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Case practice material for Middle East

Daniel Farhat asked on Nov 30, 2019 - 5 answers

I have read that the case interview content in the Middle East office can be quite different than other countries due to the different scope of projects. What is the best resource for case interview examples that are specific to the Middle East?

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Nathaniel
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replied on Nov 30, 2019
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Hi Daniel,

Typically, the cases on Middle East office revolves around government-sponsored projects or state-owned enterprises. The industrial sectors themselves may vary across infrastructure (e.g. smart cities), airlines, education, healthcare, automotive, transportation, retail & commerce, financial services, and others.

I would advise you to look at the prominent industrial and functional practices of the Middle East offices at your target firms, and try to practice relevent cases accordingly (the ones focusing on government / SOE clients).

There are examples of government-focused cases on casebooks from business schools as well as complementary resources from firms such as Monitor Deloitte or BCG. It would be useful to have a practice from these sources.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,

Nathan

Andre
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replied on Dec 02, 2019
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Hi Daniel,

of course Middle East has some specifics (i.e. strong focus on governmental sector). However, there are also many other interesting projects there (oil&gas, transportation, construction & real estate, telco etc.)

In order to prepare you best you need to prepare first in general yourself to different kind of cases (profitability, market sizing,etc.) and then tailor your preparation to every specific interview and company - study what they are doing, read their recent news and publications to understand their focus areas and kind of projects they do.

Key sources for you:

  1. Company websites.
  2. Case books and preplounge with specific industry focus.
  3. Friend or a coach with real life experience from the region.

I used to work in Dubai and recruit candidates for two years, so if you have any specific questions, drop me a line.

Best, André

Hi Andre, thanks for the comment and guidelines ! I am actually looking for someone with experience in Middle East recruiting. I will definitely keep you in mind after I do my own preparation as I will need some coaching later on. — Daniel Farhat on Dec 02, 2019 (edited)

Vlad
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replied on Nov 30, 2019
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Hi,

These types of cases are actually pretty traditional, especially for McKinsey. The reason why people think that they are rare is that the casebooks (that are in general not a good source of cases) almost don't have them

Feel free to reach me if you need a prep on them.

To provide a bit of structure, there are several types of non-profit cases:

  1. Factors influencing the price (What are the factors influencing the price of oil? Factors influencing the price of real estate?)
  2. Macroeconomic cases (How will you improve life expectancy in a particular city? How will you decrease the unemployment?)
  3. Public sector non-profits (Increasing the revenues of a museum; increasing the revenues from tourism in a city)
  4. Redesigning the processes (How will you develop a new anti-monopoly regulation?)
  5. Non-profit investments (A billionaire is building a new school. What are the factors to look at?)
  6. Ops and cost-cutting (How to reduce the traffic jams on a bridge? A garbage processing facility is out of capacity, what should they do?) - I personally consider them as a separate type of cases that is pretty traditional in the offices performing a lot of ops projects.

Best

Thank you for the insightful answer. I will be considering reaching out for some sessions with you once I look more into the points you mentioned. Do you suggest any specific sources? — Daniel Farhat on Nov 30, 2019

Antonello
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replied on Nov 30, 2019
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Hi Daniel,
I recommend the "standard" preparation. The only thing I would focus on is working more on industries that your target company usually serve.

Best,
Antonello

Francesco
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replied on Dec 03, 2019
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Hi Daniel,

in the Middle East you will find more government-related cases compared to other geographies. The easier way to find them is to skim through consulting MBA handbooks and focus on that type and/or prepare with candidates or consultants who have experience with interviews in that geography.

For some firms like BCG, it would also be useful to review the Saudi Vision 2030 as they may ask questions related to that topic.

If you are interested in a specific company please feel free to PM me, I helped several candidates for Middle East offices and have a good number of real cases asked there.

Best,

Francesco

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