‘Take ‘Made in UAE’ global’
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which have been born and brought up in the UAE can and should be taken international, said Niraj Masand, co-founder and director of banke International, at the 2016 SME World summit in Dubai.
"I personally think we should encourage a platform whereby we sell the UAE brand globally. We need to take our made in UAE brand products and services and trade them internationally. We should take our home grown brands to international markets, and I encourage all our SMEs to start with the region itself. The population in the UAE is close to 10 million, but if you look at the neighbouring countries, they can give a big boost to the UAE SMEs that reach out to these markets," Masand said.
Speaking in a panel discussion on Dubai's Economic Blueprint for 2021, Masand also highlighted how diversification is important in the SME industry in the region.
He explained that for an SME owner today, expanding their core businesses is a must if they are to retain a competitive advantage. Similarly, Farah Aslam, managing director of Dimara International, also spoke about the importance of innovation and how SMEs that focus on innovation have and edge in the market. SMEs in the UAE today already contribute over 60 per cent of the country's non-oil GDP, and are likely to contribute as much as 70 per cent by 2021.
Speaking on the current economic environment in the region, Hans Henrik Christensen, director of the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre at the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, noted that the SME sector in the region would remain mainly unaffected by the negative conditions. "Obviously, there are a lot of startups that are struggling to find customers for their products right now, but we are just scratching the surface in terms of what market can take.