goetzpartners steers digital transformation in the Middle East: first Leaders’ Transformation Roundtable in Dubai

New goetzpartners Dubai office makes its mark with the first roundtable for leaders in the telecommunications, media and technology industries

Press release

Munich, 21/11/2016 – To explore digital transformation approaches for telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) companies in the Middle East, the Dubai office of the leading advisory firm goetzpartners brought together over 30 C-level executives from organisations across the region to a leaders’ roundtable event on the 15th of October, 2016.

The Leaders’ Transformation Roundtable – hosted by goetzpartners senior executives and its Managing Partners Dr Stephan Goetz and Stefan Sanktjohanser, Managing Director Alexander Henschel and the head of goetzpartners’ Middle East team, Erik Almqvist – certainly lived up to its ambition as the highest-profile TMT transformation event of 2016 in the Middle East. Through interactive discussions and a client testimonial, attendees explored principal challenges and obstacles, as well as ways to leverage the opportunities of digital transformation.

(Source: goetzpartners)

Digital transformation: the state of play

In the opening presentation by the two co-founders, goetzpartners Managing Partner Stefan Sanktjohanser said, “The digital world is not only disrupting the telecommunications industry, it is also changing the world.” This was a view shared by participants – who openly discussed success factors as well as hurdles to digital transformation of their own organisations. In a survey conducted among the executives attending the event, nearly two-thirds stated that transformation efforts have so far failed to deliver. Over one fifth of participants had not yet even started along the road to digital transformation. Yet the overwhelming majority recognised that the issue is imperative for profitable growth and vital for their organisation’s entire future.

So why is progress so slow? Attendees categorically agreed that the culture of the organisation is one of the main sticking points of any transformation, with over two thirds citing this as the number one barrier.

“Traditional transformation approaches focusing on the ‘what’ have largely failed to bring sufficient benefits to Middle East operators, and there is a growing, highly justified, frustration over the lack of results. It is now time to set in motion methodologies focusing more on the ‘how’, not only on the ‘what’, and to pay much more attention to the cultural buy-in and understanding of the entire organization and the granular, broken-down impact on the bottom line. In goetzpartners’ recent experience using the unique Color Books™ approach in global and regional cost and digital transformations, such methodologies are likely to bring results 3-5 times that of traditional approaches”, said Erik Almqvist, Managing Director goetzpartners Middle East.

A company cannot embark on a digital transformation journey without truly living the experience. Not only does the culture of the organization need to be consistent and aligned, but all of the processes and assets related to the organization have to be digitised also.

Other leaders at the regional powerhouses in the telecoms industry also gave accounts of transformation processes within their own organisations – with many citing the need to address every aspect of the organisation, and for the wider transformation to commence from within and grow outwards, to the customer facing elements of the operating companies. It is also important to leverage the role of the CEO and the leadership team to communicate clear messages to everyone.


As operators of the networks that underpin digital communication, telecommunications companies provide one of today’s most critical services. This was summarized by Dr Khaled Biyari, Group CEO of Saudi Telecom Company (STC), who attended the event: “We as an industry do have a very important piece of the puzzle … the network is fundamental to what will happen down the road to different industries and not just telecommunications.”

If organisations can manage their own transformation journey effectively, they will be able to better understand how to serve their customers, who are also looking ahead to their own future and innovative capabilities. In this regards, Mr. Hatem Bamatraf, Chief Technology Officer of Etisalat Group added: “Innovation is not a function, it is a culture”.

goetzpartners in the Middle East

The new goetzpartners office in Dubai opened in May, extending goetzpartners’ international presence and enabling the company to provide organisations in the Middle East with local advisory expertise. As a global transformation partner with a world-class track record, goetzpartners is ideally positioned to guide organisations through digital transformation, and the October 15 roundtable was hosted specifically for this purpose.

About goetzpartners: Advisory for Strategy, M&A and Transformation

goetzpartners is an independent advisory firm for all key issues of entrepreneurial activity: Strategy, M&A, Transformation. With more than 300 professionals operating out of 14 offices in 11 countries, we advise clients worldwide in all key industries.

Founded in 1991 by Dr Stephan Goetz and Stefan Sanktjohanser, goetzpartners today ranks among the 10 best-performing advisory firms in Germany (Lünendonk®). goetzpartners has received awards three years in a row as part of the “Best of Consulting” contest by the renowned German magazine “WirtschaftsWoche”, most recently in the in the “Project Excellence” category (2016).

Press contact

Rola Osseiran, goetzpartners
Director Marketing & Client Relations Middle East
T + 971-50-1895965

Ines Bieger, goetzpartners
Director Marketing & PR
T + 49-89-290725-337