09 February 2016
Muscat - Three local companies which have excelled in their manufacturing performance, financial and marketing, safety, environment, and social responsibility were awarded this year's coveted 'Sultan Qaboos Industrial Excellence Award' yesterday. Jindal Shadeed Iron and Steel LLC, Oman India Fertiliser Company SAOC (OMIFCO), and Bin Salim Manufacturing Company LLC have been adjudged to have outshined as many as 21 other companies in the selection parameters that made them bag this year's industry topper accolades which is, over a period of time, known to be the key benchmarks of industrial performance.

The winners were awarded at a gala event coinciding with the Industry Day on February 9 at Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa held under the auspices of Lt Gen Hassan bin Mohsen al Shraiqi, Inspector General for Police and Customs, and Dr Ali Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, along with other ministers, advisers, under-secretaries and who's who of Oman's industrial sector. It is observed every year to mark the visit by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos to the Rusayl Industrial Estate on February 9, 1991.

Whiel Shadeed and OMIFCO won in the 'Major Companies' category, Bin Salim proved their superiority in 'Medium Industries' category.

Rechristened from its erstwhile name of 'His Majesty's Competition for the Best Five Factories', the Sultan Qaboos Industrial Excellence Award' saw active participation of a diverse range of companies vying for the title.

This year's industrial awards holds special relevance as the country has been pushing the industrial sector to outreach and play a key role in the national economy as part of its plans of divesting income sources in the wake of the sliding oil prices.

"We are honoured to hold the competition with its new name granted by His Majesty the Sultan and those who have excelled in their overall performance have been honoured which will, in return, motivate themselves as well as others," Dr al Sunaidy said.

Ahmed bin Hassan al Dheeb, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said that the response from companies was almost the same this year compared to last year.

Khalid bin Hamood al Hinai, Head-Department of Industrial Inspection at Directorate of General Industry at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, told the Observer that the framework of the evaluation consists of nine criteria, five of them related to operations carried out by industrial establishments and the other four related to the results and achievements.

While the leadership process assesses how well the organisation has implemented strategic planning, which addresses the issue of "professional management" in its day-to-day operations, an eye for its ability to optimise the use of resources such as energy, materials, and water is also applied.

Additionally, factors on safety, environment, and social responsibility addresses not only issues related to HSE, but also the company's efforts towards joining hands with the society towards common goals.

"Companies in Oman are increasingly feeling the pressure of competition and this is only poised to grow in the years to come. Our country is also geared up to increase the economic diversity where manufacturing companies will play a key role. To work in a synergistic manner in all these, we have incorporated criteria that are followed in most international excellence models", Khalid added.

The ministry, in cooperation with the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), had run a promotional campaign for the award since some months. The campaign included a number of workshops in each industrial estates, such as Raysut Industrial Estate, Rusayl industrial Estate and Sohar Industrial Estate.

"We are truly honoured to have won this award", SG Gedigeri, CEO, OMIFCO (Oman India Fertiliser Company SAOC) said.

The industrial excellence competition was started in 1991 and is held once every two years.

The award went through several stages of development in evaluation criteria and categories which are based on the principle of total quality management.

The race gives an opportunity to all large, medium and small factories to compete for a place and allows the winner to use the name of the award in the following years.

An expert panel of jury was in action for some time visiting and evaluating the results of the selection rounds.

This include Dr Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed al Hinai, General Manager, Oman Development Bank; Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed al Mahrooqi, Executive Director, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI); Abdulathim bin Abbas al Bahrani, Director- General, OCCI; Khalil bin Ahmed al Harthy, Strategy Consultant, World Performance Co; and Professor Prabir Kumar Bandhopadhyay of Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune, India.

Participation in such competition will allow establishments to obtain a comprehensive assessment of its performance carried out by specialised experts and thus will help in the discovery of strengths and aspects that need development to improve the performance.

The award, in its seventh edition has been a tool in motivating and inspiring many an Omani to excel in their chosen path and to be announced as the winner someday.

Muna, proprietor of Bushra al Muna Event Management Company aspired that she too would win the excellence award one day and all her team's struggle is towards delivering unparalleled service to the clients and win the coveted title one day.

"I motivate my team seven team members who too share my aspiration of winning the title and we are pretty sure, we would win it one day", Muna shared her dream with the Observer.

© Oman Daily Observer 2016