Hailing from the Middle East can be a strategic competitive advantage
ValuStrat LLC, licensed by Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA), is an international company providing advisory and asset valuation services. Talking exclusively to The Edge, Bilal Amanullah Moti, managing director of ValuStrat LLC Qatar forsees significant growth opportunities in Qatar, and points out the competitive advantage that the firm has compared to global consulting companies and why his firm believes their presence in Qatar adds to their overall value proposition.
Tell us about the business focus of ValuStrat?
ValuStrat provides a variety of strategic, business and technical advisory services; asset appraisal and valuation; loss assessment and adjustment; and industrial asset divestment services, to the highest international standards.
We provide these services in Qatar to financial institutions, government entities, real estate, oil and gas, industrial manufacturing, trading and services companies and business groups, to help them make prudent decisions about financing, investment, insurance and financial management.
Our geographical focus is the Middle East. We have been operating in the region since 1977 with our headquarters in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and offices in Saudi Arabia. We have a presence in Dubai, Sharjah, Riyadh, Jeddah and now in Doha. The group has served more than 750 clients across a wide variety of sectors in the MENA region.
How different is ValuStrat from global consulting firms such as Accenture?
Accenture is a large global company. Our competitive proposition is that we are from the Middle Eastern region and our business strategy is to primarily serve Middle Eastern clients and markets. We are serving our clients in this region for more than 35 years, so we carry a deep-rooted relationship and experience in local markets. We understand the regional economic, investment and social as well as cultural practices, regulations and sensitivities, and make our recommendations accordingly. At the same time, we deploy our globally acquired experience and acumen towards regional development. Other difference is that the global consulting firms have a larger scope of services. We specialise in niche asset valuation and advisory service lines.
Lastly, since the Middle East is our home base, we are present here at all times and have invested long-term in the region by way of local human resources, infrastructure, systems and capital.
Explain why the Qatar consulting market stands out?
The outlook of Qatar consulting market is undoubtedly positive. The country’s massive development agenda would naturally need a higher and broader level of international and regional expertise in Qatar across all sectors. We are encouraged by the promise in Qatar, and are honoured to have received a licence from the QFCA and to have this opportunity to serve our valued clients
in the country. Qatar’s targeted projects and developments provide a direct and sizeable business opportunity to ValuStrat.
In your strategic advisory role, what are your guidelines for business development in Qatar?
Our advisory services aims to assist small to medium to large companies and business houses in Qatar with market research and feasibility studies, strategic and business planning, and organisational, commercial, operational, technical and financial performance evaluation and enhancement. Through our vast experience in the Middle East and extensive tie-ups with international and regional partners, ValuStrat works with client organisations to navigate their road ahead by recognising opportunity, clarifying vision, creating strategies, implementing action and measuring results.
“Qatar’s targeted projects and developments provide a direct and sizeable business opportunity.”
ValuStrat delivers on leadership, integrating management, sales and marketing, finance and accounting, production and operations, research and development, risk management, and information systems to ensure our clients achieve organisational success faster.
Within your valuations and appraisals division, what industries do you look at?
Prudent asset valuation is key to making sound financing-, investment-, divestment- and insurance-related decisions. It also provides clearer visibility to the investment houses about their assets portfolio management. We are experienced in using various internationally accredited valuation methodologies (income, cost, sales comparison, investment, residual value and their combinations) for various assets classes, which professionally meet the underlying objectives of the valuation without any conflict of interest.
Our group has the privilege of being on the approved valuation panel of more than 50 financial institutions.
What is your take on the asset divestment climate of Qatar and the region?
[Through our] cooperation agreement with HILCO Industrial USA, we can assist clients in purchasing or selling used industrial assets in the global secondary market. The service facilitates industrial clients with the possibility of liquidating their unwanted fixed assets beyond the boundaries of Qatar. The service also gives them opportunity to effectively upgrade their manufacturing capabilities with new machinery and technology.
In a nutshell, benefits could be better cash flows, higher revenues, lower costs, higher operational efficiency, better technology, market leadership, better future business prospects and above all the better product to their clients.
What do industry practices look at?
Due to developments happening in Qatar at a fast pace, various industries demand consultants to constantly improve their professional understanding of Qatar and its markets, sectors, projects and assets. Secondly, we are [committed] to providing a deeper, comparative and objective analysis of the underlying subject under the valuation and advisory services.
Thirdly, our target client segments appreciate application of the international standards and resources in our services.They require a results-oriented approach that leads to prudent decision making in the areas of financing, investments and insurance management.
How has the consulting market changed since the financial crisis?
Dependence on the professional consulting companies in Qatar and in the region has increased tremendously over the last five years and is expected to grow further. The clear reasons are the management of the financial crisis impact between 2008 and 2011 and take off with significant developments again with the beginning of 2012.
Most organisations realise the importance of consulting and have become open to taking ideas or advice externally, which provides good value for their money, business, risks, exposure and reputation.
What does your pro bono work consist of? Why does a consulting firm need to do pro bono work?
ValuStrat Pro-Bono Advisory division was founded in 2012 as part of ValuStrat’s commitment to its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. The division represents ValuStrat’s core values towards the improvement of community.
ValuStrat Pro-Bono Advisory works with foundations, philanthropists, companies, non-governmental organisations, social entrepreneurs and social investors to help them rethink their goals and realign their strategies to achieve greater social impact. We offer our full suite of strategy services to social organisations, working in all sectors. And we do it all free of cost.