Oman has become one of the areas of the world where small businesses are growing by leaps and bounds. According to the Oxford Business Group, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Oman are gaining increased support from both public and private organizations. In fact, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry disclosed that there are approximately 121,000 SMEs in Oman, accounting for 90% of the economic activity in the country.
With a country that is opening up for small and medium business opportunities, those with influence are quickly positioning themselves to make their mark in Oman. However, there is one man whose money and influence are being used for the good of the Omani people. Meet Qais Al-Khonji. Born in 1978, Al-Khonji is a member of one of the most successful business and political families in Sultanate of Oman. He is a descendant of the founders of the Al-Khonji Group and the Moosa Abdulrahman Group, two of the most well-established and powerful companies in Oman. His lineage has earned him a position as the Director of the Al-Khonji Group and various other companies like Oman Fisheries; however, he has found a unique way to use his position with the Sultanate.
Al-Khonji is a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization where he has served as a board member since 2009. He works closely with that organization to assist Omani people with establishing small and medium businesses within the Sultanate. He was also selected as an Omani representative to meet with former Indian President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam during his visit to Oman to discuss the Oman-India subsea gas pipeline. Part of his work includes speaking to companies and entrepreneurs about the challenges facing them in Oman and the actions that are being taken in order to promote and encourage entrepreneurship throughout the country.
Outside of his work in the family business, Al-Khonji is an entrepreneur himself which gives him the experience needed to help those forming businesses in Oman. He is the founder of a company called Qais United Enterprises Trading, an Omani marketing company focused on client-supplier relationships. He also recently opened the Genesis International LLC, a company focused on higher education services and the future development of solar energy. Seeing a business from the ground up has allowed Al-Khonji to see some of the obstacles that entrepreneurs face within Oman. In a 2012 article in the Oman Economic Review, Al-Khonji sites some of the specific obstacles faced within the Sultanate. He states that although the government is trying to minimize these obstacles, he believes that more can be done.
In an environment that makes it more optimal for those in higher positions to benefit, Al-Khonji has shown by his example that bringing up a thriving economy for Oman is truly the best benefit for him and the country as a whole.