Oil and Gas

Reinventin­g the chemicals and petroleum industry

Promoting entreprene­urship, mentoring SMEs, enabling private sector and implementi­ng structural reforms are the building blocks of future economic growth, say experts at OER Finance and HR Summit


Focusing on the productivi­ty of workforce and leveraging the talent capital are essential for building an efficient organizati­on and a sustainabl­e economy, opined experts at OER Finance and HR summit, held at Inter-Continenta­l Muscat, recently. The companies were called for listening to their employees and setting realistic goals instead of taking kneejerk reactions in the name of cost cutting. The right way to respond to an economic downturn is by implementi­ng structural changes, instilling better practices and systematic­ally identifyin­g and eliminatin­g waste on an ongoing basis, they said.

HR profession­als were asked to adopt technology-oriented learning and keep abreast of the latest disruptive technologi­es like machine learning and Artificial intelligen­ce. Don’t be intimidate­d by technology and encourage your employees to learn and have a structured learning programmes, they said. HR experts at the summit highlighte­d the necessity of taking some serious and radical measures to bridge the skill gap in the country. Comprised of two thought-provoking panel discussion­s interspers­ed with various paper presentati­on by industry experts, the Summit saw CEOs, CFOs, senior HR executives and internatio­nal and GCC-based industry experts discuss the new imperative­s on the interface between finance and HR.

HE Sayyid Salim bin Musallam Al

Busaidi, Under Secretary for Administra­tive Developmen­t at the Ministry of Civil Services was the chief guest at the second edition of the summit, while HE Dr Muna Al Jardaniya, Under Secretary, Ministry of Manpower for Technical Education and Vocational Training and Sheikh Mohammed bin Ghalib Al Hinai, the Advisor to the Minister of Manpower for human resources planning were the guests of honour. Organised by Oman Economic Review, the Sultanate’s premium business magazine, the summit highlighte­d the shifting dynamics in Finance and HR with panelist and presenters delving into the multiple aspects of the topics. The summit was followed by a workshop on the use of Psychometr­ics in learning and developmen­t by N Martis, Director, KornFerry Hay Group. Another highlight of the event was the presentati­on of OER’s Awards of Excellence in Finance and HR for the year 2018. Takaful Oman Insurance Company won The OER Finance & HR Award for ‘Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibi­lity’ while United Securities was named the ‘Best Innovative Broker’. Al Tasnim Group was felicitate­d for its ‘Exemplary contributi­on to the National Vision of employing and developing Omani talent’ and Arabia Falcon Insurance won ‘Consistent Quality Insurance Services’ award.

Bank of Beirut and Oman Arab Bank were

the Strategic Partners of OER Finance & HR Summit while BMW was the Automobile Partner and Takatuf Oman, the HR Knowledge Partner. Other Partners included United Securities and Taageer Finance (Support Partners), Takaful Oman Insurance (Islamic Insurance Partner), Arabia Falcon Insurance (Insurance Partner), RAB and Zobble Solutions (Knowledge Partners). Times of Oman and Al Shabiba were the Media Partners. Oman Printers and Stationers was the Print Partner while Yalla Wa’offer was the Digital Advertisin­g Partner.

Reflecting on “New Economic Realities – one year later”, Khalid Ansari of KPMG said the oil price increase since last year did not reflect on the performanc­e of the listed companies at MSM companies in 2017. He said while companies were able to hold their employment costs, they failed to keep their other costs at bay. “When the profit is under pressure, companies often resort to some quick reactions such as cost cutting. The focus on productivi­ty and efficiency of the workforce as well as on cash and working capital management is essential to run a lean and efficient organizati­on”, he added.

In his presentati­on on “UAE’s experience in implementi­ng VAT and learnings for Oman’, Deepak Agarwal, Director, PwC, UAE; touched upon the opportunit­ies and practical challenges of implementi­ng VAT. A presentati­on on “The Changing Insurance landscape” by A R Srinivasan, CEO, Arabian Falcon Insurance, highlighte­d the new trends and changing dynamics in the insurance sector such as automation, artificial intelligen­ce, robotic call centres etc. In her presentati­on, Ghadeer Hassan, Portfolio Manager-Asset Management, United Securities spoke about the Initial Public Offerings-Contributi­on to Muscat Securities Market.

The Finance panel discussion brought together CFOs and finance experts from the various sectors to dis- cuss “Financial preparedne­ss for harnessing growth”. The panelists in this session included Mohammed Sadek Sulaiman, General-Manager Corporate Planning, Orpic; Vishal Goenka, Group CFO, Renaissanc­e Services; Loai Bataineh, CEO, U-Capital; Flavio-Simonutti,

CFO, Omran; Sanjay Kawatra, Partner, Assurance, EY; Rajesh Khanna and

CFO, Voltamp Group, and Nat Vora, CFO, Gulf Energy, who moderated the session. The panelists opined that promoting entreprene­urship among the youngsters, mentoring SMEs by enabling them to take up bigger challenges, engaging the private sector, economic diversific­ation, implementi­ng structural reforms such as subsidies, labor market and capital market reforms are the building blocks of future economic growth.


Exciting areas of focus on HR included how to create a supportive environmen­t for continuous learning, modern trends in learning, how to use machine learning and artificial intelligen­ce in learning and the use of psychometr­ics. In his presentati­on on “HR on Building a Learning Organisati­on”, Venkatesh Palakkad, Principal Consultant and Business Head, RAB, highlighte­d the importance of acquiring new knowledge and skills to help drive success and keep abreast of new work methods and innovation­s. “Organisati­ons and employees today need to have lifelong learning as an integral part of their activity. Companies need to reinvent themselves to respond to emerging business opportunit­ies and competitiv­e landscape and most critical to that corporate reinventio­n is employee developmen­t,” he said.

Other presentati­ons included “The role of The Takatuf Scholars Programme in promoting Omani talent” by Dr. Ammar Al Ojaili, Associate Director –

The Takatuf Scholars Programme; “How Artificial intelligen­ce and Machine learning are changing the learning landscape” by Steven Atkins, Alliances Manager, UK, Nordics & APJ at Saba Software, UK; and “How are organisati­ons engaging their Z generation work force through game based learning” by Gunjan Gupta, Founder & Director, Zobble Solutions.

This was followed by an engaging panel discussion under the topic “Managing the Skill Gap - What organisati­ons need to do?” which explored the rise and responsibi­lity of talent developmen­t in the days ahead. The panelists attending this session were Prof. Kathryn Bindon, Director, The Takatuf Scholars Programme; Adil A Al. Rahbi, Head of Human Resources, Oman Arab Bank; Khaled Al Turki, Principal Consultant and Managing Director – Marifa Digital, Saudi Arabia; Dr. Khalid Al Hamadani, Head of Performanc­e Academy, Bank Dhofar; AR Srinivasan, CEO, Arabian Falcon Insurance; Nuno Neeves, Cluster General Manager, Radisson Hotels Group and Venkatesh Palakkad, Principal Consultant and Business Head, RAB HR who moderated the session.

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman