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Posted on January 03, 2014

With Qatar itself in a transformation mode, its vibrant corporate sector has embarked on re-branding initiatives not only to add value to their stature but also to try a bigger slice in the domestic and global market. There have been spate of re-focusing and re-branding initiatives across different sectors ranging from hydrocarbons, telecoms, banking, consumer goods, real estate to hospice with “more to join the bandwagon in the days to come”, according to market sources.

A hydrocarbon-dominant economy, Qatar is fast-changing its tracks to allow a greater room for non-oil sectors as part of diversification strategy. “So it (re-banding initiatives) can be seen as a natural extension to the (country’s) transformation as Qatar is now fast-gaining importance in the global arena in economic, politics, sports, social and cultural spheres,” an expert associated with a recent re-branding initiative in Qatar’s corporate sector said.

The country’s bellwether entity Qatar Petroleum (QP) embarked on a new vision that aims international expansion but keeping its roots firm by optimising the exploitation of natural resource assets. Qatar Intermediate Industries Holding Company, a subsidiary of QP, has been re-branded as Alwaseeta, which also outlined QR5bn expansion plan.

“The change of the company’s name coincides with a reinvigorating drive towards Alwaseeta’s vision of creating partnerships and investment opportunities for downstream intermediate industrial ventures,” according to Energy and Industry Minister HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada.

The latest came from Ezdan Holding Group when it unveiled the new identity by unifying the character and spirit for all group companies as it aims to double the group’s investments and diversity. “Re-branding, which is a long thought process and exercise, ought to give a more fillip to a company (particularly established one) especially at this time when there is a dire need to go extra mile,” an industry source said.

“However, the challenge is to target the right audience at a time when confidence is building up,” he added. QInvest, Qatar’s leading investment bank, unveiled a new strategy to achieve long term sustainable growth by streamlining it into three units — investment banking, principal investments and asset management.

Last Minute Deals from Bahrain

Qatar Telecom has changed over to Ooredoo; Qatar First Investment Bank to Qatar First Bank; Mawashi to Widam Food, National Leasing to Alijarah Holding, Qatar Flour Mills to Zad Holding and Al Ahli Hospital to Medicare Group. “We’re taking Ooredoo to the next level…We all want more – to see more, understand more and be more. That’s why we changed our name,” according to Ooredoo, which in Arabic means ‘I want’.

Although there have been several queries, including from many family-owned entities, all may not immediately translate into action and one has to factor in the intrinsic friction, the source said. Re-branding is a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, and competitors. “Corporate re-branding is more about differentiating positioning,” the expert said. Qatar First Bank’s decision to re-brand is followed by its upgrade to a Category 5 licence, which allows broadening of its product offering.

The re-branding of Mawashi to Widam Food strongly accentuates the company’s strategy and vision to expand its business and tap into new industries and markets to serve the country’s long-term food security objectives Qatar National Hotels Company was re-branded as Katara Hospitality as it embarks upon its international expansion plans in line with Qatar’s tourism development strategy.

“As we embark on a new wave of strategic expansion, we seized the opportunity to redefine the brand and set the scene for future growth of not only our rapidly expanding portfolio, but of Qatar’s reputation as a key player in the global tourism market,” Sheikh Nawaf bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani, chairman, Katara Hospitality, said.

The country’s bourse, which was previously Doha Securities Market, was re-branded to Qatar Exchange, after transatlantic NYSE Euronext came onboard. Ahead of the Federation of World Chambers Congress, Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry was also re-branded to Qatar Chamber.

source: Gulf Times

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