Interview – Pablo Martin de Holan, Dean of HEC Paris in Qatar

Interview – Pablo Martin de Holan, Dean of HEC Paris in Qatar

After a presence in Qatar for more than 10 years, your new location in the modern and sustainable district of Msheireb opens new perspectives for the bilateral academic partnership. How does this new stage of your development support the implementation of Qatar's National Vision 2030?

As it is the case with most members of Qadran, strategy for the next 10 years in Qatar is a combination of HEC Paris´ goals and those of the National Vision 2030.  More specifically, HEC Paris in Qatar will continue to strive for impact and excellence.  Impact means creating actionable knowledge, teaching more people, and helping them grow as managers, as leaders, but also as persons.  Excellence means being best-in-class and ensuring that all our activities in Qatar and the Gulf are world-class, from the most menial to the most relevant.  We have worked and will keep working with institutions, organizations, and business firms in Qatar and the region to train and develop their talent and providing a platform to solve the challenges they face in their everyday operations, but also in their strategic positioning and of course we take great pleasure in assisting other Qadran members to develop their talent.  Ultimately, both QF and HEC Paris are interested in sustainable development, diverse, inclusive, and respectful of people and the planet, we are committed to participating in that dialogue to construct a better world.

The bilateral relationship between France and Qatar continues to develop and grow. How do the academic exchanges between France and Qatar accompany the increase in students' skills and allow the two countries to enrich each other?

The friendship between France and the State of Qatar is deep, and we are happy to contribute to it through our many activities. In that regard, and just like Qadran, we are a visible manifestation of that friendship.  Our Executive MBA, one of our flagship programs that is delivered in the city of Doha, allows participant to follow its modules in different locations so participants can expand their network through these conversations, both academic and informal, and create friendships and business opportunities.  We are working with Qatari institutions, such as QDB, QFC, and many others, to provide access to our incubation services in France and to the expertise of our IDEA center in Paris and its incubator Station F.  Also, our alumni network, one of the world´s finest, allows alumni to connect with each other and explore areas of common interest regardless of nationality or place of residence.

What do you think are the sectors that will carry Qatar's ambitions high in the coming years? How will you support this vision?


It is difficult to predict what sectors will be successful, but we do know that they will need to be high value added.  Usually, we refer to those as the "knowledge economy", as opposed to the economics of things.  To be successful in a knowledge economy, and tis is not new to any member of Qatar I think, one needs knowledge workers, and you also need talented women and men who can lead their organizations towards new ways of creating value beyond the ones we know today, for example inventing business models that allow for a circular economy.  What we do know for sure is that the economic transition that is implied by QNV2030 necessitates a qualitative and quantitative transformation of the economy, and that to do so there is nothing better than entrepreneurship and innovation: these forces are the ones that allow people, organizations, and companies, to adapt to the changes and to prosper.  In our opinion, it is the "creative destruction" that is unleashed by innovation and entrepreneurship that will be determinant to achieve the goals of the vision, and that is why we train leaders and managers with a strong moral compass and a commitment to a better, more sustainable world.  We are very fortunate to be able to walk this road with a partner like Qatar Foundation, whose vision of a better world through education and dialogue is deeply shared by HEC, and whose help has been pivotal for the immense successes we have had during the past decade in Qatar.  We are very grateful to QF, and we are committed to continuing working with QF for many, many years, insh´Allah.