OER-United Securities fastest Growing Companies in Oman Survey 2015, reveals a list of stellar companies which are beating market averages by a stretch. An OER report.
Fastest growing companies conjure up an image of businesses which are agile, have an ability to think on their feet and respond to setbacks swiftly. Though these attributes may sound simple, internalising them into the DNA of a company and practicing them over a period of time is a herculean task. On the other hand, practitioners of these virtues remain ahead of the pack, generate consistent shareholder return and post good numbers. An analysis of OER’s fastest growing companies over the years, throws up a set of reasons that underpin their success, and here is a look at a few of them.
First and foremost, these companies are ‘Great places to work’. They give their employees a stake in the company’s success, in the form of profit sharing, or performance linked bonuses. Whenever the company does well, all employees share in the success. They also provide employees with ongoing opportunities and incentives to learn, develop and grow. Finally, they stand for something that goes beyond profits. They create products or provide service that clearly adds value to customers or stakeholders, giving their employees a sense of fulfillment. These traits enable them to recruit and retain talented people.
Fastest growing companies are successful businesses that keep on moving forward. A number of companies get stuck in their comfort zone, failing to take the leap to the next level. But the best amongst the lot are flexible in bringing about a change in direction and adjusting the way their business operates in an altered environment.
Growth businesses understand the needs of their customers and work assiduously on satisfying them, better than others in the market. They differentiate themselves from the competition, by providing cutting edge products and services. While there is no silver bullet, a stress on R&D, extensive market research and a commitment to provide nothing but the best, gives them an edge.
The inability to raise finance can be a major obstacle for any business. Not being able to access the right level of finance at the right time can hamper growth or even lead to the collapse of a business. Successful companies keep a tab on their cash flow, ensuring that their finances are in order. They are open to innovative new products to help ease cash-flow problems and fund faster growth.
The most successful entrepreneurs are willing to take calculated risks. Failure to take calculated risks can be as damaging as taking the wrong kind of risks. The fastest growing companies assess risk, against potential opportunities and put in place a plan of action to get it right. The courage to go into unknown territory, helps them to make that quantum leap.
In the start-ups stage companies tend to be lean organisations, often with one or two key people doing the majority of tasks. Entrepreneurs are adept at multitasking, but as a business grows, structures and processes need to be implemented. Successful companies bring on board the right skills and expertise to support growth and enlightened business leaders are aware of the need to hand over the reins in various areas to competent professionals, in time.
OER’s fastest growing companies exhibit all these traits and more. They have the maturity and sagacity to realise the needs of their business and grow rapidly. They are also role models whom others can emulate and learn from.
LARGE CAP COMPANIES
Dhofar International Development and Investment Company
Dhofar International Development and Investment Company has emerged as a leader amongst the fastest growing companies in the large cap segment based on its consistent performance
Dhofar International Development & Investment Company (DIDIC) is one of the leading companies in Oman in the field of promotion and initiation of investment opportunities. As on December 31, 2014, DIDIC’s subsidiaries include Dhofar Investment and Real Estate Services Company; Garden Hotel; Dhofar International Energy Services Company. Its associates are Financial Services Company; Bank Dhofar; Dhofar Insurance Company; Oman Investment & Finance Company; Al Omaniya Vegetable Oil & Derivatives Company; Salalah Medical Supplies Manufacturing Company; Dhofar International Development & Investment Holding. Dhofar University, Dhofar Tourism Company, Salalah Port Services Company, Oman Oil Marketing Company and Iskan Oman Investment Company are other entities where DIDIC has a stake.
Since its inception, DIDIC has focused on diversification of its activities to cover various economic fields, and accordingly it established a bank in Oman, a financial services company, insurance company and tourism company. It played an essential role in the development of Salalah Port and in the inception of a host of factories and industrial plants in the Sultanate. It actively contributed in the establishment of a university in Dhofar Governorate in addition to its keen interest to participate in the development of Salalah Free Zone.
DIDIC contributed, along with other investors, in the establishment of a private power generation project in Salalah. The company played the above roles because of the benefits of the realised contributions in the development of the country and generation of good returns to the investors.
Al Anwar Ceramics Tiles Company
Continuous improvement programmes, effective global sourcing and employment of appropriate technologies have helped Al Anwar Ceramics Tiles Company to emerge as an industry leader
Al Anwar Ceramic Tiles Company (AACT) enjoys the rare distinction of being the first manufacturer of ceramic tiles in Oman. Established in 1998 with the start of its first manufacturing facility at Nizwa, the company markets its range of glazed wall and floor tiles under the brand name ‘Al Shams’. It provides third firing products, such as borders, highlighters, listelloes, decors, skirtings, and pencils. The company also exports its products to other GCC countries.
The Nizwa plant uses machinery and technical know-how of leading Italian companies. Locally available raw materials, with frits, glazes and pigments imported from leading manufacturers in Italy and Spain are used for production.
In 2014 AACT registered a gross revenue of RO28.8mn and a pretax profit of RO11.05mn, signifying a revenue growth of nine per cent and a profit growth of 23 per cent over the previous year. Its net profit after tax stood at RO9.77mn. The company’s five lines are operating at full capacity and during the year AACT produced 17.13 million sq mtrs of tiles.
The company’s emphasis on continuous improvement programmes, effective global sourcing, employing appropriate technologies and optimum levels of automation has helped it to reduce time, process losses and costs while enhancing throughput and yield. Benign commodity prices have also helped to keep costs in check. At AACT, strict quality control measures are in place to ensure every Al Shams tile is crafted to perfection. An ISO 9001:2000 certification in 2006 was recognition of the fact. Quality coupled with an efficient dealer network has made Al Shams the largest selling ceramic tile brand in Oman.
Oman Cables Industry
Oman Cables Industry’s comprehensive distribution network across the GCC gives it a competitive edge in the regional market
The year 2014 was one the best performing years for Oman cables Industry (OCI) in terms of profitability. The company increased its capacity for wires and cables and special projects initiatives. It introduced the latest technological systems and upgraded machinery as well as implemented an Integrated Management System (IMS). As a result of these measures, OCI was ranked as the number two cable company in the GCC by Integer.
OCI develops, manufactures and markets a totally integrated variety of electrical cables and conductors for diverse applications, including medium voltage power cables, low voltage power and control cables, instrumentation cables, pilot cables, overhead power transmission line conductors and building wires. The company has positioned itself as a recognised power cable manufacturer following international standards and accreditations to ensure that highest quality product are delivered to its customers on time. They constantly research the demands and trends within the varying market sectors and provide a specialised service for each customer needs. Oman Aluminum Industries (OAPIL), based in Sohar, a joint venture between Oman Cables Industry and Takamul Investment Company performed well and has made a positive contribution to OCI’s overall results. The company has demonstrated its capabilities in dealing with large international engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) corporations and has succeeded in establishing long term arrangements.
Despite volatilities in metal prices and low oil prices, Oman Cables is poised to manage its operations and customer demands accordingly. The company expects to maintain its presence in the market and to benefit from the continuous expenditure on infrastructural projects in the GCC combined with its competitive cost structure, expansion plans, sound financial position and a reliable customer base.
The recent merger of Ominvest and ONIC Holding has created the largest investment company in Oman, bringing about significant advantages in its trail
Ominvest (Oman International Development and Investment Company) is among the longest established investment companies in the Gulf region and one of the first to be listed both in Oman and the region. It has built its success on the solid foundations of consistent performance from its portfolio of investments within and outside the Sultanate over the 30 years of its existence.
Ominvest’s stated objectives are to provide its shareholders with a consistent annual return on their capital, together with an opportunity to participate in long-term gains from its investments within and outside the Sultanate. The aim is to enhance shareholder value by generating above market returns on share capital with sustainable long term growth. The recent merger of Ominvest and ONIC Holding has created the largest listed investment company in Oman. The well thought-out merger entails significant and sustainable value creation for all shareholders of the combined entity. There are definite advantages of the merger – some of the key benefits include stronger and diversified shareholding base; diversified interests in financial services and other growth sectors; economies of scale, leading to operational and financial synergies; enhanced quality of earnings; much stronger and diversified balance sheet; larger and stronger management teams; bigger market capitalisation, bigger stock float, and increased liquidity.
Ominvest is constantly exploring opportunities to increase and diversify its investment portfolio within and outside the Sultanate with the dual goals of growth in earnings and mitigating earnings volatility. The company also aims to participate in ventures that contribute to the economic development of the Sultanate and function as a fully integrated investment and financial services group.
A focus on quality, stringent manufacturing standards and conformity to international specifications have helped A’Saffa Foods carve a reputation for itself in the market
A’Saffa Foods, established in 2001, is the largest fully integrated poultry project and food processing plant in the Sultanate. Since its inception, A’Saffa has achieved leadership in most poultry product categories it has ventured into, succeeding in gaining a good reputation through uncompromised quality, stringent manufacturing standards and conformity to international specifications.
A’Saffa Foods is accredited and certified by the highly recognised international certifying body TUV. It has an ISO 9001 for total quality management system; an ISO 14001 for environmental management system and is certified by HACCP – for food quality and hygiene.
The poultry farms are located on a 40-square kilometre area in Thumrait, Southern Oman and the state-of-the-art-plant in Thumrait, produces high quality fresh and frozen poultry produce. ‘A’Saffa’, ‘Khayrat’ and ‘Taybat’ value added processed products are produced at the state-of-the-art, highly automated processing plant in Muscat. A’Saffa maintains its commitment to produce and supply quality poultry products and takes into consideration the ethical concerns in animal welfare.
A’Saffa Foods has further enhanced its leadership position across distinct business verticals – A’Saffa Food Processing and A’Saffa Logistics today, boasts of 24×7 back-end support backed by a constantly expanding sales and marketing network in Oman, GCC and MENA region.
A’Saffa has successfully made inroads into the international markets. Today, A’Saffa has an exceptional track record of exporting frozen chicken to countries like UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Vietnam, China and Pakistan.
Bank Sohar’s focus on following a course of sustainable growth helped it post good financial results during the last financial year
The year 2014 was yet another successful year for Bank Sohar as it continued to evolve and make its mark on the banking and financial landscape of Oman. Building on the previous year’s outstanding performance, the bank garnered key gains in a number of core areas of its business in 2014 – the result of an unwavering focus on sustainable growth. The bank’s dedication to excellence is clearly evident in the awards it has received over the years. The bank received 21 local, regional and international awards, with acknowledgements varying from financial excellence and growth to unique products and CSR awards. This includes being named the ‘best financial brand Oman 2014’ by renowned UK based Global Brands Magazine as well as receiving ‘the diamond eye award for quality, commitment and excellence’ from the French based Otherways Management & Consulting Association and ‘business excellence award’ by Texas based, World Confederation for Business (WORLDCOB), among others.
Boosted by its strong operating performance, Bank Sohar registered a net profit of RO29.87mn for the year 2014 compared to RO26.871mn for the previous year, entailing a year-on-year increase of 11.19 per cent. The operating profit for the year was RO38.988mn compared to RO31.73mn in 2013, an increase of 22.85per cent. Net interest income during the year climbed 9.34per cent to RO47.59mn, compared to RO43.52mn in 2013. Impressive gains were achieved in other areas of the bank’s business as well. Net loans and advances jumped 14.02 per cent during the year to touch RO1,423mn, against the previous year’s level of RO1,248mn. Customer deposits grew by 11.44 per cent to RO1,552mn during the year, as compared to RO1,392mn in 2013. The overall gross loans stood at RO1,455mn as of end 2014 compared to RO1,273mn in 2013, representing an increase of 14.25per cent for the year.
The impressive financial performance during 2014 was the result of the continued hard work and commitment of the bank’s staff to deliver excellent service to customers in a competitive environment.