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What to do with Negative Online Feedback

Issue 7 - August 2013

Getting Paid Promptly

Get What you Want from the Power of Your Mind Visualisation

Become a Better Communicator

Secrets to Success Series – Mohan Valrani

Improve your Chances of Getting a Company Loan


Editor’s Foreword I’m still dreaming of my summer holiday; are you?! Our minds are still on other cultures and far-flung beaches so our business ideals may have tailored off. We may all be in much better moods now because the pressure is off a little, but trying to secure deals at this time of year, is virtually impossible as the world and their wife are away. So what can you do to ensure business can tick over in this, the most quiet of times? Turn to page 8, where we talk about how you can ensure of “Getting Paid Promptly”. We give you useful tips to ensure that you are put to the top of the invoice pile of your suppliers, so that you can get paid first. Alternatively, you may be spending this summer considering how you plan to grow your company and move it forward. Do you have the staff you need this? Do you have the facilities and capabilities to double your output, or do you need investment? Clearly, having you invoices paid promptly will help you build a nest egg with which you can do this with, but what about a company loan? On page 18, we look at the ways you can, “Improve your chances on getting a company loan”, what due diligence you need to do before hand, what basics banks would like to see covered before they give you a loan and all the options that you should cover which will make you look good in their eyes. Whilst we are looking to the future, is there anything else that we should consider; especially if we are thinking about upgrading any areas of our business. We know where we want our businesses to go, but do we honestly consider all of the options, or do we go in slightly tunneled vision. I believe we tend to go in tunnel vision as one of the things we don’t take into account are the “Trends changing the way we work”. Think about it, if we did, would we really have invested in desktops, when many of our staff would work longer hours if they were able to work from home as well? On page 32, we give you a heads up on what you need to take into account now and in the immediate future. But for now, enjoy the peace and quiet… September is only just around the corner and we all know it will be manic from then!

Published by: DMCC Authority Contact: James Bernard Associate Publisher: Nuria Gonzalez Martin Editor: Tanya Selley Associate Editor Ritwika Chaudhuri Business Development Manager: Phil Starr Administration: Janice Porte Art Director: Marlou Delaben Printing: Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Distribution: Blue Truck

Tanya Talk to me at editor@redcorp.ae and let me know what information you need to take your business forward – and I will try to help you in the next issue!

For information on advertising rates & positioning: Please contact Phil Starr – Tel. +971 4 375 4619 Email: sales@redcorp.ae For editorial schedule & article submission: Please contact Tanya Selley – Tel. +971 4 375 4121 Email: editor@redcorp.ae

©Copyright 2013 Redcorp.

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CONTENTS OPERATIONS Page 6 - 7

Talking Chinese

TECH Page 25

CRM systems

SUCCESS Page 11 - 12

Success Series – Interview: Mohan Valrani Senior Vice Chairman, Al Shirawi Group of Companies

WELLBEING Page 28

Getting What you Want from the Power of your Mind

MONEY Page 14 - 15

A Lot of Energy

THE HUB Page 31

What to do with Negative Feedback Online

WELLBEING PEOPLE Page 22 - 23

Become a Better Communicator

OPERATIONS 8 .................................................. Getting Paid Promptly

TECH Review: Acer Iconia W700 ................................................. 24

SUCCESS

Wellbeing Skin Cancer Symptoms........................................................ 27

10 …………...........................................………….. AdZouk

MONEY 16 ………................................… Are International Banks Pulling Out of the Middle East? 18 ............……………… Islamic Finance: Credit Cards 20 ............……… Improve your Chances of Getting a Company Loan

THE HUB Corporate Governance Strategy; Why?......................... 29 30% Surge in Social Media in Ramadan........................... 30 Trends Changing the Way we Work.................................. 32 Business Directory.................................................................. 34 News Desk ............................................................................. 35

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Talking Chinese I

n issue 6 we brought you information on how business people in the GCC are looking towards Africa for new business opportunities. But does this mean we should discount other avenues? No! With news that China is set to increase it’s trade with the GCC we look at what this means for you. Dubai customs have not hidden the fact that they are keen to strengthen bilateral cooperative relations with their Chinese counterparts throughout the whole of their customs business. Conversely, China have stated that they want to improve their customer service delivery standards and promote their trading between China and the UAE, but why? The answer is simple. Their combined potential market is phenomenal, it is anticipated that there will be 1.39 billion customers by the end of 2015 so it really is no wonder that companies want to expand there. Ahmed Butti Ahmed, Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and Director-General of Dubai Customs said, “As part of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VicePresident, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in respect to the importance of promoting these relations, come the importance of the issues that is set to be discussed in appreciation of China as an economic nation in the international arena. On such basis comes the importance of customs cooperation pertinent to the processes and procedures that play a vital role in trade facilitation.” He continued, “China is the most prominent partner in trade for Dubai. The trade exchanges between Dubai and China grew by 19% to AED31 billion during the first quarter of 2013 compared to AED26 billion in the same period last year.” The Facts Everyone knows that China is going from strength to strength on foreign trade, but what

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“The trade exchanges between Dubai and China grew by 19% to AED31 bn during Q1 2013” Ahmed Butti Ahmed

many people don’t know is why. Following the decades of isolation under Chairman Mao Zedong, the protectionist regime died when he did in 1976 and the economy has grown year on year by an average of 9.9% from 1978 to 2012. China’s actual growth in 2012 was 7.8% and experts predict that they will be the worlds largest economy in 5-10 years. It was their WTO membership in 2001 which boosted them to a major global economy as this made them open up further and reform various ways in which they did business. Whilst unsurprisingly China in 2009 became the world’s biggest exporter with America holding onto their stake as the biggest importer, but this all changed in 2012 when the affects of the crisis meant that China officially overtook America to become the biggest global trading nation (when measured on the amount of imports and exports of goods). Whilst U.S. exports and imports of goods last year totaled US$3.82 trillion China’s Customs Administration confirmed that their country’s trade amounted to US$3.87 trillion. During 2012, China was Dubai’s top partner and imports amounted to AED 111 billion; the equivalent to 15% of the total imports of Dubai. As a whole, the trade volume between the UAE and China grew by 13% in 2012 to AED 115 billion when compared to 2011. For the UAE however, there appears to be a greater reason as to why we wish to cement ties with China. China uses more of the worlds power than any other country, more new cars are sold in China than anywhere else, they hold the largest foreign currency and cotton reserves


OPERATIONS appeals procedure’, according to a report published by the EU. Their trade barriers are not the same across the board. It has been found that these are often country specific and often local business is given a healthier footing in the procurement process. International businesses also report of their concerns regarding the “predictability of government and rulemaking”.

and a significant amount of China’s trade is the importing raw materials and parts for assembly lines which are then often re-exported (also known as Processing Trade). The rest of the world It is not just the UAE who are seeking entry into this territory. The European Union trades more than €1 billion every day, yet two decades ago this was virtually zero. The EU economy could not imagine life without China, such is the strength of their partnership. Their bilateral trade in goods stood at €433.6 billion in 2012 and their exports increased by 5.6% to €143.9 billion. However, it is the trade in services that companies in the EU are seeking to exploit as they believe that this stands at just €4.26 billion so they view this an area of extreme potential. The long view So great is the lure of the Chinese markets for business that analysts believe that China’s importance as a strategic market can only increase. On an annual basis 20 million Chinese households move into the middle class family bracket, which means that they are able to afford key consumer goods and services; and whilst their GDP rate appears at times to be slowing, their nominal GDP rate is rapidly increasing. The eastern promise Did you know, that approximately 50% of China’s exports are produced by foreign invested companies? This is shocking but true! It is the companies in the countries neighbouring China (Hong-Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan) who are the main players “processing trade”. Some economists believe that by cracking the Chinese market you will also get access to all those that operate in the processing trade. Others do cast doubt as to what potential there is. Surely it is worth reviewing though?

Did you know the 50% of China’s export are produced by foreign invested companies?

China’s trade surplus According to the website Trading Economics, China’s trade surplus widened to US$ 20.4 billion in May from US$ 18.5 billion registered in the same period previous year. Exports posted their lowest growth rate in almost a year while imports unexpectedly fell. Exports edged up 1%to US$ 187.1 billion from a year earlier, the lowest growth since last July. The FT stated that, “The dramatic slowdown in year on year export growth in May in part reflects the impact of a clamp down by the government on firms dressing up financial inflows as exports.” They continued, “Imports dropped 0.3% to US$162.3 billion from a year earlier. Yet, imports of major commodities rose in May compared with the previous month, helped by lower prices.” So the question I now pose to you is, will you seek to capitalise on China, or will you allow it to pass without further consideration…?

Intellectual property rights A serious problem for all business globally is the intellectual property rights infringement which occurs within China. In 2012 the EU reported that four out of every five European businesses operating in China rated Beijing’s enforcement of IPR laws and regulations as inadequate. This too is backed by figures as they found that 73% of all of the fake goods seized at EU boarders in 2011 came from China. Red Tape Red tape in China however, continues to be a problem, significantly hindering access. Foreign law firms are not allowed to employ Chinese lawyers, whilst foreign lawyers cannot gain Chinese qualifications in law. There are also investment and ownership caps in many sectors such as banking, telecommunications and construction. Another hindrance to business is that the public procurement procedure has been found to be “lacking transparency with an unsatisfactory

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Getting Paid Promptly

transpires, simple changes can make a huge difference. First and foremost however, as described in Issue 3, you need to ensure that you make accounts a priority and have the correct processes in places for invoicing and tracking monies, including a system categorising exactly when and how (by phone and followed up in writing is normally the most affective) you chase invoices. In our article we discussed how you can consider implementing these measures: zz Avoid extending credit unless you have 3-6 months worth of outgoings in your account. If you cannot afford to extend credit don’t! zz Offer discounts to customers if they pay bills quickly zz Know your client. Whom can you reliably offer 30 days credit to, or a 50% ‘uponorder’ payment, with the 50% balance payable with credit terms that suit your business and cashflow needs? zz Ask new clients to prepay or request cash on delivery (COD), to establish their account with you. This is not offensive and they should understand your reasons without explaining zz Where credit terms are offered, implement structured payment plans. Ask customers to pay with post-dated cheques so you know when the cash will be received But there are other easier changes you can make in the interim. Be Polite Who here has thought they will make life difficult for someone who spoke to the rudely on the phone? I know I have, so be polite! Always remember your “please” and “thank you”. It has been reported that simple asking, “please pay your invoice within” or “thank you for your business” can increase the percentage of invoices that are paid by more than 5%, not to mention getting paid promptly! Customised details Try asking your customers what they could use on their invoices in order for your invoice be paid promptly. It may be that they track their order through a purchase order number as opposed to an invoice number. Most importantly find out exactly who it is who is in charge of making these payments. The invoices should be addressed to the correct person as otherwise, they could just get lost in the system.

A

s business owners and managers we all know the importance of cashflow. Cash is king and keeping ourselves solvent is vital. Let’s all put our cards on the table and admit it; who leaves their invoices to pay until we receive the final demand? If we do this, then it is no surprise when others do this too. The knock on affects though means our cash flow is hurt whilst we wait for monies to come in that are rightfully ours. Equifax reported that 66% of new start up businesses will only survive two years, 44% survive four years, and just 31% survive for at least 7 years. Insufficient capital is one of the main reasons for small business failure, coupled with lack of experience, poor location, poor inventory management and over-investment in fixed assets. So how can we ensure we are paid promptly? This may seem like rather a tall order, but as it

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Make the payment deadline clear. Your client needs to know how much to pay and by when

Days to Pay Remember, not everyone is as business savy as you; rather than saying “net 30” replace net with “days” to make it crystal clear for all. Loose “Upon Receipt” For some reason, people seem to think that “upon receipt” means to pay when you think this invoice should have turned up and therefore the invoice is put to the back of the pile. Be specific for example, “pay within 40 days” as this provides a


OPERATIONS the covering letter; there should be no room for excuses or misinterpretation. More invoices for smaller amounts This approach provides a regular cashflow for you, and smaller payments are viewed as more manageable by the customer. Wherever possible try to avoid hitting your client with one, giant bill. This also has an added advantage of ensuring that you are paid for the majority of your work, so you are covered should your client experience bad times. Make a personal connection In sales we know how important knowing your client is. The same can be said for accounts. Simply by showing your appreciation to the accounts team at your client’s office and/or becoming friendly with them, will have a positive effect on when your invoices are paid in relation to your competitors.

Paul B Brown co-author of Just Start: Take Action; Embrace Uncertainty and Create the Future suggests; zz

focus and a goal. Immediate payment can often cause concern and the ostrich affect can kick in, so avoid this wherever possible. Incentivise Freshbooks, a company specialising in accounts payable suggests incentivising if you want to be paid promptly. They propose saying something along the lines of, “Thank you; we really appreciate your business. Please send payment within 21 days of receiving this invoice.” Charge a late fee As a new business company money may be tight. If this is you, you could always consider interest on late payments, “Thank you for your business. We do expect payment within 21 days, so please process this invoice within that time. There will be a 1.5% interest charge per month on late invoices.” Adding a late fee charge adds urgency to a payment that otherwise may not be there. If you don’t understand exactly what it is you are billing for, how will they? Account for each and every dirham you are charging. If you are sending a fee based invoice, explain in detail what you did in that time frame to account for that fee. Don’t just send an invoice with a total amount attached. Each and every item that your customer has brought from you should be shown. When is the deadline? This has to be crystal clear. You need to make it known exactly how much your client has to pay and by when. Do not allow for any misunderstandings. Also, spell this out again in

zz zz

zz

zz

Adding a late fee charge adds urgency to the payment that otherwise may not have been there

zz

zz

Bill as early as possible: Don’t wait until the project is done to send out an invoice for the full amount. Consider stage payments; 25% is due when a quarter of the work is done; 50% at the half way point, etc. Offer discounts: “If you pay within 10 days, we will knock 5% off the bill.” Take advantage of whatever terms your customers offer: If they offer to pay you on the 31st day by wire transfer in exchange for paying 2% less, say yes Don’t waste your time trying to get huge companies to change their payment terms: If MegaGalatic Inc.’s policy is to pay Ford in 45 days they are not going to make an exception for you Stay on top of things: If someone is expected to pay within 15 days, make a call on day 18 to them if they haven’t paid or a couple of days earlier as a reminder Have your customers pay in advance: This option doesn’t scare off potential clients as they will just say no. Think about it… Do you think Deloitte, etc. care that they’re too expensive for many small businesses? The answer’s likely to be “no” because those aren’t the clients that they’re looking for. Know your target market and play to their rules Make accounts receivable personal: Open up about yourself to your clients, for instance; be quick to mention that you have four kids to put through school and the various bursars you are supporting have no sense of humor when you tell them, “My client promises to pay me any day and that’s when I will pay you.” Since most people can relate to the challenge of paying tuition bills, your invoices should be moved to the top of the pile

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Success Series Continuing with our Success Series, we speak with some of the leading brands that have come from the UAE. Read on to find out how they have become so successful and what advice they have for you.

Interview

Jamie Atherton

Commercial Director, AdZouk

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e all know how important advertising is for our business, but with a market heavy in marketing and advertising, how can you succeed? We talk to Jamie Atherton, who with his colleague Mark Gatty Saunt, set up Adzouk to provide a quality regional based advertising network which was capable of competing with world leaders. What were you doing prior to AdZouk? I ran the sales for AMEinfo.com, a pure B2B publisher with a reputable name and brand recognition in the industry. I was with Emap (the previous holding company) for 6 years in total, working my way from a junior exec to Head of Sales. Why did you start your own business? The proposition for AdZouk was very strong, nobody in the industry was thinking about doing what we were doing, let along actually doing it. We were taking on the global market and had to ensure the product when released was the best. I can’t say money is not a motivator as it is, I knew this business would make money as long as I applied myself. Have you made any mistakes in business? I’ve certainly made a few; I once joined a business and the sales manager that was in role was dreadful … No KPIs/pipeline/clients, what he did, I don’t know but I kept him on for a month giving him the benefit of the doubt. He didn’t change. I learnt I wasn’t ruthless enough, he should have gone on day 1 of me joining but he stayed and we lost a month of his salary. I wouldn’t say I’m ruthless now but that’s made me deal with both underperforming and over performing staff more effectively.

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“I retain good staff by all the three R’s; recognition, reward, responsibility”

What do you look for in talent and how do you retain your staff? I tend to pay a little over the market so I get quality. This has seemed to work; I have an amazing team. I retain good staff by all the R’s; recognition, reward, responsibility. Give a member of staff who’s performing ownership of new territories, new accounts etc. and you’ll start to see them flourish. What are the secrets to your business success? Hard work. The more you put in the more you get out, couple this with a great product and success should be just round the corner. You have to be prepared to claw with your fingernails and fight. What is the biggest threat to the success of an SME today? Yourself. Sure you’ll have competitors but the biggest threat will always be yourself. You have to be the one that makes it work you have to be the one that works all hours for little reward. If you’re prepared to do that you’ll come out on top, but be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses when applying for your trade license.

Jamie Atherton

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs? Cash is king, Outsource everything to save on staff and choose who you work with carefully; you may have the best product on the planet but your brand recognition also sells. If you’re partnering or working with clients you don’t know or trust, this will impact your brand and no one wants to be associated with a shoddy brand.


SUCCESS

Interview

Mohan Valrani

Senior ViceChairman and Managing Director, Al Shirawi Group

W

hat can I say about Mohan Valrani…? Really, no introduction is necessary, and certainly non can summarise the achievements better than Forbes, who have placed him at number 10 in their Top 100 Indian Leaders in the UAE. His achievements are phenomenal. His highly successful partnership with the Al Shirawi Group started in 1971 and now he is viewed as the 33rd Most Powerful Indian by Arabian Business in the whole of the Gulf region. This is accolade enough but the basics speak for themselves. Mohan Valrani leads 7,000 employees of which, rather astonishingly, 20% of whom are MBA holders in over 29 diversified companies. Very impressive I think you would agree…?!?! How did you come to Dubai? I came over with a promise for my uncle; to develop the family business and become successful. I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Business is in our blood. When I first came to Dubai, I had only a few dollars in my pocket, but I did have the promise of a good job in the textile trade. Living conditions were harsh. Sadly, when I arrived, there was not as much to do as there is now. Also, despite the fact that there were many Indians living here, there was not the sense of community that there is now. I felt rather lonely at times. This is why I provided some of the impetus and the idea of community took off. Hopefully, it is easier for everyone now. Dubai back then was a small city in those days, but I had the very good fortune of meeting Abdullha Al Shirawi who helped me climb onwards and upwards. In 1971, we set up a partnership that has lasted to this day and is based on mutual trust and faith in each other and our families. This partnership continues to flourish even after our business empire has been passed

onto the second generation. Together we have built a big business conglomerate; brick by brick.

“My role is changing now, I am more of a father figure and mentor to the business”

Surely this has been difficult at times?! Certainly. It has it’s good and bad points; we have weathered the storms and rode the waves crests, but we always strive to do this in harmony and will always have mutual respect for the opinions of others. This is vital if you are to make a success of your business partnership. You are known as family man, does this mean you will return to India? No! My family are all here; My wife, sons and their wives. Not to mention the growing tribe of grandchildren. We all feel completely at home in Dubai and have done for many many years now. I intend to keep my main home here surrounded by my family and friends. So what are the prospects for the Al Shirawi group now that the second generation is taking control? The preparation for the transition of management

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are now classed as “one of the most financially formidable entities” and this was even how we were spoken about during the economic crisis. I believe that a successful partnership enables this, as our trust in each other means that we can make the correct decisions for the company. Would you say money is important? Money is important to business however, both how you make it and what you do with it matters just as much. You have to be very careful to balance the books. Also, the acquisition of wealth through honest industry, whilst providing employment and sustenance to others is something that should not be taken lightly. Money has empowered me to be able to do the things that truly matter. I am actively involved in supporting the noble cause of the Rashid Pediatric Centre for Children with Special Needs as well as many many more noble charities. Would I have been in a position to help as I can now had I have not worked so hard in my lifetime, no one knows.

to the 2nd generation has been ongoing for over 10 years. I am now very very confident that that the 2nd generation are well prepared to deal with all the challenging environments that are likely to come their way. Each member has specific management responsibilities within our group and we have directed their education and training towards an active participation in the group. They have also learnt that it is important to build their own teams that they can rely on and are therefore supported by them. It should also be noted that as a company we only hire the best people and therefore all of their support comes from the most competent of people. Because of this, I am very confident in their ability to carry on and develop the business long after I retire. My role is changing; I am now more of a father figure and mentor to the business, so you could say that this is slowly taking place. The future is already in safe and capable hands. Do you think having a family of entrepreneurs has helped? I certainly believe that a child who grows up in a business environment is more likely to show an interest in it at a later age, so yes, I would presume that this is an advantage. Do you believe you would have achieved your success without your partnership? This is tough as I cannot see where I would have taken another road. We are very lucky as we

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We all know that being in business can be tough, with many competitors trying to take away your share. What do you believe sets you apart from the rest? Being a family run business as ours means we can offer flexibility and quick reaction to change which is normally found only in the SME environment. With us, we have a collegiate process, quick identification of the problem, immediately followed with the response as to how it will be dealt with; all on a consensual basis at board level. Personally, I have also been quick to form decisions in business matters. Not autocratically though. But this does means that I do not wait when there is trouble brewing. I get in and deal with it immediately.

“We are now classed as one of the most financially formidable entities. I believe a successful partnership enables this”

Have you achieved all that you would like in business? I am not yet satisfied, although I have now achieved a wonderful state of contentedness. I just feel that there is more for me to give. It may be that I start to travel more, or I may look at a new piece of business. Whatever it is, I am now able to start each day with a spring in my step; some achievement for a man of my age! What’s the one piece of standout advice that you have learnt and would like to impart on other entrepreneurs? During the crisis we were fortunate enough to have spotted this and prepared ourselves immediately, so quite early in 2008, when it appeared to me that the property frenzy was at its height, we had already formulated a contingency plan for the rapid withdrawal from the vulnerable sectors of the economy. Therefore, always look to the future and trust your instincts; they are likely to be correct. In your business plan, formulate ideas for all eventualities and have contingency plan for each of these also.


OPERATIONS

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A Lot of Energy‌ W

e all know the Gulf and GCC countries are the main hub for petrol prices globally, but what about other energies? Is this sector fit to burst with opportunities, or has the bubble already popped? In our article we investigate what this region has achieved, and what is predicted to happen in the near future. The UAE continues to grow quickly, and as part of this growth is moving away from its reliance on oil and gas to other sectors such as finance, services, tourism, but also renewable energies; with the government increasing their focus in this area and looking at low carbon and clean energy developments, all with the assistance of the oil and gas producers. In the UAE there is a credible need for alternative energy sources. Electricity demand has increased by 9% year on year, and is expected to require 40 GWe of capacity by 2020. It should also be noted that the UAE relies entirely on electricity to provide our water, via the process of desalination. To provide you with a more comprehensive picture of the energy industry in the UAE in this article we focus on the more conventional energy markets, and will then expand in our next issue to the alternative energy. Nuclear As you are all no doubt aware the UAE is now viewed as a major player in nuclear power. At this moment there are over 45 countries who are considering embarking on nuclear programmes including Iran, Turkey, Vietnam, Belarus, Poland and Jordan, not to mention Italy, Ireland, Norway and Portugal, alongside Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and many many more. It is the trend to urbanisation that drives this in lesser-developed countries due to the increased demand for electricity. It is anticipated that this demand will develop in the same way that it did for the UK,

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Electricity demand has increased by 9% year on year and is expected to require 40 Gwe of capacity by 2020

USA and Japan; the other global nuclear market players. However, the UAE itself is ahead of the game in the region and already has a number of power reactors under construction. It has been reported that in order to produce the anticipated 20GWe fourteen plants will be built, with one quarter of these operating by 2020. In light of this investment the UAE established the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) as a public entity, where US$100 million was initially invested to evaluate, and implement the required number of plants for the country. This initially may sound dangerous, but in October 2009 the Federal Law Regarding the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy was signed and put into effect. This, and the appointment of a US regulator, makes it illegal to develop, construct, operate uranium enrichment or spent fuel processing facilities within the countries boarders. The effects of this are outstanding. KEPCO, the consortium who won the bid to build a standardised platform for four reactors in the UAE, including their construction, commissioning and fuel loads, expect to jointly operate the reactors for 60 years, and earn a US$20 billion purely from the ongoing management of the sites. This is not just a win-win for the consortium though.


MONEY

The government plans to produce electricity at a quarter of the cost of that from gas. Whilst this appears to benefit Abu Dhabi, Dubai is also considering nuclear power, and in 2009 established the Supreme Council of Energy, who are charged with overseeing everything relating to the energy sector. Dubai is also considering the possibility of using nuclear energy for the electricity and desalination plants. Getting this far however has not been easy and many other countries have been consulted in the process. In January and June 2009, the US and South Korea signed a bilateral energy agreement with the UAE, whilst the UK and Japan signed a Memoranda of Understanding on nuclear energy cooperation. France too has such an agreement with the UAE. Ultimately, the government believe that nuclear energy will become the second most important type of energy, producing 25% of UAE’s electricity by 2020. Oil and Gas With the world’s sixth largest crude oil reserves and the fifth largest reserve of natural gas, the oil and gas industry is here to stay for the foreseeable future. At the current rate of usage, and based purely on the fields already identified, it is anticipated that there is over 50 years worth of global supply of crude oil in the UAE. The government is actively taking advantage of this supply and expanding its oil and gas production capacity, extending the time frame for oil development as well as increasing the priority of gas projects.

Global shale oil production could grow to 14 million barrels per day by 2035, comprising 12% of the worlds total supply and decreasing price by 25-40%

PwC also predict that countries like Japan and India who import their oil, could see their GDP boosted by 4-7% by 2035, and other countries approximately 2-5%. This does however exclude the big oil producers including ourselves, Russia and other Middle East countries. PwC believe that this development would affect these countries trade substantially, and lead to a decrease in GDP of 4-10% if these big oil producers do not actively seek to enhance their own shale oil opportunities. This is being taken seriously by the MENA region. In fact Abu Dhabi will be holding the MENA Shale Convention 2013 in December. Euro Petroleum Consultants state in their press release that, “In recent years the demand for natural gas in the MENA region has increased significantly and grown much faster than the supply, which caused shortages in a number of countries, some of which have resorted to imports and others have curbed gas exports in order to meet their energy needs.” They continue, “Even Saudi Arabia, which has used gas to develop its thriving petrochemicals industry is now having to balance the needs of this industry and the power generation sector. Many countries are actively looking at development of unconventional gas resources as a means to boost the domestic supply, however this creates a lot of commercial, logistical, environmental and even political challenges.” With all these challenges in the region we cannot be sure what the next steps are for the governments. Ultimately, changes are afoot… which means business opportunities are possible, it is just a case of identifying these as early as possible and jumping on them as soon as the possible.

Shale Oil A lot has been said about the production of shale oil, which was thought would revolutionise global energy markets by reducing oil prices, and bolstering the economy globally. Both the US and the UK governments continue to aggressively target this market, and PwC are reviewing the potential of the market. Adam Lyons, Director of PwC and co-author of PwC’s global report, “Shale Oil – the Next Energy Revolution”, predicts that global shale oil production could grow to 14 million barrels of oil per day by 2035, which would comprise 12% of the world’s total oil supply, resulting in a 25-40% decrease in price ($83 to $100/barrel in real terms).

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Are International Banks Pulling Out of the Middle East? By Helen Gaskell

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or some time, it has appeared that international banks may be pulling out of the region and heading back home to mitigate their risks. You only have to consider Lloyds Bank, who sold their business to HSBC to illustrate this point. However, here at Business Insight Magazine, we have noticed a reversal of this trend and wanted to understand this better. Throughout the press it is reported that business is booming in this region, we are seeing more banks increasing liquidity in the UAE (Doha Bank and Qatar National Bank, to name just a couple), due to the high liquidity of those with bank accounts and therefore those who are viewed as a ‘good risk’. That said, The Financial Times suggests that “Some of the world’s biggest commercial banks are pulling back from selected operations in fast-growing markets in the Middle East and parts of Asia, fearing they may fall foul of tightening rules on anti-money laundering.” Citigroup and JPMorgan are among the US banks to have retreated from a number of so-called correspondent banking relationships across several countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, aware that they cannot vouch for the integrity of local partners. Standard Chartered however, continues to grow strongly in the area overall, but it too has acknowledged that it pulled back from some relationships. European banks though appear to be supporting the region more, than their American counterparts; Deutsche bank stated on their website in May that MENA Funds inflows were pouring in at record levels, with May 2013 experiencing inflows of US$655 million, the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region registered the highest inflows over the past five years (data available from 2009) Aleksandar Stojanovski, Research Analyst at Deutsche Bank said, “MENA markets continue to impress with their solid performance. Dubai has advanced by more than 47% year to date, followed by Abu Dhabi at 39% and Kuwait 35%. The recent upgrade in the Emerging Market index of the United Arab

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“MENA markets continue to impress. Dubai has advanced by more than 47% year to date” Aleksandar Stojanovski, Deutsche Bank

Emirates and Qatar reflects the confidence of international investors and will further leverage the regions visibility to represent a potential US$400450 million of incremental funds inflows for each country.” The New York Times, actually took this further, in their article titled, ‘Despite Challenges, Banks Look to Set Up Branches in Iraq.’ They found that The International Finance Corporation plans to invest US$100 million to US $130 million a year in Iraq, however this is dependent on the security situation of the country. “We were waiting for clarity on the security issue and we think it’s improving, though not perfect,” said Mr. Shankar, of Standard Chartered Bank. “We have been doing some business in Iraq, enough to build a body of knowledge about what’s going on, that we feel comfortable entering; with eyes wide open.” The question however remains on the events in other parts of the Middle East; What affect if any will Egypt’s present political situation have? Will the worsening crisis in Syria, which is spreading to other countries affect their decisions? Will the fact that both Qatar and the UAE are viewed as having stable governmental regimes continue in spite of all that is happening elsewhere, and therefore continue to encourage banks to both nations..? At the moment, only time will tell.


August 2013

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Islamic Credit Cards from RAKBANK

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n today’s world a number of purchase transactions can not be undertaken without a credit card, from renting a car, to on-line purchases. But how can you reconcile this requirement if you wish to retain Islamic finance principles? The answer lies with a conventional credit card product that is based on the ethics and principles of traditional Islamic Finance and subsequently Sharia compliant. How can a conventional credit card be Sharia compliant? As explained in our previous Islamic finance articles avoiding interest or riba is one of the main principles of Islamic banking. With this in mind how can this principle be reconciled within conventional traditional credit cards, where apart from service fees charges interest is also charged on the spend of the card? This inherent difference has caused significant discussion amongst Islamic scholars who fiercely debate this. Types of Sharia Compliant Credit Cards This difference of opinion and need for credit card transactions has led to a number of Islamic banks developing specific types of credit cards that are fully compliant to Sharia rules. One specific type of credit card has been the development of pre-paid cards that eliminate completely the notion of interest as the money is transferred onto the card in advance of any transaction taking place. This is very similar to how a debit card works and already has two major credit card companies supporting this development; Visa and Mastercard. In addition the card denies any payment for haram activities including gambling and alcohol purchases. The second type of credit card developed is where the bank and customer enters into an agreement whereby the customer agrees to

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Avoiding interest or riga is one of the main principles of Islamic banking

pay the credit card in full before the due date, and therefore removes the advance premise of interest being charged. Here the concept of Kafalah is integral to the credit card and means that the bank acts as the guarantor for its customers, securing a credit card transaction. Another version of credit card is similar to the above but based on the concept of Qard, which is one of the most common forms of credit card in the UAE. Here the bank provides a non-bearing interest loan to the credit card holder (the value of the credit limit), who then uses the card for advance payments, and repays the loan in full on or before the agreed date, with no interest being charged. An alternative to Qard is Tawaruq, which is the other main type of credit card available in the region. United Arab Bank explain this as “A Shariah compliant financing solution that is designed to provide you with liquid assets as per your needs�. It is the process that enables you to buy on credit and sell at spot value with the objective meaning that the transaction is not the need of the buyer; simply that he buys a commodity on credit and sells it on to any third party. A fourth type of Sharia compliant credit card is based on the Bay Al Inah concept. This concept is not used in any GCC country, but is widely available throughout Malaysia and other far eastern countries. Here the bank provides the credit card acts as the buyer for each transaction. After the transaction is completed the bank then sells the product to the cardholder at an agreed higher price, and makes a profit without any interest being charges.


MONEY Now that you know that there are a number of different types Sharia compliant cards let’s take a look at RAKBANKs leading Islamic Credit cards here in Dubai that you can apply for. Sharia Compliant Credit Cards RAKBank has two Islamic credit cards available to their customers who need to have a credit to undertake simple transactions, whether business or finance. Amal Credit Card Based on the Islamic concept of Qard Hassan, the Amal Credit Card gives customers the option to choose from one of three selected institutions contributing towards humanitarian, charitable causes and educational aspects of social responsibility, and every time you use your Card, your mentioned amount will be accumulated towards your chosen charity. RAKBank offers two versions of Amal credit card to their clients, Standard and Titanium. The main features are explained below. Amal Standard Credit Card zz AED 5000 per month minimum salary to be eligible for this card zz No annual fee zz Fixed monthly fee will be charged as per the card variant. Classic: Limit 3,000 – 8,000 monthly fee AED100; Limit 8,000 – 15,000 monthly fee AED200* zz Fixed fee 1.50% zz The foreign currency rate applicable on overseas transactions is {FX rate} plus Association Charges zz Up to 5% cashback on all international retail purchases international cash advances and internet transactions, and 1% cashback on all domestic retail purchases when you spend above AED 1000* zz Amal Credit Card provides customers with dining discounts with Amal RAKfeast, and a chance to enter a draw and win AED 1,000,000 every 6 months with every AED 500 spent* zz Utility bill payment zz Standing Instructions zz Credit shield (Takaful) zz Supplementary Credit Cards for your loved ones zz Cash Advances up to 50% of credit limit zz Free purchase protection zz Free Travel Accident Takaful insurance Amal Titanium Credit Card zz AED 10000 per month minimum salary to be eligible for this card zz Fixed monthly fee will be charged at 1.50% fixed fee zz The foreign currency rate applicable on overseas transactions is {FX rate} plus Association Charges zz Cashback zz Up to 5% cashback on all international retail purchases international cash advances and

zz

The need for credit card transactions has let to a number of Islamic banks developing Sharia compliant cards

zz zz zz zz zz zz zz zz

Internet Transactions. Up to 3% cashback on domestic retail and internet transactions with no minimum spend requirement * Amal Credit card provides customers with Amal Lifestyle Privileges Programme: Exclusive offers across dining, fashion, entertainment, beauty and fitness, electronics and much more! Dining discounts with Amal RAKfeast; and a chance to enter a draw and win AED 1,000,000 every 6 months with every AED 500 spent * Utility bill payment Standing Instructions Credit shield (Takaful) Premium Global MasterCard Privileges Supplementary Credit Cards for your loved ones Cash Advances up to 50% of credit limit Free purchase protection Free Travel Accident Takaful insurance

* subject to Terms and Conditions

August 2013

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Improve your Chance of Getting a Company Loan By Helen Gaskell

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ccasionally a business requires an immediate cash injection in order to be able to purchase the resources that they need, or take the opportunity that has presented itself. Sometimes people find external investors, others go the traditional route and ask the bank, and if you are a traditionalist, what can you do to secure that company loan? Here we look at five simple steps to ensure that you get the best possible chance of securing what you need. 1. Know your bankers: Clearly we are not all in the enviable position of being friends with our bank managers, but simply ascertaining which bank you should really be approaching will do wonders. Do you know of a bank that provides SME loans, and do they have a history of loaning to your sector? Some banks don’t offer loans at all, and others only offer loans to businesses with a certain turnover. The key is to identify those banks that do offer SMEs loans with a similar turnover to your company, and then specifically liaise with these banks. 2. Know your business and business plan: It is shocking how many people crumble on questioning! You need to communicate clearly to the investor/bank what your needs are, what you will use the money for, what your target market is, what you expect to achieve in both overall business terms and money, why you think you will succeed, how you will manage this investment, and how you plan to monitor and report on the investment. Without this, it is unlikely you would obtain the loan.  Continuously we speak about formulating a business plan; compile one now. In this consider three scenarios: best, worst, and likely outcome. By taking this approach you are illustrating that you want the banker to assist you in the good times as well as the bad. You need to be able to explain how you got to each of these points. Try a run through with a friend first before pitching to the bank. The questions they ask may set you in good stead, and help you develop a better understanding of your business plan.

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James Walter, founder and CEO of BBC Easy said, “My prior experience as the co-founder of a lending company, one of the most basic errors made by loan applicants was not telling me why their company needs the money. And they wouldn’t reveal why we should approve the loan even though their company didn’t meet our minimum standards.” Is your industry experiencing growth? Are you scheduled to partner with a major retailer? What’j s your story? Put this in your business plan.

“Bankers aren’t paid to take equity risks; they get paid to make loans that will be repaid on time” American Bankers Association, 2013 

3.  Think like a banker: By this we mean understand the risks of operating in your industry. Then plan how to mitigate these risks. Bankers do risk analysis, and this will help them see you in a good light, and as a good investment. 4. Repaying the loan: Best practice is to always have more than two ways to repay the loan. Suggesting repayment ideas will illustrate that you have fully considered these options. This will allay any fears that the banker may have, and will increase your chances to obtain a positive decision and also the best interest rate. Finally, a banker will not appreciate you asking for a loan when you could have funded all, or part of the investment yourself. Why should they take the risk if you are not prepared to? Consider all options first!


RealHR ADVERT to follow


Become a Better Communicator W

e all know communication is key to business. You need to be able communicate why clients should take your product instead of a rivals, what you need from your team and fellow colleagues, what tasks that need to completed, what you want to achieve and key milestones etc. All of this requires verbal, or written words, and often both. It is vital therefore that communication used is clear, and that all of our communication is the best it can be. When you listen to business leaders speaking; Steve Jobs, Carlos Ghosn etc. as well as the worlds past and present political leaders; HH Skeikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President Obama etc. you can see and hear their passion. We all believe in them and what they say. These are the great communicators. Now I am not saying you instantly have to take on the world stage, far from it, but as the leader of your own empire, you have to get everyone in it and around it to believe in you and follow you in the same way… and you can only achieve this with communication. So who has had communication training? I would be willing to attest here in Dubai a very small percentage of professionals. In this article, we look at various ways that you can improve your technique.

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place” George Bernard Shaw

Know your audience It’s important that you know who your audience is so you know how to approach them, and what to expect. For example understand what tasks your team is currently working on. Do they have a point of reference on the topic you need to discuss? If they don’t have this, it is likely that more explanation will be required and it may take longer to reply. Do they ask questions? If not, have they really understood what you are telling them? Be sure to ask follow-up questions to confirm their understanding of the topic at hand. Listen It may be obvious, but who really listens and absorbs what is said before speaking up? Most of us try to butt in or think of our response first. How can we know what they are really saying, if we have not listened to them in the first instance? Master body language This is such a big subject that we will look at this in greater detail in September’s issue. What is important to remember is that you must to consider both your own body language, and that of the person you are talking with. Observe how

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PEOPLE they act when they talk. Does the body language of your co-worker indicate the opposite to what is being said?

letter. If you are worried that you may not see them, have some else check it for you. A sloppy email can damage your reputation.

Understand the circumstances Making assumptions could lead to wasted time and if you don’t know all the circumstances, you may unwittingly look foolish; this means understanding the goal of the person on the other end of the conversation. What are they trying to accomplish, and what is it that they need from you? Ask questions so you can understand how best to achieve what you’re trying to accomplish.

Don’t waffle! No one likes a waffler. All you can think about when wafflers talk is how much they are talking and completely miss what is that they are saying. Keep criticism constructive When you manage others make sure you keep your own emotions out of any conversation you have them. Stick only to the facts, and make sure they understand that you are just giving feedback. Alternatively reinforce a job well done and find ways to add in tips for improvement without being “that boss.”

Consider communication preference People often like to communicate in different ways. Some may think a text is OK for friends, but is it professional to respond to a business matter by text? The same can be said with email, as globally email is not considered as a reliable communication tool to the same extent that it is here in the UAE. Respect the person you’re trying to contact, and use the method they appear to prefer. If you’ve called a client several times and always get their voicemail, but conversely they are always quick to respond to email, switch to email instead. Tonality Remember that email where you thought someone was upset with you, but when you spoke to them they really weren’t? Well this is the problem with email and social media. What you mean to be a joke could come off as being rude and angry. Best practice dictates you always leave your email open for just a couple of minutes after you have written it before sending it, and re-read through it to make sure that the content, and tone is correct. Never reply to anything when you are angry. Yes create a response, but reread it when you have calmed down and then make a decision whether to send the email or not. Ensure your language is clear. If you are angry, try to meet with the person instead. Always remember business etiquette It is great that you get along with your colleagues, but remember that you are work colleagues and at work. If not you can find yourself on the wrong side of your colleagues and managers. Your calls, meetings and emails should all be professional, and just because you are comfortable with cursing, others may not be. Don’t forget that! What do you want to achieve? If you know the answer to this then you can sway the conversation in that direction before starting the conversation. For example, if you want a colleague to work in a certain way, find out how they would do it, so you can formulate the points of the argument against it. Spell check is there for a reason Always proofread anything you type and ensure the spelling is correct; be it an email, tweet, or a

Be Positive Whenever possible keep your comments and questions upbeat. Be sure to give encouragement and praise. The last thing you want is to put your listener on the defensive.

“It’s important to make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds” Barak Obama

Paraphrase Paraphrasing points that people are saying to you illustrates that you are listening to them. It will also give both parties the chance of correction if there is any confusion over the points. Ask for feedback and if in a meeting, summarise the main points so everyone knows where they stand. Get to know them Ask about your colleagues outside lives and try to interact with them on a personal level yet remembering your boundaries, this will help with the trust which in turn makes you believable when you speak as an authority. As with all skills, effective communication takes practice. So start now and keep re-enforcing these skills, even when you think you have mastered it!

Our top 10 tips to becoming a better communicator zz Listen carefully/ask questions zz Set expectations on the conversation, and paraphrase at the end zz Know when to listen and when to talk zz Know what you want to achieve zz Update your team regularly when possible zz Learn to communicate with others in their preferred method of communication zz Be a story teller zz Analyse everything zz Be consistent and transparent zz Get out and about! Being stuck in your office means that you are unlikely to meet people and practice your communication skills In our next issue we will look at using body language to your advantage

August 2013

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review

Acer Introduces the Iconia W700P Professional Tablet

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admit when it comes to new laptops and tablets I am a bit of a geek, so when the Acer Iconica W700 landed on my desk I was rather excited to get it open and start to play with it. Previously I had heard of it described as more of a slab than a tablet, and can agree that this is a rather accurate description. It is much heavier than your standard iPad but it should be. It holds an Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM which makes it much more powerful than other tablets, not to mention the full HD screen (11.6-inch display has a 1,920x1,080-pixel) meaning that the picture is so sharp you could cut yourself, and is perfect for videos and photos. It also comes with a docking station (on which there are three USB ports) and a remote control

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It is perfect to take from office to meetings and it switches from your play around tablet to a serious desk top

keyboard, perfect when using Windows 8. These also can turn this tablet into a fully functioning desktop pc. The docking station and the keyboard aren’t the best made on the market, but they do the job well and it´s easy to dock the screen when using it on a desk. If the truth be told, it doesn’t feel as classy as the iPad, but it does feel much more business like than the iPad. There are two cameras on the tablet that can be used for video calling which can be used at the same time; one on the front and the other at the back. The great thing about this is that it enables you to keep talking whilst illustrating a point in question – and be simultaneously videoing both. For example, you could have a flip chart facing the back of the tablet whilst you are talking, using the camera on front to show the flip chart; basically showing the flip chart without you needing to turn the camera around. My only real complaint about this is that there is no SD Card slot to increase the internal storage. Ultimately Acer have targeted their market well with this product, and in my view, their market is business. You certainly wouldn’t buy this if you just wanted to swipe your way through the internet and occasionally check your email account – other tablets are much more convenient for that. The tablet itself is cumbersome if you are comparing it to other models, but if you compare it to laptops, it feels much more manageable. I found that presenting to clients in face to face meetings on this product is much less of a kerfuffle than on a laptop as you don’t have the normal wait to set up and start the laptop. It also makes these presentations and interactions more personal. Also the Windows 8 functionality and the memory make this perfect for staff when they are out and about or sat at their desks. All in all, I really like this tablet. I like the way it is perfect to take from office to meetings. I like the way it switches from your play around touch screen tablet, to your more serious work related computer. But most of all, I love how it fits in my already overstuffed, albeit large, handbag without too much of a squeeze.


TECH

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s we all know, our customers make our business. They are the ones that we are in business for as it is they who provide the profit on which we operate. In issue 4 we looked at ways to increase sales, and the overriding factor to ensure success was to know your customers, and manage these relationships. Your salespeople should know and understand their clients; but do you know what your clients have shown an interest in that you currently do not provide, or conversely what their plans are for next year that you may be able to tap into already? What would happen to this knowledge if your salesman was to leave? And, how do you ensure that this information is available to you at all times? The easiest and most efficient way is via a customer relationship management system (CRM). This is essentially a management consultant way of talking about getting to know the customers better to ensure that your company can use this knowledge to their advantage. Generally, when you think of CRM systems you are probably thinking about the technology side (which would be correct of course), but Business Link, a UK Government Support Network, affirms that this is just the tip of the iceberg, “It is more of a business philosophy than a technical solution to assist in dealing with customers effectively and efficiently”. But what is out there? ACT! (by Sage) ACT! is a contact management software application that helps individuals and businesses manage their customer relationships, grow sales and manage their working day. With around 3 million users worldwide, ACT! is now 25 years old and a leader in CRMs systems due to its renowned ease-of-use, and low cost of entry.

CRM Systems to Help Manage your Business “Successful CRM is about competing in the relationship dimension. Not as an alternative to having a competitive product or reasonable price- but as a differentiator” Bob Thompson

Business Contact Manager (by Microsoft) The cost of this is FREE. It is a system designed as a contact database enabling follow-ups and helps with marketing campaigns (your basic email shots etc.). The service is limited and there are alternatives to consider, but for a basic package, this works well. At a more advanced level (on which additional charges may apply) it can organise and track correspondence, events actions related to that company/contact. SharePoint Database (Microsoft Office Sharepoint 2010) Ken Withee, who wrote part of Sharepoint 2010 Development for Dummies Cheat Sheet says, “SharePoint Foundation is a communication, collaboration, and content-management platform that comes free with the Windows Server operating system.” Sharepoint can be fully integrated into your line of business systems, as well as enabling you to embed Excel documents in a SharePoint Web site. The cost can be free as the standard package enabling a centralised database, follow ups and emailed marketing campaigns. Goldmine Sadly, this is not free. Replicating Outlook, it can be built to your specification so that you need never touch paper again (apart from to scan letters/documents you may have received). Goldmine can be built so you can see each and every stage of the prospects growth and development, as well as linking all emails and correspondence, reports and anything else that you need associated with a file to them. Goldmine also enable you as a company to set your own parameters for measurements for accurate management reports. Above all, the system is only as good as the information that it contains. Therefore, as we said in issue 5, the preparation and roll out of the system are what will make this a success or not.

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Smart and Simple Fasting Tips W •

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Prepare well and talk to your physician. It is possible to manage diabetes and fast, so long as you realise the importance of your medical assessment before you start, especially if you are taking any medication Space out your meals. During Ramadan, try not to be tempted to eat continuously from Iftar to just before Fajr; pace your meals-just like your normal diet Don’t skip Iftar and Suhoor meals

August 2013

• •

ith Diabetes on the increase and the concern regarding keeping blood sugar levels stable, can you really fast safely? The Imperial College London Diabetes Centre believes so. Below they have listed their top tips on fasting; •

• • •

Aim for a well balanced, nutrient filled Iftar and Suhoor and drink plenty of water in non fasting hours

Break your fast gradually by eating three dates and drinking laban or water, then after prayer enjoy the rest of your meal! Aim for well-balanced nutrient filled Iftar and Suhoor A balanced Suhoor is key to healthy and safe fasting and to avoid hypoglycaemia. Aim for slow-release carbohydrates and limit refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, short-grain rice and some cereals, as this may result in earlier onset of hypoglycaemia during the long hours of fasting Choose healthy cooking methods; Try baking the samosa, pakora and qatayef instead of deep-frying them Enjoy Ramadan juices in moderation and aim for more servings of laban with mint, home made iced green tea, or plain water Opt for healthier fruits with low-glycemic index such as apples, oranges and no syrup for desert. Drink plenty of water in the non-fasting hours to avoid dehydration Sensible option for meals is to look for good carbohydrates i.e. slow release carbohydrates -also known as low glycaemic index. This includes wholegrain bread and basmati rice, pasta cooked al dente (moderately cooked) Moderate activity is good during fasting; 30-minute walk after sunset


WELLBEING

Skin Cancer Symptoms & Signs B

eing in a desert country, where the summers are unbearable at times and people rarely leave the cool confines of buildings if they don’t have to, we all know that we should keep ourselves cool, rehydrated and covered up. Even in the winter, when we can venture out, we know we should slaver UVA and UVB protection onto ourselves. But how many of us actually do this on a daily basis? Who can honestly say we take all necessary precautions to stop getting skin cancer? Sadly, I am not someone who can. I do not put cream on each and every day on whatever part of me is not covered up. Therefore I know I am at risk of catching one of the most deadliest killers on the planet. This is also why, I actively take note of changes in my skin, as early detection is the difference between life and death. The most notable changes are in the moles dark patches on your skin. Normally, you may have some moles or dark patches, with only a slight bump, or are flat which ordinarily will not change. If they don’t great; this is normal, but it is the moles or patches of normal skin that change in size, shape or colour that you should seek medical advice about.  When to get worried Start paying attention to your skin and start to understand it. In the UK, you are advised to use the ABCDE rule. This helps you identify a melanoma. A melanoma is the term for a tumor, for which there are varying degrees of severity.

Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon

The ABCDE rule • Asymmetry: The two halves of your mole do not look the same • Border: The edges of your mole are irregular, blurred or jagged • Colour: The colour of your mole is uneven, with more than one shade • Diameter: Your mole is wider than 6mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser) • Elevation: Elevation means the mole is raised above the surface and has an uneven surface What to do If you have any worries at all, head straight to your GP. If you have a mole, freckle or anything else that appears quickly, get it checked out. The sooner you get it seen to, the easier and less invasive the treatment. As with all cancers, early intervention is key and can be the difference between life and death.

Other signs of skin cancer • a new growth or sore that won’t heal • a spot, mole or sore that itches or hurts • a mole or growth that bleeds, crusts or scabs

August 2013

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Getting What You Want From the Power of Your Mind By Helen Williams, Founder, LifeWorks

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ou may have noticed that in the Business Insight Magazine, we love the “Far out” things that are said to make us as people more capable in life, so when an article from Helen Williams of Lifeworks Dubai landed on our desk, talking about a technique called visualisation, we were intrigued… Even more so when we considered that many top entrepreneurs use a ‘mood board’ to envisage their goals, and provide motivation. Suddenly we started to take this more seriously. Here, Helen explains visualisation in greater detail. Visualisation is a technique that involves using the power of your mind to focus on positive mental images, thoughts and ideas in the belief that we can achieve a goal, position, possession, or a success. In order to do this we need to form a picture in our minds, and then sustain it through positive thinking. For some people this seems a simple and straightforward way to achieve positive results in business and personal life; for others this may seem a little peculiar and bohemian. Over the years, much has been written about the power of visualisation practices to enable change to take place. However, most usually focus on the process itself; create a mental

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You can get what you want from the power of your mind when you harness the power of your positive emotions to your thoughts to create this

picture and then form a belief around it. Not so much appears to be written about the need to harness or connect our emotions in order to get the most from this practice. To really help you to believe in the power of your mind and visualisation it helps to look at the ways we frequently harness this power in the opposite direction of success, and to acknowledge the strength of our minds in the face of our apparent helplessness; stopping negative patterns, thoughts and conditioned responses. If we could step back and simply observe what happens to our thinking, we would see that the experience of rejection, shame, betrayal, or guilt for instance causes our minds to lock onto, and continuously replay the difficult and unpleasant experience in our heads. Think about the times you have been caught up in a shadowy pattern of jealousy, anxiety, fear or loss, or when your worries threaten to consume you during the darkness of sleepless nights, not mentioning the power we give to feeding old wounds, hurts, slights, criticisms etc… Do you agree? Then also notice that many of the words used actually describe emotions. It is the emotion behind the thought that actually drives the power of our minds, and keeps them fixated on the pain that proves so difficult to shake in our darkest moments. It is the intensity of the feeling that appears to be insurmountable and haunts us in our private moments. So, it stands to reason that this also works in the opposite way as well. Creating an inner picture of positive success means understanding and utilising your emotional intelligence. This is the key to deep and powerful visualisation practices. It also needs to be a felt experience; focussing on the bodily awareness of the emotions of satisfaction, confidence, tolerance, love, acceptance, non judgment and self-compassion, and the expectation of success alongside visual pictures and thoughts, completes visualisation. You can get what you want from the power of your mind through visualisations when you harness, connect and attach the power of your positive emotions to your thoughts to create this. Try it… What do you have to lose?


THE HUB

Corporate Governance Strategy… Why? W

hen we hear ‘Corporate Governance’ we often think of big multi nationals with tiers and tiers of employee and immediately discount it as not worth thinking about for SMEs, right? Wrong! This is a practice that all companies should think about as it cements the rights and responsibilities of each individual as well as documenting the rules and procedures for making decisions. To gain a better understanding of this, we speak with Leonardo Peklar, CEO of Hawkamah, “Corporate governance has a significant role to play in unlisted companies. Unlike shareholders in publicly listed companies, investors in SMEs and other unlisted companies have limited options of ‘voting with their feet’ and selling their holdings if they are in disagreement with the company’s policies and strategy. As a result, SMEs and unlisted companies usually have higher costs of capital and lower valuations than their listed counterparts. Corporate governance not only protects investors it strengthens leadership and performance as well. In a well-governed company, the framework provides clarity of roles and responsibilities and ensures that resources are devoted to pursuing its defined goals.” He continues, “In other words, the understanding and implementation of a good corporate governance framework presents SMEs with a structured path for management practices with effective oversight and control mechanisms. These lead to opportunities for growth, financing, exit strategies and improved performance.” This is generally recognised by the SME community in Dubai. A 2011 survey by Hawkamah and Dubai SME found that 75% of SMEs in Dubai considered corporate governance to be important or very important to their business. The survey revealed that the two greatest barriers in implementing corporate governance reforms are a lack of knowledge on implementation and the unavailability of external qualified specialists in the region. This is understandable as meaningful frameworks for SMEs are not readily apparent. The statement “one size does not fit all” rings true for SMEs.

75% of SMEs in Dubai consider corporate governance to be important to their business

This is why DMCC, the licensing authority of the DMCC Free Zone, has engaged Hawkamah to support/assist its member companies with their corporate governance journey. Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance is an international association of corporate governance practitioners/regulators/institutions advancing home grown yet globally integrated corporate governance best practices in the MENA region. The Institute was founded in partnership with international organisations including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the World Bank GCGF, as well as regional organisations including the Union of Arab Banks and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority. The Institute was set up in 2006 and has since then been at the forefront of the corporate governance debate in the region. Their mission is to promote corporate sector reform and good governance, whilst assisting regional companies, in developing and implementing sustainable corporate governance strategies which can be adapted to national requirements and objectives. Its primary goal is to provide the region’s companies, boards and regulators with practical tools on how to improve corporate governance. Hawkamah will work with DMCC and its members on three different levels; 1. Raising awareness on what corporate governance means for the DMCC companies. 2. Offering in-depth training courses providing practical tools on how to construct governance frameworks. 3. Hawkamah will offer advisory services for DMCC companies to support the implementation of corporate governance within individual companies. For more information, visit: www.hawkamah.org

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30%‫‏‬Surge in Social Media Activity During Ramadan during the month. It is from this that marketing companies and departments are now getting wise so brands can ensure that alongside traditional marketing campaigns, social media is fully utilised so it can reach a wider audience; one that is actually more open to engagement than at any other time during the year. ‫‏‬Zafer Younis, CEO of The Online Project said, “Having discovered that social media consumption and user habits significantly change during the Holy month, we set out to study the outlying variable of this change to isolate the driving forces. We monitored thousands of tweets and Facebook posts in nine countries to study the user behavior. Instead of looking at their social media platforms first thing in the morning when they wake or get into work, our results show that during Ramadan, people are most active on Twitter early evening at approximately 7pm, just before they break their fast. ‫‏‬To take advantage of this spike in audience, companies should also consider posts that include content tailored to specific audiences that is entertaining or value-adding.

N

ew report finds social media engagement hits annual peak during the holy month presenting brands with a golden opportunity to reach their audiences, says The Online Project (TOP), who have reported analysing behavior trends of consumers in eight Middle Eastern countries during the Holy Month. ‫‏‬Surprisingly, the results show that residents of the Middle East use social media platforms 30% more during the Holy month. It also found that they engage with social media communities much later in the day and that engagement with brands is hugely multiplied during Ramadan providing businesses with the ideal window to communicate with customers. ‫‏‬TOP observed Facebook and Twitter activity in nine different countries across the region including: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, KSA and the UAE to provide a general overview of social media trends in the region looking specifically at levels of engagement, sentiment and perception and the timings of their interaction. Marketing‫‏‬ ‫‏‬Traditionally, Ramadan is a big month for consumer spending and Middle Eastern companies boost their spending on traditional ‘off-line’ campaigns by 20% during the holy month; for example, the four largest telecoms companies spend around $200 million dollars

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Residents in the Middle East use social media platforms 30% more during the Holy month

Following analysis of the figures, TOP has put together their top five tips for making the most of communicating with consumers during Ramadan: zz Recognise that Ramadan is a unique time in the Arab world both online and off: therefore, lessons you have learnt about your communities during the year may not apply during the holy month so adapt your campaign to recommended timings to make the most of the advertising budget you have spent zz Align your publishing times with your audience: This will help maximise engagement. zz Optimise your content mix: User interests’ shift during the Holy month so adapt your content accordingly to stay relevant and build stronger relationships with your audience zz Increase your advertising support budgets during Ramadan: The Holy month enjoys higher organic engagement rates so your budget can push your content further in Ramadan zz Implement integrated marketing campaigns: Interlace social media usage increase in-line with TV, radio, and print consumption to deliver higher multiplier effects in Ramadan


THE HUB

Dealing with Negative Online Feedback A

s business owners, I am sure that you have all/will all encounter negative feedback in one way, shape or form. Negative feedback online is perhaps the most damaging feedback if not dealt with appropriately; remember laughing about the couple in America’s kitchen nightmares, who took to the web telling those who had posted negative feedback to go away (in rather ruder terms), or the Dubai based chef, who told a blogger exactly what he thought of her and made headlines world-world… The problem is that, due to the time and effort that you invest in your business in a minute by minute basis, you have all garnered a very strong emotional attachment to your firm, and much in the same way, you would not want people to criticise your parenting, you would not want people to criticise your business. Sadly though, it happens, but the question is, how should we respond? zz Negative feedback is good! Anything negative is a great learning curve which will enable you to make changes and build a stronger business zz Always respond quickly: Thank the reviewer for their feedback and ask for suggestions as to how they would put it right. Do not be afraid to ask them to update their review of how you took onboard their suggestions. Also, this is best handled by yourself, rather than delegating responsibility to someone else. Yes, this can be time consuming, but for the business owner to respond shows the audience that this has been taken seriously which may cause the critic to retract or at least moderate his comments if you have dealt with the issue zz Don’t respond with childish comments: You will just be ridiculed and the review could go viral, which could irrevocably damage your business! zz Fight fire with fire: Everyone expects a bad review, especially if there are many good reviews. Find ways to ethically bribe your clients to post online reviews of your products and/or services zz Be aware of direct forum contact: As the written word can often be misinterpreted and you could hold yourself up for scrutiny. If you do wish to respond directly, remember;

zz

“Critcism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things” Winston Churchill

zz zz

Agreeing with it does not make your business weaker: If this isn’t how you normally do things, apologise and give a reason if you are able. If not, change the process! Deny it: The problem is that by doing so, you will not make any progress; regardless of the truth Learn from it: Acknowledge the problem area and explain what you have done to make things right once you have sought the lessons the feedback contains; there are always deeper lessons if you are willing to look for them

Ultimately, take negative customer reviews seriously. Yes it is tempting to ignore them, but this is not productive. Deal with them immediately. Criticism hurts, especially when you are so emotionally attached to your business as you no doubt are, but by developing a thick skin you will be able to use these to grow your business and garner an even better reputation.

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Trends Changing the Way we Work By Helen Gaskell

T

hey way we work has drastically changed since the start of the new Millennium, and will continue to do so primarily because of the advances in technology. Technology has changed the hours we work, where we work, how we work and how much we work we do… but how though?! Our availability; In and out of the office We are always available for work. With the invention of laptops, smart phones and wifi, we are all able to work at even the most inconvenient of hours; including during our holiday leave days. How many of you check your work emails over the weekend when we are not in the office? We are either able to answer or are expected to by our boss who has most likely provided the smart phone or laptop, or by our client who is probably himself on his way to a meeting while he emails you. On the one hand, it’s great to keep up with your work load and with what’s going on, but on the other hand there is no break or chance to get away from the office, even when you’re not there. Whilst most of us work from an office but are available when we are not, more and more people now opt to work from home or elsewhere on a full time basis. According to Sulzer Infrastructure Services firm in London, today eighteen million people work out of the office, compared to four million in 1990. Thanks to faster internet access, video conferencing and file sharing, teams are able to work regardless of geographic location and mobile technologies, and the increasing cost of fuel means the number of people working in this way will continue to increase. Increased workloads Due to the above factors, our workloads have increased substantially. It doesn’t matter anymore that our business partners, colleagues or other offices might be abroad. So whilst we sleep at night or enjoy our weekend on a Friday, emails are

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still coming through from overseas waiting for us in the morning. James Campanini from Business Computing World says, “This means we have to work smarter and faster if we want to still enjoy a fulfilling personal life.”

“I don’t set trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them” Dick Clark

How we communicate with other businesses Things have changed and are continuing to change fast. For example Linkedin is becoming vastly popular as a medium for business networking. Ernst and Young say, ‘Google, Facebook, Twitter, smartphones, tablets and e-readers; technologies that originated in the consumer space, are now reshaping the way companies communicate and collaborate with employees, partners and customers.” Emails are increasingly important, especially in this region. Texting is becoming more acceptable from a business prospective. This is not even to mention capturing information on company websites to make transacting business, and taking enquiries even easier. We can also expect more change when the generation that has grown up with new technologies and instant information gratification joins the workforce. For example, by 2014, Gartner forecasts that social networks will become the main form of business communication for 20% of employees worldwide. Michele Wierzgac who wrote ‘Trends Changing The Way We Do Business,’ believes that the future will deliver powerful information management systems tracking messages more efficiently to solve the problem of emails caught in anti-spam programs. We will see systems developed to help everyone check email, voice mail, mobile messages, and faxes from a single inbox. She says, “Many organisations rely solely on email blasts to share information with their customers. Email does


THE HUB not only for money but enjoyment and a sense of purpose. Flexible schedules and time off as well as health insurance and a pension is the ideal situation.

make it faster and easier for the organisation to communicate information and data.” How we reach people and when Ok, so this is kind-of the same as what I have said above, but different! Irrespective of whether you use social networking sites for marketing campaigns and brand awareness, or to get feedback from customers by posting polls and surveys, the key is to know who you intended market is, what social media sites are best linked to your market, their demographics, and what time to post something so that it’s at the top of readers news feed when they’re having a coffee or lunch break and are most likely to be scrolling down their phone. Increased diversity in the workplace Diversity in the workplace has become hugely important for companies, whether it be for equal rights or as a cost effective strategy, employing people from different backgrounds, with different ages, who can speak different languages, and bring new skills and experiences to the job, enables companies to source the best talent setting themselves above their competitors. Increased women in the workplace may sound ancient as women have been in the workplace for a long time; however I am referring to women returning to work after childbirth and rearing. This number is increasing as there are now more women higher up the ladder than there have ever been before. According to the international placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., a very large number of educated women are going to blur the line between men and women working. Between 1979 and 1999, the number of women earning four year college degrees jumped 44%, whereas men earning four year college degrees has dropped from 532,000 to 500,000 in the USA. As women move up the organisational ladders, the workforce will have to create a balanced environment between work and home life. Additionally, women are searching for re-entry opportunities after they have left the workplace for a few years to raise a family. Age has no limits The recruitment of older workers is an important benefit to organisations. They are loyal, have experience, and take less time to train. It is important for organisations to pay attention to what seniors want and how to recruit them. Seniors work

Freelance or consult? Michele Wierzgac also says that organisations are fixated with outsourcing as a way of controlling labour costs and having flexibility with projects. Dan Pink, author of Free Agent Nation, predicts that corporate workplaces will evolve into a continually shifting mix of employees and freelancers. With the potential of affordable health insurance for the selfemployed, freelancers and consultants will develop long-term affiliations with organisations to the point where it will become difficult to distinguish them from the employees.

“You have to stay updated on trends, social things and pop culture. You need too stay with the times and keep evolving” Corey Feldman

Finance Current economic conditions means that we have to spend less and think of other ways to achieve what we need. Most companies have reduced spending in the last few years, which is probably one of the biggest trends but not one of the best. What will ‘work’ look like in 2020? Obviously this is all supposition, but Timewise Jobs has answered this. They asked five experts this question because as they say, ‘The office based, nine to five, five day working week has only been a reality since the mid 1920s. Along with electricity, the telephone and the motor car, the idea of a regular paid ‘job’ was a novel concept to Edwardian England.’ So what will the world of work look like seven years from now? William Higham, trends forecaster of the Next Big Thing predicts that we will see more smart workers and Intrapreneurs in the workforce, “Increasingly self-sufficient, IT-enabled employees who will demand project-based, rather than departmental or discipline-based, tasks and responsibilities. Increased digital ‘confidence’ will encourage an entrepreneurial spirit outside the office, too.” Alternatively, Karen Mattison, Founder of Timewise Jobs sees a different picture, “The modern workplace no longer has a ‘face’; it could be your bedroom, the garden shed, or a coffee shop. The colleagues that you work with day-to-day could be in Peru, India or Sweden. You could have a job of senior responsibility, and work three days a week. The 2020 workplace will see employers offering flexibility as standard practice, even in roles of high responsibility, and this is something all employees will expect; not simply to fit with family but to enjoy a true work life balance.” As no one person is able to predict the future, how the current trends will influence the market remains unclear. One thing is certain though… whatever the future looks like everyone appears to want increased flexibility, the option to work smarter from locations other than the conventional office, and get back their work life balance. So the question we pose to the business leaders out there is; will you plan or what you see happening around you and accommodate these so you are known as being ahead of the curve in business, or will you pursue the time will tell method?!

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THE NETWORK

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Phil Starr Business Development Manager Business Insight

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Regional News UAE

Break the rules and pay Medical Fitness the costs Centre opens in

ABU DHABI: 99% of companies inspected by the Ministry of Labour were found to be complying with the midday break rule, which went into force from June 15 and runs until September 15. This rule states that labourers who work

in open areas such as construction sites, should be given a two-and-a-half-hour break from 12.30pm to 3pm. A total of 12,509 companies were found complying with the rule, while 73 others were found to be violating it. The labour inspection department at the Ministry of Labour carried out 10,918 visits to various private sector institutions and companies from June 15 to June 30 to ensure the rules were being implemented and to educate workers about the best methods to keep safe from heat-related illness. The 73 companies that were found to be breaking the rule could find themselves subject to an AED15,000 fine for the first offence, plus paying each employee AED1,500 if they have been working after midday. These companies could also find themselves unable to issue new labour cards or employ new workers. The guidance and inspection visits will take place at different worksites starting from 10.30am until 12.30pm daily, in addition to 125 lectures, which will be conducted across the UAE, to explain prevention of and protection against heat stress and work-related injuries.

Saudi Arabia

MENA IPO value soars 52% in H1 JEDDAH: The capital markets in the MENA region raised $2.1 billion through IPOs in the first six months of the year, up 52% compared to the $1.4 billion raised in the same period last year, said Ernst & Young in its MENA Q2 2013 IPO update. The first quarter of the year experienced the highest amount of capital raised through IPOs in the region in one quarter since 2008, the E&Y report stated. However, the IPO capital raised in the second quarter was 63% lower compared to $1.3 billion last year, it added. Nine IPOs in the MENA region raised $482.6 million in the second quarter of 2013 thus taking the total IPO value up by 52% in the first half, E&Y noted. Of these rights issues, eight were on regional exchanges, five in Tunisia, two in Saudi Arabia and one in Oman, while the ninth one was an outbound listing from the

UAE on the London Stock Exchange, said the E&Y in its report. Phil Gandier, the MENA head of transaction advisory services at E&Y, said, “This is the highest Q2 IPO performance by volume seen in the past five years. Although the volume was up from the second quarter of 2012; there were no big ticket IPOs to boost the overall value, apart from one outbound listing on the LSE.” The largest IPO this quarter was an outbound listing by UAE healthcare company Al Noor Hospital, which raised $342.7 million on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), said the E&Y in its IPO update. The second largest was One Tech Holding in Tunisia, which raised $51.4 million on the Tunisian stock exchange followed by Aljazira Takaful in Saudi Arabia which raised $28 million on the Tadawul, it added. Source: Zawya

Karama

DUBAI: The Medical Fitness Centre in Karama, which can accommodate more than 2,000 customers per day, was officially opened by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) on July 8th 2013. Located near the Emirates Post Office in Karama, it is spread over 20,000 sq ft, and features state-of-the-art medical facilities and a VIP lounge, children’s play area, coffee shop, and reading

area. The Centre was inaugurated in the presence of Engineer Eisa Al Maidour, Director-General of the DHA, Ahmad Rashid Al Merri, Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) and other officials. The Centre offers packages starting from AED260 and is open from 7.30am to 9.30pm Sundays to Thursdays.

Egypt

Egypt’s left leader urges government formation CAIRO: Egypt’s main left-wing political leader called on Monday for the immediate formation of an interim government to fill a dangerous political vacuum after a deadly clash between the army and Muslim Brotherhood supporters in which dozens were killed. Former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, leader of the Popular Current party, told Reuters the new authorities created when the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last week in response to mass protests could not afford to wait. The appointment of a prime minister has been held up for two days because the ultra-conservative Islamist Nour Party rejected both secular candidates for the post nominated by army-backed interim head of state Adli Mansour. “We cannot leave the country without a government. He should appoint the government today,” Sabahi said, adding that Nour had been offered a position of deputy prime minister or vice-president. “Of course it is better if the Nour Party

participates, even if it puts some pressure on us. I can accept this pressure,” he said. “But they did not participate in the demonstrations of the January 25 revolution (which overthrew Hosni Mubarak in 2011) nor on June 30 (which led to Mursi’s fall). So why do they have this veto?” he said. Mansour initially offered the post to veteran liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the U.N. nuclear agency, and then to social democrat Ziad Bahaa el-Din, a commercial lawyer and former head of Egypt’s investment authority. Sabahi said it was important to have Islamist participation in the transition but he believed that Nour might revise its position and either join the government or join in the rewriting of the constitution once a new administration was formed. The only beneficiaries of such bloodshed were the Muslim Brotherhood and others who sought to polarise the situation and drive Egypt to civil war, he added. Source: Reuters

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World News Europe

VAT Rate in Slovenia rises to 22%

LJUBLJANA: Current VAT rates in Slovenia are 20% and 8.5% and are due to be raised to 22% and 9.5% respectively from 1st July 2013. Where the delivery of goods or execution of service is carried out on or before the June 30th 2013 AND the invoice is issued on or before July 20th 2013, then the “old” VAT rates of 20% and 8.5% can be applied. Where the delivery of goods or

execution of service is carried out partially on, or before June 30th 2013 and partially after July 1st 2013, then the invoice should be issued with the new VAT rates of 22% or 9.5%, unless there are 2 invoices. For advance payments received before July 1st 2013 the 20% or 8.5% VAT rates are applied. Source: UTurn Tax Refund

Montenegro forced into 2% VAT hike

America

Whitehouse and wall street clash

NEW YORK: The U.S. government is steeling itself to clash with Wall Street following their resistance to European demands to include the regulation of the financial services industry in their trade talks. Obama´s Administration believes that including a framework for regulations in talks would allow banks to ‘bend’

rate of over 21%. The IMF has raised concerns around Montenegro’s uncontrolled sovereign debt levels of 54% of GDP. The former Serbian region has still not fully recovered following its 2006 South Carolina: A South Carolina independence. man received a dubious honor in April Source: UTurn Tax Refund when his Bitcoins became the first ever seized by the U.S. government. The U.S. Enforcement Administration seized WHO sets up emergency committee on MERS virus Drug the 31-year-old Eric Daniel Hughes’ far have been in Saudi Arabia, which Bitcoins, the online currency. GENEVA: The World Health hosts millions of Muslim visitors every Organization is forming an emergency It’s believed that the seizure committee of international experts to year for the annual haj pilgrimage. may have been related to an online Fukuda said MERS (Middle East drug clearing house. According to prepare for a possible worsening of Respiratory Syndrome) remained DEAdocumentation, agents seized 11.02 the Middle East coronavirus (MERS), a patchwork of infections that had Bitcoins from Hughes, worth $814. which has killed 40 people, WHO flu not yet swept through countries or Though the forfeiture notice makes expert Keiji Fukuda said on Friday. communities as influenza can. The no mention of the online illicit drug Fukuda said there is currently no emergency or pandemic, but the experts committee was partly being formed to seller, the Post and Courier reports that would advise on how to tackle the consider big gaps in knowledge about speculation regarding the involvement disease if the number of cases suddenly the disease, he added. of Silk Road has quickly arisen simply grows. Most of the cases of MERS so Source: Reuters because of the Bitcoin seizure. Source: The Daily Mail PODGORICA: The Montenegro government has rushed through an emergency 2% rise in its Value Added Tax rate this Tuesday under pressure from the International Monetary Fund. The effective date will be 1 July 2013. The rise will take the VAT rate to 19%, still below the EU average VAT

First ever Bitcoin bust

China

Drug Price Fixing

SHANGHAI: China’s drug pricing authority has launched a wide-ranging probe into the costs of medicines at 60 domestic and international drugmakers, ratcheting up the pressure for price cuts. The investigation by Beijing’s National Development and Reform Commission, which embraces the local affiliates of foreign companies such as Merck of the US, GlaxoSmithKline, Astellas, Baxter Healthcare and Sandoz comes after a similar NDRC probe resulted in manufacturers of baby milk cutting their prices by up to 20%. The action marks an intensification of the regular process by which maximum prices are set for medicines reimbursed in China. It comes at a time of change among senior Chinese government

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the rules stemming from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Law and allow the EU to delay their own reforms. But the EU sees a financial regulatory chapter as an important component of any deal – a view shared by many of the largest US banks who believe that Obama administration’s objections are misplaced.

officials, against a backdrop of growing pressure to control escalating spending as the country expands the quality and breadth of medical coverage from richer urban to poorer rural people. GSK has been a recent focus for the Chinese authorities, after police in the central Chinese city of Changsha last week placed company officials under investigation for alleged “economic crimes.” GSK said it was aware of the Changsha probe, but there had been no charges or arrests and it had no other details. They said, “We can confirm that there is an investigation under way. It’s still unclear what it is focused on. We will of course co-operate with the inquiry.” Source: The Financial Times


In the Next Issue

And finally... Comfort, Unilever’s leading fabric conditioner brand, proudly completes the fourth year of its annual Ramadan clothes donation campaign across the GCC. The partnership with the Red Crescent charity reached record numbers in terms of both donations and clothing collected this July. The community campaign, “Share a touch of love”, proved hugely successful with regards to increased scale of activity from 2012 – 2013, having doubled the size of the activation from two malls to four, as well as expanding the activation into Kuwait as well as the UAE. All clothes collected are being distributed to those in need by Comfort’s chosen charity and partner in this annual initiative: Red Crescent.  Ramadan is a time for giving back to people less fortunate and spending quality time with friends and family. “Share a touch of love” has encouraged communities to come together and do exactly that. The combination of the donation boxes for unwanted clothes and the photo booths at the stands the campaign have created an atmosphere of charitable giving and a warm family environment, which is at the heart of Ramadan.

Take a look below for a sneak peek into what is coming up in Issue 8 of Business Insight... OPERATIONS

Catastrophe Planning April’s earthquakes were a reminder of ‘the hand of god’ that can give, and take it all away from you in a blink of an eye. That got us thinking, how many businesses have planned for such an event? If your office was to be obliterated, how would you recover? We look at the things you should be thinking of now, and the plans you need to put into place. Sustainability in Business Your business idea has been booming, but recently, your profits are sliding… What can you do?

MONEY

Even More Energy Following on from Energy Market opportunities in the gulf region, we take a closer look at the opportunity in renewable energies in the region. How to Forecast Revenue and Growth This may be back to basics, but it is surprising how many startups don’t understand exactly how to do this. This means, that when it comes to trying to obtain any credit, or even business premises, you can get stuck without sound accounting. Well worry no more, as we explain all.

COMMODITIES

Livestock The livestock commodities consist of meat agricultural products. They can often develop some reliable trending patterns as breeding and herd statistics give you a good idea of production numbers months in advance. We explain how.

PEOPLE

Cultural Overview The great thing about Dubai is it truly is a melting pot for different cultures, however, we all tend to stick with what we know, and whilst everyone here knows one culture probably isn’t being rude by putting their hand out to shake with you, it can be uncomfortable for them. We look at the little things which everyone should consider when doing business in such a cosmopolitan city.

TECH

Kickstart your Business Did you know that there are websites which link up entrepreneurs to financial backers? No? Well you do now, we look at the two big players in the market to see if they are worth you considering when the times get hard.

WELLBEING

A Stretch of the Imagination?! Not just the preserve of the Asian continent, we look at how Yoga can help business owners to focus and increase their profits whilst also increasing their fitness and health, aiding sleep, digestion and all those things that we suffer due to our rich lifestyle and stress.

HUB

Using Body Language to your Advantage Ever been told something by someone and not believed it only to find out you were correct? You are probably subconsciously picking up on their body language. Experts use this to influence what others think… Imagine what this could do for you. We show you the main signs to look out for.

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Success secrets from the UAE’s most successful business people Expert advice on finance topics that affect your business The knowledge to improve your business performance through your health Staff development tips from the best HR brains in the UAE

Subscribe today and give yourself ‘the unfair advantage’ over your competitors! Email distribution@redcorp.ae for the subscription form to arrange your free copies in 2013.

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Business Insight August 2013