The Qatar chapter of Business Network International (BNI), a global business networking organisation, has generated over QR 125 million in business for members in the last 12 months.
BNI Qatar held the Annual Business Awards 2022 last Thursday, in which 88 awards in different categories were presented but the main awards were the Member of the Year and the Chapter of the Year.
This was the first time that the event was held in-person since the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2020 and 2021, the event was held online due to the pandemic.
BNI Qatar has 160 members and consists of five chapters, namely, Al Maha, Phoenix, Pioneer, Royals and Winners. BNI has had its presence in Qatar for the last 8 years and is registered under Qatar Financial Center. BNI Qatar Chapter has members doing 83 different kinds of businesses.
The core values are Givers Gain, Building Relationships, Lifelong Learning, Tradition and Innovation, Positive Attitude, Accountability and Recognition.
BNI is one of the world’s largest business networking organisations established 37 years ago with its presence in 77 countries and more than 289,000 members, helping them build their business through referrals.
Speaking to media persons BNI Executive Director P Mohamed Shabeeb said that the event was a celebration of the BNI Qatar region to celebrate business done by their members.
“The amount of business done between members globally in the last one year is 19.25 billion US Dollars globally. In Qatar it is 125 million Qatari Riyals in the last 12 months between members and through referrals.”
He said that as BNI-Qatar Chapter is celebrating eight years of its presence in Qatar, the total amount of business done in the last 8 years is QAR 588,806,964 of which after COVID-19, they did 213 million Qatari Riyals. “This means almost 35 percent of what we did in the last eight years, was done in the last 2 years. During the COVID-19, our business actually grew because people started doing business with people they know. When you are threatened by the market, you tend to do business with people you like, trust and know.”
The goal for BNI Qatar is to have 8 chapters and 40 members in each chapter by December 31, 2022.
Shabeeb explained that what BNI has been doing is helping members get more business through Givers Gain. “We believe in helping first before we gain. All members give and we celebrate the giving. People give a lot of references-bring more people into this network and build business through the philosophy of what comes around goes around.”
Talking about the various kind of business that the members have Shabeeb said, “In Qatar, the businesses are predominantly in construction in Qatar but we see services such as HR, PRO services, hospitality, travel, medical among others.”
He said that BNI is not only about gathering but also trainings are giving and members are given access to business builder-an online platform with lots of hours for training.
Explaining about what is required to be a member in BNI-Qatar Chapter, Shabeeb said that the membership per year is 1,200 US dollars (5,445 Qatari Riyals) and any nationality can join. “Anyone can join and should be a resident in Qatar and should have a business or a decision maker in business sector. They should be successful and have a clientele in place so that when they come, they help others with their clientele. Therefore, you refer business.”
For his part, BNI Launch Director Consultant Ayman Al Qudwa who is also the Manager of Falcon Travel and has been with BNI for 3 years said, “After I joined BNI, our company is not only with the Royals but also with the other two chapters and we are growing locally, regionally and globally because of BNI. Today I can proudly say that we are not only a local travel agency but also with branches in 77 countries.”
He explained that they had made good revenue with BNI and through BNI.
Echoing Shabeeb, Al Qudwa said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, their business has been good in the last two years. “The last two years have been amazing. BNI has taught us how to thrive during the pandemic and that’s why we exist today.”
During the event Al Qudwa was also awarded based on his productivity and was the Member of the year in 2020 and 2021. The awards recognised those with the highest scores, highest achiever and the highest productive members among others. “We are living BNI because it helps us to grow through networking and a system called referrals –Givers gain, what comes around goes around.”
A Quiz session was also held to enlighten people about what BNI was all about. The colourful event was also marked with folklore performances.
Catherine W Gichuki