A growing number of Omanis are setting up their own businesses in keeping with a trend of entrepreneurship that is not only resulting in self-employment but also helping the labour market by employing others.
Muadh Humaid Salim al Subhi, 37, an engineer from the wilayat of Nakhal in South Batinah, didn’t follow the norm of taking up a job in his field but decided to start a pet food company and be an entrepreneur instead. He claims Raseen is the only Omani company that produces pet food.
From conception of the idea to the establishment of a pet food unit in the wilayat of Barka, the Industrial Innovation Centre played a major role in supporting him and also upgrading his business skills. The centre also sent Subhi to Malaysia to learn and train in the practices of the pet food industry.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Subhi said, “The idea emerged in 2017 from my graduation project at Caledonian College of Engineering. The Industrial Innovation Centre has supported me since. We explored different opportunities, starting from food supplements to medical products in the process.”
The first batch of cat food was produced in 2019, while commercial production started in March 2020 . The cat food product, called Baseen, has the nutritional standards recommended by the Association of American Feed Control Officials; 87 per cent of protein derived from fish besides approved levels of vitamins and essential nutrients.
“Due to limitations resulting from the pandemic and several other factors affecting marketing possibilities, we produce only 2kg packs now. The Industrial Innovation Centre has helped me explore global markets through a tracking system and compare pet food products in several markets to create a competitive edge over other products.”
According to Subhi, Raseen pet foods now have a regular clientele and received positive feedback during the company’s participation in the Seventh Omani Innovations Exhibition in 2019, one of the largest events in the sultanate to showcase products and services of small and medium enterprises.
Subhi’s immediate plan is to increase production to 30 tonnes a month and export. “I hope our product has a regular presence on market shelves around the world.”
He believes he must have a plan to run in parallel with the Oman Vision 2040 to help achieve not only his own dreams but also the aspirations of the country.