In the wake of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious strategy for economic diversification with its Vision 2030, the country’s investment market is witnessing exciting times and inviting international interest. A thorough approach that encompasses quality processes is crucial to turn this interest into an opportunity.
Helping meet this need is the Saudi-based consultancy group Saudi Business Links (SBL). It is a grassroots private and independent venture builder that supports international entities seeking to explore and penetrate the Saudi market by providing soft landing services and market entry analysis. Currently, SBL has a presence in several countries, the most recent being the opening of their offices in the UK.
Ali Alwabel, President, Saudi Business Links
“Since our inception 10 years ago, we started out sector agnostic. However, since the announcement of Vision 2030 and its various vision realisation programmes, we have been highly focused on the mandates and the priorities of the government. Healthcare and life sciences is one of the prominent sectors in which the government is interested in trying to minimise the overburden and under-delivery of the current legacy systems. In addition to healthcare, we cater to several other sectors by creating a friendly eco-system, as per the government's direction, mandates and needs in line with its national security priorities,” explained Ali Alwabel, President, Saudi Business Links.
Alwabel mentioned that SBL has a special interest in incubators, and acts as a catalyst, think tank, and business hub. “Our primary focus is on the needs and the requirements that are coming from a grassroots level and looking at what the country needs and aligning with its strategy. This is our starting point. We know exactly what the government needs and where it is going, and can help international organisations navigate that, by understanding the opportunities and, more importantly, the realities on the ground,” he explained.
He also highlighted the organisation's genesis, particularly how they have catered to the needs of the healthcare sector. During the pandemic, they identified that PPE manufacturing was a priority. As a company that did not have a prior industrial background in healthcare, they competed and won a contract for medical gloves, achieving an important milestone in having ‘a seat at the table.’
“During the Global Health Exhibition 2023, we will announce the launch the Saudi Innovation Health Hub (SIHHA). SIHHA is a Saudi based, healthcare/LS innovation business hub, designed to act as a catalyst to international entities wishing to enter the Saudi market. We will invite relevant companies from across the world to use this hub as a sandbox to test, introduce and integrate their offerings with the rapid developments in Saudi Arabia by engaging with the various local government and private entities that have shown a commitment to be founding members of SIHHA. This would help organisations from overseas understand the regulations and the opportunities available in the country in line with the local content mandates. As venture builders, we feel this would massively accelerate efforts within the healthcare sector. We are also looking forward to the opening of our new office in Tabuk (NEOM) and another office in Madinah this year, this will be in addition to our HQ in Riyadh,” concluded the President.
This article appears in the latest issue of the Omnia Health Magazine, read more here