The birth of Dunia (B): Time to actively start lending?

Publication Type


Year Completed



Dunia had launched its first branch on September 29, 2008 in the United Arab Emirates. The B part of this case series discusses the challenges that the chief risk officer (CRO) Raman Krishna faced after the launch, during a time of unprecedented uncertainty in the midst of a worldwide financial crisis.

The signs in the macro environment were discouraging. The number of people that had left the UAE altogether and defaulted on their loans had increased and oil prices had plummeted. The worldwide economy was getting worse, and the US stock market had fallen 31% since the Lehman Brothers’ collapse. If the credit criteria were tightened further, given the macro stress as well as the early delinquency indicators, there would be additional challenges in terms of managing the sales force and their motivation levels on account of the ensuing inevitable reduction in volumes. Further, there was also a real need to understand how and from where to source a sufficient number of potential borrowers who would satisfy the revised criteria and also enable Dunia to meet the planned growth numbers. Dunia could afford to be cautious with its first couple of loans, but as it began to loan out the rest of its portfolio it was time for some tough decisions that would work in a new world characterized with widespread uncertainty.


Dunia, Dubai, banks, finance, credit criteria, delinquency indicators, credit evaluation, risk management, credit approval


Corporate Finance | Finance and Financial 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



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