A Question of Payments!

For Sunday – June 30th 2013.

Between Us Only!

The Payments Issues!

A Question of Payments!

  • I propose that we abandon our relations entirely. I shall lose nothing by it, for my own emotional tie with you has long been a thin thread – the lingering effects of past disappointmentsLetter from Dr. Freud to Discipline Jung in association relationships breakup in 1913.
  • Pay The Worker Before His Sweat Dries!Islamic Hadith

I have been watching now with increasing alarm, tensions, aggravations and apprehensions concerning the situation vis-à-vis due payments to people – customers, clients and others – and sadly from even well-established supposed to be high profile places – and to the extent that the situation just stinks of just malaise, decadence and decay only! It is so pathetic, disheartening and disappointing that words can no longer describe the situation anymore – and has gone over board for any retraction or retribution.

A long time ago when the rumours were spreading that our Consultancy was closing down – we saw the true picture of people and what they really were ‘when the issue of money’ came in – and they showed us their true colours and mantle that they were hiding so long as the situation was rosy and good – and business was still going their way!

Payment 1 Payment 2

Images Payments – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

You may not believe this but in a way with the Arab expression ‘that from evil came great tidings’ – or as the Brits say – ‘the rainbow after the rains’ – to come into absolute shock and dismay of how nasty and ugly people can turn when money issues come in! There are no borders – and all the red lines are crossed – quite easily too!

In one of the situations that the East Africans call carving your face – kuchonga uso – a good friend of mine took me to one VIP business man with a lot of companies under him! He is surrounded by Expatriate Managers in his family business – and one who frequently even visits the home for dinner uninvited! We were at his house one day – me and my Indian lady Assistant – with even a previously arranged appointment to meet in his house!

We were put in the waiting room – and asked politely if we wanted any soft drinks, tea or coffee? My Indian Assistant as usual just asked for a glass of water – which she hardly drank – but that is a different story for now. The parting remark of the attendant was ‘boss and family’ were having dinner – and with my usual put my foot in my mouth style started joking ‘why boss did not invite us for dinner – especially as he knew we were coming? The poor attendant fidgeted quite intensively – not used to such wise cracks – and what to answer instead! Anyway, this great expatriate Assistant came out with him – after the dinner – and hopefully there were vegetarian food there too – or the person was not observing anymore!

Payment 3 Payment 4

Images Payments – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

This person from the beginning was against ‘helping us out’ – though he had admitted years later that he could – if he really had wanted! I reiterated to him that it was God’s mysterious ways of working – because that is how I had ended and moved to writing – and becoming an Author of 8 books, Columnist and Writer instead! Something that I had always aspired to and wanted as a kid – but knew my ‘father would have killed me’ metaphorically speaking – if he knew what was in the mind of his son then! For the rest of my life what he said to me I can never forget – though forgiven – when he abruptly said to me – Why should I help you? Tomorrow you will live in a posh area, drive a big posh car – and what will I get in return? You mocking and making fun at me?

Some years later – I never learn my lesson – a friend took me again to his office this time – for ‘finding me a job – to pay off my bills’ – and as soon as I had entered – and here the appointment was made in advance too – he picked up the phone – and was telling the person at end of the other line – He is here now – he is looking for a job – but I will not help him! I guess he was so excited to ‘fix me’ that he did not know what he was really doing – or the evil side of him got the better of him!  What hurt me more is not his words – but knowing whom he was talking at the other end! Though I too have forgiven – but the wound will never heal – and it is best to leave these things to Allah God only!

We are again talking of SMEs! But SMEs cannot stand late and delayed business payments – especially when it comes to postdated cheques! PDC – the famous that even the ‘guys that do not speak any English know what it means! Including delayed car installments payments. Again it is Ramadhan – and Great Offers all coming up – but the person who was expecting his payments – and did not receive them in time – is exposed and in great danger of his personal freedom, movement and liberty – if he has taken such a car on installments – and he did not get paid in time!

Payment A PAID

Images Payments – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

The lapse and delay in some especially public places can go over 6 to 9 months even – but the PDCs cannot wait that long. Like I had said in my last week article – The Land Rover story – ‘we have great ideas – but lousy not transparent implementation methods and systems – and not even ethical, not principled and not professional also! Unless these things really change on the grounds – we can all be given a copy of Animal Farm by George Orwell – as ‘standard business manual to read – and keep!

When I was working in my last oil company – there was standard regulation that Suppliers and Invoices etc. must be settled within 40 days – and it was implemented in the system as a follow up and counter check in the systems to follow. Yet in some of the places – even public places – you get excuses like ‘we are very busy – but we will pay! Or the more annoying ones – The person in charge is away – for whatever reason – and we will follow up when he returns! Does this mean that if the person is away – no payments gets done? Why not recruit more Omanis? There are a lot of Omanis qualified out there still looking for jobs – or for changes and better prospects!

The sad and tragic part is that if payments are due to them and are delayed – especially the expatriate lots – the poor fellows – they get hit the most! Even they can freeze their salaries – until they bring the monies in! No wonder they prefer expatriates to these jobs – but even them are now resisting – because the situation has simply gone overboard – and no one is accepting this anymore!

I always believe this – it is far easier to destroy – and one smart aleck can destroy all the good works done by many for many years!

What more can I say now? Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

Minimum Wages!

For Wednesday February 13th 2013

Between Us Only!

Minimum Wages!

There is this expression made frequently by many Scholars that everyone of us is responsible – in one way or the other – for one’s action, inaction, delayed actions and even in missed opportunities. If one goes by just Advisors – as from the famous tale – you will end up with your donkey drowned in the river – instead of being able to sell it – to avoid hunger and poverty! You return home empty handed – and your status quo becomes more worse than ever before – just because you listened to ‘Advisors’ – instead of deciding for yourself – as you are required to do – or at least go by your own gut feelings at the most!

Omani Worker 4

Omani Faces - Toyota

Images – Omani Workers!

 am not going to get deeply involved in the midst of the ‘heated discussions’ as it now seems to be going on – except to raise a few pertinent and relevant pointers! They are: –

  • ·        Every country has absolute rights to look after its own! Why should we Omanis be denied from this – after years and years of being receptive and respectful to the expatriates in our country – far more than any country in the world – even from our own neighbours too for that matter?
  • ·        It is not only Oman doing it – even countries like China and Indonesia are doing the very same things for their own populace.
  • ·        For a very long time Omanis – especially in The Private Sector – have been sidelined, marginalised, transcended – and taken for granted in the ridiculing, condescending and patronising attitudes, focuses and approaches of many expatriate bosses – and even from our very own – especially ‘The Old Guards’ connect!
  • ·        Sometimes – especially the family run businesses – one may be forgiven to think – that they own the companies – and not the other way around of the families running the businesses.
  • ·        Only lately some of them have awoken to their national duties – let alone CSR – to their fellow disadvantaged Omanis – let alone making huge profits at the expense of others
  • ·        People should not just look at the expatriates taking their money out of the country – but also look at how some of these companies operate in their modus operandi vis-à-vis keeping monies in the country!
  • ·        They are now scared stiff because these new regulations may ‘eat more’ some of their profits per se!
  • ·        On the threat of some deciding to pack and leave – some foreign companies in Indonesia have already started the trend – the risks are still worth taking – taking into consideration the risky, complicated and complex times that the society is in now – comparable to the global trend – and more near at home too!
  • ·        Like George Bush Jnr. Had said – ‘you are either with us – or with them’ syndromes! There is no better place on the face of the earth to do businesses – and one should not look deep only at profits – but how the society looks at and treats you!
  • ·        All the expatriates in Oman know deep well the legality, validity and the authencity of the above!
  • ·        Some issues will still need to be made. For example if I am in the echelon levels – and my salary package is at 350 OMR – how do I feel when my peer at OMR 220 has now the difference of only 25 OMR to reach me?
  • ·        The jealousy, envy and haassiyds outlooks need to be looked at – and especially like I always say too – the inward looking and narrow-minded outlooks of many of us – instead of looking at things at the bigger picture – and outside the box things!
  • ·        It is not clear – at least for me – if this amount is only the basic salary or the total consolidated salaries? If it is the later – many Omanis – especially in the Oil and Gas sector – are already getting these rates!
  • ·        They are an example and beacon for others to follow! The Banks and Telecoms are not far behind – though in top echelons – for even Omanis – the reverse is the trend!
  • ·        Not speaking fluent Arabic – or being able to write – should not be the determining factor of determining talented, experienced and qualified Omanis in our country for their opinions, views, suggestions and advices!
  • ·        Conversely, speaking very fluent etc does not necessarily correlate with being very smart, knowledgeable and intelligent either. A lot of good usable highly potentials local talents, skills and human resources are wasted by such inward looking and narrow minded outlooks!
  • ·        I am not going to brag about my books – but I guess the American Publishers are in ‘shock and awe’ seeing the treatment of my books – and even being censored in coming out in my articles – by others determined to keep us ‘down there’ syndromes!
  • ·        We need to support more local talents, skills, entrepreneurships and human resources development in the country – and not only in arts and drawings – but overall!
  • ·        Not in SMEs for crafts and dressmaking – but why not in Top Management too? I mean across the board – not the usual few that always appear in the news – and as if there are no ‘other Omanis’ available – given the right attitudes, approaches and focuses – and the right training, guidance, counseling and mentoring!
  • ·        It is high time that we looked at our own – and those of our truly feeling and caring expatriates are most welcome to join the bandwagon in our honourable pursuits!

HM Speech 1

May Allah God Protect and Preserve us all – and our achievements – Amin.

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

Posted at: www.majidall.com and at www.majidwrite.com


The Hidden Unexplored Potentials!

For Sunday January 20th 2013

Between Us Only!

The Hidden Unexplored Potentials!

For perhaps those that do not know me – I write more as a passion and hobby! I am not a full paid or on the payroll Journalist – nor either an Investigative Reporter! I always approach my topics from a personal angle – and speaking to you direct from my heart! Now having that off my chest – we will continue with the column.

Some days back, I was cleaning my lateral cabinet where I hold all my personal files since the early 1970s. I found in one file this irate complaining letter from one European expatriate that he had written to my top boss about me booking him at that time in a national airline for his emergency travel back home.

He had wanted to travel in his own airline – but as per the policies at the time we had to go by the earliest available flight – and if possible cheaper too! Both categories were met in his travel. He was bold enough to say that he ‘did not trust local airlines’. Anyway, like I always say – what else is new in ‘biting the hand that feeds you’? Far years later – the tables were turned when the preference was on local airlines – because ‘they treat us better than even our own airlines’!

Example One – This was Gulf Air at the time. Now we have our own Oman Air – and from Gulf Air has come out very well doing others like Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Air Arabia etc. One sits in wonder and in amazement that before it was only one Airline flying all these routes now – and making money and profits – whilst previously it was not so! So what happened? What changed things – on the ground and in the air metaphorically? It is a question of demand and supply – and how the new businesses and the modus operandi were being met! A good research study for anyone in economics or marketing!

Oman Air New Jet

Image – Oman Air New Jet

Example Two – In March 2005 – 8 years ago – I wrote on this topic ‘The Seagull Has Landed!’ – from the great film theme The Eagle Has Landed! The seagull is the logo for NAWRAS  Q-Tel – the second telecoms provider that was allowed to come in to challenge the only one at the time. The business has now so bloomed and expanded that others came in – and Thank God are surviving and doing good businesses – with expansion plans on the mettle!

Example Three – When Al Jazeera Television was created – it was the butt of jokes and pun – especially in The West! From first encouraging its creation – to later criticizing and cursing it because of its freedom and reporting on subjects and topics that the previous giants before would never dare to touch! Or report on!


Image Showing Potentials

Due to inhibitions whether artificially or self imposed! To the extent that today in case of controversy of The Truth – even in USA and Europe people rely on Al Jazeera Television – including even Hillary Clinton who herself was all praise for it! Even today in some GCC countries people from even inside do not trust or listen to their own channels? There are not even English channels to cater for International audiences. Like we in Oman can easily be that moderate pragmatic voice the whole world is in need! Al Jazeera covers and caters now for almost everyone in the world north to south – east to west!

Potential 2

In My Father’s Suit!

Example Four – The state Universities from before only SQU – to now several – and including several colleges – all over Oman! Other examples are newspapers, magazines, NGOs, Road Safety, shopping complexes, trading companies, insurance companies, Islamic Banking – expected to do well! – SMEs – and still rising! – and many others!

 People – especially the family run businesses should not see SMEs as challengers and adversaries – but as complimentary and supportive. There is wide and huge potentials out there for the pickings – for everyone! See how many new millionaires and multi-millionaires have been created so far – and still rising – from those that could only afford economy seat tickets – to now owning their own private jets!

Potential 3

All The Good Signs!

That is why I do hope and pray that the Editor’s Commentary and this planned SME Symposium will be successful and be fully implemented – as potentials for self-employment, others employment, raising the standards of living and in the local talents, skills, entrepreneurship and in human resources development in the country!

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany