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 Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.