Muscat, 29 September 2020
Bank Muscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, in line with its vision ‘To serve you better, everyday’, and commitment to supporting and developing the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) sector has announced a new initiative by its Retail Enterprises (Najahi) unit. This will see the launch of another non-financial service by Najahi aimed at boosting start-up businesses in Oman.
Given the current social distancing norms where the holding of the usual products exhibitions are not possible, Najahi will help facilitate the sale of products and services using an online market, MarkeetEx Digital Mall and its App (https://markeetex.com), which is fast gaining popularity in the Sultanate. An agreement was recently signed by Bank Muscat and MarkeetEx to facilitate this. Offering a unique shopping experience to visitors, the digital mall showcases Omani SMEs who are selling groceries, household goods, mobiles and computers, fashion, beauty, and health products at competitive prices. As an SME providing an online platform to more than 2,000 Omani merchants, MarkeetEx will provide Najahi’s MSME customers an excellent opportunity to market their products and services across different parts of the country.
With competition becoming tougher all the while, identifying and seizing opportunities are becoming all the more important for Omani SMEs to survive and grow. As part of the bank’s strategy to promote promising Omani entrepreneurs, Najahi will bear the annual fee payable by sellers to MarkeetEx and also a portion of the commission on sales payable by sellers to MarkeetEx. It will support 50 existing Najahi customers across a range of products and services through this initiative.
Abdullah Al Jufaili, Head, Retail Enterprises Unit (Najahi), Bank Muscat, said: “Bank Muscat has been a pioneer of support the Omani SME sector. The bank continues to come up with new initiatives on a regular basis to build up this important sector that has been identified as a pivotal part of the Omani economy. We hope that our customers will be able to leverage this new initiative and promote their business to a wider client base using the online shopping platform. This will help further strengthen the SME-sector in the country and also lead to more development and job opportunities for Omani youth.”
From his side, Khalid AlHosni, Founder and CEO of MarkeetEx expressed his delight with signing the agreement highlighting the growth online markets have gained in the past 6 months particularly with the measures imposed to combat the spread of Covid-19. He is confident that the agreement will increase the MarkeetEx customer base and support increasing sales by SMEs.
The new initiative will carry on the success of the bank’s exhibitions, which were an annual affair in previous years. It also complements other initiatives undertaken by the bank to promote the growth and development of the MSME sector. Bank Muscat seeks to support MSMEs in the country through its Najahi and Al Wathbah units so as to further strengthen the Sultanate’s economy. Najahi, in particular, is well known for having pioneered the availability of a number of collateral-free credit facilities for micro and small businesses in Oman.