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bank muscat to host SME workshop on cost control

MUSCAT, 16 April 2013 - Bank Muscat SME department in collaboration with International Finance Corporation (IFC) is hosting a workshop on ‘How to manage cash and control cost’ on Thursday (18 April 2013) at the bank’s head office.

Rami Camel-Toueg, certified management consultant from the Institute of Management Consultancy in the United Kingdom and certified master trainer from Business Edge – IFC, World Bank, will conduct the workshop designed for SME owners and staff.

In an environment where competition is becoming tougher, more and more external variables are becoming uncontrollable. Understanding and controlling cost components together with managing cash as an enterprise, is becoming one of the few vital internal variable essential for an Omani SME to survive and grow.

The issue of controlling costs is currently one of the key problems faced by SMEs.

The workshop will focus on different types of costs and define the role of controlling costs by analysing cost variance. The participants will be given training in using tools for controlling costs and creating cost consciousness within an enterprise.

Al Wathbah, the SME Credit and Marketing Department of Bank Muscat, has been very dynamic in financing businesses and strengthening the SME foundation in Oman. Bank Muscat is of the strong belief that SMEs help boost the local economy, contribute to the GDP and create employment opportunities. The bank not only provides funding but also training, counseling and sponsorship to SMEs.

Over the years, Bank Muscat has taken several strategic steps to strengthen the SME sector in Oman. Bank Muscat offers a comprehensive suite of tailor-made finance solutions and also regularly conducts workshops and seminars aimed at equipping SMEs to identify business opportunities and tackle challenges.

In 2012, the bank partnered with the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to launch the government guaranteed loan programme in support of SMEs. The bank also launched the first-of-its-kind Al Wathbah Business Zone, a unique facility that addresses a long-felt need of entrepreneurs in Oman. The business zone, which can be used free of cost by SME customers who do not have their own office space, offers the bank’s expertise developed over the past 30 years to deal with all aspects ranging from conceptualisation to setting up of successful SME units. Al Wathbah Business Zone located at the bank’s head office has evoked good response from entrepreneurs with start-up ventures.

Al Wathbah Business Zone facility is available to SMEs on a first-come first-served basis. Requests are to be made by e-mail to alwathbahzone@bankmuscat.com two working days in advance. Meetings can be conducted during regular Bank Muscat operational hours, Sunday through Thursday (8.00 am to 3.00 pm) and the duration of meetings is limited to 2 hours per session to ensure maximum utilisation of the zone by entrepreneurs.

Bank Muscat and IFC signed an agreement in November 2012 to facilitate financing access to SMEs to help them expand and create jobs. As part of the agreement, IFC advises the bank on new products and services targeted at micro, small, and medium enterprises. Bank Muscat also offers support to women-owned businesses, helping them become more active players in the Omani economy.