Author Archives: Executive Editors

Closing the gap

Closing the gap

Reading Time: 3 minutes Imagine that you are thrown into a fist fight against a fully abled opponent, but one of your hands has been tied behind your back. Your ability to compete would be reduced by at least half making your chances of winning pretty slim. This analogy, with Lebanon as the fighter, illustrates the difficulty of having


Reading Time: 4 minutes Typically, not much thought is given to trash once it’s removed from the home — out of sight, out of mind. Not so in Lebanon. The problem of garbage disposal in the country has become a chronic and pressing issue. Every couple of years, the issue comes to a head: for one reason or another,

Dear Ms. X

Reading Time: 2 minutes We in Lebanon love to complain about traffic. But when we tire of bemoaning our clogged roads, we often move on to another popular gripe: the poor state of the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. Internet speed is slow, mobile data connections come and go as you move, and calls drop with annoying

Questionable ethics

Reading Time: 5 minutes When Executive asked Joe Saddi, senior partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ premium consulting arm Strategy&, and before that global chairman of predecessor firm Booz & Company, if there was a shared greatest challenge for Arab companies, he answered without a hint of hesitation: “There is. It is capacity building.” Our subsequent research into the defining challenges of

Take the lead

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s too soon to say whether Lebanon’s potential oil and gas resources are truly a game changer or not. But if the resources might significantly alter the trajectory of the country — its economy, its businesses, its people and their way of life — then Lebanese civil society must vigorously impress values of transparency and

Politics and public health

Reading Time: 2 minutes Health Minister Wael Abou Faour caused quite a stir by telling the Lebanese they are eating “shit” — his word, not ours. What he failed to do, however, is give any details about the methodology and precise results of tests on food his ministry recently conducted. In short, Abou Faour spread fear, not information. He

Just go

Reading Time: 3 minutes When the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon was first created in 1994, hope for the economy to flourish was not such a wild concept. Lebanon was being rebuilt after the war. Times were changing. There was enthusiasm for a reconstructed Lebanon with shining new infrastructure. IDAL was to be one of the institutions spearheading the

End the boys’ club

Reading Time: 3 minutes The message of success (see “In praise of chaos“) bears repeating: as Executive surveyed the offices, workshops and hangouts of ambitious young companies over the past two months, we found the Lebanese entrepreneurship ecosystem in 2014 to be performing far beyond the assumptions of defeatists, and even our own optimistic expectations. But while this ecosystem

In praise of chaos

Reading Time: 3 minutes What happens when you combine a few crazy startups, visionary ideas and some equally crazy support institutions? In a word, magic. In a country where deep sectarian divisions, a moribund economy, poor security, weak institutions and staggering debt have produced a chorus of naysayers, several plucky startups are showing us how to build a successful

The root of good

Reading Time: 2 minutes The international community’s response to the Syrian crisis is growing even more shameful with the passage of time. Since Syria’s war began in 2011, governments in the developed world have very obviously put political and military considerations before humanitarian concerns. Not surprisingly, the consequences have been disastrous for millions of Syrians — both refugees and