Published on 9th June, 2013
By the solid will of their owners, ideas have been turned into projects. They have been convinced of their ideas, therefore, with all of their energy they have sought for changing them into reality. Having been adopted by the national institutions concerned with the youth projects, they have achieved what they wanted, thanks to their perseverance and determination,.
The small and medium-sized enterprise sector is a main element in the economic system of any country in the world. It holds a significant part of the value added to the economy. Such sector is a source of new and renewable ideas and innovations in the products and services. Constituting 95 % of the business sector and contributing to the GDP by 60 %, the small and medium-sized enterprises are a main part of the business system.
The small and medium-sized enterprises contribute to increasing the job opportunities for the nationals in all sectors, improving the country’s attractiveness for direct foreign investments and increasing its competitiveness among the economies of the world.
Abdullah Ahmed Said Al Jabri, a young man and the owner of Khellan for Website Programming and Designing that was financed by Khalifa Fund to Support & Develop Small & Medium Enterprises, has proved that the creativities and successes of the UAE youth are not confined to a particular area, nevertheless, they are various and capable of making distinctive imprints in the diverse areas and fields.
Ali says that he furnished a full scheme of the project and developed a preliminary feasibility study. The idea was praised by the officers supervising the project assessments. Then, it was approved to finance the project by AED 450.000. Today, the project is 5 years old. It has been largely developed; as we opened two branches of the company in Egypt and Sultanate of Oman. The project – thanks to Allah – is growing and matters are going as per our plan. Last year, the annual production rate grew by 21.5 %. “Such growth generates extra profits and creates many job opportunities in the market”, Al Jabri says.
Talking about the establishment phase, the “Khellan” owner says that he identified the hardware and equipment of the teamwork based upon the requirements in the project study which was furnished to the Fund. Such equipment included Apple Mac hardware for the designers as well as the devices dedicated to the programmers and the devices for the coordination and follow up team that would receive requests.
He points out that a teamwork would not be as easy as some people imagine. It is always difficult to provide human, financial and administrative resources for each enterprise, particularly the small and medium sized ones; because they are naturally less in their advantages and salaries than the large companies. However, we were largely familiar with the market and its resources; as we had been working in such field for several before we started in establishing Khellan Digital Solutions. We used our private resources and the internal and external advertisement to attract the employees according to certain criteria and principles which were determined as per a thorough study that we conducted on the UAE labor market.
Al Jabri indicates the premium services of the company in terms of the modern ideas and implementation. The company has distinctive expertise and thoughts in website distribution and direction. It observes the quality standards in the website design, direction and programming, which distinguishes it from the rest of the companies. Such things are very expensive, need specialists and increase the production cost, which means that the profit margin would be decreased for market competition.
He discusses the challenges faced by the project in the beginning. The project was launched at the same time of the global economic crisis which blew away the large companies before smaller ones. Such companies have reduced spending on technology, in particular. The companies adopted an austerity policy to maintain the financial resources. Yet, thanks to Allah, we could overcome such things by supporting our offers with service and follow up guarantees and reducing the profit margin. Referring to the great support of Khalifa Fund at the beginning stage, Al Jabri points out that it had a positive effect on the project progress on the right path, especially that the project at that stage had no pre-qualifications or profile introducing it to the market that is witnessing sharp competition.
He praises the permanent following up by the Fund for the emerging projects by way of updating the information of the company in the Fund database and assigning internal coordinators from the Fund to follow up the project owners by continuously listening to their views and problems as well as taking copies of the financial data and some other data to ensure that things are going so well in such enterprise. He says: “the Fund gives us lots of opportunities through the workshops, external visits and conferences, which is all in our interest as business owners.
Concerning the expansions of the projects, he indicates that an operational branch was established in Cairo, to support Khellan software in North Africa, and the human cadre was increased in the enterprise to support its future expansionary. He points out that the plan for establishing the operational branch is a challenge for them; as the external branches are very expensive financially comparing to the branches which are managed in the country of origin.
He reveals that he plans for opening new external branches and assigning distributors of the company services in both of Qatar and Sultanate of Oman. Such plan includes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Prior to start in any business, the company conducts a study on the market which it desires for being oriented to, whether such branch requires a marketing aspect only or a marketing and operational aspect or it is adequate for the company to make a contract with a distributor of our services in the targeted country.
Al Jabri sees the small and medium sized enterprises as playing a very big role in creating job opportunities. They are the main drive for pumping and developing the human capacities. An employee in small and medium sized enterprises produces more than another employee in a large one. He also learns more things by virtue of having more than a task. We can say that the small and medium sized enterprises are the first opportunity for any job seeker.
Due to his experience, Al Jabri encourages all UAE young people for establishing projects of their own. A private project is the owner’s kingdom; being established and built according to the principles and criteria that he solely controls and creates. A private project motivates man to learn continuously in all fields so that he would improve the management of his project and realize his targets. As a business owner, he must have an experience in management, finance, marketing, quality, operational processes as well as the other technical experiences, including the administrative experience. Moreover, the private projects provide job opportunities for their owners and the employees working therein, which in itself is goodness and blessing and constitutes a solution for unemployment in any society.
He advises every young man desiring for having an aid from the Khalifa Fund to Support & Develop Small & Medium Enterprises to study the project well in all aspects, prepare himself for all difficulties, look properly at the application requirements and never forget to set the budget ceiling that he wants for the project by conducting a financial study. At the top of all this, the idea of the project must be innovative and distinguished from such ideas in the market. Of course, an applicant should select the business field that he likes and in which he has the necessary practical experience. In addition, he should have a spirit of perseverance and patience which constitute the most prominent pillars of a successful project.
Finally, Al Jabri hopes that Khalifa Fund would increase its support to the owners of the projects that it finances by increasing the usage of some services that they provide in the different businesses of the Fund. The internal services of the Fund must be largely provided by its customers to give a good example of supporting the national project so that the Fund would be the initiator in such aspect. He adds that he does not know whether the Fund has made such steps in other products or services or not, but, in the IT products such support does not exit.