Friday, February 1, 2008

More Business Ideas for Oman

Part 2 of a series of ideas from Dragon Consulting for new business opportunities in Oman. My consultation fees will be reasonable...

1/ A Temping Agency, or Temporary Workers Supply
A successful model for looking for new ideas is of course to find businesses that have been successful elsewhere and just start them up here. Such a business is supply of temporary office workers. Esp receptionists, secretaries, salesmen, PAs, PROs, etc, but it can grow to include welders, nurses, Doctors, quantity surveyors and oil field workers.

A big problem for businesses in Oman is the fundamental unreliability of full time workers. So many family commitments! (this is not to be seen as a criticism, it just seems to be a fact of life here). And of course add to that people going on holidays, sick leave, short-notice attrition, etc etc. If you could call up a decent temping agency, problem solved! Of course, they cost a lot more than full-time workers, but then you only need them for a short period, maybe only a couple of days even. But as long as the people you supply are competent and reliable, demand should build. You would take a cut of the wages, plus get a fee if the company steals the worker for a full time job. Its great for the many Mums who don't want the commitment of fulltime work but have great experience and skills, and could extend to the often highly qualified spouses of expat workers.

2/ 'In driveway' car servicing
I know, some of the famous Ruwi / Wadi Khabir guys will actually already pick up and deliver your car. But generally who wants to traul around WK for a small item or service? And who has time to wait several hours at an Oman Oil station? Have the guys in a well equipped van, and they should be able to do an oil change, new plugs, check fluids, rotate the tires, and lube the suspension in less than an hour, IN YOUR DRIVE.

3/ Resume Service
A resume service staffed by people who actually speak English and Arabic, and have some experience crafting a resume or CV with an eye to what businesses want to read. I have seen so many bad resumes by people in the country, misspelt, vague, poorly laid out, 8 pages long and just, well, bad. And this is from reasonably well educated people with lots of good things to put in a resume.

4/ Hardware store
It may be ahead of its time, but perhaps one day Omanis will get the DIY bug. Maybe? Huge in Europe and North America, home improvement mega-warehouses sell everything. You do your own tiling, home repairs, ... Hmmmm. OK, you're right, waaaay ahead of its time here. For now, I'd settle for a half decent hardware store that doesn't require various trips to hole in the wall shops scattered to the 4 winds to get a few basic tools and household fix-up supplies.

5/ Basic Copy Editing
Most of the medium size ads in the papers here are really bad. Even some of the big company ones. Quaint often, but a 15 mins read through from almost any native English speaker would solve the problems of mangled and non-grammatical language. Charge 5 rials per ad.

6/ Outsourcing Human Resource capability
Many companies in Oman are now growing to the stage where they need professional HR departments, realising that just leaving the job to their Uncle's second cousin who failed his Marketing degree and is at a loose end isn't good enough any more. But it would be far more efficient if they could contract this out to an Omani company with really good IT systems and skilled HR professionals (I mean real ones, who have actually studied and practiced it in a real company). Link up with one of the International outfits to get all the procedures and software, and provide good HR services at a much lower cost than them doing it internally.

and lastly,

7/ Band Management / Celebrity Management
Where are the Omani Boy bands? Or Girl bands? Where are the famous B list celebrities in Oman, with stories of marriages, parties, babies and affairs? Kids, the reason is that while there must be a load of raw musical and acting talent out there, there is obviously a severe lack of that upper level cadre of movers and deal makers. The managers. The people who organise the talent (because they are really really bad at organising themselves), who arrange the photographers and the PR, book the studio time, get them on radio, at events, in the newspapers. arrange the gigs, and make sure the cheques get collected. And naturally take a heafty cut (from the gross, naturally) all along the way. Don't knock it. It was the way Richard Branson started. And the market seems wide open. Plus a pro-football league is coming, and that means sports agents. $$$ Go watch Jerry McGuire (A movie).

OK. That's it for today. My favorite is the last one. Low capital start-up costs, self financing and big potential. And a really wild life style. Nice.


  1. U have given very valuable tips for startup ventures. Myname is Raajeswair Ashok, a freelancejournalist based in Muscat. My cols appear in Oman Tribune, page 3 every Thursday called Wham.

  2. Ur tips r great. Can u tell me how much I can charge for editing an article per word or per page in local currency? I'm a professional editor, but donot know how things are here since I'm new here. Please reply to


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