Muscat: As a part of its new vision to become a world-leading Omani service company, Bank Sohar, as it was formerly known, recently rebranded to ‘Sohar International’. It unveiled the new brand at a ceremony held under the auspices of HH Sayyid Kamil bin Fahad bin Mahmood al Said, Assistant Secretary-General of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, at the Royal Opera House in Muscat on December 22, 2018.
The bank’s Board of Directors and executive management team joined Sohar International’s Chairman, Mohammad Mahfoudh al Ardhi, and CEO, Ahmed al Musalmi, in welcoming officials and leaders from the public and private sectors to witness the historic unveiling of the bank’s new identity that is set to redefine banking.
Addressing the attending dignitaries, Mohammad Mahfoudh al Ardhi expressed his excitement about the future and said, “It is evident that there have been major milestones and achievements since the bank’s inception in 2007. We believe that now is the right time for us to embark upon a new journey with a fresh vision that will better enable us to grow whilst delivering a robust and pivotal contribution to the national economy. Realising this vision requires clear direction and continuing to place customers at the heart of everything we do. Today marks the first steps we take into this new direction as we morph the bank and redefine banking to beyond providing only financial services. With this new customer centric mentality, we will continue to drive forward the economy of our country and offer new ways of growing by being nimble, deliberate, and agile.”
Following a captivating revelation of the new brand on stage, Sohar International’s CEO, Ahmed al Musalmi, delivered a presentation on the new brand for attendees, as well as those following the event streaming live on Sohar International’s social media channels.
Al Musalmi explained the new direction for the bank and said, “The world around us is changing at a pace we have never seen before, driven by constant technological advancements, changing lifestyles, and peoples’ innate desire to achieve growth and prosperity. In such a world, banks as physical entities have become less relevant, whilst the need for responsive banking solutions is more prevalent than ever. Our business needed to transform to become more customer-centric, keep us and our customers ahead of the game and help people win in such an ever-changing world. Whatever we are going to do will be made simpler and faster; more relevant and connected to each customer’s world.”
With the new vision in place for Sohar International to take the next big leap into the future, Mohamed al Ardhi, Chairman of Sohar International paid tribute to the people who enabled the bank’s success and transformation. He said, “Much has been said of the use of technology to automate jobs, and it is true that it has replaced many routine tasks. But no amount of technology can replace the creativity and flexibility of the human mind, and it is our highly valued employees led by our able CEO who are at the heart of Sohar’s success — our team who share our values, our commitment to excellence. We thank them for their support and contribution to bring Sohar International to where it is today. Our thanks and sincere appreciation are also due to the Central Bank of Oman, the Capital Market Authority and our esteemed shareholders, without their support, guidance and direction, we would’ve not been where we are today.”
Customers as winners
The Sohar International brand is not about a new logo and name, it represents a story, a vision, and a promise to drastically enhance customers’ banking experience through simplicity, speed, and greater relevance to their lifestyles. It is the bank’s promise to help them be the winners they aspire to be. “Our success as a business is built upon helping others to achieve success” explained Ahmed al Musalmi, CEO of Sohar International. He continued, “Over the coming days, weeks and months, our customers will start to see, feel, and enjoy our transformation at all levels, with a direct impact on products, services, investments, digital facilities, and wealth management. We will ensure at every step of the way that our customers are and will remain winners”.
Sharp, human and unstoppable
To help customers ‘win’ and achieve in their individual aspirations, Sohar international will empower them with the confidence and reassurance to expect banking solutions that respond to their ever-changing world with precision. Sohar International will proactively seek to understand customers’ evolving needs and respond promptly to deliver according to their needs. “We understand as humans, and also as customers, in one way or another, how much it means to a person when they are empowered to achieve their goals. We will offer advice and insights with the simplicity and clarity they deserve. We will be there to understand and help our customers as people we identify with. We will make sure we are looking for solutions before thinking of obstacles, to push boundaries wherever possible, and keep exploring new prospects to help customers ‘win’”, noted Al Musalmi.
Simplicity of design: Inspired by precision, driven by ambition
The Sohar International brand logo boasts simplicity in its outlook and sophistication in its essence. The new logo captures the stature and elegance of a financial institution whilst maintaining a feel of dynamism and perpetuity. The orange axis at its centre adjoins two unaligned halves of a circle, representing the bank’s point of intersection between the customer and positive outcomes, notably the precision required to deliver. The spire further depicts precision in demonstration of that which the bank established itself on as a market leader, pointing the way forward for Sohar International with its sights fixed on elevating its operation through the adoption of international standards.
A winning formula: Technology and people
As part of the new strategy for Sohar International, state-of-the-art technologies will be key in streamlining higher levels of cross-functionality within the bank’s operation as it strives to deliver a consistent and seamless banking experience. Sohar International has been building its talent pool and attracting some of the most talented Omanis in the local banking industry to join its ranks as valuable assets that are critical to the organisation’s success. “The number of breakthrough technologies and the rate at which they emerge nowadays is overwhelming. What is considered advanced today could well be absolutely standard in the very near future, and even perhaps be rendered obsolete just a few years down the line. Having the brightest open-minded people at Sohar International is essential for us to keep up with such changes and capitalise on opportunities. We are proud of all our people at Sohar International and supremely confident that with them we can prove ourselves a true leader in the local market as we pave the way for our customers and a winning journey together, as communities, and as a nation”, concluded Al Musalmi.
Sohar International has been an active player in driving growth of Oman’s banking industry and the national economy as a whole under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos.
With honourable milestones along the way in business performance and community engagement, Sohar International will further its legacy of excellence through its revamped vision and strategy.