Industry leaders call for additional stimulus to improve business confidence and consumer demand

Prominent industry leaders and market experts in Oman called for increased stimulus from the government to support the private sector navigate through the COVID-19 crisis as well as stressed on the need for business transformation to sustain and thrive in the future that offers a new set of opportunities demanding new ways of doing business.

They were speaking at the OER Webinar ‘Business Transformation for the New Reality’ organised in partnership with Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OCCI), on June 3 over zoom. The webinar was powered by Oman Arab Bank and Octal. Oman Data Park was the cloud service partner. National Life & General Insurance was the insurance partner.

Speaking at the webinar, His Excellency Qais Mohammed Al Yousef, Chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) stated, “We (OCCI) have requested the government for a number of incentives and measures for the private sector to overcome the current crisis. We have recommended that the banks and finance companies shall reschedule loans during 2020-2021 and without asking for additional guarantees/collaterals as a result of the decrease in the prices of the current collaterals provided that there are no additional fees for rescheduling, and the Central Bank of Oman shall not require the local banks to make additional provisions as a result of the mentioned rescheduling. We have also requested postponing the Value Added Tax (VAT) for atleast 18-24 months to prevent its impact on the consumption and the financial condition of the companies.”

He further added, “The current situation has underlined the importance of enhancing local production and focusing on In-Country Value (ICV). I’m quite positive on the future. The introduction of laws related to public & private partnerships, foreign capital investments and bankruptcy augurs well for Oman’s economy. There are clear opportunities for PPP based projects. For example, there are atleast 16 healthcare business opportunities where OCCI could facilitate the process for serious investors.”

Echoing his sentiments, almost 70 per cent of the 900-plus strong audience affirmed that businesses in Oman can transform themselves innovatively in the next six months, in a live audience poll.

Samir J Fancy, the chairman & founder of Renaissance Services and Tawoos Group said, “I don’t see a quick recovery happening. The recovery requires a systemic change. In 2020, the private sector should plan to adapt and survive. In 2021, they should look at excelling, growing and thriving. Many things that we did before will go online. Business models will need to change.”

Dr. Amer Al Rawas, the noted international consultant and executive coach, and chairman of Oman Society for Petroleum Services (OPAL) said, “Leaders need to rebuild trust. They need to regain the confidence of their employees, investors, suppliers and the community-at-large. On the consumer side, they need to come up with attractive promotions and offers to offset any habitual change and rebuild consumer confidence that has been lost over time.”

Nabeel Jawad Sultan, the founder & chairman of Nabay.com and Nabeel Sultan Investments, and the director of Jawad Sultan Group said, “Through Covid-19, nature has given us a simulation of what will happen if we don’t’ transform our business. Unfortunately, lots of businesses are integrating few technologies in their businesses and thinking that this is transformation. That’s not transformation. They need to understand that the entire eco-system has changed. One needs to integrate every aspect of the business to achieve real business transformation.”

Maqbool Al Wahaibi, the CEO of Oman Data Park (ODP) said, “Technology has managed to lift up sectors, manage their revenue and operational expenses. The companies should look at opex based models instead of capex based models to control their expenses and cash flows more effectively.”

The panel discussion was moderated by Mayank Singh, Group Editor of OER and businessliveme.com. The webinar attracted top business leaders, investors, C-level executives and business & investment consultants from key industries including banking & finance, investments, insurance, energy, technology, manufacturing, logistics, etc. as the audience. The webinar was managed by UMS Live with businessliveme.com as the digital media partner, Alam Al-Iktisaad Wal A’mal as the print media partner and omarto.com as the e-commerce partner.

To Watch the Full Video of the Webinar, Click Here

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