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Understanding Qatar's marketplace November 21, 2018

Expansion of a business is not just about relocating the business or trying the same thing in a new place. International expansion involves adjustment of the offerings to a new and completely different market. It is a well-known secret that every country will have its own knowledge profile. Companies often make the mistake of overlooking to adapt products to different markets. Companies that are successful at home have the tendency to apply the same formula and strategy overseas, that they used at the home market.

That is the first mistake a business thinking of international expansion can ever do. They must need to understand that what would work in one location may not work in another. We might have been rendered homogenous thanks to technology, but the distance between different marketplaces will have a direct impact on the demand and supply equation that goes on.

Setting up your business in a new location will have both risks and rewards. By learning about the marketplace of the location, you can reduce the risks. Qatar, with its rich cultural background and vast economic landscape, holds close to 12% of the total gas reserves in the world. It’s also home to crucial projects that include the Doha Metro System and the Long Distance Passenger & Freight Rail project. This connects Qatar to all the GCC cities with the implementation of the National Vision 2030. Don’t forget FIFA 2022 World Cup. Qatar is using the event to begin massive economic changes. The inflow of investment has started.

That makes Qatar a prime location for anyone who has their eyes set on business expansion.

How to understand Qatar’s Marketplace

Most businesses struggle to accurately assess the market with respect to its potential size, the required behaviour to succeed and the attainability of the market. You need to prepare a set of questions to answer while analysing a marketplace, especially one like Qatar. Assessment means answering the right questions. Decide whether you want to capture a share of an existing market or should you create a new market.

  • Current and potential size of Qatar’s marketplace. Would it increase or shrink? Why?
  • What is your goal? What percentage of the market would you like? What is it worth to you?
  • Analyse your product in relation to the market. Does it fit in? Or are you looking at a new market?
  • If the product already exists in the market, study the competition carefully. Success and failure points. 
  • What do the buying habits of the market look like? 
  • What is the margin expected?
  •  Who are the target consumer organizations? 
Answering the above points can make you realise what your business can bring to the market after taking into consideration the market’s external forces. It is important to assess both sides of the equation - the marketplace and your own capabilities. The two are two sides of a coin.

All it takes is some analysis along with critical thinking. Data speaks volumes. Your business’s approach to strategy is vital to gaining a competitive edge. The following points can help you take advantage of Qatar’s marketplace

  • Those who want to do business in Qatar must understand the culture. It is with a legal system that combines both the civil and the Islamic law codes
  • Qatar has relaxed some of its more confining laws in order to enable a better business atmosphere. Learn how these laws can help you in your business
  •  Please note that contracts need to be in Arabic; otherwise, they are inadmissible in the courts of Qatar
  • Note that only certain industries, such as business consultancy, communication services and technology, are allowed to be 100% owned (subjective to ministerial approval). For other sectors, foreigners are only allowed to hold 49% of the company. Thus you will need to set up a joint venture, with a local shareholder holding at least 51% of the company

Countries differ. Consumers differ. The markets function in very different ways. Understand the different currents in each market before you decide to set foot there. Qatar is one such place. Enhance your chances. Minimize your risks. We help you bring knowledge and skill to the table. If you have decided to explore more in this region, by all means, reach out to us, and we will help you try to expand and conquer.

 

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