Every Thursday, ILQ features a different Qatari startup in our ‘Startup of the Week’ segment. Qatar has some of the most creative, unique, and impactful startups in the region, and we cover them all across a variety of industries in Doha—from fashion and beauty, to food and dining, health, education, technology, and more!
This week, we're putting the spotlight on E-Smart QA—a technology idea incubator in Qatar working on technology projects which main focus is to bring business focus online from E-Commerce, real estate to construction and project management.
Basically, the initiative works in the sense that if you have a technology-related idea, you can present it the E-Smart team and they can help you develop it and make it profitable.
E-Smart currently has four technology-related products in the pipeline at different stages, including:
Other ideas are still on a research stage so they will remain confidential for now.
Talking to 37-year-old founder and managing director Khaled Rekik, he mentioned that in a technologically-advanced world, a businessman's daily task is to look for innovation and things that the market needs and bring them over. "We are constantly looking for gaps to fill, looking for ways to enhance our everyday lives."
The idea started earlier this year with Khaled's humble intention of developing tech projects geared to user-friendliness and the majority's comfortability. His initial main concerns were house hunting, shopping online from local stores, finding accurate information online at your fingertips, and many more.
"Currently most tech companies in Qatar are living on selling services, but we will be living on managing our own projects. The challenge in our situation is that we invest mostly on R&D as we don’t really operate on cash flow at the startup phase".
Khaled also shared that their first B2B contact wasn't exciting, as they started to rollout their E-commerce platform and they went out there to look for vendors, where they faced lots of resistance as most businesses in Qatar has no zero possibility to go online.
"I believe this is the challenge of any local tech startup: how to convince retail shops to sell online. After the tough time of working with medium and small stores, we kept on working harder, and today, we succeeded to get onboard with a big retail name and their associated brands. Moreover, the team is in negotiations with other local brands and names to bring them online."
Khaled believes that the E-Commerce platform will make everyone's shopping experience in Qatar much better. "Billions of dollars that have been spent by residents and locals in E-commerce abroad can be brought back to our economy, and these can create numerous opportunities from jobs and can also enhance competitivity in the local market."
When asked how Qatar is making it easy for young entrepreneurs to penetrate the market, Khaled noted that the government has all the required infrastructure to start a business. "You can literally start a business within 24 hours in Qatar. The government is spending lots of money on incubators and projects financing options."
He hinted that the other projects they're currently working on is an innovative product fully-engineered in Qatar and is expected to be exported to the rest of the world soon.
To know more about E-Smart, check out their website and social media links below!
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