81pc of Omani CEOs confident of business growth: KPMG

96 per cent of Oman CEOs believe that their organisations will continue to focus on certain core competencies to grow their business over the next three years 

Vikas Papriwal

Business Reporter –
A vast majority of Oman CEOs are confident of their organisation’s growth over the next three years despite a period of prolonged reduced oil prices, KPMG’s 2017 Oman CEO Outlook Survey has found.
96 per cent of Oman CEOs believe that their organisations will continue to focus on certain core competencies to grow their business over the next three years — including innovation. Almost two-thirds — 62 per cent — believe that their organisations will have undergone real change during this period.
Almost half the CEOs interviewed in Oman indicated that their organisation took a strategic approach to innovation, although 16 per cent indicated that lack of internal resources or intellectual property has meant that innovation had to be brought in — either through alliances or acquisitions.
The study titled ‘Now or Never’ also found that, in an increasingly challenging economic environment, Oman CEOs are embracing change through policies that are in the national interest, including the Tanfeedh programme which aims to diversify the economy in the short and long term.
Vikas Papriwal, Head of Markets for KPMG in the UAE and Oman, commented: “GCC economies have been experiencing almost unprecedented change in the wake of a prolonged period of low oil prices; however, as Oman embraces a robust national strategy of economic diversification, its CEOs have expressed a very encouraging level of confidence in their business in the next three years. “The findings of our first Oman CEO Outlook indicate that Oman businesses are far more optimistic than their global counterparts.

Ashok Hariharan
Ashok Hariharan

We attribute this to a very strong generational change across the Sultanate with an increasing number of CEOs, especially young Omanis within the 30-40 age bracket, driving decision-making.”
Ashok Hariharan, a partner with KPMG in Oman and Head of Tax in the Lower Gulf, said: “It is very encouraging that Oman CEOs across key sectors remain confident of their ability to successfully transform their business despite a challenging economic backdrop. Oman CEOs know what they need to do to stay successful in the short term and emerge as winners. The time for change really is — as our outlook suggests — now or never.”
Twenty one per cent of Oman CEOs identified talent development and management as their most important strategic priority compared with 18 per cent of their global peers but substantially more than their UAE peers — only four per cent of whom saw this as a top priority.
Diversifying into new business areas was also cited as a strategic priority for Oman CEOs at 19 per cent compared with 14 per cent of UAE CEOs.
Interestingly, while UAE CEOs suggested external factors — from global economic to geo-political factors — were most likely to affect growth over the
next few years, Oman CEOs believe domestic economic factors outweigh all other factors.