The Saudi Ministry of Commerce issued 407 licenses to consultancy companies in the first half of this year, an increase of 27 percent on the same period a year earlier. Management consulting topped the list with 188 licenses, followed by financial consulting (for non-securities) with 59 licenses, and value-added tax (VAT) services with 35 licenses, the ministry said.
There was also a 15 percent year-on-year increase in applications from individuals to be licensed as professional consultants, the ministry said.
“This is a good direction and good timing, and we look forward to seeing more people involved in this sector, which could grow to $5 billion in the GCC alone,” Yahya Alsulaiman, founding partner of Serole Technologies Saudi Arabia and YISETech, told Arab news.
“Saudis have accumulated a large amount of knowledge working on diverse projects in the Kingdom over the past decades and many of them are not qualified to provide advice on similar projects,” Sleiman said. “Also, these consultants were guided by the directives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which urge starting a private business that allows the consultant to maximize income.”
New legislation and regulation from the Ministry of Human Resources Development, and the government’s decision to limit many advisory tenders to citizens have also helped support this trend, she said.
Rana Zumai, a consultant who advises SMEs in Saudi Arabia, told Arab News that one of the most important reasons behind the demand for consultants is the positive results they are achieving.
“Consulting practice is one of the activities that increase the personal impact of those with expertise and specialists in a particular field,” she said.
“Counseling for me is an exchange and integration between the counselor and the consultation seeker, where the counselor can share his experiences and the consultation seekers share his problem or stumbles in his project,” Zumai said.
“Consequently, the consultant becomes more informed and practiced in the same field, and this integrative process saves a lot of entrepreneurs from repeating mistakes, or that enthusiasm takes them to decisions in which they need an expert’s point of view,” she said.