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OABC provides socially-distant ‘space’ for business owners

6 May 2020

Oman American Business Center has launched the OABC Business Forum with the aim to exchange and share ideas and solutions for business and financial-related issues and challenges because of COVID-19. Ali Daud, President, OABC, talks on how the forum provides a socially-distant ‘space’ for executives and business owners to connect, share knowledge and experiences during this difficult time. 

Please share with readers about the OABC Business Forum: the purpose and vision. 

OABC Business Forum is a valuable and inclusive platform that is intended to bring the business community together to exchange and share ideas and solutions for business and financial-related common issues and challenges because of COVID-19.  

The forum provides a socially-distant ‘space’ for executives and business owners to connect, share knowledge and experiences, and simply help each other during this difficult time. 

So many companies are facing similar struggles related to employees, cash flow, operations, customers and business continuation…of course, the list goes on.  The vision and purpose is to facilitate a practical and useful exchange of ideas that will help businesses, and, in doing so, support the economy. 

Why did the organisation choose to launch this forum right now?  

Now is when everyone needs the most help – we have never faced a situation like this in our lifetimes. Two heads are better than one, and that’s the whole premise of the forum. 

Oman’s private sector has a wealth of talent, experience and brainpower. Bring them all together and you can make fireworks. This forum intends to do just that – leverage that talent within the business community to help each other and the economy.    

As a 16 year old business networking organisation, OABC members represent a high percentage of the Omani GDP.  We represent 170 leading companies with executives from every sector in the sultanate.   
This forum is a way to leverage that skill set within Oman. 

Where is the forum found and who can use it? 

OABC Business Forum is free for all business leaders, business heads, entrepreneurs, owners, upper management, and economists, to join. 

Contributions from the people who run these businesses could be of value to policy makers, who are also welcome to join.  

You can find the forum online at www.oabc.org/forum.  To post a question or comment, you do not need a password or account.  

The purpose of the forum is to discuss challenges facing the business community and the economy, but, more importantly, provide solutions and ideas to overcome and become stronger as a business and as an economy. Both are interlinked.  

We hope this will also be of value to government decision-makers as they steer us into safety from this crisis and beyond. 

What do you think are the biggest challenges the private sector is facing while the country is locked down, and also as it begins reopening? 

I mentioned earlier some of the major challenges during lockdown, but reopening will present a new set of issues to tackle.  While we do not know the date or time now, everyone should have a plan ready for when we reopen. 

When planning, we need to bear in mind that even when businesses reopen, the virus may still be with us. Staying conscious of this fact, means that safety is at the forefront. Make a plan in line with what the environment calls for, i.e. social distancing, hygiene standards towards employees and customers, interaction with people, looking to do more online than in person… I guess, we can discuss all of this further at the forum. 

Each company has different levers and touchpoints. When it comes to planning, you have to take this into account so that it’s aligned with the new normal. 

What are the future plans for the OABC Business Forum? 

The purpose for OABC Business Forum is to be the go-to place for positive discussions with the aim to enrich our communities, economy and country. 

With everyone’s valuable contribution, we hope it can become a ‘Think Tank’ of some sort, for now and the future – one that dispenses valuable feedback and recommendations to all stakeholders.  

Anything to say in closing? 

I’d like to thank Muscat Daily for supporting this important initiative.  It is encouraging that Oman’s leading English daily is focused not only on communicating news one-way, but on promoting the exchange of ideas and discussion.  We value this support and continued collaboration in service to the community.

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