Souq.com: online retail heats up
Ronaldo Mouchawar, the co-founder and CEO of Middle East e-commerce giant Souq.com, said the company had grown 30 to 40% year-on-year across its footprint covering the Gulf countries and Egypt, and 50% in Saudi Arabia. However, there is major competition on the horizon with Dubai billionaire Mohamed Alabbar having announced the launch of e-commerce site Noon.com last week, said Robert Anderson on Gulfbusiness.com. The company is backed by a $1bn initial investment from Alabbar and other Gulf investors and the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which is a 50% shareholder. Noon, whose main market will be Saudi Arabia initially, is promising “20 million products” when it comes online in January in comparison to “Souq’s two million” and has a goal to boost online sales in the region from “$3bn to $70bn, within a decade”. Souq’s Mouchawar commented: “I think we’ll be ok, I’m not worried”.