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Corporate executives who were on short visits to Muscat

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Farouq Irani
Managing Director, First Leasing Company

The cash and liquidity management is crucial for companies during a recession period, irrespective of the type of industry, said Farouq Irani, a pioneer in India's corporate leasing.

Delivering a lecture on 'Global Meltdown of 2009 - Managing the Downturn' organised by Muscat Finance, Irani said that aggressive measures and decisive actions would build optimism and confidence. Spotting opportunities and pursuing them aggressively will inspire people and change their psychology from fear to realistic optimism.

He also suggested a thin layer of management, reduced capital expenditure and realistic optimism during tough times. Projects that have high strategic importance cannot be delayed and the companies must continue to make investments in critical technology." Irani, who is also the managing director of First Leasing Company of India, said that during recession, the first thing for a firm to do is to completely reassess its business plan to figure out where and by how much it has impacted. "Figure out which input costs have gone up and by how much. Which are the target markets in turmoil? How are your key clients affected? By how much will their order position be affected?"

With banks freezing working capital loans and lines of credit, it is important to manage the cash flow tightly. For this, the company management needs to have a clear assessment of potential cash flows.

Muscat Finance Company (MFC) organised the meeting for its clients, distributors, bankers and regulators in appreciation of their long-standing relationship and support.

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Angela Schaschen

Domotex Middle East 2009, one of the world's largest floor covering exhibitions is coming to Dubai for the fifth time in May with artificial grass, Swarovski crystal, wall to wall hand-made rugs and much more. Organisers hope to draw more visitors this year than ever before.

Targeting architects, designers, builders and developers, the show features displays and experts from across the globe and at least 7,500 attendees are expected from 90 different countries.

Angela Schaschen, MD of organiser, Deutsche Messe, says, "When you first enter a building, the first thing you look at is the door and then you look down at the floor. The flooring in a room can completely change the atmosphere. A room with a cold floor will never have a warm atmosphere.

Now that the property market in the sultanate is opening up to foreigners, real estate companies and architects are targeting westerners. They have to put a western style inside. Europeans like wall-to-wall flooring. They like to use vacuum cleaners. For developers to sell their properties easier, they should have western style floor coverings."

Domotex will concentrate on three broad areas: Custom made wall-to-wall carpets, hand made rugs and wooden laminate. "Five years ago, nobody in the Middle East knew about wooden laminate but now it's big business," says Angela. Floor coverings ordered at the exhibition can be delivered before Ramadan, but sales are only part of what the show is about.

"Oman has the strongest growth among all the GCC countries in terms of visitors to Domotex. At the moment, developers of big projects have to go to Dubai for their flooring. We want Omani wholesalers and retailers to go to Dubai and become the official agents of the carpet companies back in the sultanate."
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