Dubai SME, the agency of the Department for Economic Development in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, in partnership with Frost & Sullivan organised a seminar to help the Dubai SME100 companies understand the macro global trends shaping the economy, the region, the industry and the potential impact on the future of business.
The seminar titled ‘A 360 Degree Perspective of Industry Competitiveness and Leadership’ highlighted trends such as Technological Connectivity & Convergence, Renewable Energy and Urbanisation that could affect a firm’s productivity, efficiency, innovation, competitiveness, scalability and gaining access to capital and investors.
The key takeaways from the seminar were:
- The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is expected to be linked through over 545 million connected devices by 2020, which means 6-7 connected devices per household. • MENA firms are warming up to the transformative impact and benefits of Big Data Analytics technology on sectors such as healthcare, IT, logistics, media & entertainment, and banking & financial service. • Smart City applications are expected to create huge business opportunities with a global market value of $1.5 Trillion in 2020.
- Global online retail sales to account for 16.6 per cent of total retail sales by 2020, indicating that one out of every 10 retail transactions will be done online. This increase in online retailing is ushering new logistics business models.
- By 2025, four MENA countries - Bahrain Kuwait Lebanon and Qatar - will be more than 90 per cent urban. This has significant implications for the Dubai SME companies.
- Mega projects in the region like the Qatar World Cup, GCC Rail and the Expo 2020 will result in opportunities across the board and the Services sector is expected to witness the highest impact. It is hence imperative for local SMEs to build effective strategies to capitalise on the various new opportunities.
Participants in the workshop were given two diagnostic questionnaires to fill as a means of assessing their understanding and awareness of leveraging trends that will affect the future of their firms. Each SME will be given a feedback report following an analysis of their responses.
Launched under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, Dubai SME100 identifies the top-performing SMEs in Dubai to help groom them into bigger and more sustainable enterprises, and support them through their growth into larger, internationally-oriented companies. Post-ranking the SMEs will be exposed to areas of professional development that will help them move to the next level.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME said: “We are pleased to partner Frost & Sullivan to organise such a seminar, which gives our top SMEs knowledge of trends that could affect their future growth. Our SMEs need to continually develop their potential, be distinct in their products and services, so they will be ahead of the curve. Knowing these trends now will help them evaluate the actions to take that will make them future-ready.”
Y.S. Shashidhar, Managing Director, Frost & Sullivan, Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, commented: “The region is poised for social change. This change is resulting in the collapse of conventional ways of doing business and challenging SMEs and their growth plans. It is resulting in an increased pressure on companies to adapt and succeed, through innovation and transformation. In such a situation, it is crucial to imbibe innovation as a structured process into your company’s DNA to ensure sustained growth.
“Frost & Sullivan has globally been at the forefront of assisting companies transform their business, by successfully understanding their internal key capabilities in context to best practices and emerging market opportunities, and believes that SME’s in Dubai are well poised to lead the change in the MENA region. It is our privilege to partner with Dubai SME and join them in their journey to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector.”