1. Please provide an overview of Oscar’s products, services, and activities in the Middle East
Oscar saves clients time and money by ensuring they work with suppliers they can trust. Our platform provides automated assessments, giving our clients all the visibility they need to conduct their business while minimising their risks. We provide due diligence on topics including worker welfare, equality and non-discrimination, process innovation, governance, climate change and environment, sustainable development and business continuity. After assessing suppliers, Oscar provides a roadmap for suggested improvements and a dashboard to track progress - a seamless and automated experience. By onboarding the right suppliers, our clients circumvent fines, supply chain outages and reputational risk. Oscar is the only 3rd party risk management tool built for the MENA, and tailored to regional needs and sensitivities.
2. What are your reasons for coming onboard the inaugural GITEX Impact 2023, what are your expectations, and who are you hoping to meet?
We feel like this event is the perfect opportunity to showcase Oscar and how we can help clients. Oscar’s approach and protocols are built based on the UN SDGs, international ESG standards and globally recognised sustainable procurement guidelines. We believe our goals align perfectly with GITEX Impact and with COP28 coming up, we wanted to make sure we were supporting the UAE’s transition to Net Zero and more sustainable development.
We are hoping to meet like-minded people and to support clients who are curious about what they can do to reduce the impact of their supply-chain and conduct their operations sustainably. We are also hoping to shift attitudes around sustainable operations; while many view sustainability as a burden, we are here to showcase that a sustainable supply-chain is good for business, achieving faster results, higher growth and better margins.
3. How is ESG creating value and supporting your business growth?
Companies practicing increased ESG due diligence are experiencing higher growth, reduced costs and better margins than companies that do not. More and more companies are realising that they are leaving money on the table if they do not embrace this thinking. Oscar is helping these companies tackle their area of biggest impact and risk, which is their supply-chain. As more companies embrace ESG, Oscar’s total addressable market grows, supporting our business growth.
4. The recent COP27 raised critical concerns, such as emerging environmental issues, the increase in the world population surpassing eight billion people, and an imminent economic correction. How will this affect the progress of ESG efforts and investments worldwide?
I think this will spur investors, companies and governments into action. In recent years the amount of investment into this space has grown tremendously, this will only serve to support this trend. In response to COP27, COP 28 will look to deliver major impact and investors will want to be a part of it.
5. How can technologies such as data analytics and AI support ESG actions?
Data analytics and AI will absolutely support the implementation of ESG strategies in businesses. Oscar demonstrates that implementing this type of automated solution can help you reap the benefits without breaking the bank. Implementing this type of due diligence in-house can cost up to 150 AED per purchase order, while Oscar’s automated solution can cost as little as 15 AED per purchase order. As more data is collected across the supply-chain, it becomes much more efficient and cost-effective to utilise AI solutions.
6. To what extent can the UAE and wider region drive change in ESG disclosure and investment in line with the UN SDGs?
The UAE is already leading the way in the region, DFM and ADX were among the first stock exchanges to implement ESG reporting and disclosure guidelines. UAE Vision 2021 and 2071 are built on the UN SDGs, and Net Zero 2050 is a major step in the right direction. I think the UAE can help the wider region by serving as a launching point and case study. The UAE can demonstrate the value of this approach and make it irresistible to the wider MENA.
7. Why are events such as GITEX Impact important in amplifying missions toward corporate UN SDGs?
They raise awareness, which is really the main issue in the MENA region. In my experience as a sustainability consultant over the last decade, I can tell you companies here are not aware of the benefits of implementing ESG into their decision making. Events like Gitex can help increase awareness and drive companies to adopt this type of thinking on a wider scale.
8. How important is the Middle East for your business and what is the volume of business growth you anticipate in this region over the next few years?
The MENA region is critical to our business, our entire philosophy is built around support MENA businesses, corporates and SMEs. Our protocols have been developed specifically for the region and we aim to raise the performance of suppliers to bring them on par with Europe and the US. Our region is one with unlimited potential, we need to support our local companies to make sure we can enjoy the benefits of the development we will experience over the coming decades.