OMAN - Industry
CEO, The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn)
Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani is currently the CEO of Madayn. Prior to this, he was director general of industry at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He has been the driving force behind the formation of and is currently the chairman of Shumookh, the investment arm of Madayn, as well as the chairman of Oman Investment and Development Holding Company (Mubadrah). Al-Hasani functions as the chairman of the board of FINCORP and chairman of Al Shumookh Plastic Products and Al Mazunah Free Zone Committee. He is also the deputy chairman of Salalah Free Zone. Al-Hasani holds a bachelor of science in business administration and marketing from Fontbonne University in the US and a master’s in economics from Sangamon State University in the US. He has had management training at Harvard and the London Business School.
The pandemic disrupted global supply chains with adverse effects on country’s manufacturing—both in terms of sourcing raw materials and also in exporting the products. Globally, there was an immediate need to localize manufacturing and repurpose certain manufacturing facilities. Oman and, therefore, manufacturing units located within Madayn were no exception. In 2021, logistics and supply chains have been more or less reestablished. Foreign investment within Madayn steadily hovers around 45-48%, and the situation continues to be so. Exports, which was affected by logistical and supply chain issues in 2020, have regained momentum in 2021. That said, we are in active discussions with potential foreign investors in a few key sectors. In spite of the global pandemic, there was an increase of 1.65% in investments within Madayn industrial cities. Omanization too improved, at 37% compared to 34% in 2019.
The digital transformation strategy of Madayn is aimed at drastic improvement from the previous strategy, which was focused largely on internal operational efficiency. The new strategy has three main components: operational excellence, supporting the industrial sector with digital solutions, and steps to attract new investments. The operational excellence strategy will mainly focus on business process efficiency, enhancing user experience, data-driven decision making, hassle-free communication, and ultimately higher levels of customer satisfaction. In regard to supporting the industrial sector, the focus will be to bring about positive changes in production techniques and productivity through digital solutions. Working toward Industry 4.0 will be part of this component. This will also enable healthy inter-dependencies between companies of different sizes and capabilities in achieving an overall competitiveness in our manufacturing sector. PMO will supervise and participate in the implementation of all the digital transformation initiatives. It will outline related procedures, timeframe, financial cost, project scope and standards. It will also follow up and audit all aspects related to digital transformation projects and their management to improve the performance and outcomes, and to assist project managers to achieve project objectives.
For a long time, the private sector in the country has expanded primarily on account of various government projects somewhere in the value chain. Vision 2040 seeks the private sector to be the true driver of the economy, ultimately expecting that more than 90% of GDP should come from non-oil sectors. This transformation requires substantial modernization of our manufacturing sector and, at the same time, highly diversified interdependent economic activities. The vision document also envisages increasing the Omani employees in the private sector to 40%. PPPs, privatization efforts, and FDI together will substantially improve the business environment in Oman. Since 2010, Madayn has been developing industrial cities through private participation on BOO or BOT basis, and as part of our live-work-play model. We created investment arms such as Shumookh and Mubadrah to identify developmental needs, conceive projects, put the seed money to do all the necessary studies, and open it up for private participation. This helped rapid development of infrastructure in the industrial cities such as KOM and Sohar, apart from having highly specialized companies in smart utility metering, renewable energy, facilities management, housing, and so on. The fact that Madayn now represent integrated business cities with ample social infrastructure is a deliberate effort to create inter-dependent economic activities, and not remain merely as an industrial estate, and this aligns with the objectives of Vision 2040. The masterplans we make for each of our business cities unleash many opportunities for private investment, including infrastructure development.
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