The Birth of Dunia (A)

Publication Type


Year Completed



Founder CEO Rajeev Kakar had spent 20 months (2006-2008) setting up Dunia, a finance company in the UAE. He had convinced his employer, Fullerton Financial Holdings (FFH), to forge a partnership with a few entities in the UAE to build a financial presence there because he saw untapped market opportunities in the region. Just when the Dunia team was preparing to announce the opening of its first branch in Abu Dhabi, news broke about the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers on 15 September 2008. For Kakar, it meant that the product programmes he had lined up, as well as his assumptions of funding for Dunia, had crashed.

Dunia (A) deals with the time frame before the launch of the company and covers factors including pricing risk given uncertainty and more broadly covers the struggles presented with new ventures and entrepreneurship. Dunia (B), which is a separate follow up case, moves the discussion forward six months after Dunia opened their doors. The case asks participants to consider pricing risk given the first six months of financial and operations data for the young company.


banking, Lehman collapse, UAE, finance company, start-up


Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Finance and Financial Management | Human Resources Management

Research Areas


Data Source

Field Research



Geographic Coverage

United Arab Emirates

Temporal Coverage


Education Level

Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate


Singapore Management University

Case ID



SMU Faculty/Staff can download the case and teaching note with your SMU login ID & Password via the following links:

For purchase of the case and supplementary materials via The Case Center, please access the following links: