Doha Bank Showcases Value Propositions for SMEs and Retail Customers in UAE

Customer Advantage

Doha Bank conducted a knowledge sharing session titled ‘Customer Advantage’ on 19th Oct 2011 at Grand Hyatt Hotel, Dubai, UAE. This knowledge sharing session was attended by customers of Doha Bank, experience bankers, key industry players and Government dignitaries.

Mr. R. Seetharaman, Chief Executive Officer, Doha Bank Group addressed the gathering as the keynote speaker and set the tone for the evening. Mr. R. Seetharaman gave his outlook on Global Economy and regional economies. He stated “The recent issues in U.S and Europe can impact the global growth in the short to medium term. Measures need to be taken at various levels to ensure revival of Global Economy and Risk of Global recession prevails. The realignment of global architecture is underway for the benefit of the customers. We also witnessed that in this year regulation reforms have been done in the retail segment both in UAE and Qatar in line with the global architecture. These reforms improve the systematic risk of the banking environment and thereby benefit the bank and the customer. Consumer protection has attained significant importance after the crisis. G20 and other global organisations are working on various measures to protect the consumer such as common principles of consumer protection, improving disclosure requirements and stronger oversight regimes for credit rating agencies”

Mr. Seetharaman continued highlighting the proactive measures taken by UAE Government to monitor and manage the crisis and its impact on customer confidence. He stated “In 2009 a bond issue worth 20bn was issued by Government of Dubai to manage the crisis. The recent progress made in Dubai restructuring has not only restored confidence in Dubai but also in the entire GCC region. It has also enhanced the ability of banks to cope with any possible repercussions of the global financial crisis.

Mr. Seetharaman gave his view on role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on economies. He said “As a central pillar in the world economy, (SMEs) play a critical role in innovation, advancement and sustainable development worldwide. In today’s increasingly globalised world, SMEs around the world have to unprecedentedly compete globally. They are both the most dynamic and the most vulnerable constituent in the global economy”

Mr. Seetharaman gave his insights on areas where SMEs can improve its competitiveness. He stated “Public-private dialogues, access to Business development services (BDS), access to Finance and technology are the key areas which SMEs need to focus. The quality of public-private working relationship between the public and private sectors might even be a competitive advantage for a country in its own right BDS interventions are specifically aimed at helping small enterprises to overcome market imperfections and inadequate access to technology, as well as to operate more competitively and with greater efficiency in domestic and global markets. The public- private partnership model on SMEs can be witnessed both in Qatar and GCC. Traditionally SMEs had difficulty in obtaining formal credit or equity. In recent years leading commercial banks in developed countries have been particularly successful in servicing the SME market. Technology development can be done mainly through clustering and inter-firm cooperation or business linkages.”

In addition, Mr. Seetharaman also moderated a panel discussion comprising of industry experts namely Col. Mohammed Murad, Ex-CEO Dubai Institute for Human Resource Development, Dr.Bharat Butaney, M.D, President, Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), Mr. Prabhakar Kamath, CFA, Partner & CEO, Morison Menon Ltd, Mr. Ravi Unni Balachandran Head – SME, Doha Bank, Qatar and Mr. Nabil Tabbara, Executive Manager – Retail Banking, Doha Bank.

Col. Mohammed Murad, Ex-CEO Dubai Institute for Human Resource Development spoke on “What does “Growth” mean”. He emphasized on the current trends prevailing in SME Business. He said “It is a buyer’s market and not a supplier market due to recession, SME can ask for its own terms. SMEs are big players in the economy” He also highlighted the key factors contributing to growth of SME.

Dr.Bharat Butaney, M.D, President, Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) spoke on “Role of SMEs in Global Economy” He highlighted the global and regional trends in SME. He said “To improve competitiveness they need access to technology and finance.SME can lead US out of recession. Many initiatives are brought in UAE such as SME 100 program and SME exchange”

Mr. Prabhakar Kamath, CFA, Partner & CEO, Morison Menon Ltd spoke on “Bankable SMEs”.He said” Banks are actively targeting the SME segment. Cash flow Management is vital during recession/ boom”. He also provided analysis on Net profit Vs Cash flows and peer group analysis.

Mr. Ravi Unni Balachandran Head – SME, Doha Bank, Qatar spoke on “SME INMA”, highlighted the SME strategy of Doha Bank and how INMA would provide value to customers.

Mr. Nabil Tabbara- Executive Manager – Retail Banking, Doha Bank spoke on “Retail Banking – Customer Lifetime Value”. He spoke on the life cycle of mankind and the various retails offerings available for customers in different spans of life.

In his concluding remarks, Mr. R. Seetharaman said “Customer Advantage is the area of focus in the new global financial architecture.”