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Report of Entrepreneurship Symposium 2020

The department of Professional Development & Humanities (PDH), College of Engineering, National University of Science & Technology (NUST) held it’s annual Entrepreneurship Symposium on 8th December, 2020. Due to the pandemic, the event was conducted online and featured prominent entrepreneurs Engineer Othman bin Makhtoum al Mandhari Funder & CEO InnoTech & Khalid bin Abdullah Al Hosni - CEO Titronic Middle East Technical Services.  The event also hosted two homegrown entrepreneurs Majid Al Harthy – Printing Press and Wael Al … CEO & Founder Drop Café.

The event was attended by 98 participants out 121 registered. The gathering saw participants from Universities and colleges across Oman. The event was well received and some interesting questions came up in the Question-Answer session. The event was moderated by Mr Ibrahim Issa Al Balushi, Senior Lecturer, Professional Development & Humanities.

Dr Ahmed Hassan Al Balushi, Dean – College of Engineering, in his opening address reiterated on the significance of Entrepreneurship Education and how small businesses can support the national economy. He reaffirmed the University’s commitment to promote this culture of entrepreneurship which is reflected in the University’s Strategic Plan. He welcomed the attendees and the keynote speakers and graduate entrepreneurs.

Reminiscing on the achievements of PDH in entrepreneurship education and activities, Ms Prekerthi Panikar, Head – Professional Development & Humanities highlighted the Objective of this annual event ‘Entrepreneurship Fair’- which is a celebration of entrepreneurial success of our students and invites inspiring success stories from the entrepreneurs’ community. This event serves as a platform to network and learn from each other’s entrepreneurial success stories. The department of Professional Development and Humanities hosted its first Entrepreneurship Fair in 2013 and since then has held it every year.  This event has seen confluence of Entrepreneurial ecosystem, participation from government agencies, industry and student community and showcasing of students’ startups. This event is a highlight of the department that takes pride in creating a culture of entrepreneurial and inspire young minds to think about starting their own venture how it is more satisfying to have one’s own business and be a job provider than being a job seeker. With the challenges of pandemic, the department is now geared to prepare students towards digital businesses. We believe that we can no longer work in our own cubicles. We have to join hands and push the national agenda of self-reliance and self – sustenance through entrepreneurial advancements. With this objective, this event has served as a platform where academic partners from Higher education Institutions in Oman, entrepreneurial supporting agencies and student communities have come together .

The first keynote Speaker of the symposium was Eng. Othman Al Mandhari, the founder and CEO of InnoTech. InnoTech is a leading Omani Company in EdTech and 3D printing technologies., Its area of expertise is in 3D design and printing, importing 3D printers and maintenance services of 3D Printers.  He won the Best Entrepreneur Award – the highest award from the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprise Development in Oman 2017. Engineer Othman shared his journey to success with  the attendees and his company’s significant role and and important contribution to the country during the pandemic by manufacturing medical supplies.

The second Keynote Speaker was Mr Khalid bin Abdullah Al Hosni, CEO Tatronic Middle East Technical Services. Titironic established in 2010, provides innovating solutions in the use of polymers in industrial sector. Titronic Middle East Technical Services won the ‘Best Medium Business’ in the industrial sector. Mr Khalid is a member of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chair of industry Committee in the Oman Chamber. He is also the chair of the exporters club of Batinah North Governorate. Mr Khalid is a member of the funding committee at the SME Development Authority and a mentor at the mentorship programme of SME Development Authority. He was the proud winner of the Best Entrepreneur Award in Oman in 2020. Mr Khalid Al Hosni shared his highs and lows in the business and how his resilience helped him to restart his businesses.

Two Homegrown entrepreneurs Wael Al Rahbi, currently a final year Students of BEng Process Operations and Maintenance is a Founder of Drop Cafe with branches in in UAE  in  Dar AL Wasl, Dubai Mall & 189 Shoreditch High Street London.UK. He is also a painter and artist who sells his paintings through the Art Galleries and his own Café.

Majid Al Hinai Alumni, CoE is the Founder of  Super Graphics Printing Press Al Khoud-Al Barkat Road ,Muscat Oman shared his journey and how the business has grown in the past few years with more additions to the services Super Graphics now provide.

Professor Vallavaraj – Deputy Dean Academic Affairs, College of Engineering National University of Science & Technology concluded with his closing remarks and announced the ten Raflle Draw Winners drawn from the pool of active participants.

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