01 Dec 2017
The Power of Cultural Understanding
Majid Jafar (MBA 2004)Topics:
Majid Jafar (MBA 2004)
Majid Jafar (MBA 2004) sees the global influence of HBS as a key to creating
change in the world, a view that is informed by his experiences
growing up in the United Arab Emirates, his time at HBS, and
his current position as CEO of Crescent Petroleum, the oldest
private oil and natural gas company in the Middle East.
“When I was at HBS it was clearly the world’s leading
business school. What it has become even more today is the
leading business school for the world,” says Jafar, who has
served on the School’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
Advisory Board for two years.
As an endorsement of this international focus, Jafar has established
a fund to support the MENA Research Center in Istanbul,
its Dubai Research Office, and other HBS activities throughout
the region. The expansion of HBS’s global centers and offices
conducting research on the ground with local companies and
governments is vitally important, he observes, not just for the
School and its students but also for the regions themselves.
“It is an extremely powerful way to influence the next generation
of leaders and policymakers,” he says. “Through business we can
cut down barriers, bringing people together to solve problems such
as youth unemployment and climate change. HBS cases transmit
cultural understanding throughout the world. The result is a very
positive multiplier effect.”
In the MENA region where there are substantial investment
needs and socioeconomic and political challenges, Jafar says that
it is important to understand and tackle the root causes of the
problems. He also believes in empowering the private sector and
building an eco-system that supports economic growth, improved
education, and more employment training for the next generation.
As HBS faculty develop more cases on the region, he says, the
impact will be far-reaching, given that 80 percent of the cases
used in business schools around the world originate from HBS.
Class of MBA 2004, Section B