Reinforcing its role as a key player in the Omani private sector, and being a major contributor in driving the development and growth of the national economy, BankDhofar sponsored Oman SME Summit – “Reinvigorating the SME market in Oman” which was organised by the International Finance Magazine (IFM) at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Ritz Carlton on September 13-14, 2015.
The opening ceremony was attended by H.H. Sayyid Adham bin Turki Al Said, H.E. Dr. Ali Saud Al Bemani, Vice Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University, H.E. Jonathan Paul Wilks, British Ambassador to the Sultanate, H.E. Indra Mani Pandey, Indiam Ambassador to the Sultanate, and Abdul Hakeem Omar Al Ojaili, Acting CEO of BankDhofar.
The two-day summit brought together 36 speakers and 150 delegates from official authorities, senior officials representing foreign offices, prominent SME business owners, as well as invited guests and participants from the public and private sectors. The summit encompassed variety of activities and sessions, including special addresses by guests of honour, start-ups exhibition and panel discussions. It also provided a platform for all stakeholders to network, exchange knowledge and expertise in the Omani SME sector, and to explore opportunities to further develop the sector and provide the necessary tools for entrepreneurs and prominent business owners to thrive in their respective fields.
Abdul Hakeem Omar Al Ojaili, Acting CEO of BankDhofar, highlighted the bank’s efforts to support and nurture the Omani SME sector and various initiatives undertaken by BankDhofar in this regard. “BankDhofar was one of the first banks to introduce SME related solutions, products and services. Despite the fact that the “SME” term is relatively new to the Omani market, we have been working for years to promote good business ideas generated in this sector, providing financial solutions and strategic guidance to entrepreneurs under its Corporate Banking umbrella,” he said.
Hussain Ali Ibrahim, Acting AGM of Business Banking at BankDhofar, participated in a panel discussion that focused on funds and programmes in place for SMEs. He highlighted challenges to SME financing and potential risks that are particular to the SMEs. He also discussed management and performance risks, as well as business sustainability issues. Risk evaluation was also highlighted during the discussions in addition to the importance of producing reliable financial statements to monitor business progress.
In the past few years BankDhofar adapted several strategic initiatives to further cement its stronghold in the market and cater to all businesses from large corporates to SMEs, providing a full array of banking products, quick turn-around time, improved cash management & competitive service charges.
BankDhofar has introduced solutions for SMEs to revitalise their business, which allowed SMEs to expand their business by utilising the various creative solutions that are all geared towards helping their growth. This placed BankDhofar on top of the list of best banks in the region. In 2015 alone, BankDhofar received a number of prestigious awards from leading international organisations, including ‘SME Bank of the Year – Oman’ at the ABF Retail Banking Awards 2015 and ‘Best SME Bank Oman 2015’ by Global Banking & Finance Review.