Mr. Abdullah Al Jufaili
Mr. Abdullah Al Jufaili
Abdullah Al Jufaili started his career as a freelancer providing IT solutions to small companies, this was during his sophomore year in 1998 at Florida Atlantic University where he earned his Bachelors in Managing Information Systems. After graduation he worked for several organizations including Bank Muscat, The Public Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development (Ithraa), The Public Establishment for Industrial Estate, Shell and currently he is the General Manager at Sharakah.
Over his 17 years of experience, he has engaged with many business owners of Small & Medium Enterprises. In 2006, he completed his Master's program in Managing Information Technology from Salford University, UK. He is a co-founder/editor and writer of Ruwad magazine. Additionally, he is a member of many committees related to entrepreneurship and innovation.
INSME: Can you give us a wrong and a right definition of innovation?
Mr. Al Jufaili: Generally people would think about innovation as inventing a new device or technology that has never occurred before. In most of the times innovation and invention would be mixed up. Innovation in reality does not have to involve a newly created technology. It’s merely introducing ways to do things affectingly and better. It may not involve a technology as it could apply to processes and procedures. Further, identifying and introducing added value component to an existing mechanism, product or service.
INSME: Do you think that nowadays economic players are conscious enough of the opportunity that the international dimension represents for being innovative and of the benefits they could get back? If they are not, which is the main obstacle?
Mr. Al Jufaili: I believe that economic planners globally are aware about the importance of innovation and the key role it plays in growing the economy. In a recent event at the United Nation, they have discussed about innovation strategies for nations.
Oman amongst some other nations has established the National Committee for National Innovation Strategy. The National Innovation Strategy is concerned with innovation across the various fields and it is also related to several themes including human resources, economic diversity, intellectual property, institutional communication.
INSME: How can worldwide networks like INSME help public bodies, stakeholders and intermediaries to foster innovation in favour of SMEs?
Mr. Al Jufaili: INSME can play a role by following these steps:
- Build awareness and show the value of having innovation strategies and embedding innovation into economic strategies.
- Help public bodies assess the current status of innovation within their organization and across the nation.
- Share examples of successful implementation of innovation strategies.
- Offer support in terms of workshops and awareness sessions.
INSME: Which is, according to your experience the most effective way to help SMEs and entrepreneurs to be innovative?
Mr. Al Jufaili: The best way is by showing them the value of being innovative.
INSME: Let’s play a game:
INSME: If I say Cooperation you say…
Mr. Al Jufaili: Unity
INSME: If I say Network you say..
Mr. Al Jufaili: Information
INSME: If I say Internationalization you say…
Mr. Al Jufaili: Opportunities
INSME: If I say Intercultural Communication you say..
Mr. Al Jufaili: Local Knowledge
INSME: If I say Innovation you say…
Mr. Al Jufaili: The Future
INSME: If I say change you say…
Mr. Al Jufaili: Rather Innovate