Every week, 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, and more!
This time, we're shining the spotlight on Fish.qa, the first online fish market in Qatar! An innovative digital platform, Fish.qa is a practical solution to the difficulties faced by consumers in Qatar -- for those who can't find time to go to fish markets, yet don't want to miss that unique feeling of inspecting, selecting, and buying the freshest catch of the day. It was developed with support from the Digital Incubation Centre (DIC) of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Since their launch on January 14 of this month, Fish.qa is revolutionizing the E-Commerce sector in Qatar -- particularly that of the seafood industry, by empowering consumers in Qatar to buy fresh quality fish for the lowest prices. Now, people can use the online platform from the comfort of their home. The talented pool of staff has set their standards high in order to meet the diverse demands and expectations of their customers.
"Fish.qa was an instant success among seafood consumers in Qatar," says one of its Co-Founders, Mr. Jareesh M. "Within two weeks from launching, we got high response and appreciation from customers. The project is developed and run by a vibrant team with the technical expertise to handle any possible challenges faced to the operation, and assist our customers in any difficulties."
In April of last year, the new Central Fish Market relocated from Abu Hamour to Umm Salal Ali. While local business communities in the Umm Salal Ali area believe the move will give them a major boost to their enterprises, for consumers it's now more challenging to make the trek in search of quality, fresh seafood.
"People are in trouble accessing the faraway Umm Salal Ali just to buy fish," says Fish.qa Co-Founder Mr. Mohammed Hanees. "If they're coming from Doha, a one-hour drive is required to reach the newly-renovated Central Fish Market. This pushed us to initiate Fish.qa. By using our service, consumers get fish delivered right at the convenience of their doorsteps all the way from the Umm Salal Fish Market, fresh and cheap, as compared to all other supermarkets in Qatar."
He also added that the project is set to make the life of Qatar residents easier by making their fish shopping easier and faster. Fish.qa is also planning to add other, local fish shops to their service platform, making the initiative a one-stop shopping platform for all seafood needs in the near future.
The solution enables local fish-sellers, mostly those of the Umm Salal Ali Central Fish Market, to create unique seller pages on the Fish.qa website and list their products there. The sellers also regularly list their offers, promotions, etc. If a customer selects a particular product from Fish.qa, they'll be able to see the sellers' list in their area, in the order of the cheapest price to highest price, from which to make their purchase. They can also choose individual sellers from the listed shops and purchase their products as well. All the shops listed under Fish.qa operate via a rating system to ensure un-compromised quality. The ordered product will be delivered promptly by the Fish.qa delivery team.
Mr. Hanees also noted the huge contribution of the Digital Incubation Center (DIC) in making Fish.qa possible. "DIC has been a real mentor for us and they've helped us to overcome several bottlenecks and initial teething issues which all startups face. They're also kind enough to provide us with an office space with all facilities by DIC in their West Bay facility centre."
Interested fish buyers just simply input their mobile numbers on the website, order a fish, choose their location and delivery time, and a dedicated team of delivery staff will be on their way in no time!
Delivery charges are free at the moment, and they have daily offers on their website that give discounts of up to 20%. With six participating shops currently rendering their services for Fish.qa, customers can choose from an array of least 50 varieties of fish and seafood from Fish.qa's website.
Mr. Jareesh M. concluded by giving tips to young entrepreneurs in Qatar who are seeking to establish a startup of their own. His advice focused on the youth's advantage to easily utilize their potential for projects that can make lives better and easier.
"They should also realize that in Qatar we have a very favourable climate for growth, as the authorities are extending their hands to help startups with good ideas and potential. Rightly-positioned projects with good effort can surely be a great success!" he said.
The team currently has two time slots for delivery with plans to expand it to three soon. Regarding the apps -- their developers are already working closely to launch it both on Google Play and Apple's App Store by the end of next week.
In case customers have complaints with their Fish.qa purchase, they can claim for a refund. Fish.qa customers can pay either through Visa, Mastercard, debit card, or cash-on-delivery.
To find out more about Fish.qa and to help support this unique startup, check out their details below!
What are some of your favourite startups around Doha? Comment below! And don’t forget to give us a like and share!
(Cover image courtesy of Fish.qa website)
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