Where All MENA Retail Leaders Meet

Program Agenda

  • The Address Dubai Mall Hotel


    Registration and Coffee


    Retail Leaders Circle Welcome

    Panos Linardos, Executive Director, Retail Leaders Circle
    Nisreen Shocair, President, Virgin Megastore, MENA

    Re-Defining Customer Centricity

    Customer Centric Retailing enhances customer understanding and improved life time value. It also allows the deliberate targeting of prospects to the group, linking a CCR program directly with the profitability of the organization. All top tier retailers have a program or are about to launch; however, there is no clear differentiation amongst any of them beyond the brands themselves, causing a lack of attraction and customer engagement. How do you build a program which is dynamic and has a clear loyalty proposition for your customers that goes beyond a point-based offering?
    – How do you build and sustain such a program?
    – Where should effort be invested in the first instance?
    – How do you ensure you are generating profitability and results simultaneously?
    Keynote Presenter: Nisreen Shocair, President, Virgin Megastore, MENA

    Evolving the Retail Mentality from Omni-Channel to Omni-Experience

    While no one debates the importance of online retail, many traditional retailers still struggle to effectively execute an omni-channel model. Customers don’t think in channels, but experiences, and it is here that
    Ahmed Galal Ismail will look to address the question on what customers really want.
    Keynote Presenter: Ahmed Ismail, CEO, Majid Al-Futtaim Ventures


    Networking Break


    Changing Consumer Sentiment and the New MENA Retail Landscape

    As the most responsive sector of the regional economies, retail feels the brunt of the economic, social and political dynamics that shape consumer confidence and spending. What challenges and opportunities will 2017 present for MENA’s retailers? What regulatory changes, economic risks and political influences will emerge? How should retail leaders respond in order to thrive in 2017?
    Keynote Presenter Alex Sawaya, Partner, McKinsey and Company, Middle East, Leader of Consumer and Retail
    Tarek Mansour, Partner, Leader Marketing Practice, McKinsey and Company
    Khalid Al-Jasser, Chief Executive Officer, Arabian Centers

    The Third Side of the Coin: A Banker’s Perspective

    In the era of lower oil prices, Retail sector is a key contributor to GDP growth in GCC economies anchoring the future growth. Discussing the new norms and trends in the retailing segment, from a banker’s perspective this session will highlight the key challenges and opportunities for the industry. The session aims to present the key demand factors driving the business and future sustainability of this segment. John will be focusing on breaking the myth of key performance indicators and comparing them across
    international standards.
    Keynote Speaker: John Iossifidis, Executive Vice President & Group Head, Corporate and Investment Banking, Mashreq Bank


    Networking Lunch


    The Next-Generation Retail CEO

    To win in a retail environment characterized by digital disruption, the traditional topdown, centrally controlled approach will not work.The retail organisation of the future will benefit from the initiative of employees dispersed across the business who will play a much greater role in building winning brands, driving product innovation, and delivering outstanding experiences to customers. They ‘next generation’ successful leaders will adopt a new approach and build new capabilities and agility in multiple functions. Also as retail businesses grow leadership talent for the future, they will need to cultivate these qualities by giving high-potential managers broad exposure across functions.
    Moderator:Golnaz Bahmanyar,Head of Consumer & Retail, Egon Zehnder
    Panelists:Ahmed Ismail,CEO, Majid Al-Futtaim Ventures
    Sharmila Murat,General Manager UAE, Chalhoub Group
    Bart Denolf,CEO Franchise, Sacoor Brothers
    Mark Pilkington, Chief Executive Officer, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group

    Another Kind of Retail Therapy

    There’s an entirely new language around femininity that successful retailers will soon be using. This session will unveil an array of multi-faceted characteristics that marks off 15 new attitudinal profiles for Arab personas, and defines the surprisingly untapped value women bring to the economy as wealth creators, leaders, influencers and protectors – in other words, their Female Capital. But what’s keeping marketers awake at night is the fact that the current retail landscape is becoming increasingly borderless, blurred and amorphous, with collapsing boundaries everywhere. However, help is at hand by way of the physical and digital realms being set to merge in new ways with the introduction of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the Internet of Things. Brands that recognize how to harness these capabilities effectively for a diverse female audience, will be able to create entirely new conversations with women and differentiate themselves enormously. Those that don’t on the other hand will find themselves increasingly disadvantaged with the ever-growing power of female audiences. It’s time to unleash a new kind of retail therapy.
    Keynote Presenter:Mennah Ibrahim, MEA Director, J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, The Innovation Group


    Networking Break


    Retailtainment Destinations and Winning Retail Formats

    The Retail industry is becoming more complex and changing at an ever-increasing speed. Retailing, at one time, might have been all about ‘location, location, location,’ but the future retail industry will be significantly different from that of today. Shopping will become more experiential; eating, being entertained and ‘living’ the shopping experience will take on prominence. This session will focus on the winning retail destinations of the future: from enticing atmospheres, a heady mix of art, science, imagination, creativity and, increasingly, live performances to technological enhanced environments that blend the real and virtual worlds.
    – The role of leisure in a physical retail environment.
    – Edutainment and culture as an engagement and marketing tool.
    – From commodities & services to emotions: retailtainment as part of the shopping experience.
    – Alternative retail concepts and experience-based attractions.
    Moderator: Jayne Marcelle Rafter, Publishing Director, RLI
    Panelists: Damien Latham, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al-Futtaim – Leisure & Entertainment
    Miral Youssef,General Manager Level Kids, Chalhoub Group
    Fahimuddin Sharfuddin, CEO, Cityland Group


    Networking Reception

  • The Address Dubai Mall Hotel




    Digital Influence in Retail. Convergence in and out of store thru Digital

    As we look ahead to 2017, there’s no denying that the fundamentals of retail that we have come to know and accept are being rewritten—and the rules of the game are changing at an unprecedented pace. Demography? Dead. Categories? Redefined. Digital? Move over, it’s now in the driver’s seat. Retailers realize they must provide a superior customer experience in order to survive while consumers are demanding more personalized experience and seamless customer journeys switching between digital and the physical store. This session will highlight key strategies on how retailers can reinvent their stores, provide a seamless in-and-out of store experience, and attract the influential audience of millennials and Gen Z’s; the generation which gives high value for social validation.
    Keynote Presenter: Rekha Ramesh, Chief Information Officer, Daymon Worldwide

    Digitizing Middle East and Impact on Retail

    The Middle East retail industry is on the verge of a massive digital disruption. Several countries including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain are leading the digital consumer charge, with high smartphone penetration-adoption rates and social media use. However while consumers are primed and ready to quickly embrace new digital offerings retailers have not fully adapted to digital.
    – What are opportunities if they create critical digital platforms in the region?
    – How retailers can rebuild their organizations to capture more value faster?
    – How retailers can think to leverage their key assets – customer and flow data, supplier data, consumption trends, payment, and deliveries?
    Keynote Presenter: Simon McDougall,Digital Vice President, Head of McKinsey Digital Labs, EMEA


    Networking Break


    Retail in a Digital World: How to Survive and Thrive in a world where technology is rewriting the rules of retail

    In 10 years, retail will look very different. While the store will remain a cornerstone in most retail models, the “retailer of the future” will capture demand and trigger processes from novel sources suc wearables, mobile devices, smart homes, and cars.Delivering on expectations of today’s consumer requires navigating a path that re-imagines your retail business in light of current and future digital disruptions, yet builds on your existing investments and assets. We will explore how retailers can reimagine everything from business models to retail processes to how people work.
    Keynote Presenter: Klaus Boeckle,Vice President, Consumer Industries, EMEA, SAP
    Panelists: Mike Bermingham,Head, Ecommerce Merchandising, Landmark Group
    Panelists: Rekha Ramesh,Chief Information Officer, Daymon Worldwide
    Panelists: Tarek Moussawer,Head of Marketing, Virgin Megastore MENA

    What does the ‘New Norm’ mean for the organisational matrix
    in the retail sector?

    The retail industry, regionally, has experienced tremendous growth at both the top and bottom lines.Recent economic challenges requires retailers to adapt lower top line growth rates and profitability in line of more mature markets. A rethink of organisational structures, including the back office, should be on the agenda of all retailers. But what does this mean for the retail sector and its workers?
    Moderator: Sabimir Sabev,Partner, PwC
    Panelists: Mark Pilkington,,Chief Executive Officer, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group
    Panelists: Marcus Freeman, Group Chief Finance Officer, Chalhoub Group
    Panelists: Rajesh Garg, Chief Financial Officer, Landmark Group


    Networking Lunch


    The New Norm

    The Gulf region has witnessed a period of abundance for the past 25 years with the building of incredible infrastructure and the development of the education of its young and vibrant population. It has now entered a new phase of maturity, of knowledge, of seriousness and of stronger governance. Despite the immediate geopolitical and economic challenges, this is a region of wealth and of steady growth. To be successful, brands and retailers will have to be aspirational, relevant, meaningful and competitive, and adapt to the changes and to the New Norm.
    Keynote Presenter: Patrick Chalhoub, CEO, Chalhoub Group

    The Voice of the Consumer Through Digital

    Middle Eastern retail is in revolution and technology is changing not just how consumers shop, but how retailers operate across the spectrum. In this session, PwC will explore the changing behaviors that will drive the coming retail revolution.

    – How are online shoppers shaping the future of retail in the region?
    – Data driven retail – what can we gain from readily available data in the industry?
    – The now: Mapping, tracking and driving business value through data. Transforming retail today for a sustainable and profitable tomorrow.
    Keynote Presenter: Steve Plimsoll, Chief Digital & Data Officer, PwC Middle East


    Networking Break


    E-commerce in MENA: main dish or dessert?

    The Internet ecosystem in the region has been developing at a fast pace over the last few years. From Internet and smartphone penetration to time spent online, our consumers are amongst the most active Internet users globally. E-commerce has been catching up quickly, and our region seems to be at an inflection point with a significant potential ahead. In this presentation, we will discuss the latest trends in e-commerce globally and the opportunities that e-commerce present to retailers and consumers.
    Keynote Presenter: Charbel Sarkis, MENA Head of Retail, E-Commerce, Telecom and Technology, Google

    RLC Day Two Finale

  • The Address Dubai Mall Hotel


    You are at a time in your career when you want to truly unleash the potential you know you have for the benefit of yourself, your team and your organisation – to undestand what delivers success and then to do it in a way that works in any organisation. I CARE leadership lets you do that. This program is aimed at leaders who wish to take their capability to a truly world class level to set themselves and their teams apart from the rest as a great place to be and for you to be seen as a role model for excellence and delivering future success. Through leveraging your current experience, new leading edge thinking and interactive exercises and peer-to-peer debate you will gain insight into delivering an inspirational environment via I CARE leadership – a new and powerful integration of rational business thinking and the power of trust and belief in the future. This delivers not only high performance but enhances customer focus, optimises risk, builds the brand, enables innovation and change and boosts efficiency.


    Focusing the best onto what delivers success Getting the best from people
    • Make your current knowledge and leadership to more effective and powerful.
    • Inspire people around you to give their best to benefit of them, you and your organisation.
    • Be able to focus that extra performance on your, your teams and organisations critical deliverables
    • Develop new operational and strategic leadership understanding to improve your own capability.
    • Leverage your whole organisation more effectively to enable you to collaborate, innovate and be more entrepreneurial.
    • Create a simple action plan that can be immediately implemented which will significantly improve your ability to succeed


    • C-Level Executives, Directors and Leaders in management, business development, marketing and human resources who wish to drive innovation and results from within
    • Functional or Business Heads who are looking to acquire the skills to be Authentic Leaders who will inspire top talent and make an impact on the bottom line.
    • Individuals who are looking to define their unique positioning in the organization or market and have the desire to capture andpackage their ideas for commercial success.
    Although the program focuses on individual development, companies sending groups of three to five participants from different functions will facilitate collaboration, teamwork, and learning throughout their organizations.


    Understanding your Role in creating success Focusing the best on what delivers success
    • How do the best leaders get super performance?
    • How can you do the same ?
    • Why has the world of work significantly changed ?
    • Why success is now much more than just doing the job.
    • Your role in driving wider organisational excellence
    • Understanding the holistic picture
    • Collaboration as your key to success
    • Growing your strategic leadership
    • Using your network to champion your success

    Inspiring the best from everyone
    From ideas into action – planning your next steps
    • Unleash your own & your teams potential
    • The business case – strategic and operational
    • Using emotion as key to success – the I CARE leader
    • Action planning – Specific actions to :
    • Make you more effective
    • Your team perform better
    • Contribute more to the wider organisation
    • Creating a support network to help you succeed.

Client Companies Include