Ali Al Khalili, an entrepreneur, feels Oman should trim bureaucratic procedures for startups
September 10, 2015: Try and try till you succeed. Ali Al Khalili swears by the saying and the journey of his life is testament to this.
Having tried his hands in the import and export industry, construction and building industry, camping accessories industry but without much success did not deter him from starting a new business in the sports industry. Only this time, the end result was different.
Ali Al Khalili
“I have always had the passion to do something on my own and start a business. I completed my graduation in 2004, and since then have tried several businesses and failed. However, my passion to start a business is stronger than the outcome. Every time I failed, I was motivated even more to start a new business and prove myself,” says Khalili, founder and chief executive, Green Galaxy, a sports goods and accessories trading company that started operations in Oman in 2014. The company was one of the finalists at the Entrepreneurs Conclave 2015 held in Oman in May this year.
It specialises in retail and wholesale supply of sports gear. “As the only authorised representative of Kuwaiti mixed martial arts (MMA) Pro Sport products in Oman, Green Galaxy supplies martial arts sports wear and accessories to Oman’s growing sports sector.”
So, what made him chose the sports industry? “Oman has always had a great culture in sporting activity. At the same time, I wanted to be in a consumer-focused industry. Before Green Galaxy was formed, people had to travel long distances to get quality sports accessories and gear. Hence, I thought of cutting the distance by offering them an option closer home,” he says.
Khalili source his products from Thailand, China and Vietnam. He feels that the sports industry in Oman is one of the high growth sectors and provides plenty of opportunities. However, he says, Oman has a long way to go to become a startup hub. Like most startups around the world, funding is a big problem in Oman as well.
“Getting or arranging funds in Oman is a long procedure. The lengthy bureaucratic process is really not necessary, but is still there. This forces us to look for people who are familiar with the procedures. It is difficult for startups to have that kind of connections. Also, a project is not funded if the entrepreneur is working somewhere else. Often, it is difficult for a startup founder to quit his stable job for something that is high risk and uncertain.”
Khalili hopes to have a bigger shop offering a wider selection by next year.
Be a part of the Oman SME Summit being organised by IFM on September 13-14 at Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Ritz Carlton in Muscat