Be transparent, focused and sincere

The emerging opportunities for Omani businesses in international markets are immense. To help existing and potential Omani exporters, as well as the wider business community, take advantage of everything the international market has to offer, Ithraa has organised Oman Export Week 2019 (OEW19) during October 27–31 at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.
In the lead up to this event we are interviewing OEW19 workshop presenters, giving them the chance to preview their workshop themes.
So, in no more than 30 seconds, tell us your elevator pitch. Who are you and what do you do?
My name’s Sima Abu Taha (pictured) and I’m a Senior Manager at Protiviti Oman. I’m involved in business advisory and human capital projects and come with over 20 years of experience in logistics.
Can you tell us about your OEW19 workshop and what can attendees expect to learn from the session?
Our workshop will focus on factors any existing or potential exporter should consider before entering new international markets. We’ll be using simple, yet scientific and useful tools that will assist OEW19 attendees evaluate new markets. Our session will be highly practical and a lot of fun.
Do you think there is an awakening going on with start-ups and small businesses? They’re starting to see there are opportunities out there. How can we encourage people who don’t see themselves as exporters, but have the potential?
There’s no such thing as a “non-exporter”, anybody can go international, you just need to know which market to enter, which product to export and how to market it.
How can a small business know when it’s ready to export? What are the boxes they need to tick before taking the plunge?
It depends on the product you’re planning to export. But generally speaking, an exporter should know the added value of their product, be able to capitalise on that and then sell into their chosen market. The most important thing is to make sure the product is in demand, if not, then they need to create that demand.
Do you think overseas business leads to fresh ideas and innovation, helping upgrade products and services?
Absolutely, when you start exporting you get exposure to different business cultures, and that opens the door to new ideas that can help you meet demands in those markets.
You only have so long to capture a potential customer’s attention and even less before you lose it! So you have to get straight to the point. What advice would you give small firms trying to tell their story in a new market?
Be transparent, focused and sincere. This will help you gain respect and trust which in turn will build customer loyalty.
What advice would you give a founder or CEO who’s just starting their exporting journey?
Do your homework, pack your bags and go for it. Wherever there’s risk, there’s profit, just make sure your risk is calculated in order to maximise profits.
Oman Export Week 2019 (OEW19) is an unmissable event for those working or trading overseas. If you are thinking about taking your business international, or looking to expand your global foothold, then you need to be at OEW19 (27 – 31 October 2019). In today’s current economic climate, it’s never been more important to take advantage of trading internationally. What makes OEW19 even more brilliant? It’s free to attend! To register, visit