According to a new study by MENA Research Partners (MRP), the Gulf region accounts for 34 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Middle East and North Africa, and has the largest potential for SMEs regionally. While SMEs are the lifeblood of an economy, it is predicted that many SMEs in the region are posed to face fast-moving challenges erupting out of rising cost alongside continuing skill shortages.
“SMEs are important for an economy to prosper, and the Middle East has always given priority to the SME sector irrespective of the newly introduced initiatives and laws. While celebrated, SME in the region are subject to challenges, the most important being cost of operation, quality talent, finance and regulation among many others,” said Tejas Goenka, Executive Director, Tally Solutions.
Tally Solutions is a leading international accounting and compliance software provider which caters to 50,000 businesses in the GCC. The company has recently introduced its VAT ready software in the UAE and KSA, which is not only simple to install, but can be seamlessly implemented for total accounting and business management solutions.
Tally Solutions highlighted that the most pressing challenges for SMEs in the region are increasing disconnect between organisation and market needs and lack of research and development from industry priorities and trends. “At Tally Solutions, research and customer convenience has been the core focus of our operations and success today. We have streamlined our offerings to meet the needs of the customers, and not just the programmers. However, most SMEs in the region are facing significant barriers as their teams are not ready to develop locally appropriate technologies and eco-friendly business models,” added Goenka.
While many of the challenges faced by SMEs are not unique to the region, although local markets do have distinctive characteristics, solutions to their problems often need to be localised too. “Challenges are a part of every business framework, and that is what allows a business to grow and thrive. SMEs in the Middle East can overcome barriers, including knowledge-sharing, enhancing financial support, supporting skill development and improving market access by adhering to the policies and designing a roadmap that will help them determine their focus and ensure smooth operations,” concluded Goenka.
With technological change occurring exponentially, SMEs in the Middle East will have to adapt to the new wave of revolution to stay relevant to opportunities and a new ecosystem.