Wherever they are on their journey, most businesses will need direction or advice at some stage. We spoke with Dr Tahir Akhtar, founding chairman of Adam Consulting, to find out how expert help can make a big difference.
What services does Adam Consulting offer start-up businesses and SMEs?
Adam Consulting offers comprehensive solutions regarding company formation, business plans and feasibility studies, market entry strategy, intellectual property, international business compliance, accounting and book keeping services. The services are tailored for all stages of businesses, whether they are in a start-up phase, growing, or exit stage.
What are the main problems, concerns and issues start-ups and SMEs come to Adam with?
They come to Adam wanting to know more about relatively different ways of doing business and corporate governance. They look to get a better understanding of taxations and legalities involved, especially when dealing with government offices and other compliance requirements for companies in Dubai, such as requirement of a local agent in case they are looking to start their business in Dubai mainland.
How does Adam make a difference to businesses which are already doing well?
To further enhance the enterprise value of the businesses we offer outsourcing solutions so companies can focus more on their core value generating activities, while we handle the non-core functions such as accounting, bookkeeping, and so on. Through our expertise in foreign markets and especially in emerging markets we help companies expand their business and grow into these new territories with peace of mind.
What are the top mistakes you see businesses making?
The first mistake is starting a business without a business plan or conducting a feasibility study. Secondly, starting without an advisor or lack of understanding of local legalities and bureaucratic barriers.
As an SME yourself, how did you build your reputation and services to what they are today?
Through constantly improving our customer service, innovating our service delivery processes to make them more client-centric and finally by identifying the market needs and capitalising on them by introducing new verticals to fill the gap.
Do you believe the SME sector in the UAE is strong? How can an SME thrive with so much competition?
Dubai’s SME sector is growing at a steady pace and competition increases every day. Businesses now more than ever need to be more client-centric, find out what makes them unique, differentiate themselves and clearly demonstrate their competitive advantage if they want to thrive and stay ahead of the curve.
Since forming in 2002, how has the advice and practical help you offer changed? If there have been changes, what brought them about?
In the beginning we only had basic legal incorporation services. But over time as we continued to work with our clients we got a better understanding of the problems they faced. This allowed us to constantly shape up and improve our service offerings to better address the clients’ needs. This resulted in us being able to now offer multiple verticals of comprehensive business solutions regardless of the stage of the client’s business.
What would you say to entrepreneurs who want to make a mark in the UAE? How can they stand out from the crowd?
Have a business plan and conduct a feasibility study before starting. Know and understand all potential pitfalls beforehand to the best of your ability and get a very good understanding of local legalities and bureaucratic requirements.