Businesses need to reinvent themselves, say experts

Businesses need to reinvent themselves, say experts
Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group, said the challenge for large corporates is to keep on reinventing themselves.

dubai - Alumni Leaders Forum focused on digitisation and disruptive innovation



by

Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Wed 21 Sep 2016, 6:44 PM

Last updated: Wed 21 Sep 2016, 8:48 PM

Not only should businesses today be adaptive and agile, but they must also be ready to reinvent themselves according to the needs of the hour, experts at the Insead Alumni Leaders Forum noted.

With a focus on digitisation and disruptive innovation, the forum brought together over 200 alumni from top business schools, key government officials and prominent business leaders.

"Insead is one of the top business schools in Dubai. We have approximately 600 alumni in Dubai and around 900 in the UAE. Events such as this give us the opportunity to bring in the expertise of our alumni and get a feel of not only the economy but also the various sectors that our alumni are active in," said Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group and Insead alumnus.

"If you look at the life cycle of a company, you will find that many of them don't last for more than a decade, and that there are very few companies in the world today that are over a hundred years old. The challenge is to keep on reinventing yourself," he said in an interview. "If you look at MBC, we have a very strong TV business, but we have put a lot of effort into developing Shahid.net - our streaming and video on demand [VoD]. During Ramadan this year, we had 21 million unique users, which makes us one of the biggest VoD platforms in the UAE. In a way, we have disrupted ourselves, and I think that the question to be asked here is, do organisations have the confidence to go and disrupt themselves before someone comes along and does it for them?"

Barnett also noted that young graduates and entrepreneurs today bring many things to the work environment, however, so does experience. What organisations need is balance and diversity. "You need young minds that are passionate and question things, but you also need the wisdom and experience that a senior official brings when it comes to how organisations are run and how they function. Also, it is not always about the funky new technology; many times it is about spotting an opportunity to do something better for other people."

Elias Aad, senior project manager at Roland Berger Middle East and another Insead alumnus, stressed that it is important to demystify the hype around entrepreneurship and innovation, particularly in today's Vuca (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. Many people today, he said, don't focus on the relationship between the two terms, which is important for individuals and corporates to succeed at it.

"Corporates claim to be very good at innovation and you will often see them putting large sums of money into R&D, yet only a small fraction of them manage to innovate. On the other hand, you see entrepreneurs that replicate existing business, but struggle to survive. You have to understand what is missing in both these scenarios. At this forum, we aim to demystify what is happening and to add value to the community, to the alumni and to our businesses," he said.

Aad also noted that corporates today are so busy with their business-as-usual bureaucracies and processes that they are often not agile enough to approach a situation. Start-ups on the other hand are much more agile and work to achieve a minimum viable product (MVP). Once they have an MVP, they immediately move on to testing it and with the results of those tests start refining that product. Corporates fail in this because they are too focused on the process, and by the time they have that product, they might not find it to be relevant anymore. The key for businesses today, he said, is to be very agile, adaptive and predictive.

- rohma@khaleejtimes.com

Elias Aad, senior project manager at Roland Berger Middle East, said it is important to demystify the hype around entrepreneurship and innovation.
Elias Aad, senior project manager at Roland Berger Middle East, said it is important to demystify the hype around entrepreneurship and innovation.

More news from Business
In-store shopping regains trust

Business

In-store shopping regains trust

What is happening now is that as Covid-19 cases continue to decline, residents are regaining confidence in in-store shopping. This is according to a Kearney study in which UAE respondents cite convenience (51 per cent), enhanced shopping experience (49 per cent) and competitive pricing (44 per cent) as the main motivators driving them back to brick and mortar stores

Business5 days ago