OMAN - Economy
CEO, FBF Group
Can you give us a brief overview of FBF Group’s operations in recent years and its strategy moving forward?
Since 2017, we have tried to manage the tough Omani macroeconomic environment by cutting expenditures and moving cautiously, which has led to smooth growth. We were not as negatively impacted by the uncertainty as other companies because we stuck to our budget, did not spend extra, did not expand staff, and had limited projects. We are now working on fiber-optic installation with Omantel and have had projects with Oman Broadband Company. We have also installed integrated security systems that include CCTV cameras and other core security infrastructure. In the last 10 years, we started to focus more on security systems and fiber optics and not as much on fire safety. We want to expand regionally and enter the Qatari market without any partners through our security systems. The recent changes to its legal and regulatory frameworks will be helpful for us. Our strategy for the next seven years will focus on Omanization in order to reach 30%.
Given that there are not as many large projects taking place as before, how is this impacting your contract bidding strategy?
We are looking for smaller players that we can engage with and participate in whatever is available. In 2017, our focus was on picking up huge projects and relying on those; however, a lack of success can translate into difficult cash flow situations. We have changed our strategy to focus on smaller projects, and our operations have smoothed out since. We are growing and are always interested in increasing our number of suppliers. Competition is extremely important to Oman. Once there are more players in the market, the competition will enhance our business and the business being done on the entire market.