Consulting by Degrees – Middle East & Africa

By Naufal Veqar & Antoine Vetrano, Dubai, U.A.E.

Our Regional Perspective

On November 4th, 2012, the IBM office in Dubai Internet City welcomed the inaugural CbD class for the MEA (Middle East & Africa region), consisting of 30 graduates representing 9 regional offices and hailing from 13 countries. The HR leader for Middle-East & Africa stated that “this program is a fantastic representation of the evolving IBMer of the future and forms the foundation of our professional services culture.” It’s an exciting time to be a CbDer – all around the world, technology and core business functions are converging to transform the space in which individuals, companies, and governments operate. IBM is aiming to place itself at the heart of these intersections.

We would like to commend Ryan Watts and CbD Leadership on their initiative to jump-start a global blog where CbDers can contribute from around the planet on how they are navigating this period their lives. In addition to posting our reflections on client experiences, success stories, and influential IBMers, we will seek to contribute by providing some regional insight and perspective, coloring our content with the character of what is undoubtedly one of the largest and most diverse region of the IBM geographies.

As a frontier region in global markets, the Middle East and Africa region is not always situated to capture the entirety of cutting edge global developments as they happen – however, there is great potential for companies and governments to leapfrog certain legacy technologies and start ‘Smart’ at various core development stages, as Ginni Rometty stressed at the Smarter Leadership Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. This is part of what makes the MEA region extremely dynamic, and full of potential.

Understanding the subtle trade-offs between such needs and desires among current and potential IBM clients in this region requires an experience that is grounded in local knowledge. This is the main reason why IBM has kick started the CbD program for MEA this year with it’s first batch of graduates entering in the final quarter of 2012. It not only serves local needs, but ties in with IBM’s global goals of grooming people into the leaders of tomorrow. As our CbD MEA People Manager notes, “building teams like this from the start helps IBM build a strong future in MEA and eliminates borders” by placing all graduates together in the MEA regional headquarters in Dubai for the first year of the program.

We’re looking forward to building deeper connections with CbDers around the world by sharing our thoughts on this forum. Our hope is that, in doing so, we can help each other navigate the first steps of our careers, and pave the path to a smarter future in consulting as young, global IBMers.

The postings on this site are those of the authors and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

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