An official of a Qatari e-commerce solutions provider has underscored the role of Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) – part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation – in attracting tech companies not only from the domestic market but from the international community, as well as.
“It is very important to have a hub for innovation and technology that would incubate and accelerate innovative ideas and make them live,” said Waleed al-Yafie, co-founder and chief technology officer of Fatora.io, an incubated startup operating within QSTP’s free zone.
Speaking to Gulf Times in an exclusive interview, al-Yafie said: “There are many tech entrepreneurs in Qatar with great ideas and the existence of QSTP is very important in providing support for their projects and for the company’s growth.”
According to al-Yafie, his team’s journey with QSTP started in 2014 after pitching an idea to build a cloud solution. “We started from QSTP’s first accelerator programme. After we got good traction, the team was able to graduate to the incubation programme and we have been there ever since,” he said.
Al-Yafie said Fatora.io was established in 2018 with the aim to provide Qatar’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with e-commerce solutions to enable SMEs to build virtual stores and do business online.
He stressed that QSTP played a significant role in the development of Fatora.io and other tech companies in Qatar: “Once we had the idea and presented it to the QSTP team, they provided us with all the support we needed, including funding, incubation, and other types of assistance like mentoring and subsidised services for legal and accounting, among others. This enabled to compete and provide better service.”
Following Fatora.io’s introduction to the market, al-Yafie emphasised that the company was able to help an online store with “more than 27,000 merchants inside and outside Qatar.”
According to al-Yafie, there was a spike in the growth of Qatar’s e-commerce industry since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
To cope with the challenges of the pandemic, al-Yafie advised e-commerce store owners and operators to “evaluate the damages to the business, consider financial and non-financial plans, explore new revenue streams, evaluate cost structure, reactivate relations with stakeholders in the value-chain, and create an emergency plan for the next crisis.”
He added: “In consideration of the impact of Covid-19 on Qatar’s business sector, it has to be pointed out that SMEs have played a very important role in the country’s recovery from a crisis in a historical context.”