Notwithstanding the challenges of the economic blockade, a Qatari tech startup is taking inspiration from the success of innovators like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg to make 3D printing commercially accessible in the local market.
Abir Bouguerra, the co-founder and CEO of Vectorize, a Qatari company specialising in 3D printing, described the “sudden rise to prominence” of local products as “a very logical result of the economic blockade.”
“It pushes people to focus more on what is happening internally, and I think it gives a great opportunity for local businesses to shine across all sectors,” Bouguera told Gulf Times.
Established in 2013 initially as a “social enterprise,” Vectorize is now registered with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce and specialises in 3D printing prototypes in the fields of education, architecture, health, art design, engineering, entertainment, construction and fashion. Bouguerra runs Vectorize together with her co-founders, chief operating officer Farid Mahfouz and chief finance officer Khaled al-Saegh.
Amid the challenges posed by the blockade on Qatar’s innovation space, Bouguerra said tech companies could take inspiration from other innovative forerunners like Apple and Facebook, which also had faced different kinds of adversity.
“At Vectorize, we take a lot of inspiration from greater businesses such as Apple or Facebook, which were created during similar times.
“We’re not saying we’ll be the next Steve Jobs but we definitely aim to be on the same level as these great leaders and if we go back to their stories, these companies faced their own struggles and turmoil so the blockade should actually inspire us to take the path or walk in the same steps as these businesses,” Bouguerra explained.
To address the needs of the local market, Bouguerra said the company is striving to make 3D printing commercially accessible across all sectors by making it affordable to customers.
“For 3D technology for example, as creative and innovative as it is, we shouldn’t think about it as a secondary need; it is not as vital as food but it is a solution that we are customising for each of the fields that we operate in, and one of our main goals is to actually bring down the cost across all fields that we specialise by at least 30%, which we have accomplished successfully in engineering and architecture,” she stressed.
Bouguerra said most of Vectorize’s raw materials are sourced from its international partners from countries like Belgium, Dubai, India, and China, among others. But given the opportunity, she said Vectorize is open to collaborating with suppliers from Qatar.
“We source most of our raw materials from our suppliers outside Qatar however, the production is all done locally in Qatar but given the opportunity to source raw materials in the country, we’re definitely open to working with local businesses here. This will also open new markets in Qatar,” she said.
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