Risk management a priority

By Satish Kanady

thepeninsulaqatar

As a fast growing economy, with multi-billion projects in its pipeline, Qatar must make sure a world-class “risk management” mechanism is in place in the country.

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Talking to The Peninsula, two experts at a global risk consulting firm said, proper risk management is key for Qatar in the light of the reports of growing number of fraud risks across the globe.

Of course, ‘risk’ is not a major concern in this region. Certainly, fraud is not a serious issue in Qatar and  it doesn’t have a fraudulent environment. But the country has to make sure that there is a foolproof system in place, they said.

Simon Padgett, Director, Protiviti Risk & Business Consulting Middle East said Protiviti’s 2012 global study has found a typical organisation loses an estimated 5 percent of its annual revenue to fraud. Applied to the estimated world gross product, this gives a potential loss of more than $2.9 trillion worldwide. The rapid growth of Qatar’s business means that the country has to develop a vital line of defence.

“Qatar is very much in the world eye and it is rapidly growing to be a major player in the world in terms of businesses and many initiatives taken outside the GCC. Its economy is rapidly growing and it needs to put in place a good risk management all across the board,” said Andrew North, Managing Partner of Protiviti Qatar. Qatar’s large companies, especially the government entities, already have fairly good risk management practices. But with its economy growing, Qatar must make sure its system is something that is matching the global standards.

“Risk is something you need constantly to be addressed. Developments in the matured economies can be taken as a model here,” he said.

Simon noted that Qatar is set to witness a heavy influx of foreign investment. Potential investors want to put their money in safe haven where there is a solid ‘risk management’ system. Protiviti is getting a lot of enquires on Qatar’s risk assessment culture, its policies and regulatory framework from investors.

“Qatar can learn from matured economies’ experience. Risk management is not about holding the business back. Addressing the risk means enabling your businesses to grow sustainably. It has to be addressed before it happens. Qatar needs to be vigilant in the light of the 2008 crisis and the following slowdown,” he said.

With over 60 offices across the globe and seven in the GCC region, Protiviti opened its Qatar office recently. The global consulting firm helps companies solve problems in finance, operations, technology, governance, risk, compliance and internal controls. Its operations also cover fraud identification, prevention and measures that organizations can put in place to protect themselves.

This article was written by   Satish Kanady   and originally published on thepeninsulaqatar

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