The Business Year

The Qatar National Vision 2030's objective is to transform Qatar into an advanced society, and tech companies, both local and international, are moving full speed ahead to empower local businesses.

Mazen Jabri

Managing Director, SAP Qatar

SAP has proven to be one of the major enablers of a digital marketplace to build e-commerce capability. The Qatari market is small and the reach is easy for everyone within the bounds of a major city like Doha. SAP can add unique values through things like building a platform with major development banks and programs to empower SMEs with systems, processes, and business models that enhance transparency, efficiency, and agility. Such banks and programs would provide funding and facilities to encourage the establishment of hundreds of new businesses, promoting economic diversification. We also help provide a global reach for Qatari SMEs through the SAP Global Business Network, promoting their products internationally and helping them compete in terms of price and quality. Apart from that, SAP is working closely with the Joint Economic Commission of Qatar and Germany to support business relations between SMEs from both countries and replicate the successful German model of SMEs in Qatar. Attracting tech companies requires a network of resources and capabilities spanning innovation and leadership between government, businesses, venture capitalists, R&D institutions, and major educational establishments. Qatar National Vision 2030 is providing a strong springboard for the IT sector in the mid-term. The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be the biggest catalyst for changing processes, rules, and regulations to the required level. This will promote IT at a sustainable rate for the coming 10 years.

Lana Khalaf

Country Manager, Microsoft Qatar

Microsoft recognizes that all Qatari companies are undergoing a digital transformation. One such example is Nakilat, which has done so through Microsoft’s Azure cloud solution. All its data is now saved on a public hybrid cloud with Microsoft, which enables it to have 99.95% availability, full security, and a cost reduction of 50%. On the other hand, Gulf Warehousing Company adopted the cloud in a different way; it uses it to bring smart warehousing into the market. The great thing about these partnerships is that we bring new solutions locally. At the same time, we are packaging the cloud-based solution developed in Qatar to internationalize it. Additionally, Microsoft has partnered with Ooredoo, the biggest telecom provider in the country, to bring Microsoft Azure hybrid cloud services, which will expand Ooredoo’s offering and enable Qatar’s organizations to gain major business benefits by transforming from CAPEX into OPEX. In terms of Qatar’s education sector, Microsoft’s mission is to empower students, educators, and institutions to get more aligned with Qatar’s future vision for education. Technology plays a crucial role as it equips educators and students with the right tools and capabilities to develop the labor market for the jobs of tomorrow. In Qatar, we are training 1,000 teachers with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education as part of our capacity building program, which stresses on embedding technology in education, addressing things such as developing project-based learning and using technological tools.

Soubhi Chebib

General Manager, Soubhi Chebib

We are always innovating in the way we build our solutions and how we deliver them to meet the requirements of our clients. The world of IT has been through major development in the last five years. Mobile has changed the way we conduct our daily life and the way we consume IT services. New technologies such as blockchain have emerged, disrupting old models and bringing better integrated services, such as defining and executing smart contracts. At Gulf Business Machines, the workforce is made up of multiple nationalities; we are dedicated to a multi-cultural team experience because we believe that every person coming in not only brings his or her knowledge and experience but also cultural values that enrich our team and customer service culture. Regarding the ease of doing business in Qatar, one needs to enter with sustained investment in the Qatar market and build relationships with local partners. Our type of business is sensitive to customer support, which is why our talent pool is one of our key advantages. In recent times, software has become a key ingredient of any business. Every company has to show the agility of its business, and that is based not only on technology but also on its business process. In the next few years, all the activity related to the preparations for the World Cup will keep moving fast. For example, construction companies are buying equipment, software, project management tools, cybersecurity solutions, and so on to create an ecosystem.

Frank Fan

CEO, Huawei Technologies Qatar

Qatar’s announcement to permit 100% foreign ownership will accelerate development across all economic and commercial activities, attract foreign capital inflow, and achieve economic diversification in accordance with the Qatar National Vision 2030. Huawei’s new office will expand and enhance the company’s activities in sectors with a key role to play in achieving national developmental goals. Huawei, as the leading global provider with integrated solutions across four key domains—telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services, is committed to bringing digital to every person, home, and organization. Huawei believes that through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, it can create lasting value for its customers and empower people, which is why innovation focuses on customer needs. We invest heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. As Qatar continues on its journey of digital transformation to position itself as a regional technology hub, organizations across vertical sectors will place a strong demand for ICT services and products. The growing smart city sector in particular will sustain strong investment and innovation in ICT, and 5G technology has a leading role to play in this. Fortunately, Qatar is unquestionably a global leader in 5G as it was the first country to deploy a commercial 5G network. With all this in mind, 2019 will be a great year for Huawei and the region.

Baraa Sami

General Manager, Mekdam Technology

MEKDAM TECHNOLOGY is a subsidiary of Mekdam Holding Group, specialized in systems integration of ICT security and safety and audio-visual solutions for all types of buildings. MEKDAM Technology plays a major role in meeting the green buildings standards, managing all the technologies and technical aspects of various solutions, and achieving a full integration between all platforms for balanced and stable high-level operations. We work on small-, medium-, and large-scale projects. One of our signature projects was the Mall of Qatar, where MEKDAM Technology handled almost all the systems integration scope of work. We also delivered large scale projects for the Ministry of Interior’s headquarter, as well as projects for Doha convention center, Doha Mall, and Villaggio Mall. MEKDAM Technology is one of the biggest companies in the group’s technology segment and collaborates and cross-sells with its sister companies, which include consultancy, engineering, telecommunications, services, and maintenance businesses. Some of the companies in the group are more than 30 years old. In terms of current projects, one of the company’s important projects is the nationwide CCTV project for Hamad Medical Corporation, which includes more than 3,000 cameras across all Hamad hospitals and clinics. Moving forward, our focus will be bidding on 2022 FIFA World Cup-related projects. We are also looking at the expansion project for Mall of Qatar, having delivered its main ELV scope in the first phase.



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