abdur-rahim syed

Partner - McKinsey & Company

Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Abdur-Rahim leads our work to embed innovation in the Middle East and broader emerging markets. This work includes creating technology and media clusters with public sector entities, helping emerging market operators adapt to new business models, and working with investors who are interested in the digital revolution. With public sector entities, he has helped set up leading technology and media clusters in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, focusing on how to grow digital ecosystems anchored in the base economy, embed R&D and innovation, and attract global technology disrupters. For technology and media operators, he has helped chart growth and diversification strategies to enable them to become regional leaders and globally relevant organizations. Abdur-Rahim has served investors at three of the top ten global private equity firms, three of the top five global sovereign wealth funds and launched two of the largest venture capital funds in the region. He has advised on topics including investment fund set up, due diligence in the technology space, and portfolio strategies. He also leads McKinsey’s Fuel Ignition work for the Middle East, helping regional start-ups scale. Abdur-Rahim previously worked in our Technology, Media & Telecommunications Practice and was based in Silicon Valley. Prior to McKinsey, he worked in corporate strategy at eBay and taught economics at Harvard University where he received the Bok Award for Teaching Excellence. 

Areas of Expertise


There was a time when economic growth, sustainability, and inclusion were seen as trade-offs, but leaders today need to achieve all three. This new paradigm of growth will be more sustainable, driving innovation while reducing environmental impact. It will also be more inclusive, creating access to opportunities for people worldwide. This is not an easy task, but our ambition is to help organizations and their leaders make it a reality. Every day, around the world, we partner with our clients to set bold strategies, unlock the potential of their people, embed transformative technologies in everything they do, and innovate sustainably. The impact we deliver helps clients achieve enduring change in their capabilities and performance—and speeds up the transition to sustainable and inclusive growth.

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