Posted on April 16, 2015

Despite the oil price volatility, Qatar has a remarkably stable business environment compared to many other countries, largely due to the government's 2030 vision, which sets out clear plans on infrastructure improvements, market growth and diversification into non-hydrocarbon sectors, according to KPMG, said Gulf Times. 

This stability puts the country's businesses and government organisations in an excellent position to develop mirroring visions. However, many are struggling to transform the vision in to realistic objectives and implementable actions to ensure success, KPMG said. Hilda Mulock Houwer, partner at KPMG in Qatar said, "Many countries in the West are challenged by developing long-term strategies as there are several external factors influencing their markets, creating a more fluid business environment. Qatar is able to confidently plan years ahead due to its prudent management of its financial resources and the diversification into other non-hydrocarbon sectors. 

"While the oil price volatility will have an impact, thanks to foresight and mitigation put in place by the Qatari Government, it is likely that the 2030 vision to develop the country and its economy will stay on track. However, we are seeing businesses not utilising the full potential of opportunities, as they often fail to transform their vision and mission into strategic objectives and real actions which have a positive impact on profitability, operations and efficiency." 

Qatar Airways Houston

As a high-growth, emerging market, opportunities often arise for Qatari businesses to diversify and expand. However, this can inadvertently lead organisations to make decisions businesses without well thought out strategic direction, KPMG said. Ivan Radnai, senior manager, KPMG Strategy Advisory said, "Companies are keen to take advantage of the tremendous growth that is occurring in Qatar. There are many opportunities for 'quick-wins.' However, without detailed strategic objectives, short-term gains are not always realised due to other pressing business priorities. We find that businesses are lacking important factors from their strategy such as risks, detailed actions, timelines and responsibilities, and as a consequence struggle to deliver the vision."

Qatar's businesses and organisations are steadily growing, and would most likely continue to do so irrespective of any major interventions. As a result, there may be limited motivation or even reluctance for operational change, to improve business performance, KPMG said. On this, Houwer said, "If businesses and organisations become complacent because of the current stable market conditions they are exposing themselves to high risk of falling behind competitors, of being susceptible to potential and unpredictable market fluctuations and ultimately failing to realise their vision. 

It's vital that business implement an operational management system, to ensure continuous improvement and identify any actions that need to be taken to ultimately achieve their strategic objectives."