50 Saudi students graduate from Qimam program

Industry leaders, private and public sector figureheads and university representatives attended the 2019 graduation ceremony of the Qimam Fellowship.
Updated 26 June 2019

50 Saudi students graduate from Qimam program

The Qimam Fellowship program has welcomed 50 fellows into its second cohort, admitted from a pool of approximately 18,000 applicants — following a rigorous evaluation process. 

Industry leaders, private and public sector figureheads and university representatives attended the 2019 graduation ceremony of the Qimam Fellowship.

The 50 fellows originate from a variety of backgrounds and fields of study from more than 25 universities in Saudi Arabia and abroad, with male and female fellows representing an exact 50-50 split this year.

All students underwent an intensive program comprising the following key components: 

1. Mentorship from senior public and private sector leaders to help fellows with personalized career advice.

2. Leadership training by professionals from renowned companies to help them succeed in their future careers.

3. Visits to the Saudi Arabian offices of leading national and international companies to engage with leadership teams and learn about how they operate.

4. Networking and team-building to help them build long-lasting relationships.

5. Sharing the fellow profiles on the Qimam website and with HR professionals across the Kingdom for career opportunities. 

Qimam was founded by McKinsey & Company and Dr. Annas Abedin, a McKinsey alumnus and entrepreneur. It is funded by McKinsey & Company, and supported by Seera Group, which is covering all travel and accommodation-related expenses of the fellowship.

Tom Isherwood, partner at McKinsey & Company, said: “Our support for Qimam is grounded in our belief that Saudi Arabia is rich with extraordinary talent and that developing such talent is one of the best investments for a brighter future. Unlocking this human potential is the most important lever to economically and socially advance the Kingdom and the region.” 

He added: “I’m proud to be a part of an organization that has emphasized the importance of equipping these future leaders with the skills, self-confidence, connections and mentorship they need.”

Dr. Abedin, co-founder of Qimam, said: “What is most exciting about Qimam is the community of outstanding leaders and organizations coming together with the common purpose and vision of identifying and supporting top talent.”

Sahira Jilal Nahari, a Qimam graduate of 2019 and student of medicinal and health sciences at Batterjee Medical College, said: “Having the opportunity to meet experts from diverse fields around the Kingdom has been a truly valuable opportunity. This has allowed me to broaden my horizons beyond just the field I specialize in and in turn, look at how other fields can contribute in strengthening my career path. The program has also inspired a strong sense of community among me and my peers.”

Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Dawood, CEO of Seera Group, said: “Empowering university students from Saudi Arabia to achieve their full potential goes hand in hand with Seera’s vision of opening up opportunities for all.”


Positive social impact of COVID-19 in KSA: Survey

Updated 12 August 2020

Positive social impact of COVID-19 in KSA: Survey

A survey commissioned by Al-Aghar Group, an independent Saudi think tank, in partnership with global management consultancy Kearney, has revealed that most thought leaders and decision-makers in the Kingdom anticipate that COVID-19 will be a positive accelerant of the transformation already underway in the Kingdom. The survey focused specifically on the social impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Kingdom through 2025.

Respondents believed that COVID-19 is accelerating the advent of the “future of work” in the Kingdom and more than 65 percent see this as fundamentally positive. About 69 percent see the growing need for the retraining of employees as positive, spurring national adaptation to the new normal. However, the survey also revealed some concerns regarding the security of formal employment and self-employment, with 37 percent seeing the effect of the crisis as negative.

Most survey respondents (70 percent) expect education in the Kingdom to undergo a positive transformation with the adoption of new, innovative, and inclusive modes of learning.

Seventy-eight percent of the respondents believe that the impact of the pandemic on the health care in the Kingdom through 2025 will be highly beneficial.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents believe there will be a wide adoption of telemedicine services in the Kingdom in the near future, as patients gain greater comfort and confidence in this method of consultation with their health providers.

Most respondents believe the health crisis has accelerated the process of digital transformation in the country, particularly in the finance and retail sectors. Seventy-five percent of respondents see the anticipated wider prevalence of e-commerce as positive, and 89 percent see as positive increasing use of cashless payments for face-to-face transactions by 2025.

By 2025, 78 percent of respondents expect that COVID-19 will lead to a significant and welcome (83 percent) step change in government preparedness for future crises. Meanwhile, 68 percent of respondents anticipate a significant impact on government information-sharing and 65 percent anticipate a moderate, but positive change in the willingness of citizens to contribute toward government efforts.

Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Saud, chairman, Al-Aghar Group, said: “Saudi Arabia has a proud history of resilience and has thrived even in the most challenging situations. While this pandemic has severely affected us all, the survey results confirm the depth of our intention to use this current situation to accelerate our national progress.”

Rudolph Lohmeyer, partner and head of National Transformations Institute at Kearney Middle East, said: “The survey results clearly reveal the deep, optimistic resilience of the Saudi people and their implicit commitment to the Kingdom’s national transformation. Despite the near-term hardships caused by the crisis, respondents anticipate that the most significant medium-term impacts will be positive.”