Interview: Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC
Precious Metals: All you Need to Know Business Applications you Simply Cant Ignore Bag a Coffee and Some Business..?! Data Protection Secrets to Success Series
Issue 5 - May 2013
If you canâ€™t measure it how can you improve it? Setting strategic KPIs for SMEs
Knowing when to sell
Key Skills for the 21st Century Manager
Editor’s Foreword www.businessinsight.ae
Interview: Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC
Business Applications you Simply Cant Ignore Network in a Coffee Shop?! Data Protection Secrets to Success Series
Issue 5 - May 2013
If you can’t measure it how can you improve it?
Precious Metals: All you Need to Know
Issue 5 -May 2013
On page 26, we talk to the Executive Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem, who explains how Dubai and the UAE have become global leaders in all aspects of the diamond and precious metals markets, whilst giving us the secrets to the success of the DMCC and how we too can learn from these.
Welcome to our Diamond and Precious Metals issue of Business Insight Magazine. Some of you may be aware that the DMCC have just had another successful Gold and Diamond Conference, where the ethical side of sourcing was discussed, and considering how I, like every women out there likes all things shiny, we decided to look at these in greater detail.
Setting strategic KPIs for SMEs
Knowing when to sell
Key skills for the 21st Century manager
Biz_In_May 2013.indd 1
We take this one step further on page 28, where we analyse precious metals as a commodity. We all know that these costs have risen, but do we understand the drivers behind them? Also, there has been a significant decrease recently in the price of gold… Why? Read on if you want to know the answer to this and also get an expert insight as to what they anticipate Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium performance to be in 2013. As we are well on our way into the year, some of you may be very happy with the progress that you are making, whilst others may be a little concerned about the lack of sales. If you head straight to page 8, we discuss what you can do to increase your sales, assist your sales staff and what can help you determine what training your staff should receive. Following on from this, turn to page 52, for how you can manage and get the best out of your sales people. However, if your sales people are not the ones you are struggling managing, then turn to page 34 for the Key Skills to the 21st Century Manager. As the summer quickly approaches, we have to highlight the Health Hazards for a hot summer, so on page 40, we discuss what advice you should give your staff to ensure you are not open to a Ministry of Labour claim in the courts. I shall finish as I started; by going back to all things that sparkle! In our Success Series this month, we interview Amit Dhamani, CEO and Managing Director of Dhamani who focus on the ethical side of jewellery, but also brought us the 99-faceted Dubai Cut diamond. We speak to him to ascertain how Dhamani have reached the success they have and find out what lessons you too can learn to drive your businesses forward.
4/25/13 5:10 PM
Published by: DMCC Authority Contact: James Bernard Associate Publisher: Nuria Gonzalez Martin Editor: Tanya Selley Associate Editor Ritwika Chaudhuri Business Development Manager: Brendan Bosley Administration: Janice Porte Art Director: Mohsin Rawal Printing: UPP Printers Distribution: Blue Truck For information on advertising rates & positioning: Please contact Brendan Bosley – Tel. +971 4 375 4619 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org For editorial schedule & article submission: Please contact Tanya Selley – Tel. +971 4 375 4121 Email: email@example.com
Talk to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what information you need to take your business forward – and I will try to help you in the next issue!
©Copyright 2013 Redcorp.
Page 6 - 7
Page 32 - 33
Key skills for the 21st Century Manager
Knowing When to Sell your Start Up
Page 15 - 16
Page 36 - 37
Apps you Shouldn’t Live Without
Success Series – Interview: Amit Dhamani Managing Director of Dhamani
Page 21 - 22
Page 40 - 41
Islamic Finance – Takaful
Health Hazards in a Hot Summer
Page 50 – 51
Sparkling in Almas Tower Interview: Ahmed Bin Sulayem Executive Chairman, DMCC
Operations Secrets to Selling Strategic KPIs: If you Can’t Measure it, How Can you Improve it?
People Why HR Outsourcing is Good for SMEs
Tech Samsung S4 Review
Success Jim Will Fix It Al Shamal Foodstuff Trading
Money GCC Banks Bouncing Back with Steady Growth Basell III, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Commodities Precious Metals: Stick or Twist?
Wellbeing Let’s go Bananas!
The Hub Bag a Coffee and Some Business..?! Teambuilding Training Managing Sales People Business Directory News Desk
44 47 52 54 55
Knowing When to Sell your Start Up I
t is not uncommon for people to start their own business with the sole intent to sell it as soon as possible. Others however, start their business with no exit strategy at all. Whichever type of entrepreneur you are there is likely to come a time when you consider selling; however how do you know if this really is the right time to sell? Whilst no one has a crystal ball that will tell us these things, there are steps that you can take to ensure that you take everything into account, to make the right decision, and get best possible price. Deciding when to sell your business As you may have heard this was a question that 17 year old Nick D’Aloisio faced. Two years ago D’Aloisio founded the App Summly, which sorts news by topics in quick bites for smartphones. Yahoo, brought Summly for reportedly US$30 million with a view to their using the technology to reinvent the delivery of information. Clearly this was a prudent sale on behalf of the 17year old, who had probably taken the app as far as he could. But how do you determine whether to take the money and run, or hold out for more? There is no easy answer, but there are some questions to consider first. • If you reject the offer can you fund growth now, and in the future? Remember if you can secure more funding, the higher price you hold out for will be offset by further equity dilution • Could they be your biggest competitor if you don’t accept the offer? To understand this look at Zappos, an on-line shoe retailer, who accepted a $1.2 billion offer from Amazon. Had they not accepted the offer it’s likely that Amazon would have pursued another company instead • What other options? You could hold out, and if you are profitable you may not require additional investment, but what will you do further down the line?
• Understand the risk: Turning down a good offer on a start up is a gamble. Ensure you take a step back and be honest with yourself; will you really be the next facebook? • How important is the work/life balance? Yes it is very exciting starting up a new business and watching it thrive, but eventually, it becomes boring and may be detrimental to your personal life. How much longer are you happy to do this? Obviously you know you have to consider all external (economy conditions) and internal factors (including your health, or lifestyle wants), but this can still be confusing. A simple for and against list, based on your personal circumstances, is a good tactic to employ here. You may find that you are not yet ready as you could be if you tweeked some areas of your business, and these tasks can become a “to do” list building your exit strategy. A good time to sell is when: • Everyone is buying • Your exit plan is in place, fully considered and vetted by all board members/partners • You are not enjoying work anymore • You could either start again or retire comfortably • You know what you will do post business sale • The offer is timely and unsolicited • Your business is growing • Your family are not concerned with taking over the business A bad time to sell is: • When the economy is in a slump • A new competitor poses a serious threat • You or your family have serious health problems • You have pending litigation • Your business is facing obsolescence • You and your partners are at logger heads • You love what you do and cannot wait to get to work • Your industry is shrinking Selling your business is a process and there are two major points that you must keep in mind: 1. Make time: Selling your business is a process you must drive which takes up time. You will be the main player AND you must continue to run your business profitably.
OPERATIONS 2. You may not get a lump sum payment: 90% of the sales of small businesses involve seller financing whereby you need pay up front for reports, marketing etc. 3. Careful Planning When selling your business it is important that it is in top operating order. There are some basic questions that you will be expected to answer and documentation to supply. These include: • What is the quality of your inventory; overstocked or obsolete? • The condition and amount of your receivables? • What is amount and status of your payables? • Is there an order backlog? • Do your good customer relationships justify goodwill pricing? • Is your primary marketplace stable or changing? • Full details and copies of your governmental documents, papers, staff visas etc. • Copies of last five year’s worth of accounts and at least two to three years worth of fully audited accounts • Copies of your lease agreements for all property including office, cars, furniture etc.
2. Earning power: Pricing can be based on what return on investment the business will produce. For example your business shows an annual net profit of 50,000dhs and your buyer says they want a 25% return of their investment. They offer 200,000dhs for the business (50,000/0.25 equals 200,000dhs).
90% of the sales of small businesses involve seller financing whereby you need pay up front for reports, marketing etc. so it may not be realistic to expect a lump sum payment
Professional appraiser Don’t price your business before analysing its value. A professional appraisal can justify and add credibility to the valuation of your business, providing a comprehensive and detailed document that will withstand scrutiny and a specific opinion of value. If you have a profitable business with prudent debt, reasonable risks and good management, it will normally qualify as a going concern, and be valued on the salary it’s provided you. How to price your business There are 5 standard ways in which you can price your business yourself. These are: 1. Sales volume: The valuation and sales of your publicly owned competitors are known they can provide a rough valuation guideline. In retail the buyer may want to stand at the cash register for a week to verify the sales, and your industry may have pricing guidelines.
4. Intrinsic value: This mathematical calculation converts all future earnings into their present value. One method is to create a ten year spreadsheet of the estimated future year-by-year earnings and covert each of these, along with a residual long-term value, to an overall present value. This becomes the “intrinsic value” of the business. A free resource that you can use is http://www. moneychimp.com/articles/valuation/buffett_calc. htm 5. Market comparable: Your selling price should also reflect what similar businesses are selling for. Consider goodwill This is where a company’s reputation gives it a competitive edge and increased earning power. In terms of accounts it is the amount paid above the book value of business assets, and is based on the pricing power and potential future of the company not be reflected in the financial statement.
Most importantly, if your buyer intends to make payments over an agreed period time, be sure that all your insurance policies are kept up to date, and reflect the changes. Business broker Often, buying or selling businesses can be complex and therefore can justify using a broker. Their commission stands normally at 10% and is paid after closing the sale (much like a real estate broker) and they normally enable a speedier sale including the marketing of your business. There are also brokers online who will market your business; for example, uae.businessforsale.com. When looking for a broker consider: • Are they experienced in your industry? • Will the broker cooperate with and solicit other brokers to cooperate? • Will the broker prepare a business profile? • What will they do in terms of marketing?
3. Real estate: The market value of the real estate is the principle factor in pricing your business.
Selling your business is a process you must drive which takes up time. You will be the main player AND you must continue to run your business profitably
Do • Ensure your business is fit for sale; if not, wait! • Seek expert legal and accountant advice • Value your business on external say so, or by using industry standards • Establish value based on intrinsic value and professional appraisal • Select your business broker with care • Retain audited records for the last 2 years • Develop your negotiating skills • Let your broker find and qualify potential buyers • Qualify the buyer’s ability to service your seller financing • Get tax advice on all aspects of the sale especially if you are planning on returning to your home country Don’t • Overprice the business • Expect to be paid in cash • Fail to consider some seller financing • Fail to consider a key employee walkout • Overlook possibilities of selling to a competitor • Be unprepared to furnish all important documentation • Forget to consider your buyer’s point of view • Fail to research staff buyout schemes if finance is an issue: refer to issue 4 and the Nasdaq exchange for small businesses in the UAE • Be unprepared to continue running the business and/or lodging the relevant paperwork with the government
Secrets to Selling S
client to the team, including an Account Manager who will oversee the account and be the main point of contact thereon. The Sales Manager need not bow out of the picture all together, therefore putting the relationship at risk as, if things are going well, then maybe one or two meetings/phone calls a year, with the Account Manager taking over all remaining duties/meetings, advising the Sales Manager so it looks as though they are actively working on the account at all times (this smoke screen suprisingly works very well).
ales is the lifeblood to any company. You can have the best product or service but if you don’t have a good sales team behind you success may remain elusive. So what happens when you have a sales team but they’re not performing as wanted? There are a number of reasons why this can happen but the most notable is failure to close the deal; Did you know that most sales staff spend just 10% of their time actively selling? The rest of the time is taken with up with other things. In our article we look at sales best practice, how to close a deal as well as what companies can do to assist their sales team to drive business forward. Read our article on “Managing your sales team” on page 52 for how you can motivate your team and what reporting structures you should look to implement. Sales Tools As a company there are various factors that can inhibit sales. The first is not having the right tools for the job. For example, do your sales teams know how to use powerpoint and produce presentations? Should they be using latest technology for presentations? The easiest way of finding out if you are properly supporting your sales team is to ask them and, where appropriate, make relevant changes. Sales best practice Initially, your team should get into the habit of thinking what is most profitable for them. Some proponents of best practice believe a sales team’s focus should be to solely bring on board new clients. However this is very black and white. Before you take this stance consider that the client may have bought into your Sales Manager, and not the Company, therefore may not like being passed over. An alternative is for your Sales Manager to categorise which category the client falls into. As soon as the initial deal is concluded they can then introduce the
Alternatively, the contract can be passed over 18 months down the line if it’s big enough to warrant an ongoing timely onboarding process.
“Nothing happens until a sale is made”
Ultimately, your sales team shouldn’t waste time working with clients for no return. Therefore establish rules for the categorisation of clients and service standards. These immediately show employees what is expected for each client, and will enable your sales teams to focus on where the money is, without wasting time elsewhere. Also, a platinum client will have differing needs to a bronze client, so this should be taken into account. For example: • Platinum clients: are worth over AED 200,000 and have a minimum of one face-to-face meeting every two weeks or as they request with the Account Manager. The sales manager who brought them on board, will oversee this client, meeting them once every three months. They also have a dedicated back up team, whom they can contact, as well as obtaining full reports every quarter (or more often if required) • Gold clients: are worth over AED 100,000 and meet monthly with the Account Manager and also have a team to contact. The Sales Manager will only meet with them once/twice a year providing there are no issues • Silver clients: are worth over AED 20,000 and meet with their Account Manager on a biannual basis
OPERATIONS ignored by sales staff. Train them to answer questions in their sales pitch like; “How will this benefit you/your company?” or, “What product most suits you/your company’s needs?”
and have full contact with their dedicated office support at all other times • Bronze clients: are worth under AED 20,000dhrs and are run from the office with a dedicated office based Account Manager who has to get authorisation from a team leader should a client visit be deemed to be necessary. The Sales Manager would not look at getting involved with them after the onboarding stage Reduce the administration Sadly some administration is necessary however a common complaint from sales staff is that they waste time, populating the same information in the different formats. Therefore, if your business uses forms review these and assess whether you can provide a onestop-shop approach. For example, are you sales staff writing proposals or reports from scratch each time? If so, review these documents and write a company template for them. Then train your staff on the areas of the report that they need to change and how they can do this effectively. Think geographically If you are making appointments or if you have other staff booking in meetings for the sales team that require travel, ensure that they take into account where the meetings are. For example, if there are three meetings in JLT ensure that they are all booked in on the same day.
“If you build a great experience customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful”
Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO Amazon
Also, take into account travel time between appointments. Tardiness does not make you look professional and will not help you to close the deal. No empty promises Build into your business culture so if your sales staff say you are going to do something do it! If your sales team or any employees have promised a response to a query, give them a response and if you still have not had the final details, tell them. Whatever you do, don’t leave your prospects hanging when they expect something. Don’t lie Look into installing into your sales team the value of honesty. By this we mean if you do not know the answer to a question, say so and guarantee that you will find out. There is nothing more exasperating than being told one thing, and finding out it is actually something completely different. If you do take this approach, or allow it to happen, this will ruin any respect that your prospect had for you. By getting your staff to follow this rule, they will be learning as they work, building up their knowledge bank. Referrals The easiest way to grow your business is by getting your sales and customer service teams to ask your current happy clients for their feedback and potential referrals to other companies. The trust element is there so the new sale should be easier to secure. Implement sales technique training Buying signals are verbal and non-verbal and often
“I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard”
If your prospect client is asking these questions then your employees should know how to answer them as these are classic buying signals. Non-verbal buying signals should also help to indicate when to close a sale. An example of a non-verbal buying signal is the customer holding or using a product as if they already owned it. Close the deal The most common reason sales professionals fail to sell is because they can’t close the sale, and may need assistance and/or training to do so. The only way you will find out if this is the case is if you accompany the sales person to a meeting. Another common mistake that can lose a sale is to continue to sell and offer products/services after the customer has already indicated that they are willing to make the purchase. • Close by asking if the customer would like to make the purchase: this is the most simple and straightforward way of closing • Close by alternate choice: questions like, “Are you ready to sign the documents?” put the customer in a situation where they are not given the option to refuse the sale. If they answer with either of the options you’ve given them, then you’ve made the sale • Close the sale by attaching accessory products or services: thus enhancing the product they are interested in, “Let me get you [accessory] to enhance [product].” If they accept the accessory, then you’ve made the sale on the original product Is everything OK? So you may not have made that sale but the rapport was there regardless. Have your team get into the habit of asking if it is OK to keep in touch and encourage their prospects to call them for advice, “if you ever want a second opinion”. This works wonders and builds trust and rapport, which ultimately leads to sales in the future. Always remember to call them again in the future! Thank you Within 24 hours of a meeting follow up with a thank you email and a brief over view of what you had agreed to do and the time frames. Not only does this make you look professional, but it is also a good at keeping you and your services to the front of the mind of the prospect, which is where you want to be. Ultimately, people buy from people they like so show likeability by smiling, on the phone and face-toface. By enabling sales teams to keep their promises, asking for referrals, and cutting their admin, your sales should increase. Read next month’s issue to find out more on sales techniques and the art of negotiation.
If You Can’t Measure It,
How can you Improve it? S
MEs are known for being flexible and nimble, but success is also dependent on business reaction to changing market conditions, and the impact that these actions have on the organisation. Acting fast does not necessarily mean the best solution or equate to acting SMART. Just like any other organisation SMEs must set key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure that they are on the right track for growth, and measure success. So what are KPIs? KPIs and measurements will confirm if you are on the right track, and streamline your ordinary processes to improve productivity and your bottom line. What KPIs a business focuses on depends on the type of industry and internal business goals. KPIs also vary depending on whether the business produces physical products or offers services. KPIs should be regularly reviewed as they provide invaluable information on the direction that the business is taking, and how you should aim to move this forward. The idea is to garner best business practice and highlight areas of attention. Should you then find an area that is a concern, you have the foresight to tackle this before it becomes an issue, and forces you to take a path you otherwise would not have ventured. Why implement KPIs? There are numerous advantages to implementing KPIs and below we have listed the main benefits for you: • You’ll know how the business is really performing, what isn’t working, and when to make a change • You’ll know which product/customer/market/ employee/departments aren’t making money • You’ll know if you are going to meet targets • Help you to track trends as well as seasonality
“Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing... layout, processes, and procedures”
Tom Peters, Author, In Search Of Excellence
• See the impact of a new initiative or project • Set benchmark standards for better performance in the future • You’ll see where compliance, processes or procedures aren’t working • They will highlight excessive waste • They tell your employee what is important: if it’s going to be measured it will be done! • Peace of mind: you’ll will be much more confident when you make decisions in the business and that the KPIs are the right mix and type for your business/project • Increased bottom line: improvement from KPIs will inevitably improve profits Sounds great doesn’t it? Now that we’ve got you thinking let’s talk some more about KPIs and SMEs. SMEs You want your business grow, be profitable, and sustainable. Therefore KPIs must focus on managing customers and profitability margins. Instinctively many SMEs focus on growth and how they will grow without first reviewing whether the profit margins gained are worth the time and investment needed. All businesses should remember that growth does not guarantee profit. For example, in the UK a cupcake company used an online promotions website to promote their cupcakes. They had such an influx of orders that they couldn’t keep up with the demand or buy the relevant stock to make them. The outcome was financial ruin for the company, dismissal of all staff and a return to basic by the business owner; making, promoting and selling the cup-cakes all herself, as well as lengthy legal battles. It took the company several years to take back their previous position. Had they asked the correct questions originally and had a clear insight into project profitability they
probably would have taken an entirely different course of action to grow their business. The right KPIs All companies should have KPIs to manage cashflow, billing and collection procedures. If your business focuses on selling products KPIs should focus on sales figures, manufacturing costs, and profit margins. Alternatively service oriented companies refer to pricing, and staffing. You can also weigh the cost of doing business versus the revenue generated per client in order to segment service standards, or look at employee productivity. Our key KPI areas for SMEs 1. Cashflow: It is important to manage, maintain and measure work-in-progress against cashflow, which can comprise of something as simple as sending invoices to customers immediately, rather than waiting until month end or offering discounts for early payment ensuring a healthy cashbook.
“You can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow”
George W Bush
2. Efficiency: For businesses that are cash secure the focus is continued growth and increasing profits therefore KPIs should focus on managing efficiency. The more you grow, the greater the pressure to do more with less resources. Finding ways to optimise efficiency to improve productivity and reduce costs is crucial. 3. Labour: Headcount is often the biggest cost for any SME, and when profitable SMEs tend to hire rapidly without considering how all of the staff can be utilised moving forward. By matching headcount against forecasted pipeline, and planning this with your HR specialist you will fully understand whether you are under or overstaffed; set KPIs that help manage staff costs, improve overall business performance, and provide data needed to make critical decisions. A weekly and monthly report on labour should include:
How can you strategically align your KPIs? Many organisations struggle to identify, select and implement the correct KPIs for their business. Often organisations believe that they have correctly identified KPIs but the lack of strategic alignment means that they fail. KPIs cover all areas of business, from Marketing to Accounts, Customer Service to HR, and should be considered in terms quality and quantity; what are strategic, measureable, meaningful and relevant for
For organisations to succeed, KPIs must be implemented from the top-down, with an emphasis that this is the new way forward and will be monitored to ensure success. Be specific Do you really want an overview of the whole organisation or do you want to know more about pricing, scheduling, staffing, or sales? Make sure KPIs are specific and that the reports on performance/ operations are too. A lot of unnecessary time is spent compiling and reviewing reports. This means money! Make sure reports and KPIs set are simple, have set review times, and are specific to the SME. By taking this approach you will ensure that employees understand the KPIs set, that a clear, simple and consistent measurement criteria is developed and implemented, and eliminate possible confusion whilst providing a clear path for successful action, and identifying areas of improvement/action before an issue arises. Review Competing against major enterprises can be a huge challenge for small firms. SMEs are able to adapt to internal or external circumstances faster than larger, often admin-heavy organisations. To make the most of this advantage SMEs need to constantly monitor progress against their strategic KPIs and be ready to adapt if there are any worrying trends or inefficient processes that could hinder growth. Clear performance insight enables businesses to identify these, and this should be the base for any growth initiative.
• Utilisation: the percentage of time each employee spends with a client • Realisation Rate: the amount of revenue each employee earns per hour • Gross Profit Margin: the gross profit per client per employee This will identify the top performers and enable you to decide how to reward them and tell you whether to hire new staff, reorganise or downsize current staffing levels. Employees are crucial to your business so make sure to make informed decisions about staffing.
your business, to enable decision-making regarding operations and strategy. Subsequently successful identification and development of KPIs should be pitched to executives, business units, teams and/ or individuals actually doing the job. In this way you can reiterate to the workforce your vision, what you need to happen for your business to succeed, whilst gaining valuable insight into actual roles, key tasks, time, resources, issues etc; and gain real working suggestions for improvements and ideas on how you can drive and measure performance.
5 Basic rules for KPI setting
“A business is like an automobile. It has to be driven in order to get results”
BC Forbes quotes
1. KPIs are measures of achievement, not an activity. 2. KPIs must always relate to objectives that are realistic and achievable. 3. KPIs can only be calculated for actions/outputs over which the enterprise/person has control. 4. KPIs are expressed numerically with some form of comparison, such as ratios, percentages, changes over time, etc. 5. KPIs must be easy to collect, use, and provide useful information. If you really want to succeed you must identify, measure, and improve your chosen key KPIs. As Tom Peters says, “The missing 98% is execution. Without measurement, effective execution is just a pipe dream”. Next month we will review how to set effective KPIs.
SUCCESS Success Series Continuing with our ‘Success Series’ we take a look at some of the leading brands in the UAE today. Read on to find out more about how they’ve become a success and what advice they have for you
Jim Will Fix It
Colin Thomas and Dan Garner, Partner
ou can’t miss Jim Will Fix It (JWFI) Services LLC in Dubai with their purple and yellow vans. The company, set up in 2008 by Colin Thomas and Daniel Garner, is based on the European ad-hoc scheduled maintenance model as an alternative to the traditional annual contract approach.
Being in business you must have made mistakes… How have you recovered from them? Dan: Neither of us have significant accounts experience so initially our records were patchy. Luckily Colin’s sister is a Finance Director in London and advised us. This involved installing a rigid petty cash process with accounting software, which we have since refined. With hindsight we should have prioritised this from the start.
Their services including air conditioning servicing and repair, electrical and plumbing works, interior and exterior repainting and general moving in… basically any home maintenance you need outside of building works or tiling. Why did you start up your own business? Colin: We are entrepreneurial. I started my first business whilst still at school at the age of 13 washing cars. I had to employ 3 friends to cope with demand! Dan: My father is a self-employed fruit and vegetable wholesaler and the person in business I admire the most. As a child I would go on deliveries to earn pocket money. On Christmas day my whole family would be in the warehouse peeling potatoes at 4am before being allowed to go home and open presents. I learnt that running your own business can be both challenging and rewarding, but most importantly hard work pays off. Colin: Our concept came from our personal needs. At the time we were living in properties that needed maintenance, but had nowhere to turn. The inception of JWFI resulted from the consumer need for a reliable and cost effective maintenance company. This remains our core focus. What were the first steps you took to launch your business? Dan: The business plan took 3 months of hard work. We researched a lot, even undertaking customer research outside Spinneys, putting together balance sheets, SWOT analysis, competitor analysis etc.
“Cashflow is key, including the start up capital; “Whatever you think you need, double it!”’
What do you look for in talent and how do you retain your staff? Colin: Everyone must be fluent in English and be professionally qualified. Each staff member is trialed and must be approved by our existing senior staff before a job offer materialises. Good English is important so our customers are understood and our staff can explain how they plan to resolve the issue. Dan: We have an extremely high staff retention rate and understand that money isn’t everything. We have a big social area for our staff to relax playing pool, darts and fussball, with regular team building afternoons. To date these have included fishing trips, climbing, tenpin bowling and softball in Safa Park. What are the secrets to your business success? Colin: Hard work and good organisation. We have been very careful to fund our own expansion. Whilst this has been limiting at times, we are financially robust without large interest payments and are confident that our growth is demand rather than supply-led. Dan: Cashflow is key, including the start up capital; “Whatever you think you need, double it!”… We went without a basic salary for 2 years with every dirham of profit being ploughed back in.
Rohit Dalmia MD, Al Shamil Foodstuff Trading
service in May 2012. Currently there are 60 products on offer from beverages, snacks, confectionaries, croissants, and donuts. All our products are purchased and packed by specialised suppliers. And soon there will be combo and value meals and snack boxes within the bus.
ant to travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi on a RTA bus, and be served by a smiling hostess with food and drink? Is this a dream? Not anymore. Meet Rohit Dalmia, the man behind this unique and first ever trolley–based mobile catering service in the Middle East, who has teamed up with Dubai RTA and conceived the idea of providing food services on buses equipped with pantry, storage and refrigerators.
With 3000 round trips and 50,000 passengers a month, the promise is huge. To date we have made a total investment of AED 3 million and have 110 employees, of which 65 are hostesses.
How did you start in this business? After spending 15 years in the US in the property and investment industry I came to Dubai and held executive positions in the service industry before joining my uncle’s foodstuff trading business. In December 2011, I took charge of the business and considered diversifying it with something new and unique to the region. I came up with the idea to use trolleys to serve food on public transport and tendered for a mobile catering service. In March 2012 we won a 5 year contract from RTA. Tell us about the business There were many challenges, from convincing Dubai Municipality to award the Company permission for mobile catering, to custom making the trolley (there were 6 proto-types in the end). Buses carry many nationalities, so the menu was a challenge, as was pricing. Once we overcame these, our mobile catering brand ‘Java Express’ started the on-board
So, what’s next? We have already soft launched services on the Dubai-Sharjah route and we are in talks with Sharjah Transport Authority for full services. Then comes Fujairah and Itihad’s rail network, post 2020. In the next six months the agenda is to set up bases in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, followed by food kiosks at bus stations.
This idea is exceptionally entrepreneurial, what do you think were the main reasons behind its success? Entrepreneurialism is a doubled edged risk; to start fresh, to introduce a new concept and make it viable and acceptable. I was lucky I had a great idea but also an established base, financial backing, knowledge about the legal framework, and an opportunity to prove myself. I believe that packaging is one of the most important aspects in any business, followed by how you sell it, and what value you provide. Without the right packaging how can you appeal to your customers? You’d be surprised how many great ideas don’t work simply because they don’t look right or are not presented to market correctly. What advice would you give our aspiring entrepreneurs? To succeed you need to dream, aspire, strive and achieve!
Amit Dhamani MD, Dhamani
eeping in the theme of our gold and diamond issue, who better to interview to discuss their success secrets than Amit Dhamani, CEO of Dhamani; the man who brought the world the Dubai Cut Diamond, a 99 faceted diamond. We talk to this Harvard graduate, who won the Bareeq Award from Dubai Municipality and is also the youngest member of the Board of Governors of The Gemology Institute of America (GIA), as well as being the first person ever outside of the USA to sit on the board, to find out how he got to be a world renowned industry leader of a multinational company. How did you get into the jewellery market? I achieved my Bachelor’s of Commerce degree from the Rajasthan University, and following this I
“It was a challenge to think outside of the box in terms of branding strategies. We had to let go of all that we knew previously and focus on high-end strategies”
moved to Thailand. I have always had an affinity with gemstones. Who wouldn’t?! Bangkok is perfect for this market. It is the international city of gems, and plays a lead role in cutting and polishing gem stones, which enabled me to learn all that I needed. Dhamani is a family business… Very much so. Originally the business was started by my father. We moved to the UAE following a visit during 1992, in 1996 to be precise. Back then it was mainly gold driven but when the Asian economic meltdown occurred, we thought why not? And relocated to the UAE. It was my father who taught us about money. He was my mentor. He taught us that whether you make money, or you lose it, the onus is on you. We are an evolving family and company. Not only do we tweek our company, but we also tweek ourselves according to the market and our desire to build our own strengths. Everyone has their own strengths and we all do the best of our capabilities. It is no different with family, you have to remember these. You have to understand what these are for the business to work. We also make sure each family member opinion is fully considered in the decision making process. For example, we all agreed to go into retail; I was just the driving force in ensuring that this was implemented. So how did you do this? Traditionally our business was that of wholesalers, but we soon realised that it would be incredibly lucrative to move into the retail sector, which has been the best decision we could have made for the group; we feel it has brought us greater value, enhancing our brand name.
My family is blessed to enjoy certain standards in life. Because of this we ensure that we give back. Within 30 days we raised over $300,000 for Dubai Cares, and we continue to back many other charities behind the scenes. This is important to us. What was your key role when you took over the business? I wanted to focus on strengthening the brand. Although this is a continuing project, as you have to continue to live your brand if you want this to remain strong, I believe that I have done this. It was a challenge to think outside of the box in terms of branding strategies. We had to let go of all that we knew previously and focus on high-end strategies. It is a culture that we have built up into our sales policy. None of my staff in Dhamani would ever even consider misguiding a customer into buying one of our products from other brands and stores, which, if you relate to wholesale business to business, proves to be a very effective tool.
Moving in this area however, brought about a whole new set of challenges… finding the correct facilities, a change in personnel focus to find the right staff suited for retail as opposed to office, all of this whilst focusing on the brand. It was a steep learning curve, that could have be seen as daunting, but if you think about it, if you have previously found the perfect office space for yourself then the retail space is just an extension of this. By working with the right people and outsourcing wherever possible/ necessary, you can navigate through unchartered territories with ease! Your market is full of stiff competition. How do you compete? When you think of jewelers you think of people that you can trust. The names people remember the most are the ones that they believe in. It is for this reason we decided to retain our family name. We are in essence a family business that runs on traditional principles, so keeping our family name we feel embodies exactly who we are, and what we stand for... that trust is two ways, just as vital to us as it is to our customers. So what do you stand for? We take a very strong ethical stance. We have always been big advocates of ensuring the authenticity of the gold and diamonds that we buy, and do not even consider aiding and abetting in the blood gold/diamond trade. Also, our staff and customers are vital to us. As a business you need the best of both if you are to perform well, but this can only be achieved if you treat everyone with respect. This is why I refused to allow my staff entry to our office whilst there was still a possibility of tremors (our interview was postponed by over an hour as we waited out the tremors having evacuated the office on the 58th floor of Almas Tower, JLT).
Do you have any regrets? If I look at everything that I have achieved, I don’t feel as though I have done everything that I’ve wanted to do, but these aren’t regrets as such, they just spur me on to completing my next goal.
“My father taught us that whether you make money, or you lose it, the onus is on you”
Life is a journey, not a destination, and I want to enjoy each day of my life as it goes. To take advantage of each day, I set new targets and work towards completing them. If you could impart any advice on companies what would it be? If you only set aspirational targets you will not achieve the desired results. Your targets have to be set with strategic execution, periodic monitoring and correction.
GCC Banks Bouncing
Back with Steady Growth S
2012, it still compared very well with the international banks which experienced a further revenue decline. This provides the Middle East banks the opportunity to undertake the necessary investments in capabilities and regional expansion especially given that their cost income ratios are still far better than those of the international banks be it in Europe, the US, Australia or Asia.â€?
ince the start of the recession banks have been demonised for the current financial situation faced across the world and yet, we continue to look at their performance for a tell-tell sign of whether there is light at the end of the tunnel and whether we can breathe again. Now we have some good news from Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Their recent study has shown that banks in Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), when compared to their international peers, have experienced an encouraging level of growth during 2012, and are steadily removing themselves from the shackles of financial mess. Another study by S&P shows that in 2013 GCC Banks will continue to follow the steady path of recovery in the backdrop of strong capitalisation of banks, still higher oil prices and healthy overall economic growth in the region.
Revenue in the
The performance of GCC banks is significantly better than their global peers. Using 2005 as the base year with an index of 100, current revenue performance index of Middle East banks has increased to 209, whilst international banks have only increased to 109. Similarly the profit index for GCC banks during 2012 is 150 with international banks only recording 28.
Middle East banking industry grew at 6.9% during 2012 over 2011
2013: On a path of steady recovery S&P have forecast that GCC banks will continue to recover from the global financial crisis during 2013, basing their predictions on the accelerating corporate activities currently being undertaken in the region, consumer consumption levels, persistent current account surpluses, limited dependence on
The report shows that the revenue in the Middle East banking industry grew at 6.9% during 2012 over 2011. The increase in profits was slightly higher at 8.1%, stemming largely from extraordinary income sources. All of this sounds promising however, at an aggregate level, provisions for bad loans increased by 2%, after having fallen last year, and increases in operating costs exceeded revenue growth slightly with 7.2%. Loan Loss provisions (LLPs) picked up significantly in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, while UAE banks registered a further decline of 13% in 2012. â€œThe 2012 BCG index includes 32 banks from across the GCC capturing nearly 80% of the total regional banking sectorâ€? said Reinhold Leichtfuss, senior partner & MD in BCGâ€™s Dubai office and leader of BCGâ€™s Financial Institutions practice in the Middle East. He added, â€œWhile the performance of Middle East banks settled at high single digit growth figures in
MONEY external funding by member countries, continued high oil prices, and strong fiscal position. S&P predict an average 4.6% GDP growth in the GCC for 2013, with demand for bank credit high, â€œWe believe strong bank lending on the back of corporate and infrastructure growth will help expand revenues of banks in Saudi Arabia, and Qatarâ€? says Timucin Engin, credit analyst of S&P. â€œSpecifically, we expect average lending growth to remain above â€œIn a global 10% level for Saudi Arabia. In Kuwait, UAE, and Bahrain, with a less pronounced rebound in growth, comparison, we envisage a slower pick-up in lending. Yet, loan especially when losses are gradually declining at banks in these countries because they cleaned up their balance compared to sheets between 2008 and 2012. This should continue 0LGGOH(DVW%DQNV to foster a recovery in profitability in the region, albeit0LGGOH(DVW%DQNV mature Western 5HWDLO%DQNLQJ*URZWK5HYHQXH 3URĂ€W &RUSRUDWH%DQNLQJ*URZWK5HYHQXH 3URĂ€W at a slower pace than in recent quarters.â€œ
S&P anticipate that despite some differences between individual countries Gulf banksâ€™ interest margins and cost-to-income ratios will remain stable over the coming quarter. Credit losses will continue to fall, although at a slower pace than in previous years, meaning a healthy profit growth. Banks are also likely to use their strong growth to strengthen their market positions internationally, as European banks are shedding assets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to shore 5HYHQXH 3URĂ€W up their balance sheets 5HYHQXH 1RWH$OOĂ€JLQ%Q86''DWDLQFOXGLQJWRWDOEDQNV in the aftermath of the crisis. 6RXUFH%&*0XGGNH(DVW%DQNLQJSHUIRUPDQFHLQGH[
growing at a high
level. This high GDP growth also helps
the banks to grow at a higher level, 3URĂ€W which is of course
What does this mean for business and banking? an advantage &RVWWR,QFRPH5DWLR %*&%DQNLQJ3HUIRUPDQFHLQGLFHV â€œIn a global comparison, especially when compared *&&YV,QWHUQDWLRQDO%DQNV 5HYHQXHVYV2SHUDWLQJ([S to mature Western countries, GCC economies are still for the entire growing at a high level. This high GDP growth also economyâ€? helps2S([SHQVHV the banks to grow at a higher level, which is of 5HYHQXHV course an advantage for the entire economy,â€? says Leichtfuss. 1. Recovery inbanking sector: Almost all banks Reinhold Leichtfuss have left the global financial crisis and some of the behind. Pre-crisis index regional problems level in profits was achieved in 2010, and with the cleansing of balance sheets by Gulf banks over 2008-2012 they will continue to recover. This recovery should lead to and an increase in lending that will help to stimulate other business sectors to spend and engage growth strategies, meaning arecovery in other business 86$ 0( $VLD$XVWUDOLD (XURSH sectors and overall economic growth for the region. 6RXUFH%&*%DQNLQJLQGH[ As an SME a recovery in the banking sector hopefully means better rates due to bank competition.
3. Regional expansion and acquisition: As European banks shed assets in MENA, well-off banks in GCC are taking their place and acquiring their stock. Acquisition of stock at lower prices will, if the region continues to recovery, create a strong GCC balance sheet which can be used to gain further capital borrowing and investment positions, which should encourage further capital spending and lending, stimulating the GCC and the global economy.
economies are still
2. Increased lending activities: S&P predict that UAE lending will grow slowly, with retail growth staying relatively strong in 2013 due to potential growth in mortgage lending on the back of the mild real estate recovery. S&P forecast a 7-8% growth in domestic loans. This means more activity in both the corporate sector and individual spending, ensuring more economic activity.
4. Vibrant debt capital market: Debt capital market will flourish due to lower interest rates and healthy investor demand. Gulf banks are likely to tap capital markets to issue long-term paper in 2013, which will promote interest in capital investments and movement therefore potentially a return to healthy speculation. 5. Increased activity: Gulf banks will benefit from accelerating corporate activity and consumer consumption, with the pipeline of infrastructure projects regionally translating into larger streams of corporate lending, more jobs and subsequently domestic spending. The extra â€˜spendâ€™ will inevitably have a knock on effect in business, especially retail and consumer market. 6. IT sector growth: GCC banks will focus on their IT and operations platforms in order to prevent costs from outgrowing revenues continuously will help growth in the IT sector. So business wise, there are reasons to look forward to in the current year. According to S&P, favourable economic conditions and the banksâ€™ sound capital and funding positions will outweigh any potential risks emanating from the regionâ€™s dependence on oil prices and political unrest, particularly in Iran. This increase in GCC bank spending will inevitably mean more money in the region which will stimulate other industries to increase their activity, staff count and spending. Whilst this is undoubtedly music to many of our ears it is important to remember that GCC banks are still treading cautiously, and as such so must business. The economic rise is only just beginning, and although gaining considerable momentum continues to be volatile. The key to SMEs survival continues to be cashflow liquidity and surplus, coupled with a strong order book from a variety of clients. Next month we will be using RAK Bank as a case study on loans and success
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Is the unknown worth the risk? R
Wealth Management of Emirates Islamic Bank, during financial crisis (when Islamic finance became more popular due to its inherent strength), Takaful became a natural choice for the Arabs as well as non-Arabs. “The structure of Takaful itself provides the policy holder with more benefits than conventional insurance like it provides for the distribution of excess premiums generated after allowing for claims,” he explained.
egular readers of our magazine are no doubt becoming more au fait with the concept and principle of Islamic finance, but do you understand about Takaful? Takaful, the Islamic alternative to conventional insurance, is small but steadily growing. However, how does this compare to conventional insurance? Would you risk taking out a Takaful contract, or would you steer clear of these as you do not understand them? Ultimately, is the unknown worth the risk? Based on the concept of social solidarity, cooperation and mutual indemnification, Takaful is a pact amongst a group that agrees to donate contributions to a fund, which is then used to jointly indemnify covered losses incurred by the members. The transactional aspects of the system are subjected to Islamic contractual laws; like the principles of Mudarabah, limited partnerships meaning profit and loss sharing. A Takaful contract operates on the basis of mutual or of cooperative principles. This means that any surplus or deficit of the Takaful operation has to be shared amongst the participants, or the members only. However, when a Takaful scheme is being operated on commercial basis, the surplus/deficit is to be shared between the operator and the participants in accordance with the principles of Mudarabah in a pre-agreed ratio amongst the contracting parties. In a life contract, moral obligations are injected into the contract. Participants agree to relinquish a certain amount of contributions to fulfil their obligation of mutual help (and joint guarantee), for fellow participants under the scheme to receive reimbursement from the specified terms and conditions. Growth of Takaful According to Faisal Aqil, Deputy CEO Consumer
In 2012, it is expected to record a gross contribution of $17.2 billion by the year-end
So along with Islamic finance, the Takaful industry also witnessed growth over the last years; growing 19% in 2011 and in 2012 it is expected to record a gross contribution of $17.2billion. Current key markets for Takaful are Malaysia, UAE and Saudi Arabia. In terms of product the most important line of business is family and medical, followed by motor, property, accident, and lastly marine and aviation. As a distributor of Takaful products, RAKBANK notes a growing uptake In the UAE among Takaful plans. “High demand for Islamic financial solutions, including Takaful products, is born out of a long standing need in the market,” said Mufaddal Idriss, Head of RAKBANK Islamic Banking, AMAL. “Today, providers and distributors are paying more attention to this industry as Dubai’s plans to be an Islamic financial hub in the region takes centre stage.” Challenges of Takaful: Despite strong growth to date due to the number of challenges faced by this young industry the size of the sector is still small when compared to the traditional insurance market. The key challenges for the industry is to improve efficiency and reach critical mass. Over and above it has limitations related to specialist human resources, regulatory issues, awareness amongst people about products, lack of sophisticated product offering etc. “As the industry becomes ever more competitive,
together with ongoing weaknesses in the global economic environment, more and more operators are concerned about how they can overcome the challenge of maintaining the exciting growth rate of the past few years, whilst also becoming increasingly focused on the imperative of boosting profitability from their core business,” said McLean. Parvaiz Siddiq, CEO of NoorTakaful further highlighted the challenges and opportunities facing Takaful operators noting that, “across the board, leading players in the Takaful and re-Takaful industry are seeking innovative solutions to overcome the current challenges facing the global Takaful industry. Many industry leaders are re-visiting strategies on all fronts, from product innovation to operational efficiency to new market opportunities. There are various challenges that the industry must face head on if it is to make significant head way into global insurance market. These include: • Regulation: Despite new regulatory changes being rolled out, regulations varies significantly across jurisdictions. This can make it difficult for operators to function across regions, which has also led to confusion for customers and multinational insurers • Human resources risks: Takaful continues to suffer from a shortage of experienced personnel in specialist fields like life insurance, risk management and Sharia compliance which is true for both GCC and South East Asia • Lack of awareness: There is a lack of awareness of the industry, its offerings and advantages. There is a requirement for greater education and marketing by the scholars, experts and operators • Product development: It is important for the industry to constantly innovate new products and upgrade existing ones to suit the evolving nature of the financial market and the customer The other notable challenges like lack of corporate governance, shortage of sharia compliant assets, inadequate distribution channel, standardisation
issues, solvency and capital requirement etc. are needed to overcome to ensure the fast growth of this sector.
Takaful in Arabic means “togetherness”. It is an alternative mode of insurance, based on the principles of cooperation and support to other members of the society
Another area which needs considerable attention is Re-Takaful which is still rather in its infancy, says experts. Reinsurance of Takaful business through Retakaful companies has been somewhat controversial within the Islamic insurance marketplace as the growth of direct Takaful writers has far outpaced the available capacity of Retakaful. In addition, from a financial strength perspective, there have been ongoing concerns over the placement of reinsurance with lower or nonrated Retakaful companies, as opposed to higher rated conventional reinsurers. As a result Takaful insurers in effect face issues with both Retakaful capacity and financial security. Despite limitations in segments and business lines, there is immense untapped potential of this sector, according to Ernst and Young: • Potential market space in Takaful hub: Share of Takaful market in GCC and Malaysia is 15% and 10% respectively with 10% of the known Sharia inclined market that is to be yet tapped • Untapped customer segment: Takaful is predominantly retail driven in most markets and the corporate customer segment has significant room for growth. Focus on underwriting capabilities, service standards and product offering would be beneficial • GCC’s untapped business lines: The GCC Takaful market predominantly comprises of general Takaful business with family Takaful accounting for as little as 5% in certain markets, leaving ample opportunity for growth • Global market potential: With limited penetration of the conventional insurance to Islamic community due to various reasons, the untapped needs of this segment provide huge potential for Takaful. Large Islamic markets such as Libya, Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Tunisia and Brunei are potential target area for growth • Micro Takaful: Micro Takaful products can play a major role in fostering growth in the low and lower middle-income, value driven populations in Islamic countries • Distribution and reach: Takaful operators try to establish efficiencies, service quality, product variety, and distribution strength to reach population with limited awareness Ultimately, Takaful is in its infancy and whilst making headway, there is still a way to go, although the financial sector is now taking this more seriously. The UAE is ahead of the game in terms of product and innovation. The growth of Takaful globally will depend on marketing, distribution, adoption of improved I.T, and the supply of Takaful within Islamic countries will depend on the support, and promotion of the policy makers and regulators. Once all of these are in place, consumers will gain an understanding, and Takaful will rival conventional insurance.
The Good, Bad and the Ugly T
ime has started ticking in the world of banking sector for initiating implementation of Basel-III; a comprehensive set of reforms made by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Basel-III builds on Basel I and II and introduces new liquidity ratios and capital requirement norms. Basel-III seeks to improve the banking sector’s ability to deal with financial and economic stress, improve risk management, and strengthen the banks’ transparency. The implementations are supposed to start January 2013, ending ultimately in 2019. The four regulatory components in Basel-III are: 1. Capital: Increases minimum regulatory capital ratios (Common Equity, Tier I, Tier II, Total Capital) and tightens definitions of eligible capital. 2. Liquidity: Introduces two new liquidity ratios, liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NFCR). Under LCR, banks must retain high quality liquid asset to offset any potential outflows and short-term stress. Under NFSR, banks must retain sufficient available longer term funding of bank’s assets. 3. Risk Weighted Assets (RWA): Introduces additional risk charges to account for counterparty credit risk in trading book and derivatives exposures. 4. Leverage (leverage constrain/leverage ratio): Introduces global leverage limitations and focuses on bank’s exposure. The reforms targets: • Bank-level, or micro prudential regulation, which will help raise the resilience of individual banking institutions to periods of stress • Macro-prudential, system wide risks that can build up across the banking sector as well as the pro cyclical amplification of these risks over time
“The clear implication of Basel III is that the cost of funding from banks is going higher so the advantage of being able to access capital markets for funding is going to increase”
These two approaches to supervision are complementary as greater resilience at individual bank level reduces the risk of system wide shocks. While theoretically this sounds not only solid, but also required to make the financial system stable and shock absorbent, in reality the implications and impacts of implementation are varied and wide for different sectors. According to studies by Deutsche Bank and KPMG, experts feel it is rather premature to pin point all effects given the unknown variables involved. However, they do acknowledge that there will be specific effects on individual banks, on corporate sector, money market and overall economy. Impact on global economy Basel-III is likely to reduce business cycle volatility, reduce perception of systematic risks in financial system, and the biggest benefit will be dramatic reduction of the frequency and probability of a banking crisis in future. However, it is expected to increase funding cost for private sector, reduce access to certain type of credits, reduce lending volumes, and increase interest costs; all of which will reduce global output and employment. Also, interpretation of the rules and guidance to back up these means that there is a possibility that different jurisdictions implement Basel-III in different ways, similar to the issues we saw under Basel-I and Basel-II. For example, previously we had seen issues pertaining to international regulatory arbitrage, which could impact on the overall stability of the financial systems. Impact on credit facilities New liquidity and leverage requirements will lead to re-pricing and re-allocation of credit commitment, and increase in internal charges will be passed onto borrowers (through higher spreads) and/or investors in the bank shares (via lower return on investment (RoE)). In addition there will be curtailment of certain
products (liquidity facilities, long term cash lending) and resource allocation to top tier client relationship. Impact on bond market There is likely to be shift in supply and demand dynamics. Banks will decrease reliance on short-term (1-3 years) funding in favour of long term, 5 years and above. Increased demand by bank investors for highly rated non-financial corporate debt and decreased bank demand for unsecured debt of other financials are the other two impacts on bond market. All these might force corporates to explore alternative funding strategies. Lastly IG (investment grade) corporates/investors may face potential market void for shorter-term maturities if bank shift to longer term funding. Impact on derivative market There will be increased capital charges related to counterparty credit risk. Standard & Poor estimates a 4-6 times increase in credit-related charges. New credit valuation adjustment (CVA) charge on all OTC derivative transaction will have greater effect on corporates with volatile CDS (credit default swap) spread or no observable CDS, lower rated corporates and longer dated, complex transactions. On individual So what is the possible impact of Basel III? • Weaker banks dissolved: Adverse economic conditions and increased regulatory scrutiny means weaker banks will struggle to raise the required capital and funding which could force more bank closure and mergers, diluting the sector even more • Pressure on profitability and ROI: All the changes, and time to implement the changes will put pressure on margins and operating capacity. ROI is likely to decrease dissuading investors from offering more money. This money has to be found from somewhere. It is thought that banks will start charging for services to make up the shortfall
“Basel standards are a ‘wellintentioned illusion’. In reality, it only helps big banks get bigger and buffer these SIFIs from individual failure”
Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Short term/long term funding: The introduction of two liquidity ratios which will address the short and long-term nature of liquidity/funding will likely steer companies to longer-term arrangements, impacting on potential pricing and margins Reorganisation: Increased supervisory focus on proprietary and investment trading will lead to reorganisation and selloffs
The implications on the UAE and GCC At present different countries are in different stages of implementation. Whilst Europe and US have their own issues with banks still reeling under crisis mitigation, the GCC as a whole is responding positively to implementation. Here, the UAE Central Bank communicated to local banks the need to hold 10% of their liabilities in high quality liquid assets like cash, certificates of deposit, and highly rated local government bonds with effect from January 2013. Banks also have until June 2013 to comply with the Central Bank’s ‘Uses to Stable Resources Ratio’ (USSR) as further preparation for the introduction of Basel-III, and Accord’s NSFR implementation in 2018. Outside the UAE, KSA banks are recalibrating their systems to align their methodologies in accordance with Basel-III as per SAMA (Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority) communication. Qatar’s Central Bank held workshops with local banks in order to solicit views on key issues regarding implementations, and most Bahraini banks are ready to implement Basel-III new capital requirement, as do all Omani banks. Industry experts agree that big banks in GCC are already cash rich and consequently should not have too much problem with complying with liquidity norms, so corporates should not face a problem in accessing capital. UAE banks already have 8% tier I capital as against Basel norm of 6% and 12% of minimum total capital requirement according to Central bank’s guidelines as against 8% required under Basel III. The region is also likely to benefit with an increase in global bank’s lending (which has fallen sharply in past couple of years) due to Basel committee easing deadline to comply with liquidity ratio. However, there are few concerns that cannot be ignored, as smaller banks with less capital and deposits may feel Basel III’s affects. Another issue is the limited choice of liquid instruments available in the system; unlike developed capital markets. A third is the increased complexity structuring of regular capital market deals means less flexibility; especially in the context of Islamic Finance. Ultimately, implementation and application of Basel-III requirement in each jurisdiction will depend on the approach taken by national legislators and local regulators, as they will all have to take into account specific national economic and market idiosyncrasies.
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Sparkling in Almas Tower
Interview: Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC
ith our focus on gold and diamonds this month who better to interview than the man who has realised a vision and made Dubai a global gold hub worth over US$70bn (up from US$6bn in 2003). So who is this man, and how has he achieved this success? We meet with Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of the DMCC, the man who introduced the world’s first Rupee futures contract and who was behind the UAE’s first gold bullion coin to pay tribute to President HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s vision, to find out more. Starting up “In 2002, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had the vision to transform Dubai to a global trade hub for precious stones, metals and other commodities. He issued a decree to establish a commodities hub in Dubai and leverage its location by making it the gateway across the traditional trade routes and into new markets. My friends have all told me they thought this would not work. When people say they don’t believe we can do something, I go ahead and do it” said Bin Sulayem. It is this determination that has driven the DMCC to where it is today. Since the creation of DMCC over 20% of the world’s physical trade in gold is now being conducted through Dubai. Diamond trade has increased from some US$3-5 million to US$39bn from 2002 to 2012, and the UAE is now the largest re-exporter of tea, with a 60% share of the market (US$48m). These figures are astounding. Dealing with challenges It wasn’t all plain sailing however and early on the business model changed, “The Gold Souk had their concerns. They weren’t happy when they heard
what was happening as they felt it would take business away from them. We put measures in place to ensure that this did not happen and went off in another direction. Business plans should be reviewed, people should not be concerned about changing direction. Our strength now is in rough diamonds, not polished diamonds, and that, no one expected.”
“To achieve success you have to refuse to give up and don’t get distracted. This is how you win”
“Setting up was difficult which is to be expected. We had to do everything so strategy was important; hire the right people, build world-class infrastructure and develop the relevant products and services to encourage commodities companies to establish their presence in Dubai. “To get around the challenges, we immediately hired global experts to advise us and began the physical building work of JLT. DMCC developed three towers specifically for the precious stones and metals trade. Almas, the flagship tower, is home to the Diamond Exchange, Dubai Pearl Exchange and Dubai Gold and Diamond Vaults. Subsequently, we now have over 600 diamond companies located in Almas Tower offering services from trading to boiling, cutting and polishing. What’s next? So what are the plans for the future? “We will continue to innovate. We are the fastest growing free zone and will be the largest. When people were putting plasters on themselves, we were winning awards. We have won so many awards and accreditations in the last four years and we will continue with this. To quote HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Maktoum, ‘In the race to excellence, there is no finish line.’ To achieve success you have to refuse to give up and don’t get distracted. This is how you win.”
Precious Metals – Stick or Twist? A
pril saw the Annual Gold and Diamond Conference of Dubai. Held in the DMCC this event is a landmark international event, with anyone who is anyone in the jewellery, precious metals and diamond trade, attending to discuss important issues surrounding these commodities. The theme of this year’s conference was the ethical sourcing of precious metals and diamonds (PM&D), and taking the lead in guaranteeing that the markets and participants adhere to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), enabling the responsible sourcing of PM&D. By conducting the necessary due diligence DMCC, in association with the Dubai Gold Advisory Group (DGAG), ensures that every participant in the market confirms they understand the provenance, and that PM&D are not sourced from conflict affected/high risk areas. Jeffrey Rhodes, Global Head of Precious Metals & CEO INTL Commodities DMCC, said “We have the ‘Dubai Good Delivery List’ that has accredited assayers and refiners who undergo tough approval and renewal processes. Refiners must demonstrate to top audit firms that they are compliant with the OECD guidelines. This is vital for the industry to ensure that Dubai remains a thriving and ethical market.” Although not widely known, Dubai is very well regulated, and has a significant degree of control and regulation in the precious metals and diamonds industry. Companies here have to adhere to the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCCA), although other governing bodies exist; the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA), before even taking into account any foreign regulation body (e.g. the FSA in the UK). Even before government regulation, the traditional market had high selfregulating ethical standards, as they know that
one bad penny affects everyone. Therefore, it was natural that Dubai focused on expanding business within the commodities sector.
June 2012, DMCC received UN accreditation to represent Western Asia on behalf of CIBJO, the international jewellery confederation of national trade organisations. Testament to Dubai’s prominent and growing role as a global precious metals and diamond trading centre
Dreaming of success Dubai is a major physical centre for PM&D. There is huge liquidity in this region and because of the global economy (in particular Cyprus), wealthy Russians will seek new tax havens to store their cash; bringing liquidity with them. In terms of using gold as a currency, only Emirates NBD has a strong foothold in this market. “I think that it won’t be long before other banks follow suit. Having established itself as a major global hub physically for gold, and given the affinity for gold, it is only a matter of time before a bullion banking industry is established, and we have the facilities to achieve this. Also, this as a fantastic time zone for running a global business as you touch all time zones physically. London is the only other area that you can do this from,” stated Rhodes. Trade In 2001 the size of the annual gold trade in Dubai was US$4.5bn and remained static. In 2011 however the size of the physical gold trade was in the magnitude of US$54bn. In 2012 it is expected to reach US$70bn. To explain further, gold has increased from $278.35 an ounce in 2002 to $1500 an ounce in today’s terms. Some may say that the price increase led to the increase in Dubai’s turnover; however, the tonnage itself has grown exponentially too. There are other contributory factors that have led to this increase; a large amount of the credit and the ease of companies being able to set up in Dubai has led to more businesses (and turnover) here. Although it has a long way to go to be anywhere near London’s standards regarding bullion banking, Dubai is fast placing itself on the map.
Gold Gold had the longest bull market in history; from 2001 to almost present day. This run was broken on 12th April, when Gold fell below $1,500 an ounce; more than 20% from its 2011 highs, putting it in bear market territory for the first time since 2001. On 15th April the price reached $1322, down 31% from the peak in September 2011 at $1,920.30. This took many by surprise with reasons cited an unexpected contraction in retail sales in the US, and weak Chinese economic data. However the likely cause was the combination of record-breaking equity markets and gold’s failure to break above $1600, causing large investors to exit. Another cause of concern for the market is the draft plan for Cyprus to sell bullion with possible implications of sales by larger Eurozone members such as Italy (the world’s 4th largest holder of gold with 2,451 tons), and the outflows from exchange-traded gold funds in 2013, the first large scale redemptions since the early 2000’s.
“Personally, I would lighten the load a bit. I would never be short of gold, as I just don’t believe that is sensible. The right approach should be to hold 5/10% of your portfolio in gold. At the moment, I think you should be at the bottom end of 5 to 10% range.”
Diamonds increased from US $3-5 million (2003) to US $39 billion in 2012 (customs has yet to release the 2012 figures)
Rhodes said, “The drop in gold price is a reminder that gold cannot keep going up. The savage sell-off in gold has diluted the case for the yellow metal but many still believe in it during times of economic and political uncertainty. The bulls and bears are now firmly lined up against each other and we could be in for an interesting summer of price volatility. On the charts, support is now set between $1350 and $1300 while overhead resistance between $1550 and $1600 will be a difficult to overcome. The longer term is anyone’s guess.
Silver Silver is a proxy for gold; it has the same attributes. It goes in the same direction as gold but it does more; between 2 to 3 times of gold. This therefore means, if gold goes up, silver goes up even more and conversely, if it goes down, silver goes down more. Due to its use in industry the global economy has a greater influence on silver prices than that of gold. If gold has a difficult year Rhodes says silver will also struggle even though it is not far from a potential bottom of $20 an ounce. The industrial precious metal reached $22 on April 15th; 55% lower the $49.50 posted in April 2011. ETF holders are remaining loyal to silver, it could have more potential than gold.
The initial rally that started in 2001 was due to investment demand, moving gold to a centre stage in asset classes. The development and evolution of Exchange-traded Funds (ETFs) had brought gold to the masses that weren’t there before. Before the evolution of ETFs, it was difficult to invest in gold; you could buy physical gold, or invest in gold-mining shares, but these come with many other issues, so the evolution of ETFs meant you have an equity backed by physical gold.
He went on to explain, “There is a chance of gold coming back. There is a bubble affect in equities at the moment. At some point, you will see profit taking there so possibly, you will see movement back into gold.”
Today over 20% of the world’s physical gold is traded through Dubai
Platinum and Palladium These two have very different drivers to gold and silver, but are still classed as a precious metal. To understand them you have to understand their supply and demand; the key uses for platinum and palladium are catalysts for automobiles, as well as smelters in petro-chemical refineries. In recent years jewellery demand has become increasingly significant for the platinum market and, according to Lonmin, now accounts for 33% of demand. Chinese platinum jewellery consumption, which accounts for more than 65% of the global jewellery market, continues to grow. Contrastingly Palladium is popular in Russia. However, supply (South Africa and Russia account for 85-90%) can easily be restricted. These supply shocks affect price. For example, a strike at Impala Platinum Plant in February 2012 reduced platinum supply by 150,000 ounces, leading to a price rally increasing it to over $1,700 per ounce. Another driver is the auto sector; if car sales go up then so does the price of these metals. Palladium (a proxy for platinum) has the same positives, but as it’s price is half that of platinum, there is a far greater investment interest. Prior to the metals collapse on the 14th April it was one of the best performing asset classes of all assets and was up 8% year on year. As the collapse of precious metals unfolds what will happen next is anyone’s guess, but as with all investments, you should not seek to be making shortterm gains. Investing money should be a long-term approach and we recommend that you seek full advice from a financial consultant prior to investing.
people + culture + structure = added value
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Why HR Outsourcing is Good for SMEs Almost every business that has people at its core can use some form of HR outsourcing services, with individual processes varying between businesses depending on their specific needs and requirements
n the current economic climate organisations are continually seeking ways to reduce their costs whilst increasing efficiency; one way to achieve this is through outsourcing. A recent survey by the Chartered Institute Personnel and Development (CIPD) revealed that around half of organisations intended to outsource part of their HR activities within the next 3 years (Source: The Changing HR Function, CIPD, 2007). HR outsourcing is typically associated with major international companies who want reduce overheads whilst freeing managers to focus on their core business activities, rather than non-revenue generating activities like HR. But did you know that this too is available to SMEs throughout the UAE? What is HR outsourcing? HR outsourcing services are HR services and solutions provided by external consultants and HR companies to businesses to help them with their human resource needs. Almost every business that has people at its core can use some form of HR outsourcing services, with individual processes varying between businesses depending on their specific needs and requirements. Many companies use HR outsourcing to manage virtually all of their human resource processes and functions, whereas others select specific areas, such as recruitment and employee relations to strengthen and improve their internal HR function. How can outsourcing HR benefit my company? There are numerous reasons for outsourcing, but the benefits that are associated with HR outsourcing
can improve and strengthen your business as well as your internal human resource management. HR outsourcing, with an experienced professional, allows you to bring their expertise into your company as and when you need it, effectively offering tailored problem-solving solutions that will create a positive impact throughout your business. An outsourcing service provider can save your business time and money; for example, as you will outsource to a professional, it will take them less time to solve human resources problems than your internal staff, enabling your staff to carry on with their daily tasks. Outsourcing specific processes and ad hoc needs and requirements to an external consultant also has cost-saving effects on your business because it removes the need for a permanent member of staff on your payroll, whose expertise and knowledge may not always be maximised to the fullest. How can HR outsourcing save money? There are a large number of costs involved in running an effective in-house HR and payroll function. There are obvious costs such as the salaries of the employees as well as less obvious costs such as purchasing, hosting and maintaining and HR and payroll system, staff training and recruitment costs, office space and time spent developing and improving internal processes and managing the inhouse team. An outsourcing company can split many of these costs across multiple client organisations, meaning that a high level of service can be provided to the organisation at a lower cost. Additionally, by using automated workflow processes, HR and payroll administration can be carried out in a more efficient way; reducing costs even further. â€œMany SMEs think of HR as a drain on the bottom
PEOPLE line and HR outsourcing as a costly venture. This doesn’t have to be the case. Our services start from as little as 4,000aed per month for up to 15 employees. Within this package not only we will manage all your staff’s HR needs but we will also develop fundamental HR processes to help you run your business more effectively and transparent” says Phil Starr, Director, RealHR. In addition to physical costs, outsourcing your HR needs can reduce significantly potential employment risks. “Many SMEs do without professional HR staff, with owners or managers deciding to undertake this task themselves or delegating to another member of staff” says Starr. “Whilst in the short term this may seem to save money, the potential risks to the Company are vast. For example, where an SME mismanages employee termination, irrespective of whether the reason for termination was correct, the SME will face paying up to 3 months compensation to the employee as per article 115 and 123 of federal labour law. This does not include any holiday payments, notice payments or end of service benefits (EOSB). A well defined and managed discipline process, that is fully documented, will stop this from happening, saving the company significant monies. Furthermore, did you know that EOSB is dependent on the reason for termination and length of service? This little bit of knowledge can save you up to two thirds in payments and in some cases the entire EOSB amount! SMEs should think of expert HR advice as insurance against potential employment risks.” Lastly by ensuring your HR function is run by professionally qualified HR experts, you will experience all the advantages and cost benefits that an established HR function can provide to a larger organisation. You cannot build a good team of working professionals without good HR practices. These include: • Strategic and cost effective recruitment and training solutions that not only meet company needs but also best practice and industry needs • Performance appraisals that motivate and manage performance in line with business and personal goals • Establish and maintain a good workplace culture that facilities the vision and goals of the Company • Management of disputes, avoiding costly legal disputes and potential employee de-motivation • Maintain compliance and fairness • Develop good public relations
at when deciding on a suitable HR provider. Phil Starr, Director of RealHR, recommends the following selection process: • Understand your existing HR service provision including the cost base, responsibilities and level of service. These will all provide useful baseline information when comparing provider offerings and costs • Identify your future requirements, for example level and type of service needed • Establish a shortlist of preferred suppliers • Get references from current and previous customers • Consider ‘fit’ with provider organisation, which might include cultural as well as geographical factors • Confirm who will be the ‘actual’ person who will be the key relationship manager • Confirm contract length • Build in contractual flexibility where possible • Stay involved in the contracting process. Particularly in some larger organisations there might be a procurement (or other) function that normally takes responsibility for all contracts. It is important not to abdicate everything to such a function as it is unlikely to have the necessary expertise in HR matters • Identify metrics (including benchmarks of acceptable and unacceptable ranges) to be included as part of any service level agreement
Many companies use HR outsourcing to manage virtually all of their human resource processes and functions, whereas others select specific areas to strengthen and improve their internal HR function
This will ensure that you find the right company for you now, and in the future. Special thanks to Phil Star, Director, RealHR. If you are looking at outsourcing your HR look no further than RealHR. RealHR are a highly respected HR outsource provider based in Dubai and have helped a number of SMEs develop their HR framework in line with Ministry of Labour requirements. RealHR can be contacted on telephone number (+971) 04 437 4615 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To look at how RealHR can help you log onto www.realhrconsult.com
Any company without a proper setup for HR is bound to suffer from serious problems while managing its regular activities. For this reason companies place a lot of stress on setting up of a strong and effective HR function. How do you select a provider for HR outsourcing? Once the decision to outsource this function has been made it is very important for SMEs to select the right HR outsource partner. We talk to RealHR, a dedicated HR outsource provider in Dubai, to get the low down on what you should be looking
Key Skills for the 21st Century Manager W
e are certainly living in changing times. In the last decade alone we have seen a multitude of changes in technology, social media and both the local and global financial economies that have had an immense impact on how our businesses need to run and operate to remain successful in our modern and very competitive markets. So what do all these changes and development in the 21st Century mean for managers today? More importantly what will it mean for them for the future?
“Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them”
The world of work has indeed changed dramatically, companies are more global and employee groups more diverse than ever before. Organisation structures are less hierarchical and more collaborative and for the first time we are seeing 4 generations (Traditionalists, Baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y) within the workforce and 5 generations within the market place (Traditionalists, Baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y and iGen). Managers are at the heart of how any business operates and are key to its success; after all it has been proven that people leave bosses not companies! Gone are the days when managers could manage by command and control within a localised workforce who had limited access to technology. Managers now need to create and maintain a work environment that supports complex human interactions, embraces innovation, retains valuable knowledge workers and also act as catalyst for change while also ensuring that they themselves remain productive. In order to survive as a manager you need to be equipped to deal with the many challenges a global, culturally diverse and technology driven workforce. This therefore means you have to have an extensive set of skills, which include: • Administrative / Financial • Recruitment and Interviewing
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Technology Change management People Interpersonal Employee Engagement Performance management Motivational Conflict Management Communication Emotional intelligence Mentoring Coaching Talent management Negotiation Team management Leadership Problem solving Decision making
The list is extensive but if you really give thought to it the list could go on! Gone are the days when you assumed a management role just for being around in a company long enough and that role was simply to plan, monitor, direct and control the work of others. Today managers have to deliver on these basic responsibilities, yet continue to master the art of people management in environments that change rapidly. In light of this there is a greater expectation in the 21st Century for managers to come to the table with many of the above skills and abilities already in their repertoire to demonstrate they can manage successfully. So as a manager in the 21st Century you should be asking yourself, “Do I have the skills necessary to be a manager?” This is not necessarily an easy task as there is so much management literature out there giving differing view on the skills, attributes, behaviours and competencies that you need to be a manager. The literature says you need to be and do everything, which as we know is quite literally
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With a strong sales and business development background with a minimum of 6 months in the UAE / Gulf region, you will be educated to degree level and have an established portfolio of clients.
Reach over 60,000 UAE based professionals
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For more information please contact: email@example.com
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Product Trainer Our client is a UAE based technology provider, delivering education solutions across the globe. They currently require a product trainer to join their Dubai team and support both students and teachers with using the digital products available. Entourage is a leading Marketing & events agency The ideal candidate will have previous experience in Dubai, working with some of the biggest brands as a trainer and have a strong technical Pantone Solid Coted Pantone Solid UnCoted background or previous exposure to online training in the region. As part of our growth, we are solutions.
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mindboggling, but the good news is that many of the skills that are required can be learned and developed. To simplifying things further the key question to therefore ask is, what are the fundamental building blocks I need to be an effective manager? In our constantly changing and evolving workforce if you develop skills in just the following two essential areas, and consistently build upon them, these will be your keys to successful management in the 21st Century.
“Management is nothing more than motivating other people”
People Developed people skills are the cornerstone of effective management. Good interpersonal skills are essential as are effective communication skills. The ability to be engage, be understood, share thoughts, ideas and give feedback can either positively or negatively impact on the bottom line. Listening, giving feedback, motivating and influencing are all elements of successful communication skills. As good communication is critical to all areas of work it is essential that managers become competent communicators. As our work environments grow ever more diverse these are the skills which are important to build relationships of trust and respect with people at all levels and of all cultures. ‘Culture competence’ or the ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures is an important factor in developing effective professional relationships. The importance of which is reflected in a Harvard Business Review article, ‘Three Skills Every 21st Century Manager Needs’ which listed “Code Switching between cultures” as a principle skill that managers require. Change management Change is the new norm and managers nowadays have to be agile, adaptable and open and welcoming to change. Managers very often have to be the catalyst and champion for change within the organisation. Changes in technology could have an
impact on working procedures, the structure of the organisation and its people. The ability to manage change well is therefore a vital skill for managers. Managers need to be able to do the following to manage change successfully: 1. Communicate Well: Invest time in having regular and open conversations with their people (informally as well as formally) and embrace them in finding winwin solutions to change. 2. Have A Clear Vision: Really understand where the business is going. Conduct collaborative visioning work and share it enthusiastically and effectively. 3. Be Consistent: Every activity within a change process is delivered in line with a fair, trusted and honest plan. 4.Build Rapport: Build close relationships with staff. 5. Develop Trust: People should you care and are doing the best you can for the good of as many as possible. Your behaviours should be such that people trust you as far as possible because their experiences with you to date show them they can. 6. Plan Well: Good change managers have considered all options (often under advisement from their people through discussion); have decided the best value case and have checked what will and what won’t work, with no surprises. 7. Have a Disciplined Approach: Stick closely to the planned process and timescales for the changes to be made, this will build confidence in you as a leader and ensure that others see you mean business. 8. Stick to your guns: The best change managers do not shift from the agreed outcomes. Whatever emotional pressures you face you should show you are still flexible where common sense dictates it so, but otherwise stick to the fixed outcomes. 9. Treat People Well: Honour people for themselves and treat them with respect and dignity. 10. Are Results Focused: Make decisions based on true value-creation and use that very objectively as your over-riding goal. Do not lose sight of the purpose of change and enthusiastically underwrite it, even if it has been imposed organisationally on you. These are the skills that will ensure you remain relevant now and position you for the future as more change is evitable and as we know the fundamental managers role is to manage people. However, you should continually evaluate all your knowledge, skills abilities to determine your strengths and weaknesses and ensure you have development plan that focuses on utilising your strengths and develops you in the areas you may be lacking. At the end of the day, it is continuous personal development for the individual concerned, which is key to being a successful 21st Century manager. With thanks to Ceri McVittie, MCIPD
The Entrepreneur Plan from du du has been working in coordination with numerous bodies to bridge several telecommunication gaps, providing a platform for young entrepreneurs to reach their true potential. In conjunction with Dubai SME and Microsoft, du have recently launched The Entrepreneur Plan; a one-stop Information, Communication, Technology (ICT) package for SMEs in the UAE. The Entrepreneur Plan has enabled du to become a cloud space provider for the SME sector for the very first time. You can purchase this offer from du Enterprise’s indirect partners, through their account and partner managers, as well as through du’s retail channel. Additionally, du has set up a special kiosk at Dubai Economic Department (DED), so that SMEs registering at
the DED for their business license, can buy the package from the location itself, aiding convenience and saving time for them to get their business up and running… all at a very low cost. The logic behind the cost savings are simple. SMEs today have been known to spend between AED 10,000 - 15,000 when sourcing these services from many different service providers. By combining all of the services needed into one complete package, companies have the convenience of a one-stop-shop approach, at a highly competitive price of just AED 2,200. du wants to promote the empowerment of the UAE’s SMEs, and wants to enable them to grow by bringing them into the digital space.
Features of du’s The Entrepreneur Plan: One-time upfront payment
A voucher of AED 1,500 value to redeem for one of our available smartphones.
Business Mobile Connect Plan
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Apps you Shouldn’t Live Without
have a question... are you one of the many people addicted to apps on your mobile phones? Like me you will probably say that you are not, but think about it… How many times have you used a gaming app to keep your children quiet in a restaurant?! Apps have their place, be it the function on our phone that tells us what the temperature will be tomorrow, or the facebook icon that we click on which takes us straight to our personal page where we can check up on what all of our friends are doing. Clearly we know how we can use them for fun, but have you ever considered using them to enhance your business? If not, read on as we have highlighted some apps that may make your business a little bit more fun, and which will help save you time and money. Think of charging your handset with your coaster sipping a cup of tea or drawing a 3D model just by using a pen? Or imagine during an overseas business call between two different nationalities that there is a device translating one language into another, instantly. How cool is that?! Lewis Mumford in Technics and Civilisation very aptly described it as: “However far modern science has fallen short of their inherent possibilities, they have taught mankind at least one lesson, “Nothing is impossible!”’ As I am sure you can imagine there are thousands of apps out there that can help business, but we have identified some of what we believe are the best applications that can increase productivity and your bottom line.
Telephone turns speech into text in real time Japanese firm NTT DOCOMO’s Hanashite Hon’yaku app has harnessed speech-to-text software to translate calls between people speaking different languages. Instead of a standard phone a contact through Hanashite Hon’yaku (an instrument) while talking to a foreign language speaker can instantly translate text after detecting automatically languages spoken. Users have the option to see on-screen text translations or have the voice engine provide an audio version. The app can also be used to translate speech in a face-to-face conversation by getting both parties to speak close to the phone. Though initially it is supposed to cover only a few languages the company does plan to gradually include most of the major languages across globe. What a great application to address the problem of language barriers in a hyper connected world?! 3D printing pen The 3Doodler aims to bring 3D printing down to the handheld scale with a pen that uses quick-cooling plastic to create hand-drawn 3D models. Like a glue gun users first plug it in to heat up the plastic filament inside and then press a button on the side to push the liquid material out of the pen. By dragging the device across a space, the pen leaves a trail of plastic that instantly solidifies into a stable structure that retains its shape. The pen has useful applications in both creating artworks and 3D sketches on the move.
Phone Charging Coaster Epiphany onE Puck enables anyone to charge their handset using hot or cold drinks. The device is shaped like a hockey puck, acting as a coaster for cups and tumblers where hot drinks are placed on the red side and cold drinks on the reverse. Based on 200 year old engine technology which transforms energy through the heat conduction process to power a constant cycle of expanding fluids, users can plug any USBcharged device into the onE Puck, such as an iPhone, Android handset or mp3 player. But let’s move on to applications, which can make significant differences to your day-to-day business. According to Paychex 78% of small business owners believe mobile apps save them time, 85% report using smartphones for their operations, and 50% say they could not survive without mobile apps. So here we have pulled together a few of our favourites; some may already be known to you whilst others are less conventional.
SQUARE A favourite among small retail and food businesses, Square allows you to process credit and debit card payments anywhere with your iPhone, Android or iPad. They ship you the card reader for free and take a small percentage from your transactions with no additional fees.
TECH ZAARLY Designed initially for locals looking to make extra pocket change Zaarly now has “storefronts” where small businesses can advertise services to their community. What makes Zaarly unique is that it aims to build trust in local communities while fostering the growth of small businesses. Use Zaarly to find locals offering services you’re interested in, or post your talents so your community can find you! WORDPRESS Those who do not have time to blog, the WordPress app lets you write posts and manage comments from almost any mobile device, in an easy-to-view mobile format.
uME Forget to carry your business cards? Don’t worry. Install the uME app on your phone to create and email a business card instantly. This comes in especially handy at networking events and conferences. SKYPE A must have connectivity app for face to face meeting. Skype lets you connect with those far away by video without any fees or subscriptions like other meeting programs.
ROUTZY This is a mobile sales app for the Ipad that offers users advanced features and functionality of several business productivity applications and can create quotes, manage contacts, paperwork’s, customer/ client interactions, present and share PDF documents, forms and proposals with business partners while in the field, capture customer/client signatures etc, and work with any business. Since it is a complete customer relation management (CRM) software it is useful for those in the sales, marketing, and customer service functions. EVERNOTE A note-taker’s dream. Evernote app takes advantage of the Mac platform, allowing users the ability to create and organise notebooks which can be shared seamlessly across platforms, and can be synced to any device where the Evernote application is installed. The app also has the ability to take voice notes and with application extensions like the Evernote Web Clipper, users can quickly clip web articles to view/read it later.
“Science can amuse and fascinate us all, but it is engineering that changes the world” Isaac Asimov In the words of Arthur C. Clarke in ‘The Lost Worlds of 2001,’ “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. If this is so, and it can save you time, leaving you to do what you do best; make money, shouldn’t we all consider turning to science in the office?!
iSEO To strengthen online visibility on-the-go, you can look up any website, learn its rankings, and check a page’s Facebook likes, Twitter mentions, and keyword density. All of these statistics can be monitored over time to show the trends and market signals. The information collated can be used to improve your business activities. FOUND No more worries for lost files! With Found a double-tap of the control key allows the user to search instantly for all potentially buried files. While the Spotlight feature on a Mac does a similar job searching for files on the Mac itself, Found allows users the ability to search all files on a Mac as well as on Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, and Evernote. After searching for a keyword, Found finds files that most closely relate to your search string. You can also preview all of the documents without having to switch windows. DROPBOX It is one of that must-have in the app list. Dropbox allows users the ability to access important files anywhere an Internet connection is present. After download you will always have access to your important files. Dropbox’s web interface is straightforward and easy to use and it’s desktop interface works just like an ordinary folder on your laptop.
Samsung Galaxy S4 D
esigned as a life companion, the new Samsung Galaxy S4 helps bring people closer and captures the fun moments spent together. But with phones getting bigger as they do more functions, how does it compare to the rest of the market? Size When comparing to the Samsung Galaxy S3, again, this phone looks sizeable, although actually, Samsung have made a bigger screen but on a slightly smaller handset (the dimensions are 136.6mm tall, the same as the S3, while the width and depth, 69.8mm and 7.9mm, are smaller). The change in depth is particularly noticeable and means that though it’s big it doesn’t feel unmanageable. The display is 5in this year, against last year’s 4.8in on the S3. Even so, this phone clocks in at 130g against the marginally heavier 133g last time around. Most premium smartphones these days have sealed-in batteries; without the need to finish the battery in a removable case it’s possible to maximise the size and power of the cell, but Samsung has opted for a back that pops off. This has a big advantage because it means if you run out of juice you can pop in a replacement battery, although it can mean that the build is less persuasive or creaks annoyingly when you flex the phone in your hands. In fact, there’s precious little creak – this is a wellengineered machine. As before there are two colours, this time white and black. Both look good, though the white looks more lively and has a gentle, subtle texturing that you only see when you look closely. Screen This is not the first Full HD resolution screen and it’s 455 pixels per inch (the iPhone 5 manages 326ppi) so no wonder it looks great. And this is a Super
AMOLED display, which Samsung is familiar with and knows how to optimise. It’s amazingly vivid, punchily colourful, and laser-sharp. Altogether it’s a screen that’s hard to resist thanks to its glossy richness. Performance The phone is fast, very fast and the touchscreen is responsive, web pages load quickly and apps launch instantly. The Qualcomm quad-core 1.9GHz chip and the 2GB of RAM combine to make this phone fast, powerful and stamina-rich. The Galaxy S4 comes equipped with a 13 megapixel rear camera, and boasts a Dual Camera function that allows both rear and front cameras to take simultaneous photos and videos and blend the two pictures naturally creating a collage of small and large images. Key features • Large 5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi • Super-fast 1.9 GHz Quad-Core Processor • 13 megapixel | auto-focus camera with Flash and Zero Shutter Lag • Large 2600mAh battery • Full HD video recording and playback • Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System • NFC • Notification light • Ultrafast Ready With so many great features, the Galaxy S4 is a sure fire crowd pleaser and as its Ultrafast* ready there’s nothing slowing people down from sharing all the silly stuff. With special thanks to Dan Phelan, Dan Phelan Communications
Health Hazards in the Summer I
f you are a seasoned resident of Dubai you will be aware of how fierce the summer heat and humidity is. If not… well, you are in for a shock! Regardless as to how long you have been in Dubai there is a social responsibility for employers to educate their staff on summer health hazards, as this can mean the difference between life and death. Heat related deaths are preventable, however year in year out people still pass away because of heat and sun exposure. 8,015 deaths due to excessive heat exposure occurred in the United States during 1979-2003. During this period more people died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightening, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001 alone 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure. Too hot to handle Heat related illness occurs when our bodies are unable to properly cool down. Normally the body cools itself down by sweating. Sometimes however this doesn’t work, and the person’s body temperature rapidly rises, which can lead to brain damage, damage to other organs, and even a coma. In humid conditions the body’s sweat does not evaporate quick enough to act as a cooling agent, which means in Dubai we have to take this very seriously. Other extenuating factors include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use. Anyone can succumb to heat if they do not take simple precautions. As a good employer it is down to you to ensure that you have trained your staff adequately to ensure that they take the correct measures. By doing so you ensure that you are taking all measures to keep productivity high whilst minimising the effects that heat related illnesses can have on productivity.
In 2012 Dubai Municipality highlighted the risks due to concern over the growing number of individuals who died as a result of not taking precautions during the hot months. All you need to do is ensure yourself and your workers are sensible in the heat. Minimise the amount of heat you are all exposed to, stay out of the sun in the middle of the day, limit intense physical activity in high temperatures and direct sun light, and provide sun hats for staff who work outdoors. Whenever possible, work in the shade or in ac/cool areas, ensure staff take regular breaks, and drink water. Airconditioning (AC) is the best protection you can have. So, what are the effects of heat related illness? There are five types of heat related illness that you should be aware of: • Heat exhaustion (HE) • Heat Stroke (HS) • Heat Cramps (HC) • Sunburn (SB) • Prickly heat (PH) Heat exhaustion (HE) HE occurs when a person is exposed to high temperatures for several days and becomes dehydrated. The most common signs and symptoms of HE include: • Confusion • Excessive thirst/ Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration) • Weakness • Dizziness/ Fainting • Fatigue • Headache • Muscle cramps • Nausea and vomiting • Pale skin • Profuse sweating • Rapid heartbeat Whilst this is not as serious as Heat Stroke (HS) it is still concerning as without treatment it can progress to HS, which can damage the brain and even cause death. If you/your employees notice the symptoms ensure the person concerned immediately gets out of the heat and takes a rest break in the shade or an a/c building. Other treatments include:
WELLBEING • Drinking plenty of fluid (avoid caffeine and alcohol) • Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing • Dowse them in water • Apply other cooling measures such as fans/ice towels • Contact a doctor after 30 min. if no improvement All managers need to be aware that a worker who has suffered from HE is likely to be sensitive to high temperatures for the following seven days. Heat Stroke (HS) HS is a form of hyperthermia, an abnormally elevated body temperature with accompanying physical symptoms including changes in the nervous system function. HS is often referred to as heatstroke or sunstroke. The term stroke is used as it refers to a decreased oxygen flow to an area of the brain. Severe hyperthermia is defined as a body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher. HS is a medical emergency that is often fatal if not properly and promptly treated. All staff and managers should be trained to treat HS. For example Emirates Airlines incorporates HS training into their induction process. Symptoms HS symptoms can begin with the same symptoms of HE, and can sometimes mimic those of heart attack. They may occur suddenly and develop rapidly. Signs and symptoms include: • High body temperature • The absence of sweating, with hot red or flushed dry skin • Rapid pulse • Difficulty breathing • Strange behavior • Hallucinations • Confusion/ Agitation • Disorientation • Seizure, and/or Coma
Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia in which the body temperature is elevated dramatically. In sever cases it can cause permanent brain damage and even death
Cooling the victim is a critical step in the treatment of heat stroke. Always notify emergency services immediately
If you notice symptoms guide the person concerned ideally to an AC building and immediately call an ambulance. Remove as much clothing as possible, and try to call them down by pouring water over them whilst you wait for the medics. Heat Cramps (HC) Do you or members of your staff sweat a lot during strenuous activity? If so, you are at risk of heat cramps as sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture, which in turn causes your muscles to cramp. HC are often a symptom of HE, and therefore HS. Symptoms HC are muscle pains or spasms, usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs; that may occur in association with strenuous activity. If medical attention is not necessary take these steps: • Stop all activity and sit quietly in a cool place
The most important measures to prevent heat strokes are to avoid becoming dehydrated
• Drink clear juice or a sports beverage • Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside to ensure they do not develop HE or HS • Seek medical attention if cramps do not subside in 1 hour Sunburn Sunburn should be avoided as it damages the skin and can cause cancer, which may be fatal later in life. Also, serious sunburn may cause your staff to take time off of work, so advising them to use sunscreen at all times, and supplying it to those who work outdoors, may save you money in the future through negating the affects of loss productivity. Top tips when treating sunburn: • Avoid repeated sun exposure • Apply cold compresses or immerse the sunburned area in cool water • Apply moisturising lotion to affected areas; do not use salve, butter, or ointment Prickly Heat Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather and is the least concerning heat related medical condition. It looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters and tends to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases. Whilst this may not seem like much, it is uncomfortable, leading employees to have a drop in production, as their minds are on their how they feel as opposed to the task in hand. The most effective treatment is to retire to an ac building. Keep the affected area dry. Dusting powder may increase comfort. Medical treatment is not normally required. During Hot Weather To protect your employee’s health in high temperatures, train them to keep cool. This can be done as part of your induction process, and thereafter annually. • Clothing: Should be lightweight and loose • Sunscreen: Apply a sunscreen with a minimum of an SPF of 30 • Drink extra fluids: To prevent dehydration it is generally recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water, fruit juice, or vegetable juice per day. As heat-related illness can result from salt depletion it may be advisable to substitute an electrolyte-rich sports drink for water • Take precautions outdoors: During labour intense work, workers should consume another eight ounces of water every 20 minutes regardless as to how they feel • Avoid: caffeine or alcohol • Do not overexert yourself • Use a Buddy System: each worker will have another to monitor them and react if necessary • Avoid hot foods/heavy meals: they add heat to your body • Limit sun exposure: especially at mid-day
Let’s Go Bananas! M
any companies globally offer free fruit to the employees. Why? I hear you ask. Well a study from Vielife, a health and wellbeing consultancy, proved that a healthy employee can be upto 20% more productive than an unhealthy employee, and as we know from last month’s article in issue 4, “THE One: Great place to work”, happy contented staff means an increase on your bottom line. In the UAE the Government is seeking to increase the health of the nation; Emiratis and expats alike. Typically employees spend up to 60% of their waking hours at work, often without exercise. Therefore, the need for a balanced diet is even more imperative to try and give some sort of healthy activity in our life. In fact in the UK insurers take healthy eating into account for employee benefit premiums, offering discounts to companies who provide healthy food options for their staff. This coupled with the fact that healthy eating in the workplace will help employees to be happier at work, improve their health and more importantly, increase their productivity, means that employers should be looking at providing a healthy food option in the workplace. The Answer So what can an employer do if you want to promote a healthy lifestyle and keep your staff happy? A current trend and low cost option across the US and Northern Europe is to supply fruit to the office and it is reaching the UAE; Fantasy Fruits will deliver a fruit basket to your office for AED375. Apart from the benefits to the employers mentioned above there are also some personal benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables that can easily be promoted. Did you know... • Increasing fruit and veg intake is the second most important cancer prevention strategy after giving up smoking?
• Each portion of fruit eaten provides increased protection against having a stoke by as much as 40% By supplying fruit employees are more likely to reach for an apple than something unhealthy. Whilst this may seem trivial, studies have shown that employees who are weight conscious report less sickness absence than those classed as obese. Staff sickness is detrimental to your profits above just paying their wages; the company loses the employees productivity for the time that they are off work, stress increases in colleagues as they manage more tasks, which decreases their productivity, AND it is possible your organisation’s insurance premiums can increase. By supplying a healthy alternative, staff are also keen to remain in the office rather than spend time away buying a snack. So why would you not want to look into this option further?! Top 10 Benefits to eating fruit at work There are many health benefits of eating fruit at work, some of which are listed below: 1. Lightness: Fruit is a great light snack. Processed snacks and heavy meals lead to sluggishness and decreased productivity. 2. Fiber: Fiber is essential to maintaining a healthy and efficient digestive system. 3. Mood enhancement: The enzymes and antioxidants provide that much needed dose of mood enhancement for the workplace. 4. Improves your office’s ambiance: As fruits are varied in colors, shapes, and sizes, it will help your employees to calm their eyes the same way plants can. 5. Alertness: The vitamins and minerals instantly make you mentally alert and full of vitality. 6. Energy: Eating fruit will increase your energy and keep your blood sugar stable. 7. Weight management: Due to today’s sedentary lifestyles weight issues are worrying. For companies this means an increase in sickness absence, which all organisations want to reduce. 8. Increased productivity: Healthy, happy, alert and focused employees are naturally far more productive. 9. Increases staff loyalty: loyalty goes both ways; this demonstrates it from you for it to be returned. 10. Increases your bottom line!
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Bag a Coffee and Some Business..?!
every day. Networking is the prime focus for Make, and in the evenings there are lots of industry specific networking events, for example social media bootcamps.
etworking in the UAE is vital; even more so than other cities around the world. Everyone appears to know everyone, but if you are new to business or even new to Dubai, how can you effectively deal with this? One way is through visiting one of the many business cafes that are in Dubai. We visit three to find out whether it is really worth your time…? Make You walk into Make and you immediately realise that you are not visiting a normal café. As soon as you enter the doors there is a wall to the left with what looks like post it notes attached, where everyone writes down what it is that they do and how they can be contacted, immediately setting the tone of the café. Light, airy, industrial, softened with MDF seating; the attention to detail in the café is extraordinary with the cups looking like those you get out of a vending machine. There is music playing in the background, but this is not set too loud; in fact for the first 15 minutes I was completely unaware of it… Which begs the question; did they just turn it on? There are private booths, where you can sit at large tables, all of which have sockets. Then there are desk spaces on which you can do the same thing. By the windows are smaller ‘love’ chairs made with high MDF backing which enables privacy and retractable tables that you can swing out, although there are no plugs and the desk space did enable me to work on my Mac Air, but I struggled to also have a coffee. Luckily though as the table is retractable, you are able to use the laptop on your lap and keep the table for food and drink. Internet access was easy and very fast, but you do have to ask what the password is as this changes
“I come here regularly and find it useful for networking. I have met contractors, designers and other architects here and have even discussed joint ventures”
The food is very reasonably priced, and service is swift and efficient. My only grumble was when I arrived they had no bread or bread products so I had to forego my healthy smoked salmon bagel for delicious hotcakes in honey butter instead. Apparently this is in not unusual though, Cerri McVittie, HR Manager said, “You do have to be prepared with alternative options as they sometimes don’t have the full menu.” On a normal day you have to make an effort to network as everyone has their heads down working away furiously. One lady shut me down totally when I tried to speak to her, but Tony Elliott an Architect did talk to me, “I come here regularly and find it useful for networking. I have met contractors, designers and other architects here and have even discussed joint ventures. Now, we meet up once a week and catch up on anything business related over breakfast.” The only problem with Make is finding it. To be fair, being new to Dubai, it may just be my appalling navigation, but had I have not been with a friend who knew the way, I am sure I would have become lost. Located in the Al Futtain Tower in JBR you could easily miss it if you don’t look up. You have to turn right, just after the tower, and then immediately right again into the car park. The car park is very tight as well as not being adequately signed, so when you think you may have parked correctly, you are told to move. The Archive Situated in Safa Park (so you have to pay the obligatory AED 3) near entrance gate 5 on the side nearest the SZR, you would be forgiven if, like me, you were unaware of this place. From gate 5
THE HUB kids running around, but we are tackling this and refurbishing in Ramadan with the aim to soundproof slightly, as the glass and vaulted ceilings mean that it can get loud.”
however, walk straight and the converted building is right in front of you, amidst the trees and rolling lawns. The café, which looks closed from the front, (so always ensure you try the door before walking away) was wonderfully calm when we arrived. On walking in, I was instantly reminded of cafes at galleries and museums in London, with the inside being a mixture of art gallery/library. The building itself is an older concrete building, which has had the external walls removed and floor to ceiling windows put in their place. Inside the cavernous area is cornered off with partitions made out of bookshelves.
The Pavilion The Pavilion in Downtown Dubai badges itself as a contemporary art space first and foremost, and is primarily where artists come to work, discuss and participate in many of the events and exhibitions that they hold with a view to promoting art within the region. However, the space is great for any business professional looking for some quiet time and maybe some inspiration. The modern open plan interior with its art work on the walls, long work benches and cafe area make a great work station, and one that is especially good if you want to network and meet a budding artist or designer. There are also some smaller, more intimate tables, which are good for more private business meetings or to make those more private business calls.
There is a big table situated between the walls of elegantly placed reference books with power sockets encouraging networking; although when we arrived, there was no one else there apart from ladies that lunch. Further into the café are dining tables, and whilst you could work there, there are no power facilities available. There are however beautiful views of the park looking out to the Burj Khalifa which you can draw on for inspiration.
The wifi is free and access is good. In terms of food, the cafe serves good food at reasonable prices; the falafel wrap is a must!
To eat the food is impressive and very well priced. I had mushroom risotto and was surprised to find that this had been correctly cooked, delicious, and priced well at 60AEDs. So with the high-speed internet access, and the room to adequately work whilst eating, it is more than comfortable.
There are beautiful
Whilst the focus is on family activities, there is a big drive in networking events… 400 entrepreneurs attended last months event in the park, and they are plans for many more.
you can draw on for
The Manager of the café did admit that with kids it can be loud, “It can be noisy when you have
views of the park looking out to the Burj Khalifa which
Out of all of the cafes we visited Make is by far the most business focused of them, however all are worth consideration if you want to work from home without actually working from home; if you are of an arty profession or just need inspiration, then The Pavilion is definitely for you. The Archive is very much for anyone who wants good food in a good location and be able to work at the same time, whilst Make is for those who want to network. All in all, I am definitely returning to these cafés and am even going to encourage my husband to do the same. The Archive
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that Won’t Break the Bank
n Issue 4 we discussed the importance of team building; how it creates an emotional bond with the company, as well as increasing productivity and your bottom line. In this article we look at how you can affectively undertake teambuilding without spending big bucks. Find the right manager Studies into workplace behaviour have been conducted for years and one of the earliest was by Professor Elton Mayo and the Hawthorne Experiment. Mayo found that the most effective teams in the workplace had the following criteria; a manager with a personal interest in each person’s achievements: • A manager who took pride in the record of the group • A manager who helped the group work together to set its own conditions of work • A manager who faithfully posted the feedback on performance This meant the group took pride in its own achievement and had the satisfaction of outsiders showing interest in what they did without feeling that they were being pressured to change. Mayo also found that if changes were made to the company, staff should be consulted beforehand to assist in successful implementation of change. Activities Living somewhere as exciting as Dubai, with our great weather, means that there are many options for good teambuilding events. Consequently there are many companies that offer exciting teambuilding events. One company, biz-events, boasts an event called ‘Arabian Market’ which is described as a supercharged game of information gathering, haggling and building trust, “The challenge takes place in the trucial states back in the 1800’s. Families negotiate to increase their
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”
“Remember, upon the conduct of each, depends the fait of all”
Alexander the Great
wealth, trading in dates, camels, fish, spices, pearls, water, money and the all important information. This is a fun and interactive challenge, powered by communication, which reinforces networking, questioning and negotiation skills, and the importance of positive relationships. Working on a win/win solution is essential to succeed.” Another option is drumming. Drumming is proving to be a very popular choice of teambuilding exercise with many companies, such as the Dubai Drums, offering various options by creating “An empowered team synergy and provide a fun, interactive environment that empowers each individual to share his or her creative spirit.” “There’s nothing quite like a corporate drumming session to give participants a firsthand experience of what a team can achieve when they have a common vision, communicate effectively, share space and combine creative spirit and passion. Corporate drumming creates an environment where rhythm replaces the spoken word and inspires a higher level of communication and unification.” Teambuilding.ae has a wide selection of team building events that focus on teambuilding activities which improve not only team bonding but also communication, energy, competition, strategic awareness and stimulation. Current featured events are shifting sands and rock my boat. No matter what event it is, one thing is clear, that for team building to be effective, leaders must first identify the issues their group is facing. Then they can plan activities to address these challenges directly, and make sure that the team will actually gain some benefits from the event. Low cost team building activities Teambuilding activities do not have to break the
bank or involve third parties. There are some inhouse low cost options that have the same results. 1. Lunching: Provide lunch for the whole company, department or a work team then, assign employees to groups of up to ten people to discuss and respond to work related questions. A fun way to get employees to socialise outside of their ‘group’, is to put numbers on the bottom of plates. All employees who have a number 1 on their plate take their lunch and sit together in one area, those with number 2 all sit together in another area, etc. Offsite lunches are also excellent teambuilding activity. There is something about sharing a meal together, outside of the office that encourages employees to talk and get to know each other. Schedule fun games as part of an outdoor activity. Sports participation works well for teambuilding. These games do not have to be run by a professional, a simple game of rounders can work wonders! 2. Inter-departmental awareness: Employees are always curious about what other employees do, so schedule employee visits to other departments for a day. This will satisfy their curiosity and introduce the employee to a whole new work group in the process. These visits will enhance cross department cooperation and understanding, and offers employees the chance to explore another career path. 3. Breakout areas: Provide comfortable breakout areas with couches, light snacks and beverages. Ask employees to schedule the space as they might reserve a conference room. 4. Job shadowing: Just as inter-departmental visits fosters teambuilding between departments and alternative career paths, so does job shadowing. Job shadowing is easy to put together and costs only the employees’ time. 5. Group mentoring: Group mentoring by a senior manager is another opportunity for teambuilding. Employees learn new skills and approaches while furthering their relationships with coworkers. A second form of group mentoring involves an employee who has a particular skill set that other employees want to learn. The employee can mentor groups of employees to gain the skill or knowledge with the same impact on team building. 6. Fitness sessions: Activities such as weekly Weight Watchers meetings, yoga classes at noon, or running/cycling sessions can also offer team building opportunities for employees. The Company implements a sports social club that then organises a weekly cycle, run, walk etc. It’s a great way to keep staff healthy and provide a friendly and relaxed team activity with minimal cost. 7. Sponsoring sporting events: Supporting your employees in sporting events is a great way to build teams without breaking the bank. Just by providing a Company branded sporting uniform, a couple
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime”
of half days for training and you can really assist your employees as well as providing the company with public exposure. Dubai’s dragon boat competition and High 5 Corporate competition are great example of company sponsorship and teambuilding. Want to know more about local sporting teams and activities your Company can join then talk to Duplays. 8. Fun events: You can provide fun events that employees (and their families) can attend after work or on weekends. For example BBQ events at Safa Park where employees can bring their own food and share on the BBQ, with outdoor activities including rounders, football, yoga class, face painting etc. All these events can either be arranged free of charge or for a small amount and are great ways of building teams and family confidence. 9. Hobby clubs: A number of your employees will have hobbies or interests that other staff members may be interested in. Simply provide the space, whether on intranet or staff notice board, for employees to post their hobby club details or interests and you’ll be surprised at the result. Team building activities in this space are unlimited and best of all free! Teambuilding activities in the workplace stretch your imagination - and are only limited by your imagination and that of your employees. They are remarkable in their ability to foster a sense of community and friendships at work. Whatever the cost effective teambuilding activities make your workplace desirable, and you an employer of choice.
How an airline got the world
to agree on one thing. Twice. World’s Best Airline
Skytrax World Airline Awards - Airline of the Year 2011 & 2012
We’d like to thank the millions of passengers who named us Airline of the Year, two years in a row. Naturally we’re delighted, but we won’t stop there. We never cease looking at ways of making your air travel experience even better.
Data Protection D
2. A new regulatory environment: Globally, governments have started to impose new regulations on electronic communications and stored data, with companies facing dire consequences for noncompliance. Regulations differ from country to country, but if you trade or have offices internationally do they affect you?
ata Protection… I am sure you have all heard about this as globally governments are laying down laws to ensure that companies who retain any information that can directly identify an individual keep the data private, and not distribute it without the prior authorisation of the person concerned. This data relates to name, address, date of birth, bank details, medical records etc. and anything else that would correctly identify a person… but why is this important, and more importantly why should companies in the UAE seek to protect data? Due to the reliance of email and the internet in business it is now more important than ever before to ensure a company has measures in place that will stop important information from getting into someone else’s hands. This shouldn’t just refer to an individual’s right to protection; if you think about it with your business hat on there are many details of your business that you would not want in the public domain. Business drivers There are three drivers as to why business should take this seriously. 1. Fear of financial loss: Your data is an important corporate asset. As with all assets this should be safeguarded at all times. The loss of this information could be disastrous for businesses as it may lead to financial losses, such as loss of sales, fines, or monetary judgments. There are also indirect losses that should be considered; for instance, a drop of investor/customer confidence, with customers fleeing to competitors. Alternatively, data that has been altered could have horrific ramifications for business as the effects of this data may not be felt until much later. Sadly this means less can be done about it therefore magnifying the negative results.
“Are hackers a threat? The degree of threat presented by any conduct, whether legal or illegal, depends on the actions and intent of the individual and the harm they cause”
3. Productivity: Generally forgotten but an important driving factor. The loss and/or altering of this data will result in lost productivity, and therefore will affect your bottom line as staff are taken away from their normal work, having to put things right. This could affect all areas of your business dependent on what information was lost or altered. For example, IT are taken away from keeping your systems up and running correctly to determine how/who/why, which could leave employees idle or able to work at a reduced capacity only. If this was a financial matter your accounts department will have to revisit work they have already done to ensure that this put right. If it is a customer service issue, staff will be taken away from their roles to deal with customer complaints, rather than focusing on proving a service/sales to more clients. The DIFC actually take this one step further. They see that businesses, international banking, and financial services organisations are increasingly exchanging personal data electronically all over the world, and state on their website, “The result of the processing and mishandling – voluntary or involuntary - of personal data can have significant consequences, including credit card and identity theft. It is crucial that individuals’ right to privacy is protected by establishing effective data protection laws and enforcing legal safeguards to secure and protect personal data and its processing. Today governments and regulators world-wide, with the EU countries in the fore-front, are increasingly calling for measures to protect privacy and the
THE HUB transparent and open about their data processing activities as well as take necessary measures to correct the gaps in their security structures, from a business, technical and a legal standpoint • One of the critical areas where data protection is relevant is business processing operations and outsourcing. Establishing safeguards will help to facilitate activities related to back office functions that are essential for the operation of banks and financial institutions
adoption of data protection regimes to enforce such safeguards.” If this isn’t a good enough reason, the DIFC have implemented their own law, “The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner was established under the Data Protection Law of 2007 as amended by Data Protection Law Amendment Law, DIFC Law No. 5 of 2012 (Data Protection Law) as a neutral and objective body to ensure the protection of all personal information in the DIFC. The Data Protection Law and Data Protection Regulations Consolidated Version No. 2, in force on 23.12.2012 (Data Protection Regulations) (collectively the “legislation”) create a legal and procedural framework which ensure that all personal data in the DIFC is treated fairly, lawfully and securely when it is stored, processed, used, disseminated or disclosed.” “The Data Protection Law encompasses and applies to regulated entities, including all banks and financial institutions, as well as non-regulated organisations that may process personal data to carry out their business activities.” So what exactly is it that this achieves? To think of the benefits you have to consider how you would want your confidential information to be retained. The DIFC explain this as: • Protecting and raising awareness of individuals’ rights to privacy and confidentiality • Promoting openness, transparency and disclosure, in the use of personal information and helping individuals to understand how their personal information is being processed by data controllers • Allowing individuals to request the correction of individual and/or personal information being processed • Registration will ensure that personal data is processed in accordance with the fundamental respect for the right to privacy and confidentiality without hindering the flow of data • Requiring companies (i.e. data controllers) to be
“While many hackers have the knowledge, skills, and tools to attack computer systems, they generally lack the motivation to cause violence or severe economic or social harm”
Solutions There are many differing ranges of software solutions available to enable you to send important documents securely, for example email encryption software enables businesses to ‘secure’ their email so that it doesn’t reach the wrong person. Some email encryption software enables businesses to recall messages that were sent accidentally and some software even allows you to revoke access to the email in question. For businesses that regularly send large files, such as confidential business proposals or contracts, then there is specialist file encryption software available which ensures that your information will reach the intended recipient via the most secure method possible. It is not just sending files electronically that is important and covered under the ideology of data protection. In order for companies to comply with the principle and behaviours of data protection you have to ensure that all data is held securely in password protected files on servers with strong firewalls, as well as a corporate policy dictating who can access the information, what information would be made available and how it can be accessed. At the end of the day failing to act on data protection could damage existing business, or enable your competitors to target your clients, or worse, ruin your reputation. Either way, oversight can prove very costly. Alternatively, think about what a fantastic USP you would have if you can confirm to clients, staff and other personnel that you adhere to the principles set in line with UK’s Data Protection Act 1998. What is personal data? For the purposes of UK’s Data Protection Act 1998, and DIFC’s own law, the data that is covered under the DPA relates specifically to what is considered internationally to be sensitive personal data. This include includes any information relating to: • An individual’s name • Age • Home address • Race • Sexual orientation • Income • Health • Blood type • Marital status • Education • Employment information
Managing Your Sales People W
with people who sell for a living, are very confident, and as I am sure you have seen, have big egos. Sales professionals are also very social and establish rapport with customers and staff very quickly.
e all know how important our sales teams are to our business but how do you manage them to ensure that you get the best from them? Sales people are all strong willed; this is why you employed them, so managing them comes with their own set of difficulties. Managing a sales team requires skill, diplomacy, leadership, drive and determination.
To maintain any level of control the team needs to be managed closely; you need to show each individual on your team attention every single day. If the team member is high performing, stroke their ego, congratulate them on a job well done, and use them as a case study for the other team members. If they feel valued they will remain loyal to you.
Sales teams often have a mishmash of skills and abilities. The 80/20 principle works in sales and I would also hazard to guess that depending on the size of your team, you have one or two standout employees, the others either lack in ability or are sluggish. There are commonly three types of sales person; team sales person, performer sales person and nurturer sales person. To manage these types you will need to determine their strengths and weaknesses. • Team sales person is the most common type of salesperson. They are typically the top performers who work well with others. They are often prone to conservatism, and may be reluctant to try new approaches and techniques • Performer sales person consistently closes deals, and brings in new clients. The downside is that they require constant motivation and encouragement; especially when having a bad run. When properly motivated, these types of people are invaluable assets to any sales team • Nurturer sales person constantly encourages others even at the expense of themselves. They are great as they have the desire to motivate others, but need to be encouraged to stray from their comfort zones and take occasional risks
“Management is nothing more than motivating other people”
If however, they are weaker team members show them reassurance and support. Provide training and mentoring by stronger team members. Furthermore sales professionals live and die by their figures, so have weekly one to ones (which can be conducted over the phone) to discuss their figures. Reporting Reporting is an essential element when managing sales staff. If you don’t know what your sales staff are doing or how can you effectively managing them? There are two main types of business reports, prospecting and sales summary. 1. Prospecting: At the beginning of the week, ask for a prospecting report. This report should detail all leads, plan of action, meetings, and outcome. From this report you can identify what exactly is happening, method of sales, best approach for the sales consultant, and conversation rates.
So the question is, how do you manage them?
Increasing conversion rates are a great motivator for sales professionals. Also, establish when the best time for prospecting is; for example, HR departments often have greater availability before 10am or just before/ after lunch.
Maintain a team spirit As a sales manager you are going to be dealing
2. Sales Reporting: At the end of each week, the sales team should report back with a full report on
THE HUB SharePoint Database. This is such a big topic, that we will be covering this in its own right next month.
their progress. Again an emailed excel spreadsheet works for this, it is easily updatable and each page should mimic the previous to avoid issues with cutting and pasting. You want your staff to be selling as opposed to wasting time undertaking admin tasks. This report should contain a page which shows exactly what has been sold throughout the business year on the first tab. This should be broken into: • Client name • Contact type • Start date of the contract • End date of the contract • Whom the contract is with (and any other pertinent information) • Total amount of the contract This should then be replicated on a further 4 tabs although for your records, ensure you add another column on these spreadsheet called “Appointment Date”. The second tab should be renamed “Monthly Pipeline”, the third “3 Months”, the fourth “Remainder of the year”, and finally “Next year”, so you can monitor your pipeline on a continual basis. The sheet should be completed to reflect the relevant information as each appointment is made. If the appointment is more than three months away, which it shouldn’t be unless it is an existing client that you are up-selling to, put it into tab for the remainder of the year, and move it along as it qualifies for the next tab. You can also determine common points of interest in a ‘Stage’ column. By this we mean using numbers to clarify the position of the prospect. For example; • 1= Meeting completed • 2= Referred to decision maker • 3= Another meeting booked in with decision maker • 4= Met with decision maker • 5= Won • 6= Lost due to price too high • 7= Lost due to service issues • 8= Lost due to other reasons It is important that you establish the reason for the loss of business as this will assist with training or product design at a later date.
Sales Meetings At the beginning of each week have a one to one with each of your team members to discuss, praise, offer guidance and support on what their sales and prospective report is telling you, as well as clarifying any queries that you have.
“Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission”
“The art of effective listening is essential to clear
Collate this information weekly basis and chase the stragglers, so you can analyse it and give feedback. If staff are due to be out or on holiday, ensure that they send it to you before they go.
Both these reports should grow with employee length of service and remain the intellectual property of the Company, even after they leave. Nothing should be deleted, even by a manager. In this way you will be able to pass leads over, review historic sales, purchase patterns etc.
is necessary to
Technology There have been huge advances in technology that can assist you not only with your sales and pipeline reporting, but also your customer relations. There are paid systems such as Goldmine, or free ones like
and clear communication
Once a month conduct full sales team meetings. Highlight staff who are excelling and those who aren’t. Remember to deliver constructive criticism as well as praise. Sales professionals loose efficiency if they lose motivation. Bolster them by reminding them not to be too disheartened if they lose a sale as it is another prospect for the future. Have them record it for next year with a reminder in their outlook calendar. Encourage the sales person to record all details so they have an immediate memory jog, and don’t waste time reading through old files. Motivation The challenge to keeping staff motivated is to find what their motivation is; normally for sales staff its money. Bonuses work wonders if they are correctly implemented; for example annual bonuses don’t work if the team member is underperforming as they will view the bonus as slipping away from them and therefore are not motivated by its prospect. Best practice (for staff retention and motivation) is to structure the bonus quarterly, paying half of the total annual bonus at year end, and the rest of it quarterly. When formulating pay increases take into account the employees overall annual performance, any previous service, and their current prospects. Training Often professionals fall into sales without prior training. If a team member is underperforming go to some meetings with them. You may find they are unable to present clearly, or that they do not fully understand the product(s). Alternatively, they are not following up with calls after meetings, or they don’t know how to close. If so, you can implement a training programme. Mentoring can help here. Remind your sales team to ask for the business. A simple “Have we done enough to secure your business with us?” works as it forces the client to spell out exactly how they feel about the proposal, one way or another. Top tips for managing sales staff • Set a monthly goal: Calculate the number of prospects needed to hit that goal • Calculate the value of their time per hour: so they understand the importance of prioritising clients • Get them to block out time in their diary to make calls and prospecting • Clearly set and define their objectives in writing • Ensure that they use the working day to sell • Get them to stay away from time wasting people • Have a quiet area of the office for people making prospect calls • Be on time for calls and meetings
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Regional News UAE
Dubai Maritime City Authority launches Dubai Powerboat Handbook
Investment Map Project by the Ministry of Economy is a leading initiative to attract foreign investments
DUBAI: His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, stressed that the UAE has become a strategic hub for foreign investments and leading international establishments, thanks to its solid economic fundamentals and wise economic policies that are based on openness, diversity and flexibility. DUBAI: As part of its ongoing commitment to develop, organise, promote and build a robust and safe maritime industry, Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority charged with regulating, coordinating and supervising all aspects of the maritime sector in Dubai, has officially launched a handbook titled “The Dubai Powerboat Handbook”. This initiative aims to develop guidance services, as well as highlight the best ways to take advantage of safety and security practices and techniques when using different means of marine transportation within territorial waters. The handbook is particularly useful since it is was drafted in collaboration with the Royal Yachting Association, in order to develop comprehensive regulations and guidelines, as well as integrated maritime laws in accordance with international standards and best practices.
traffic, anchoring and speed, as well as information about navigation systems, marine buoys, maritime areas of activity, best practices concerning helicopter search and rescue operations and planning, boating knots, boat towing techniques, maritime safety standards, emergency response procedures, Life Saving Signals, and marinas in Dubai.
The Dubai Powerboat Handbook includes in-depth information about the structure and nature of how a boat’s engine works, and laws and regulations regarding manoeuvring, operation,
The Dubai Powerboat Handbook is available for free for marine transportation users and can be obtained from DCMA’s office in Dubai.
The book also contains weatherrelated information and instructions on how to deal with harsh marine conditions, restricted visibility and night boating. It pays special attention to the environment, highlighting the best international practices in protecting the marine environment and aquatic life and reducing emissions in the maritime sector, complementing plans aimed at creating a robust and safe maritime industry in line with the Dubai’s maritime strategy.
Al Mansouri said the “Investment Map Project” is the latest initiative launched by the Ministry aimed at attracting foreign investment capital and promoting UAE among investors. Furthermore, it enlightens potential businessmen from around the globe about investment opportunities and to better understand the realities here.
His Excellency said the Ministry of Economy is keen to develop the economic legislative system in the country as it continues to work on putting the final touches on a number of draft laws to enhance UAE business performance; most notably the foreign investment law, corporate, industry and small and medium enterprises, competition and intellectual property rights protection. All these draft laws are in their final stages. The new investment law will give extra protection for foreign investors; include incentives to encourage foreign investment; aim to enhance the investment climate in the UAE and to ensure economic diversification in line with UAE Vision 2021.
GCC governments intensify efforts to attract investors in aluminium DUBAI: GCC governments are now moving to attract international investors in the downstream aluminium industry, seeking to further utilise aluminium in diversified industries, stated Mahmoud Al Daylami, General Secretary of Gulf Aluminium Council. The aggressive positioning of the GCC region also reflects the growing dynamism in the global aluminium industry, which is on track to achieve an 8.4 % growth in 2013 compared to 3.7% in 2012. The surging demand in key international markets such as China and
the rest of Asia, North America, Latin America, East Europe and the Middle East is fuelling the optimism among aluminium manufacturers and investors in the GCC, as up to 80% of the region’s aluminium production is exported worldwide. Moreover, the sustained growth in construction activities is likewise creating new business opportunities with up to 80% of aluminium supplied in the region being used in the construction sector.
The weekend starts here MUSCAT: Oman is changing it’s weekend to a Friday-Saturday weekend which will align itself with banking and trade elsewhere in the world, its ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said announced. Presently Oman follows a ThursdayFriday weekend, along with Saudi Arabia, however other Gulf countries take off on Friday and Saturday, and
many Omani financial institutions have already followed suit. As advised by state news agency ONA the change will take effect on May 1. Sultan Qaboos bin Said has also ordered that the public and private sectors should take equal religious and national holidays to assist with Omanitisation.
Regional News Qatar
Swift Action Required Over Qatarisation Targets
DOHA: Tough ministerial talk on boosting the rate of Qatarisation in HR departments should be met with a swift response by Qatar-based firms. Hussein Al Mulla, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Labour, said in press interviews recently that the post of HR Director in companies that are government-owned or partially-owned by a Qatari national must be given to local citizens. He also said companies ignoring a directive to set aside 20% of its jobs for nationals will “face the music”. Recruiters are warn companies against hesitating over the move, stressing that talented Qataris who can fill senior HR
positions will be much more expensive to hire in years to come.
Emiratisation accelerates for organisations to fulfil contribution towards drive
They are also urging companies to immediately establish training and recruitment systems within their HR departments in order to secure and DUBAI: As Emiratisation efforts develop talented locals from a small intensify across the country to attract demographic pool. UAE nationals to a diverse workforce, Careers UAE 2013 organisers have According to the Qatar Statistics reported that interest from exhibitors is at Authority, non-Qataris still dominate an all-time high ahead of the event, which the country’s private sector workforce is an unrivalled platform for seeking job due to a combination of private sector opportunities, training and networking. ambivalence over hiring locals and Taking place from 30 April to 2 May Qataris themselves favoring Government 2013, the exhibition is organised and posts. A further factor is the limited size hosted by Dubai World Trade Centre, of the Qatari employee pool. bringing over 90 companies face-toface with job seekers. Careers UAE represents a broad range of sectors such as government and semi-government, finance, education, recruitment, trade and commerce, IT, hospitality, oil and gas, transportation and telecommunications. Last year, the KSA Government The event is held under the patronage revealed that it had signed healthcare projects worth around SAR3bn. So far of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed around 102 hospitals with a total bed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice capacity of 2,300 and five medical cities President, Prime Minister and Ruler of with a 6,200-bed capacity are being Dubai, who recently announced that constructed; the latest budget will fund creating jobs for UAE nationals will be a these along with 19 new hospitals and priority in 2013 and that stated initiatives and policies will be launched to make medical centres. Emiratisation a national priority at all levels.
Saudi Arabia boosts 2013 medical services spend by 16%
RIYADH: Affirming its prioritisation of the health and well-being of its residents, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has increased funding for medical services by 16% in 2013; Around SAR100bn has been allotted for the Kingdom’s medical services and social development throughout the current year.
KSA to invest over SAR 502 billion for energy and water projects in 10 years RIYADH: Energy consumption in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is witnessing an unprecedented growth, prompting a wave of investments expected to reach SAR 502.5 billion for various power generation and water projects in the next decade. Being the third largest water consuming country in the world with an average consumption reaching 280 liters per day per capita, KSA has earmarked up to SAR 202.5 billion in various water projects to be completed by 2022, while energy projects are expected to cost SAR 300 billion, including SAR 13.875 billion in lighting projects recently awarded by the Saudi Ministry of Water and Electricity. Khaled Daou, Project Manager of Saudi Energy at Riyadh Exhibitions Company, said: “The sharp increase in energy consumption in Saudi Arabia has been driven mainly by rapid social
and economic development. As energy requirements hit new record highs each year, we are also seeing an increasing number of local and international suppliers, manufacturers and contractors offering a wide array of innovative products, services and technologies that complement the KSA Government’s efforts to address the Kingdom’s spiraling energy generation needs.”
Saudi Energy will run from May 26 to 29, 2013, at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre. It will be attended by exhibitors from Austria, Bahrain, China, Germany, India, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt and France, Italy, Korea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the UAE. There will also be country and national pavilions from China, Korea, Romania, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) explained: “As talented Emiratis explore the vast array of career choices available in the UAE workforce to contribute to a vibrant economy, employers continue to come on board to develop UAE national talent by offering diverse and quality job opportunities at Careers UAE. With Emiratisation a national priority at all levels, the event is a vital catalyst in this process to bridge the gap between prospective employees and companies that are compatible with their career ambitions.” Open exclusively for UAE Nationals and HR practitioners, Careers UAE 2013 will be held in Halls 5 - 8 at Dubai World Trade Centre. The event will take place from 30 April - 2 May 2013 from 10am to 6pm daily, and on 1 May from 10am - 1pm the event will be open to females only. Prospective participants can register and access more detailed information about the available opportunities via the Careers UAE 2013 website: www.careersuae.ae.
US Tax Disclosure discussions at Union of Arab Bank Forums HURGHADA: The implications of the new US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) are being discussed at the FATCA-focused conference, organised by the Union of Arab Banks in Hurghada, Egypt.
The impact of FATCA will be widely felt across the financial industry with banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, investment funds, broker-dealers, custodians, intermediaries, and private equity firms all having to comply.
FATCA, which came to effect on January 1 2013, makes it compulsory for FFIs to collect, manage and report all information that could reasonably point to individual’s liability for US taxation to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Although the Act is intended to prevent tax evasion among US citizens living and working abroad, it has also been raising concerns among financial institutions that want to honor international policies and yet are hesitant to possibly compromise the confidentiality of client information.
“FATCA is a ground-breaking law that intensifies global efforts against tax evasion. This new law is expected to cause some confusion and hesitancy among FFIs who will be obliged to comply with the law. The conference being organised by the Union of Arab Banks is an important platform for understanding the underpinnings of FATCA, its operational and legal implications, and the tools and processes available to ensure its proper implementation,” said Hazem Mulhim, CEO of EastNets.
World News China
Chinese Inflation Falls Sharply in March
SHANGHAI: Chinese inflation slowed sharply in March as food prices fell in the wake of the economy’s New Year holiday and the central bank drained cash from the economy. Consumer prices rose 2.1% in March from a year earlier, below expectation and down from a ten-month high of 3.2% in February, when China celebrated its Luna New Year. Food Price inflation, which had surged to 6% year on year in February, fell back to a pace of 2.7%. Source: Reuters
China local authority debt ‘out of control’
SHANGHAI: A senior Chinese auditor has warned that local government debt is “out of control” and could spark a bigger financial crisis than the US housing market crash. Zhang Ke, head of leading Chinese accounting firm ShineWing, said he had all but stopped signing off on bond sales by local governments as a result of his concerns. “We audited some local government bond issues and found them very dangerous, so we pulled out,” Mr Zhang said in an interview. “Most don’t have strong debt servicing abilities. Things could become very serious.” The International Monetary Fund, rating agencies and investment banks have all raised concerns about Chinese government debt. However, it is rare for a figure as established in the Chinese financial industry as Mr Zhang, who serves as vice-head of China’s accounting association, to make such stark comments. Source: The Financial Times
Investment Flows Increase into North Sea
LONDON: With 14 new oilfields about to come into production the British Government has announced records levels of investment, triggering a rise in their oil and gas output after a decade of decline. Production is anticipated to increase to 2m barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2017.
EU Pressure spells pension shake up
CYPRUS: Cypriot ministers rushed onPARIS: With European Union pressure to reach budget targets President Hollande of France is going against his core supporters, with a view to shrinking the pension system, which had a deficit of 14bn euros ($19 billion) in 2011. Hollande is looking at a complete pension overhaul; which few of his predecessors have proceeded with because of the protests of thousands on the streets. Even with this re-structure the government says it is unlikely to meet this year’s budget-deficit target. “A shake up to the pension system may help reassure officials in Brussels that France is making progress on cutting the deficit”, said Pierre-Olivier Beffy, chief economist at Exane BNP Paribas in London.
Global Passenger Traffic Increase GENEVA: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for February showing that demand growth is accelerating on the back of stronger business confidence, particularly in emerging regions. Passenger demand rose 3.7% compared to February 2012. The 3.7% growth masks improvements in recent months. October 2012 appears to have been a turning point for air travel markets. Since October, passenger demand has been growing at an annualised rate of 9%. This is almost double the growth trend over the first 9 months of 2012.
Middle East carriers saw year-onyear demand expand by 10.6%, the strongest amongst the regions. Capacity expansion was held to 9.7% with the result that load factor rose 0.7% points to 77.7%, the highest for any region.
Capacity was up 1.0% on the previous February and the industry load factor stood at 77.1%. In February international passenger demand was up 3.6% compared to the year-ago period, and 0.9% compared to January. Capacity rose 1.1% versus February 2012 and load factor climbed 1.8 percentage points to 76.3%.
On 20th March IATA raised its outlook for the industry’s earnings performance to a net profit margin of 1.6% from 1.3%. “The industry’s fortunes appear to be moving in the right direction, but the margins are wafer thin. And any shock could negatively impact the outlook,” said Tyler.
Tsarnaev had been hiding in the stern of a boat parked in the backyard of a house in Watertown, police said. A resident called police after spotting blood on the boat. President Barack Obama told reporters at the White House after the suspect’s capture that questions remained from the bombings, including whether the two suspects received any help.
The hunt for Tsarnaev emptied Boston’s streets as the city went into lockdown for most of Friday. Public transportation was suspended and air space restricted. Famous universities, including Harvard and MIT, closed after police told residents to remain at home. The hunt focused on Watertown, where police officers went door-to-door and searched houses. Two Black Hawk helicopters circled the area. SWAT teams moved through in formation.
Hussein Dabbas, IATA’s Regional Vice President for MENA said, “Although the impact of Chinese New Year dampened growth on premium routes to the Far East in February, overall we are still experiencing solid expansion in business and premium travel in the region. The Middle East is well placed to benefit from any upturn in East-West business, while new routes to emerging “February’s performance was good markets will offer further opportunities news. Demand for air travel continues to for growth.” rise on economic optimism and improved Domestic markets climbed 3.9% in business confidence. Although much of the growth is concentrated on emerging February compared to a year-ago, driven markets as Europe continues to be a primarily by surging demand in China, laggard. And the handling of the banking as all other markets experienced declines crisis in Cyprus has reminded all of us with the exception of Australia, which that the deep problems in the Eurozone rose 2.2%. Total domestic capacity was economies still remain,” said Tony Tyler, up 0.8% compared to February 2012 and load factor rose 2.3% points to 78.8%. IATA Director General and CEO.
Boston Bomber Captured USA
BOSTON: A 19-year-old suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings with his older brother was captured by police after a day-long manhunt on Friday that closed down the city and turned a working-class suburb into a virtual military zone. The capture sent waves of relief and jubilation through Boston and the suburb of Watertown, where armored vehicles roamed the streets and helicopters flew overhead through the day. Residents and police officers cheered and clapped when the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was taken alive after a gunfight. Bleeding and in serious condition, he was admitted to a Boston hospital, a Massachusetts State Police spokesman said.
The brothers, ethnic Chechens who once lived in Russia, are suspected of setting off bombs made in pressure cookers and packed with ball bearings and nails at the crowded finish line of Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 176.
Tsarnaev was taken into custody after authorities rushed the boat, Davis said. Source: Reuters
In the Next Issue
Take a look below for a sneak peek into what is coming up in Issue 6 of Business Insight…
Air Miles receives bumper requests during first expiry date
The region’s leading coalition loyalty programme was overwhelmed by a barrage of redemption requests due to its first expiry date on March 31 2013, which saw five billion Air Miles redeemed in March, including an order of a bespoke AED500,000 Rolex watch. Despite its 1.2mil members receiving a year’s notice that all Air Miles over three years old would expire in March 31 2013, the loyalty programme trebled staff, extended working hours, canceled weekends and provided additional email redemption option to cope with the 4,000 calls per day; whilst proactively contacting many members with large numbers of Air Miles on their account to remind them to spend their balance. Among these redemptions were over AED80,000 of Cartier jewellery, a Chopard watch costing AED70,000 and 26 Samsung cameras. Helen Deiki, Air Miles marketing and communications manager explains, “Our goal was to ensure members used their Air Miles (not lose them).”
BUSIN ESS IN SIGHT
Issue 5 -May 2013
Grains We all know the price of bread and pasta is increasing, but have we ever really understood why? We speak to leading commodities brokers in this field to gain a better understanding of this market, and what to expect for the next 5 years.
How to improve your bottom line through customer relationship management systems There have been huge advances in technology that can assist you not only with your sales and pipeline reporting, but also your customer relations. There are paid systems such as Goldmine, or free ones like SharePoint Database. We look at the some of the top paid and free systems available that will help you to not only improve your business processes but also to reduce your costs.
If you you imcan’t mea su prove it? re it how c an Settin g stra tegic K P Is Know i n g w for SMEs h
n to s Key s ell kil Centuls for the 2 st r y ma 1 nager 4/25/13
Islamic Finance: All you need to know about Mudaraba and Musharaka contracts Not heard of these before? Well, you wouldn’t be alone. The first is a partnership contract and the second a contract for establishing a joint partnership. Confused? We explain more next month.
How do you manage kidnap and ransom risk? How many of us have ever considered the difficult situations we can place ourselves in whilst conducting business? Let’s be honest, that quick meeting in Iraq, or Kenya could turn into a nightmare situation when you, being known as a business person, are taken hostage. So what solutions are out there for a company to ensure the safety of their staff. We take a look at these in more detail.
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