The Business Year

Search
Close this search box.
ITHCA Group

OMAN - Telecoms & IT

Said bin Abdullah Al Mandhari

CEO, ITHCA Group

Bio

Amusanime odignist, quiatibusam volest eatendu cipsus ipsuntium fugias et, simusam cus eum nes debis esseque modis rem ad ut qui volorerita doloribus,t est, cuptae comni dias dolupti officatem quatur reste sollaut reperum, odia n ipsunt modit laces dolut que rectemp oreniet eossime ndelit, quae pernam cus. Aliquasita sinimpel et, optatur aligentur rehent aut qui ipsam quamusa ndand. Amusanime odignist, quiatibusam volest eatendu cipsus ipsuntium fugias et, simusam cus eum nes debis esseque modis rem ad ut qui volorerita doloribus,t est, cuptae comni dias dolupti officatem quatur reste sollaut reperum, odia n ipsunt modit laces dolut que rectemp oreniet eossime ndelit, quae pernam cus. Aliquasita sinimpel et, optatur aligentur rehent aut qui ipsam quamusa ndand.

"By backing Omani start-ups, we unlock tremendous potential for them to become regional exporters, ultimately benefiting Oman’s economy."
ITHCA, under the Oman Investment Authority, drives Oman’s tech sector by strategically investing in tech infrastructure, soft infrastructure, and emerging technologies
The two missions of ITHCA are to advance the Omani technology sector and remain at the forefront of digital transformation and Innovation. How exactly does it do that?

ITHCA, under the Oman Investment Authority, aims to be a driving force for Oman’s tech sector. It is mandated with boosting the economic contribution of the ITC sector by strategically investing in key areas especially emerging technologies. We analyze the entire ICT landscape to identify gaps and opportunities for growth. Our strategy involves targeted investments in several strategic areas. The first focuses on tech infrastructure, and here we have invested in Oman Broadband, an open access, national broadband provider. Additionally, we invest in international connectivity through submarine cable, data centers and space communication projects. The second tackles soft infrastructure, mainly cloud services, cybersecurity, and digital transformation. We collaborate with the Ministry of Transport, Communication, and Information Technology to support the government’s digitalization efforts; however, our most crucial focus lies in the third area: emerging technologies. Recognizing the importance of early-stage investment, we directly support start-ups and invest in VC funds. We particularly target start-ups with international growth potential, helping them scale across regional and global markets. Finally, ITHCA welcomes international partnerships. We also co-invest with foreign companies looking to establish a presence in Oman, leveraging Oman’s strategic location and potential. By attracting new technologies and investors, ITHCA strives to bridge the gap and propel Oman’s tech sector to become a major economic contributor.

What are the biggest gaps in Oman’s technology sector?

Oman’s tech infrastructure needs a boost, particularly remote and rural area coverage. However, the biggest gap lies in emerging technologies like AI, IoT, and blockchain. These areas offer high potential returns but also carry higher risk, making traditional investors hesitant. ITHCA steps in to bridge this gap by creating investment vehicles specifically for these promising technologies. We take a comprehensive approach, supporting start-ups across the entire investment journey, from early-stage ventures to those primed for growth. We partner with VC funds and fund accelerator programs and work collaboratively with entrepreneurs in the relevant sectors to ensure success. This collaborative spirit is evident in recent partnerships with the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) and the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture. Through these collaborations, we aim to foster innovative solutions that address the specific needs of those industries. In essence, ITHCA acts as the glue, seamlessly connecting investments with both entrepreneurs and the broader tech ecosystem. In 2024 and further, we plan to apply this model to more companies under OIA group, covering oil and gas, tourism, and other areas.

What potential does Oman have to become a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology export?

By backing Omani start-ups, we unlock tremendous potential for them to become regional exporters, ultimately benefiting Oman’s economy. The Sultanate is a pioneer by establishing the first VC fund in the region. However, at the time, the concept itself was unfamiliar. We spent years fostering a culture of venture creation among young entrepreneurs, laying a solid foundation for them to launch projects. Today, we have a strong base in VC funds as well growing entrepreneurial community, though the missing piece is a larger marketplace for them to thrive. ITHCA is tackling this head-on by paving the way for these entrepreneurs to explore markets beyond Oman. All our investments are strategically positioned for these start-ups to grow beyond the local borders. The key to growth lies in scaling up Omani businesses and leveraging technology’s borderless nature. This, coupled with the talent and ambition of our youth, positions them to excel in the global arena. Looking at the success stories of graduates from our first VC fund, the Oman Technology Fund (OTF), most have gone on to achieve remarkable things outside Oman. We are committed to increasing the number of start-ups, which will in turn fuel economic growth. However, our investment strategy goes beyond just funding. We also explore divestment opportunities, recognizing the importance of capital growth.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

You may also be interested in...

OM24_EC_OIA PIC

OMAN - Economy

Abdulsalam Al Murshidi

Interview

President, Oman Investment Authority (OIA)

Mansoor Al Abdali CEO, OQGN

OMAN - Energy & Mining

Mansoor Al Abdali

Interview

CEO, OQGN

Screenshot 2024-05-09 at 13.34.20

OMAN - Tourism

Said Al Shanfari

Interview

CEO, Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre

View All interviews

Countries

Countries

Become a sponsor