Qatari small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are finding new opportunities to sustain their businesses amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Several entrepreneurs in Doha have also stressed the Qatari government’s support for the country’s private sector to help businesses adjust to the new normal brought about by the coronavirus outbreak.
It may be noted that the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H E Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani on Friday met with leaders of the Qatari private sector including officials from the Qatar Chamber and Qatar Businessmen Association to reiterate the government’s support for the private sector, as well as to discuss ways to strengthen public private partnerships in the country.
“The Prime Minister has also visited us and other SMEs and manufacturers in the Industrial Area, and we appreciate his visit. I feel that the government right now, their intention and willingness to really support local manufacturers and local industry especially with the QR75bn fund. This support will help the private sector to continue moving, especially contractors with many workers.
I am one of the industries affected by the pandemic. I know that the government is willing to support, and we appreciate their support. But we also want to support the government and help sustain the economy. Participating in the development of Qatar, that’s the role of the private sector,” Dr. Ahmed Hamad Al Mohanadi, CEO of QLife Pharma, said in an interview with The Peninsula yesterday. He added that QLife Pharma, which is the first licensed pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Qatar, is set to launch ‘something big’ in the coming days amid the coronavirus crisis.
While also affected by the COVID-19 crisis, Al Mohanadi said that the pandemic has taught the business sector a lesson. “Until today, we cannot get some raw materials from some countries like India, which has been locked down. Now, you go to other countries, and you find the politics affecting the network, their economy and SMEs. The situation is a chaos. But with this chaos, there is an opportunity.
What we’ve seen as an eCommerce platform is incredible support from the ministries to help in the digital transformation of SMEs all around Qatar. They have been connecting us with other businesses to help them get online within three days. We were honored to be a chosen company to help the local ecosystem and we’re dedicated to keep helping the business sector in Qatar to survive this economic downtime,” Omar Ashour, Founder and CEO of E Butler, added.
Ashour added that E Butler, arguably Qatar’s first one-stop app for any service needed, has been helping businesses bring up their sales to pre-COVID19 level. “It’s not the same, but with us activating different online channels, facilitating online payments, giving them the option to delivery, they’re able to bring up the sales to cover the people’s salaries, and reduce unemployment overall. Digital transformation in Qatar has seen incredible growth in the last couple of months. We see all kinds of businesses trying to find ways to integrate online channels.
By having a business being flexible or agile, it reduces the economic impact from multiple reasons, not just the pandemic. By allowing progressive thinking into coping with the latest trends, including technology transformation, could help the stability and longevity of any business”.