Employees in the Middle East:3,000
Years active in Oman:12
Employees in Oman:120
Modernise the economyAugust 15, 2016
Brad Holliday, partner of Deloitte Oman, tells TOGY about the company’s activities in auditing and advisory services for the oil and gas industry in the country. Financial services provider Deloitte has been in the Middle East for the past 90 years and has been active in Oman since 2004.
What have been your activities over the past 12 months in Oman?
In 2004 we officially registered the Deloitte name in Oman. It has been a successful journey since then to the point where we now audit the key oil and gas companies in Oman. We also provide financial advisory work for large oil and gas companies in the Sultanate.
What kind of changes have you noticed in the past year as a number of contracts have been renegotiated while some companies are restructuring given the backdrop of the lower oil prices?
Certainly the lower oil prices have had a significant impact, however long-term growth is likely to be sustained by the government’s spending efforts and economic diversification initiatives. Key objectives such as to build a non-oil economy, introduce cost-efficiency on various project investments and expand on the various programs that have already been initiated means that Oman should be able to continue to increase its production – despite the negative trends we see in today’s oil-market.
In 2012, the government initiated a pilot program aimed at stimulating the economy through the enhanced domestic service input into the oil and gas sector and the in-country value (ICV) strategy was developed. With a focus on the energy sector, ICV aims at enhancing the value of goods, services and skills in the sector and stimulating local production and manufacturing in order to reduce the imports of goods and enhance the provision of services in Oman, thereby reducing dependency on external experts and enhancing the skills and capabilities of Omani nationals by increasing their contribution to the activities of the oil and gas sector.
The ICV strategy together with the development of small and medium sized enterprises (SME) lays a foundation for a self-reliant industry and a modernization of the economy. Despite the various challenges within the region and the country, Oman’s economy is set on the right path of sustainable growth, development, diversification and progress.
Are you providing any kind of in-house training and development for the jobs you are hiring for?
We have 120 employees at Deloitte Oman and over 3,000 within the Middle East region. Deloitte as a firm, is committed to the development of the societies it is part of. That we do by investing both time and resources as suitable to the market we are operating in. In terms of youth development, we at Deloitte Oman have partnered with Sultan Qaboos University offering promising Omani talent a unique internship experience where they are given the opportunity to work with leading experienced professionals and gain valuable practical training and hands-on experience that will help them meet their educational goals, act as a bridge between the classroom and the world of work and prepare them for a professional career.
In terms of graduate recruitment, Deloitte Oman recently launched a structured three-year programme, specially tailored for young Omanis who have freshly graduated, that aims at equipping students with the right skillsets to assume a number of roles within the organization, ultimately preparing them to assume leadership roles within the firm.
Deloitte in the Middle East is one entity, meaning we are fully integrated and work seamlessly with our offices in other countries – we are one firm and that allows us to leverage our regional and global expertise to serve our local clients.
What is your strategy for the next year as the government tries to increase revenues and minimise spending?
We are placing greater focus on our consultancy, advising and tax functions where we see a demand for our services both from the government and the private sector.
The government is trying to reduce expenditure rather than cut strategic projects. They are committed to the 2020 development plan, but want to undertake this in a more efficient manner. They have had a number of financial advisers assist them in restructuring their financial and operational models, and have become more creative in raising funds to support their operations. PDO is looking to raise a USD 3.4 billion loan (on behalf of the local government) to fund its operations in response to the current low oil price environment.
Last year, the government approved an Islamic bond framework where the government would use Islamic bonds side-by-side with bonds to secure funds for projects and working capital. The government is considering funding projects through Islamic bond issuance for the next three to five years, while also looking at alternatives for supporting infrastructure projects.
As a professional services firm we continue to invest in this market because we see the potential and we are growing in our key service lines.