Optimism remains high on the capability of Qatar’s burgeoning small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector to deliver the needed requirements for future projects in the country, according to an official of Fatora.io, an incubated startup operating within the free zone of Qatar Science and Technology Park’s (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation.
SMEs are at the forefront of Qatar’s economic diversification and are playing an important role in the country’s development, said Waleed al-Yafie, co-founder and chief technology officer of Fatora.io.
“More than 96% of the 25,000 businesses in the private sector currently registered in the country are classified as SMEs. It is anticipated that local firms could supply up to 90% of goods required for public projects in the future,” al-Yafie told Gulf Times in an exclusive interview.
Since its establishment in 2018, al-Yafie noted that Fatora.io has been creating a positive impact on Qatar’s SME sector by providing e-commerce solutions that allow small businesses to create a web store and start selling online.
“We started the company some three years ago after we noticed that there is a big need for an invoicing and online payment system in Qatar. After we released Fatora.io, we understood that there is a similar demand from outside Qatar, as well.
“The company was able to transform the SMEs in Qatar from non-digital to digital ecosystems, giving them the opportunity to start their business online and enable e-commerce,” al-Yafie explained.
Al-Yafie further explained that e-commerce adoption “is growing globally” as more consumers expect delivery of products and services to be “digital, seamless, and timely.”
“Businesses are racing to compete and join the e-commerce trend. In Qatar, the e-commerce market is showing healthy growth over the coming years, especially in the services sector,” al-Yafie stressed when asked about the value of the e-commerce industry in Qatar and in the wider GCC region.
By providing diverse and flexible payment solutions to SMEs and other specialised products, al-Yafie said Fatora.io helps companies expand their footprint in local and regional markets, and even abroad.
“Many of our merchants are also providing their services outside Qatar because we are able to facilitate in payment receiving; our payment gateway helped them acquire international transactions easily,” emphasised al-Yafie, citing Fatora.io’s aspirations to contribute to the growth of SMEs in Qatar.