Global entrepreneurship week
december 2012 www.privatesectorqatar.com/en
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CHOOSE YOUR OWN FLAVOUR With six new boutique hotels and nine new residences, Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels brings, exciting, creative, innovative five star luxury to Doha’s most precious tourist destination, Souq Waqif. The authentic souq, for many years the centre of merchant trading, now has a collection of uniquely different sanctuaries and retreats. From 14 rooms to 37 rooms, from traditionally Qatari to fashionably contemporary and modern, the six hotels will inspire and tailor make a wonderful memory for all guests, whether they be staying at leisure or on business.
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ﺗﺤﻘﻖ ﺳﻠﺴﻠﺔ ﻓﻨﺎﺩﻕ ﺍﻟﺒﻮﺗﻴﻚ ﻓﻲ ﺳﻮﻕ ﻭﺍﻗﻒ ،ﻣﻦ ﺧﻼﻝ ﻓﻨﺎﺩﻕ ﺍﻟﺒﻮﺗﻴﻚ ﺍﻟﺴﺘﺔ ﻭ ﺍﻟﺸﻘﻖ ﺍﻟﻔﻨﺪﻗﻴــﺔ ﺍﻟﺠﺪﻳﺪﺓ ،ﻧﻘﻠﺔ ﻓﺎﺭﻗﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﺼﻨﺎﻋﺔ ﺍﻟﻔﻨﺪﻗﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﻔﺨﻤﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻤﻨﻄﻘﺔ ﺍﻟﺘﺎﺭﻳﺨﻴﺔ ﻭ ﺍﻷﺛﺮﻳﺔ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﺪﻭﺣﺔ ﺍﻟﺘﻲ ﺗﻤﺜﻞ ٔﺍﺣﺪ ٔﺍﺑﺮﺯ ﻣﻌﺎﻟﻢ ﺍﻟﻌﺎﺻﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﺴﻴﺎﺣﻴﺔ .ﺍﺫ ﻳﺤﺘﻀﻦ ﺳﻮﻕ ﻭﺍﻗﻒ ﺍﻟﺬﻱ ﺷﻜﻞ ﻣﻨﺬ ﺯﻣﻦ ﺑﻌﻴﺪ ﻣﺤﻮﺭ ﻭ ﻣﺮﺗﻜﺰ ﺍﻟﺤﺮﻛﺔ ﺍﻟﺘﺠﺎﺭﻳﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻌﺎﺻﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻘﻄﺮﻳﺔ ،ﻭﻳﺘﺮﺍﻭﺡ ﻋﺪﺩ ﻏﺮﻑ ﺍﻟﻔﻨﺎﺩﻕ ﺍﻟﺴﺘﺔ ﺍﻟﺠﺪﻳﺪﺓ ﺑﻴﻦ ١٤ﻭ ٣٧ﻏﺮﻓﺔ ﻓﻨﺪﻗﻴﺔ ،ﺗﺘﻤﻴﺰ ﺑﻬﻨﺪﺳﺘﻬﺎ ﺍﻟﻤﻌﻤﺎﺭﻳﺔ ﺍﻟﻔﺮﻳﺪﺓ ﺃﺟﻮﺍﺋﻬﺎ ﺍﻟﺮﺣﺒﺔ ،ﺑﻴﻨﻤﺎ ﺗﺘﻤﺎﻳﺰ ﻋﻦ ﺑﻌﻀﻬﺎ ﺍﻟﺒﻌﺾ ﺑﺘﺼﻤﻴﻤﺎﺗﻬﺎ ﺍﻟﻤﺴﺘﻠﻬﻤﺔ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻷﺻﺎﻟﺔ ﺍﻟﻘﻄﺮﻳﺔ ٔﺍﻭ ﺍﻟﺤﺪﺍﺛﺔ ﺍﻟﻔﺨﻤﺔ ،ﻭﻫﻲ ﻣﺼﻤﻤﺔ ﻟﺘﻮﻓﺭ ﻟﻠﻨﺰﻻﺀ ،ﺳﻮﺍﺀ ﻣﻦ ﺭﺟﺎﻝ ﺍﻷﻋﻤﺎﻝ ٔﺍﻭ ﺍﻟﺴﺎﺋﺤﻴﻦ ٔﺍﻭ ﺍﻟﻤﻘﻴﻤﻴﻦ ﻓﻲ ﻗﻄﺮ ،ﺿﻴﺎﻓﺔ ﻭﺭﺣﺎﺑﺔ ﺗﺨﻠﺪ ﻓﻲ ﺫﺍﻛﺮﺗﻬﻢ.
CONTENTS December 2012
20 JOINT SUCCESS! With the aim of finding new solutions for support of entrepreneurs and SMEs, Enterprise Qatar and Qatar Development Bank held two interesting sessions within the Policy, Financial, & Legal stream of the GEW Qatar.
24 TECHNOLOGY FOR A BETTER LIFE
The Creative, Design & Technology stream of the GEW Qatar focused on the opportunities in the ICT sector.
Global Entrepreneurship Week 26 SNAPSHOTs
18 THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT
10 UPDATES Get to know about the latest events and happenings in Qatar that will have an impact on SMEs and large enterprises.
Within the Individual Leadership & Entrepreneurship stream, the participants of the GEW Qatar had a chance to learn more about entrepreneurship and be advised by those who already made it in Qatar. Private Sector Qatar was there to make sure that valuable tips are shared with you as well.
We bring you snapshots from the main sessions of the GEW Qatar held at the Crown Plaza Business Park Hotel, Doha.
28 ALMIGHTY ENTREPRENEURSHIP It seems that being an entrepreneur has become quite popular lately. Mark Dixon, CEO, Regus, advises about entrepreneurship to help you keep up with this new trend.
14 THE RIGHT PLATFORM Private Sector Qatar was at the Big 5, which took place from 5th to 8th November 2012, to bring you a snapshot of this international construction and machinery show and impressions of 22 Qatari companies that were present at the Qatar Pavilion.
Entrepreneur 16 LET OUT THE INNER ENTREPRENEUR!
The Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) was held, for the first time in Qatar, from 11th till 17th November 2012 with the aim of doing what it takes to make Qatari entrepreneurs and startups even more successful. Private Sector Qatar brings to you an exclusive coverage of the whole event.
SMEs 30 TARGET A NICHE Speed Line Printing Press, one of the most successful printing companies in Qatar, managed to capitalise on the niche market developed within the sector. Tamara Pupic shares with you their story.
32 EXPORT â€“ THATâ€™S THE FORMULA! Tamara Pupic shares with you thoughts of M. Hazaa Alheraki, General Manager, Al Shams Advanced Lighting Technologies (Q.P.S.C.), on their business development and export strategy, after they met up at the Big 5.
Sector study 34 BE IN THE RIGHT ZONE Dr. Tarek Coury, Chief Economist, Tanween, proposes a solution to tackle the impact of high construction costs on the real estate industry in Qatar. Don’t miss this valuable advice!
Technology 38 STAY CONNECTED! Mohammed Mehdi Al Yami, Director for External Relations, Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C., explained to Tamara Pupic why telecommunications infrastructure is crucial for proper development of SMEs and entrepreneurs.
Legal 42 packing up Emma Higham, Senior Associate, Clyde &Co, provides the second article in a series relating to the winding up provisions which apply to companies incorporated in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) under the QFC Insolvency Regulations (Insolvency Regulations).
Business advice 46 MOVE UP THE LADDER! Salwa Atiyyah, Senior Career Guidance Manager, Silatech, helps us figure out the criteria Qatari employers use to select the right candidate.
Industry 50 POWER FROM POWER After the successful press visit to Alstom’s headquarters and facilities in France, Germany and Switzerland, Tamara Pupic brings to you the first of a two-part series on Alstom’s business growth in the Middle East region with a special focus on Qatar.
Marketing 54 SMART MARKETING ESSENTIALS Aref El Nakadi, Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager, Ahli Bank, suggests how SMEs can improve their marketing strategies and benefit from Qatar’s economic growth.
EDITORIAL Publisher Dominic De Sousa
To new beginnings...
Group COO Nadeem Hood Managing Director Richard Judd firstname.lastname@example.org +971 4 440 9126
We didn’t even realise where this year went by and that the English version of Private Sector Qatar is almost a year old!
EDITORIAL Senior Editor Aparna Shivpuri Arya email@example.com +971 440 9133
A year older and wiser definitely and what a year it has been! From covering success stories,entrepreneurs to regional and local events it has been a tough but fulfilling journey. We took baby steps this year to feel the pulse of the private sector in Qatar and we can say with some confidence that we feel at home now.
Assistant Editor - English Tamara Pupic firstname.lastname@example.org +971 440 9130 Assistant Editor - Arabic Jenny Kassis email@example.com +971 440 9116 Contributing Editors Mike Byrne firstname.lastname@example.org +971 440 9105 ADVERTISING Commercial Director Chris Stevenson email@example.com +971 4 440 9138 CIRCULATION Database and Circulation Manager Rajeesh M firstname.lastname@example.org +971 4 440 9147 OPERATIONS AND DESIGN Production Manager James P Tharian email@example.com +971 4 440 9146 Head of Design Fahed Sabbagh firstname.lastname@example.org +971 4 440 9148 Photographer Jay Colina email@example.com +971 4 440 9137 DIGITAL SERVICES www.smeadvisor.com
We are very excited about 2013 and looking forward to bringing you more interesting stories, business advice and events. Talking about events, we recently organised the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Qatar for the first time and it was seven days of intensive discussions and workshops about various aspects of being an entrepreneur. Don’t forget to read our coverage of the event! We also covered the Big 5 and got the opportunity to meet some of the Qatari exporters and know the role that TASDEER is playing to support them. As always, we bring you sound business advice from the experts- so grab a copy to read all about what employees are looking for these days ( it’ll definitely help you be at the top of the game), some marketing tricks for SMEs and the legal provisions you need to be aware of when it comes to insolvency. Wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season! Catch you all next year! Till then..
Digital Services Manager Tristan Troy Maagma Web Developers Jerus King Bation Erik Briones Jefferson de Joya Louie Alma firstname.lastname@example.org +971 4 440 9100 Published by
Aparna Shivpuri Arya, Senior Editor, Private Sector Qatar Talk to us: E-mail: email@example.com Twitter: @PrivateSectorQA Facebook: www.facebook.com/PrivateSectorQatar LinkedIn group: Private Sector Qatar
Head Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409
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Dar Al Sharq Distribution © Copyright 2012 CPI All rights reserved While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.
QDB BriDgeD the gap to starting my own Business through aL Dhameen.
Do you have a promising business or new business idea? But do you also have trouble finding the funding that you need? Ask us about Al Dhameen Indirect Lending Program from QDB. We will guarantee up to 85% of your business loan *, leaving you free to focus on developing your business. Click on www.qdb.qa or visit one of our partners listed below.
* Guarantees of up to 85% are for new businesses. Exiting businesses can get guarantees of up to 75%. Terms and Conditions apply.
Ms. Amal Al-Mannai
advisory Board Gail Gosse Gail Gosse, is the Dean of the School of Business at College of North Atlantic-Qatar.
Ms. Al-Mannai is the Executive Director of the Social Development Center (SDC).
Hamad Mohammed Al-Kuwari Hamad AL-Kuwari is the Managing Director of Qatar Science & Technology Park.
Professor Nitham M. Hindi
George M. White, Ph.D.
Professor Nitham M. Hindi, is the Dean of College of Business and Economics at the Qatar University.
Dr. White is Associate Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar.
Abdulaziz N. Al-Khalifa
Hamad Al Abdan Al-Marri
Mr. Al-Khalifa is the Executive Director, Strategic Planning and Control at Qatar Development Bank (QDB).
Eng. Hamad Mohamed Al Abdan is the Chief Business Operation Officer at Enterprise Qatar.
Rashid Nasser Sraiya Al Kaabi
Mr. Al-Emadi is the Deputy CEO, Silatech.
Mr. Al Kaabi is the Chairman of the Board of Energy City Qatar Holding (ECQH).
For more information, please visit www.privatesectorqatar.com/en
We are the new AIG
Bring on tomorrow www.aig.com AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and retirement, and general insurance operations of American International Group, Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aig.com. Products and services are written or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and insurance coverage is governed by actual policy language. Certain products and services may be provided by independent third parties. Insurance products may be distributed through affiliated or unaffiliated entities. Certain property-casualty coverages may be provided by a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.
INJAZ Al-Arab Young Entrepreneurs Competition 2012
ALGreenIA and Creative Generation from Algeria and Yemen respectively walked away with the top accolade for the Best Company of the Year Award at the 6th annual INJAZ Al-Arab Young Entrepreneurs Competition held under the patronage of the Qatar Foundation. The award was delivered by Fadi Michael Bay, Vice President, ExxonMobil Qatar, to both companies for their environmentally-friendly products. Commenting on her company’s win, Wafa Al-Rimi, CEO, Creative Generation, stated, “This has been an amazing experience and I am thrilled that our team was acknowledged as the ExxonMobilBest Company of the Year. We worked very hard on our product and it is great to see our efforts pay off.” Karim Hamaïli, Director of Projects & Development, ALGreenIA, said, “The competition has been a fantastic learning experience for us all and I would like to thank INJAZ Al-Arab, the Qatar Foundation, and ExxonMobil for the opportunity to participate. I hope this competition inspires individual contestants to continue using their entrepreneurial skills and become active participants in their local economies in the future.”
Judged by Fadi Ghandour, Founder and CEO of Aramex, Sheikha Hanadi Al Thani, Founder and Chairperson of Amwal, Slim Othmani, Vice President of Afia Algeria, Fadi Michael Bey, Vice President of ExxonMobil Qatar Inc., and Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi, CEO of HSBC Bank Middle East Qatar, student companies were assessed on their ability to demonstrate sound business insight, financial knowledge, marketing support and feasibility studies. In addition, competing students were required to spend one day showcasing their products, presenting to the public, and holding a private question and answer session with the judging panel in order to present their business in its entirety. Other awards of the night included – HSBC Award for the Most Innovative Product which went to Mathaq from Oman a company that specialises in the production of tea in an innovative and time efficient manner, FedEx Access Award went to RecycloBekia from Egypt, a company which specialises in electronic waste collection that offers green recycling and data destruction, NBK Award for the Company with the Best Social Impact went to VISIO from Lebanon, a company which aims to educate communities to take care of the environment, and Barwa Bank’s Award for the Best Marketing Plan went to H2O Meter from Palestine, an environmentally-friendly product which aims to preserve water with high efficiency and low costs. Commenting on the competition, Soraya Salti, Regional Director, INJAZ Al-Arab, said,
“Every individual who took part should be proud of their achievement. Each year we are wowed by the unbelievable talent displayed by Arab youth and this year was no different. This event was created to prove to students that entrepreneurship is a viable avenue for achieving economic success, especially given the challenges they face in today’s competitive job market. This competition is about broadening students’ minds, showing them that entrepreneurship is an exciting challenge and a fulfilling career choice.” The INJAZ Al-Arab Young Arab Entrepreneurs Competition was launched in 2007 and is attended by national competition winners from countries across the region. The competition in 2012 was the culmination of 5430 participating students working to create 240 student companies across 13 countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen. His Excellency Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Ph.D., President of Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Vice President of Education for Qatar Foundation, stated, “The competition has brought a new life over the city of Doha. The presence of the youth coming from all across the MENA region has instilled an incredible energy across the city. INJAZ Al-Arab has highlighted the need to encourage entrepreneurship within each community in the region and after seeing the outcome of the competition, we are proud to support an organisation that benefits Arab youth through education and motivation, and we hope to continue supporting INJAZ Al-Arab in the years to come.”
Qatar in our hearts Qatar Development Bank (QDB) is celebrating Qatar National Day with a competition which was launched through a Facebook application created especially for the occasion and which went live on 28th November 2012. The competition, titled “Qatar in our Hearts”, stretches till 22nd December 2012 and will see three winners awarded with a cash prize of QR 5,000, a trophy and an iPad 3 for the first place, a cash prize of QR 3,000 and a trophy for the second place and a trophy for the third place. “Qatar in our hearts” runs through QDB’s Facebook page asking participants around Qatar to capture beautiful images or drawings that showcase the uniqueness of the country. Submissions are subject to the voting online through Facebook by the public and the winners will be announced on 24th December 2012.
Interested participants are encouraged to visit QDB’s Facebook page to get a better understanding of the terms and conditions of the competition and submit their entries based on the pre-determined qualifications criteria. Each participant can upload as many pictures as they want and that embody the essence of Qatar.
lot to offer to tourists and residents. We want to showcase our appreciation of all these wonderful attractions and unlock the creative flair of everybody in Qatar. This competition reaches out to our growing online community and helps to engage the people to portray what each one us loves about this country.”
Participants can also follow the Hashtag #QDBDEC18 on Twitter or use the same should they like to tweet about the competition.
Although some steps are being taken to tackle these issues, it will take some years for any successes of a magnitude necessary to impact positively on the ratings to occur.
Maha Al Essa, Senior Online and Social Media Officer, QDB, said, “Qatar is a true Arabian treasure trove of culture. From the authentic architecture of our world-famous Souq Waqif to the bustling waterfront walkway, the Corniche, to internationallyacclaimed Islamic arts collection at the Museum of Islamic Arts and others or to the magical sand dunes our country has a
Qatar’s non-hydrocarbon sector upbeat About 36% of the non-hydrocarbon sector respondents in Qatar do not anticipate any negative factors impacting business operations in fourth quarter of 2012, a survey by Dun & Brasdstreet has said.
respondents respectively. Only 4% of the respondents have identified inflationary factors as a concern for their business operations,” the survey said.
The survey said 29% of the respondents anticipate factors like lack of new projects, competitive market conditions, increase in raw material costs, demand fluctuations, payment delays and cash flow issues as well as a slowdown in business due to market conditions to impact businesses.
The survey, however, noted that sentiments related to investment in business expansion remained steady compared to the previous quarter. It said 44% of the non-hydrocarbon companies would invest in business expansion in the fourth quarter of 2012. The number was 46% in the third quarter of 2012.
“Access to cheap finance and availability of skilled labour are cited as the topmost concerns by 16% and 15% of the sector
According to the survey 34% of the respondents said that they would not invest in expansion, whereas 22% remained unsure.
Regarding the optimism in the hydrocarbon segment, survey said 42% of the respondents do not foresee any negative factors impacting business operations in the fourt quarter of 2012, while another 32% of the respondents have identified other factors such as market fluctuations, working capital issues, lack of new projects and project delays as their top most challenges. The survey pointed out that 13% of the respondents have cited availability of skilled labour as a concern while 8% of the respondents are concerned about access to finance, with the remaining 5% of sector respondents expressing concerns on adverse inflationary pressures.
Employment for Qatari people with special needs Special Needs. QNB aims to help these individuals secure rewarding careers and integrate them better into society.
QNB signed a memorandum of understanding with the Qatar Society for the Rehabilitation of People with Special Needs to train and develop people with special needs and involve them in jobs that suit their type of disability. After providing the agreed on training, QNB will employ people with special needs with the support and guidance of the Qatar Society for the Rehabilitation of People with
The memorandum was signed by Ali Rashid Al Mohannadi, Executive General Manager and Chief Operation Officer, QNB, and Rabia Bin Mohd Al Kaabi, the Deputy Chairman, Qatar Society for the Rehabilitation of People with Special Needs. Al Mohannadi stated that QNB aims at encouraging this important category of the society, who has special talents and skills, helping them to be more self confident and more giving, providing, at the same time, the life they have always dreamed of.
For his part, Al Kaabi, highlighted QNB’s blessed initiative, as a great opportunity to continue supporting people with special needs and provide more vacancies in future, a matter that will boost their self estimation and encourage then to play a bigger role in this society. Al Kaabi also stressed that QNB was one of the first institutions that offered to employ people with special needs and supported all other activities related to them.This step comes in line with the bank’s vision towards this category, achieving their aspirations and provide the environment that perfectly suits them. The Qatar Society for the Rehabilitation of People with Special Needs strives to offer employment opportunities to people with several types of physical disabilities, with the aim of enhancing their lives by helping them achieve personal satisfaction from their work and know that the can rely on a stable source of income.
DECEMBER 2012 FEBRUARY 2013
Save the date! Date
25 November - 8 December
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
1 - 6 December
Qatar Health 2012
4 - 8 December
World Petroleum Congress and Exhibition
Qatar National Convention Centre
6 - 10 December
Punjab International Trade Expo (PITEX 2012)
Indian Embassy Doha
9 -12 December
MENA Gas Processing Summit 2012
Oryx Rotana Hotel
10 - 11 December
HSE in Construction Qatar
Crowne Plaza Doha-The Business Park Doha
10 - 11 December
Doha Goal Forum
11 - 12 December
Euromoney Qatar Conference
4 - 14 January 2013
2013 IGLP Workshop
7 - 9 January 2013
World Congress on Engineering Education 2013 (WCEE 2013)
13 - 15 January 2013
World GTL Congress
St. Regis Hotel Doha
21 - 23 January 2013
Offshore Middle East Conference and Exhibition 2013
Qatar National Convention Center
31 January – 2 February 2013
Forum Mobile Phone – ICT Qatar
4 - 6 February 2013
Second High Level Forum on Global Geospatial Information Management
Qatar National Convention Center
4 - 6 February 2013
POWER-GEN Middle East 2013
Qatar National Convention Center
4 - 6 February 2013
WaterWorld Middle East 2013
Qatar National Convention Center
Partnership opportunities Private Sector (Al Kitaa Al Khass) is an Arabic and English magazine, presented and supported by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and published by CPI. It is aimed at business owners and senior executives in the private sector in Qatar. Armed with practical advice, it highlights key issues for the business community. The driving force for regional economies is the private sector – a catalyst for growth, development and job creation. With the world’s spotlight on Qatar’s development activities and the buzz being created around 2022, this sector is going to grow by leaps and bounds. That’s great news if you’re targeting the private sector, which spans across almost all industry verticals, but the problem you face is identifying the most dynamic and competitive companies amongst a sea of competitors. A key answer for the past half decade has been CPI’s UAE-based magazine SME Advisor Middle East, which has delivered valuable business information to leading SMEs across the region, helping them develop their businesses, putting them in touch with valued partners and fuelling growth even in a stalled global economy.
Now, with the support of QDB as our presenting partner, we have launched the same business values, tailor-made for Qatar in the form of the brand Private Sector. This will encompass magazine, events, online and several other initiatives to drive Qatari entrepreneurship and the private sector. This is your chance! This is a market you cannot afford to miss. This is a market that you can reach in an intelligent, focused way, working with the expert team that brought you SME Advisor Middle East and has now launched Private Sector magazine in Qatar.
For more information about advertising and other partnership opportunities, please visit www.privatesectorqatar.com/en For marketing ideas and opportunities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The right platform The Big 5, the international construction and machinery show, was held in Dubai from 5th to 8th November 2012. With 2,500 exhibitors, from 70 countries, and 27 national pavilions, the industry shared the very latest insights from across the globe. We bring you our coverage of the event.
DB’s Qatar Export Development Agency, TASDEER, was present in a big way at the event. 22 Qatari companies represented Qatar at the exhibition in order to pave the way for showcasing the country’s full exporting potential to the world at Qatar’s 300 sqm Pavilion stationed in Zabeel Hall. Talking about TASDEER’s role, Hassan Khalifa Al Mansouri, Executive Director, TASDEER, said that the main objective of TASDEER is to support the private sector and promote Qatari products in the region and globally. One way to do that is to encourage companies to participate in international exhibitions, develop collateral materials for them and support them to be a part of the Big 5. Elaborating further, he said, “The companies are invited based on the theme of the exhibition. We invited a number of companies, out of
which 22 companies related to building and construction came here. Our aim was to show the quality and diversity of the Qatari products.” Hassan was quite optimistic about the opportunity that the Big 5 has provided to the Qatari companies, “Qatari companies have a huge opportunity to present their products, interact with other companies, see the new trends and we also encourage them to start interacting with importers for collaboration.” More than 6,000 people visited Qatar Pavilion stand and were interested in the Qatari products. QDB went all out in promoting Qatari products as all the entrances for the exhibition has promotional material for the Qatari pavilion. The First Secretary, Qatar Embassy in UAE, Abdulaziz Al Hammadi attended the Qatar Pavilion opening.
Mansour Bin Ibrahim Al Mahmoud, QDB’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “QDB is strongly committed to developing and promoting the local exporting capacity through continued support to the domestic private sector. TASDEER aims at establishing solid exporting fundamentals which include adequate credit guarantees, risk mitigation and global business opportunities in addition to promoting the contribution of exports to Qatar’s economy in its entirety.” Al Mansouri, added, “TASDEER adopts a comprehensive export-driver strategy and our presence at the exhibition has helped us connect our industry to the global exporting community and grow future international business possibilities. This, in turn, will positively impact the role of local exports in growing and, more importantly, diversifying Qatar’s GDP.”
TASDEER’s export development and promotion services include developing Qatar’s export strategy for non-oil products, identifying products and target markets and providing trade information about foreign markets through tools like “Trade Map” and “Market Access Map”. Other services include conducting market entry studies for target markets. We also spoke to the participating companies about their experience at the Big 5 and were happy to note that all of them were very appreciative of QDB’s efforts. “The Big 5 is a great industry platform for us as Qatar’s first cable manufacturer. Doha Cables was established in order to help achieve Qatar’s National Vision 2030. Therefore we were happy to be a part of the Big 5 and to have the chance to participate at this event. Doha Cables has already begun exporting to countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Iraq and Turkmenistan. We were able to infiltrate a variety of other markets with the help and vision of QDB and our presence at the Big 5,” said Ahmed Fathy Elsewedy, Vice President of Doha Cables. Pradeep Rajan, CEO of Khalid Manufacturing Company elaborated on the relevance of the Big 5 for his company, “Initiatives, such as the Big 5, encourage us to further contribute to the development of the industry. This event gave us the opportunity to network and meet with a considerable number of prospect clients and importers and to help generate key enquiries about our business. As manufacturers, we highly appreciate the support we got from QDB. Such knowledge-sharing platforms certainly make our jobs much more efficient and effective.” Ritesh Doshi, Sales Director, Doha Cables, further added that they have been very happy with QDB’s attempt to bring them here, “We really want to focus on exports and have been looking for clients and this show has been a good platform. This is a first experience here and I am sure the coming years will be better. We are very happy with QDB’s support and appreciate it. We got some leads from countries but we’ll need to explore more. We hope to grow every year with TASDEER’s efforts.”
Abdulaziz Al Hammadi, Qatar’s Consulate in Dubai, (middle) and Hassan Khalifa Al Mansouri, Executive Director, TASDEER,(right) amongst other participants.
Basak Utku Esenli, Business Development Engineer of Qatar International Cables Company, QICC said, “The Big 5 was a very relevant event for our field of work and business. Qatar International Cables Company is a newly launched entity in Qatar with a huge potential to serve the industry and position Qatar as a strong exporter to international markets. It is to that effect that we need industry platform of the caliber of the Big 5 in order to promote our presence in the GCC. We believe that this initiative by QDB is truly helpful for companies like QICC to cement our image and strengthen our reputation and therefore attract the necessary contacts and leads we are looking for. We have ambitious expansion plans for the future and partnering with organisations like QDB is essential to our growth.” Eng Usama Hammadi, Doha, Extraco, echoed the same sentiment and said that the Big 5 gave them the opportunity to know what the other global companies are doing and what are the latest technologies and innovations. Peter Roderick Hayes, Business Development Manager, Qatar German Pipes
Co. (QGPC), talked about their experience and were highly appreciative of QDB’s efforts, “First of all we were very grateful to have a stand at the show. The number of visitors in the course of these days has been very encouraging. We have received genuine enquiries from KSA, Afghanistan, Iran and other parts of the GCC. This is the first time we have exhibited in the Big 5. We are a relatively new company in Qatar. We are very keen to explore export opportunity and so far we have not been disappointed. It has been worth our time. Opportunities like the Big 5 should be grabbed as they don’t come by so easily, “he opined. These testimonials were reconfirmed when we got to know that the orders made at the exhibition or under negotiations are worth USD 5.17 million (or QR 19 million). More so, 11 companies are about to appoint agents/distributers for their products in new markets. After getting all the details, we were left in no doubt that QDB’s efforts to encourage Qatari exports have found the right direction.
Let out the inner entrepreneur! The Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) was held, for the first time in Qatar, from 11th till 17th November 2012 at the Crown Plaza Doha Hotel. Within the four streams of topics – the discussions and panels were more than just an awareness campaign. The GEW Qatar was all about unleashing ideas and doing what it takes to bring entrepreneurs and startups to life – spotting opportunities, taking risks, solving problems, being creative, building connections and learning from both failure and success. Private Sector Qatar was there and brings to you the coverage of the whole event.
n the evening of 11th November 2012, GEW Qatar, the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and promote human welfare, was officially opened at the gala dinner held at the Crown Plaza Doha Hotel. The dinner was attended by many prominent figures from Qatar’s government, business, academia and NGO circles. Shell Qatar, as part of its gold sponsorship of the GEW Qatar, brought, in partnership with Bedaya Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Development, the first ever Enterprise Challenge Qatar, a computer based business simulation challenge that promotes entrepreneurship skills in young people. The winning team Aggie Engineers from Texas A&M University (Qatar) was honoured at the gala dinner. Within the Youth & Social Entrepreneurship stream, Bedaya Center for Entrepreneurship
and Career Development, a joint initiative of Silatech and Qatar Development Bank, offered a full slate of youth-oriented activities and workshops to the guests. The first day started with the “Entrepreneurial Mind Set Mastery” session lectured by Jeanine Bailey, Empower People. She taught participants how to identify and overcome the negative voice in their mind which stops them from achieving success. Basically, a negative voice is usually created in the past to protect a person from some unpleasant experience. In time, it develops into the negative comfort zone in which the person feels secure, but behaves in a manner which is not good for him or her and others. That mindset is the reason for failure of many entrepreneurs. She further explained that visualisation is one of the ways to get your mindset in line with what you want to create. The visualisation functions on the fact that the mind works
well with symbols. For that reason, Jeaanine requested participants to imagine themselves as if they already are exactly the person they want to become. That image should lead them through the change of their mindset which includes a positive, but uncomfortable zone in which the person changes the behaviour, but feels uncomfortable about it in the beginning. In the later stage which comes as a consequence of constant repetition of new habits, the person starts feeling good since he/she has finally entered a positive comfort zone. One of the presentations during the first day, titled “Youth Led Entrepreneurship in Qatar” was given by Shams Hasan, Board Member & Co-founder, CarSemsar.com, who explained, “Entrepreneurship in Qatar is as unique as Qatar itself. Somebody who doesn’t understand the realities is in for shock. Maybe that is negative, but only by knowing the realities would somebody be ready for doing business in Qatar. Of course, with a country fostering entrepreneurial environment as heavily as Qatar is, it’s important that somebody
does due diligence towards achieving the kind of success that they want. It’s easy to do business in Qatar, but that also translates the fact that there are difficulties in starting a business in Qatar. However, Qatar is making big steps with regards to solving that. For example, online businesses do not need an office to register a company. Another question is should the bodies that are actually offering to help startups work through banks or should they be using the same funds to actually help creation of a venture capitalist environment in Qatar.”
Enterprise Challenge Qatar: The winning team – Aggie Engineers
A word from youth An interesting discussion developed during the “Ta3mal Ambassadors’ Panel”, held on the second day of GEW Qatar, with Shaza Daifalla, Jassim Al Rumaihi, Mohammed Mazzen Dauleh and Bisher al Homsi, students of the Qatar Univeristy, as panelists. They agreed that doing an internship is extremely important for youth since it can lead to valuable employment opportunities. In the process of searching for the right internship, students should not be too selective and specific, but should accept even lower level internship positions to start with. Usefulness of internship is supported by the fact that fresh graduates are not quite clear about what career they want to choose and what opportunities exist for them. Thus, doing the internship can provide insight about which business they want to specialise. One of the participants highlighted that the internship itself is a process full of learning and the sooner you start the better results you will get. For that reason, young people should be active even in the high school in order to learn how to be committed and disciplined at their work. Building their CV at the internship level will later on distinguish them within the job application processes. Interactive discussion between the panelists and the audience also focused on the question of how
to improve networking among Qatari youth. There are a lot of networking events for students in Qatar, but they do not receive proper publicity. “Network Connect – Startup Collaboration Workshop” with Suzanne Grant, Founder, 8ovate, held on the third day, drew a lot of attendees who were interested to share collaboration secrets in a working session. The aim of the workshop was to stress the importance of collaboration for local and international businesses. Collaboration starts with connection - to seek a connection is completely natural, but somewhere along the way, we become shy and forget our instincts. Too often people are trying hard to sell their products or services without working on building a connection. The question is when it comes to selling – how can you do that successfully without knowing the person you are interacting with? Furthermore, startups usually have limited resources, from cash to talent. So, they can benefit from helping each other out. If you look at collaboration as part of your strategic tool kit, you have the opportunity of making progress faster with your existing resources. For all these reasons, Suzanne taught participants how to build their own collaboration strategies to suit their natural style, interests and business objectives. On the fourth day of the Youth & Social Entrepreneurship stream, INJAZ Qatar organised “Innovation Camp: Where Young People Gather and Work Collaboratively to Address a Business Challenge.” A large number of participating students was divided in ten teams which competed in finding the best solution to the business challenge – to propose the best product or a service which would minimise the problem of the numerous car accidents happening in Qatar. On the competition, Hessa Mohamed Al-Thani, student of the Qatar University, said, “The challenge was a perfect game to let out the inner entrepreneur in all of us. What was nice about this is that the problem really is a very serious one and we got many solutions that could be applied in real life. The fun part was the time pressure! To think of a new product or a service, write a business plan and do three minutes power point presentation, all within an hour was an overwhelming, but a positive experience.
I learned a lot during the programme from networking to solving problems and most of all from the speed in which we were required to complete our task. Our team won the creativity title, and another team won the feasibility title. And I couldn’t be any more proud of the fact that both winners are QU’s female students!” Focus on your leads The main topic of the “How to start and manage a successful business” session, lectured by international expert Matthias Khatchadourian, on the last day within this stream of topics, was about the essential things you need to know about running a successful business. When starting a business, people focus on how to promote a product and a service instead of focusing on their leads. But, whenever you focus on your leads, like your own smile, charisma or body language, people will get excited about you. If you planned your business well, that could be an additional advantage since you can’t know what tomorrow may bring. Furthermore, Matthias explained that in the majority of cases, success or failure of a startup is all about knowing both “the how” (strategy) and “the why” (objective) of taking the action. In addition, it is always about being clear which steps to take next. To help this process, Matthias gave an idea of essential things one needs to know about running a successful business: • Offer what people want to buy, not just what you want to sell • Get cash flow as soon as possible • Always find new ways to keep costs low • When planning, always overestimate expenses and underestimate revenues • Focus on sales and marketing • Find ways to increase profits • Test and measure everything. You can’t change what you don’t measure and you can’t tell if a programme or a strategy is working if you are not faithfully testing, measuring and tracking your results • Accept that learning more equals earning more • Don’t discount, add value • Get a coach to help you and guide in planning and operation.
If you are an entrepreneur or aspiring to be one, if you think that you need to learn more about entrepreneurship or need a piece of advice, the discussions and lectures within the Individual Leadership & Entrepreneurship stream would have been just a right place for you!
ne of the first sessions within the Individual Leadership & Entrepreneurship stream was the “Build your own business plan” presented by Seema Amin, Haal Business. The session was very useful since it took participants through the whole process of preparing a business plan – from a business name, to prospect customers, suppliers, competitors, premises and equipment to the cash flow and how to finalise it through a proper action plan. Furthermore, few of the participants, who had already established their businesses but realised that something was missing in their business plan, were motivated to analyse shortcomings and gaps in order to successfully continue their business path. On the importance of clarity, Seema elaborated, “Today, we took them back
to the basics. They came with the ideas, but we gave them clarity and a chain of thoughts. We also suggested them to do more research before starting. Clarity is very important. If you are not clear, you don’t know where your ideas are leading you. It also lets you know what is lacking in your business plan or in your idea and what you need to fill in. Also, you need to be clear when looking for finance since how will you explain your idea to your prospect financier? So, if you know what you are doing he will also know what he is investing in. More so, for those who are already running their businesses and it’s not going right, the business plan will identify on which areas they need to work more. There is no perfect success recipe for a business, but a good business plan is the most important ingredient.”
All you need to know The following day of the Individual Leadership & Entrepreneurship stream became an interesting day due to the “Enterprise Qatar AZ of Entrepreneurship” session which lasted the whole day. The objective of the session was to cover the following areas: • What are the attributes of successful entrepreneurs? • What is strategy and how to go about developing it? • How to develop your personal mission and vision? • What are the basics of strategic planning process? • Why you need to focus on why business fails? • How to make an elevator pitch to potential investors?
The participants were divided in two groups and requested to engage in the “Eggcecution Challenge”. Each group was provided with the materials (eggs, cotton wool, paper, ribbon and similar) and requested to develop a package which would safely and securely transport eggs from one place to another. In addition, they were required to come up with a brand name for the product, develop a marketing tagline or a slogan and to present a 20 second TV commercial. One of the attendees said about the exercise, “It was quite interesting since it’s an innovative way to teach us how to spot the opportunity, to learn what failure is and to take precautions. It was a team building exercise where we were divided into groups of people with different nationalities, backgrounds and personalities. We all had to work together and to come up with a brand name, a slogan and TV commercial. The interaction among the group was excellent. Without knowing each other we managed to make it happen, we learnt how to brainstorm and delegate the work among the team members. At the end, we had to present all to the jury. Their questions led us to think beyond this project, about our own businesses, the manner in which we are managing it and how to move forward. For me, two major points were – learning to be focused on creating a strategy and realising where are the faults in business that can put you backwards.” The session ended with the exercise “The Elevator Pitch” in which participants learnt how to successfully pitch a business idea in two minutes time. On the fourth day, participants were presented with the LEGO Education Methodology which is a world renowned methodology called 4C – connect, construct, contemplate, and continue. The methodology adopts the shape of a circle as it is considered a continuous learning process. Within his lecture, Ricard Huguet i Galí, INVENIO-learn. by.doing, explained that the LEGO serious play on entrepreneurship explores some of
the following questions – What it does it take to be an entrepreneur? What are the common values of an entrepreneur? What makes you unique? In an interactive discussion with participants, Ricard taught them how to choose the right team. In addition, entrepreneurs seeking to innovate could learn about the trial-error methodology.
good in even one of the three elements, your overall competency will not be good as well. So, in order to grow professionally and personally we all need somebody who will tell us the truth and not what we want to hear. That is the role of your mentor. To act in your best interest regardless of how unpleasant it might be.”
The hero’s journey The last day was marked with “Benefits of Mentoring for Women & Mentoring for Entrepreneurs” session organised by Enterprise Qatar, How Women Work and the Mowgli Foundation.
Furthermore, Tony explained that having a mentor is crucial in the three different stages that an entrepreneur can be in: • At the startup level – to help you overcome challenges you face at the beginning of your business. • While growing – to help you resolve issues caused by the growth of your business (organisation of the business, setting up a team and similar). • Achieving great success – to help you avoid mistakes caused by potential arrogance which success might bring.
The Mowgli Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, headquartered in the UK, with local representatives and bases across the MENA region. The foundation provides mentors who inspire, support and empower entrepreneurs in achieving their business and personal potential, encouraging sustainable job creation and social and economic development. The programme is created on the basis of the chart, “The hero’s journey”, which explains different phases through which an entrepreneur comes within his path and includes: • Ordinary world • The call to change • Refusing the call • Meeting the mentor • Crossing the line • Trials, allies & enemies • Facing the darkness • The journey • A new perspective • The return Tony Bury, Founder and Trustee, Mowgli Foundation, introduced the idea of mentorship, “Mowgli mentoring is a relationship which inspires, empowers and guides individuals in achieving their personal and business potential. It is a fact that competency has three elements – skills, knowledge and behavior. If you are not
Based on their experience of doing business in Qatar, Kirby Kearns, Managing Director, Resolution Productions, and Lauren Fryer, Managing Partner, Qanect Communications, engaged in an open discussion with participants on business opportunities and challenges in Qatar. The conclusion was that the biggest challenge is in recruiting the right employees. On one side, there is a significant lack of skills among labour force in Qatar. On the other side, due to Qatar’s international positioning as a country with high income and huge development projects, salary-related expectations of internationally recruited employees are reaching unreasonable heights. This session was specific since the participants were offered a 30-min oneto-one mentoring session in order to get valuable advice about any business problem they were facing. In addition, it included a private chat with Khalifa Al-Misnad, President of Enterprise Organisation Qatar and Partner at the Al-Misnad & Rifaat, and Patrick Forbes, Founder and CEO of Forbes Associates, who gave their views on conditions for doing business in Qatar.
Joint success! What is unique about the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Qatar? The answer is in the existence of many government and semi-government institutions established to initiate, motivate and support growth of entrepreneurs and SMEs. With the aim of finding new solutions to help them, Enterprise Qatar and Qatar Development Bank held two valuable sessions within the Policy, Financial, & Legal stream of the GEW Qatar.
ithin the Policy, Financial and Legal stream, Enterprise Qatar, the platinum sponsor of the GEW Qatar, organised a policy forum aimed to discuss issues facing SMEs and entrepreneurs. The discussion featured a small number of selected participants – high level entrepreneurs, government representatives and academics. Amer Qureshi, FCA, Enterprise Qatar, was appreciative of the cooperation achieved among participants in this session, “It was a very productive session and valuable ideas were exchanged, also, discussions amongst participating stakeholders were precise and focused. Enterprise Qatar is pleased with the final outcome where several important issues were covered in preparation to the next level.” On the importance of cooperation among all relevant stakeholders, David J. Ezzard, CEO, Qatar Broker International, was quick to add, “Enterprise Qatar succeeded in bringing international businessmen with local entrepreneurs to form a strong alliance in order to support small businesses in Qatar. Our event focused on small businesses as there is
distinct difference between small businesses’ needs and large enterprises’ since the latter has access to larger resources. QDB is ready to provide the required support in various endeavors that supersede the financial area.” Sultan Alasiri, CEO, Almubader Enterprises, pointed out, “I believe it is very important that the main organisations supporting Qatari entrepreneurs involves them in the process after understanding their needs. This collaboration with the support of the government endowment should produce positive results. The private sector is very important in Qatar and the diversification of this segment will create the right environment for entrepreneurs to operate on. There are existing successful models that we can pursue without reinventing the wheel. We seek specialist in equity and another in finance. This should be clearly communicated to Qatari entrepreneurs.” QDB workshop Qatar Development Bank organised a special event on 15th November 2012 with the aim to mark the achievements of QDB’s initiatives – Al Dhameen Guarantee Scheme programme and SME Toolkit. The well-attended event
brought together colleagues from partner banks, successful entrepreneurs, and other industry stakeholders. Richard Judd, Managing Director, CPI Business and Technology, opened the ceremony with a welcome speech, “Today we highlight success stories from across Qatar – we will reward key partners of the Al Dhameen programme and recognise the success of some of the companies already benefiting from this excellent initiative. At CPI we are delighted to be a partner of QDB through the Private Sector Qatar magazine. This partnership has given us a valuable insight into all the QDB projects. In the beginning, I will mention the SME Toolkit, which is collaboration between IFC and QDB. It provides essential information and the necessary tools for anyone contemplating to start a business and also much more in terms of information for SMEs on best practices.” During her presentation Jawaher AlNaimi, Programme Manager, Al Dhameen, QDB, gave a thorough overview of the history of this credit guarantee scheme and explained the benefits of indirect lending
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before setting up a business, such as how to incorporate, whom to refer to or how to fund their project. With an aim of describing usefulness of the SME Toolkit for small business, Yasmeen Hasan, Entrepreneurship Development Manager, Bedaya Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Guidance, presented a case study. She was joined by Diana Al Dajani, Founder of eduTechnoz, which is an online community for children that enables them to master every aspect of the Arabic language through online games. By sharing personal experience, she elaborated how SME Toolkit can help in starting a business through the step by step guide for registering a company in Qatar.
to companies which are not able to borrow money from banks due to lack of collateral. The Al Dhameen programme does not provide direct finance to SMEs, but rather offers the business owners facilities to receive the required finance for their project from a partner bank. It is done through issuance of guarantees in favour of the partner bank under which the programme guarantees a portion of the finance.
development agency, has had in supporting export-oriented Qatari companies. Dominic Fernandes, Head of Direct Sales, Al Khaliji Commercial Bank, gave a brief introduction about al Khaliji and said that they have recently renewed their partnership with QDB for Al-Dhameen SME financing scheme. He also added that they are planning to continue their support to the programme which goes beyond financing.
Colleagues from three partner banks within the Al Dhameen programme gave their insights on the programme’s achievements. Kenneth Clark, Head of Enterprise Banking, Commercial Bank of Qatar, assured that they believe in the success of SMEs by giving a presentation on enterprise banking. He explained that the enterprise banking enables entrepreneurial success of SMEs through a comprehensive range of working capital finance and term lending, trade services, account services and privileges, business solutions and similar. He also affirmed that Enterprise Banking at the Commercial Bank successfully completed a financing deal for setting up an independent school under the Al Dhameen Programme. Following up on this, Ravi Unni, Head of SME, Al Khaliji Bank, in his speech highlighted the importance of their cooperation with QDB in helping SMEs in many ways. In addition, he pointed out the tremendous role that Tasdeer, Qatar’s export
Following up on this, Amna Jassim Sultan, Business Counselor, Advisory Services, QDB talked about QDB’s comprehensive SME Toolkit for small businesses and said, “Our targets are entrepreneurs that are at the beginning of their project!” She also listed the key needs of SMEs which are advisory and mentoring, access to information, access to finance, visibility and recognition, legal and regulatory information.
On the relevance of the SME Toolkit for small businesses, Bipin Shete, Regional Partner (Advisory) and BDO Public Accounts and Management Consultants, pointed out SME Toolkit helps you think about the different aspects of your business. It also provides structured information and online resources to guide the small businesses. In order to provide an example, Bipin presented some of its functionalities and tools as he went through a few questions that entrepreneurs usually have in mind
QDB awards ceremony In the final part of the workshop, the award ceremony was held to recognise and honour the exemplar efforts of ten relationship managers representing various partner banks in Qatar alongside five cross-industry projects making an influential impact within their field Abdulaziz Al Khalifa Executive, Director, Strategic Planning and Control, QDB, gave the awards to: Top ten best performing relationship managers • Aysha Fakhro, QNB • Ibrahim Idrees, QNB • Hussain Salim, QNB • Dona Cherbel, QNB • Elissar Nayef Rizk, QNB • Maher Kabbani, QIB • Tamim AL Tamimi, Barwa bank • Muhammed Shaffee, Al Jazeera Bank • Ali Kobeissi, CBQ • Faiz Nader, Doha bank Five best projects in Qatar • Best Tourism Project: Horizon Manor Hotel • Best Services Project: Al Balad Fine Dining Lebanese Restaurant • Best Creative Project: Rassas Battery Recycling Factory • Best Educational Project: Leap Ahead Nursery & Day Care Center • Best Industrial Project: Alhaya Waste Management & Projects Company
Technology for a better life Since the GEW inspires people everywhere to explore their potential as self-starters and innovators, the event held in Qatar focused on the opportunities in the ICT sector due to its extreme relevance for the country’s economy. Within the Creative, Design & Technology stream, a number of distinguished experts inspired the youth of Qatar to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow in the technology sector.
he agenda of the Creative, Design & Technology stream included a series of lectures, discussions and practical exercises designed to gain the know-how needed to start a business related to the technology sector. Starting with a session “Digital Arts by Jaber Henzab” and ending with “Industry of Animation by ToonBoom” and “Build your Gaming Startup by ictQATAR” sessions, the first day promised an interesting week ahead for all fans of technology. Ali Mussayab, Founder, Purple Cedar Animation Studio, shared with us his impressions from the first day, “The workshop for the Toonboom.com was a very interesting event. Since we are a startup within the animation sector, this workshop helped us figure out our solutions for pre-production and 2D animation. So far every workshop we have participated in has been very informative for our business and also helped us narrow down our future vision in relation to the digital media opportunities in Qatar.”
The second and third day of the event presented various technology related session ranging from “eCommerce Security by QCert” and “Visions of the Mobile Future” to “Entrepreneurship by Yahoo!” and “Entrepeneurship by Microsoft Qatar”. One of the topics that attracted a lot of interested participants during both days was the “ICT Investment Opportunities by ictQATAR”. Invest for new generations On this Mohamed Hesham Kandil, Business Analyst, ICT Industry Development, elaborated, “We are trying to promote investments and help entrepreneurs who are interested in the ICT sector in Qatar. We are stressing 68 investment opportunities within the sector which we have announced after carrying out research of the market in the last few years. During the session, we tried to explain to participants which are the exact opportunities that will be lucrative for their investments. The most important thing when investing in the technology sector in Qatar is to have a good business plan. IctQATAR can help
them develop it. The other most important thing is obtaining finance. ictQATAR does not finance directly, but we are working on the agreement with one of the banks in Qatar to help investors by endorsing their business cases and, thus, providing them financial loans through this bank. Therefore, in the near future the investors who don’t have the revenues, but are endorsed by ictQATAR will be able to go directly to the bank and obtain a loan for their business. The ICT sector is really growing in Qatar and is expected to keep the momentum of about 20% of annual rate of growth for the upcoming five to six years. That is one of the best opportunities for anyone who wants to invest in the market. Plus, it is really essential for country’s infrastructure. In conclusion, investors in the ICT sector will be investing in the sector that is really important for building their own country. In addition, this is one sector that guarantees very high return on investment. Plus it will allow new generations to live a better life.” The fourth day was interesting due to ictQATAR’s “Build your Animation Startup”
session which focused on the gaming industry. In the beginning of the session, participants shared their views on the definition of innovation and concluded that the innovation includes creating a new value and/or capturing the value in a new way. Ahmed Laiali, Strategic and Business Development Section Manager, Digital Innovation Center, provided the following five basic rules to follow when you are building your gaming startup: • Pick a game and make it as small as possible – It’s important to start with something you can actually finish with a reasonable number of resources, in a reasonable amount of time and, therefore, with a reasonable budget. • Start small and build bigger in the next game – Start with a smaller game. Try a three-level game or try a game that re-uses a lot of graphics or both. After that you can make your next game a little bigger. Build your way up. • Raise funds - The best way to get money is to first make a really good playable demo. • Have realistic business plans – Every year close to 5000 entertainment products come out. How many of them have you heard of? It’s because they didn’t have a proper business plan. • Hire good people – At least at the top. The number one person you need is a good game director. Your first eBook One of the last sessions of the Creative, Design & Technology stream, “eBook Secrets of Digital Publishing”, was given by Dr. Mohana Rajakumar, who is an author. Before starting her presentation, she wanted to get familiar with the participants’ educational or professional background and experience with writing. After introducing herself, Mohana explained why she was excited about writing e-books when everyone was talking about the digital revolution. In 2010, e-books were the main focus of most publishing houses. A lot of commercial publishers or even printed publishers are now relying on e-books as much as anyone else. That is supported by statistics that 30% of publishers have around 75%
to 100% of their titles available on e-books. However, some books don’t look good in electronic format since the technology is most suitable for straight text file. Therefore, if your book includes a lot of illustrations and graphics, it can become a bit complicated.
The cover is the thing that will attract the reader. Each book has to have its own look. Make sure to brand the title and your name. Lastly, keep in mind that when you are putting an e-book online, you are starting a competition.
Within the introduction part, Hind, ictQATAR said, “Writing is a way of sharing your life. It holds a history for a better future. Writing is providing knowledge and inspiring ideas. My goal is to take the hard knowledge and make it simple for the youth.” Comara from Srilanka, shared with other participants, “Writing gives me satisfaction. I used to read in my own language, but since there is not enough material in my own language I started to create e-books in it.” Ryan,who is English language instructor, explained, “I write better than I speak. I am interested in learning about e-books since it could help me create an online library of resources.”
Till the next year On the evening of 17th November 2012, the GEW Qatar was officially closed in the presence of many satisfied participants. At the same occasion, Dr. Rachel Awad, Senior Programme Manager, Silatech, announced the winners of the Ta3mal video competition. Ta3mal initiative aims to connect Arab youth with opportunities to be successful entrepreneurs, employees, and engaged members of society.
Piracy is an issue for e-books as well as pricing since the readers don’t want to pay for an e-book as much as they pay for a printed book. PDF is the most used format of e-book file because it is the easiest and has the biggest share of the market. When choosing which format to use for your e-book, you need to think who is your target audience and what device they will most likely be using. Mohana gave few dos and don’ts: Dos • Before publishing an e-book, the first thing to do is to find a good designer. Also, make sure to add all relevant hotlinks. • For digital books, less is more and different is good! If you got a page it is better to have small sections of information, because people are most likely to skim. • If you don’t have a platform nobody will know about your book. You have to think about yourself as a product. Don’ts • D esigning or formatting your own book • Designing your cover unless you are a graphic designer • Editing yourself
In connection to GEW Qatar, Qatar University’s College of Business and Economics hosted experts in business, media, academia and government to inspire young people to become the state’s business leaders of the future at its Global Entrepreneurship Day on 18th November 2012. Opening the event, QU’s College of Business and Economics Dean, Prof Nitham Hindi said, “Entrepreneurship means different things to different people. For business people, it is about SMEs. Our goal is to promote entrepreneurship among students. Qatar is a developing country and there are tremendous opportunities to develop SMEs. Such businesses will play a vital role in the economy and we urge students, as they graduate, to think about setting up their own businesses rather than just taking a job somewhere.” US Department of State diplomat Luke Reynolds emphasised the role of entrepreneurship in the Qatar National Vision 2030. Speaking at the seminar he said, “Qatar is making real steps to streamline the process of setting up small businesses.” The launch of GEW Qatar was a big success and we are sure that it’ll only get bigger and better in the coming years.
SNAPSHOTS Success story
Excellence. At Carnegie Mellon.
For more than a century, Carnegie Mellon University has been inspiring innovations that change the world. Consistently top ranked, Carnegie Mellon has more than 11,000 students, 90,000 alumni and 5,000 faculty and staff globally. In 2004, Qatar Foundation invited Carnegie Mellon to join Education City, a groundbreaking center for scholarship and research. Students from 39 different countries enroll at our world-class facilities in Education City. Carnegie Mellon Qatar offers undergraduate programs in biological sciences, business administration, computational biology, computer science and information systems. Carnegie Mellon is firmly committed to Qatarâ€™s National Vision 2030 by developing people, society, the economy and the environment. Learn more at www.qatar.cmu.edu
A lot of evidence indicates the increasing fascination with and glorification of “the entrepreneur.” Suddenly, it seems, everybody wants to be one. Mark Dixon, CEO, Regus, provides us with lessons on entrepreneurship to be taken to heart. It says a lot about the enhanced status of the entrepreneur that one of the best-selling books of 2011 was the biography of Steve Jobs. This success was, of course, partly due to the huge popularity of iPods, iPads, iPhones and other products made by Apple, the company Jobs came to embody. Furthermore, policymakers and even politicians of all sorts hail entrepreneurs as the saviours of the world economy. So, how do you get to join this pantheon? The good news is that there is no set type. A new book produced by Regus entitled “Growth in a Difficult Decade” which is based on interviews with more than 60 successful entrepreneurs, reveals that they come from all corners of the globe, from all kinds of backgrounds and are active in a wide variety of business sectors. However, it is true that they tend to share certain attributes. For example, entrepreneurs need to be dedicated and persistent. They also need to have a positive attitude and be prepared to take tough decisions. It almost goes without saying that entrepreneurs are self-confident. Successful ones are not arrogant. They listen to customers and to people who have done the sorts of things they are seeking to do, often through having mentors. They are also ready to hire people who are better at certain aspects of the business than they are. But, if they have an idea they will not be easily dissuaded from pursuing it.
The chances are that if you have thought of an idea somebody else has or will have as well. If you waste time pondering whether to give it a go they could beat you in the market. Many more entrepreneurs regret not starting sooner than wish they had waited longer.
Start early Indeed, one of the most common pieces of advice offered by entrepreneurs to others thinking of following in their footsteps is not to hesitate about getting started. It might be valid to start a new business as a side-project to your day job just to test the idea. But, generally, running a business is so all-consuming and unpredictable in its time demands that it is best to devote yourself to it as soon as possible. The chances are that if you have thought of an idea somebody else has or will have as well. If you waste time pondering whether to give it a go they could beat you in the market. Many more entrepreneurs regret not starting sooner than wish they had waited longer.
Many people are worried about the technicalities and the financial aspects of running a business. But, this need not be such a problem. Thanks to the Internet, there are all sorts of cheap and scalable services that can help with everything from building a Website and writing a business plan to setting marketing targets and organising the payroll. Moreover,
One key reason for starting a business early is that when you are young you have less to lose in terms of a career, house, savings and the like. Moreover, with all the emphasis on encouraging enterprise, there is also a lot of support for young entrepreneurs. Many business schools have courses aimed specifically at aspiring entrepreneurs, while even schools and universities are introducing students to the principles of enterprise. Nor should they necessarily be put off starting out in the current economic climate. It is generally acknowledged that a business that can survive tough times should prosper when conditions improve. There is also likely to be less competition.
because of the increasing willingness of individuals to invest in startups, whether through established funds or increasingly common “crowd funding” models, entrepreneurs are no longer so reliant on banks for funding.
Steve Jobs, as it has often been pointed out, was not so much an inventor as an adapter of technology. His gift, like that of many successful entrepreneurs, was seeing a potential market for something before others. It is often said that businesses need to respond to customer needs and wants. And that is true. The business of business is to satisfy, even delight, customers. But the strength of Apple has been that it anticipates customer desires. The Steve Jobses of the future will take that lesson to heart. They will have the vision to see opportunities that others do not, the zeal to do what it takes to make that vision a reality and the determination to keep growing, even when less mortals might feel
Steve Jobs, as it has often been pointed out, was not so much an inventor as an adapter of technology. His gift, like that of many successful entrepreneurs, was seeing a potential market for something before others.
Much is made of the importance of innovation. But, as Jim Clifton, Chairman of Gallup, says in his book “The Coming Jobs War”, critical though innovation is, “it plays a supporting role to almighty entrepreneurship.” This is because, thanks to all the attention it has received, there is a worldwide oversupply of innovation, but entrepreneurs are rare.
they had already achieved and accumulated enough. As Luke Johnson, the entrepreneur and investor, says in his “Financial Times” column, “Entrepreneurship is not a job, nor even a calling, but a hunger!”
About Mark Dixon is the Founder and CEO of Regus. Since founding Regus in 1989, in Brussels, Belgium, he has achieved a formidable reputation for leadership and innovation. Prior to Regus, he established businesses in the retail and wholesale food industry. For more information, please visit: www.en.regus-qatar.com.
Target a niche As a business owner, itâ€™s important to have an understanding of your consumers and the market. The best of them know how to find and develop a niche market within their line of business. Tamara Pupic visited Speed Line Printing Press, one of the most successful printing companies in Qatar, to learn how they capitalised on the niche market within the sector.
n 1999, the market was composed of many printing companies which could not manage to cater to the urgent market requirements caused by the development of the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) business in Qatar. In more details, big printing companies which had existed at that time were not able to ensure timely delivery of urgent printing orders. Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Ghanem, founder of Speed Line Printing Qatar, started Quick Print Center, the parent company, to cater to those urgent requirements of the market. Due to improved technology, they were able to finish the printing while the client had a cup of tea. At that time, it was very attractive. Quick Print Center was not only delivering on time, but
also charging a moderate rate. That introduced them to the market and gave them courage for all the consequent successes.
the big companies. Later on, the facility existing at that time proved to be too small to cater to the demands of the market. For that reason, the idea of Speed Line Printing Press was created in 2005.
Ayman Ahmed Al Shimy and Usman Mohamed, who are now Executive Chairman and Managing Director respectively, Speed Line Printing Press, joined the parent company, Quick Print Center, in 2000, and created an ambitious business plan. The plan included the installation of new equipment and also an application for a loan from QDB. QDB assisted by providing the 80% loan for the whole project. In addition, the new management employed marketing agents and appointed a sales team through which the company got known in the market suddenly.
Strategy of success Elaborating further on the importance of a strategic action for achieving success, they highlight that their strategy was two-fold: investments in equipment and aggressive marketing approach. The underlining idea was that market could not be reserved for anybody. Thus, they proved the ability to catch certain market share. They were the first company which introduced two shifts and 24/7 working hours. In addition to timely delivery, due to increased competition, they had to give competitive price and, of course, the quality.
Then slowly, through the word of mouth of the satisfied customers, they were introduced to
At present, Speed Line Printing Qatar has more than 120 employees and has acquired all the
Being successful is hard and they consider themselves to be very fragile for that reason. Because of price war, thay cannot charge unreasonable prices and thus rely on hard work to achieve higher turnover.
required equipment. Like in their beginnings, the most important aim is to finish every single job on time. For that reason, their employees receive target-based salaries, but also incentives for breaking the targets. The rationale behind this is simple â€“ the employees want incentives and, at the same time, the management wants more business. In order to monitor the results, the management conducts regular staff meetings and prepares plans of visits for all of the seven sales managers. This monitoring process is established to regularly analyse their current position and to spot all of the potential discrepancies. In that manner, they try to upgrade and be better. Concluding on the benefits of having a successful strategy, they provide one more proof that Speed Line Printing Press has gained market confidence. In the beginning of their business operations, suppliers were not willing to give them any credit for procurement of materials. But, now both local and UAE suppliers are offering them credit of up to a certain limit. Challenges Being successful is hard and they consider themselves to be very fragile for that reason.
Ayman Ahmed Al Shimy
Because of price war, thay cannot charge unreasonable prices and thus rely on hard work to achieve higher turnover. Talking about existing obstacles for doing business within the printing sector, they state that, within the Commercial Registration Act, government has allocated certain areas within Doha reserved only for starting certain types of businesses. Itâ€™s done on the basis of the assessment of health and safety standards required for each of the industry types. In line with that, the Ministry of Municipality Affairs conducts commercial registration and issues commercial licenses. In practice this means that just renting a place for starting a business is not enough if that place is not allocated for a certain type of business. Thus, even after a commercial registration a company cannot freely rent a facility and start a business. This can create a lot of problems since most facilities belong to individual owners who rent them out without checking what type of a license was allocated to it. Usual rent agreement is for a few years and, once it is signed, a company will need to pay the rent even though the business operations cannot be conducted at that place. Speed Line Printing Qatar had this kind of problem and failed to conduct their operations for more than a year since the rented facility did not have the proper license. Consequently, it was converted to printing facility, but resources and time were lost. The way forward When we first asked them about their ambitions and growth plans, they pointed out that placing their two facilities under one roof is the top priority. Since the company has one facility in Doha City Centre, to cater to customers with urgent needs, and the other one in Doha Industrial Area, coordinating between them can be quite difficult.
For that reason, further business expansion requires them to resolve this problem. Further development of their business is also based on their assumption that the packaging industry will be a new market niche in Doha. In line with that and with the aim to respond to increased demand, they are now thinking of extending their product line by introducing packaging units. Lastly, they have recently established an advertising company which will focus on exhibition programmes and events management. Providing a piece of advice for new entrepreneurs and SMEs in Qatar, they indicate that the market scenario for startups has changed when compared to the conditions which had existed when they were starting. Firstly, they were able to open the company anywhere in Doha, but now itâ€™s been limited only to certain parts of the city. Secondly, the market is now very competitive and demands a large volume of production. For all of that, sophisticated technology is required. That is very difficult with moderate investments which startups usually have. Thus, newcomers have to be very cautious on how to approach the market and how to plan their capital investments. Due to fierce competition, profit margin is coming down. For that reason they advise that startups need to increase their clientele list and mark the good clients in order to achieve a higher turnover. It is not easy and they have to work hard. People will not come to them, they have to go to them and take the job!
Export That’s the formula! One of the Qatari companies present at the Big 5 in Dubai was Al Shams Advanced Lighting Technologies (Q.P.S.C.), a pioneer in producing all types of high intensity discharge lamps in Qatar. Tamara Pupic got talking with M. Hazaa Alheraki, General Manager, Al Shams Advanced Lighting Technologies (Q.P.S.C.), to learn about their business development and export strategy.
Please give us a brief background about your company and the products you offer. Al Shams Advanced Lighting Technologies (Q.P.S.C.) is a closed joint venture company established in 2004, but the year 2009 marks the commencement of our operations in Doha. After starting with high intensity discharge lamps (HID), last year we introduced compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) which is the most commonly used type of lamps. This year we already have two ranges of the CFLs in our offering. At the moment, we are promoting light-emitting diodes lamps (LED) for which we have already received the first order. Hopefully next year we will have a production line of LED lamps.
What export opportunities do you foresee for your products? Our plan for three years from now is to have around 70% of our business export oriented. Now we have our office in Jeddah with an agent there. Hopefully, within the following six months we will also be present in Egypt. So, our main focus is on the GCC region and countries in the North Africa.
In the beginning, the founders of the company put together this idea and came to QDB for support. QDB helped them with the market studies and it all started in 2008. Even though we started building the factory and procuring the machines started in 2006. QDB owns 40% of the company.
How do you decide which countries to target for exports? We made many market studies to find out which markets are the most interesting for us. As a result of that, we attended exhibitions like the one in Riyadh last February. It was very interesting. We also attend the Big 5 for the same reason. So, we can indicate KSA and Egypt as the main markets.
How did you prepare for being a part of the Big 5 Exhibition? In February 2012 QDB proposed the idea to be one of the 22 companies to be present at the Big 5 Exhibition. In addition, they arranged everything. The Big 5 Exhibition is a good fair and it indeed is good for us to be present here since we aim to export.
In KSA we have partnership, but in Egypt we can be on our own – start an office there and operate by ourselves because it’s a big market. If we get lucky and the business starts running smoothly I hope that between 60% and 70% of our products will be manufactured for exports.
In general, we consider all GCC markets as the “next doors” for us and as markets in which we can obtain good deals. That’s how we do it! Being in Qatar is good, especially to have our production here. But, to do better business we need to export – that’s the formula.
As an SME, what challenges do you face to export? There are two points. The first one is – credit. Since we don’t have any kind of facility or a representative office in certain markets, the official office of the government of Qatar or QDB there would be extremely useful. They could manage the credits for us. The issue is that when exporting you cannot keep things fully controlled with the letter of credit (LC). This holds even more truth for the items we produce due to tough competition. Currently, in the whole world exporters are given open credits which allows them to receive money transfer within the period of 30 to 60 days after the supply. For that, we need to have some kind of a guarantee. In KSA at the moment we get the cheque which we collect after 30 or 60 days depending on the contract. But, it is not a strong guarantee since we are not presented in KSA. Thus, we need to manage this through our bank in Qatar which is quite a long process. If we could have a government office to take care of these things in, for example KSA, it would be much easier. For that reason we had to start our business through partnership in KSA since the partner will take the risk of credits. Another point is related to fixed assets that need to be invested abroad in order to start operations there. The related costs can be quite high for one company. But if, for example, we
If we get lucky and the business starts running smoothly I hope that between 60% and 70% of our products will be manufactured for exports.
have two or three companies trying to enter a new market together that would reduce the running costs for all of them. Establishing and facilitating this kind of cooperation could take some time, but it would be good for us. How has TASDEER helped you improve your business opportunities? At the moment, TASDEER is giving us guarantees for our shipments and payments. They guarantee shipments one by one. That means that if, for example, we have problems with a client, that company will be blocked. Furthermore, if a client doesn’t pay on time TASDEER will cover the payment. What advice would you give to other SMEs interested in exporting? For manufacturers, Qatar is a small market and we have to move fast. In addition, we need to have subsidiaries in the major markets outside Qatar. I suggest that TASDEER establishes subsidiaries in all major markets. That would really help all manufacturers since most of us aim to export. How do you assess your position when compared to local and regional competition? As a rule, in business, you should start in the nearest circle which is always your local market. Previous management wasn’t focused on local market, but only on exports. Since March 2012 we have two sales teams and we work in two tracks – local and foreign markets. Now we are doing well. Last year local sales were around QR 300,000 while now we are facing sales of QR 1.1 million. This is good, but we expect our market share to increase due to our new strategy.
Furthermore, now we have a contract with Almira, a chain of retails shops in Doha, and we will start production under their brand name. We also have few other contracts to produce under local suppliers’ brand names. So, in the Qatari market we have a chance to grow further in the following years. Since limited resources can affect the price of our goods, we are now trying to partner with major suppliers of raw materials. In that way the prices of our raw material would be lower and we would be more competitive. From the other side, the costs are always connected to the volume of production – whenever you produce more your costs will
very good buyer and save our resources. In that manner, we will obtain a better sales price for our customers and be more competitive in the market. Are there any obstacles for doing business in your sector? The procedure for obtaining a license can be very slow. When we wanted to add one product to our product line, the procedure lasted four months. In this case, for example, we could not give the certificate of origin without the license, so we could not export that product for four months. In order to be more competitive, we all need to move faster. Another issue is related to very high freight charges for transport from Qatar. We have started exporting to Tunisia and our customer is already complaining about too high freight charges. Now, we have a contract with one company in Jebel Ali, which is a hub, to export our material there and then to Tunisia. It takes more time, but we save 40% when compared to the costs if we send when directly from Qatar.
Being in Qatar is good, especially to have our production here. But, to do better business we need to export – that’s the formula.
be less. For that reason, we have to ensure big sales contracts. This is our major point – to reach the level of production which will allow us a competitive rate of cost. Otherwise, we cannot survive. At the same time we are hoping to become a partner in a factory for LED. Through this partnership we don’t need to invest fully in that factory, since they have already developed business. Thus, we will have a part in their business and reach the competitive price. In theory, a good buyer will try to save 30-40% of the costs which the usual buyer has. That is exactly what we are trying to do – to be a
M. Hazaa Alheraki
Be in the right zone!
The governmentâ€™s investment in Qatarâ€™s infrastructure in the coming decade will set the stage for FIFA World Cup 2022 and, more importantly, contribute to the transformation of Qatarâ€™s economy into a knowledge-based economy. Dr. Tarek Coury, Chief Economist, Tanween, advises that creation of an economic zone could be a solution to tackle the impact of high construction costs on the real estate industry in Qatar.
osts related to the planned investments will however be exacerbated by accelerating input costs, in particular the cost of raw materials. High construction costs pose significant challenges for all real estate asset classes. In addition to high government capital expenditures, the effects will be felt at later stages in the lifecycle of real estate projects unless a state subsidy is given or minimal returns are deemed acceptable. In particular, end users will face higher rental prices for residential properties, businesses will incur increased operating expenditures and tourists will face higher costs for hotels and retail products. Qatar already boasts the highest input costs for raw materials in the GCC region. This is in part reflected in rental rates that are on average 10% to 15% higher than sample comparables in Dubai
for upscale residential properties and high-end commercial property. Raw material costs are set to escalate as both Qatar and the remaining GCC countries upgrade their infrastructure. Industry sources put GCC investment spend for existing projects at USD 3.3 trillion, about half of which are construction projects. These numbers suggest that already high input costs are set to increase further. A solution While the challenge is daunting, the importance of cost control presents a significant investment opportunity for the government. This article argues for the creation of an economic zone dedicated to production, warehousing and logistics services, and for the provision of raw materials in Qatar through a public private sector partnership (PPP) with local business partners. Outcomes will include lower raw materials costs, eased supply-chain bottlenecks, a government revenue stream through the build-operate-transfer period, lower
government infrastructure investment costs and an opportunity to expand warehousing and logistics services provision to other GCC states. Demand for raw materials is poised for growth in the GCC region. The construction sector, which is the principal user of raw materials, has grown in importance both in Qatar and throughout the region. The sector experienced annual growth of over 20% in the first half of the past decade in Qatar. More recently, annual growth in the construction sector hit nearly 80% in 2008, meeting increased demand from a growing population and investments in the LNG sector. The building and construction sector has also grown in importance in the domestic non-hydrocarbon economy, nearly doubling in size from 9% in 2000 to 17% in 2011. The sector is poised for further growth. Several projects are currently either under construction or at the planning stage to meet the requirements of hosting FIFA World Cup 2022 and achieving the long-term objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030. To achieve these objectives, Qatar is planning to spend USD 225 billion on infrastructure projects with a view of mobilising private investment worth USD 107 billion. Other GCC states will concurrently undertake large-scale investments that will directly result in greater demand for raw materials. On the top among them are UAE with current construction projects valued at nearly
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a trillion dollars and KSA with construction projects worth over USD 500 billion.
Table 1 - Minimum construction costs in USD per m2 of gross floor area Abu Dhabi
Qatar has the highest construction cost in the GCC according to EC Harris International Construction Costs Report 2012, which benchmarks building costs in 53 countries. It ranks Qatar as among the 13th most expensive country to build in surveyed countries. Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) conducted a survey of construction costs across asset classes in selected cities in the GCC region and reported that minimum construction costs are the highest in Doha across all but one of the asset classes (please see table 1). Construction costs have grown continuously over the past six years across the GCC region reaching peaks of 32% growth in 2007 for Qatar. After the onset of the financial crisis, growth in construction costs fell to about 1% in 2011, but these are expected to pick up again soon. MEED forecasts an initial increase in construction costs of 4% in 2013 with the work phase starting on the Qatar Metro project, with costs rising overall by 18% by 2017. In addition to increased demand, the construction sector faces the challenge of a limited supply. Qatar currently produces 6.2 million tonnes (MT) of cement annually, which is inadequate to meet expected demand. This limited supply is in part driven by increased competition from other GCC countries on the same regional supply chain for these materials. Other factors include inadequate and inefficient logistics facilities that contribute in driving up costs and a logistics sector that remains highly fragmented, cost inefficient and dominated by small players. Strong enough rationale The rationale for an economic zone dedicated to raw materials production, warehousing and logistics services hinges on encouraging productive and organisational synergies among domestic raw materials producers and suppliers and will result in lower raw materials production costs. Concurrent development of a transportation network servicing the economic zone will result in lower transportation costs. Integrating the economic zone in the regional transportation infrastructure, including the upcoming GCC
Office Building (Incl. Fitout) Retail Industrial Car Parking Hotel (Incl. Fitout)
Source: RLB Data Q4 2011
railways network, the new airport and seaport will allow the economic zone to feed into regional supply chains. In addition to lower infrastructure costs, the government will generate revenue from operation of the economic zone and open up opportunities for raw materials export throughout the GCC region. The economic zone will stimulate growth of SMEs and allow for export-oriented economic diversification. Increased regional demand for raw materials in the coming decade and supply chain bottlenecks suggest significant risks with regard to input costs and project delivery for upcoming infrastructure projects in Qatar. The fragmented nature of the domestic warehousing and logistics sector, along with high rental rates for warehousing in turn, suggest an important opportunity for government involvement in the creation of an economic zone dedicated to warehousing and logistics for raw materials. The economic zone would provide a fully integrated service solution covering warehousing, intermodal handling, freight consolidation and road logistics. Outcomes of the economic zone include: • Lower raw material costs • Lower infrastructure costs for governmentfinanced projects • Increased revenue from operating the economic zone through a PPP/BOT arrangements • Provision of a stimulus for growth of SMEs within the economic zone, and spillover effects outside it.
Containing construction costs is therefore likely to save the government billions of dollars and increase the financial viability of government investment projects. Following the moratorium on investment in the LNG sector, successful economic diversification in the short term will hinge on government efforts to identify and tackle challenges facing the non-hydrocarbon sectors.
About Dr. Tarek Coury is Chief Economist at Tanween, a Qatari real estate developer and development consultancy which provides turn-key solutions to Investors, developers, land owners and occupiers. Tanween’s unique approach covers all services within the real estate investment value chain from idea creation to market research, feasibility studies, project delivery and asset management. For further information, Tarek can contacted at email@example.com.
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Stay connected! A strong telecommunications infrastructure is crucial for the proper development of SMEs and entrepreneurs. For that reason, both the Qatari government and major players within the telecommunications sector are focusing on it. Tamara Pupic got talking to Mohammed Mehdi Al Yami, Director for External Relations, Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C., on what is their contribution to Qatar’s economic boom. Please tell us more about Vodafone’s operations in the Middle East, particularly in Qatar. Vodafone has established a very strong and reputable presence in the Middle East. Since the establishment in Qatar in 2007, we have expanded our operations in the country. In 2008 we acquired the majority of shares in Sarmady Communications (Sarcom), Egypt’s largest telecommunications company with over 18 million users. In 2009 Vodafone signed a strategic partnership with Du which is the second telecoms operator in the UAE. Lastly, in 2010 the company partnered with Al Madar in Libya.
In Qatar, we provide mobile network plus a wide range of products and services for both general market and the enterprises. With the world’s largest roaming footprint, mobile Internet, mobile broadband and BlackBerry, customers have everything they need to stay connected all around the world. These products and services include: Roaming – Vodafone’s customers can take their Vodafone Qatar mobile with them while travelling overseas. Roaming is a hassle-free service that provides outstanding value and convenience.
Mobile Internet – This service allows the customers to take care of their business in more places than ever before from their Internet enabled handset. Mobile broadband – Using the Vodafone’s mobile broadband plan is the best way to get all the data the customer might need at the best rate. BlackBerry business services – Vodafone’s BlackBerry business service offers everybody much more than wireless email. It helps all Blackberry customers to connect to people,
The National Vision 2030 will lead a massive amount of business activity and population growth to Qatar. This means companies can confidently invest into the latest telecoms and information technology solutions to ensure they can meet the future challenges that their businesses will face.
services and communications and offers them ways to stay in control of their costs, improve their customer service and service delivery or whatever your industry or the business challenge may be. How has the telecommunications sector changed in the past few years? Qatar’s economy has been relatively stable and growing compared to its neighbours in the region. Some factors that have driven changes in the telecommunications sector in Qatar include: • Speeding up of infrastructure development with the government’s goal to make the country a hub for education, sports, and tourism in the region. • Increasing diverse demographics – expatriate professionals and manpower are cashing in with the economic and infrastructure development.. • Providing a more positive business environment through liberalisation and opening doors of opportunities not only for its citizens, but also for expatriates provides a more positive business environment. • The influx of new technology, particularly in the information and telecommunications sectors – mobile networks, broadband, mobile phones, and similar. • Offering new products and services by VFQ, the two major players in the market, offer new products and services that cater
to the needs and convenience of diverse demographics.
competition. It is the competition which drives lower prices and increased investments in the latest technologies. In addition, it stimulates innovation. This can sometimes be a challenge when we are attempting to seek the best prices and services for Qatari customers who are calling or visiting those countries. How is strong telecommunications infrastructure important for proper development of SMEs and entrepreneurs within a market? A strong telecommunications infrastructure
A strong telecommunications infrastructure is critical to the development of SMEs and entrepreneurs, as these businesses need to be confidently connected to the world.
According to you, what are the opportunities and challenges in the telecommunications sector? Opportunities The National Vision 2030 will drive a massive amount of business activity and population growth to Qatar. This means companies can confidently invest into the latest telecoms and information technology solutions to ensure they can meet the future challenges that their businesses will face. We at Vodafone are committed to playing a key part in this, and will ensure that we are offering high capacity and quality across all of our services. Also, we will ensure that, via connecting to Vodafone, our customers will have access to the very latest products and services which will not only deliver on their communications needs but also make it easier for them to do business. Challenges Unlike Qatar, some of the markets in the Middle East have not been liberalised which means that they are not yet benefiting from the increased
is critical to the development of SMEs and entrepreneurs, as these businesses need to be confidently connected to the world. More and more of the services that they offer and need are located in the cloud where reliable and resilient communications are critical. We believe that with having two operators competing,
Mohammed Mehdi Al Yami
If you’ve got a team passionate enough, you’ve got a strong chance of making it. Just like any other business, you need to believe in your product and convince others to love it as well. Keep things simple. The best advice I’ve ever heard is that an app needs to be so intuitive that you don’t need any instructions with how to use it.
and via the Qatar National Broadband Network (QNBN) Vision, Qatar is making great strides in this regard. Our experience from operating in many markets around the world tells us that mobile number portability and fixed number portability are key building blocks to developing the telecoms market for the benefit of SMEs and larger businesses. We wholeheartedly endorse the QNBN Vision, and believe it stands apart as a role model for creating a state-of-the-art infrastructure in which enterprises will thrive. We would encourage all telecom providers to embrace this vision. What is Vodafone’s strategy for business growth in the following years? We will bring the latest technologies and services to Qatar by focusing on the needs of our business customers and by offering them premium service, quality networks, a complete flexibility and control in managing their telecom needs.
For example, we already have dedicated account and service managers for our business customers, and have invested in a state-of-theart real time charging and service management to give our customers complete control over their telecom spending and services. Vodafone Qatar will further innovate into providing solutions through which we will offer our customers customised products and services to support their main business activities and also deliver added value to them. We will leverage our international operations, such as Vodafone Global Enterprise and C&W, to ensure that businesses in Qatar, by connecting to Vodafone, have access to the latest services, and can extend their footprint globally. Please tell us more about Indie Fikra: Appathon 2012 competition? The Appathon was a joint event between QITCOM and Vodafone Qatar. We brought together mobile app developers from all over Qatar to compete for cash prizes and the chance to be included in ictQATAR’s incubation programme called Dajtala. We wanted to encourage the development scene and this was our way of kick-starting people’s interest. We gave people two days to come up with an idea, code it, programme it and demo it. We picked four categories based on insights that ictQATAR had for what was missing or lacking in the market – Arabic apps, apps for women, mobile games, and sports. With an aim to encourage the inclusion of Arabic support, we gave extra points for any app that had Arabic.
The judges were from Yahoo, RIM, Vodafone Qatar, Vodafone Group and ictQATAR. This gave developers an amazing insight. The winners of the application really did deserve the prize. We selected Team Stalkers for their app called Onigiri. It focused on a national issue – diabetes. The team was interested in improving Qatar, had plans for an Arabic version, a working demo, and it was great to see young team work together with a great vision. We’re proud of the event and the Indie Fikra Appathon will be something that we will continue running. What is your advice for young Qataris mobile app developer talents? Find a solid team that encourages creativity, challenges each other and fills in the gaps when it comes to skills. You’ll need a great designer, a great coder, the person who puts together the business plan and figures out how to monetise, a passionate sales person, and similar. If you’ve got a team passionate enough, you’ve got a strong chance of making it. Just like any other business, you need to believe in your product and convince others to love it as well. Keep things simple. The best advice I’ve ever heard is that an app needs to be so intuitive that you don’t need any instructions with how to use it. It’s a great time to be a developer in the Middle East. It would be a shame if the new generation misses the boat.
About Mohammed Mehdi Al Yami is the Director for External Relations at the Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C. A Qatari national, he holds an MBA degree from Washington International University and bachelors’ degree from Qatar University. He is also a certified Strategic Planner and a Balance Scorecard Practitioner. His career has taken him through more than 18 years of dedicated services with the government of Qatar. Prior to joining Vodafone Qatar as the Director for External Affairs, Mohammed was the driver in setting the strategies Asghal as Manager for Corporate Planning and Development.
Packing up In the second article of a two-part series in relation to the winding up provisions applying to a company incorporated in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) under the QFC Insolvency Regulations (Insolvency Regulations), Emma Higham, Senior Associate, Clyde &Co, provides an overview of creditors’ voluntary winding up and compulsory winding up provisions.
reditors’ voluntary winding up The key provisions are set out in Section 3 of Part 3 of the Insolvency Regulations. Meeting of creditors A creditors’ voluntary winding up is initiated by a company’s shareholders passing a resolution to wind up the company and also requires the convening of a meeting of creditors. Under Article 71, the company must convene the creditors’ meeting no later than 21 days after the resolution
to wind up the company is proposed. The notice of creditors’ meeting must be provided to the QFC Authority (QFCA) and all known creditors at least seven days before the meeting is to be held, as well as being published in major local newspapers in both English and Arabic. At the creditors’ meeting, the company is required to propose one or more persons to act as liquidators of the company, although the creditors may nominate another at the meeting and effectively veto any person put forward by the company.
Appointment of creditors’ committee At the creditors’ meeting, the company’s creditors may choose to appoint a committee of at least three and not more than five persons to oversee the winding up by the liquidators (Article 72). The provisions relating to the functions and governance of a creditors’ committee are set out in Section 3 of Part 5 of the Insolvency Regulations. Although the company may appoint up to five persons to the creditors’ committee, the company’s creditors may veto such appointments. Article 72(3) provides that the company may apply to the QFC Tribunal for the company’s nominees to the creditors’ committee to be reinstated. Directors’ powers and liquidator vacancy On the appointment of one or more liquidators, all powers of the company’s directors cease, unless the liquidators authorise their continuance (Article 73). If the appointed liquidator vacates his office
A creditors’ voluntary winding up is initiated by a company’s shareholders passing a resolution to wind up the company and also requires the convening of a meeting of creditors. by death, resignation or otherwise, the creditors may fill that vacancy except where the liquidator is appointed by the Tribunal (Article 74). Meetings during the winding up process Once the company’s affairs are fully wound up, the liquidators must account for their activities and present that account at a general meeting of the company and at a meeting of the company’s creditors (Article 76). If the winding up lasts for more than one year, the liquidators must convene a general meeting of the company and a meeting of the company’s creditors within three months of the end of the first (and each succeeding) year to provide an account of the liquidators’ winding up activities (Article 75). Compulsory winding up The key provisions are set out in Section 4 of Part 3 of the Insolvency Regulations. A company may be wound up by the QFC Tribunal in any of the four following circumstances (Article 77) – a. The company has resolved that it would be wound up in this manner, b. the company is unable to pay its debts, c. The Tribunal makes an order to this effect pursuant to or under the Insolvency Regulations or other regulations, or d. The QFC Tribunal is of the opinion that it is “just and equitable” that the company should be wound up, provided that the QFCA believes it is in the interests of the QFC that the company should be wound up.
Inability to pay debts Article 78(1) deems a company to be unable to pay its debts if – a. The company is indebted to a creditor for a sum exceeding USD 2,000 and after three weeks of a written demand being served on the company to pay the sum due, the company has neglected to pay the sum or to agree payment terms to the reasonable satisfaction of the creditor, or b. It is proved to the satisfaction of the QFC Tribunal that the company is unable to pay its debts as they fall due (Article 78(2)). When would winding up be “just and equitable”? The case of QFCA vs. Silver Leaf Capital Partners LLC (Case No: 0001/2009) dealt with an application for a winding up order pursuant to Article 80. The company was unable to meet its objective to launch a private equity fund at the QFC and no longer had the assets to meet its liabilities. In granting the order to wind up the company (Article 80), the QFC Civil and Commercial Court (Court) acknowledged that the language of the relevant articles is deliberately broad in order to cover the wide variety of circumstances in which it would be “just and equitable” that a company be wound up. The Court held that it should take into account the following objectives of the QFCA (Article 5 of the Qatar Financial Centre Law (Law No. (7) of 2005), as amended by Law No. (2) of 2009 (QFC Law)) –
a. Developing the QFC as a leading location for international finance and business, b. Establishing an appropriate legal and regulatory regime to govern both the QFC and the activities lawfully conducted by entities established in the QFC, and c. Acting in accordance with and promoting international best practice. The Court stated that the QFC’s objectives would be served if the unsatisfactory state of affairs at the company was brought to an end by its liquidation. This was the case as the evidence demonstrated that – a. The company was effectively paralysed and could not achieve its objectives, b. There was practical deadlock between the two sets of directors and shareholders, c. Trust and cooperation between the parties had broken down; and d. The company was insolvent. Issues relating to compulsory winding up Standing Broadly, a company and its shareholders, its directors or any creditor, including any contingent or prospective creditor, may apply to the QFC Tribunal for an order to wind up a company (Article 79). In addition, if it appears to the QFCA that it is in the interests of the QFC that a company should be wound up, the QFCA may make an application if the QFC Tribunal considers it “just and equitable” for it to be so (Article 80). Effect of commencement Unless the QFC Tribunal orders otherwise, any disposition of company property, any transfer of shares or alteration in the status of the company’s members made after the commencement of the winding up is void (Article 81).
Company focus legal
Broadly, a company and its shareholders, its directors or any creditor, including any contingent or prospective creditor, may apply to the QFC Tribunal for an order to wind up a company (Article 79). In addition, if it appears to the QFCA that it is in the interests of the QFC that a company should be wound up, the QFCA may make an application if the QFC Tribunal considers it “just and equitable” for it to be so (Article 80).
Winding up order Once a winding up order has been made, no action or proceeding with or against the company or its property can proceed, except by leave of the QFC Tribunal and subject to any terms the QFC Tribunal may impose (Article 82(1)). Appointment of liquidator The winding up order will identify the person to act as liquidator of the company (Article 82). This person is required to convene meetings of the company’s creditors and contributories for the purpose of choosing a person to act as liquidator of the company. At their respective meetings, the creditors and contributories may each nominate a person to act as liquidator, although the creditors may effectively veto any nomination by the contributories by nominating their own. However, if creditors and contributories each nominate a different person (which is technically possible but practically impossible at present due to the number of QFC authorised insolvency practitioners), either party may apply to the QFC Tribunal for an order either – a. To appoint the person nominated by the contributories instead of, or jointly with, the person nominated by the creditors, or b. To appoint some other person to be liquidator instead of the person put forward by the creditors.
At its respective meeting, the creditors of the company may appoint a creditors’ committee to oversee the winding up (Article 85). Staying a winding up Even after an order for winding up is made by the QFC Tribunal, it may make an order staying proceedings in the winding up, either entirely or for a limited time, on terms and conditions as it sees fit. The appointed liquidator, any creditor or shareholder or other person liable to contribute to the assets of the company may make such an application. To make such an order, the applicant must provide proof to the QFC Tribunal’s satisfaction that all proceedings should be stayed. Other issues in practice Exclusion of creditors not proving in time Provided “all reasonable steps”, or the placement of an advert in major local newspapers in both English and Arabic, have been taken to draw the attention of creditors to the company’s
liquidation, creditors must prove their debts or claims within six months of commencement of the liquidation (Article 90). If a creditor fails to do so, the creditor may be excluded from the benefit of any distribution made before its debts are proved. Liability for conduct Articles 97 to 103 contain provisions relating to conduct of a fraudulent or false nature by the directors or officers of the company. Article 105 provides that the QFC Tribunal may make certain orders for the return, compensation or contribution to company property as well as an order requiring a person to do, or not to do, any act or thing. Arrangement as alternative to winding up Under Article 109, if the liquidator proposes an arrangement in the course of winding up the company, the Tribunal may do one or both of the following – a. Make an order to stay all proceedings of the winding up, or b. Given such directions with respect to the conduct of the winding up as it thinks appropriate for facilitating the arrangement proposed.
About Emma Higham is a corporate and commercial lawyer with over nine year’s experience. Having been based in Qatar for nearly seven years, Emma incorporates her extensive knowledge of the local law when advising both local and international clients. Emma joined Clyde & Co in October 2007, having previously worked for another international law firm for six years, both in London and Qatar. Prior to that Emma worked for Price Waterhouse for eight years in both audit and corporate recovery. Emma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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On the basis of in-depth interviews with CEOs and top executives from different sectors of the Qatari labour market, Salwa Atiyyah, Senior Career Guidance Manager, Silatech, helps us figure out the criteria employers use to select the right candidate.
eing employable is a concept often used to describe someone who has the abilities, skills, qualifications and potential to meet specific requirements to secure long term employment for a particular kind of job or position within an organisation. It refers to the capacity an employee possesses to function in a work environment that makes him successful in his chosen occupation resulting in individual and societal benefits in the long run. Employability is all about the ability to acquire all the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence to make future plans and go further with them.
Some of the most confusing aspects job seekers face when they begin the search process is identifying the exact skills and traits employers look for in candidates. Many wish they could get into employers’ minds and unlock the secrets to finding the perfect combination that could win employers’ hearts over. They ask themselves such questions as, “Where do I start looking for vacancies? Whom do I contact? Where do I apply to? How do I prepare an attractive resume? How do I prepare myself to nail my job interview?” But, most of all, they often wonder what ideal skills and values would get employers’ excited and say, “Yes! This is it!”
The truth is that every employer looks for a particular set of skills that match the requirements needed to carry out specific jobs within their organisations. With competition among job seekers being high these days, it is imperative that job seekers recognise the exact skills these employers need in an employee before heading into a job interview so they are able to market themselves accordingly. However, there are those job seekers who do not know where to begin. This is mainly due to the lack of preparation in terms of the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century’s global economy. Such young job seekers face
uncertainty when shifting from schooling into the work force. There is a huge dissection between the “world of school” and the “world of work” because no consistent transition takes place from secondary level to university level into work force. This is because teachers barely take the time to relate their “world of school” subject matter to the “world of work” and its different occupations. This in turn creates confusion among high school students entering university as they struggle to meet its requirements. Once accepted, they are clueless as to what to study or how to study. As they graduate and plan to enter the labour market, they may lack the core skills for employability. So, they get busy trying to figure out how to impress employers. It is more overwhelming when one does not have an employment history. Visiting internationally renowned Websites or watching documentaries on YouTube do not offer much help and only provide generic job hunting guidelines that are not specific to the Qatari labour market. Only a few Websites go the extra mile to answer questions specific to the demands of the Qatari labour market. If the job seekers are lucky, they enroll in special online workshops on job hunting strategies.
Employability is all about the ability to acquire all the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence to make future plans and go further with them.
in Qatar face both skills shortages as well as skills gaps resulting in limited performance and achievement of business objectives. So, what are these critical employability skills that Qatari employers demand of job seekers? Is it a university degree, academic ability or a high GPA score? In-depth recorded interviews with fifteen CEOs and top executives from the different sectors of the Qatari labour market show that employers’ interests go beyond academic qualifications. Apart from the job-specific technical skills that can be acquired with the proper training and experience, employers look to see if job seekers possess the basic “soft” or “generic” behavioral skills or competencies that are harder to judge and difficult to teach on the job. Employers want to know whether the job seeker has the personality traits and attitude they value the most. They want people with
Qatar’s labour market today looks for self-motivated, achievement-driven and multi-skilled candidates that can compete in multicultural environments.
Fit the job Over the past few years, Qatar’s booming economy has had a major demand for a more highly skilled workforce. Sadly, many graduates fail to fit the category as they are considered unprepared to enter directly into the job market. Few job seekers have the training or qualifications needed for high-demand and high-skill jobs. As a result, many organisations
key skills that affect everything they do on a daily basis – be it at work, home or anywhere else. Without these skills, you will have a hard time competing. These key skills not only increase job seekers’ career options but provide the flexibility to move up the ladder in their future career. In other words, employers are interested in hiring people who fit the job, the organisation, the culture and the team.
Employers want to make sure that the job applicants they recruit are – • Willing to do the job • Able to do the job • Ready to go beyond the job requirements • Able to fit within their culture The CEOs said that despite the wealth of work opportunities available to Qatari job seekers, they should not only rely on the fact that they are Qatari to secure automatic employment. This is mainly because the labour market has become more open and competition globalised. Unlike in the past where there were differences and total separation between specialties, today, a job seeker is required to be conversant beyond their specialty. Set of skills Qatar’s labour market today looks for selfmotivated, achievement-driven and multi-skilled candidates that can compete in multicultural environments. A major attribute highlighted by most employers is the need for young job seekers to be positive enough to believe in themselves and their abilities. Employers look for persons who are – • R esponsible enough to organise, plan and execute tasks accordingly and effectively • Flexible in their learning, thinking, planning, and utilising all their technical skills • Ready to face and tackle work challenges using different means and methods • Willing to make a difference by exploring everything to achieve results • Willing to learn and always looking for answers to different questions that may arise
• F luent in oral and written language(s) and proficient in using the computer • Enthusiastic and proactive • Knowledgeable about the company they apply to and the details of their past work experiences • Not afraid to fail and are willing to seek multiple perspectives until they succeed • Fully aware of their strengths and weaknesses and are ready to improve them • Strategic thinkers who are clear about their long term future objectives • Creative enough to think out of the box and come up with new ways of doing things • Critical thinkers who do not always accept things as they are • Problem–solvers who are ready to analyse, interpret and come up with solutions to problems • Able to work in a team, have good communication and negotiations skills and are able to maintain excellent relationships with colleagues • Able to work in different environments and with diverse multicultural settings
Two criteria that employers perceived negatively were emphasis on salary as a basis for accepting a job and moving from one workplace to another. Many were of the opinion that job seekers should first study the work environment before selecting one that offers challenges that will help shape their personalities.
• Able to go the extra mile by exerting maximum effort to achieve whatever is necessary • Honest, serious and with excellent work ethics • Able to develop these skills by relying on themselves Try to avoid Two criteria that employers perceived negatively were emphasis on salary as a basis for accepting a job and moving from one workplace to another. Many were of the opinion that job seekers should first study the work environment before selecting one that offers challenges that will help shape their personalities. Selecting the right working environment should be the number one criterion for the job seeker and not the salary. Also, a job seeker moving from one organisation to another is seen as a sign of inability to decide and should be avoided. Many employers believe that job seekers should be patient and not expect to be promoted immediately after being hired but wait to progress normally from one level to the next within the organisation. Employers stressed on the importance of taking up summer jobs, internships and volunteer work as an effective way to acquire most of the basic skills. As is evident from the above in-depth interviews with leaders from different job sectors, the criteria employers use to select
the right candidate go beyond the attainment of a diploma. Clearly, a university degree is the first stepping stone towards finding the right job. Employers not only focus on bookworms, but also those who possess the skills that match the requirements of the job. Surprisingly, a lot of these skills can be acquired while at university. The courses you take, earlier work experiences, and hobbies provide you with skills that may later be of value to employers. Find out how many key skills you already have and which ones need to be developed – it is never too late! The good news is that you can still develop them by working hard on improving yourself. Knowing your abilities and how they relate to an employer’s requirements will help you stand out in the crowd and probably help you win the job of your dream!
About Salwa Atiyyah graduated with a master degree in Educational Psychology, Guidance and Counselling from the American University of Beirut. She has worked for many years as a counsellor and for six years as a career counselling consultant at the Higher Education Institute – Qatar. Salwa currently holds the position of Senior Career Guidance Manager at Silatech. In addition to her career in trainings for counsellors, she has numerous publications in this field on topics such as a guide for career counsellors, how to make an informed career decision, job hunting strategies, career portfolio and much more. Salwa Atiyyah can be contacted at email@example.com.
Power from power The best way to understand the importance of Alstom, a world leader in transport infrastructure, power generation and electrical grid, is to visit their facilities and hear about their worldwide projects firsthand! In September 2012 Alstom hosted a successful press trip to their headquarters and facilities in France, Germany and Switzerland for a number of international journalists. Tamara Pupic was one of them and brings to you the first of a two-part series on Alstom’s business growth in the Middle East region with a special focus on Qatar. At the invitation of Alstom Power, a number of international journalists, specialising in business and engineering, visited Alstom’s headquarters in Levallois-Perret, Paris, and facilities of Alstom Belfort in France, Rheinhafen-Dampfkraftwerk (RDK8) in Germany, as well as Alstom Thermal Power headquarters in Switzerland. Alstom is a large French multinational conglomerate which is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark
for innovative and environmentally-friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind. It also offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The group employs 92,600 people in around 100 countries. It had sales of EUR 20 billion and booked close to EUR 22 billion in orders in 2011/12.
Power generation Alstom’s power activities include the design, manufacturing, services and supply of products and systems for the power generation sector and industrial markets. The group has solutions for all energy sources (coal, gas, nuclear, fueloil, hydropower and wind) and is a leader in innovative technologies for the protection of the environment (reduction of CO2 emissions and elimination of pollutant emissions). It provides components for power generation – boilers, steam turbines and gas turbines, wind turbines,
Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids.
generators, air quality control systems and monitoring and control systems for power plants, as well as related products. Transport infrastructure Alstom Transport develops and markets a complete range of systems, equipment and service in the railway industry. It supplies rolling stock, transport infrastructure and signaling, maintenance equipment and global rail systems. The technological advances allowed the company to achieve the world rail speed record at a speed of 574.8 km/h on 3rd April 2007. Electrical grid A third business section based on power transmission was formed on 7th June 2010 with the acquisition of the transmission business of Areva SA. The division manufactures equipment for the entire chain of electrical power transmission, including ultra-high voltage transmission lines (both AC and DC). The new sector, headquartered in France at La Défense, has four main businesses: • Products (electrical equipment of the ultrahigh-voltage and high-voltage electricity transmission system, 51% of sales), with world leading positions in disconnectors and instrument transformers • Systems (network management systems and big turn-key projects, 34% of sales), with a leading position in HVDC solutions (high voltage direct current) thanks to its expertise in power electronics • Automation (sophisticated information systems for real-time management of electricity grids) • Service
In the beginning of the press trip, the journalists visited Alstom’s Belfort site which is the historic “heart” of Alstom. For over 130 years Alstom’s Belfort workshops have been manufacturing components for power plants. Today, the Belfort site is recognised as the centre of excellence for steam turbines for fossil fired and nuclear power plants as well as for nuclear generators. The group designs and builds the conventional islands (generators and steam turbines) for nuclear power plants and is a world leader with 30% market share. Alstom’s teams in Belfort design and produce equipment for power plants, manufacture steam turbines ranging from 100 to 1,800 MW and design of manufacture generators.
First projects, second localisation and third would be to develop cooperation with some regional universities of technology in order to ensure that we are developing the right technology for that particular market. Qatar is extremely important in terms of its development and willingness to invest. So, we are very interested in that market. Where is the demand coming from? From the gas related side of our business, we expect that the demand will increase due to the industry expansion in the region. It will especially be driven by the aluminum activities which are heavily dependent on the use of the energy. We also see an increase in the demand on energy for water production and the growing demand in electricity. Thus, we consider that this market will continue to grow. What is Alstom’s competitive advantage in the Middle Eastern market? We have a number of advantages. The first one is our strategy according to which we sell in the way customers want us to sell. If they want a certain product or only its components, we can do it. So, we have a very flexible strategy.
In the late 2000s, Alstom won Middle Eastern contracts to the value of EUR 100 million for power generation equipment. Since this business section of Alstom is relevant for Middle Eastern market, we used the opportunity to ask Philippe Cochet, President of Alstom Thermal Power and Executive Vice President of Alstom, how they perceive the current state of play and future business opportunities in the Middle East region. How important is the Middle East region in the group’s strategy? Middle East is one of the key regions that we are targeting in our strategy. We believe that we cannot be a major player in the region if we are not localised there to a certain extent. For that reason, we already have projects related to service activities in Dubai and service workshops in KSA. In that way, we aim to bring our solutions to the region.
How do you assess compliance with environmental standards in the region? The sky is the limit – whatever you produce, it harms the environment in certain way. But, at the end of the day, everybody will have to apply air pollution control standards. If you look at the Middle East region, more and more power plants are equipped with appropriate environment friendly technologies. The only one which still doesn’t exist in the Middle East, but it doesn’t exist anywhere in the world, is the CO2 capture.
This efficiency is extremely important for the customers since they expect that all companies involved in the activity can understand and deliver in line with their requests. The fact that we are mastering everything in the supply chain helps us to guarantee our performance. For example, if a customer buys steam turbines from Toshiba or Siemens, each of them will guarantee performance for their own product. But, Alstom guarantees for all kinds of products and services.
strategy – we are the only one to be able to deliver a full spectrum, from a component to a full product, with a service associated with it. In addition, we will try to expand in other regional countries as well. The key is to build workshops for our service activities. I prefer to say that we plan to develop a small workshop and do it, instead of announcing a big plant which we will never construct.
Middle East is one of the key regions that we are targeting in our strategy. We consider that we cannot be a major player in the region if we are not localised there to a certain extent. For that reason, we already have projects related to service activities in Dubai and service workshops in KSA. In that way, we aim to bring our solutions to the region.
The second advantage is derived from the long term and strong local presence of our service activities in the region. So, we have our own workshops in the region and, thus, we are able to deliver products. For example, we have very competitive products which are the largest steam turbines for nuclear power plants. Furthermore, our customers know that our products are extremely reliable. Whenever there are projects related to nuclear power, we are interested and participate in these projects around the globe. Like that, we already have partnerships in Russia and India. These are the two key advantages that we have. When compared with our competitors, I would say that we have the most flexible
Has the Arab spring affected your business in the region? We were affected because we have significant businesses in Lybia, Tunisia and Egypt. These countries are now recovering. It’s a long process, but we are again starting to have increased business volumes in those countries. They definitely need energy, especially Lybia. Iraq is also in high demand for energy and we have strong presence there. After the revolution we haven’t changed our business plans. To the opposite, we have even put bigger focus on the Middle East. So, we are not going away but trying to be there and help in any way that we can.
We are working on CO2 capture and I think it will be very interesting for this region. Previously, many companies were interested in it, but their approach wasn’t viable from the financial standpoint. Now, we are focusing more and more on the usage of CO2 capture since there are some interesting solutions for it. If you are producing CO2, why not considering to use it in the ground to push oil and gas up. In some countries, you can also use it to produce fertilizers. Today, what is amazing, is that there are people who are making the equipment to produce CO2 and, later on, using for enhanced oil recovery or fabrication. I think that will be a good development, especially in the Middle East. To conclude with these innovations, Alstom’s strategy is very focused on the Middle East region since the group is willing not only to further expand their business here, but also to support the development of regional markets. In the next issue, we will take a closer look on how they plan to do just that.
About Philippe Cochet is the President of Alstom Thermal Power and Executive Vice-President of Alstom. Born in 1960, Philippe is a graduated engineer from the CESTI (Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de Techniques Industrielles). He began his career in 1986 as a consultant. In 2001 and 2002, he was in charge at Alstom’s environmental control business. In 2003, he joined the Hager group as Executive Vice-President of Operations and a member of the Board of Directors. Back at Alstom in April 2006, Philippe Cochet was VicePresident of Alstom Hydro and then of Alstom Hydro and Wind, before his appointment to the current role.
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In most economies SMEs outnumber large companies by a wide margin and indeed are responsible for driving innovation and competition in various sectors. Aref El Nakadi, Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager, Ahli Bank, provides good advice on how SMEs can improve their marketing strategies and benefit from Qatar’s economic growth.
n Qatar, SMEs have been considered weak in the past. However, the wise leadership has put in place a number of initiatives and strategic goals to help and foster SMEs, from creating a junior bourse at the Qatar Exchange to financing facilities with different financial organisations. The Qatar National Vision 2030 aims to build a well-diversified economy and SMEs are an integral part of it – to help with healthy competition, employment opportunities and economic diversification. In this time of global recession companies need to be proactive. Furthermore, SMEs should be smart in their marketing strategies. How to do that? SMEs and marketing We all know the basics of marketing – product, price, place and promotion. 4Ps, or nowadays even more Ps, are essential in developing a brand. Once you develop the brand and make sure it is different, relevant and holds a promise (the first 3Ps), you then move to the last P. Now the question is are SMEs in Qatar promoting their brand? The online marketing arena in Qatar has experienced significant growth over the past few years. Traditional marketing is still strong but not feasible for some SMEs. With online and social media, SMEs are able to control and discover key revenue streams and make the right decisions with advanced reporting and tracking technology. However, the mistake SMEs make in marketing is that they make everything so difficult for consumers to understand that they
don’t get it. And if consumers don’t get it, they usually don’t feel compelled to buy it. Marketing is about informing consumers about your products and services and telling them why they should pick you over your competitor. Are SMEs in Qatar doing that? SMEs sometimes try to imitate multinationals and big corporations with their marketing strategies when in fact they’ve missed the core elements that will get a person to buy their products or services. SMEs should find their own market!
»» Evaluate different media channels You have to evaluate the different media channels and decide which ones will work for you. For example, do you serve a market that is more drawn to Twitter? Does your consumer spend more time watching television or surfing the Internet? Be aware of and informed about different media channels and which ones will work with your market. It’s not a one size fits all deal. »» Use media channels that are visible to your consumer The reason you need to evaluate the different media channels is to select the media that is more visible to your potential purchaser. Why spend money on television advertising if your consumers are spending more time surfing the Internet? When you select the media channels, you create a placement that your potential consumers will see. Qatari entrepreneurs should benefit from the vast resources that this country’s wise leadership has put in place by using clever and creative marketing strategies. In that manner, they will successfully grow both locally, regionally and maybe even internationally. Why not?
How do you do this? It’s by moving a customer from the point of just attracting their attention to inspiring them to actually take action, which is making a purchase. A few tips »» Get their attention, be different Get the attention of your consumers. Speak to their needs and inform them of the solution that you provide. Being able to distinguish yourself from competitors will increase recognition. If you can’t provide a solution – it’s time to get back to the drawing board. »» Never over promise Never over promise if you can’t adequately live up to that. You will lose customers and more importantly your business. »» Create a marketing message You know your solution, now you have to create a message that conveys that to your consumer. Craft your marketing message so that it’s easy to understand. Your marketing message has to speak about the solution as well as create urgency for the need.
Aref El Nakadi
About Aref El Nakadi is Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager at Ahli Bank Qatar. Aref, a seasoned marketing professional, has over 15 years of marketing experience in the region having served grow, a branding and communications agency in the capacity of client director. Aref started his professional career with Allied Bank (owned by Bank Med), formerly Allied Business Bank, Lebanon, as a Marketing Officer and Project Manager.
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The SME Toolkit is a joint project between Qatar Development Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of World Bank Group. By bringing together the global expertise of IFC and the local knowledge of QDB, the SME Toolkit Qatar provides small businesses in Qatar with the tools and resources that allow them to function to international standards. • Step by step guidelines for business start up and management • Downloadable software tools like Business Plan Maker, Website Builder etc. • Online library with information on topics like Finance Marketing, Technology and International Business • Business Directory Listing and Legal Updates