On Thursday November 25, representatives from various companies and sectors in Qatar gathered for the “Sustain your business” conference organised jointly by ERA – Qatar (Expense Reduction Analysts), FishEye Consulting, and Al-Sulaiti Law Firm, with the active participation of Investment Promotion Agency Qatar. This conference came in the wake of the announcement, in July this year, that the three firms were collaborating to provide Corporate Restructuring and Reorganisation services in Qatar for locally based corporations.
The conference highlighted how companies face growing uncertainty caused by global trends such as economic and environmental shifts, the evolution of customers’ behaviours, and the growing digitalisation. These global trends are compounded by local challenges. One such challenge, especially for manufacturing companies, is the post-blockade environment, where competition has substantially increased. Another local challenge is the post-World Cup future, where sectors such as Retail and Hospitality will need to find viable ways of exploiting the extra capacity created for the Event. All this comes in the light of a gradual generational shift in Family-owned companies and conglomerates where a third generation is taking reigns of the business and looking for ways to optimise it.
This uncertainty creates specific challenges for Qatar based corporations: they need to start revisiting their strategy and create a robust, yet ambitious vision for the future, they need to rationalize their portfolio of activities and focus on profitable and growing businesses. As they launch their efforts to make their operations more sustainable, companies will need to restructure and reorganise.
The services jointly provided by PIVOT LLC – ERA (financial and operational restructuring), FishEye Consulting (strategy and organisational restructuring), and Al-Sulaiti Law Firm (legal restructuring), aim at covering the entire spectrum of services that companies need to support their restructuring and reorganisation.
Mr. Mubarak Al-Sulaiti, Chairman & Founder of Al-Sulaiti Law Firm, opened the conference and covered the legal aspects of restructuring.
Mr. Hamad Rashid Al-Naimi, Manager of Investor Relations at Investment Promotion Agency Qatar, gave the keynote speech of the conference and presented the activities of the Investment Promotion Agency Qatar and how it is supporting the activities of companies in Qatar and the attraction of new investments to the country.
The introductory speeches were followed by presentations by executives from the three companies jointly offering restructuring and reorganisation services in Qatar.
Mathieu Faupin, Senior Legal Consultant and Vice-Chairman for International Affairs at Al-Sulaiti Law Firm, explained how, even though, unlike other GCC countries, Qatar does not have specific bankruptcy laws, the Law provides a framework for corporate restructuring and reorganisation through voluntary arrangements, Mergers & Acquisition and Spin-offs.
Jean-Marc Riegel, Co-founder and General Manager of PIVOT LLC, a QFCA licensed company in Corporate Advisory Services delivering Cost Optimization with Expense Reduction Analysts – ERA the leading international experts in Cost Reduction, urged the audience to “think like a new entrant”. In his presentation, he explained how adopting the mindset of a start-up and rethink the business from scratch while at the same time learning from the wealth of experience that companies have accumulated over the years can provide them with a unique tool to optimise their operations. He detailed how Expense Reduction Analysts, with their international network of 700 consultants and experts in 11 industry sectors and more than 40 countries, provide a unique service helping companies optimise their direct and indirect costs as well as their financial costs.
Xavier Jopart, Founder & General Manager of FishEye Consulting, a Management Consulting Firm based in Brussels and operating across Europe and the Middle East, shared examples of other famous companies that had themselves gone through a restructuring exercise in the past and highlighted the five levers that companies can use to restructure: Strategy, Legal, Financial, Operational, and Organisational restructuring. Mr. Jopart also highlighted four best practices in restructuring: focusing on cash flows, involving the right people, creating momentum, and regularly challenging the plans.
Mr. Yousuf Al Aali, Chairman & Co-founder of Pivot LLC, closed the conference highlighting the sense of urgency for companies to think about their future and engage on their restructuring and reorganisation journey.
1/ Invest Promotion Agency Qatar: www.invest.qa
2/ Al Sulaiti Law Firm: www.alsulaitilawfirm.com
3/ PIVOT LLC / Expense Reduction Analysts – Qatar: https://qa.expensereduction.com/
4/ FishEye consulting: www.fisheye-consulting.com