With the intention to encourage values and high standards of business behaviour based on professional practices, Zubair Small Enterprises Centre (Zubair SEC), in collaboration with the Embassy of the Netherlands, organised a ‘Tajribati’ session attended by approximately 30 SMEs. The session provided insights into the professional practices, values and codes of conduct followed bt leading international companies and highlighted what they look for when it comes to SMEs.
The ‘Tajribati’ series serves as a unique platform to connect industry experts with start-up owners and new entrepreneurs to exchange views, discuss common challenges and share best practices. The ‘Tajribati’ discussion series organised by Zubair SEC, a social responsibility initiative of The Zubair Corporation, is aimed at supporting young entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises.
The session was held to emphasise the fact that business professional practices can help companies build a positive corporate culture, customer confidence and financial strength. The discussion also touched on work ethics, bribery, conflicts of interest and responsible marketing.
Yvo L de Zwart, Chief Operating Officer of Rock Oman, Chris Raijmakers, Director Middle-East of Strukton International and a partner of Rock Oman, and Aisha Al Saifi, Resident Director, Royal Haskoning DHV, Oman were the key speakers. The session was moderated by advisors from Zubair SEC and several members of the Centre including Ali Said Abdullah Al Rashdi, founder of Muaawana, a fleet maintenance service enterprise, and Jokha Al Hussaini, founder of Shumookh Engineering Consultancy also shared their thoughts and experiences on the topic.
The speakers emphasised that ethical business practices are a determining factor in the success of their companies and said that, in the same way that large scale companies recognise the importance of business ethics, it is important for SMEs to do so, developing and implementing codes of conduct in their business operations based on international models.
The experts reminded participants at the session that most large companies prefer to sign a contract with SMEs which show awareness of such standards and have incorporated them into their everyday practices. In this way they demonstrate an awareness of risk and willingness to work with them as a team to ensure adherence to the highest standards of integrity. Examples of such standards mentioned included the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) Code of Principles, which is widely accepted around the world when it comes to infrastructure projects. They also advised them to research code of principles followed by large companies and are available on official websites.
The specialists recommended that members be fully committed to the principle of honesty, integrity and fair play in the delivery of goods and services.
Speaking of participating in the Tajribati session, Yvo L de Zwart said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to speak with this gathering of young and talented Omanis.”
He advised, “Always deliver what you promise and once that happens you build business relations.”
Aisha Al Saifi advised the start-ups to work to maximise the positive impact of their projects and towards the long term goals required to be achieved following the delivery of their projects. She said, "The impact that we leave as a company, based on the work we deliver, is important. It is about sustainability and it is about sharing value."
Chris Raijmakers urged the young entrepreneurs to stick to their promise regarding timeframe, deadlines and deliverables.
Lina Hussein, Head of Communication and Social Impact at Zubair SEC said, “The session on business ethics was enlightening for the members of Zubair SEC as the experts provided valuable insights into the topic. With the escalating role of small and medium businesses, an ethical approach towards business is imperative for them. The session reminded the participants that international companies will not deal with companies which not have established business ethics practice.”
The monthly Tajribati discussion sessions has been gaining very good momentum year on year. Members and non-members keenly await the session to share insight with their fellow entrepreneurs, discuss matters of concern, share knowledge and experience, and network in a friendly constructive atmosphere.