Associate Professor of Marketing Chris Groening and Ph.D. Student Ahmad Al Asady Win MENA Case Writing Competition

KENT, Ohio – Chris Groening, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing at the Kent State College of Business Administration, and Kent State Ph.D. student Ahmad Al Asady recently won the first-ever MENA case competition presented by the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan.


Groening and Al Asady won for their case submission, “Careem: MENA Ride-hailing leader Acquired by Uber.” Al Asady explained that he and Groening wrote this case as it was unfolding in real-time.


“I think we won because the reviewers appreciated the relevance of this case,” Al Asady said. “This is the first in the region's history where a local company was acquired for billions of dollars from a competitor. I think this case is a sign of things to come in a region that has enjoyed little attention in terms of entrepreneurship.”


“Cases like ours are a reminder that while we live in a globally interconnected marketplace with numerous multi-national companies, firms must still pay close attention to local customs, cultures and mores,” Groening added.


The WDI launched the case competition with the theme, “Doing Business in the Middle East and North Africa Region,” to shed light on the unique and realistic challenges and advantages of doing business in MENA. The Careem academic case study analyzed issues related to Careem’s growth options after it had been acquired by Uber. Careem continued to operate as a separate entity and brand, but its CEO had to present Careem’s forward-looking strategy to relevant stakeholders in a very short time frame.


WDI Publishing received more than 44 entries and 23 final submissions, representing more than 15 countries and 25 universities around the globe.


“With the MENA region growing rapidly in terms of business innovation and maturity, the energy and interest in our first-ever MENA case competition was extraordinary. Through this initiative, we intended to reward the development and publication of unique academic case studies about the MENA region and use it as tool to develop the critical thinking skills of higher education students,” said Sandra Draheim, WDI Publishing Manager.


Groening and Al Asady were awarded a combined $5,000 for their winning submission.


About Kent State University's College of Business Administration


Kent State University's College of Business Administration is among the fewer than 1% of business schools worldwide to obtain dual Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation in both business and accounting. The college boasts 10 undergraduate majors, 14 minors and a Professional Sales Certificate program; master's degrees in accounting, business administration (MBA and EMBA), business analytics and economics; as well as a comprehensive Ph.D. program with concentrations in accounting, finance, information systems, management and marketing.


Kent State's College of Business Administration ranks as a top business college in Ohio and the number one public university in Northeast Ohio by U.S. News and World Report and is ranked as one of the nation’s Best Business Schools by The Princeton Review. The college is committed to sustainability as an advanced Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) signatory and is recognized by the Sales Education Foundation as a top university for professional sales education.


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POSTED: Monday, July 13, 2020 - 2:39pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 11:00am