National Symposium on Business and Information Technology-2014(NSBIT 2014),a knowledge sharing extravaganza was conducted collaboratively by the Business Studies and Information Technology departments of Al-Musanna College of Technology(ACT),one of the seven Colleges of Technology, administered, managed and operated by the Ministry of Manpower, Sultanate of Oman. The event scheduled on the 11th of February 2014 at the sprawling ACT campus brought together illuminating minds comprising of academicians, industry professionals, practitioners, students and research scholars from all across the Sultanate of Oman. According to the event website, http://www.act.edu.om/ncbit2014/index.html, the event was organized with an objective to fulfill the institution’s collective responsibility towards nation building, and thereby provided professionals in academia and industry to interact, deliberate and exchange ideas and their applications in the areas of Business and Information Technology for a sustainable development and growth of the Sultanate of Oman. The website, added, concurrently, the conference aspires to foster the importance and relevance of application-centric research amongst the Omani youth – the future human capital of Oman!
The thought-provoking key-note address delivered by Ms. Malak Ahmed Al-Shaibani, Director General of National Business Center pointed towards the opportunities available for the Omanis, in terms of infrastructure, support and specialized core competencies to name a few. The positive vibes emanating from her speech made it evident for the listeners the need to have the right attitude in order to overcome the teething challenges. She, however, explained the importance of customizing and shaping up a Oman specific model of SME development from the global best practices as no two countries would be similar, especially when it comes to the expertise that can be leveraged for adding momentum to SME propelled entrepreneurship.The stimulating keynote address laid the foundation for the knowledge soaked panel discussion on “the role of industry and academia in developing an ecosystem which encourages, engages, and enhances entrepreneurship and SME’s amongst Omani youth for the development of Oman”.Mr. Abdullah Al Jufaili, General Manager, Sharakah moderated the discussion with aplomb by soliciting interesting insights and perspectives from Mr. Hashim Al-Hasani, Executive Director, Intilaaqah, Ms. Ilham Murthadha Al Hamaid, Assistant General Manager, SME Credit & Marketing & Regional Corporates, Mr. Fahad Salim Al-Adi, Executive Manager, Jusoor, Dr. Mahmut Boz, Advisor for SME Strategy and Policy, PASMEAD and Ms. Malak Ahmed Al-Shaibani, Director General of National Business Center. His novel way of playing devils advocate with the August audience provided a lot of learning takeaways, in the form of SME based food-for-thought.
Yours truly, along with the Head of Business Studies Department, and Acting Assistant Dean, Mr. Salim Al Rashdi collaborated with Advanced Diploma-Human Resource Management student, Mr. Abdul Rahman Saeed Mansoor Al-Naafie of the Business Studies Department of Ibra College of Technology, Sultanate of Oman,and presented the paper, titled, “A Study to understand the impact of Social Media on Virtual Social Entrepreneurial Venture with reference to KnowledgeOman”. The paper provided a live case analysis backed by solid primary and secondary data interpretation so as to understand the intricacies of social media adding substantial value to societal entrepreneurial venture, run on volunteering basis, through the virtual mode. KnowledgeOman being one of the leading and benchmarked volunteering organization in the knowledge dissemination arena, with lots of national, regional and international accolades, provided the audience(read as stakeholders) with instances of best practices encountered by organizations of such stature and magnitude. The synergistic effort on the part of the researchers/presenters enabled the audience to understand the brilliant model ideated and established under the leadership of the founder and president of KnowledgeOman, Mr. Tariq Al Barwani. The paper also threw insights pertaining to the social media strategy for a virtual, volunteering based socially focused organization, so as to reach the crescendo of success. The primary author, yours truly being an active member of KnowledgeOman, in different capacities, since 2009, has therefore seen the functioning and evolving of the unique operating model of the organization, on the basis of its solid vision, mission and ability to galvanize volunteers, virtually! The combined effort of the three contributors, along with the support and motivation from the Ibra College Administration and Business Studies Department catapulted the presentation to the numero-uno status in the final pecking order, declared during the valedictory function of NSBIT2014.
Mr. Abdul Rahman Saeed Mansoor Al-Naafie, student representative of Ibra College of Technology and one of the contributor was even interviewed by Oman TV, to share his perspective on the benefits derived out of such a knowledge feast for the student and wannabe entrepreneurial community of the Sultanate of Oman.
Additionally, two female Advanced Diploma-Human Resource Management students of Ibra College of Technology presented their paper on Women Entrepreneurship in Oman, under the guidance of Business Studies Lecturer, Ansa Salim. The paper presented amongst the student category, got kudos from one and all.
The itinerary of the conference downloaded from the conference website can be seen from the link below-
The presentation can be viewed from the link below-
PPT by Dr Manishankar Chakraborty Mr Salim Al Rashdi Mr Abdul Rahman Al Naafie of ICT
The contributors and presenters would like to convey their deep sense to gratitude to Her Excellency, Dr. Muna Bint Salim Al Jardani, Undersecretary at the Manpower Ministry for Technical Education and Vocational Training and patron of the event, to Dr. Qasim Murtadha Al Mar’ashi, College Dean, Al Musanna College of Technology and his team of NSBIT 2014,for organizing such an wonderful knowledge sharing platform. The cross pollination of ideas, perspectives, opinions, facts and figures in the form of knowledge would definitely go a long way in illuminating all the stakeholders to contribute towards the growth and development of this blessed nation. Sincere thanks and compliments are also due to the college administration, especially the Acting College Dean, and Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Ibra College of Technology Dr. Azzah Al Maskari, for motivating the staff and students to participate in such teaching-learning platforms and events on a 24x7x365 basis. Last, but not the least, credits are due to the Business Studies Department of Ibra College of Technology for facilitating the presenters to participate in the event.
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