BUSINESSES in Qatar need to do more to provide Internet services and e-marketing, according to officials who gathered yesterday to discuss opportunities in the market and talk about the upcoming launch of the ictQatar business directory.
Rami Adwan, keynote speaker at the ictQatar Business Connect event and deputy CEO of Tameer, spoke about hope consumer behaviour was changing throughout the world in the way that customers used the Internet for services and also for obtaining information and recommendations about businesses from other people.
Adwan then went on to describe an “actionable plan” for getting online, saying “technology is not a challenge per se, and companies should learn to combine sales and technology to advance their business.”
He explained that the kinds of services that could capitalise on e-marketing could be “anything” from products, research, legal services, banking and so on.
“Of course the costs will vary depending on the business and the scale of what you want to achieve, but an average of QR20,000 would allow you to set up a website and start running it well,” he said, adding “but the cost will be higher for more sophisticated interactive services.”
Following Adwan’s speech he joined a panel discussion moderated by ictQATAR’s market development and knowledge management manager Khalid Tawfik and featuring e-Enterprise manager at ictQATAR, Ali al-Khulaifi and private enterprise owner, Ali al-Misnad.
“The Arab countries are not developed as well as countries in the West in terms of online services,” explained al-Misnad, who said that two things must happen to increase usage: trust must be instilled in users, and the services offered by companies must improve.
The panellists expressed their excitement about the ictQatar business directory, which is being established by ictQATAR, but after a year or so will be sold to a private sector company to make it a profit-making project through advertising.
“It will provide information that people in Qatar need, but cannot get anywhere else,” explained al-Khulaifi, who said he was looking forward to the site’s launch in April of this year.
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