Environmental Quality International in Siwa, ECCH ref no. 309-121-1

This case on EQI is the beautiful Egyptian oasis of Siwa is one of two cases I have written on family hotel business. The other is the case on the Eco-Fairy Castle in Argentina. The case introduces Mounir Neamatalla, President of the private Egyptian firm Environmental Quality International (EQI), who has invested in a sustainable development project in the beautiful Siwa oasis, near the Egyptian-Libyan border. EQI’s approach is to draw on the old wisdom, traditional skills and creativity of the local community, and complement them with modern know-how to develop Siwa into a model of sustainable development that can serve as a source of inspiration for other communities around the world. The case describes the Egyptian political system and economy, introduces the ancient oasis of Siwa, and presents EQI’s component projects, which comprise three hotels, a line of embroidered products and traditional jewellery, and the export of organic produce. This case is a component of the author’s case series (with MAS and Danfoss in China) on crafting corporate policies to local conditions. The central question raised is: what do we mean by development? Many Siwans consider that their ancient culture risks being swept away in a tide of ‘modernisation’, but they also recognise that the oasis can no longer stand aside from the modern world. What can / should be preserved, and what chances of success for EQI, for Siwa, and for the rest of us? The case is accompanied by a teaching note.

About Jonathan Story, Professor Emeritus, INSEAD

Jonathan Story is Emeritus Professor of International Political Economy at INSEAD. Prior to joining INSEAD in 1974, he worked in Brussels and Washington, where he obtained his PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has held the Marusi Chair of Global Business at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Graduate Schoold of Business, Fordham University, New York. He is preparing a monograph on China’s impact on the world political economy, and another on a proposal for a contextual approach to business studies. He has a chapter forthcoming on the Euro crisis. His latest book is China UnCovered: What you need to know to do business in China, (FT/ Pearson’s, 2010) (www.chinauncovered.net) His previous books include “China: The Race to Market” (FT/Pearsons, 2003), The Frontiers of Fortune, (Pitman’s, 1999); and The Political Economy of Financial Integration in Europe : The Battle of the Systems,(MIT Press, 1998) on monetary union and financial markets in the EU, and co-authored with Ingo Walter of NYU. His books have been translated into French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Arabic. He is also a co-author in the Oxford Handbook on Business and Government(2010), and has contributed numerous chapters in books and articles in professional journals. He is a regular contributor to newspapers, and has been four times winner of the European Case Clearing House “Best Case of the Year” award. His latest cases detail hotel investments in Egypt and Argentina, as well as a women’s garment manufacturer in Sri Lanka and a Chinese auto parts producer. He teaches courses on international business and the global political economy. At the INSEAD campus, in Fontainebleau and Singapore, he has taught European and world politics, markets, and business in the MBA, and PhD programs. He has taught on INSEAD’s flagship Advanced Management Programme for the last three decades, as well as on other Executive Development and Company Specific courses. Jonathan Story works with governments, international organisations and multinational corporations. He is married with four children, and, now, thirteen grandchildren. Besides English, he is fluent in French, German, Spanish, Italian, reads Portuguese and is learning Russian. He has a bass voice, and gives concerts, including Afro-American spirituals, Russian folk, classical opera and oratorio.
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