Seize A $1 Trillion MENA Revenue Potential With Ecosystem Strategies

Retail and Consumer Businesses Should Embrace an ‘Ecosystem Approach’ to Tap into a Potential $1tn Revenue Pool in MENA 

Dubai, January 22 2024 — Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm and a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), has bolstered its practice focused on Retail & Consumer Goods (RCG) in the India, Middle East, and Africa region, combining Oliver Wyman’s global expertise in transformation, development of retail solutions, and more with extensive local experience to provide strategic guidance to retail and consumer businesses aiming to transform and grow.

Oliver Wyman experts note that the retail industry is building rapidly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), particularly across the GCC thanks to its growing young and affluent population and its high digital consumption rates. The sector is also being transformed by the blurring of boundaries between industries such as retail, entertainment, hospitality, food, banking, and payments. Oliver Wyman analysis shows that consumers in the region are increasingly looking for an omni-channel and personalized experience, with 87% of GCC customers using a mix of online and offline for their shopping needs. Additionally, these consumers have higher expectations for tailored experiences compared to their global counterparts, with a difference of more than 30%.

According to Joe Abi Akl, Head of the India, Middle East, and Africa Retail and Consumer Goods practice at Oliver Wyman: “The parallel merging of offline-, online-, and omni-channels has led to the emergence of ecosystem platform players, and as such the retail sector is experiencing the rise of ‘service clusters’. These clusters are expanding their offerings to cater for as many of the ever-evolving lifestyle needs and wants of customers as possible. The changing customer and landscape mean there’s potentially significant growth for companies — in fact, the ecosystem approach could deliver a revenue pool of USD1 trillion across the MENA region.”

However, to attain consistent and sustainable growth in the industry, RCG organizations must also overcome challenges, Abi Akl notes. These include intense competition and the emergence of disruptive, digitally-driven business models, in addition to a complex regulatory environment at the regional level, and a lack of economic integration across MENA markets – all of which makes it essential for organizations to develop the right strategy for growth.

Industry veteran Abi Akl, who joined Oliver Wyman in January, has a wealth of experience in management consulting, corporate development, investment and portfolio management, incubation, digital and analytics capability building, customer value management, operational excellence, and business management. Abi Akl has helped shape the turnaround and growth strategy, digital transformation, and development of leading consumer organizations. Formerly, he was chief corporate development officer at Majid Al Futtaim and managing director of the digital arm of the group, where he played a key role in the transformation of the business and the development of its digital capabilities. 

“It is a dynamic time in the region, and those who embrace bold change will undoubtedly reap the rewards. At Oliver Wyman we are committed to empowering our clients so that they achieve groundbreaking results, and we are thrilled to strengthen our strategic advisory services to retail and consumer clients across India, the Middle East, and Africa. I’m confident that Joe Abi Akl, with his exceptional expertise, will help empower our clients to be transformative and bold at this pivotal moment,” said Pedro Oliveira, Managing Partner of Oliver Wyman in India, the Middle East, and Africa.

About Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in more than 70 cities across 30 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has more than 7,000 professionals around the world who work with clients to optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is a business of Marsh McLennan [NYSE: MMC].  For more information, visit Follow Oliver Wyman on X @OliverWyman.