Bahrain 'to become GCC's knowledge hub'
Manama, June 17, 2013
Bahrain is poised to become the knowledge business centre of the GCC region, according to a leading analytics firm's top official.
"If the country can develop the right infrastructure and enabling environment, it can definitely be the regional hub," Boston Analytics chief financial officer (CFO) and managing director Devesh Bahl told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, in an interview.
The global research and analytics company opened its first Middle East office in Bahrain last year, marking its foray into the region.
According to Behl, key reasons that prompted the company to set up shop in Bahrain are its growing young population, human capital currently available and the government's willingness to invest in and support the development of the country's resources.
Citing recent data from the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness report, Behl said Bahrain currently is in a transition phase, moving beyond efficiency-driven development towards becoming an innovation-driven economy.
"Sustainability of the country's economic growth and competitiveness now depend on its ability to develop and commercialise innovation and to upgrade business practices.
"Bahrain is clearly making significant efforts to build its capabilities. In terms of innovation, the kingdom has one of the largest number of researchers per thousand people in the GCC. However, the academia needs to be developed, more investment and rigour is needed in research," he said.
The financial expert feels local and international companies are acting in more and more turbulent markets and are forced to react ever faster given the opportunities and risks they face. "Competition is becoming stronger and innovation cycles and product lifecycles are growing shorter... With the whole world economy changing business can no longer be done on the basis of gut feelings, hunches or other intangibles."
"That's where we come in. Boston Analytics acts as a business and financial research and analysis provider to global clientele."
The CFO says the company's mission is to provide a strategic partnership source that supports and extends the in-house capabilities of corporations, consulting companies and financial services firms.
"Through advanced analytics, market research and data management, we work with enterprises to improve efficiency, creativity and productivity.
"A critical element of providing such knowledge services is the availability of talent.
"Bahrain has an immense bilingual resource base, which can help us service the wider Middle East region.
"Our plan is very simple. By transferring our knowledge and global best practices to young professionals in Bahrain, we will help them to raise their employability and skill sets."
Boston Analytics is currently working with government agencies, academic institutions and industry associations in Bahrain to identify and train people to serve the local market as well as the wider GCC market.-TradeArabia News Service