By Naseem Javed
The Western economies realized decades ago that small and medium enterprises are really the main drivers of the economy. While big businesses are necessary to preserve and maintain structure within the economy, surely they have considerable problems of their own. Mega corporations of the earlier era have increasingly lost their edge to smaller, nimbler organizations, which have spouted all over the Western landscape. The Middle East is now a new turning point for SME’s to begin a grassroots revolution.
Four Driving Forces
The Critical Mass
GCC nations are in a major transition, something so dramatic and so powerful that when it comes to new business formation front then all this is pointing to a mass incubation of new enterprises all over this region. Dubai is now such a dynamic place and unmatched by any other region on this planet; the examples set by Dubai provides the fuel to this expansion, and brings a brand new high level of confidence.
The speed and operational level is dramatically high, and it may continuously re-charge in a way that was similar to the1990 American e-commerce boom, which erupted in a chain reaction of one success leading into several others, simultaneously. Though, at times, we refer this American boom period as ‘irrational exuberance’, but still the dotcom boom followed by a long bust was still only a small hiccup towards the long haul of the e-commerce revolution. There is a similar pattern emerging, this massive growth may get a bump here and there but it is gathering momentum and amassing its own critical mass with signs of longevity.
The Image & Branding
Though nothing wrong with this, but the most important part is to acquire tactical and highly-trained skills to develop a deeper understanding of this external branding force so as to combat all the undesired images with a professionally executed counter-action plan, aimed to continuously achieve a sharper and a desired image along the way. The smart ones know this very well and this smartness is now slowly creeping throughout the region rapidly. This image building is going to create some new standards to be adopted by the rest of the globe. The culture is becoming image-savvy along the way, just like the West was all along.
The issues of nationalization are being discussed at all levels; this also is creating a positive interaction among nationals to take direct, active roles rather that are passive bosses. Nationalization is fueling education and active engagement. This, when blended with a foreign workforce creates a new kind of energy of its own, and this energy is what the new business climate needs, a blend of integrated highly efficient working environments. Nationalization is a very good thing, and sooner the localization picks up steam it will be better for all sides.
Opportunities for the World
Today Dubai and GCC opens golden opportunities to the global business communities of the world. The business activities in the region are increasing at record pace by the day, Dubai now sets the standard, and every other city in the region wants to catch up fast. Right now, Dubai International Exhibition Centre, the largest centre in Middle East, has 365 days of bookings for major fairs, exhibitions and conferences, millions of people are coming in to interact, exchange ideas to form alliances and sellers form all over the globe in search of business from this super-rich region:
“We are the gateway to the world now, and we can show it in technicolor. Just come and see what we have done here in last 10 years” Says Sateesh Khanna, an Indian born expatriate in Dubai since last the last 30 years, and now General Manger at Al Fajer Information & Services, the largest exhibition company in the region and also the organizer of the SME EXPO in Jan 2007. www.gogcc.com www.semeexpo.com. Sateesh further adds: “Easy access to ownership of your own business, property and no taxes have made this the top location now, and SME’s are coming in huge numbers”
Some 15,000 members of the SME community will visit this SME EXPO from this region and the world. There will be some 300 SME related businesses showcasing their strengths and innovative ideas. In the Golden Opportunity for SME in GCC Conference, there will some 1000 delegates who will hear the top 20 speakers in this field. The theme is to offer a platform to create new alliances and to team-up for greater exportable opportunities throughout the Middle East and MENA. “Finally, we are ready to tackle this new frontier and we invite businesses from all over the world to come and explore the golden opportunities this region has to offer to SME”, says Winnie Lugon, the Event Manger of the SME Expo.
The tourism and general traffic to Dubai is at a frantic pace, and people from all over the globe are exploring this to make a major branch operation or Asian head quarters, and this alone has brought a boom to the real-estate markets and foreign investments. There is a certainly a brand new SME business revolution starting in Dubai and spreading all over the GCC countries. Right now, everybody is talking about being Dubai-bound or going GCC. Al aboard.
Naseem Javed, is recognized as a world authority on Global Name Identities, Corporate Image, Cyber-Branding and Digital Branding Assets. He introduced The Laws of Corporate Naming in the 80's and also founded www.abcnamebank.com a consultancy established in New York and Toronto a quarter century ago. Currently, he is extensively touring Middle East on the lecture circuit.
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Status: 18. Januar 2008