Book Review: Unlocking The Paradox Of Plenty

The Middle East must harness its business opportunities today to reap maximum benefit.

The kaleidoscope of opportunities, growth and promise currently ripe in the GCC and wider Middle East region are at risk of disappearing forever, if they are not sustainably and immediately harnessed argue Jones and Punshi in their eclectic new book, Unlocking the Paradox of Plenty.

The book’s ambitious aim to address these issues of employment and business growth also comes with a personal touch, the authors have built their lives here and been key players in the GCC business sector since the 1990s, and it is perhaps because of this context that they are not afraid to tackle the more divisive issues facing the region.

The tenacity of their analysis picks up speed straight away, targeting the problem of a saturated and highly paid public sector and an increasingly disenfranchised Emirati youth where they argue that “a reactionary, passive approach will no longer be good enough”.

The structure of the book weaves an in-depth case study into each chapter, allowing the pair to put difficult questions to business experts across the region.

It is this structure which allows Jones and Punshi to examine transformative concepts such as the new System of Succession at Abu Dhabi’s Health Services Company, where policy dictates that all senior roles which are not currently filled by Emiratis will be so in the future.

Aside from analysis, Unlocking the Paradox of Plenty successfully stresses the need for active participation in the issues facing the business sector. Indeed, the pair writes to their reader “Our aim is to encourage greater dialogue, local research, active debate and deliberate action from policymakers, organisational leaders, HR professionals and you”.

Unlocking The Paradox Of Plenty is published by Motivate (2013) and is available at Booksarabia.com and UAE bookstores.