Spring into business


ME PoV Fall 2012 issue

Spring into business

The fall 2012 issue tackles several actual hot issues: from impact of the uprisings, Libya and the Olympic and Paralympics games and much more.

About this issue

The use of the word spring to designate a season of the year is relatively recent. Before the 1500s when it was first used and as early as the 10th Century, “spring,” a word of Germanic origins, was used to denote “rising up” or the beginning of something. Hence the term was later used to refer to the time of year when buds began to rise up following the snow season.

The first noted use of spring in a political and social context is in 1848, when the European revolutions sweeping the continent were dubbed as the “springtime of the people” or “spring of nations.” The rest, as they say, is history.

Since then, there has been the Prague spring, the Seoul spring, the Beijing spring, the Cedar spring and now, the Arab spring. But whilst academicians are still debating whether the movements across the region are indeed worthy of the term, there is no denying that the wind of change has indeed been blowing.

What have been the effects of these movements on the business environment in the area? We asked a panel of experts to share their insights on the economy, the financial market, the future of international companies and the risks of cyber attacks, in our article Arab spring: impact of the uprisings.

Click the link on the left to access the Fall 2012 issue. Alternatively, you can read each article separately by clicking below.

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Arab spring: impact of the uprising

News reports on the ‘Arab Spring’ were focused on the political and social revolutions shaking the foundations of some of the largest Arab countries. Transformational changes across the region were covered from a human standpoint – as regimes toppled, crowds chanted and chaos took over the streets. However, most news cameras failed to pan left or right and shed some light on the businesses that were affected as a result of these uprisings. 

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The blame game

Companies that uncover fraud are often surprised that the incident occurred in the first place. Whether due to lax internal controls, an ineffective managerial style, or simply the code of ethics that employees adhere to (or not, in this case) when evidence of fraud is found the entire organization is severely impacted and affected.

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Going for gold

What a summer this has been. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games exceeded even the highest expectations and the outstanding performances of athletes from all over the world entertained and indeed, “inspired a generation.” 

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Sink or swim

The global banking sector has increasingly been in the spotlight since the financial crisis, with a number of significant and unprecedented events that have questioned the very fundamentals of the industry. Bankers, regulators and rating agencies, amongst others, have been vilified for their roles in the financial turmoil by a variety of stakeholders. 

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After nearly a year of revolutionary conflict, Libya has managed to emerge from the rubble of a 42-year dictatorship with the world’s fastest growing economy. (Forecasts for 2012 indicate a growth rate of 22%). Bolstered by the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in North Africa and government expenditures exceeding LD 60 billion per annum, Libya has quickly become one of the most attractive markets in the region for a wide range of goods and services. 

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Thinking about tomorrow

One billion Dollars. Seven billion Dollars. Ten billion, 30 billion, 100 billion, 130 billion Dollars! These numbers reflect neither the GDP of any particular country nor the market capitalization of any of the world’s largest corporations. They are simply examples of the value of a single capital project (1 to 7 billion dollars) and of total project portfolios (10 to 130 billion dollars) that have been committed to – in the past 12 months alone – by government, quasi-government and private sector entities in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. They span industries from real estate to infrastructure to oil and gas. 

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The price of pricing effectiveness

As companies seek ways to increase profit margins and improve overall business performance, business leaders are increasingly turning to pricing as a discipline that can boost their bottom lines.

A search of publicly available data reveals a significant number of blue-chip companies that acknowledge pricing improvement as a part of their earnings success.1, 2 Yet many seem to make little progress in driving the kind of consistent pricing discipline that yields the results they need.

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Now, where were we?

Strategy – whereby a set of initiatives to be executed within a specific duration are defined – is critical for the success of any organization, regardless of its business nature or its industry and accordingly contributes to achieving its overall vision and mission. While many organizations do have well-defined strategies, they face challenges in implementing them.

Others believe that they are following a certain strategy but can’t understand why they are not realizing their objectives. So what is the issue? Is it the strategy itself? Is it the people executing it? And why is it sometimes so difficult to implement a strategy?

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