Enterprise Magazine Issue #1

Page 1

Spring 2015


Agent of Change Founder & CEO of Tataowar Coaching & Consulting Entrepreneurship in Doha

Qatar’s Growing Financial Sector CEO of QFC Regulatory Authority Sustainable economic growth

DIVERSIFICATION OF THE ECONOMY : What is in Qatar’s Future? Issue #1

A WORD FROM As founder of both the magazine and Georgetown SFS-Q Business society (GBS), my role was to ensure that these entities were in sync with each other. GBS’s role is to provide the magazine with the necessary personnel to run it, while the magazine’s purpose is to promote the society’s vision: “To enkindle the corporate spirit in all Georgetown SFS-Qatar students.” Working on this magazine has been a truly enriching experience and I was fortunate enough to receive great support from the entire Georgetown-Qatar community. I would personally like to thank Lisa Andrewes for her unwavering support, Dean Daniel Stoll for his early faith in GBS, and the Inaugural Team for all the effort they put in. Lastly I would like to wish Barbara Gallets, our Editor-in-Chief, good luck as she graduates this year. It is safe to say that without Barbara’s perseverance and hard work, this issue would not have been possible.

MUHAMMAD SAIF KAZI Founder & Chief Advisor Georgetown SFS-Q Enterprise

IBRAHIM ALRAJHI Director of Publications

The corporate side of our Georgetown community is something the business community of Qatar rarely hears about. With various Hoyas (Georgetown students and alumni, originating from our cheer Hoya Saxa!) working in business sectors around the world, raising awareness and reflecting these capabilities became an integral part of the pillars upon which the Enterprise was built. As Director of Publications, my role was to spread the word about the magazine itself and affirm that the versatility of a Georgetown education is sounded to the general public. It was a very interesting process to see how we all worked in a moving cycle to get everything done in a timely manner and, more importantly, to finish everything in the span of a few months. I would like to thank the Enterprise team for their hard work as well as the fantastic contributors who shared their past experiences and knowledge to help the rest of us with our futures. It was an honor being a part of this publication and I wish all our Hoyas the best in their future.




The Georgetown SFS-Q Enterprise in its entirety embodies the message we are trying to send: that Georgetown-Q students are not only for the foreign service. This endeavor was never only about collecting business-related articles. While that was a major component, the way the magazine has come together demonstrates the business acumen of the entire team who worked on it, from conceptualization to fruition. The editorial team itself had to work as an independent business unit as we decided on a theme, collected articles and interviews, edited content, and coordinated with the Business Society’s C-Class, Publications, and our Graphic Designer.

As a fresh graduate, I had to think beyond my expectations and take a stab at every opportunity that came my way. I saw this magazine as a milestone for my design profession; I wanted to be able to leave a mark in more diverse and large communities around me. By designing within this context of budding young professionals, I believe that this project has helped contribute to my learning as I present a more contemporary approach to the conventional business magazine. Fortunately, working with the Enterprise team has proven that it was not just my own vision, but a part of theirs as well. It has been a pleasure to experience how this collaboration was made possible.

Watching everything come together for this magazine was truly amazing. I cannot adequately express how proud I am of my fellow editors, Emma Mogensen and Joseph Hahn. We were running on an extremely tight schedule and yet we managed to pull everything together into what you see in the following pages. We worked to bridge the gap between the demands of a liberal arts education and those of the business world. These pages, from their layout to their content, are the product of this vision.


A Word From


Enterprise Inaugural Team 4 Introduction to Georgetown SFS-Q Business Society 5 How it All Began 7 Georgetown SFS-Q and The Global Management Challenge 8

Business and Leadership Agent of Change 10 Future Problems Need Future Thinking Leaders 13 The Rise of The Dragon 15 Are MNCs Responsible for More Than Profit? 18

Diversification and Qatar’s Economy Diversification of the Economy: What is in Qatar’s Future? 20 Qatar’s Growing Financial Sector 24 Qatar in The Changing Energy Market 26 What the 2022 World Cup Brings to Qatar 28 The Growing Gaming Industry and its Possible Implications for Qatar 30

Executive Experience Interview with Richard Shaheen 34 Interview with Khawaja Aftab Ahmed 36 HBKU Career Fair 38 Need for The Magazine 39






Executive Experience


Photo by Ayeda Iftikhar (Not pictured: Khawaja Hamza Ahmed)

Enterprise Inaugural Team Advisory Board

Editorial Board


Muhammad Saif Kazi Founder & Chief Advisor

Barbara Gallets Editor in Chief

Ibrahim AlRajhi Director of Publications

Kareem Malas Publications Advisor

Joseph Hahn Editor

Walli Ullah Associate Director of Publications

Khawaja Hamza Ahmed Publications Advisor

Emma Mogensen Editor

Siwon Kim Associate Director of Publications

Mohammad Taimur Ali Editorial Board Advisor

Design Carisa Antariksa Lead Designer 4

Amal Farooqui Associate Director of Publications

Introduction to Georgetown SFS-Q Enterprise The Georgetown SFS-Qatar Enterprise is the first magazine at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar oriented towards business, entrepreneurship, and global markets. The magazine aims to discuss current business issues from various academic and professional perspectives, while also highlighting Georgetown SFS-Q’s business profile by covering student accomplishments, faulty research, and alumni achievements. It is a project of the Georgetown SFS-Qatar Business Society. Students at SFS-Q study a wide range of topics that provide them with a holistic vision of the world around them. They have the ability to think critically and to make important connections between business and everything that affects it, from politics, history, and culture to economics, science, and mathematics. The Georgetown SFS-Q Enterprise gives students the opportunity to showcase everything they have learned and demonstrate how their education is applicable to the business world.

Introduction to Georgetown SFS-Q Business Society (GBS) The Georgetown SFS-Q Business Society (GBS) was officially launched on the 2nd of April 2014 with the aim of instilling the corporate spirit in all Hoyas. The society’s goal is to change the perception, both inside and outside Georgetown SFS-Q, that our graduates are only meant for the field of diplomacy and foreign service. We want to demonstrate that SFS-Q graduates are also fully capable of excelling in the corporate world. We also aim to provide the student body with the necessary tools and skills to support those students wishing to enter the business world. Based on statistics that show a significant portion of our graduates joining the private sector, the society aims to bridge the gap between the corporate sector in Doha and the student body at our university. We work to achieve this objective having workshops on skills needed in the private sector, such as interviews skills or tips for working in NGOs, participating in major business competitions,

inviting speakers from diverse fields to share their experiences and present their organizations, cooperating with Career Services to increase awareness regarding the career facilities our campus has to offer, and finally, launching a business magazine, the Georgetown SFS-Qatar Enterprise. We also introduced the “30-Minute Talk” in collaboration with The Career Center. This is a unique workshop held twice every semester that introduces, through coordination with the Career Center, different career tools available to students. It also covers other topics that aim to help students prepare for the corporate world. As the name suggests, it provides bite-sized pieces of helpful information about navigating and understanding the job market.

Muhammad Saif Kazi

Kareem Malas

Mohammad Taimur Ali

Khawaja Hamza Ahmed

Founder, President & CEO

Co-Founder, Vice President & CCO

Co-Founder, Vice President & CAO

Co-Founder, Vice President & COO 5

Georgetown SFS- Q Business Society Events Some of the major events we have held in the past year include: • Hosting an event called “What it takes to work for a multinational?” – A Interactive session by Shadi Imad, The Country Manager of DELL Qatar • Co-hosting a Panel with the Career Center on “What is Management Consultancy?” The panel consisted of Kenneth Mckellar, Partner and Middle East Energy & Resources Leader at Deloitte & Touche Middle East and Tara Makrem, Senior Consultant at PwC • Reaching the national finals of The Global Management Challenge 2015, the World’s Biggest Strategic and Management Challenge • Reaching the finals of the Shell Enterprise Challenge 2013, business simulation competition • Launching the Georgetown SFS-Qatar Enterprise The “30-minute Talks” workshops conducted so far are: • “Introducing Career Cruising” • “Who Are You?- Introduction to the MBTI” • “Ace That Interview” • “Understanding & Finding NGO jobs”


How it All Began Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Doha – the name is somewhat misleading. While it is true that the students at the institution are instructed in the study of foreign service, that is not the only thing a “Hoya” gains from his or her education at Georgetown. As part of the university’s core curriculum, students have to take numerous in-depth economics courses, such as International Trade and International Finance, in order to graduate. International Economics majors in particular go on to study the subject in great detail, both theoretically and through real world application. Students of other majors also often take economics courses as electives. This means that the university generates a lot of students with the necessary economic/business acumen to successfully contribute to the corporate world, a fact proven by the vast number of alumni working in the private sector after graduation. The university did, however, lack an organization that amasses its business acumen internally and projects it externally to outside parties. GBS was an idea that I brought with me when I transferred to Georgetown Qatar; however, I never imagined it would be such a perfect fit in the Georgetown community. The university had already been producing exemplary students who were more than capable of excelling in the corporate world. However, they were plagued by the stereotype that Georgetown Qatar students only become diplomats. Alex Silberman, one of the Student Development Officers at the time, instantly loved the idea but, as I was still new to the community, cautioned me not to start it until the Spring of 2014. Meanwhile, I gathered support from my peers and was able to convince three extremely talented and ambitious fellow students to help me co-found this society. Taimur, Kareem, and Hamza brought forward their own unique skill sets and helped me form the backbone of this society. If it was not for the faith they had in me and the idea of the society, I sincerely do not think GBS would have come to be. On the day of the society’s launch, all our doubts were put to rest by a huge turnout of students, ranging from freshmen to seniors. The decision to open this society was lauded by students, faculty and staff throughout Georgetown and soon we had membership requests flood in. Along with that, we found a great partner in the Career Centre, with whom we have had numerous collaborative events. The initial reception was truly great, but so was the responsibility resting on our shoulders. As founders, GBS became our primary focus of attention after our academics. One year later, we can take pride in many of our achievements. I am confident that all of our members are better prepared for the corporate world and have gained a lot from GBS. As I am finishing my junior year in Georgetown SFS-Qatar, I look forward to working hard to promote this society and serve the community until my last days here. In my journey so far, I am thankful to all the support I have received from all of Georgetown while developing and implementing this initiative. I hope that this society has not only lived up to my high expectations but to the expectations of the community as a whole. There is not a single doubt in my mind that this society will only continue to grow bigger and stronger. Soon the students of Georgetown SFS-Qatar will be known throughout the country as some of the best business minds in Education City. Muhammad Saif Kazi Founder, President & CEO Georgetown SFS-Q Business Society

Founder & Chief Advisor Georgetown SFS-Q Enterprise



Georgetown SFS-Q and the Global Management Challenge by Amal Farooqui

Before joining the Global Management Challenge (GMC), an international business competition for managers and university students alike, reading a balance sheet was the equivalent of learning a foreign language. In fact, my teammates and I had little to no background in business. Despite our lack of business expertise, we had joined the Georgetown Business Society (GBS) because its goal of preparing students for the corporate world resonated with us personally, especially considering that we were interested in future internships and careers in the private sector. Through GBS, we joined the GMC because we were drawn to the idea that we could be part of a well-established competition that would provide a unique learning experience. Admittedly, we were hesitant at first for several reasons. In addition to the fact that we had no background knowledge of business, we were competing against groups with professional managers and students from local business schools as well as the founders of our very own GBS. In the end, it was sheer optimism that overcame our fears. We accepted that we would try our best regardless of the results because we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the world’s biggest business competition. At the same time, as an all-girl group, we hoped to tackle the stereotype that women do not belong in the corporate world, which is why we chose ‘Georgetown Pink’ as our team name. When it was time to submit our first decision sheet for the competition, we spent half the meeting learning new terms and concepts such as “investment performance“ and “equity.” However, we soon realized that while understanding common business terms was important, it was using our intuition, analyzing, and thinking critically that helped us the most. As it turned out, it was a matter of applying all the skills that we had been developing in our courses since freshman year to a real-life scenario. As my team member, Mariam Diefallah, explains it, “we were able to understand the bigger picture of the market more than the details of our company. In other words, the economics courses we took at Georgetown allowed us to analyze the data given to us every week.” Fellow team member Zarine Bohra echoes this idea, stating, “the economics courses helped us in understanding the

terms and concepts of business and how things work on a much larger scale.” Nehal Hussein, the team leader, adds: “logic, a core quality that Georgetown’s education focuses on, played a very important hand in helping us determine our ‘moves’ during the rounds.” We were all surprised at the extent to which our liberal arts background could help us in the technical world of business. In the end, perhaps the most important skill we developed was the ability to work as a team. The Global Management Challenge brought out our competitive spirit so that we were entirely self-motivated; we set meetings far ahead of the competition deadlines and gave up breaks in favor of devising business plans. We learned that the only way to succeed was to work cohesively as a group. This entailed appreciating each other’s suggestions, being aware of our respective strengths and weaknesses, and cooperating to ensure that we were proud of our decisions. It became apparent that our efforts had paid off when we found out that we placed first during the first week of round one. We went on to place first for the majority of the round, which meant we were ahead of even the GBS founding members’ group. Needless to say, we were all pleasantly surprised. As Zarine put it, “I think our performance exceeded our expectations by far. In the first round we did exceptionally well and none of us expected that. We didn’t manage to get through to the second round but I think we did a great job overall. ” Looking back on the experience, my team members and I are extremely grateful. According to Mariam, we now have “a better understanding of businesses and markets’ behavior and a better estimate of risks and consequences of one’s decisions. Moreover, as a team, I think we have improved our communication, leadership, and time management skills.” Nehal adds, “our logical and analytical skills increased tremendously. We learned how to decrypt numbers and generate certain data in order to make a profit.” Not only have we gained valuable experience for working in the private sector, but we have taken away skills that can be applied to a wide variety of careers and internships. Most importantly, our surprising degree of success gave us a newfound confidence that will carry over into our future endeavors, regardless of whether or not that entails reading balance sheets.


Amal Farooqui (SFSQ’17) is a Culture and Politics major at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. She is also a member of the Georgetown Business Society, an Assistant Director of Publications for the magazine, and an aspiring writer. 9


Making a change When I first came to Doha, I was working for an American franchise. I soon realized that did not work for me. This particular franchise was very strict in the field of education and did not allow for any creativity on my part, which felt very restrictive and frustrating. I’m a starter. I find a thrill in starting something new, figuring out what a project needs, understanding what skills I have that can possibly help meet these needs, and coming up with a tailor-made plan. I find it exciting to “walk the line” between expectation and innovation, between norms and ideals, between reality and utopia. “What is the solution that best serves the true needs of everyone involved?” is a question I like to ask myself and those I work with. For me, every journey to success starts with a co-creative process: asking questions, brainstorming, finding out what others see as the “pain” and what their expectation is of the solution and their own role in bringing it about. I have found that bouncing ideas back and forth during the creative process is extremely helpful, especially when done with a person who dares to ask critical questions.

‘Sometimes I cannot see a solution that will work for everyone. Then I have to look at the larger picture – take a wider angle, understand more of what is going on – until I can see how all the dots connect and which solution makes the most sense.’ After only 9 months in Doha, I decided to start Arcata Communication Coaching, aiming to meet the needs of the many professionals in Doha suffering from office politics, misunderstandings, and miscommunication. After several weeks at the drawing board, I had come up with a name, a logo, a slogan, and a basic offering. I had screened my ideas through those amongst my friends and family whom I knew to be harsh critics: people who would pick my ideas apart and test their strengths. I needed them to challenge my ideas to see if my reasoning and vision for the future could stand up to scrutiny.


Carolin Zeitler, Founder & CEO of Tataowar

Becoming the change Once we were all satisfied, I went out into the wild, wild world with my ideas. What I had not taken into consideration was that hardly anyone in Doha in 2008 knew what coaching was and why they needed it for their employees. Most people I spoke to at the local companies thought that coaching was just a fancy word for training. Others thought it was a kind of therapy, like life coaching. So my first job was to educate the market. What do we mean by “executive coaching”? How is it different from training? In a nutshell: Training is great when you are teaching someone how to assemble a machine or other hard skills, where there is a right way and a wrong way of doing it. You tell them “These are the steps; follow them and you will be successful.” Executive coaching is great for soft skills, as there is no “right” or “wrong” way to give a presentation or to have a great conversation. It all depends on the person and their inherent strengths and talents, on their skills and the experience they bring to the table. So, as coaches, we identify those skills and strengths in our clients and build on them to make them effective communicators, presenters, or leaders. We teach them tools to create their own solutions, to become effective and creative problem-solvers.

‘Executive coaching is great for soft skills, as there is no “right” or “wrong” way to give a presentation or to have a great conversation. It all depends on the person and their inherent strengths and talents, on their skills and the experience they bring to the table.’ Arcata quickly gained traction and became quite popular with the Q-companies in particular. 11

Being the change

Empowering the change

In the meantime, I had also noticed that there was no platform for professional women to get together. I therefore created a small group for women with ambitions and aspirations called “These Ladies Mean Business” that met monthly to exchange business ideas, critique each other’s presentations, and generally support each other. Despite the great diversity of the group in every respect, from age to nationality to professional background and ambition, we all felt we benefitted immensely from our meetings and that we could identify with each other. We decided that we wanted to make this experience available to a wider community. This is how “How Women Work” (HHW) was born. It was conceived in 2009, and in April 2010 we had our first conference with over 100 delegates attending. From there, the conference and the community just kept growing. In 2014 we had more than 300 attendees at our fifth anniversary conference, and our community now offers a wide variety of events all year round. A great many people helped me achieve this success. Some of them gave me just a few hours of their time or merely said a few sentences, but their contributions made a critical difference; others have now been supporting me for years as volunteers, partners, speakers, advisors, and community members. I could never have done it on my own. Hundreds of people have been – and still are – part of the community that allows HWW to keep growing and thriving and reach so many women out there. I am just the one who ensures that the flame keeps burning, that it never goes out, and that new people gather regularly to continue this journey of women empowerment and leadership growth.

In 2012 it became time for my coaching business to find a new form. We noticed that what our corporate clients were really looking for was more employee engagement. Most did not know this term but they were essentially asking us to help engage their employees more while also helping to make their leaders more engaging through our coaching programmes.We decided to rebrand and became Tataowar Coaching & Consulting. The name Tataowar is derived from the Arabic word , which means to grow, develop, evolve, and improve. It perfectly captures the work we do, which is all about the client taking responsibility for her or his own leadership growth. As the years go by, I keep acquiring new skills and adapting our offerings to the needs of the market. At the same time, we have always stayed true to our core values.

‘We have never lost sight of our overall goal to create a community of leaders who think in socially responsible and sustainable ways, who understand that there is enough for everyone if only we focus on how we can complement each other, rather than on how we can trump each other.’ We consistently work with leaders who share our belief that meaningful, sustainable growth fulfills the true needs of the individual and the greater good, just as we have always done and will continue to do.

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Carolin Zeitler is the Founder & CEO of Tataowar Coaching & Consulting and the How Women Work Community. She dreams of a world in which leadership is about creating the best solution for everyone involved, a world in which leaders’ mindsets have shifted from the currently predominant perspective of lack, fear and scarcity to one of opportunity, growth and abundance.


Future Problems need Future Thinking Leaders by Mary D’amato,

Assistant Director of Human Resources, Georgetown University SFS-Qatar

Several years ago, there was an automobile ad in the U.S. that tried to appeal to a younger generation of car buyers. The tag line for the new car model was: “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile!” The marketing attempt failed miserably. What the company failed to understand was that their loyal older customers expected the old look, and potential new younger customers could not relate to the brand or the style. Now, in 2015, we are facing a similar situation regarding global leadership. The question we must ask is this: “Do leaders know their constituents, who they are, and how they need to be led effectively?” Today a leader may have to consider huge generational gaps, a 24-hour news cycle, global connectivity, and many demands for dwindling resources.

In this ever-shrinking, ever-faster world, a new model of leadership is called for. Unfortunately, many institutions are perpetuating old theories based on power, accumulation of wealth, and ego-driven agendas. The world does not need more people with meaningless titles; it does not need men and women who are focused solely on their industry if they don’t understand how they are connected to, impacted by, and related to a greater global movement. What is needed now are leaders in all walks of life, in every industry, in every country, and on every continent that understand the interrelatedness of culture, economics, religion, social welfare, and human potential based on a global vision. We must be able to solve future problems with solutions

based on a broader concept of what is good for one must also be beneficial for the greater good. Education, banking, engineering, accounting, healthcare, technology, as well as other industries must employ and develop leaders who can move the world to a different standard of success. This is especially true for Qatar at this stage in its development. In previous times, Qatar and the world in general were in a state of survival, focusing on individual needs of safety, food, water and shelter. Once these needs were satisfied to a significant degree, growth and development were able to be realized. Now the focus is on perpetuation. Many nations, regardless of their histories, are at this stage to some degree. It’s especially true and challenging for Qatar, but also invigorating and full of promise for the future. 13

I do not believe there is any one curriculum, definitive school of thought, or particular country that can accurately delineate how to be an effective leader in today’s global world. I do know that every industry and every level of leadership, not only heads of state and executives, must be able to see, strategize, plan, and execute decisions with perpetual development, not just immediate growth, as their focus. That must include a healthy planet, a strong economy, a commitment to social justice, and a commitment to peace, not just power. I was once told that “what you focus on expands.” In my experience, I have seen numerous examples of this and I believe it to be true.

The question then becomes, “What are we focusing on?” Are we focusing on compassion or competition? Faith in humanity or fear of the enemy? Passion for peace or possession of power? Service leadership or individual self-interest? Technology, weaponry, climate change, and significant wealth disparity have heightened the need for future-thinking leaders to ask the right questions, propose strategic solutions, and realize the ties of interdependence that connects the globe to its people. Future challenges cannot and will not be resolved with outdated solutions.

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Especially today in Qatar, it is imperative that leaders realize every industry, ministry, and individual is connected to one another and is an integral part of the successful realization of the nation’s vision.

Before coming to Georgetown University in Qatar as Assistant Director of HR for Learning & Development, Mary D’amato had a training and consulting firm focused on “Building Healthy Teams & Leaders.” Mary uses a holistic approach to leadership using executive coaching, organizational psychology, and strategy to help leaders develop the confidence to be Truth Advocates and to lead with integrity.


The Rise of The Dragon by Mohammad Taimur Ali Ahmad

The past decade has seen a lot of talk about China’s rise as an economic superpower and whether it has depth, beyond the remarkable figures, that would allow it to sustainably grow. Especially before the 2008 crisis, a significant proportion of scholars did not attach much weight to China’s growth with respect to overtaking the Western economies. However, China’s consistently remarkable rise and continued expansion in the global economic order has brought it to the forefront of any discourse about the future of the global economy. 15

While many in the West tend to view China’s rise as a great digression from the status quo, it is, in fact, simply regaining its lost place in the global economic order. Martin Jacques, in his book When China Rules the World, emphasizes the need to place China’s rise in historical context to truly understand it. Even up to the early 19th century, China contributed approximately one-third to the global output. Following that period, Western societies successfully integrated industrialization and were able to modernize efficiently and effectively to yield maximum results. China struggled to keep up, bogged down by a cumbersome social and political system that was trying desperately to hold on to tradition. Today China has established itself as the largest economy in the world. Its success has been the result of a continued emphasis on growth, despite the tumultuous periods of collectivization it faced under Mao Zedong in the 1960s. Modern day China is no longer a society that struggles to adapt to innovation and growth; rather, it has become the central driving force behind technological progress and rapid expansion. This has been achieved by decades of investment in human capital and focus on agriculture that greatly boosted productivity, not only allowing it to be self-sufficient, but also to become the world’s leading exporter.

It has refrained from merely mimicking the West as the ideal model; rather, it has learnt lessons from successful economies and applied them to its own political and social context.

In this lies China’s greatest strength. It has reformed itself as a nation and society that has a seemingly insatiable desire to become an economic superpower, that invests in human capital, and keeps pushing itself to work harder and innovate more. It is their strong economic and social base that sets them on the path to sustainable growth. An apt example of this is the high savings rate that characterizes Chinese growth. Though often noted as 16

counter to mainstream economic theory, China’s growth and rising income has seen a surge in savings rate, complemented by increasing enterprise and government saving. This has resulted in Gross Domestic Savings taking up more than a 50% share of the GDP. Not following the Western model of high consumption as a driver of economic growth, China has used high savings to continuously invest in the economy, allowing firms to become more productive and expand markets, especially in terms of exports. Its thrift also means that China has, thus far, avoided the formation of any significant domestic bubble and overvaluation of assets, though recent figures do show worrying signs in the property market. Another key aspect of China’s policy has been the strong emphasis on education. Six to seven million students graduate from Chinese universities annually, with engineering and science making up 40% of them. A strong primary and secondary school system has been lauded internationally as Shanghai ranked first in 2009 and 2012 in PISA international student assessment. This has further allowed an educated class of Chinese youth to emigrate and succeed in the world’s top educational institutes. Rising trends in enrollment rates of Chinese students in U.S. universities testifies to this fact. According to Bloomberg, the number has surged by 75% as compared to only three years ago. Within this group, most of the students tend to pursue degrees, both at undergraduate and graduate levels, in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. This increasing trend has put China on the road to success in terms of innovation, while a worrying trend can be seen in the Western economies, where a lack of graduates from such fields is putting pressure on them to import expertise. Much of this growth model is the result of China’s one-party system that has provided the country with the necessary political stability to achieve such economic growth. Though China was a heavily centralized state in Mao’s era, Deng Xiaoping undertook decentralization reforms that gradually gave more authority to regional authorities. Areas

within the Special Economic Zones were given priority and were seen as the main drivers behind China’s economic reform. The importance of this system is often undervalued; repeatedly changing governments do not come with the promise of the new government continuing the policies of the previous one, and this volatility upsets growth and discourages investment. Having a single-party, centralized government allowed China to embark on their growth strategy without the threat of any instability and achieve the necessary fundamental economic and social targets before gradually dissipating power. The economic miracles of Singapore and South Korea testify to the importance of having such a political system, something we see happening in Qatar today.

As Qatar continues to take on massive projects and diversify its economy, the fact that it has a strong centralized government allows these long term projects to be executed efficiently. Otherwise, each changing government would come in with their own vision and this would damage the work done by the previous government. The final, and most important, factor in China’s economic miracle is the population itself. As previously mentioned, decades of investment in human capital and a strong leadership has inculcated in the people a value of education, the need to continuously work harder, and the desire for growth and innovation. Despite rapid modernization, Chinese people have stuck to their values and ethics, traditional family systems and high levels of discipline. This has ensured that China now has a solid base on which it can expand itself internationally. There is a large Chinese diaspora in developed countries and an increasing diaspora in African countries as well, where Chinese investment is surging. The long term planning is evident; China wants to become an economic powerhouse rather a political one, and it is using its expertise and its capital to spread its influence, embodied by its mantra of “China’s peaceful rise”. All the aforementioned factors – the result of China’s decades of reform

It is seeking to counter the influence of the IMF and the WB in the region by setting up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which has unexpectedly been joined by major allies of the US such as the UK, as a source of funding for developing countries in the region. This and the New Development Bank – set up by the BRICs – is China’s attempt to offer an alternate source of funding to economies worldwide and move away from the Western dominated economic system that has prevailed for decades. Other achievements include the recent rise in popularity of the Chinese Yuan as a currency for trade and

commodity prices from crashing and saving the Least Developed Countries - major commodity exporters - from a potential crisis. Thus, it has already established a major role for itself in the global economy and will continue to build upon this. Despite that, there is a major hurdle approaching for China in the near future. The property bubble and the economic slowdown will be a major test for the reform-oriented government. It is imperative that China not go against market fundamentals, like the US, and bail out banks and other institutions simply to soften the blow and potentially postpone the crisis. It must be met by making the necessary structural reforms and emerge from it a stronger economy. If this does happen, then there is no doubt that China will emerge as a leader in the new, multipolar economic system. And for countries like Qatar, the Chinese model of growth holds important lessons. Though the resource fuelled economy of a microstate like Qatar differs vastly from a mammoth country like China, the role of state owned enterprises and consumer thrift holds the key to Qatar’s sustained economic success.

The high consumption rates of Qatari nationals is heavily contingent on government subsidies, which is unsustainable in the long run; therefore, it is important that Qatar constructs a domestic savings base which it can then channel into investment rather than purely relying on their resource revenue. This is something China has exhibited effectively and should be a lesson, not only for Qatar, but for other developing nations as well.


Mohammad Taimur Ali Ahmad (SFSQ’17) is an International Economics major at Georgetown SFS-Q. He also writes editorials for national newspapers in Pakistan and is avidly interested in current political and economic affairs. 17

Zhao, Y. What Drives China’s Success? Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/10/02/what-drives-chinas-success/, Ibid., Lorin, J. Chinese Students at U.S. Universities Jump 75% in Three Years. Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-11-17/chinese-students-at-u-s-universities-jump-75-in-three-years, China Eclipses U.S. as Biggest Trading Nation. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-02-09/china-passes-us-to-become-the-world-s-biggest-trading-nation, China to establish $40 billion Silk Road infrastructure fund., Alibaba Claims Title For Largest Global IPO Ever With Extra Share Sales. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2014/09/22/alibaba-claims-title-for-largest-global-ipo-ever-with-extra-share-sales/ (2014, November 8). Retrieved March 15, 2015, from http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/08/us-china-diplomacy-idUSKBN0IS0BQ20141108, Egan, M. China Now Owns a Record $1.317T of U.S. Government Debt. Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.foxbusiness.com/economy-policy/2014/01/16/china-now-owns-record-1317t-us-government-debt/`

Therefore China’s regional economic hegemony is evident in its ability to look beyond politically strained ties and offer economic incentives to these countries.

credit guarantees, bypassing the dollar centric system that has transaction costs for countries. Before the end of 2015, the China International Payment System (CIPS) is also expected to launch, which would allow large-scale transactions to be made in the Yuan and would make the currency more attractive in terms of trade and investments. The sheer ability of China to be able to challenge the hegemony of the dollar signifies the strong economic foundations that it has constructed over the decades. Also, the strength of Chinese private firms in the domestic and foreign markets can be seen in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Alibaba, which was the largest IPO in history, raising $25 billion. Despite the very impressive developments China has undeniably made, both domestically and internationally, there are major doubts being raised about its future. There is a growing debt crisis, an emerging property bubble, and imports are slowing down. The GDP growth rate has fallen and the government is voraciously trying to cut back on high risk lending. But are these major fault lines that could bring the Chinese miracle to an end or does China have strong enough foundations, as mentioned initially, to fully take its place at the top? I believe that China’s rise will continue and it will play integral role in bringing a much needed change from the Western oriented economic system. It has shown the importance of adapting the fundamentals of economic development to each country’s social and cultural context, and that gradual, initially domestic-oriented reform leads to a more stable system than simply having impressive macroeconomic indicators in the short run. A lack of dependence on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and more emphasis on raising domestic investment is also a major contributing factor to its growth. It was also a major stakeholder in holding together the global economy in 2008 when more developed economies were crashing. Currently, China owns up to $1.3 trillion of US debt. It continued to be a market for primary goods and commodities, a big factor in saving


and struggle – have yielded prolific results. Its GDP has grown at an average rate of 10% per year, though that figure has decreased to 7.4% in 2014. It has alleviated approximately 680 million from poverty, consistently increased urban and rural disposable incomes, and has urbanized at a rapid rate. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, China has 102 cities with more than one million people, compared to 35 in Europe and 9 in the US. This figure is expected to more than double by 2025. In 2013, it surpassed the US as the world’s largest trading country, amounting to $3.87 trillion worth of goods. It is also the largest e-commerce market in the world, and the numbers continue to grow exponentially. The once famous Trans-Atlantic trade route is now being displaced by the Trans-Pacific trade route. While China continues to expand its trade with the West, it is also working to recreate the Silk Route in the East. There has already been a $40 billion investment into infrastructure linking China to Central Asian markets, with ambitions to stretch this all the way to Europe. Alongside this, it has already signed a $400 billion gas deal with Russia and major trade deals with Pakistan and South Korea.


Are MNCs Responsible for More than Profit

by Alexander M. Wagner


“If in the long run we are the makers of our own fate, in the short run we are the captives of the ideas we have created. Only if we recognize the danger in time can we hope to avert it.” F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom

Communications Professional at Weber Shandwick

I. Market Dynamics Though markets enable consumers and suppliers to interact – generating value for both – what is valued by one party may not be valued by another; the value attained by either party may not be equal, and the creation of value may not unfold equitably. Yet preferences are not the sole influence on market-commerce. On the contrary, the latter is affected by the lack of rationality among engaged agents – comprised of consumers and suppliers alike – and the many unforeseen consequences that result from legislation devised by regulators, however noble and calculated their initial ambitions may have been. The interplay of demand and supply supposedly translates into perfectly competitive markets that are in equilibrium, which in turn yields outcomes that are Pareto Optimal for the parties engaged. In other words, market equilibrium entails perfectly competitive markets in which prices reflect economic values. With the price system in equilibrium, a unit of any good or service is used most productively and of the best possible consumption, so that greater output 18

or satisfaction could not be attained through the transfer of resources. In fact, redistribution would benefit some at the expense of others – ceteris paribus. Similarly, so long as the labor market is in equilibrium, the natural rate of unemployment – typically referred to as full employment – prevails, meaning that those out of work are on seasonal leave or in transition, while those wanting to work at the given wage level are employed. Under these circumstances, then, organizations are not to blame for the unemployment of some. As the acted upon interests of consumers may diverge from their actual ones (given a wide array of forces affecting their choice), as suppliers are prone to diverge from natural price (in the pursuit of profit), and as unemployment is fueled not only by supply but demand side factors, markets are unlikely to be in equilibrium, inducing adverse societal ramifications. Regulators further distort the state of markets by tailoring commerce to their own interests, and those of interest groups and constituents. They may, for instance, choose to protect

particular industries in the interest of lower prices, higher employment, higher corporate profits and, in effect, higher chances of reelection. Though such interference promises shortterm benefits, future repercussions of present-day regulatory actions are virtually unknown. Due to the irrationality of parties, both the inefficiency as well as the disequilibrium of markets and the inability of agents to properly foresee the long-term, market-commerce is prone to fall short of its objective – value creation. The following excerpt from a 2005 Citigroup industry note, addressed to “Managerial Aristocracy,” emphasizes this notion:

The World is dividing into two blocs – the plutonomies, where economic growth is powered by and largely consumed by the wealthy few, and the rest . . . [in] the U.S., the top 1% of households also account for 33% of net worth, greater than the bottom 90% of households put together . . . Low-end developed market labor might not have much economic power, but it does have equal voting

II. Value VS Profit In stark contrast to Citigroup’s view, Dr. Michael Porter, a scholar at Harvard Business School, is convinced that corporations are likely to enhance corporate value when catering to societal needs. He argues that “the solution lies in the principle of shared value,” which entails “policies and operating procedures that enhance the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously advancing the economic and social conditions” of its surroundings. Such engagement is not explained by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), considering that it “emerged largely to improve firms’ reputations,” meaning “societal issues are at the periphery, not the core.” Corporate operations, argues Porter, ought to reflect “self-interested behavior to create economic value by creating societal value.” He suggests that Shared Value is created through a threefold process comprised of “reconceiving products and markets, redefining productivity in the value chain, and building supportive industry clusters.” Frito Lay, for instance, has captured “more than 40 percent of the Indian branded snacks-market” by tailoring “global products, such as Lays and Cheetos, to local tastes.” Similarly, the Chinese MNC Haier supplies “extra-durable washing machines that can wash vegetables as well as clothes” along with “refrigerators with protective metal plates and bite-proof wiring to ward off mice.” Clearly, societal and corporate value is intertwined. The vitality of shared value be-

comes self-evident when considering that “societal problems can create economic costs in the firm’s value chain” as “externalities actually inflict internal costs on the firm, even in the absence of regulation or resource taxes.” Externalities include the costs of inefficient energy and resource use, material-intensive distribution schemes, the fact that “marginalized suppliers cannot remain productive or sustain, much less improve, their quality,” and the tendency that “because of lost workdays and diminished employee productivity, poor health costs . . . more than health benefits.” Once value supplants profit, such externalities will not merely be mitigated but prevented. Porter concludes his account by stressing that “the success of every company is affected by the supporting companies and infrastructure around it,” which include “academic programs, trade associations, and standard organizations,” as well as “schools and universities, clean water, fair competition laws, quality standards, and market transparency.” Once companies discover that “productivity suffers” across “inefficient or monopolized markets where workers are exploited, where suppliers do not receive fair prices, and where price transparency is lacking,” shared value turns into an imperative. Based on this view, then, it appears that “businesses acting as businesses, not as charitable donors, are the most powerful force for addressing the pressing issues we face.”

error – a claim proven false by the history of financial market regulation alone. Procedural justice, in contrast, suggests that it is not the elaborate planning for but rather the sheer execution of action that is critical. Shared Value prevents ex-post government intervention by operating on the assumption that “the more fertile opportunities for creating shared value will be closely related to a company’s particular business and in area most important to the business.” Consumers must also reclaim responsibility, acknowledging that their preferences – such as low-cost clothing and foodstuff – affect the operational decisions of the suppliers from whom respective products and services are being demanded. Wages that barely allow their recipients to subsist and hazardous working conditions are mere symptoms of a guilt-mitigating adherence to distributive justice at the expense its vital procedural counterpart. An intricate combination of corporate interests, consumer preferences and regulatory practices forms the heart of market commerce. Unless interests, practices, and the moral compass of buyers and sellers, borrowers and lenders are reassessed and reoriented, stakeholders across sectors will pursue improvement without ever attaining it. Business schools must, thus, cease “to teach the narrow view of capitalism” and contribute to “rebuilding capitalism for the long term,” rendering it “stronger, more resilient, more equitable, and better able to deliver the sustainable growth the world needs.” Procedural Justice Citizens, meanwhile, must realize that “the ideas of economists and political Over the past decades, widening dis- philosophers, both when they are right parities in wealth – whether in China, and when they are wrong, are more India, or the United States – have made powerful, than commonly understood.” the idea of distributive justice popular. Only then will societies evade “dubiMilton Friedman described distributive ous short-term panaceas,” and market justice as “the acceptance of the social- commerce come to mirror the prudence ist view that political mechanisms, not of an Adam Smith – guided by value, market mechanisms, are the approprinot profit. ate way to determine the allocation of Alexander M. Wegner currently works as a communications scarce resources to alternative uses.” professional at Weber Shandwick, a leading global public Problematically, subscribers to this relations firm, and presently advises clients in the education and construction sector. A graduate of Georgetown University conception overestimate themselves, School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Alexander takes an interest assuming that the realization of their in international affairs and serves as a contributor to the World Economic Forum. Some of his written work can be found online intentions unfolds virtually free from



at https://aspiringsophist.wordpress.com/.


Ajay Kapur, Niall Macleod and Narendra Singh, “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances,” Citigroup Global Markets, October 16, 2005, 10., Ibid., 1, 2, 24, 25., Michael E. Porter, “Creating Shared Value,” Harvard Business Review, January 2011, Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Clay Chandler and Christian Johnson, ed., “Winning the $30 Trillion Decathlon: Going for Gold in Emerging Markets,” McKinsey & Company, 2012, 13., Ibid., Ibid., 15., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Milton Friedman, “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits,” The New York Times Magazine, September 13, 1970., Ibid., Porter, “Creating Shared Value.”, Barton, “Capitalism for the Long-Term.”, Ibid., F. A. Hayek. The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007, 33., Ibid.

power with the rich . . . Perhaps one reason that societies allow plutonomy, is because enough of the electorate believe they have a chance of becoming a Pluto-participant . . . So long as economies continue to grow, and enough of the electorates feel that they are benefiting and getting rich in absolute terms, even if they are less well off in relative terms, there is little threat to Plutonomy in the U.S., the UK, etc.



Assistant Professor of Economics Georgetown University SFS-Qatar

Photographies by Kai-Henrik Barth, www.kaihenrikbarth.com



What is in Qatar’s Future?


FACULTY Policymakers in the GCC have ranked economic diversification as a top priority. The reason is twofold: first, reliance on exporting just one or two products leaves countries vulnerable to terms-of-trade shocks. Indeed, countries that have more diversified export baskets suffer less from volatile swings in their terms of trade. Secondly, the GCC relies on exports of non-renewable hydrocarbons, which implies that the current export basket is not sustainable in the long run. In fact, all the countries in the GCC have some language in their national visions about the need to diversify exports. Qatar, for example, has named economic development and the creation of a diversified economy a “pillar” in its Vision 2030. What should countries do to diversify their export basket? This is of great interest to me as a trade economist. In fact, I have long been interested in the idea of export diversification but in a different context. My family is originally from Latin America, so for me export diversification meant shifting exports from agricultural products to manufactured goods. I always thought that when I became an economist I would finally have the answers to all my questions about how a country should diversify its exports. Unfortunately, what I found is that there is very little work on sub-optimal export diversification. Thus, I will not be able to give a precise answer in this article. However, I will provide ways of thinking about how government policy should be designed. First, it is important to take a trip back to Principles of Microeconomics, the first economics course that most undergraduates take. In this class, students learn that the market functions well (meaning that it provides efficient allocations), assuming there are no market failures. Here is an example of market failure. I once met a gentleman who exports wood from Guatemala to East Asia. Guatemala has been a major source of the particular type of wood that he exports for several decades. As a result, there are many exporters who have bid up the local price of this wood. This is where the story becomes interesting. There is an abundant supply of this type of wood in Ecuador. More importantly, people in Ecuador have not realized that this wood commands a high international price and it thus sells for a very low price domestically. I asked him why he did not export from Ecuador. He said that if he exported from Ecuador, soon others would know that the wood can be exported and the prices in Ecuador would rise. He weighed the cost of moving to another country and the risk involved in setting up his operation again, and decided it simply was not worth it. 22

This is an example of information externality. In this case, the market does not provide the efficient outcome. Society as a whole would be better off with the discovery of a cheaper source of wood, but individuals do not have the incentive to undertake the costly effort of seeing this through. Indeed, numerous examples confirm that such information externalities exist when it comes to exports. For instance, there is the well-known story of the Bangladeshi textile industry, described in William Easterly’s Elusive Quest for Growth. The industry was almost non-existent until 1980 when Daewoo Corporation entered into a collaborative arrangement with a local producer. Daewoo worked to make exporting textiles possible along many dimensions. For example, the company helped establish bonded warehouses to avoid protectionist tariffs and quotas. Daewoo also helped local banks set up the right kinds of loans to facilitate exports. This knowledge leaked to others in the country. Soon, the Bangladeshi textile industry experienced fantastic growth with many “copycat” firms entering the market. What happened to Daewoo? The local Bangladeshi company became so successful that it canceled the collaborative agreement a little after a year. Thus, let us return to our original question of what policies government should put into place to diversify exports. Governments should put policies in place that remedy market failures. Indeed, some governments have engaged in industrial policy (IP), which temporarily provides support to a certain sector, presumably to correct for market failures. The idea is that the temporary protection will allow a sector “to get on its feet” and compete internationally. IP has a long and controversial history. Trade economists see it as something that could work in theory but hardly works in practice. A recent survey of IP by two prominent economists from the University of Pennsylvania and UC Berkeley argues that there is no evidence that intervention has ever been implemented for IP reasons! The data shows that protection has not been systematically offered to industries with positive externalities or market failures. Instead, it has been diverted to special interest groups and firms in declining industries. Surprisingly, this is even the case in East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea. Where does this leave us? I think that if we want to design government policy, it is important to undertake two tasks. First, we need to build measures of market failures among industries. This will give policymakers an idea of which industries suffer from the most acute mar-

ket failures. These are precisely the sectors that are good candidates for temporary public assistance. Secondly, we also need to adapt trade models to incorporate these market failures. Today we have rich models that predict gains or losses resulting from changes in tariffs. However, we have nothing similar for the various IPs that a government can implement. I also believe that this lack of systematic assessment tool for IP explains why it has been so poorly implemented in the past. Even if policymakers had good intentions, they would not have had a good sense of which industries to support. What is astonishing is that the general lack of quantification of gains from IP has led some governments to invest heavily without a proper cost-benefit analysis. For example, a book written by senior World Bank officials considers the case of Embraer. Embraer is a Brazilian aerospace conglomerate that received substantial financial support from the Brazilian government in its initial stages and then went on to become an important player in the industry. However, these authors state:

“It is…clear…that the necessary government support to get Embraer to this point was substantial, and it is not clear that the net present value of these public subsidies is positive… Thus this case raises the issue of how far policy should go in supporting high-tech industries, even when they are commercially successful after many years of government subsidies.” We can go back to the very beginning and now think about what Qatar should do in order to diversify its exports. History has shown that IP with the aim of export diversification is very challenging. Thus, to maximize the probability of success, policy should be designed with the explicit goal of overcoming market failures. Developing methodologies to design IP is a fruitful area for future economics research that at the same time can aid Qatari policymakers.


Dr. Jose Gonzalo Asturias is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. His research interests lie in international trade and macroeconomics with a special focus on growth. His projects investigate topics such as the joint effect of financial frictions and entry costs on growth and the welfare impact of changes in transportation infrastructure. He was recently awarded a PEDL grant from CEPR to study transportation costs and regional differences in scale of operation. Before coming to Georgetown, he has worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the Central Bank of Guatemala, and the White House Council of Economic Advisers.



Qatar’s Growing Financial Sector 24


Michael Ryan

CEO of the QFC Regulatory Authority

The 2008 global financial crisis reminded us again of the significant negative effects that flow to the general economy from a crisis in the financial system. A disruption in the financial system affects not only future growth prospects for an economy but also erodes the existing wealth of companies, investors, and consumers. A strong financial system is a critical part of the foundation that delivers sustainable growth and promotes a successful drive for increased economic diversification; it is the mechanism that delivers the financing that companies and consumers require, allocates capital to entrepreneurs, and drives innovation. While the financial sector plays an important role in driving growth and economic diversification, it also benefits from that broader diversification. Economic diversification not only increases the opportunities for financing and investment available to the financial sector, but that same diversification also offers significant potential to further diversify the risk profile of the financial sector, thereby improving its resilience. For sustainable economic growth, the financial system must function effectively. Smart financial regulation plays a crucial role in making sure that is the case. Qatar has been a global leader in growth over the last decade and meeting the challenges of exceptional growth demands discipline, vision and focus. In that regard, the adoption of a new, forward-looking Law for the Qatar Central Bank in 2012 was a significant step in advancing the role of the financial sector in Qatar. The three financial regulators in the State – the Qatar Central Bank, the Qatar Financial Markets Authority, and QFC Regulatory Authority – were brought together in 2013 under that new law in order to promote financial stability, improve coordination, and to create a new level of consistency in regulatory policy. This was an important step from a regulatory and market development perspective, and that connectivity among the regulators led to the publication of the first unified strategy for financial section regulation later that same year. Underpinning the strategy is a commitment shared among the three regulatory authorities to advance a regulatory framework that will be an international benchmark as well as a platform to ensure that Qatar’s financial services sector contributes to realising Qatar’s full growth potential. The strategy focuses on important shared goals among the regulatory authorities and it is supported by specific objectives in the leadup to 2016. These goals focus on ensuring that the supervision of financial services firms is effective, efficient, and in line with best international practice; the development of a macro-prudential approach to regulation to support firm-based supervision; the broadening and deepening of the financial services infrastructure to meet future growth opportunities; delivering consumer and investor protection that promotes confidence in Qatar’s financial system; and capacity building both within the regulatory authorities and, more broadly, within the financial services sector. Importantly, the new QCB Law and the unified strategy have created a significant level of cooperation among the three regulatory authorities and greater consistency in regulatory policy. The last two years have seen progress under the unified strategy and, with that, the strengthening of the financial services infrastructure that will move Qatar forward in its ambition for greater economic diversification.


Michael Ryan is the Chief Executive Officer of the QFC Regulatory Authority. Mr. Ryan joined the QFC Regulatory Authority in 2009 from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he served in a number of senior management positions in London and Dublin, including as positions as CEO and Country Executive. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Mr. Ryan was Vice President at Credit Suisse Financial Products and an associate with Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft specialising in banking, securities and corporate law. Mr. Ryan has served on the Irish Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee on Financial Services and has held a number of senior industry positions. Mr. Ryan is a member of Qatar’s Financial Stability and Risk Control Committee and Qatar’s National Anti Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Qatar Financial Markets Authority.



Qatar in The Changing Energy Market by Joseph Hahn


The past six months have demonstrated a dramatic fluidity in the price of oil: a six-year low with a fall of over 61%. While oil has historically been dominated by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Qatar is a member, this downward trend may be more enduring than expected and reflect a changing energy market. Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said that “shale oil has changed the market” and that OPEC may not be able to regain the market share it held before the 2008 financial crisis. Ultimately, this fall in the price of oil impacts Qatar heavily as an OPEC member nation and as a rapidly emerging economy that is still significantly dependent on hydrocarbon exports. The price drop underscores the importance of Qatar’s call to diversify its economy as it is yet another reminder of the dangerous volatility of natural resource wealth. According to Goldman Sachs economist Sven Jari Stehn, “[T]he decline in oil has been driven by an oversupplied global oil market…. [T]he new equilibrium price of oil will likely be much lower than over the past decade.” This may be


a direct negative impact on gas prices, which holds the highest value amongst Qatari exports. Furthermore, Qatar’s economy has an exceptionally high dependence on hydrocarbon revenues as its hydrocarbon exports in 2013 accounted for over 80% of its total exports. As a result, with the value of hydrocarbons falling over the past few months, Qatar’s trade surplus fell by approximately 33% in comparison to that of last year. Especially with massive infrastructure reforms and the coming World Cup, these losses may push Qatar towards cutting back on its heavy fiscal expenditure. The fall in oil prices highlights the danger of Qatar’s hydrocarbon dependency and the country’s need for further economic diversification. In a meeting with the finance ministers and central bank governors of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as oil prices were falling, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stated,

diversified economies. Dubai’s exceptionally open trade and labor policies, alongside low taxes and a pegged currency, have attracted extensive investment in infrastructure, real property, and a range of other services. It may also be a relevant model for Qatar as the two countries have a number of economic similarities in their reliance on expatriate labor, low tax rates, and currencies pegged to the U.S. dollar. In addition, while Dubai has often relied on the financial assets of Abu Dhabi to build world-class infrastructure and attract tourism, Doha has no need to do so since it is even more capable than the Emirates to draw from its resource wealth and invest in diversification initiatives. Nonetheless, the same level of economic liberalization has not yet happened in Doha that has made Dubai an attractive, low-cost place for business. Regardless of whether Doha will emulate Dubai “The future success of the GCC or pave its own path, the biggest economies will be closely tied challenge will be for Qatar to ensure to ongoing efforts to boost the that investors and multinational corporations will stay onboard in employment of nationals in the the long-term, even in the face of private sector and to increase weakening hydrocarbon economies. economic diversification.” This will ultimately be dependent Resource prices – especially oil prices on Qatar’s ability to build a diversi– tend to be very volatile and exportfied economy and spur significant ers have generally not been successful growth in non-energy sectors. With at smoothing price cycles. Therefore, initiatives like the 2022 FIFA World dependence on natural resources can Cup, extensive foreign investment, have negative implications for growth and expansive infrastructural and due to its inherent unpredictability. The educational reform, it seems that negative impact of volatility in output Qatar is moving in this direction. and growth as a result of resource depen- Nevertheless, it is ambiguous over dency can be seen in places like 1980s the long haul whether the country’s Mexico, Venezuela, and Nigeria. Howev- resource wealth will be a curse, er, both Qatar and other net exporters in acting as a barrier to economic the region are aware of this danger and progress, or whether it will serve seem to have been making preemptive as a sturdy foundation for a strong, efforts toward economic diversificadiversified economy. tion. For example, some see Dubai as a model for how countries with large initial natural resource endowments like the United Arab Emirates can build Joseph Hahn (SFSQ’17) is an International Economics major at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. “I believe that business marries my interests in critical thinking and quantitative analysis. There is one side of business in which, through models, data, and patterns, people quantify the impact that the decisions of firms, organizations, and individuals have. On the other hand, critical thinking is essential since it is crucial to respond appropriately to uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in a competitive environment.”


Grant Smith and Jake Rudnitsky, “World’s Biggest Oil Trader Warns Crude Prices Could Dive Again,” Bloomberg Business, February 10, 2015., Alex Lawler, “U.S. oil output ‘party’ to last to 2020: IEA,” Reuters, February 10, 2015., Tom Randall, “Goldman: Here’s Why Oil Crashed – and Why Lower Oil Prices Are Here to Stay,” Bloomberg Business, February 11, 2015., Krishnadev Calamur, “OPEC Members Feeling the Pain of Falling Oil Prices,” NPR, January 13, 2015., Kassia Yanosek and David G. Victor, “Cheap Oil Won’t Kill Exploration,” Foreign Affairs, February 4, 2015., Andrew Critchlow, “Shell ditches $6.5bn Qatar project as oil price slump deepens,” The Telegraph, January 14, 2015., Tim Bowler, “Falling oil prices: Who are the winners and losers?” BBC, January 19, 2015., Peter Kovessy, “Qatar forecast to run first budget deficit in more than a decade,” Doha News, March 4, 2015., Santhosh V. Perumal, “Qatar may see deficit if oil stays at $50 in 2015,” Gulf Times, January 12, 2015.MIT, “Qatar,” MIT Observatory of Economic Complexity, http://atlas.media. mit.edu/profile/country/qat/ (accessed February 13, 2015).., Delcredere, “MENA oil exporters’ resilience to oil price shocks,” Delcredere, http://www.delcredereducroire.be/newsletter/en/risk-monthly/53862/menaoil-exporting-countries-resilience-to-oil-price-shock (Accessed February 13, 2015)., Anthony McAuley, “Qatar trade surplus shrinks with oil and gas prices lower,” The National, February 11, 2015., IMF, “IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Welcomes GCC Countries Strong Economic Performance, Identifies Key Reforms to Sustain Growth: Press Release No. 14/485,” International Monetary Fund, http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2014/pr14485.htm (Accessed February 13, 2015)., Alan Gelb, “Economic Diversification in Resource Rich Countries,” International Monetary Fund, https://www.imf.org/external/np/seminars/eng/2010/afrfin/pdf/Gelb2.pdf (Accessed February 13, 2015).

a result of the growing market power of the United States as it has recently become the world’s top source of oil supply growth, due to recent developments in shale oil extraction technology. OPEC, not wishing to yield its market share to the U.S., refused to cut production in response to the oil price slump. However, in its attempt to retain its former market share, OPEC’s refusal to cut oil production will only drive oil prices further downwards. Regardless, the IEA predicts that the U.S. will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil by 2020. This changing global energy market results in lower marginal revenue and decreased market shares for the net energy exporters of OPEC. Even with liquefied natural gas (LNG), which has been the primary source of export revenue for Qatar, investment seems to be shifting away from the OPEC nations and towards Africa as Tanzania and Mozambique are expected to contribute the largest growth in new gas production. In Qatar, on the other hand, Royal Dutch Shell, possibly motivated by the current economic climate in the energy industry, abandoned the $6.5 billion Al-Karaana petrochemicals project in January. While it is difficult to predict how oil prices will move in the long-term, it seems that the energy market and its most important players are changing. This has immense consequences for the future of Qatar’s economy. Although Qatar seems to be in relatively good shape compared to other hydrocarbon net exporters, its economy will still be heavily impacted by this price drop. It is fortunate to have among the lowest required oil prices to balance budgets, large net foreign assets, and predominantly natural gas based exports, as opposed to other oil exports. These serve to cushion the blow of falling global oil prices. Nevertheless, Qatar may see its first deficit in over a decade if oil prices remain at a comparable low. In addition to diminishing market share and marginal revenue in oil, the change in oil prices also has


What the 2022 World Cup Brings to Qatar by Xiaofei Wang

Every time a country makes a bid to

host the World Cup or any other largescale sporting event, the government promises national economic growth in order to convince its citizens of the necessity of investing such large sums of money. South Africa, for example, guaranteed an economic bonanza to its citizens for hosting the 2010 World Cup. As FIFA gave the 2010 World Cup to South Africa, South Africans celebrated and blindly assumed that money would come. However, the dream was short-lived. In addition to the huge cost of the football stadiums, many of which have been left deserted after July 2010, the expected surge of foreign tourists did not come, and no big boost for the economy was witnessed, according to John Saker, chief operating officer of KPMG Africa. Unfortunately, the case of South Africa is not an exception. The Japanese and South Korean governments hoped for $26 billion and $9 billion boosts respectively for their economies as a result of the jointly held 2002 World Cup, yet saw nothing of the sort. Generally, the expected number of tourists is much higher than the actual outcome. England attracted fewer than 100,000 foreign fans for the Euro ’96 28

although it had forecasted a turnout of 250,000. Adding insult to injury, the sports tourists that do show up tend to spend much less than expected. According to Soccernomics, the income generated for England as a direct result of the Euro ’96 was only 0.78% of all income generated by overseas visitors in 1996. The de facto effect is that such sports tournaments discourage people from visiting the host country for fear of sports hooligans, crowded traffic, and expensive hotel prices. Given all these facts and recalling the social unrest the 2014 World Cup has sparked in Brazil, we need to ask ourselves when we consider the incredible effort the Qatari government has put into construction for the 2022 World Cup: why do this? Is it worth it? The World Cup brings few benefits to the national economy, even in the long run. A report from Deloitte concludes that Qatar is planning to spend $200 billion, 98.5% of its nominal GDP in 2013, on the 2022 World Cup, including 9 new and 3 renovated stadiums. These football stadiums will be of little use after the event, and the cost to maintain them will be immense. However, people might be willing to bear this cost because they expect that

the World Cup will build Qatar into an international powerhouse. Nevertheless, Brazil’s experience with the 2014 World Cup certainly looms ominously – the attention brought to economic inequality, crime, and the turmoil during the World Cup preparation deterred some foreign investment. As a country relying heavily on fossil fuels for economic development, bidding for the World Cup can be seen as a sign of the Qatari government’s efforts to diversify its economy. The “Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030” issue by Qatar Tourism Authority indicates Qatar’s ambition to advance its tourism industry for the greater goal of economic diversification. Among other strategies, sports tourism plays a large role in achieving this aim, and thus domestic investment is necessary. Compared to its neighbor, the Emirate of Dubai, Qatar’s leaders have realized the country’s relative lack of infrastructure. Its already crowded and unorganized transportation system has therefore become a primary development target. Many British-style roundabouts are being changed into intersections, and Qatar plans to spend $36 billion on its railway and metro systems.5 However,

booming economy; why does it need a World Cup miracle? Per-

haps Qataris view the World Cup mostly as a branding methodology for people to learn more about Qatar and thus bring surges in tourism and investments, even after the sporting event is over. Admittedly, the 2022 World Cup is a branding opportunity, but many are too optimistic as they neglect the possibility that such an international spotlight could also damage Qatar’s image. According to research conducted by Dr. Alexis

Antoniades from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar and his student, Ms. Danah Dehdary, the usage of the Twitter handle #Qatar on Twitter surged from 6,369 times in the first half of 2010 to 1,613,411 three years later. They also concluded that sports-related activities, and the World Cup specifically, are the major driving force behind the surge, in addition to the fact that Twitter and the use of hashtags have evolved rapidly since 2010. This would indicate an increased international awareness of Qatar due to Qatar’s “World Cup” branding. However, this does not accurately indicate people’s perceptions of Qatar. People tend to tweet more about things they want to mock or criticize than things they are in favor of. By saying this, I do not intend to make a conclusion about what branding the 2022 World Cup is doing for Qatar. After all, the answer will only be clear several years after the World Cup. Nevertheless, we should be more critical about the increased attention Qatar is receiving from the international community, instead of assuming that all press is automatically good press. So, if the economic boost is a utopian idea and the branding effect is still unknown, what else can the World Cup bring to Qatar? Perhaps Qatari national pride and Arab regional pride will be boosted? Accusations of bribery have tainted Qatar’s bid. As such, hosting the World Cup becomes significant for Arabs to prove their ability to successfully pull off a sporting event of this size. Football is by far the most popular sport in Qatar, and watching international football matches is a weekly routine for many locals. It is seen as a great achievement and source of pride that the best players in the world will be coming to Doha. It is also an indication of His Highness the Emir’s ambition to promote the presence of Arab leadership in global sports. And while the tournament is being promoted as a collaboration among several Arab countries, Qatar itself is certainly taking the lead and promoting itself as a regional leader. In addition to the authority’s antici-

pation of enhancing Qatar’s regional influence, hosting the World Cup and bringing the world’s best teams to Qatar would instill a sense of national pride and accomplishment in the Qatari population. Meanwhile, its benefits to the national economy should not be overestimated. As we could see from past experiences, economic rhetoric dominates and overshadows any talk of other benefits to the host country. FIFA’s decision of bringing the World Cup to the Gulf region for the first time implies regional stability and great potential, things investors care about. Hosting the World Cup also exhibits Qatar’s great ambition for political power and economic development. A positive spot-

light on Qatar’s future as a nation of great opportunity will be able to attract people from around the world to contribute to the growth of the country. These anticipated

effects may not be straightforward from an economic perspective or they may not be significant at all. But we should at least keep them in mind when we are questioning Qatar’s unbelievable expenditure for the World Cup. The final effects of Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup still remain to be seen, and will not become clear until after the event itself. But for now, if you have been to Qatar or have ever lived there, you will agree with me that locals are keeping their morale up for the coming World Cup and are very proud of Qatar being the first Arab state to host the most influential sporting event in the world. Perhaps the evaluation for the significance of hosting the World Cup does not have to be based on economic development at all. In fact, who could suggest that making one’s own people genuinely happy and united is not already a significant outcome in itself?


Xiaofei Wang (SFSQ’16) is an International Economics major at Georgetown University SFS-Q. He has a strong interest in economic development and sports economics.


Rupert Neate, “South Africa Recoups Just a Tenth of the £3bn Cost of Staging World Cup 2010.” The Telegraph. December 10, 2010. Accessed February 9, 2015., Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski, “Happiness: Why Hosting a World Cup Is Good for You.” In Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia--and Even Iraq--are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport, 279. Third Editon, World Cup ed. New York: Nation Books, 2014., Data obtained from the World Bank DataBank., “Deloitte: Qatar to Spend $200 Billion for World Cup.” USA Today. July 9, 2013. Accessed February 10, 2015., Qatar Tourism Authority. Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030. Doha, 2014., Alexis Antoniades and Danah Dehdary. “Using Social Media to Assess Qatar as a Brand.” Undergraduate Research Experience Programme, 2014, 2., Ibid, 3.,

experience shows that the real cost is usually much higher than the allocated budget. The country hopes to introduce “one of the most modern railway networks in the world.”6 Yet, instead of being blinded by promises of modernity and glittering efficiency, Qatar should be asking itself: would it need such transportation infrastructure if it were not to host the 2022 World Cup? Metro systems are needed in large cities with multiple business centers and many living quarters. These conditions do not yet necessarily apply to Doha. The main purpose of the metro system will be for tourists to reach the stadiums underground without being exposed to the blistering Qatar sunlight. Locals who live far away will have to walk or even drive to find a nearby station, things I do not expect to happen. After the World Cup, Qatar’s small population and its limited use of the metro will never cancel out the immense costs of running a modern metro system. To perfect the public bus system in Qatar (yes, there is one) seems like a more economically salient plan, and buses can easily be converted to other uses after the World Cup. However, buses do not sound modern or extravagant compared to a new metro system. The development of the public transportation system as planned will bring limited convenience to a few people, and with the costs in mind, the railway and metro construction will bring little profit to Qatar, just like the football stadiums previously mentioned. Maybe all the efforts on the World Cup will make more sense if we take one step back and forget about the economic development. Qatar already has a


by Mohamed Sirelkhatim

The gaming industry is one of the fastest growing entertainment industries in the world. Total consumer spending on games alone was over $46.5 billion in 2014. There is a lot of money to be made in this relatively young industry and a large untapped market in the Middle East, Qatar specifically. This is mainly due to the multi-faceted nature of the industry when it comes to revenue streams and the latent ability of markets and gamers in the Middle East to become avid consumers and contributors in the gaming business. In order to understand a little about the gaming industry, it is important to focus outside the scope of the games themselves and see what other components make up this industry.

“Nintendo 3DS Screenshot 1” by thegameway on flickr.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0 “NSMB2_12” by RT Videojuegos on flickr.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The consoles that are used to play video games are now also being employed as full multi-media systems aimed at fulfilling all of a person’s entertainment needs. The three biggest companies in the gaming world are also the principal console provider companies. These include the Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo’s own unique line of consoles (the Game Cube, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, etc.). The later models of these devices are designed to provide services and access to a wide library of movies, music, anime, and TV series through partnerships with brands such as Netflix, Crunchyroll (Anime streaming website), and Sony Music Unlimited (for PlayStation 4 users). The purpose of such partnerships is to link gamers to other entertainment industries and capture part of their profits, along with the traditional profits from the gaming consoles themselves. Another key component of the gaming industry are the annual conventions that function as platforms for players and producers within the industry to showcase their product, receive feedback, measure the competition, and sometimes even revolutionize the industry. The annual E3 (Electronic, Entertainment, Expo) convention in Los Angeles, California is the biggest gaming convention in the world. During the event, gaming companies announce their new consoles, games, gaming related devices, game development engines, etc. There are also other, more specific conventions such as the Tokyo Game Show (TGS), which primarily focuses on presenting the games popular in the Japanese market. These conventions are important as they provide a forum of interaction between the different actors in the gaming industry. Discussion and showcase panels between major developers, third-party developers (or Independent developers, so-called “Indies”), and consumers provide a vibrant business and communal stage for interaction. E-sports and E-tournaments are also on the rise with regards to the gaming industry. Although the

genre is still in its infancy, it is gaining traction fast. Big name sponsors such as Coca-Cola and Red Bull rush to host these tournaments in hopes of attracting the gaming market segment to their products. E-sports are also growing in popularity; it is now common to have thousands of people line up to buy venue tickets, with millions of people also tuning in online through global livestreams. This presents a major advertising opportunity for companies outside the gaming industry (like the ones mentioned above) to showcase themselves to the gaming market customers/players. Competitive MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games such as League of Legends (LoL) and Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) 2 have prizes that range from $2.1 million to over $11 million. There is also fierce competition between companies when it comes to sponsoring these players. When it comes to the actual games, big-name cannon titles (famous games that are the usual big sellers such Call of Duty) are almost guaranteed to bring huge profit margins to the companies producing them. Some titles that have recently canonized themselves in the industry are the Call of Duty (COD) Franchise, the Assassin’s Creed (AC) Franchise, the Battlefield (BF) Franchise, and the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) Franchise. Within 24 hours of going on sale COD: Black Ops had sold more than 5.6 million copies, 4.2 million in the U.S. and 1.4 million in the UK alone. Six weeks after its release, Activision (the company that produces the game) reported that Black Ops had exceeded $1 billion in sales. GTA V, or Grand Theft Auto V, managed to generate more than $800 million in worldwide revenue within 24 hours of its release, equating to approximately 11.21 million copies sold. Three days after its release, the

game had surpassed $1 billion in sales, making it the fastest selling entertainment product in history.

The Super Mario Franchise, probably the oldest cannon in the industry and the largest global video game fran-

chise, has sold over 500 million units worldwide. The producing companies usually release these games across several different platforms and consoles in order to capture the largest possible market share. There are, however, different trends that different gaming companies rely on in order to ensure specific market captures and profits. Each console has its own list of top grossing games: Sony’s PlayStation 2 (the highest selling console of all time with over 155 million units sold) and PlayStation 3 had franchises such as Square Enix’s Final Fantasy and Konami’s Metal Gear Franchise top its charts in different years through different renditions and sequels of the games. This is in stark opposition to the PlayStation 2’s competitor at the time, the Xbox, who constantly saw the Halo Franchise at the top of its list. A simple reason for this difference is console exclusive games. The Halo franchise is limited to the Xbox line of consoles whilst the Metal Gear series has been typically linked to the PlayStation line of consoles. Having specific gaming franchises linked to specific consoles guarantees certain profits for these companies. Console exclusive titles also help establish gaming trends that largely affect how gaming companies approach their consumer base. Aside from exclusives, there are also certain market trends that gaming companies must fight off when developing games. There is a known distinction in the gaming world between “Western” gamers and “Eastern” gamers when it comes to gaming tastes. Western gamers are those gamers residing in North America/Europe and Eastern gamers are those in Japan, Korea, and Indonesia. Shooting games (first-person shooters such as Call of Duty or Battlefield) that emphasize fast-paced action and combat are known to perform better in Western markets whereas RPGs (role playing games) that emphasize storytelling and strategic combat have historically done better in Eastern markets. This is, of course, a very broad generalization, but it is nonetheless one worth 31


Final Fantasy XV (previously known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII), Square Enix’s legendary game that has been in development since 2006. The advertising material for the upcoming Type-0 title is almost never done without advertising the Final Fantasy XV demo. It is very rare that a demo of a game gets its own separate trailer, but that is the marketing campaign Square Enix is relying on, and it is indeed a smart one. There is a lot of hype (speculation, admiration, and anticipation) surrounding Type-0, much more so than when it first appeared on the PSP. So where does all this leave Qatar? The Middle East region is generally quite homogeneous when it comes to the gaming market. The gamers in the region have certain demands and tastes in games that limit the scope of the market in the region and the many bodies that feed into it. Games like FIFA, Counter Strike, and Call of Duty generally reflect the overall gaming tastes and demands of the region’s players. These games are usually the ones played by the majority of consumers in the region with little variation in them (FIFA street or Battlefield) The negative effects of such a homogenous market and limited gaming demand is a lack of development of other gaming industry bodies, such as conventions, gaming hubs, and gaming stores. A more diverse gaming consumer base is needed in order to kick-start all the other facets of the industry. The videogame industry and its market, of course, have been rapidly changing due to their new “online” features. Smartphones and tablets have a lot of gaming applications in their respective markets that sell very well across the world. Buying a fourth generation console like a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One also requires an active online subscription to either the PlayStation Network (PSN) or Xbox Live in order to fully utilize all the console features. Advertisements, trailers, discounts, and demos introduce players to different parts of the gaming market and help diversify their tastes. The same goes for PC gamers with Steam (an online community/store for PC games)

accounts. Because the Middle East is not a designated region of videogame supply, meaning that it is not targeted as an independent market, it receives its games from all over the world, catering to whatever the market may demand. Qatar is following this rapid pace by introducing specialized gaming and home entertainment stores such as Saqr, creating gaming hubs such as The Gaming Lounge, and hosting conventions, such as the IGN convention that was held in February. Overall, there are great prospects for this industry to keep expanding in Qatar and in the region as a whole. As gamers’ tastes diversify and they connect more with their peers all over the world, the industry will naturally grow in size. It seems that the business advice in this case would be to simply:

Game on!

“zelda-spirit-intro” by doctorserone on flickr.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Mohamed Sirelkhatim (SFSQ’15) is an International Politics major at Georgetown University SFS-Q, focusing on Islamic studies. He is also passionate about gaming: “I have been a gamer since I was 4 years old. From then on, gaming became a natural part of my life. At one point, I had realized that I had bought and played over 300 PlayStation 2 games and over 60 PlayStation 3 games. I used to love sharing these games with my friends, and at one point a high school friend and I set up a small trading circle for games. We also use to modify gaming consoles for our friends, repair damaged consoles, and install custom firmware on them.”

http://www.statista.com/statistics/237187/global-video-games-revenue/, http://www.dailydot.com/esports/league-of-legends-world-championships-viewership-numbers/, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/pc-download-charts-call-of-duty-black-ops-fallout-new-vegas-2135057.html, http://www.cnet.com/news/call-of-duty-black-ops-hits-1-billion-milestone/, http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/18/4745342/grand-theft-auto-v-day-one-sales-record, http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/10/09/gta-5-currently-holdsseven-guinness-world-records, http://naibuzz.com/2015/02/03/10-popular-video-game-franchises/

mentioning as it shows some of the market considerations that gaming companies must keep in mind during production and branding. Strategies can range from attempting to appeal broadly across regional markets or to specifically target distinct audiences. For example, franchises such as Phantasy Star Online and Monster Hunter Frontier, which are very popular in the Eastern markets (Japan specifically), do not get ported (dubbed or subtitled) to English and exported to other markets due to a lack of demand that is ultimately rooted in these different gaming tastes. Going beyond the games themselves, companies are also capitalizing on the use of “online” gaming technology by making gamers pay for extra add-ons, special orders, and online play features on their respective servers. A lot of MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) games on PCs utilize this feature; players can use their credit cards to purchase “game currency” to spend on better equipment, powers, houses, etc. Many gaming companies have been able to boost their profits through these payment measures. This new and growing trend in the industry was not welcomed at first, but it is now seen as an expected and normalized practice. Gaming companies with cannon titles usually attach these add-ons to their games with the knowledge that committed gamers will pay extra to get their hands on the content. Following this trend, Japanese gaming giant Square Enix is releasing a new game in the Final Fantasy line for the PlayStation 3 entitled Final Fantasy: Type-0 HD on March 6th of this year. Gamers are expecting, and willing, to pay a high price in order to get an early copy of this game. This, however, is not due to the game’s novelty; the same game was actually released a few years back on Sony’s handheld PlayStation Portable (PSP) and was average at best. What is giving this game a $60 plus price tag is the early bird bundle accompanying it: early copies of the game will ship with a demo of

Executive Experience


Executive Experience

Interview with

Richard Shaheen Richard Shaheen has been a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton for 12 years, half of those being in the MENA region. He currently is based Doha, Qatar and focusses on delivering Digital Strategy services for clients in the region. Mr. Shaheen has a Bachelors of Arts from Bucknell University and an Master of Business Administration from University of Maryland University College.

What is your role in Booz Allen Hamilton and what are your responsibilities connected with that role?

personal) has helped you/still helps you in your job?

I have a kind of unique background, I guess, in terms of undergrad. I majored As I see it, there are three distinct roles in English literature and philosophy as country manager in a branch office. with a minor in religion, so purely humanities. From those courses, I think My first role is as the representative my most important foundational skill is for the business license here in Doha, just being an analytical thinker – learnwhich you need one specific person ing how to analyze and communicate to hold in order to conduct business. effectively. When I went to get my MBA, You can call it the ‘admin-legal role.’ it was interesting to see how much of My second role has to do with growth in the consulting market here in Qatar that carried over, even though I was a bit behind in economics and such. I would and reaching out to key players in the different areas of consulting that Booz say that communication skills are defiAllen Hamilton offers, kind of the busi- nitely something I have relied on. Also in terms of people I hire, I want to see ness development hat. Thirdly, I play how they write and develop and present the ‘institutional role’ that all managers in the company play. This includes ideas. Those are very important skills. people-building within the firm, hiring What does success mean talent, team management, and manag- to you? Has that definition ing internal capabilities. changed over time?

What does your job entail on a daily basis?

It is constantly evolving. Let me try to break up my time as a consultant into We run sort of a virtual office here. We three major chunks. First was learning are very connected to both our regional what consulting really was since I kind of fell into a consulting job. At that office in Beirut and our main comtime, my main driver of success was pany in the US and [we] rely on that that I was learning a lot and growing. network. The main reason we have a branch office here is for clients to have So a very introspective success stratphysical contact with us. They want to egy. The second started when I was about 4 years in, and it shifted to being know that you are here, that you are what my role was in terms of the firm committed to the local market. What in your background (pre- as a whole. So my focus shifted from vious professional, academic, just me to the environment around me; it became a bit more of an ecosystem. 34

Now, success for me is feeling like I am building a legacy with what I leave behind. Success to me is looking back and seeing a thriving office. So I think my idea of success shifted from being kind of self-centered [towards]the team and the people immediately around me to the firm as a whole. So a sort of expanding definition of success.

What is your biggest professional achievement, in your opinion? Let me focus on the recent instead of going back. I would say having been a major contributor to the development of our MENA presence. To have watched the business grow from zero to about 140 people today across the region with good prospects for growth.

What has been your biggest professional setback/challenge? There was a point where we had initiated a hiring round. Hiring is always tricky because you want to hire talent but at the same time you do not want to have talented people if there is no work for them. We projected that we would have significant growth, so we opened up the floodgates and began hiring. I hired 12 entry level people over the course of two months. We had an amazing team. Fast forward 6 months and the firm had a downturn. We ended up having to let the majority of those [people] go without them ever having worked on a project. That is the one thing that sticks out to me.

What do your biggest achievement and setback mean to you and what have you taken away from them? I think my biggest take away from both have been to remember to maintain a broader perspective. On the smallscale, each is more difficult to deal with. More perspective is needed. Taken piece by [piece], it has been a rough ride, so maintaining a vision is probably the best lesson I have learned. [It] takes a bit of reflection.

How do you view the individual vs. teamwork? What are the merits or disadvantages of each, in your opinion?

How do you cope with pressure?

Here’s my perspective on pressure. I do not think it is a bad thing. Especially in consulting, there is a healthy level That’s a very good question because if of pressure that keeps you performing you can master the balance between high. If things are too easy and comthose two pieces you have discovered fortable you are probably not performthe Holy Grail of managing. What I ing well. The hours are something you take as good teaming is that you are quickly need to learn to balance. Workable to quickly figure out what you can life balance fluctuates. I individually contribute and you are able to quickdeal with stress by keeping in mind the ly realize what you need from others. broader perspective. I like to tie things The only rule at Booz Allen Hamilton together in themes. I think if you are is: always ask for help when you need focused too narrowly you can easily get it, and always give help when you are asked. So how we can put those together overwhelmed. If I am stressing to finish something I like to remind myself to essentially create a multiplier effect; that is the key to good teamwork. I think that it has never been the case that I have not finished something in time. people often wonder what managers actually do. Most of the effort managers We will work it out. A lot of stress is self-induced and experience helps you put in is to try and facilitate that. recognize this. Sometimes you need to be your own consultant. Root-cause How do you propose one can stand out individually in a group analysis. Keep a level head.

setting without compromising the overall team performance? Is this even necessary? I do not think there is a specific recipe, but I think you just have to be very selfaware of what is needed. You will get a lot of credit for going out on your own and you can be recognized very quickly as a star, but you will be recognized more quickly as someone with a high potential for leadership if you show that you are able to pull people together and play the role of the mediator. Going out and fighting the battle for yourself is great, but the person who can divide and conquer shows leadership, and you can do that at any level. You do not have to be a manager to show those skills: how to manage teams, manage people, and manage yourself. The first half of your consulting career is going to be trying to stand out and distinguishing yourself, and [showing that] you’re motivated by yourself to do the work. The moment you get to where you are managing other people, you are no longer just motivating yourself, you are motivating others. You doing great individually no longer matters.

If you could go back to when you were a student, is there anything you would have done differently? I was the worst procrastinator. It was not a good habit. In consulting I had to learn planning and it was not a natural thing to me, but now it is just a habit. Learning to be a better planner has been essential. And knowing that you can get something done in a short amount of time, an essay the night before, is not always a good perspective to have. You kind of have to flip it on its head. To make sure we deliver what our clients deserve, that we over-deliver, we cannot put in minimal effort. You almost have to be a pessimist. Students who are good want to be careful not to lower their standards just to deliver. You need to take a step back and ask: ‘is this as good as it could be?

The people you work with on a daily basis, what are their academic/professional backgrounds? Are they all similar or diverse? Very diverse. Most consulting firms have diverse practice areas, special-

ties, and sector-specific departments. We have horizontals such as strategy or leadership development, and then we have verticals such as healthcare or defense. And people work in combinations of these two. So you can be a strategist focusing on healthcare and so on. So I think you can come at consulting from almost any background as long as you are an analytical thinker and able to communicate well. I guess there is a natural side to it where people are more likely to become consultants because they like coming in with diverse perspectives and being put into high-pressure problem-solving situations.

Where do you see yourself going from here? I think in the midterm I look forward to helping the firm grow its international presence in the region and globally. Being part of that. Once you get to the part where you start helping to lead and drive is when it gets really fun. At this point there is a huge potential for turning the Qatar and other regional offices into something special. I am just now enjoying watching the branch office grow.

What is your advice to undergraduate students considering going into consulting? First, become informed. Have discussions with people that have consulting experience. Learn what it is really about and what it can be. If there is a specific area you want to work in, there is probably a consulting firm out there that can line you up with it. Second, take the next step and explore. Go ahead and have discussions and interviews with some firms. It will help you understand if it is something you would enjoy after going through a case interview. Third, do not view consulting right out of undergrad as the only entry to consulting. There are many different ways to enter consulting, especially with experience from other sectors. 35

Executive Experience

Interview with

Khawaja Aftab Ahmed Khawaja Aftab Ahmed is the IFC’s Director and Global Head for Investment and Credit Risk. In his current position he is responsible for strengthening IFC’s credit culture, investment quality and impact by working with others across the Corporation to achieve a strong risk-reward balance. He has held various senior positions, most recently as Director for Financial Markets and Private Equity Funds for Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Mr. Ahmed was instrumental in promoting Islamic Finance within the IFC and developing a portfolio of Sharia compliant projects in housing finance and sukuk. Prior to joining IFC, Mr. Ahmed spent 10 years in the development banking sector. He has a degree in mechanical engineering along with an MBA and an LLB.

What is your role in your company and what are your responsibilities connected with that role? I am working with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector arm of the World Bank Group. Our work in more than a 100 developing countries allows companies and financial institutions in emerging markets to create jobs, generate tax revenues, improve corporate governance and environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities. The IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. I have been with the IFC in various capacities over the last 18 years. Currently I am the Global Director for Investment and Credit Risk, overseeing transaction risks including credit, integrity, environmental, social and corporate governance. My job entails ensuring that the IFC is sufficiently profitable and capitalized to sustain and grow its operations through prudent risk management at the corporate, portfolio, project, and client levels. My role is to help enhance the IFC’s license to operate through setting and bearing best practice standards to drive sustainable private sector development in emerging markets. 36

What does your job entail on a daily basis? My day to day job entails working with the Risk teams to strengthen the IFC’s credit culture and investment quality and impact by working with others across the Corporation to achieve a strong risk-reward balance. Credit staff are responsible for (i) reviewing the IFC’s new investments and portfolio projects; (ii) developing investment guidelines; (iii) designing, preparing, and delivering credit training programs for IFC staff; and (iv) providing guidance on sponsor/partner.

What does success mean to you? Has that definition changed over time? Our purpose of being is to provide the best in-class services to our clients and to introduce international best practices in the areas of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance. Success for my department is to maintain high client satisfaction (both internal and external) and to retain motivated staff. We measure these through regular client and staff surveys. On a broader level, my definition of success does not change, but on a micro level it does change based on the priority of the respective departments.

What is your biggest professional achievement, in your opinion? I have set a high bar for myself of what I consider achievement to challenge myself on a daily basis. Some of my contributions have been creating effective and motivated teams, increasing the IFC’s business volumes in Middle East and North Africa, and developing strategic client relationships for IFC.

What has been your biggest professional setback/challenge and what have you taken away from it? I still feel that our efforts are a drop in the bucket when we consider the issues in the frontier and conflict states and countries in financial and political crisis, which has resulted in low access to finance to small and medium enterprises and high youth unemployment. I believe that a single institution cannot resolve these complicated issues and it requires teamwork as well as the focus priority of all institutions in the development arena. Some of the issues highlighted above: (i) low access to finance to Small and Medium enterprises; (ii) high youth unemployment; (iii) weak financial

sector; and (iv) lack of proper infrastructure and power etc have been hindrances in the development of many countries. All the stakeholders have to work together to try to find solutions in a focused and systematic way.

How do you view the individual vs. teamwork? What are the merits or disadvantages of each, in your opinion? If someone is not a team player, the IFC is not the right place. We believe in teamwork as our projects include a team comprising staff with various specialized skills working together to get the best outcome for the client and the IFC. In today’s world, individual performance may help one in his/ her career but leading/working in an effective and productive team is the way to go.

How do you propose one can stand out individually in a group setting without compromising the overall team performance? Is this even necessary? Dedication, commitment, and hard work are the keys to achieve the best outcome. The IFC is a unique organization that focuses on development but is also commercially oriented to

make sure that these developments are sustainable. In a group setting, the contribution of the entire team is evaluated and each individual is judged on the basis of his/her role. Healthy competition helps in raising the bar, but not at the cost of stepping over others.

How do you cope with pressure? I try to stay calm and focused when I am under stress.

If you could go back to when you were a student, is there anything you would have done differently? My advice to students is that, in addition to their studies, the must keep themselves abreast on the developments globally, focus on their personality building, participate in healthy extracurricular activities, and get experience of how to organize/manage small events and work as a team.

The people you work with on a daily basis, what are their academic/professional backgrounds? Are they all similar or diverse? We focus a lot on diversity and inclusion and have a workforce that is diverse in all aspects. Our employees comprise of more than 100 nationalities. Staff have graduate degrees in various disciplines, including business, economics, finance, environmental etc.

Where do you see yourself going from here? I plan to continue working in development banking as it is not only challenging and rewarding but also my passion.

How did you envision your professional future when you were in college? Was there a clear path or did you make it up as you went? My first degree was in mechanical engineering and at that time I envisioned myself working in a engineering complex.



HBKU CAREER FAIR This year on February 1st and 2nd, Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s Student Center attracted hundreds of university students and representatives from 96 companies to its annual Career Fair. From global oil and gas companies to independent podcast producers; from internationally renowned media hubs to local teaching opportunities; from graduate study research centers to global consulting giants, the HBKU career fair, with its diverse employer attendance from both the private and public sector, drew hopeful students from across the different Education City campuses. Some were looking for summer internships, some for employment prospects after graduation, some simply to be inspired.

The common question on everyone’s lips was something along the lines of: “What are they looking for?” In order to get an idea of what employers look for in potential hires, the Enterprise team set out to interview the company representatives. In the interviews, we also tried to gauge the presence of the Education City alumni in different companies, whether it be full-time or as part of an internship.

The following are quotes from Career Fair representatives listing both the academic and personal qualities they look for when hiring: Ginger Camel is currently in “start-up” mode, so they are looking for “enthused multitaskers with fresh energy and passion.” For example, their first intern, an EC grad, impressed them because of the fact that he approached them about a position and was able to convince them with his eagerness.

Andrew Clark, Head of Communications at Ginger Camel Media Network

Al Jazeera Media Network looks for employees who display qualities such as “enthusiasm, not being afraid to approach them at something like the Career Fair, asking informed questions. We have made ourselves available, so ask questions!” “We employ NUQ, CMUQ and GUQ alumni. We see it as part of supporting local universities and investing in the talent pool already in Qatar. We specifically try to offer experience to local students through our internship programs.”

Al Jazeera Media Network Representative

“Our potential employees should be skillful, should have a good background for the field they are applying in, and should be able to present. We look for students with a GPA of 3.0 and higher.”

A Local Petrochemicals Company Representative Looks for graduates who are “highly talented, creative, have PR Skills. What is something specific that Georgetown students bring with them into the job market? “Georgetown offers a holistic education and allows you to see the bigger picture and understand context. That’s why, at GU, you can be whatever you want to be. It can be applied to all sectors.”

Blue Rubicon Representative

QF Radio is looking for “confidence, interest, consistent commitment, and enthusiasm as we are producers and presenters and rely on our communication skills.”

Scott David Boyes and Laura Finnerty of QF Radio


We asked faculty and staff this question:

“Why does Georgetown SFS-Q need a business magazine?”

Check out their responses!

Dr. Daniel Stoll, Special Advisor to the Dean and Associate Dean

Our University prepares its graduates for much more than just a career in foreign service and diplomacy. Today, many of our alumni are successful professionals in various fields including business, education, finance, media, technology and the energy sector. This new magazine will highlight the talents, competencies and accomplishments of our students outside of the realm of international politics and I think this is a great effort by our business-oriented student community. Kudos to them!

Waleed Khan, Assistant Director for Marketing

Lisa Andrews, Career Development Manager

The Enterprise magazine is a way of engaging the external business community in Doha. This is important both for the students as well as the institution as a whole.

Dr. Jose Asturias, Assistant Professor of Economics at SFS-Q

Students at Georgetown University SFS-Qatar are innovative and diverse in their backgrounds and interests. They are successful in a variety of fields when they graduate. Having a student-published business magazine will offer one more area for students to express their interests and find inspiration.

Dr. Mehran Kamrava, Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies

The Georgetown Business Magazine is an ambitious and innovative new initiative that will provide thought-provoking content for SFSQ students. It provides a wonderful forum for the business community to share their expertise on topics ranging from labor trends, emerging markets, career paths and opportunities, and opinion pieces relevant to students who may wish to advance their understanding of business-related sectors. This will provide another tool that students can use to build skills and create networks, while demonstrating to the larger community that SFSQ students are interested in, and can be competitive in, the business world.

Georgetown’s Qatar location gives it a number of comparative advantages, one of them being its location in what is emerging as the new heart of the Middle East. Qatar’s own geostrategic significance as one of the most resource rich countries of the region, its position in the financial cross currents of east and west, and Georgetown’s academic depth and pioneering spirit all combine to make the publication of the Georgetown Enterprise both timely and necessary. I am delighted to see the launch of an original and innovative publication that builds on our curricular offerings, our academic expertise, and our location.

Sandy Kim, Career Services Manager

I applaud our students’ initiative and hard work in creating the Georgetown SFS-Q Enterprise. Thinking critically and writing about timely commercial topics and the business world bring tremendous value for both the contributors and the readers. Georgetown students are well known for their ability to think analytically, research comprehensively, and propose solutions that take into account multiple, complex moving targets. I look forward to reading the first edition and congratulate the team in launching SFS-Q’s first business magazine ever.

Having a publication focused on international business gives SFS-Q students a venue for exploring another dimension of the international system. As the BSFS curriculum demonstrates, issues of politics, economics, culture, religion, and business interact with each other and affect communities and individuals in multiple ways. A magazine focused on international business – especially a publication run by students – provides another opportunity to understand these complex interactions.

Naila Sherman, Director of Student Life



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