HEMANT MURKOTH

Oman 2020 | OIL & GAS | INTERVIEW

The government's policies have been consistent towards SMEs.

Hemant Murkoth
BIOGRAPHY

Hemant Murkoth comes from an electrical and electronics engineering background with over 25 years of experience in building and leading IT organizations within India and the GCC regions. He started his career in the field of software programming and training and worked his way up holding many techno-managerial positions including divisional manager, general manager, and group general manager of major IT organizations in India and the GCC before taking over as the CEO of Business Gateways in Oman.

Have you seen a change in government's requirements in terms of SMEs?
The government's policies have been consistent towards SMEs; in fact, it has further strengthened its resolve to implement previous SME policies. The government's role is to ensure there are mechanisms in place while addressing the challenges of empowering corporations to implement such policies. This is where our Joint Supplier Registration System (JSRS) fits perfectly. As a key enabler of the ICV initiatives wherein the procurement spend is a critical component, we have been witnessing more governmental organizations approaching us to find out how they can better utilize JSRS, with specific reference to the JSRS Contracts Management System (JSRS-CMS) to implement their SME obligation commitments. But empowering and implementing ICV and SME obligations is only one part. The other part is data analytics to monitor the effectiveness of such implementation. JSRS provides strategic analytics functions supporting the government in staying informed of all awarding across the entire supply chain. Monitoring of contract awards for SMEs means ensuring transparency, removing monopolies, and providing equal opportunities to all entities on a level playing field.

What are the key requirements for this localization strategy to come into effect?
Oman is strong in its ICV implementation. That said, there is still a lot of room to strengthen capabilities and opportunities to embrace. One area that Oman lacks is in R&D and innovation; that is where we need to concentrate and allow young Omanis to take risks and jump into business ventures, while ensuring that they have critical knowledge of cutting-edge technologies. They need to fit into a flexible structure and operate within a short-term safety net, potentially provided as part of the government's strategy. The Oman Technology Fund (OTF) plays a leadership role in boosting start-up projects and is doing an excellent job supporting the industry. I hope to see the government further encouraging start-ups.