Three Middle East companies among top global decision-makers

30 October 2019 3 min. read
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Crowe Global’s Art of Smart analysis of corporate decision-making is back for a second edition, with three Middle East companies making this year’s list.

Last year’s inaugural Art of Smart analysis of corporate decision-making in the manufacturing, healthcare and real estate industries compiled by professional services firm Crowe Global saw Emaar Properties as the only entrant from the Middle East region. This year, three local companies have made the list of one hundred global leaders; DAMAC Properties and Aldar Properties of the UAE, and Saudi Arabia Mining, all of which featured in the top 50.

To arrive at the 100 Decision-Making Index for 2019, Crowe assessed 115 of the fastest growing publically-listed firms operating in the focal sectors (by revenue over one and five years) against what it considers the four key pillars of success in decision-making: Growth, Diversity, Boldness and Innovation. Topping the list this year was US-based biopharmaceutical research company Incyte – with perfect scores in three of the four pillars, including in the ‘Diversity’ category.

Indeed, biotechnology – and diversity – were the two dominant themes on this year’s list. Companies in the biotech & pharma bracket crowded the top of the rankings, taking nearly half of the top twenty places, while Crowe calculated that companies which scored the highest for diversity had achieved on average a massive 3,680 percent over five years. This finding confirms recent research from numerous consultancies such as McKinsey and BCG, all of which conclude higher profits.

Uncovering The Crowe 100 indexs most innovative companies

“When it comes to the art of smart decision-making, there are clear commercial imperatives for creating a workforce and a leadership that reflects and understands its audiences, but also one that is prepared to be agile, do things differently and be bold,” the authors of the Crowe report state, “A diverse set of opinions and attitudes is essential to creating such a climate, and to making sure that any decisions taken are properly scrutinised and tested."

Only five companies among the top two dozen were scored at less than 100 for diversity – which for the sake of the greater objectivity referred this year to gender diversity alone, and, while a low bar, required a boardroom and C-suite make-up of at least one quarter women to achieve full marks. The Middle East corporates assessed had on average just five percent female representation at board level, limiting local performance on the list, and effectively growth.

Despite this, three regional companies made the grade; DAMAC Properties at 36th, Saudi Arabia Mining just two spots below at 38th, and Aldar Properties, which snuck into the top half at 49th. One of the world’s fastest growing companies in recent years (topping the Forbes Global 2000 list for compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2016), the UAE-based luxury real estate developer DAMAC was adjudged by Crowe to be the seventh leading firm for innovation.

“There is no denying the impact that innovation has on decision-making, whether it’s through new approaches to old methods or the formation of an entirely new method,” the authors conclude. “Both boldness and innovation help companies overcome challenges. In difficult scenarios, companies that make bold moves such as entering new markets or developing new products and services may still fail, but they’re unlikely to be successful without making those big decisions.”