Business


Mideast firms clout rises in world arena


Thomas Bradtke. Pic: Supplied picture

Muscat: Six companies from the Middle East — Emirates, Saudi Aramco, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Sabic and Elsewedy — have featured in the Boston Consulting Group's (BCG's) 2013 'Global Challengers' report.

Titled Allies and Adversaries, the report identifies 100 'global challenger' companies from the emerging markets that are growing so quickly that they are reshaping industries and surpassing many traditional multinational companies.

Allies and Adversaries is the fifth in a series of BCG annual Global Challenger reports identifying the fastest-growing companies in the emerging markets. It is also part of BCG's Game-Changing Programme to help leaders and their companies capitalise on the opportunities created by these seismic shifts in the global economy.

In the past five years, these companies—many of them little known in the West — have added 1.4 million jobs, while employment at the non-financial S&P 500 stayed flat. Their average revenue was $26.5 billion in 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, compared with $21 billion for the S&P 500's non-financial firms and $20 billion for the entire S&P 500. In the same year, they purchased more than $1.7 trillion of goods and services and invested more than $330 billion in capital expenditures.

Global Spotlight on Middle East
In 2013, the Middle East is represented by four global challenger companies and maintains its share in the BCG Global Challenger top 100 list over previous years. The region is also home to two 'graduate' companies in the 2013 report.

Maintaining their status as global challengers, Saudi Arabian chemicals giant Sabic and Egypt's Elsewedy, a leading manufacturer of electrical wires and cables, continue to impress with their scale, international market positions and excellence in operations in the latest BCG study.

New to the list are Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, two of the fastest growing airlines in the Middle East. Both companies have been leveraging the region's favourable geostrategic location as a transportation hub at the crossroads of Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Africa. 

In addition to these four global challengers, Emirates and Saudi Aramco have joined the BCG challenger 'graduate' list.  This list contains companies that have moved from global challenger to global leader status in recognition of their outstanding achievements, rivalling or often exceeding the achievements of long-established incumbent players in their respective industries.

"The Middle East upholds it reputation as a truly dynamic region as we witness global challengers emeriti Emirates and Saudi Aramco establish themselves as true international players. Emirates Airline has reported a remarkable record of 24 consecutive profitable years, and its orders for the Airbus A380 superjumbo airliner exceeded that of any other airliner by three times.

"Similarly, Saudi Aramco is the largest gas and oil company in the world, and has engaged in ventures all over the globe in its quest to become a global integrated energy business," said Thomas Bradtke, Partner and Managing Director in BCG's Dubai office and originator of BCG's Global Challenger report series in 2006.

"Our four Middle East challengers for 2013 have equally promising forecasts, and are playing a significant role in the global economy. The number of passengers transported through and within the Middle East has grown 15 per cent per annum over the past years, due in large part to the investments that challengers Etihad and Qatar Airways have been making in meeting the needs of the global middle class.

These mega-carriers, along with emeritus Emirates, are reshaping the international aviation landscape. Sabic and Elsewedy are playing equally influential roles in transforming the chemical and manufacturing industries," Bradtke concluded.

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