Careem: MENA Ride-hailing Leader Strategizes Future Growth as an Uber Subsidiary

by: Christopher Groening, Ahmad Al Asady

Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Length: pages
Product ID#: 7-314-518

Core Disciplines: Entrepreneurship & Innovation, International Business, Marketing/Sales, Strategy & Management

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First place winner in WDI Publishing’s MENA Case Writing Competition “Doing Business in the Middle East North Africa Region,” sponsored by Michigan Ross Executive Education.

This case examines the unique challenges faced by ridesharing company Careem as a business operating in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The case presents issues related to Careem’s growth options after it was acquired by Uber. Protagonist Mudassir Sheikha, Careem co-founder and chief executive officer, has two goals as he decides the company’s future direction: 1) providing solutions benefiting Careem’s customers, employees, and drivers, and 2) managing a profitable company. The terms of the Uber acquisition dictate Careem will continue to operate as a separate entity, and Sheikha must present Careem’s forward-looking strategy to all relevant stakeholders in two weeks.

The case addresses issues specific to the MENA region and how they differ from those in the West. Students will examine the opportunities and threats created for Careem in the wake of the Uber acquisition.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Describe the MENA region’s unique cultural characteristics (e.g., gender, religion) and how they affect business operations.
  • Identify the MENA region’s unique institutional characteristics (e.g., government regulations, government-owned competitors, lack of credit card adoption by consumers) and how they affect business operations.
  • Assess the optimal business approach to the MENA region’s unique cultural and institutional characteristics.
  • Recommend strategies Careem can use to maintain or grow the ride-hailing market in general and its market share in particular.
  • Decide what, if any, additional business segments into which Careem should expand.