The Business Year

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Juha Alopaeus

CEO & Country Manager, ABB LLC

ABB in Qatar was formed locally in 2005 in partnership with the Hawar Group. Since then, local staff numbers have multiplied by more than 40 times and continue to grow with 260 ABB employees today. ABB has a long-term commitment to Qatar and is proud to contribute to the country’s present and future development. With our technology leadership, global presence, and local expertise, we offer products, systems, solutions, and services that meet customer needs related to energy consumption for cooling, desalinization, and sustainability. A positive thing here is that Qatar targets high-quality products. This is a good fit for ABB. There is a lot of investment in several projects here, which also means that everyone is interested in this market, so the competition is fierce. It is a very interesting market, and it is a pleasure to be here because of the pace of development. ABB always tries to be a local company. Our target is to grow together with the market, and also look at projects and investments that make sense where we can really support Qatar’s vision for 2030. We really want to be the company that is giving the best customer support in Qatar, and our business and people programs in place today will ensure we deliver on those promises.

Bart Cahir

President & General Manager, ExxonMobil Qatar

Qatar’s LNG business has helped globalize the industry. This is in part due to our ability to scale-up the LNG trains, but also is a result of revolutions in the LNG shipping business. Our LNG trains in Qatar have tripled in size since the initial days, and the amount of gas that we can ship has also increased substantially with the introduction of the Q-Flex and Q-Max carriers. The Q-Max, for example, is approximately 80% larger than the conventional LNG ships of the past. These advancements, pioneered as part of Qatar’s LNG business, impact the industry as a whole with the introduction of additional LNG consumers into the market that were previously difficult to reach. These new customers add another layer to our global business, as ExxonMobil has operations—and hence solid relationships—across the global energy sector in many of the countries that now receive gas from Qatar. It goes without saying that our asset base in this country is very important to us, as are the relationships that come with it.

Naim Yazbeck

Country Manager, Naim Yazbeck

The ICT market today is growing in double digits, and Qatar is one of the few countries with growth at this pace. The government wants to bring the ICT contribution to GDP from close to 1% to 3% or 4% over the next few years. From that perspective alone, it is a growth market, and Microsoft, being one of the largest ICT players, is also investing in this area. We are primarily focusing on people, and have tripled our staff over the past three years. We have also tripled our capacity-building investment in the market. This is important because Microsoft works in a particular partner ecosystem wherein we sell our products to partners who take out product-built solutions and deliver them to the market. We have fewer than 100 people in the office, but we have almost 3,000 people working in the Microsoft environment. Part of what we are doing is investing in the capacity and capability of our partners so they can better serve our clients, be that for government systems, other IT solutions for companies, or Xboxes for your average individual customer. Additionally, we are investing in what we call “business innovation.“ We try to encourage young people to use technology to be creative, but also to help the SME ecosystem grow beyond the borders of Qatar.

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