The Business Year

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Nizar Bin Saeed Al Shanfari

Director, Shanfari

My father started this company in 1960. It rapidly became one of the top companies because we have a diversified business model. We are involved in construction, automotive sales, the hospitality sector, and real estate. We are part of the economy as one of the companies that has developed Oman, having constructed 3,600 kilometers of Oman’s road network. We change with the times, and have the ability and the know-how to shift very quickly with the economy. Our success is dependent on running and managing a good business, but it is also fundamentally related to the success of the country. Our development shows how stable the country is, politically and economically. Our primary focus is on construction and manufacturing. We have a wood factory, which we pride ourselves on. We are one of very few operators in Oman and in the world that can produce at such a high quality. Our aluminum plant also occupies a significant share of the industry market. We don’t always have the expertise for specialist projects, but we do have the workforce and the ability to build. Business is booming in Oman, but the constantly shifting rules and regulations make doing business a little difficult.

Abdulaziz Bin Ahmed Al-Hosni

Vice-Chairman and President, Qurum Business Group

Qurum Business Group (QBG) was founded in 1997, but before that we had other businesses operating under different names since the 1970s. In 1997, we registered the company, and in 2000 we started to group the businesses together under the name QBG. We are involved in various lines of business including construction, real estate development, facilities management, project support services, and financial services. The Omani market is rapidly growing and infrastructure requirements are increasing. The demand is there, and more construction companies are coming in. We have been approached by multi-million and multi-billion dollar companies aiming to enter the Omani market. Despite the economic downturn, Oman has experienced a steady growth rate, and government spending on infrastructure development is supporting this growth. Currently, we have an operational setup in three countries: Oman, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. We are setting up an office in Mumbai, India, which will initially overlook the logistics activities of the group, and later begin planning for operational activities there. QBG is an Omani group with a clear vision to become international.

Reji Joseph

CEO, Reji Joseph

Al Anwar is just not about the current investments that it holds, but also the track record it has built up over the years. Al Anwar has evolved from an industrial investment company, and now it is an investment holding that follows the private equity model. Al Anwar has been an active and nimble company all along, and one of many investment holding companies, but with an important distinction—it has unique strategy and is one of the most successful investment holding companies in Oman. We strive to make and align our strategy along the contours of the changing market place. We have been associated with some of the more common names of publicly listed companies, such as Voltamp Energy, National Aluminum (better known as NAPCO), Computer Stationery, Majan Glass, and Al Anwar Ceramics, which was started by us more than 15 years ago. We want to make Al Anwar Holdings as one of the largest investment companies that is following the private equity model in Oman, and one of the most prominent in the region. Although we follow the private equity philosophy in our investment approach, we thankfully can hold on to a company as long as we like, and our entry/exit points are not constrained by any maturity dates.

Khulood Mohamed Rashid Al Fannah Al Araimi

Vice-Chairperson, Al Siraj Investment Holding LLC

Based in a land of great opportunities envisioned and shaped under the wise leadership of HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said, there has always been a continuous scope for our group to grow and prosper. However, our underlying investment interests have mainly originated from the needs of the country and the people of Oman. Our prime commitment is to contribute to the social and economic development of the Sultanate. In alignment with the country’s Vision 2020, we aim to develop out portfolio by strategically investing in areas of high potential and strengthening existing holdings. Efforts have been directed toward this through different activities, to name a few, such as the recent venture into logistics in the Sohar Free Zone. This is foreseen as a prime area that will support the undergoing development of Oman’s infrastructure and attract foreign investments. With Oman being promoted as a tourism hub, we are also working hand in hand with the government to expand our existing tourism activities in our travel consortium.

Mohammed Al Barwani

Chairman, MB Holding Company

I used to work for Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) as a petroleum engineer, and I saw that there was an opportunity to leave and start oil field services. In 1986, when I left PDO, I saw the opportunity to provide services to PDO. Initially, we started representing international companies in Oman, and eventually we started our own services, mainly providing work-over services, then moving into production services and drilling. In 1999, we moved into acquiring marginal oil fields that did not fit the profile of the major oil companies. In our case, we bought two oil fields. At the same time, it also made sense to go into exploration for minerals. In Oman, we went into copper exploration, and we currently produce copper ore out of a mine near Sohar. From there, we started going international with oil field services. We are currently in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand. We also expanded into engineering and now have an engineering company in Scotland, Germany, and Oman called United Engineering Services.

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