Saudi SMEs urged to adopt innovation to stay competitive

Roberto Wyszkowski said Some companies, such as Netflix, Google and General Electric, have achieved resounding success by adopting innovation. (AN photo)
Updated 01 June 2018
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Saudi SMEs urged to adopt innovation to stay competitive

  • Innovation does not just involve changing products and services, but also considering new business models, partners, customer experiences and markets: Roberto Wyszkowski

JEDDAH: A workshop organized by the Makkah Economic Forum has called on local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to embrace innovation across their business platforms to remain successful in a competitive market. 

Addressing the “Leadership through Innovation” workshop, Roberto Wyszkowski, partner at global management consulting firm Sia Partners Middle East, said even giant companies have ended up declaring bankruptcy or losing market share because they did not take innovation seriously. 

Some companies, such as Netflix, Google and General Electric, have achieved resounding success by adopting innovation, he added. 

Innovation does not just involve changing products and services, but also considering new business models, partners, customer experiences and markets, he said. 

Studies by Sia show that some companies, such as Apple, YouTube and Enterprise, have achieved success by changing their business model and the way they manage services and products, he added.

Others have remained successful by adopting innovative technologies across production processes, Wyszkowski said. 

He urged local SMEs wishing to achieve innovation across services and products to adopt new business models, penetrate new markets and provide new customer experiences. 

He stressed the importance of choosing the right location and adopting the right technology for brand-enhancement. 

It is important to focus on a certain segment of customers to provide innovative services and products, Wyszkowski said.

He cited McDonald’s, which introduced innovative products targeting children, and services such as “Drive Thru,” to survive in a competitive market. 

Rana Bakhsh, certified innovation management ambassador for the Global Innovation Management Institute (GIMI), also emphasized the importance of innovation in taking a business to the next level and remaining relevant in a changing market. 

The workshop was part of a series of activities lined up by the Makkah Economic Forum throughout the year to involve the private sector as an active partner in the region’s development programs, and to help realize the objectives of the Vision 2030 reform plan.


Saudi camel racing no longer an all-male affair, says Princess Jamila

Updated 23 March 2019
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Saudi camel racing no longer an all-male affair, says Princess Jamila

  • Princess Jamila’s camel will compete in a race marking the conclusion of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival
  • King Salman will attend the grand finale of the 46-day event

JEDDAH: A camel owned by a woman will compete in an official race in Saudi Arabia for the first time, a senior figure in the sport said on Friday.

Fahd bin Hithleen, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Camel Club and the newly appointed president of the International Camel Organization (ICO), said the race is part of the closing day of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on the outskirts of Riyadh, which began on Feb. 5 and ends on March 23.

“The camel race will end this Saturday with the participation of the first female in camel racing,” Hithleen said on his official Twitter account. “I congratulate Princess Jamila Bint Abdulmajeed bin Saud bin Abdulaziz for breaking into the camel world and wish her all the success.”

The festival finale will take place in the presence of King Salman.

Princess Jamila said that camel racing is no longer exclusively the preserve of men, as the ongoing reforms in the country continue to empower Saudi women and open up new opportunities for them across the Kingdom.

The Kingdom established the ICO, the first global group of its kind for camels, on Thursday with the participation of representatives from 96 countries. Riyadh was chosen as the location for its headquarters and Hithleen was appointed to serve a five-year term as its first president.