 

Digital tools can reduce construction costs and boost productivity
November 18, 2017

Construction-related global spending is increasing year-on-year by an average of 3.6%. Ghassan Ziadat, VP of Major Projects at McKinsey, explains how the adoption of digital technology could improve costs and productivity by up to 15% in this opinion piece.

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