Complex Made Simple

Top CEO Conference & Awards 2018: What to expect – Part I

The CEOs in the Middle East today operate in a very complex environment, characterized by fast-evolving regulations, start-up challenges, changing consumer behavior and technological disruptions, among others. Their job becomes even more demanding taking into consideration the fact that the region itself is witnessing a massive and rapid change amid low growth, a volatile oil market and the shift toward a data-based economy.

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Further, the fundamental shift toward strengthening and expanding the role of the private sector as the prime driver of economic growth presents manifold challenges for business leadership, in the form of red-tape, human capital and stiff regulations. At the same time, opportunities, too, are galore for business leaders to become trendsetters, especially with a new breed of fearless and imaginative entrepreneurs emerging and changing the narrative.

It, therefore, becomes important to recognize the efforts of the region’s top business leaders, who are not only leading from the front in embracing the “new reality”, but also transforming the region and ushering in societal change.

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In its fourth edition, the Top CEO Conference & Awards 2018, will be held on April 10 and 11 at King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This year too, as always, the spotlight is on the top chief executives of public listed companies. By teaming up with INSEAD Business School and leading global auditor KPMG, TRENDS takes into consideration only the hard facts, such as growth, profitability, size and corporate governance, of the publicly listed companies on the GCC stock exchanges, to compile the list of awardees.

The two-day mega event will witness a galaxy of C-suite executives, entrepreneurs, academicians and government officials, who will discuss, ponder and brainstorm the burning issues that confront the industry and the region. Besides, the two-day conference’s prime focus will be also on Arab women’s growing contribution to the economy and the evolving role of new leadership in today’s new phase of development. It’s just not an event, but an opportunity to set the agenda right for the exciting times that lie ahead.

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“A new ecosystem is needed to cement the profound transformation unfolding in the region. This paradigm shift is paving the way for new cooperation and geopolitical equations. There’s a dire need for the Gulf countries to expand international trade relations to create more opportunities for the industry and, at the same time, bring tangible benefits for society as well,” says Julien Hawari, co-CEO of Mediaquest Corp, the publisher of TRENDS magazine.

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Explaining how the Top CEO rankings are different from other awards in the region, Professor Miguel Lobo, Director of the INSEAD Middle East Campus, says: “The TOP CEO rankings are unique in the region for their focus on measurable and verifiable data. While this methodology has its strengths and weaknesses, it is a breath of fresh air and a much-needed complement to the numerous other awards based on subjective assessments.”

To read part II, click here