2017 Qatar Business Awards

8 MEA MARKETS / Qatar Excellence 2017 , Drawing on its vast experience in the market, Project Gulf Group has evolved into amulti- disciplined corporationwith a diverse portfolio of activities ranging from IT, business consultancy, business management, marketing, landscaping, interior designs, construction, general contracting and trading. We invited Richard Fraser from the firm to explore the secrets behind its phenomenal success so far. Business Consultants of the Year 2017 Originally established to house commercially viable products and designs and bring them to the Middle East and Africa market, Project Gulf Group (PGG) has rapidly evolved into a multi-disciplined and diverse company. Sensing a requirement for those products to be part of the group, PGG is now a majority holder in all companies under its portfolio, enhancing their offering and enabling them to benefit from its strategic network and long experience in the market. As a multifaceted group with increasingly diverse interests, PGG quickly recognised the underlying potential of high-end real estate development in Africa, which the group will be pursuing through their company Skyfall Developments. “Africa is a very lucrative market for companies with our connections to enter. We are mainly looking at luxury villa and real estate development in South Africa, Zambia and the Indian Ocean to start with over the next 2 -3 years then expanding the focus to other areas of Africa” comments Richard. The group is now looking forward to the completion of their three resorts in the Maldives and building a major multi-function community in South Africa consisting of luxury hotels, shopping malls, golf estate and marina living. The hotel investment division, according to Richard, will be focusing on “very luxurious but also competitively priced”. Most importantly, it will address the poor customer service that tends to plague many five-star hotels in the Middle East & Africa. “An aspect that will differentiate us from the luxuriousness and commercial saleability of Middle East and Africa hotels will be our impeccable service. We want to take that splendour and increase the level of attention to detail”. Whilst there is no shortage of executive-focused hotels in the world, hardly any establishments encourage visitors to be accompanied by their partners. “Many business travellers would like to take their partners along but very few hotel brands make both parties feel welcome,” elaborates Richard. Therefore, the same service standards will be applied to PGG’s new hotel investment concept that will cater to both business and family travellers. In their quest to identify market gaps, PGG discovered a need for a more personal financial service provider – one that can address requirements case by case, understand how a company works and what led it to seek financing. “Many small companies struggle on a day- to-day basis, whether to find venture capitalists or to raise finance on asset security. Venture capital providers are very clinical and lose their passion for companies,” says Richard. In many cases, he adds, companies looking at raising finance do so not because they need the money but because they need to reorganise their businesses or are owed payments from clients. “We will help companies find solutions and will have access to corporate financing through partners.” PGG’s approach to investment is also considered with a long-term view. While a large number of investors, especially in the Middle East and Africa, are eager to see returns in 12 and 24 month periods, the group looks at longer term strategic partnerships with its subsidiaries with the goal of producing a sustainable business. “I look at sustainable income