Treading water


ME PoV Summer 2016 issue

Treading water

About this issue

Regardless of what one’s views may be regarding the UK referendum’s result to leave the European Union (EU), one cannot but appreciate living through such a momentous decision. There have been many amazing changes over the last decade, but few were as sudden, or as abrupt, as this one.

Now what? As this is yet an unprecedented situation in which a country decides to secede from the EU, few people know for sure. But one thing they do know is that uncertain times lie ahead.

The situation is not much different the world over and especially in the Middle East. We have been living with chanciness and changeability: economic, social and political turmoil that have been dominating the news headlines.

So now what? Basically, life does, and must, go on. We continue and we wait. We tread water, waiting for better conditions to swim back to shore.

The IFRS Foundation and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) continue to release new standards for accounting and antibribery compliance, businesses continue to evolve and new technologies continue to disrupt and, in turn, get disrupted themselves. Such is the case presented by Emmanuel Durou and Hasan Iftikhar in their article on telecoms and media companies in the region (Transformers II: time for strategic choices in the telecoms market.) They conclude: “These drastic changes in the business models of telcos have forced them to find new ways to interact with the digital ecosystem […] they need to rethink their commercial models and terms of engagement with the other players in the value chain.”

Another technology that continues to disrupt is Virtual Reality (VR.) Zaid Selman, in his article on the real growth of virtual within the gaming industry in the GCC region (The very real growth of Virtual Reality), says that the sector will continue to see rapid growth rates in the region but will probably take some time before it is adopted in mainstream businesses. For that to happen, he says: “the market will need to agree on an open standards framework that will be used by software developers to create the next generation of VR applications.”

The advent of these new technologies is greatly impacting the role of the CIO within the company. “In essence,” says Rajeev Lalwani in his article on shaping the CIO legacy, “every company today is becoming a technology company and the CIO has a unique opportunity to drive and impact both, top-line and bottom-line initiatives.”

But as with any change, clear communication is vital for success, but perhaps nowhere more so than in family businesses where the “two worlds of family and business collide,” say Walid Chiniara and Yasmine Omari. Just as there is an important maxim when it comes to real estate investment, there is only one maxim for the success of family business relationships and that is communication, communication, communication.

Why are employees so averse to scheduling time-management? How do you become an irresistible employer and what happens when Eastern industry and technology meets Middle Eastern construction and infrastructure projects?

These are questions that our authors ponder in this issue of Middle East Point of View. We hope, as always, that we are answering your questions before you get the chance to ask them. And if you too are treading water, try not to get the magazine wet!

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Factsheet: IFRS 16 Leases standard

IFRS 16 Leases establishes principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases, with the objective of ensuring that lessees and lessors provide relevant information that faithfully represents those transactions. Most companies use leases to obtain access to an asset and consequently will be affected by the adoption of this standard.

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It’s certifiable

Until recently, it had been difficult to say precisely what “best practice” is in Antibribery and Corruption (ABAC) compliance. A company’s location, among other factors, may expose it to different laws, regulations, and standards governing companies’ behavior. But when it comes to implementing an ABAC compliance program, there is a noticeable difference between an organization that takes the task seriously and one that does not. There are basic components that every company needs to implement and that are the litmus test for compliance standards.

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Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most irresistible of them all?

Employee engagement is a critical business imperative that has become a top priority for organizations and business leaders today. Why? A less loyal millennial talent pool for one, organizations facing a need to attract talent with specialized skill sets to keep up with the pace and technological digital stream, and lastly, the open and transparent employment brand.

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“Communication, Communication, Communication”

Risk management is a top concern to most firms and family businesses. Within this context, the often disregarded relevance of good communication is alarming.

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The very real growth of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is multi-sensory immersive environment, consisting of hardware and software components, which provides a virtual world experience via a head-mounted display. Operationally, VR hardware consists of sensors in the headset that track the user’s movements and change the user’s view accordingly. This gives users the impression of being physically present in a virtual environment.

VR technology is not new. It has been around for several years and has been mostly developed for its core market, namely dedicated computer gamers who seek a rich, interactive gaming environment.

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East meets Middle East

Few can negate the importance of the construction, infrastructure and property development industries in transforming the economies of many of the GCC countries. They continue to be very powerful and visible indicators of the development of modern Arab cities and infrastructure across the region. From ports, road, rail to power, water and transportation, the GCC has been, over the last 40 years, the epicenter of mega construction projects, all eagerly publicized to the world. In doing so it has created a magnet of attraction for the world’s leading contractors, consultants, funders and investors, eager to play their part in the growing success of the region.

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Transformers II

Three fundamental parameters drive the economics of Communication Service Providers (CSP): the customers who are willing to buy their services, the price realization of these services and the cost structure underpinning them. Arguably, each of these three is undergoing a transformation of unprecedented magnitude. While these changes are seen as major disruptors in the CSP marketplace and how they have historically run their businesses, they also unfold opportunities for innovation and development of telecom products and services in the marketplace. 

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Shaping CIO Legacy

In terms of demands, the Chief Information Officer’s (CIO) role has varied widely over the last few years, perhaps more than any other CXO position. The CIO today is expected to take on a much larger role in running an organization and shaping its business strategy. In essence, every company today is becoming a technology company and the CIO has a unique opportunity to drive and impact both, top-line and bottomline initiatives.

Click here the read the full article

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