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SA22_EC_Proven Omer Saleem

SAUDI ARABIA - Economy

Omer Saleem

Deputy CEO, Proven SA

Bio

Proven’s CCO and Deputy CEO Omer Saleem is an experienced strategist and seasoned business leader who brings innovation, talent, and operational efficiency together. With a demonstrated history of developing several businesses from initial concept, and seeing them through from implementation to growth successfully. His financial experience aids him to create value for clients through unique solutions derived from operational and financial analysis. His managerial, operational, and financial skills have contributed to the success of multiple organizations and brands and has raised his profile across the GCC.

"Given our expertise and knowledge base, the major focal region for us is Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC region."
In line with the growing professionalization of companies in the Kingdom in the last few years, Proven helps its clients not only adhere to current regulatory requirements but also stay compliant with future changes.
What achievements would you like to highlight from the past 12 months?

We have grown along three verticals. The first vertical was adapting more of the corporate immigration services that we have and moving them into more of a consultative service delivery model. For example, the conversation shifted from how do we meet HQ requirements to how do we now utilize that and increase the value from that project. In the last two and a half years, there have been many changes across the board. From an improvement perspective, we do complete corporate entity corporation, post incorporation, and then government relations compliance and management. We have changed the service delivery team within these three verticals to be more consultative and be more involved as a business partner for the clients. Moreover, Proven’s digital consult and solutions have come into play. Both of those divisions have matured in the last year. We are now in Africa. As a Saudi company delivering projects in northern Africa and Jordan, we bring back expertise to our existing clients. We are also investing in service robotics. Our first batch of robots are sitting in inventory and we are customizing them for clients on the ground. From corporate services to automation, digitization, and actual hard robotics and VR, it has been a year of change.

Who is your client and customer base?

Many service-oriented companies, are entering the market, including corporate service providers. Saudi was not previously mature enough for these firms to come in. This whole market is now maturing rapidly on multiple fronts and the focus is on developing this SME space. The sector is evolving to move from being non-regulated to more regulated. An indicator is seen in many family-owned businesses going public. They are restructuring their governance models away from the traditional to more robust, modern models. In this ever-changing environment, Proven is catering to clients from multiple sectors and of various sizes to not only adhere to current regulatory requirements but stay compliant as changes are enacted.

What is your assessment of government regulation?

There is a general drive by the government to make it easier to do business. Saudi Arabia is a heavily compliant market, from a corporate structuring perspective. For Proven, that is in itself an opportunity, because that is the business we are in: advising, restructuring, and keeping our clients compliant. It is also a challenge as well because it is a rapidly evolving landscape. We ensure our consultants monitor the changes and provide related solutions to our clients. It is a good challenge to have because it also creates opportunity for an advisory firm such as Proven. In terms of what is upcoming, the introduction of free zones will be a game changer in terms of forging a way forward.

Are you looking forward to expanding into any other countries?

Given our expertise and knowledge base, the major focal region for us is Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC region. Proven has service portfolios with global ambitions, especially with service offerings that can be easily customized for global clients’ needs. The goal for Proven SA is to move up the value chain within the corporate services ecosystem and build expertise for Saudi, for those services as they come online and as the demand side picks up.

Are there particular industries or sectors that you are focusing on?

Healthcare sector is growing, most of the service sector, banking, finance, and marketing are all maturing. This maturity demands a higher level of sophistication when it comes to business and services partner solutions. Most of this growth and subsequent maturity is in the SME space. As soon as that middle market grows, with the size of the economy that Saudi has, there will be many untapped opportunities. For mid-sized firms who specialize in any sort of service areas, there is a huge growth opportunity in Saudi to come in and provide those services. 

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