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Outlook 2021: The UAE Market is Now Getting More Robust Than Ever

Victor King, the Founder, and CEO of Absolute Communications Group speaks about the key learnings from 2020 and how he will use those learnings to brush up his strategies for 2021

How was 2020 for the industry and your company?
2020 was challenging for everyone, and we were no exception. However, we do believe that the year that passed wasn’t just a test of resilience and persistence. It was also a quality check of sorts wherein the kind of value one can add to their clients, and their industry was under the scanner.

We focussed our efforts on continuing to deliver excellence to our clients and today, as the year comes to a close, we’re delighted to see their satisfied responses and, in some cases, an even more, significant scope of work with us. We are proud to see these outcomes as a result of our determination and hard work throughout the lockdown. We are wrapping this year up with many learnings that’ll help us carve our path more prudently and effectively in the year to come.

What sort of opportunities did 2020 bring along?
The past year was pandemic-ridden but still presented us with a lot of learning opportunities. By emphasizing on delivering excellence continually, we were able to strengthen further the trust that our clients place in us, in a year that was full of uncertainties. Similarly, we were able to put higher trust in our suppliers and associates, and 2020 proved to be a year of great learning.

We ensured that everything ran seamlessly, from our day-to-day operations to meet, and sometimes even exceeding our periodical deliverable requirements. We are happy and grateful that we even made a few new client acquisitions, which was a reliable indicator of how vital it is to keep delivering excellence, especially in turbulent times.

Did you face any challenges in 2020?
We cannot deny that the pandemic and its ripple effect had us face to face with many a challenge during the last year, but thankfully we were able to handle everything swiftly to create more opportunities for ACG. Like all other agencies, we too lost some business and revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis that the world is engulfed in. However, we pushed ourselves to quickly adapt to the circumstances being thrown at us and learn from them. This way, we were able to focus on creating new opportunities and growing some of them as well.

What were your key achievements in 2020?
Survival, sustenance, and re-learning the importance of delivering excellence were our big lessons as well as achievements in 2020. Our small, close-knit team was working hard towards driving growth through quality. All while shutting out any worries and fears around instability and in a short time since the lockdown was first imposed. That’s probably one of our most significant achievements that drove our survival and sustenance in the pandemic-stricken 2020.

Faith in relationships, both business and personal; the ability to unlearn and re-learn from a fresh perspective; and the understanding that pre-planning and micro-operations can make anything possible and more successful have been the key achievements that have helped us push business and curb losses.

What promises does 2021 bring along?
Like every new year, we are confident that the new year will be better than the previous ones. We have learned a lot of things from our experiences in 2020, and we will continue to implement those learnings to ensure further growth in 2021. Our learnings during the crisis have prepared us to perform better in everyday scenarios, and we’re all hoping for 2021 to bring back some pre-COVID normalcy.

At the core of all that, we promise ourselves to continue delivering excellence, keep faith in our relationships, keep our costs and heads down, and to keep our eyes on the 31st December 2021 objectives from the beginning of the year.

Do you see opportunities in the regional markets with new markets opening up?
As the Middle East market continues to grow and expand, so are the opportunities coming from this region. We are ready and prepared to welcome and seize those opportunities but without losing our focus on the UAE market.

The UAE market is now getting more robust than ever with the encouraging new laws and policies that the highly capable leadership of this country is implementing to ensure the sustenance and growth of businesses and the economy. With new markets opening up and positive news regarding the development of COVID-19 vaccines, we firmly believe that UAE businesses will find more opportunities presenting themselves in the coming quarters.

According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2021?
Emerging technologies have proven their worth faster than ever during the pandemic, empowering the development of solutions around digitalization, resource management, operations management, fintech, and cloud collaboration that have enabled scores of operations to run smoothly from the comfort of people’s homes. These technologies will continue to play key roles along with bare bone technologies like networking and hardware to support the former as they join hands to create solutions catering to all kinds of business, education, healthcare, security, and entertainment needs of the changing world.

What will be your key focus areas for 2021?

We have always been focused on technology, education and finance. While we will continue to focus on growth in these industries, we are also planning to expand into new industry verticals like fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Having a diversified portfolio of clients helps us remain on our toes when it comes to creativity and innovation.

What milestones have you set for 2021?

  • Survival – we are determined not to let the negative impacts on other agencies affect our determination so that we continue to deliver excellence and see this pandemic through without much harm being inflicted upon the business.
  • Sustenance – we realize the importance of holding on to what we have, and that has taught us never to dilute the efforts that go behind keeping our existing clients happy, no matter how old the client.
  • Retention – conversion isn’t of many benefits to us unless it is followed by a foreseeably continued relationship with the client. We aim to keep our clients happy and persistently so.
  • 30% growth – With a few new additions to our client portfolio in 2020 itself, we are confident and determined to work on expansion with our existing clients as well as further addition of new brands to drive business growth.

What would you like to do differently in 2021, when compared with 2020?
An early understanding and acceptance of our objectives and the situation by our team led us to do most things right in a year that caused considerable harm to a lot many businesses. Our year-end projections and our year to date revenues are indicators of the same, and we are happy to share that we’ve been able to meet the targets we set for ourselves in 2020. We will continue to improve on those strategies in 2021 by implementing the learnings from 2020 that have taught us so much about how to deal with things in a crisis, from a distance.

Do you plan to enter new markets or add new products/applications to your portfolio in 2021?
We are planning to add new verticals to our client portfolio. New markets and new service offerings will be something which we will look at in Q2 or Q3 of 2021.

– Photography by Ranbir Sen


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