HEC Paris in Qatar is looking to the future with Dr. Pablo Martin de Holan at its helm – as he focuses his efforts on providing top-level education, developing “world-class” research, and opening up opportunities for cultural exchange between France and Qatar.
Each year, students from around the world flock to Qatar Foundation’s Education City, eager to experience its multi-university campus and unique educational ecosystem.
And for those looking for business learning opportunities, HEC Paris in Qatar – which is among Qatar Foundation’s international partner universities – offers one of the world’s best executive MBA programs.
The business school now has an established reputation for offering top-tier executive education in Qatar. The man charged with maintaining and enhancing that reputation is Dr. Pablo Martin de Holan, who has recently been appointed as Dean of HEC Paris in Qatar, where he will work during his four-year mandate to contribute to the realization of Qatar’s vision of building a sustainable, diversified economy.
“We train very good students to become future leaders of Qatar,” says Dr. Martin de Holan. “We want to train the people who will make the big decisions, and we want to attract students from around the world.”
This global worldview stems in part from Dr. Martin de Holan’s own professional background. He is an experienced educator, manager and leader, and has worked across the globe promoting the best in education. His previous roles include Dean of MBAs at France’s Emlyon Business School, and managing the Global Entrepreneurship Program between Purdue University, in the US state of Indiana, and China’s Zhejiang University.
In addition, his teaching experiences have taken him around the world – to MIT in Spain, Argentina’s Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, and Canada’s McGill University, among others. As well as his role as Dean of HEC Paris in Qatar, Dr. Martin de Holan will continue teaching a regular course aimed at companies on strategy implementation.
We want to develop world-class research, both academic and pedagogical, that has strong local roots.
The priority for HEC Paris in Qatar, says Dr Martin de Holan, will be to continue on its current trajectory of attracting some of the world’s brightest students and offering the best training for tomorrow’s leaders. The institution has built a basic framework around which it operates, with a focus on excellence and impact.
“First, we need quality professors, staff and students,” says Dr Martin de Holan, “and then our focus should be on making a positive impact on Qatar.”
In the coming years, HEC Paris in Qatar will not only build on its previous successes but increase its focus on international expansion, in order to make itself a key player in the regional ecosystem of management education. This will involve an increased presence on international markets in the Gulf and the MENA region, taking into account geopolitical realities. The school also aims to expand its local research capacity.
Education is a manifestation of diplomacy. It develops friendship and allows people to be more open, and to build trust and goodwill.
“We want to develop world-class research, both academic and pedagogical, that has strong local roots,” says Dr Martin de Holan. “But management is also about understanding what works and what doesn’t.”
HEC Paris in Qatar, in addition to offering students some of the best education in business management in the world, is an opportunity for cultural exchange. While the majority of its students are locally based and remain in Qatar for their coursework, some travel to Paris to complete specific modules, or simply to learn about life in France.
Dr. Martin de Holan says this means the school can act as a bridge between the two cultures, fostering understanding and building on the already deep relationship between France and Qatar..
“Education is a manifestation of diplomacy,” says Dr. Martin de Holan. “It develops friendship and allows people to be more open, and to build trust and goodwill. It’s very easy to look at someone and see their differences, but France and Qatar have many commonalities.”
However, Dr. Martin de Holan says that HEC Paris in Qatar must remain highly flexible when implementing its strategy. He believes its main challenge – and its competitive advantage – is providing world-class management and business education with strong local roots and an understanding of the values of business in Qatar.
“Certain things that work in Paris do not work in Doha and vice versa, and the job of our team is to identify them and adjust the pedagogical plan accordingly,” says Dr. Martin de Holan. “That, however, is far from being a problem. It is part of our mission.
“Ultimately, HEC Paris in Qatar wishes to make a significant contribution to the realization of Qatar’s vision, and everything we do is inspired by that goal.”