‘Next 5 years’ seen as game changer for Qatar startups, says industry expert
September 07 2020 08:05 PM
cWallet CEO and founder Michael Javier.
cWallet CEO and founder Michael Javier.

The steady delivery of multi-billion legacy projects being completed across the country would usher in demand for human resource in tech-based platforms and solutions, according to an industry expert.

“As Qatar slowly moves away from the construction sector and demand for labour force, it will be focusing more on technology-oriented and a more robust society,” said Michael Javier, the CEO and founder of cWallet Services.

cWallet is a Qatar-based financial technology startup incubated by the Digital Incubation Centre under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and is funded by the Qatar Science and Technology Park’s Product Development Programme, as well as the Qatar Business Incubation Centre, a Qatar Development Bank initiative.

“So, there will be more demands for programmers, content creators, entrepreneurs, computer scientists, data analytics, and talents that are high-demand on tech companies,” continued Javier, a Filipino national, who spoke to Gulf Times on Monday.

He also forecasts that while the startup space is “relatively new in Qatar,” the next five years “is going to be a game changer.”

“With the government’s initiatives and support in terms of mentoring and funding, we shall witness diverse portfolios both on startup founders (Qataris and expats), as well as a huge growth in angel investors,” Javier emphasised.

In early third quarter of 2020, cWallet Services successfully secured more than QR2mn in grants and funding in its first year, having created cWallet, Qatar’s first and only mobile application to facilitate banking via blockchain technology.

Thanks to the new technology, individuals and businesses will be able to perform local and international financial transactions online, including paying and receiving wages and sending remittances to their home countries. As one of the few local platforms available in nine different languages, it also succeeds in overcoming the communication challenges often faced by customers in the targeted markets.

Asked what advice could help encourage entrepreneurs or start-up owners in Qatar to enter the local and international market, Javier said: “Jump! If you don't jump, you will never soar and your wings will never open. This is what I have been telling myself every time I face challenges in my entrepreneurship life at the age of 40.”

Javier added that his advice reiterates what American comedian Steve Harvey said in one of his shows: “…eventually, the parachute has to open. However, if you ever want to get there, you’re going to have to jump. You can play it safe and deal without the cuts and the tears, and you can stand on that cliff for life forever safe; but if you don’t jump your parachute will never open. You’ll never know.”

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