The Winners in WDI’s First MENA Case Writing Competition

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Image courtesy of Uber.


Competition launched by WDI Publishing at the University of Michigan rewards unique academic case studies about doing business in the MENA region


WDI Publishing, part of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan and publisher of cutting-edge business cases and teaching materials for business schools around the globe, today announced that authors from Kent State University in the United States have won its first-ever MENA case competition. The winning case, “Careem: MENA Ride-hailing leader Acquired by Uber” was submitted by Professor Chris Groening and PhD student Ahmad Al Asady.

Under the theme, “Doing Business in the Middle East and North Africa Region,” the case competition was launched to shed light on the unique and realistic challenges and advantages of doing business in MENA. The Careem academic case study, analyzed issues related to Careem’s growth options after it had been acquired by Uber. The terms of the Uber acquisition dictated Careem would continue to operate as a separate entity, so its CEO must present Careem’s forward-looking strategy to relevant stakeholders in a very short time frame.

WDI Publishing received over 44 entries and 23 final submissions, representing more than 15 countries and over 25 universities around the globe. The three winning cases are currently being edited and will be published at WDI Publishing by the end of June. The contest was sponsored by Executive Education at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

“With the MENA region growing rapidly in terms of business innovation and maturity, the energy and interest in our first-ever MENA case competition was extraordinary. Through this initiative, we intended to reward the development and publication of unique academic case studies about the MENA region and use it as a tool to develop the critical thinking skills of higher education students. I’d like to thank all of our competition participants for submitting a variety of truly remarkable cases about doing business in MENA,” said Sandra Draheim, WDI Publishing Manager.

The winning authors were awarded $5,000, while second and third place won $3,500 and $1,500, respectively. The other winning cases include:

Second place: “Building the HR Function at Oman’s Port of Salalah” (Authored by Profs. Dana Sumpter and Mona Zanhour, California State University-Long Beach, USA)

Third place: “Etihad Airways: Rethinking Internationalization and Growth” (Authored by Prof. Mukund Dixit and case writer Sanjay Kumar Jena, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India)

“At Michigan Ross, we have always believed in elevating the quality of education and equip students in MENA and beyond with teaching materials that gives real world examples. We would like to congratulate all the winners and hope they become leaders who drive change and innovation in business across the globe,” said Gene Mage, Managing Director of Custom Programs for Michigan Ross Executive Education.

WDI Publishing handpicked an esteemed group of academic professionals to select the winners including, Hagop Panossian, Lecturer – American University of Beirut Olayan School of Business, Kim Bettcher: PhD, Director Knowledge Management – Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE); Andrew J. Hoffman, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise – University of Michigan Ross School of Business; and Manel Khadraoui, Professor – University of Tunis/Tunis Business School.

About WDI Publishing

WDI Publishing produces and distributes high-quality, cutting-edge business cases and other teaching materials for business schools around the globe. It offers a large catalog of international business and social impact materials, in addition to cases within all core business disciplines. WDI Publishing is part of the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan. WDI is an independent, non-profit research and educational organization focused on driving economic development and improving social welfare in low- and middle-income countries.

About Executive Education at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

Named a Top 5 global provider by the Financial Times, Michigan Ross Executive Education provides transformational experiences that elevate thinking and enable breakthrough business results.  Michigan Ross is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today’s dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business’ mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.


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