Case Study

Raya Holding: What is the holding really holding?

17 pages
August 2023
Reference: IMD-7-2390

On 7 October 2020, the employees of Raya, an Egyptian holding company, received an email that sent shockwaves across the entire firm. The board had just announced that Medhat Khalil, Raya’s co-founder, primary shareholder and long-serving CEO, would be stepping down after 21 years, leaving the position to his son Ahmed Khalil, who was just under 40 years old. Every one of Raya Holding’s 13,000 employees was trying to guess how this would impact the company’s operations and shape its future. On that day, Ahmed was in his Cairo office, and there was little time to celebrate. He had joined Raya back in 2013, and this moment was the zenith of his career. Ahmed had watched his father develop the company into a successfully diversified conglomerate and the leadership bar was set very high. Reflecting on the milestones achieved under his father’s leadership, Ahmed wondered whether the company needed to transform itself to sustain the growth it had demonstrated in the past. Specifically, he questioned whether the holding’s current structure was still the best way to sustain growth. If that was not the case, what changes were required? Ahmed was going to spend the next few months finding an answer to this critical question. He was fully aware he had one chance to gain an in-depth understanding of what was really required to future-proof Raya, and – if change proved necessary – to get the transformation right.

Learning Objective

• Discuss strategic options and evaluate the importance of aligning strategy and structure
• Evaluate the pros and cons of alternative corporate structures
• Consider the role of people, rewards and processes
• Understand the dynamics of conglomerates in emerging markets

Strategy Execution, Corporate Strategy, Conglomerate, Holding Company, Emerging Market
Raya Holding, Finance and Insurance, Financial Services, Information Technology, Food Production, Consumer Goods, Home Appliances
Field Research
© 2023
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Teaching note
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