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Going Digital: A Dialogue on Surviving COVID-19

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Going digital: A dialogue on surviving COVID-19

The business world is dealing with the concept of social distancing for the first time in its recent history, and digital services are helping companies from finance to logistics operate remotely. The significance of this is brought into sharp focus by a recent study carried out by Brandeis University, in Massachusetts, that suggests that should suppression measures fall short of neutralizing the impact of COVID-19, the total economic cost of the pandemic could reach USD9 trillion, or around 43% of global GDP.

So as the global economy enters an unprecedented phase of economic disruption and the need for remote work increases, all eyes are turning to digital services and the companies offering them. The Business Year will bring together some of the brightest brains in the digital arena to identify the challenges and solutions to helping their business adapt.


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Khaled Al-Dhaher
Khaled Al-Dhaher
Country Managing Director
Accenture Saudi Arabia

Khaled Al-Dhaher has been the Country Managing Director for Saudi Arabia at Accenture since May 2018. He is responsible for managing operations and driving Accenture's digital consulting strategy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al-Dhaher brings with him considerable experience in delivering state-of-the-art and innovative solutions in industries ranging from financial services, retail/wholesale, and manufacturing to oil and gas and distribution. Prior to joining Accenture, Al-Dhaher was the managing director for Saudi Arabia at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, where he drove profitable growth and market share expansion across HPE business groups. Earlier, he held numerous leadership roles in the technology and banking solutions industries in multinational organizations including Microsoft and Oracle Corporations.

Essam AlShiha
Essam AlShiha
CEO
Saudi Business Machines

Essam AlShiha is the CEO of Saudi Business Machines, where he was previously the COO. He has been with the company since 2002, having started his career with SABIC and worked for firms including ISE and Al Khaleej Computers. He has a degree in computer science and engineering from KFUPM and holds a master's degree in business administration from the UK.

Amjad A. Hafez
Amjad A. Hafez
CEO
NourNet

Amjad A. Hafez has transformed NourNet into a leading converged ICT provider. With a degree in electrical communications engineering, he began his career managing enterprise accounts with Global One and Al Faisaliah Group. With NourNet, he has overseen the establishment of a world-class data center located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's first truly carrier-neutral data center.

Alena Hakansson
Alena Hakansson
Country Director Saudi Arabia
The Business Year Saudi Arabia

Alena Hakansson is the Country Director for The Business Year: Saudi Arabia 2021. She has over 10 years of experience in communications, marketing, and business development for both corporations and media companies. She graduated from the University of Manitoba with a degree in psychology. Whilst in the field, she has established relationships with business leaders and led countless high-profile presentations and interviews with executives, ministers, investors, and politicians around the world. She has successfully managed projects working in Nigeria, the UAE, Jordan, Greece, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and more.

​Akın Aytekin
Moderator: ​Akın Aytekin
Country Editor Saudi Arabia
The Business Year

Akın Aytekin is the Country Editor for The Business Year: Saudi Arabia 2021. In his capacity as Country Editor, he focuses on countries' economic growth plans, investment strategies, company profiles, and regional and global integration policies. Prior to joining The Business Year, he worked as a finance reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Thomson Reuters News Agency in Istanbul. He is a graduate of the United World College in Norway and holds a BS degree in Global Growth and Development from Westminster College, Missouri, US. He has made numerous interview appearances on different TV channels including the Turkish branches of CNN and Bloomberg HT to deliver updates from the region and markets.

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