Doing business in Qatar is a lot easier than most parts of the GCC: Paul Raymond Easy
Published on 27.02.2013 by @QatarSteve
Paul Raymond Easy is the Managing Partner of Al Khuzaei Consulting Easy Solutions, a Qatar based company with specialty in HR Solutions, Recruitments and Head Hunting, Management Training and Development among other things.
For Paul, a Briton, Qatar is almost like home having spent over 18 years of his life in the country together with his wife. He is an Industrial Engineer by training and had previously worked in some of the leading Qatari companies like Qatar Gas, Qatar Petroleum and lastly Tasweeq where he retired as the Recruitment Coordinator before yielding to his entrepreneurship spirit by floating Easy Solutions.
In this interview with BusinessStartUpQatar, the highly experienced and widely travelled Paul shared some insights about doing business in Qatar what makes the country unique among the GCC countries. Enjoy.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am Paul Raymond Easy, a Briton, and I have been residing in the Gulf region for almost 25 years now out of which I have spent 18 years in Qatar. I am an Industrial Engineer by training and I had previously worked with Qatar Gas, Qatar Petroleum and lastly Tasweeq where I was the Recruitment Coordinator. I am presently the Managing Partner of Easy Solutions and we are into HR Solutions, Recruitment and Head Hunting, Management Training and Development among other things.
Comparing the situation of things now with the early years of your coming, what can you say about Qatar?
Qatar has witnessed a tremendous level of development over the years. The country has gone through a number of developmental phases. If you drive round the country today, you will observe that it is like one huge construction site with different infrastructure projects going on at the same time. You can not compare the Qatar of ten years ago with the Qatar of today as the country has been completely transformed infrastructure-wise and also in terms of population, the population growth is phenomenal, it is more like an explosion. Aside from infrastructures, the country has and is still investing in Information Technology. The country’s investment in e-gov and e-commerce has made living in Qatar a lot easier. For example, to pay traffic violation fines was more or less a headache years back as the payment was usually done once a year. You go to the traffic department and you meet a mass of people all struggling to get things done. Even to check your fines was a problem. Now, you can do almost anything from the comfort of your room.
On the downside however, the population growth has led to traffic congestion. Gone are the days when you can travel from Madinat Khalifa to the Airport (a distance of almost 40 Km) in 10 minutes, now you need almost an hour if not more, due to the traffic.
Can you highlight the various business opportunities in Qatar?
With the FIFA World Cup 2022 coming up, the country plans to invest over $120 billion on infrastructure projects, so I see lots of opportunities for construction companies and other related support services. Also there is a huge opportunity in education as well as management services. Manpower and Recruitment services is one area that I also see a lot of opportunities as there are lot of companies coming in here and there will be a lot less manpower available. So there is going to be a huge clamour for services. The market is becoming competitive.
Can you share with us some of the upside of doing business in Qatar?
The government is trying to make things easier and more efficient. They are trying to create a more friendly and easy atmosphere for doing business in the country. Generally, it has become a lot easier to get things done. It is much easier to get visas and do the necessary things associated with people coming here. The bureaucratic bottleneck is being removed. Before, language was a barrier as you needed to understand Arabic for to get things done but nowadays, a lot of young Qataris who understand English are getting into government services and this is making things a lot easier. Also, dealing with government agencies is a lot easier now.
How about the downside?
Getting to see people. Everyone is so busy. You don’t get as much response from people. You generally still need to know someone in the organisation for you to get easier access sometimes. On occasions there are also delays in payments.
What makes Qatar stands out among the GCC?
Qataris tend to let you get on with things. They don’t interfere unnecessarily with your business unlike in other countries in the gulf where there are unnecessary interference. It is also easier to get things done here compared to other parts of the region.
Area of improvement?
The sponsorship system should be looked into with the view of changing it to make things easier for entrepreneurs in the country. Regulations also need to be enforced more. The enforcement bodies should be given more teeth.
There will be many opportunities in the next few years. Now is the time to get into Qatar. There are not so many players in the market yet.
We would like to thank Paul for the interview, Paul has a remarkable amount of experience in Qatar and we were lucky he had time to share this with us.
Qatar is growing constantly as there really is so much to be done, we constantly think, my word where would you start and in what order?
Qatar needs skilled professionals and companies to come and play a role here; you will be welcomed with open arms. If you need someone to show you around or answer any questions please contact us.