Shell Intilaaqah Oman: Supporting Local Entrepreneurs, One Translation at a Time
Oct 14, 2020
Shell Intilaaqah Oman’s support has helped local small business Tarjamah Translation weather COVID-19
Shell Intilaaqah Oman has supported many entrepreneurs over its 25-year history. For this member of the LiveWIRE family, success has come in many forms. In particular, the successful integration of local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) into the Shell Oman value chain has been significant. One company, Tarjamah Translation, has taken up the role as a Shell supplier with enthusiasm.
Tarjamah Translation performs legal translation between Arabic and English, and other languages upon request. Its founder, Ahmed Al Mufraji, first entered the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Oman in 2007, after identifying a gap in the local market: there was significant demand for translation services between Omani Arabic and other languages, particularly English. Al Mufraji took on a role as an interpreter with Oman Shell, seeing the opportunity to combine his passion for translation with market demand.
Al Mufraji served as an interpreter for Shell for several years. In 2014, he consolidated and formalised his business under the name Tarjamah Translation, and the company was born. Shell formally contracted the nascent company, serving as its first client.
In line with the famous adage “no pain, no gain,” Tarjamah experienced growing pains during its early years. Since the translation business is of a unique technical nature, requiring 3-5 years of practical experience to ensure high-quality deliverables, it was hard to gain the trust of large clients at the outset. And, as having experience was key to getting more experience, Tarjamah found itself facing a difficult cycle. Fortunately, in Oman, the bureaucratic and administrative burden of setting up a company is minimal. With the confidence of a newly-established business in hand and a dedication to customer needs and top quality, Tarjamah was able to make progress little by little.
Today, Tarjamah counts Oman Shell among its numerous customers. Shell Intilaaqah, Oman’s branch of LiveWIRE, has done business with Tarjamah since 2016. Al Mufraji credits Intilaaqah’s business as one of the factors helping Tarjamah to stay afloat in 2020. Due to COVID-19, much of his business had dried up earlier this year, and the continuation of company operations became increasingly difficult. Hearing of this need, Intilaaqah made a special effort to direct translation projects, sponsorship agreements, and governmental accords towards Tarjamah, helping to support business continuity. As an ally of SMEs throughout Oman, Intilaaqah’s dedication to supporting local livelihoods and communities appears to have been fruitful: as 2020 draws to a close, Tarjamah Translation is in a strong place to move forward, with expansion on the horizon.